jbk wrote:Ameriprise seems to offer only five portfolios which are "funds of funds."...If the maximum fee is additional (worst case scenario), then the fees may total between 3.62% and 3.79%. And this doesn't include the individual fund fees.
ING has a 1.5% mortality and expense charge and a .25% administrative charge for a total ING charge of 1.75%. This does not include expenses charged by the funds themselves.
Yuck. Here's what I'd do...
If the 403b fees are too high (for me, thats anything above 1%)... I would contribute to the 403b up to the match (pick the cheapest index fund and/or bond fund there; you can balance it with your own 403b/401k, IRA... etc), then max out her IRA (traditional or roth depending on your tax bracket) and then contribute to a taxable account.
I think taxable accounts get a bad rep. Its liquid, which is obviously helpful for emergencies. Plus you can do things like TLH every year. Is it possible for your wife to explore a solo 401k? Do you have anything that can be set up as an independent business?
Other ideas... if you yourself have much better options, then perhaps consider using her salary to pay for things like... a health savings plan, a 529 if you have children, term life insurance and long term disability.
Are you near 59 1/2? You could look to do an "in-service" IRA rollover of your 403b as she contributes to it. Some plans allow you to do this before retirement age.http://www.forbes.com/forbes/2008/0225/046.html