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Old 04-12-2008, 11:06 PM   #1
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Looking for advice...

Wasn't sure where this was supposed to go, but hopefully someone could help me out a bit.

My background:

- My parents set up the following funds a few years back and it is sitting at JPMorgan Chase bank. I've got the following there: ANGCX, and OICGX. They currently put in $100 on the 15th of each month (which I'm going to start doing taking over in May), and the financial guy usually puts it in the ANGCX. I was told that he would normally make the decision on where it would go, unless I wanted it put somewhere specifically. I believe this is a ROTH IRA account.

- They also had an Oppenheimer brokerage account set up with the following funds: QVOPX, and OPGIX. I don't have a clue on what it is there for, and what I'm supposed to do with it. I just know that there isn't a $4000 yearly contribution limit, even though I don't make anywhere close to that much.

- I opened up a ROTH IRA with USAA bank and they put it in a USBSX fund. I've only had it for a few months, and I contribute only $20 a month into it. I don't know what I'm doing, but if I was going to start my own ROTH IRA I figured USAA was a safe bet since I am active duty Air Force (E-3).

- I started my military TSP account in March 2007 and currently put in about $250 a month towards the L 2040, S, and I funds.

- I've also looked into buying life insurance (not term) but I can't do that until I get back to Houston, TX this summer.

- Lastly I have recently been looking into Fidelity's FFFFX, and Vanguard's VROTX. The problem is I don't know what the differences are. The FFFFX seems decent, but the expense ratio is about 3x's higher than Vanguard's VROTX.


My problem:
I have no real clue on what I'm looking at. I don't know of a financial adviser here on Okinawa so I don't know who to talk to. I'm afraid that if I talk to my Chase financial guy that takes care of my other stuff (see above) that he/she will just sell me on more Chase branded things instead of looking at what is best for me. I'm trying to do the right thing by planning ahead now, but I'm so lost. I'm afraid that all the stuff I'm looking at is the same thing and I won't be diversified enough (whatever that really means).

My Questions:
1) Am I just better off just investing more money into the funds I currently have?
2) Should I leave it with Chase to deal with, or should I move it to ETrade or something like that?
3) What if I want to buy into GE (morningstar says its a good buy right now), BA and YHOO? Who would I go with? ETRADE, Fidelity, Scottrade, or zecco?
4) Is my military TSP the same as a traditional IRA?


Sorry about the long first post, but I am sorta worried. Any help understanding this would be great.
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Old 04-12-2008, 11:19 PM   #2
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I am a Fidelity client and have been very happy the availability of a broad range of mutual funds, their fees (including brokerage where both stocks -BA, Yahoo GE for example- and bonds can be purchased), and customer service. Fidelity has customer service reps in major cities, as well as telephone and online, unlike Vanguard.

TSP is an IRA which, combined with SS and a modest pension program is now the Federal retirement system. TSP offerings have the lowest fees available and are, essentially, index funds.

Others can more knowledgeably address your other questions.
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Old 04-13-2008, 07:07 AM   #3
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Quote:
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I am a Fidelity client and have been very happy the availability of a broad range of mutual funds, their fees (including brokerage where both stocks -BA, Yahoo GE for example- and bonds can be purchased), and customer service. Fidelity has customer service reps in major cities, as well as telephone and online, unlike Vanguard.

TSP is an IRA which, combined with SS and a modest pension program is now the Federal retirement system. TSP offerings have the lowest fees available and are, essentially, index funds.

Others can more knowledgeably address your other questions.
I believe the TSP is more equivalent to a 401K. I have both a TSP account which I have been maxing out for years, and a Roth IRA to which I am contributing the IRA maximum. Brat's suggestion of Fidelity is a good idea for you. Do you think your parents could transfer your account to Fidelity?
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Old 04-13-2008, 08:38 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Keyboard Ninja View Post
Wasn't sure where this was supposed to go, but hopefully someone could help me out a bit.

... I've also looked into buying life insurance (not term) but I can't do that until I get back to Houston, TX this summer. -


My problem:
I have no real clue on what I'm looking at. I don't know of a financial adviser here on Okinawa so I don't know who to talk to. I'm afraid that if I talk to my Chase financial guy that takes care of my other stuff (see above) that he/she will just sell me on more Chase branded things instead of looking at what is best for me. I'm trying to do the right thing by planning ahead now, but I'm so lost. I'm afraid that all the stuff I'm looking at is the same thing and I won't be diversified enough (whatever that really means).

