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Pulling the Plug
Old 01-19-2017, 07:09 PM   #1
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Pulling the Plug

Well, it's that time ... while I have a lot of closeout actions from megacorp, tomorrow is the last day. I have a few weeks, still, to answer the mail on pension options, etc.

I do need the latest thoughts from the assembled masses re positioning long term with Vanguard or Fidelity (have JT and IRA or 401K accounts with both) - I know there are other options, but let's just stick with these for now.

I will be mainly index based, but will do so stock trading ... what I really want is someone to answer the phone when I call and be motivated to support me ...

Appreciate everyone's thoughts!!!!
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Old 01-19-2017, 07:29 PM   #2
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Congratulations on your new life.

Many MegaCorps require their retirees to move their 401K's so they don't have to pay the service charges. And many 401K's were never open to the really good funds--protecting employees from making too many speculative investments.

If you can go with Fido or Vanguard, go with one of them. I did well with ETF's bought through Fidelity that were not their ETF's. They also sell their own ETF's. I cashed the ETF's in to pay cash for a house, and it took a few days to get the $--little longer than cashing in mutuals.
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Old 01-19-2017, 08:47 PM   #3
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If you don't frequent Bogleheads, there are a couple of ongoing threads at all times regarding customer service issues at Vanguard--especially for anyone doing stock trading. The consensus appears to be that they are straining under the growth in accounts.

We presently have a chunk at Vanguard, but less than 1/4 of our portfolio. Probably will go with combo of Vanguard and FiDo/schwab when we pull plug. Even with flagship, I'm concerned about getting someone knowledgeable on phone (or email/chat response) at Vanguard--especially if we need assistance during stints out of the US.

E.T.A.--and yes, Congratulations!
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Old 01-19-2017, 08:57 PM   #4
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I've got my stash split evenly between Fido and Vanguard. Fido has a brick and mortar nearby and definitely wins in customer service, but Vanguard has a lot of low cost index funds that I like. The Fido credit card at 2% of everything is nice. I'm happy using both, though I'm not "Flagship" at either due to the split, don't miss the perks.
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Old 01-19-2017, 09:10 PM   #5
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Hey, tomorrow's my last day too!

I have to say I've been frustrated with Vanguard's responsiveness lately. The left hand often doesn't seem to know what the right hand is doing. Still, I do like the low cost funds. However, I'm not planning to roll my 401k balances just yet since my 401k provider offers a true stable value fund, which is very difficult to find these days. Also, I want to retain the option to withdraw penalty free before 59 1/2, which I would lose if I roll my 401k to an IRA, even though I don't expect to need to do it.
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Old 01-19-2017, 09:12 PM   #6
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One thing to think about is the SIPC insurance that maxes out at 500k per account type per institution.

Of course, if Fidelity or Vanguard need to use that, you might have more urgent problems to tackle...
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Old 01-19-2017, 10:52 PM   #7
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I've had good experience overall with Vanguard... but some occasional service issues here and there... I stay with them because it is easy and I don't do a lot of transactions and I like their overall structure of being owned by their customers like a mutual bank or co-op.
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Old 01-20-2017, 09:17 AM   #8
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One thing to think about is the SIPC insurance that maxes out at 500k per account type per institution.

Of course, if Fidelity or Vanguard need to use that, you might have more urgent problems to tackle...
Fidelity adds insurance on top of that for customers.

But, as you said, if we get to that point all hell has broken loose.
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Old 01-20-2017, 10:18 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by stephenson View Post
Well, it's that time ... while I have a lot of closeout actions from megacorp, tomorrow is the last day. I have a few weeks, still, to answer the mail on pension options, etc.

I do need the latest thoughts from the assembled masses re positioning long term with Vanguard or Fidelity (have JT and IRA or 401K accounts with both) - I know there are other options, but let's just stick with these for now.

I will be mainly index based, but will do so stock trading ... what I really want is someone to answer the phone when I call and be motivated to support me ...

Appreciate everyone's thoughts!!!!
Congratulations on your retirement! I've been FIRE'd for 2 years and have been loving it more each day.

I'm still keeping an old 401K at the former w*rkplace to maintain stronger federal ERISA protection against possible judgements. My state does protect IRA's, but I feel more comfortable with federal protection. Also the w*rkplace plan offers Vanguard Admiral funds that aren't available directly from other brokerages except for Vanguard itself. If needed, I'll roll over directly to Vanguard, but no hurry at this point.

The rest of our $$ is split into other discount brokerages, one each for me and DW. We buy Vanguard and Fidelity index funds, but the disadvantage of not directly using VG or Fido is the extra brokerage fees when buying or selling. Since we're now in drawdown, however, the adverse impact is small since we sell just a bit of one fund each year to pay for expenses.

In any event, we'll probably keep our 'stache spread over at least 2 brokerages and distribute over both VG and Fido funds. BTW, Fido Premium (formerly Advantage) class funds have very low expenses ratios, comparable to VG Admiral, but these seem to be available from other discount brokerages. I wish I knew this years ago...

Good luck and welcome aboard!

FB
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Old 01-21-2017, 08:47 AM   #10
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I'm still keeping an old 401K at the former w*rkplace to maintain stronger federal ERISA protection against possible judgements. My state does protect IRA's, but I feel more comfortable with federal protection.

FB
This is also why I plan to keep my previous employer's 401K. I left my long time career two days ago and am now living off of my rental income. As a side note, my initial research shows a solo 401k does not appear to provide ERIDS protection. Can anyone collaborate this?
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