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I'm not sure I understand that question. Having an annuity in a 403(b) is a waste. The 403(b) is already tax-deferred, but the annuity charges you a fee to make it tax-deferred. I'm not 100% positive about this, but I believe that you can invest outside the given choices in a 403(b).

I couldn't for mine. In 5 years, the money grew not at all. 4 years ago I cashed out the 403b and put it into an IRA with a mutual fund my bank had handy (front load, high maintenance fee, you name it) and the money has since doubled. Losing against the market I think but still better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick.

This past winter I converted the IRA to a Roth IRA, and this week I finally got around to cashing out of that mutual fund. Am now trying to decide what to do with the cash.

My first impulse was to put it in and make up for the last 10 years of sluggish performance, but my wife didn't like that idea. My preference, a fantasy I've been developing over the past year, is a selection of genomics companies. 2 weeks ago they all got a glowing profile in the NY Times and their prices have shot way up. Argh.

I expect another 30+ years working, so having to actually collect this money doesn't seem so immediate right now.

Back to the topic at hand, depending on a person's age I wouldn't bother with a 403-b. I accumulated mine in NY, NY state income tax was not deferred on that, and I would have done a lot better with my own IRA (of course at the time investing was the farthest thing on my mind, I might have just blown it all on beer and chips, so maybe it wasn't such a bad thing)
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