My Questions:
1) Am I just better off just investing more money into the funds I currently have?
2) Should I leave it with Chase to deal with, or should I move it to ETrade or something like that?
3) What if I want to buy into GE (morningstar says its a good buy right now), BA and YHOO? Who would I go with? ETRADE, Fidelity, Scottrade, or zecco?
4) Is my military TSP the same as a traditional IRA?


Sorry about the long first post, but I am sorta worried. Any help understanding this would be great.
1) Don't buy life insurance besides term, you are eligible for SGLI or you can go to Welcome to AAFMAA and get even better term rates. If you don't have a family, you may not need any at all right now. AAFMAA also has the best whole life insurance IMO available, but again if you don't need it, it is not a good deal.

2) Since by your own statements you "don't have a clue" don't buy individual stocks until you have educated yourself. Since you have stated nothing about what kind of savings etc you have, make sure you're budget is in shape first.

3) Fidelity or USAA would be a good place to consolidate your investments etc.

Good luck and welcome

Jim
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Old 04-13-2008, 12:48 PM   #5
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I believe the TSP is more equivalent to a 401K. I have both a TSP account which I have been maxing out for years, and a Roth IRA to which I am contributing the IRA maximum. Brat's suggestion of Fidelity is a good idea for you. Do you think your parents could transfer your account to Fidelity?
Agree, but since he evidently isn't a civilian employee I wasn't sure if there is a matching contribution typical of a 401K.
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Old 04-13-2008, 01:24 PM   #6
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Agree, but since he evidently isn't a civilian employee I wasn't sure if there is a matching contribution typical of a 401K.
Thanks for everyone's replies.

The military doesn't match our TSP contributions. I like my job and wonder if I should stay in another 18 years but I also wonder sometimes if it is better to go to the civilian sector after my 4year enlistment is up and look for something that will match my contributions. If I can get my grades up to par and get accepted into a school at DC then that will definitely help convince me to stay in.
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Old 04-13-2008, 01:25 PM   #7
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I believe the TSP is more equivalent to a 401K. I have both a TSP account which I have been maxing out for years, and a Roth IRA to which I am contributing the IRA maximum. Brat's suggestion of Fidelity is a good idea for you. Do you think your parents could transfer your account to Fidelity?
I'd like to transfer it to Fidelity, but I think my parents have a good standing relationship with the guy that takes care of my stuff already at JPMorgan Chase. If I consolidate everything to Fidelity (which sounds better to me if I can read their statements) can I dump the OICGX, and USBSX? Or would I have to keep it until I retire?
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Old 04-13-2008, 01:34 PM   #8
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1) Don't buy life insurance besides term, you are eligible for SGLI or you can go to Welcome to AAFMAA and get even better term rates. If you don't have a family, you may not need any at all right now. AAFMAA also has the best whole life insurance IMO available, but again if you don't need it, it is not a good deal.

2) Since by your own statements you "don't have a clue" don't buy individual stocks until you have educated yourself. Since you have stated nothing about what kind of savings etc you have, make sure you're budget is in shape first.

3) Fidelity or USAA would be a good place to consolidate your investments etc.

Good luck and welcome

Jim
1) I've thought about AAFMAA after reading their ads in Air Force Times. My main reason for getting whole life insurance was to lock into a certain rate now so I wouldn't have to pay a higher rate later. I plan on getting married to my long time GF, and I just want to know that she is taken care of if something happens. Term sounds ok, but if I don't stay in the military I know I'll lose the SGLI. Am I looking at this all wrong?

2) I currently have about $12,000 in savings right now, and I spend about $200 a month. The only debt I have now is usually whatever fast food or grocery bills I had the pay period before (everything gets paid off every 2 weeks). That might be like $50-$75 every two weeks because I eat at the chow hall quite often since I don't get BAS (living in the dorms). I'd like to take advantage of the stock market now because everything looks cheap. If I had picked up YHOO when it was at $19/share I would have made some money when it jumped. Then again I could have lost money too

3) Is USAA a good place to consolidate? How do I even go about doing that?
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Old 04-13-2008, 02:25 PM   #9
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I have been a USAA member for more than 30 years.
No, USAA is not a good place to consolidate. It is more expensive and has worse funds than a place like Vanguard which is the gold standard. You might as well start out at Vanguard. You should transfer from JPM/Chase stuff to Vanguard as well. (Fidelity is more expensive than Vanguard as well). How do you do it? Just go to the web site and open an account.

