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Thread: NFCU financial planners

  1. MilitarySOS Jewel
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    #1

    NFCU financial planners

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    Have any of you used Navy Federal's financial planning services? DH and I are saving a lot of money right now since essentially his BAH pays all of our bills so we are looking to invest about 5000-10000 for now and probably adding more in the next few months. I'm looking for financial planners because I am in no way money savvy. Do any of you have any experience with the ones at NFCU? What were your experiences? Would you recommend them or would you go elsewhere?

    TIA and sorry to be a post whore today.
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    I don't think DB has used their financial planning services, but he has been happy with them for general banking. But all of my investments (work-related and personal) are through Vanguard. Even if you don't invest through them, their website has a ton of articles and tools to increase your knowledge. I would start with knowing what you are investing the money for. For example your investment strategy would be very different if you intended the money for retirement vs. a down payment on a house/new car.
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    #3
    We've never used them as a financial planner, but we did go through them for our VA loan and it was a very smooth transaction!
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    I haven't used them for financial planning either, but I seriously have loved them for everything else. My purse got stolen not too long ago and they used our account and literally NFCU was the NICEST group of people I had to deal with when it came to canceling cards and accounts. And they refunded all of the fraudulent charges and NSF fees that incurred because of all of it with seriously no hassle on my part.
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    Your best bet is almost certainly to invest through TSP. TSP fund are the best out there as far as costs, and if you do some reading, you'll learn that over the long run, low cost index finds are the way to go. I wouldn't bother with any financial planner. Have your DH set up TSP (probably Roth TSP unless your combined income is pretty high) and if you aren't sure what finds to pick, choose one of their Target retirement date funds (assuming this is retirement money you are investing, not something you'll want in a much shorter time), where the allocation is set up for you based on when you are going to want to money. It's very easy. Even if you don't want to do their retirement date funds, you can google to find suggested allocations across their funds (I think they have 5 funds total) based on your goals and comfort levels. TSP is the only "company" with even lower expense rations that Vanguard, which is the really the industry standard for cheap, reliable index fund investing.

    *I am not a financial planner, nor do I have any financial training. This is just friendly advice on the internet, essentially telling you what I've done. I am really interested in finances and investing and have done a lot of research, and this is what I four works for me. But no suing me if it doesn't turn out well for you, or if you end up wishing you'd done something different.
    Science always wins over bullshit. ~Dick Rutkowski
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    Quote Originally Posted by villanelle View Post
    Your best bet is almost certainly to invest through TSP. TSP fund are the best out there as far as costs, and if you do some reading, you'll learn that over the long run, low cost index finds are the way to go. I wouldn't bother with any financial planner. Have your DH set up TSP (probably Roth TSP unless your combined income is pretty high) and if you aren't sure what finds to pick, choose one of their Target retirement date funds (assuming this is retirement money you are investing, not something you'll want in a much shorter time), where the allocation is set up for you based on when you are going to want to money. It's very easy. Even if you don't want to do their retirement date funds, you can google to find suggested allocations across their funds (I think they have 5 funds total) based on your goals and comfort levels. TSP is the only "company" with even lower expense rations that Vanguard, which is the really the industry standard for cheap, reliable index fund investing.

    *I am not a financial planner, nor do I have any financial training. This is just friendly advice on the internet, essentially telling you what I've done. I am really interested in finances and investing and have done a lot of research, and this is what I four works for me. But no suing me if it doesn't turn out well for you, or if you end up wishing you'd done something different.
    Vil- This is probably a stupid question, but does TSP have a match or incentive? I figure since the military has pensions they don't support a match, but just curious especially since most won't stay in until retirement.

    OP- I agree with Vil but wanted to add a few more of my thoughts. For retirement you can set aside a percentage of paychecks (say 12-15%) but if you have lump sum you can also use a Roth IRA. I think the limits are $5,100 for an individual this year. If your company offers a 401k with a match, make sure you are taking advantage of that, because its free money. If you want longer term investments that aren't tied up in retirement you can purchase mutual funds, which I would recommend over owning individual stock. And one more thing, if you want fairly easy access to the money but want a little better yield than a straight savings account look into money market accounts. Everyone is different, the target retirement date funds are great for people who either aren't comfortable being really hands on with investing or just don't have the will to re-evaluate their portfolio regularly and shift allocation. Just my thoughts, definitely do some reading, they don't teach this stuff in school (unless you happen to have a finance degree) so its a lot of learning as you go.
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaUSMC View Post
    Vil- This is probably a stupid question, but does TSP have a match or incentive? I figure since the military has pensions they don't support a match, but just curious especially since most won't stay in until retirement.

