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5 years? And money ponderings.

March 25th, 2005 at 05:16 pm

In today's mail I got a letter from TRS (Teacher Retirement System). It mentioned that it had been five years since I had last made a contribution, and that my account is going to be deactivated (i.e. stop earning interest). I knew it had been five years since I'd worked in the Public School system, but seeing it in print kind of made me go, "Wow! It's been 5 years since I escaped from there?" That's somewhat annoying that they're not going to pay interest anymore. I made about $50 a quarter in interest with them, which is a whole lot better than what I've gotten from this IRA I started six years ago. I only have about $1150 in TRS. I now have to decide if I'm going to take it out in cash, which would mean that 20% would be held back for income taxes, and that I would also pay another 10% of it for fines for taking it out before I'm 59. OR I could roll it over somehow into an IRA or into my current employer's 403b plan, and not pay taxes on it in the current year. 20% would be ~$230, plus the 10% IRS fine of ~$115, which is a total of ~$345. That would leave me with a net of ~$805, which would be about $200 less than I contribuited initially.

The other piece of mail I got was from BofA about my IRA with them. Let's just say that this past year I LOST money with this IRA. It is some kind of an IRA that renews every two years. Mine is coming up for renewal 4/12. I'm really not sure what my options are, but I'd really like to get that money somewhere where it is actually earning interest for me, and not LOSING money for me!! The way it LOST money for me was this - it earned $19 in interest this past quarter - they charged some sort of fees of $32!!!!

So, I'm wondering if there is a way I could get both of these paltry amounts rolled over into ONE new IRA that actually pays a GOOD interest rate (not 1.15% !!!!) I'm just not exactly sure what kind of IRA it is that I have with BofA. I would dearly LOVE to take ALL my business AWAY from them. If I could roll over BOTH of those accounts into my 403b plan, that would be great, because that money has actually been growing pretty well for me - I've done pretty well picking stocks to buy. But then, I worry about having all my retirement monies in one place (VALIC) . AND I worry about what's going to happen to that account after I have quit teaching. I am already fully vested, so I know I'll get whatever money is in there when I retire, but with the way my employer's have messed around with other people, I just wouldn't put anything past them.

What I'd really love to do would be to stick both of those accounts into an ING 5-yr CD - that would earn more interest than that money has in the last six.

School was okay today. Not quite as an easy day as yesterday. A couple of my boys decided to goof off a bit, and some of my girls were having trouble getting along. But . . . I had the kids share some of their writing from the past week. Everyone who shared had some great writing. But .. . my second grade boy had written a second installment on his SuperBaby story about his baby brother. It was hilarious, and it was really, really, well written. I just cringe when I hear the difference between my second grader's writing, and my first grader's. Last year I was able to spend SO much more time with my kids developing their writing. But, then again, some of it may just be the year's difference too. I have no qualms whatsoever about sending ANY of my 2nd graders on to 3rd grade. But, I do have some major worries about sending some of my first graders on to second grade. I'm not going to hold any of them back, because none of them are THAT far behind. But I really do worry about a few of them really struggling in 2nd next year.

After school today I was going to go buy a book at the Teacher Store. This is a book that I KNOW I owned at one point, and it's not something I would have parted with easily. But, I have not been able to find it anywhere. This past week, I have been making up my own versions of the activities (as much as I can remember) but it's a major PAIN. The Teacher Store didn't have it though. Frown So, I ordered it from Amazon (it was the cheapest I could find). I hate buying any teacher stuff this late in the year, when I'm going to have to turn around and end up either giving it away or selling it for pennies on the dollar in 8 weeks. But, sometimes you just have to have a convenience.

Well, I'm wanting to finish reading "The Broker" by John Grisham. I started reading it last night, and had to finally force myself to put it down at 1 a.m. so I could have a few hours of sleep to teach on. It is SO good! I absolutely LURVE John Grisham!! I saw also that it is a "non-renewable" book, which means that I have to have it back to the library by the 13th or else pay fines. I think I'll probably take it back tomorrow. Smile Make the next person on the hold list VERY happy. Smile

Spending Log:
Amazon. com: $14.99 (book + standard shipping)

Keeping It Frugal in Texas,
Laura

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