If your accounts are in IRAs, then selling your funds and buying new Vanguard funds would have no tax consequences. Just be sure to do a custodian to custodian transfer. If you have any taxable accounts, then you should investigate the tax consequences. It is likely that you will pay little to no taxes when you sell, but you will have to check that.

You mentioned life insurance. You probably do not need it now, but if you do, you should get TERM.
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Old 04-13-2008, 03:42 PM   #10
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1) If you want term life, I would buy it from USAA. Don't buy anything other than term or you will be very sorry.
2) Stick with diversified, low cost mutual funds. Otherwise you are competing with people like me and those smarter than me. Do you have an MBA from a school with a top 10 finance programs and a very hard to get professional designation that is focussed on investing? No? Then you are about a decade behind me, and I am decades behind other sharks in the water/market. Stick with mutual funds, just don't pay too much for them.

3) You could do just fine with Fidelity, Schwab or Vanguard. I wouldn't look any further.
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Old 04-13-2008, 04:30 PM   #11
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How do I look up the pro's and con's of Term VS Whole life insurance? I tried doing a search on this forum but I ended up on threads that concerned military members retiring .

When I last talked to USAA about their whole-life insurance the feeling I got was that I'd be paying more for TERM, but after 20 years the interest would eventually pay for the monthly payments. I'd also lock in a rate now vs. the TERM insurance expiring after 30 years and having to re-start another policy.

Any advice?
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Old 04-13-2008, 06:51 PM   #12
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Keyboard Ninja, here are a couple of links about life insurance that you might find helpful:

Dave Ramsey
CNN Money

The CNN Money site Money 101 has pretty good introductory information on investing and personal finance. I think you'll find a lot there.

Good luck!

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Old 04-13-2008, 07:27 PM   #13
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I am a Fidelity client and have been very happy the availability of a broad range of mutual funds, their fees (including brokerage where both stocks -BA, Yahoo GE for example- and bonds can be purchased), and customer service. Fidelity has customer service reps in major cities, as well as telephone and online, unlike Vanguard.
Would Fidelity have financial advisers I could use as well?
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Old 04-13-2008, 08:00 PM   #14
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Welcome to the board, Ninja!

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Would Fidelity have financial advisers I could use as well?
Fidelity would be delighted to talk with you, as would a host of other alleged "financial advisors". Fidelity, Vanguard, & Schwab (in about that order) are probably the least likely to sell you unsuitable products but none of them are candidates for sainthood.

I have a few opinions for your situation.

First, don't put any paychecks in taxable investments until you're maxing the TSP. Don't even contribute to a Roth or a conventional IRA until you've maxed the TSP. The TSP has all the asset allocation you need at an expense ratio of 0.03%-- the cheapest in the nation and even less than half of Vanguard's ERs. When you're ready to save more than $15.5K/year then you're ready to look beyond the TSP.

Even if you leave the service after four years, with a minimum TSP balance you may be able to leave your funds there to continue compounding. If you go to the Reserves or a civil-service job you'll definitely be able to keep the military TSP account. If you needed to tap your TSP before 59.5 there are a few ways to do so without penalty. The 0.03 expense ratio (did I already mention that it's lower than anything else in the nation?) will trump anything that any other financial advisor (other than Warren Buffett) can offer.

Second, if your parents are still gifting you cash, then pile it up in a money-market account for a surprise car repair and a home down payment. When you deploy to a combat zone, put up to $10K of that savings into the one-year 10%-return Savings Deposit Program. (It's the MyPay link right under your Leave & Earnings statement.) When you're in a combat zone you can continue to put ALL your pay (up to $45K/year IIRC, not a problem at your rank) into the TSP. Permanently tax-free.

I'm not sure you have anything to gain by talking with your Chase advisor ever again. If you decide to go with Fidelity or Vanguard or Schwab, fill out the paperwork with those firms and have the assets transferred "in kind" from Chase. (Your new brokerage will do the paperwork and the talking for you.) Then you can decide at your leisure what to keep. For example Fidelity will liquidate anyone else's mutual funds/products at no charge and then be happy to put you into a Fidelity fund or one of their no-transaction-fee funds. If you try to liquidate your assets at Chase they'll first try like crazy to wear you down and talk you out of it, and then they may charge redemption, processing, & transfer fees.

