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Old 05-08-2012, 05:37 PM   #41
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Hi All...

Well, the process has begun! It took us 1.5 hours, but the process is now in the hands of Vanguard. My wife and I got though the signup and then all the digital signatures and paperwork that is needed to move all the funds over except for the REITs and the Annuity. We will be working on both of them and see what options we have, but for now, Vanguard can not help with those.

All in all, if they stay where they are, I do not see how it would really hurt us. Their is no fees involved with either. The only thing, unless I am incorrect, is that the Ameriprise planner we used would still receive .45% service fee be year based on the value of those items. (I think you know what I mean as I am not sure on the term.)

So we are off. Once the funds get over to Vanguard, we will then cash them out and move them all into Vanguard funds to save future costs. This will be interesting.

Thanks for sticking with us!
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Old 05-08-2012, 07:54 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by FinanceDude

He will owe a 10% penalty plus ordinary income on any gains in the contract, since he is under 59 1/2.........
Yes, on earnings. Assume they pay 50k in taxes and penalties. Assume the fees are 2% higher in the annuity. If the returns are similar over ten years then the end amount is nearly identical. However, you switch from ordinary income to capital gains and you get a stepped up basis for your heirs by withdrawing. Not a fan of annuities in general but maybe a rollover to an immediate annuity to pay for recurring expenses would be ok.
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Old 05-08-2012, 08:21 PM   #43
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Yes, on earnings. Assume they pay 50k in taxes and penalties. Assume the fees are 2% higher in the annuity. If the returns are similar over ten years then the end amount is nearly identical. However, you switch from ordinary income to capital gains and you get a stepped up basis for your heirs by withdrawing. Not a fan of annuities in general but maybe a rollover to an immediate annuity to pay for recurring expenses would be ok.
My Calculation included 10 % penalty on withdrawals and tax on earrings. 29k penalty, 4k tax on earnings and 17k surrender charge. 50k total. Basically I'm saying there is a number that I would withdraw on and that would be if I could walk with anything greater than 240k.
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Old 05-08-2012, 09:21 PM   #44
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Seeing that you have an rv and want to travel with it, what are the NY tax rules of finding a new home in a tax friendly state for slightly more than six months of the year? Have your cake and eat it too.
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Old 05-08-2012, 09:44 PM   #45
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Thanks again all. I need to go lay down.
THE ATTACHMENT BELOW IS A GOOD EXAMPLE OF WHY YOU NEED TO
UNDERSTAND WHERE YOUR MONEY GOES. WE HAVE LEARNED THE HARD WAY.
Wow. And ouch.

FWIW, you're not the only one to be led down this primrose path.
Update on DFA-approved advisors -- Who'll save the World from Mark Matson?
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Old 05-09-2012, 10:00 AM   #46
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Not all DFA approved advisors are equal....especially with bigger portfolios (over $2M) sticking with low FIXED cost NOT Assets Under Management Fee Advisors or doing it yourself if you have the time and inclination makes the most sense.
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Old 05-09-2012, 10:48 AM   #47
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Wow. And ouch.

FWIW, you're not the only one to be led down this primrose path.
Update on DFA-approved advisors -- Who'll save the World from Mark Matson?
Matson is a marketing guy, an oeverpriced marketing guy. I'll bet he hasn;t sat down with a real client in years, much like Susie Orman.......
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Old 05-11-2012, 06:42 PM   #48
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Just an update that things are in motion. I guess the only question I would have now is what is the recommended Vanguard funds to invest in? You know, the good mix. As soon as the funds have been moved in, we will liquidate them and buy new.

Thanks again all.
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Old 05-11-2012, 07:08 PM   #49
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Just an update that things are in motion. I guess the only question I would have now is what is the recommended Vanguard funds to invest in? You know, the good mix. As soon as the funds have been moved in, we will liquidate them and buy new.

Thanks again all.
Congrats. Start by gauging your risk tolerance and therefore appropriate asset allocation. Try this https://personal.vanguard.com/us/FundsInvQuestionnaire if you haven't already. But that's just a first step. Your Vanguard contact can walk you through the process with less confusion than all of us, maybe start there. If you want to share their AA and fund recommendations with us, we might be more helpful.

