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Leaving Ameriprise - 4 years later
Old 08-04-2014, 05:06 PM   #1
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Leaving Ameriprise - 4 years later

I can't believe it's been four years this month since you guys helped me see the light on the shill game called Ameriprise.

I did a one year update and haven't done one since, but I think it's time to give you an update since we've basically crossed the finish line.

Since August 2010 we've quadrupled our investable assets. Yes the market had a lot to do with it, and we plowed money in aggressively, but we're 100% in index funds, rebalance on our bands, and our total fees (including 401ks) are a fraction of what they were. I would guess that if we were still with Ameriprise we'd be at about half of where were are now based on our acct performance in 2009/2010.

At our last meeting with the FA in May 2010 I told him I wanted to talk about how much we'd need to retire and what the time frame looked like. He told me that discussion was years away and we were probably looking at no earlier than 60 - 62.

Wow was he wrong. We became financially independent last November. I was 52, DH was 48. And the FI came just in time. DH lost his job last October and was out of work for eight months, but it was by his choice. He's spent 6 of the last 8 months helping his dad while his mom fought and lost her cancer battle.

She passed on June 24 and two weeks later DH was offered a two month contract doing consulting in his field. The timing was perfect and he's enjoying working again but he'll never work full time again... just consulting gigs here and there as he chooses.

I'm still working as well but by my choice. With ACA now in force I don't have to stay until 55 to get 'affordable HC' as a retiree through my company. However I'm planning to stay until 55 to get the ability to tap 401k at 55, but I'm considering going part time next year. I want to coast into retirement rather than stepping off that cliff in one step.

Bottom line - by leaving Ameriprise we've gotten back almost a decade of life that would have been wasted on work.

For those of you who are thinking about leaving a FA but are afraid to because they don't understand investing four years ago I was just like you. My advice, read all you can about index funds, understand exactly how much you're spending each year, learn how to use FireCalc and other retirement tools, and talk to Vanguard (or Fidelity, et al) to understand how to get your money moved. If you'll take those few steps your destiny can be in your hands and you can get a lot of years back so you can go out and play with the other early retirees.
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Old 08-04-2014, 05:14 PM   #2
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Lisa99,
It is so uplifting to hear from you about your FI, and the other successes. If there were a gold ribbon that I could hang on your post, I'd do it.
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Old 08-04-2014, 05:15 PM   #3
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Thank for posting that. What a great story!
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Old 08-04-2014, 05:20 PM   #4
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This was a great read.

Thank you for sharing!
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Old 08-04-2014, 05:50 PM   #5
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Awesome success story!
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Old 08-04-2014, 06:45 PM   #6
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YAY for you! Great story.
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Old 08-04-2014, 07:52 PM   #7
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Great story, and it's not a hypothetical - you proved that low fees, asset allocation and rebalancing works and you don't need a FA or a Ph.D. in Finance to do it.

Congratulations on your achievement!
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Old 08-04-2014, 08:15 PM   #8
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Outstanding post!

I'm bookmarking it so I can link to it when the next "Help me get free of Ameriprise" poster shows up.
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Old 08-04-2014, 08:34 PM   #9
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Yes, but is your former Ameriprise advisor going be able to retire now? I guess if everyone did as you did, he'd be forced to retire.


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Old 08-04-2014, 09:04 PM   #10
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Lisa99, thanks for the update. You recognized a problem, took charge of things, and it seems to be working out. A huge "congrats", and thanks for chiming in as you do when other Ameriprise victims wander in to this place of sanity.
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Old 08-04-2014, 09:05 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by gcgang View Post
Yes, but is your former Ameriprise advisor going be able to retire now? I guess if everyone did as you did, he'd be forced to retire.


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He was the #1 rated Ameriprise advisor for several years in Dallas so if he wasn't able to retire boohoo. :-)
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Old 08-05-2014, 01:57 AM   #12
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Good work and thanks for the update.
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Old 08-05-2014, 05:55 AM   #13
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Great job! Freedom is sweet!
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Old 08-05-2014, 09:12 AM   #14
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Thanks everyone for the congrats. I'm looking forward to the day, someday soon, when I can say I'm officially semi-retired.
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Old 08-05-2014, 10:09 AM   #15
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Well done!

You'll probably be interested in this little side story.

DW is going home this week to visit her parents because her mother is terminally ill. Her father asked if she could meet with he and his Ameriprise rep. Her father is 82 and could not really tell us why the rep wants to meet with her, just that it is important. Our guess is he just wants to meet the future heir of this large account holder in order to keep the business. Fat chance!!!

Good luck with your RE goals.
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Old 08-05-2014, 10:48 AM   #16
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Great story. I like your last paragraph where you essentially say 'if i can do it anyone can do it'. That's how I feel now as well. When first joining this forum I was intimidated at taking on my own investing responsibilities. But it really is not that hard and just takes some basic effort, with great financial reward as the payoff.

Congrats to you!
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Old 08-05-2014, 11:15 AM   #17
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Our guess is he just wants to meet the future heir of this large account holder in order to keep the business. Fat chance!!!
.

Thanks BT! I'm sorry to hear about your MIL. Hope your DW can help her dad escape.

My dad and step mom are also with Ameriprise, I'd guess to the tune of about $3 million. I've delicately broached the subject that they could do it on their own but you'd have thought I was suggesting they do something highly illegal, so I just let it drop.


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Old 08-05-2014, 11:18 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by MuirWannabe View Post
Great story. I like your last paragraph where you essentially say 'if i can do it anyone can do it'. That's how I feel now as well. When first joining this forum I was intimidated at taking on my own investing responsibilities. But it really is not that hard and just takes some basic effort, with great financial reward as the payoff.

Congrats to you!

Absolutely if I can do it anyone can. It's far less hard to learn to manage your own investments than it is to learn to ride a bike.

And it's not at all time consuming which a lot of people worry about too. I check to see if we need to rebalance maybe once every 6 months and I use quicken to manage our budget.

All in I probably don't spend more than an hour per month on our financials.


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Old 08-05-2014, 02:22 PM   #19
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Great story, Lisa99! Thanks for sharing and inspiring others to take the plunge!
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Old 08-05-2014, 09:34 PM   #20
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Yes, but is your former Ameriprise advisor going be able to retire now? I guess if everyone did as you did, he'd be forced to retire.
But if everyone did as Lisa did, he probably couldn't afford to retire.

I had a couple of my own bad experiences with Ameriprise some years ago, but I wised up and got myself out of there. Just recently I was talking with an attorney who is doing some estate planning documents for us. She offered up a nephew (I think) that was a FA, in case I had any questions in that line. I politely said I would take his card for future reference if I ever became so inclined. (She as kind of surprised that I was doing stuff all on my own.) However, when she handed me his card, and I saw it said Ameriprise, I had to give it back and briefly mention my past bad experiences. I don't think she was aware of their history.
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