Don't buy life insurance beyond SGLI unless you want your untimely departure to enrich your future spouse. (It may be unwise to be worth more dead than alive.) When you guys have mortgages & kids & college funds then you may want to purchase more insurance through USAA, but there's no rush. As for the premiums rising over time, consider how much more those "extra" premium savings will compound in your TSP. If you transfer to the Reserves then you'll probably be able to keep your SGLI. Once you join USAA you're a life member whether you're in the military or not. If you leave the service then you can buy term (not whole or universal or anything else) from USAA. When you ER you'll be financially independent and you'll no longer need life insurance except as a possible estate-planning tool, an issue which you're at least three decades away from having to worry about.

If you don't already have personal-property ("renter's") insurance then consider USAA or Armed Forces Insurance. Some of these firms may prefer to wait until you're an E-4. You may want to consolidate your insurance & mortgages with these companies for their rate breaks, but I wouldn't put investments there.

Before you consult with Fidelity (or anyone else) on asset allocation, educate yourself. Read Bernstein's "Work Less, Live More" or "The Boglehead's Guide to Investing" or even Bernstein's "Four Pillars". I would stop asking asset allocation questions of us (or anyone else) until you've acquired a minimum level of knowledge (and comfort level) from one of these books.

Speaking of college grades, you won't get smarter by waiting. I'd advise visiting your local college-program office and seeing what you can do. Even in Okinawa you can take correspondence courses on English & math to gain transferable credits toward an AA degree. Of course your chain of command may wish for you to work on military advancement & technical training, and it's probably worth doing what they ask now in order for them to approve your tuition-assistance paperwork later. TA now is a lot cheaper than GI Bill later, too.

I have additional thoughts about the Reserves that I'll put in the other thread...
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Old 04-13-2008, 08:44 PM   #15
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I know you wanted me to wait until I read those books, but I have to ask :


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First, don't put any paychecks in taxable investments until you're maxing the TSP. Don't even contribute to a Roth or a conventional IRA until you've maxed the TSP. The TSP has all the asset allocation you need at an expense ratio of 0.03%-- the cheapest in the nation and even less than half of Vanguard's ERs. When you're ready to save more than $15.5K/year then you're ready to look beyond the TSP.
Can I deposit cash into my TSP plan? Each month I have an extra $100-$175 that I don't know what to do with so I just stuff it into a savings account.

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When you deploy to a combat zone, put up to $10K of that savings into the one-year 10%-return Savings Deposit Program. (It's the MyPay link right under your Leave & Earnings statement.) When you're in a combat zone you can continue to put ALL your pay (up to $45K/year IIRC, not a problem at your rank) into the TSP. Permanently tax-free.
I had no idea the SDP was even for until now. I'm going to check that out. Is it only good for the times I'm in a combat zone?

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I'm not sure you have anything to gain by talking with your Chase advisor ever again. If you decide to go with Fidelity or Vanguard or Schwab, fill out the paperwork with those firms and have the assets transferred "in kind" from Chase. (Your new brokerage will do the paperwork and the talking for you.) Then you can decide at your leisure what to keep. For example Fidelity will liquidate anyone else's mutual funds/products at no charge and then be happy to put you into a Fidelity fund or one of their no-transaction-fee funds. If you try to liquidate your assets at Chase they'll first try like crazy to wear you down and talk you out of it, and then they may charge redemption, processing, & transfer fees.
Sounds like a winner. I will probably dump the OICGX, and the USBSX. Is there anything I should look for when comparing these firms to see how much they charge to take care of my stuff?

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Don't buy life insurance beyond SGLI unless you want your untimely departure to enrich your future spouse. (It may be unwise to be worth more dead than alive.) When you guys have mortgages & kids & college funds then you may want to purchase more insurance through USAA, but there's no rush. As for the premiums rising over time, consider how much more those "extra" premium savings will compound in your TSP. If you transfer to the Reserves then you'll probably be able to keep your SGLI. Once you join USAA you're a life member whether you're in the military or not. If you leave the service then you can buy term (not whole or universal or anything else) from USAA. When you ER you'll be financially independent and you'll no longer need life insurance except as a possible estate-planning tool, an issue which you're at least three decades away from having to worry about.
How can I calculate what will be better for me as far as purchasing more term insurance or putting money into my TSP?

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If you don't already have personal-property ("renter's") insurance then consider USAA or Armed Forces Insurance. Some of these firms may prefer to wait until you're an E-4. You may want to consolidate your insurance & mortgages with these companies for their rate breaks, but I wouldn't put investments there.
I've got a $15,000 policy through USAA for my dorm room stuff. Figured $6/month was worth it.

