Just what I need to learn about! I assumed that if I work, I would get Social Security, pension, whatever, to deal with retirement. HA! Too many years later, I'm already 45, and have pretty much gone month to month as a single parent of 2 teenagers, and little to show. I told them a decade ago to pull all of $25 a month out of my paycheck into a 403b, and then I have a teacher's STRS. No matching funds in the 403b, and the STRS is pre-set, but that doesn't add up to much, since I teach 70% plus summers and before-after school progams. Dear brother tried to set all of us siblings with a Roth a couple of years ago at Schwab. On his recommendation, and minimal reading, I chose Kevin Landis of Firsthand Technology Value Fund, probably bought it at the top, before the 70% drop! That, on top of the $40 a year IRA fee, I ended up writing a check for about $127 to Schwab to move what had dwindled to under $400 to my Roth in Ameritrade (on top of which Schwab added a $95 transfer fee.)Ouch.I'd get papers and pretty much file them, and am just now reading that my 403b, I had chosen (out of pure ignorance and taking the guy's advice who came to our school) an American Fidelity group annuity. It only earns maybe 4-5%. I hope my ignorance is too glaring, but after reading all of this, it sounds like I can roll this 403b into a traditional IRA (can I have both a traditional IRA and a ROTH at the same time?) and I put it into a Vanguard Index Fund. And it sounds like I can do this through Vanguard. I'd like to open an account directly with them, and have them continue to take a bit out of my paycheck/bank account, since I'll be done with paying both my student loan and my daughter's braces this May. Can I do this?One blessing, is that my little cottage has an equity of about 300K, and I've been reading with interest the buy/rent thread! There's a very nice mobile park retirement neighborhood about a mile from my house. Minimal upkeep (compared to a house and yard), unattached walls, and an established, active, retirement community. Beginning to look really good to me!Thanks for any insights on this, these boards are super! It's like having a roomful of investing friends to work things out with!Knitmom
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