    OP- I agree with Vil but wanted to add a few more of my thoughts. For retirement you can set aside a percentage of paychecks (say 12-15%) but if you have lump sum you can also use a Roth IRA. I think the limits are $5,100 for an individual this year. If your company offers a 401k with a match, make sure you are taking advantage of that, because its free money. If you want longer term investments that aren't tied up in retirement you can purchase mutual funds, which I would recommend over owning individual stock. And one more thing, if you want fairly easy access to the money but want a little better yield than a straight savings account look into money market accounts. Everyone is different, the target retirement date funds are great for people who either aren't comfortable being really hands on with investing or just don't have the will to re-evaluate their portfolio regularly and shift allocation. Just my thoughts, definitely do some reading, they don't teach this stuff in school (unless you happen to have a finance degree) so its a lot of learning as you go.
    Right now, there is no match for military. (Civilians get a match, because they have a different retirement system with a less awesome pension.) But the military retirement system is changing, and people in the new system will start to get a match. I don't recall when that will be phased in, and people who have already joined will have a choice on whether to stay with the current system (great pension, but only at 20+ years) or to go with the new system where they will get a TSP match. I didn't pay much attention because DH plans to do 20 and is close enough now that it made little sense for me to explore details of the new system. The match is also a bit less straight forward than just "matching for the fest %x invested", as it's a graduated system where the the % match is different at various % levels of investment. I'd google it all, but I'm just about to run out the door.

    Anyway, the semi-short answer is that there is no TSP match right now, but the system is changing and in the new system, there will be a match, very similar to what civilian federal employees get. The new system will apply to all new service members after a certain date, and to those within a certain window who opt to switch to the new system as well.
    Science always wins over bullshit. ~Dick Rutkowski
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    #8
    Quote Originally Posted by villanelle View Post
    Right now, there is no match for military. (Civilians get a match, because they have a different retirement system with a less awesome pension.) But the military retirement system is changing, and people in the new system will start to get a match. I don't recall when that will be phased in, and people who have already joined will have a choice on whether to stay with the current system (great pension, but only at 20+ years) or to go with the new system where they will get a TSP match. I didn't pay much attention because DH plans to do 20 and is close enough now that it made little sense for me to explore details of the new system. The match is also a bit less straight forward than just "matching for the fest %x invested", as it's a graduated system where the the % match is different at various % levels of investment. I'd google it all, but I'm just about to run out the door.

    Anyway, the semi-short answer is that there is no TSP match right now, but the system is changing and in the new system, there will be a match, very similar to what civilian federal employees get. The new system will apply to all new service members after a certain date, and to those within a certain window who opt to switch to the new system as well.
    Thank you for the information, that's good news given that most won't stay in until retirement and the match is great incentive to save for retirement. I wonder if that will end up affecting retention, if the all or nothing pension is phased out. I know military pensions are very much sacred and protected, but in the civilian world they pretty much a thing of the past. Which is just as well, not sure I would want to trust my retirement to my employer.

    OP- I googled the max Roth IRA contribution this year and its actually $5,500 for individual, didn't want to give you incorrect information.
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    #9
    Ok I'm failing at quoting because my work computer sucks lol but Pa, KW and Lyssa thank you for your input! I'm still pretty new to Navy Fed but I love their customer service so far too.

    Vill-I"m kind of looking for something beyond TSP; we each have one and put 10-15% of our individual pay into it and mine is matched up to 5% by the government because I'm a civilian employee so essentially 20% of my pay is going into TSP and 10% of his. After the whole budget ceiling thing a few years ago where the government used TSP money to not go broke makes me not necessarily believe that money will 100% be there when I'm old enough to retire.

    My dad recommended a financial planner and investing some money since we have a good sized emergency fund (6+ months of bills and spending money), a good amount in tiered CDs that can be accessible as needed and my TSP alone has over 100,000. Investing in a ROTH IRA I did look at but with the yearly limit of 5500 its not quite what I'm looking for either.

    Our goal, as discussed last night, is saving for when he retires from the military, not necessarily retires at 65 or whatever the age is. I saw my dad get out and have a hard time finding his way without the Marines and how stressed he was because money got tight without him being able to find a decent job. I would like to be more prepared for that if it happens with DH and he agrees even though he thinks he'll have no problem finding a job.
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    #10
    Google the John Oliver piece on financial planners. It tells you all you really need to know, as far as I'm concerned. If you are interested in putting more time in to learning about this, The Boglehead's Guide to Investing is a good basic primer.

    Also, it is only the G fund in TSP that can be used to temporarily fund the government, and there are guarantees that it will be paid back. Even if you don't believe those, the other funds can't be touched.

    I' not sure what you mean when you say that the Roth limit isn't what you are looking for. Assuming you aren't in a super high tax bracket, Roth is most likely the way to go. If you have more than $5500 to invest, max the Roth, then move to a taxable account for the rest. (On a related note, again assuming you are in a moderate tax bracket, your TSP money should probably be going in to Roth TSP. IDK the civilian side and whether it's available, but certainly on the Mil side it is. Basically, this means your are investing the money after you've already paid taxes on it, so when you take it out in 40+ years, it is all tax-free, even the growth.)

    Again, the Boglehead book explains all this and is meant for lay-people, not finance wonks, so it is pretty easy to understand.
    Science always wins over bullshit. ~Dick Rutkowski
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