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Before you consult with Fidelity (or anyone else) on asset allocation, educate yourself. Read Bernstein's "Work Less, Live More" or "The Boglehead's Guide to Investing" or even Bernstein's "Four Pillars". I would stop asking asset allocation questions of us (or anyone else) until you've acquired a minimum level of knowledge (and comfort level) from one of these books.
Any particular order I should go in?

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Speaking of college grades, you won't get smarter by waiting. I'd advise visiting your local college-program office and seeing what you can do. Even in Okinawa you can take correspondence courses on English & math to gain transferable credits toward an AA degree. Of course your chain of command may wish for you to work on military advancement & technical training, and it's probably worth doing what they ask now in order for them to approve your tuition-assistance paperwork later. TA now is a lot cheaper than GI Bill later, too.
I have everything I need for my CCAF except for my 5-level training. Hopefully I'll have that by the end of May2008. I'm about 50 credits away from a BA in Liberal Arts from Thomas Edison State College, and hopefully I can CLEP/DSST out of most of the classes that I need. In my career field there is a college out in DC that I can apply for once I hit 80 hours, and if I get accepted I was told its a PCS move. Thats my ultimate goal right now, but I just have the worst luck when reading a book. . I think I have the attention span of a 5year old.
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Old 04-14-2008, 08:06 AM   #16
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I know you wanted me to wait until I read those books, but I have to ask :
No problem, occasionally we get questions from posters who could avoid asking them if they'd read the books first...

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Can I deposit cash into my TSP plan? Each month I have an extra $100-$175 that I don't know what to do with so I just stuff it into a savings account.
Not that I'm aware of. The only way I know to make a TSP contribution is through pre-tax dollars, which means it has to be taken out of your paycheck before it comes under your control. You can start boosting your TSP % contribution in your MyPay account and tinker with it until you have the right amount left over. You could even forecast your spending for the rest of the year, jack your TSP contribution up to 92% (the other 8% is automatically reserved for FICA/Medicare payroll tax), and live off your savings account. But you'd also have to remember to reduce the contribution % early the next year, and it might be tough to keep changing.

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I had no idea the SDP was even for until now. I'm going to check that out. Is it only good for the times I'm in a combat zone?
Yep, only combat zones.

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Sounds like a winner. I will probably dump the OICGX, and the USBSX. Is there anything I should look for when comparing these firms to see how much they charge to take care of my stuff?
Don't know anything about those mutual funds but you could probably duplicate their asset allocation most cheaply through Vanguard. Fidelity will probably be a close second. Focus on low expenses, low turnovers, and low expense ratios. You're going to be earning a steady paycheck so if I was in your shoes I'd go with a 100% stock allocation tilted toward international and small-cap value, but read the books before you make your choices. Until you're very comfortable with asset allocations and investing, you'll probably want to stick with low-fee index mutual funds.

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How can I calculate what will be better for me as far as purchasing more term insurance or putting money into my TSP?
I'm not sure.

Insurance is designed to make sure that your mortgage is paid, your kids are fed, and your surviving spouse can pay the bills for a year or two while they get on with their life. Maybe it even gives the kids a few semesters at State U. SGLI pretty much covers all of that. Insurance is only intended to temporarily replace your human capital (your paycheck) and in general retirees don't need life insurance (hence the popularity of term).

If your spouse has job skills and a career then I'd say that you might not even need SGLI, although it's a very cheap way to say "I love you". The TSP is just your tax-deferred savings system, although your survivors would inherit it after you're gone. In general I'd rather strive for financial independence than the excessive support of my survivors, but you'll have to figure out which makes you feel better.

When I ER'd I let my SGLI die. When spouse went to the Reserves, at first we kept her SGLI until we saw that we were on track financially. When we calculated her pension benefits and our savings to bridge the gap if I died (thus stopping my pension) then we cancelled her SGLI too.

Brewer, any ideas on deciding whether to buy insurance or to save the premiums for retirement accounts?

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Any particular order I should go in?
Yeah, whichever one you can get your hands on first! Bogleheads is more likely to be in your base library (or with a shipmate) but you might have to do Amazon.com for all of them. You might also find a lot of it for free on the Vanguard Diehards website or with Amazon's "Look inside the book" feature.

If you just can't wait for the printed matter then you could try the asset-allocation tutorials at GeorgeFisherAdvisors.com or EfficientFrontier.com.