Again, it's very important you understand the choices yourself. Asking us for "the recommended funds to invest in...you know, the good mix" is a lot like blindly trusting an Ameriprise rep. It's not rocket science, you have time to learn before deploying the cash.
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Old 05-11-2012, 07:46 PM   #50
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Good point and well taken on this end of things after what we have learned.
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Old 05-11-2012, 08:12 PM   #51
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I would read the Boglehead's Guide to Investing by Larimore et al and All About Asset Allocation by Rick Ferri.

The short answer is the most important factor is your ratio of stocks/bonds which controls risk. John Bogle preferred age in bonds, but that's just a general guide and you can adjust based on your own risk tolerance. It might behoove you to stat at 50/50 stocks/bonds and see how you feel through a couple of market swings.

Within the stocks and bonds it really doesn't need to get too complicated, this is just an example, you can choose your own percentages. Admiral shares wherever you can.

Bonds-
half in total bond market index
half in TIPS Treasury Inflation Protected securities

Stocks-
half in total stock market index
half in total international stock index

This assumes it's all within tax advantaged accounts. If that's not the case, you would want to hold bonds in tax-advantaged accounts like IRAs,401ks. The stocks are pretty tax-efficient and could go in a taxable account.
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Old 05-12-2012, 08:24 AM   #52
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I take a bit of a different approach. I have a personal "investment policy"like a balanced mutual fund would and target allocations for stocks and bonds, and within stocks for domestic and international. Additionally within domestic stocks I looks to be reasonably diversified between growth/value, large/mid and small cap and by sector and wihtin international stocks I want to be reasonably geographically diversified. Within bonds, I typically seek to be diversified across credit quality and duration (though in response to the current interest rate environment I have consciously decided to be short duration and lower credit quality that I would normally be). VGs Portfolio Watch report provides me with a lot of good information on where things stand and I use Portfolio Tester to rebalance.
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Old 05-12-2012, 09:09 AM   #53
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Hey All...

Well it surely looks like we will be making a move to Vanguard. After talking with a Vanguard support person, Nicholas, it seems however that they can not just electronically move the funds from Ameriprise to Vanguard. All the funds, except the REIT's, can be moved, but it seems Ameriprise requires it to be done via paper with signatures. So, not sure how this all will be handled.

I would LOVE for this to be done as quickly as possible due to the fact that the markets are down thus closing funds and moving into another will not cost me. (Though more than likely will take a loss.) But at least I will be in better areas after all this. Based on the leveal of funds that will be with them, I guess we can get free advise from them. But I am thinking I will just follow what others have done here and keep it simple.

We do have retirement accounts also (Like SEP's and IRA's) , so I am guessing they stay right where they are. I mean, move them to Vanguard but they stay like they are.

MY wife is researching the insurances to also see where we can cut back.

Thanks for the links to Bogleheads. We are going to go though the videos etc and start our re-education. This time in controlling and managing our own money.

I mean, we done very well in saving etc from when we were married. I just hate to think, and now kind of know, we were burnt. Heck we started off together $22K in the hole, lived in apartment, paid off all the debt in 3 years while saving for our first home and started an on-line startup. Bought our first home 2 years later and, well, never looked back as we were off and running. But fast forward and boy are we lost now. So again...THANKS for the links.
Ameriprise seems to be quite popular these days. It seems I'm running low on new ways to curse them. Hopefully, your "tuition" will be worth it by inspiring you to take control of your own financial destiny. You will ultimately do a better job.

Ameriprise requires a paper form because it will take longer. It will give your account rep an opportunity to call you and tell you what a big mistake you are making. He'll try to get you to verbally agree to stop the transfer. During the conversation, never say "yes" to any question he asks and I mean any. Even if you are emphatic that you want to move, it is not beyond reason that your form will become "lost." You'll have to follow up regularly to make sure it gets done. The time limit used to be 6 weeks (decades ago) but it's probably been shorted with all the electronic transfers involved (or not!). They will drag it out as long as possible. With the size of your account being what it is, you may hear from several Ameriprise reps. You are a big cash cow to them. They will fight letting you go; but whatever they say, get out of there.

Do you suspect I distrust Ameriprise? You betcha!

