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403B wonk

June 12th, 2012 at 03:30 am

I heard about this - has anyone else? Apparently all 401K (and I assume, the close relation, 403B) plans have to first present their fee structure to plan participants. That will be a surprise to a lot of people. Me being a 403B wonk, I've gone to all the meetings, Q & As ... everything. Fees aren't a surprise to me. Our fees aren't horrible - one can invest in things under 1%.

The real fun begins in October when the fee transaction shows up taken out of your account. Woah nelly.

I progressed on sister's birthday present - mosaic house numbers for the place in Milwaukee and the farmette. I finished gluing the glass bits to a fiberglass mesh. This last weekend, I made thinset mortar and glued the mosaic mesh to the backing board. Here's what everything looks like.

The pieces will be outside, so everything has to be able to take rain, freeze thaw, and UV light. The backing board is styrofoam/fiberglass/coated concrete. The 'glue' is thinset mortar, the bits are glass and vitreous glass. All that has to be done is grout, and seal the grout. It should wear like iron.

(Oh yes, if you look carefully at the picture ... I have jury duty next week. Fun times.)

6 Responses to “403B wonk”

  1. My English Castle Says:

    Nice! I can feel MKE's market value rising already!

  2. wowitsawonderfullife Says:

    Wow, very nice and fantastic colours!

  3. Monkey Mama Says:

    This is such a good thing - people are so utterly clueless about the fees they pay in these type plans. (I look forward to people not looking at me like I am crazy when I try to explain to them that they are likely paying hidden fees. Wink )

    Of course, to be fair, that is the trade off. IRS says you can defer the taxes to retirement (or avoid them forever in a ROTH), but there is a substantial amount of red tape that comes with that. Retirement plan administration seems honestly infinitely more complicated than taxes. There is accounting and auditing of plans, and tax filings, and investment management. None of this stuff can be had for *free.* But this is why individual IRAs are often so much better - you don't need any of the above to open an IRA. Go with Vanguard and it can be pretty darn cheap. No audits, tax filings, administration, etc.

    I love all your mosaics!!

  4. Petunia 100 Says:

    Those are gorgeous! Your sister is a lucky girl. Smile

  5. baselle Says:

    Monkey Mama - I have to agree. Two rules in the business world are: "no free lunch" and "everyone is someone's overhead". Turns out that the reporting is in November and there will STILL be hidden fees.

    Thank you all for the compliments!

    My English Castle - a little FYI. Sister doesn't know about my blog, and she lives fairly near UWM, so if you do see one of these numberplates, discretion please. Smile

  6. rob62521 Says:

    Great job on the house numbers.

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