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Originally Posted by Keyboard Ninja View Post
I have everything I need for my CCAF except for my 5-level training. Hopefully I'll have that by the end of May2008. I'm about 50 credits away from a BA in Liberal Arts from Thomas Edison State College, and hopefully I can CLEP/DSST out of most of the classes that I need. In my career field there is a college out in DC that I can apply for once I hit 80 hours, and if I get accepted I was told its a PCS move. Thats my ultimate goal right now, but I just have the worst luck when reading a book. . I think I have the attention span of a 5year old.
From the advancement perspective of the chain of command, they want to see that you're doing what you're supposed to be doing within the time you're supposed to do it. College or other off-duty educational activities help show that you can manage your own time and you're motivated to improve yourself. Getting a degree is a clear sign that you're ready for promotion.

Going to college on the military's time is the best deal in the world (I did it twice), but everyone wants to do it. Once you sign up, you know what they say about paybacks. I think more of my shipmates got their degrees through CLEP/overseas correspondence courses/Internet than through actually sitting in a college classroom. Website courses (especially a video that you can rewind) might be a big help if you only have 20-30 minutes available.

You might also see if there's someone at your command/base with a degree in your field of study who can mentor you by talking about the material, helping you work the assignments, and generally nagging you to keep at it. When my shipmates were chasing their degrees they'd form study groups. If we got a dozen people interested in the same subject then we'd even ask the base's college office to see if a professor could come teach at our building after work hours.

Once you get the BA then you should seriously consider a commission. That decision involves a lot of other life-threatening responsibility issues besides the college degree, but the rewards are at least as great as the risks.
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Old 04-14-2008, 10:00 AM   #17
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"Brewer, any ideas on deciding whether to buy insurance or to save the premiums for retirement accounts?"

Save your money, aside from a modest face amount to wind up your affairs. You really only want to insure against genuine obligations that your assets cannot cover. So what do you have to cover? From what I can see, you are a young guy with no kids and no wife, and you appear to have nobody depending on your income. So life insurance is pretty much a waste of money for you.

When you have a spouse and/or other dependents that would be in trouble without your income, you can buy life insurance. I strongly believe term is the way to go, preferabbly from a very strong, hopefully mutual company. To give you a basis for comparison, when I priced insurance for myself a few years ago, the premiums for universal life (similar to whole) were about 5X the annual premium for a 20 year level term policy for the same face amount. It is highly unlikely that I will need insurance in 20 years, and if I do I have the option to trade in my term policy for a universal life policy without undergoing underwriting again.
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Old 04-14-2008, 03:58 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by LOL! View Post
I have been a USAA member for more than 30 years.
No, USAA is not a good place to consolidate. It is more expensive and has worse funds than a place like Vanguard which is the gold standard. You might as well start out at Vanguard. You should transfer from JPM/Chase stuff to Vanguard as well. (Fidelity is more expensive than Vanguard as well). How do you do it? Just go to the web site and open an account.

If your accounts are in IRAs, then selling your funds and buying new Vanguard funds would have no tax consequences. Just be sure to do a custodian to custodian transfer. If you have any taxable accounts, then you should investigate the tax consequences. It is likely that you will pay little to no taxes when you sell, but you will have to check that.

You mentioned life insurance. You probably do not need it now, but if you do, you should get TERM.
I disagree about your comments regarding USAA not being a good place to consolidate. I've had my banking and Brokerage account at USAA for years. If you are talking about just brokerage accounts, then maybe you have a point if you trade in and out of mutual funds. I transferred my fidelity and vanguard funds to USAA, scheduled monthly purchases are at no cost...ditto scheduled periodic withdrawls. USAA specific managed mutual funds are generally not good choices...I wouldn't recommend any of them. You pay fees if you purchase vanguard or fidelity funds thru USAA though. But as far as brokerage services they have been good. I don't think Vanguard or Fidelity has bank services, if they do I doubt they compare to USAA for providing services to service members especially when out of the country.

JMO

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Old 04-14-2008, 04:03 PM   #19
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Fidelity does have bank services, they want us to sign up. Husband wants us to stay with WAMU, but if they get gobbled up he might be open to a change.
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Old 04-14-2008, 05:59 PM   #20
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And about the comments on the JPMChase guy, I'm sure he does have a good relationship with your parents, probably because he's making a nice chunk of change off them. My parents do the same type of thing, they couldn't sleep at night when they tried doing things on their own and now have no worries, so it's good for them. But if you're willing to do any work at all, and you are showing all the signs that you are, you can do as well or better on your own without paying that fee. I think you are right on the money when you say you are worried that he will just sell you more JPMC stuff. Good luck!
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