SEP's and IRA's can stay where they are at; but when you are no longer employed, I suggest you move them to where you have your other accounts. I'm personally a Vanguard booster but others like Fidelity or buy ETFs through discount brokers.
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Old 05-16-2012, 10:50 AM   #54
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So, the process is moving along with now some of the funds moved into Vanguard. I was told to expect a charge maybe of $20 to $40 per account when closed and transferred...but NOPE. $100 PER account! Thanks bloated Ameriprise for your continued greed! Even the planner I had was not aware how high the fee was as he also said about $30 per account. (Fitting into the $20 to $40 most people had thought.)

So...Ouch. So glad we are doing this and even more so with the $100 fee showing how Ameriprise really is....Greedy. (IMHO) Sorry if I come off harsh. This really has been shocking to us to say the least.
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Old 05-16-2012, 11:10 AM   #55
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When I moved most of my accounts from ETrade to Vanguard, I was charged $60 per account by ETrade. This was carried by Vanguard as a negative cash balance in my brokerage account. I didn't make any changes to my accounts since they were all in Vanguard funds when at ETrade. Vanguard switched me into Admiral shares almost immediately. The negative cash balance disappeared about 2 months later. Nothing was sold in any of my accounts to cover the fee. Effectively, I got a free transfer.

Even if you have to pay for the transfer, you will be well ahead by getting out of Ameriprise. Your move has been quicker than what I expected.
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Old 05-16-2012, 12:24 PM   #56
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So, the process is moving along with now some of the funds moved into Vanguard. I was told to expect a charge maybe of $20 to $40 per account when closed and transferred...but NOPE. $100 PER account! Thanks bloated Ameriprise for your continued greed! Even the planner I had was not aware how high the fee was as he also said about $30 per account. (Fitting into the $20 to $40 most people had thought.)

So...Ouch. So glad we are doing this and even more so with the $100 fee showing how Ameriprise really is....Greedy. (IMHO) Sorry if I come off harsh. This really has been shocking to us to say the least.
That's gouging IMO. When I transferred our 5 accounts from Fidelity to Vanguard a little over ten years ago, there were no account fees at all. It may be different these days though, so my experience may be (way) out of date.
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Old 05-16-2012, 02:22 PM   #57
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Originally Posted by Nathan72 View Post
So, the process is moving along with now some of the funds moved into Vanguard. I was told to expect a charge maybe of $20 to $40 per account when closed and transferred...but NOPE. $100 PER account! Thanks bloated Ameriprise for your continued greed! Even the planner I had was not aware how high the fee was as he also said about $30 per account. (Fitting into the $20 to $40 most people had thought.)

So...Ouch. So glad we are doing this and even more so with the $100 fee showing how Ameriprise really is....Greedy. (IMHO) Sorry if I come off harsh. This really has been shocking to us to say the least.
What does the contract/prospectus say the account closure fee is? That seems really high. Scoundrels.
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Old 05-16-2012, 03:33 PM   #58
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Looks like the $100 account closing fee is indeed SOP for Ameriprise Brokerage Fees and Brokerage Commissions | Ameriprise Financial. Just shows in writing what "scoundrels" they are. I assume the closing fees are very small compared to the portfolio, but still...

And you'd never know looking at their slick TV (Tommy Lee Jones) and magazine ads. Caveat emptor indeed...
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Old 05-18-2012, 12:34 AM   #59
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So, the process is moving along with now some of the funds moved into Vanguard. I was told to expect a charge maybe of $20 to $40 per account when closed and transferred...but NOPE. $100 PER account! Thanks bloated Ameriprise for your continued greed! Even the planner I had was not aware how high the fee was as he also said about $30 per account. (Fitting into the $20 to $40 most people had thought.)
Apparently the Ameriprise corporate social-media team has been reading your posts on this discussion board...
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Old 05-19-2012, 06:25 AM   #60
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Apparently the Ameriprise corporate social-media team has been reading your posts on this discussion board...
Ok, that was funny. But I bet it's also true.

So far all but 3 accounts have now been moved over and those should show up this coming week as they needed to be done via paper and signatures. But most of the funds have been moved.

We are all set to talk with a Vanguard adviser/planer this coming week, I think Thursday. So for now, all the money is still in the same funds as they came over in. We will need to cash them out and buy new at some point after we chat.

So soon we will be in better shape for the future.

Just wanted to follow up.
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