Dream snatchers: Part 2

>>Part 2 of a 3 part series

Fee monster
Procrastination. Fees. Emotion.
Let them rule your decision-making process and you may find them to be your most destructive retirement planning mistakes. Each one has the capacity to steal your retirement dreams.

The good news is that you actually have control over these dream demons. Here are some ways to stop them in their tracks.


The fees you pay in your retirement savings accounts matter! The number one factor in determining your rate of return—after asset allocation—is cost. Fees eat into your bottom line, significantly reducing your retirement nest egg, so to make the most of your invested dollar, minimize the fees you pay.

This has been a constant and powerful message we at Member Benefits have delivered to members for over four decades. Every percentage point you pay out in fees needs to be made up in earnings just to break even. “The more you pay out, the less you have for you. People generally get the math. The problem is that people often do not know what they are paying because the fees charged by some providers are hidden,” says Schwartz.

  • Fees increase the amount you will need to save over your career to meet your goals.
  • Fees decrease the amount you can “safely” withdraw from your accounts during retirement.
  • Fees increase the likelihood that you will deplete your accounts.

 (See graph below.)

Fees graph

Illustration assumes an annual contribution of $5,000 and an annual rate of return of 7% over a period of 30 years. This is for illustrative purposes only and not indicative of any investment.

The 403(b) retirement plan is offered by the WEA TSA Trust. TSA program registered representatives are licensed through WEA Investment Services, Inc., member FINRA. The Trustee Custodian for the WEAC IRA accounts is Newport Trust Company. 

The information provided is referencing investments in 403(b), Traditional IRA, or Roth IRA accounts and is for informational purposes only. It does not take into account your risk tolerance, time horizon, or investment objectives. Please note that mutual funds may assess contingent deferred charges on withdrawals that have not been on deposit for a set period of time described in its contract or prospectus. Your account will also be taxed and penalized on withdrawals prior to reaching age 59½. The taxation on the various listed accounts will vary and should be taken into consideration carefully when deciding on an account. Please consult your professional tax advisor prior to taking any withdrawal. The WEA TSA Trust, WEAC IRA, mutual funds, and other investment products have varying degrees of risk and should be considered carefully prior to investing. This example assumes a 7% rate of return net of any other applicable fees such as mutual fund operating expenses. For example; A mutual fund with a 7.50% return and an 0.50% expense ratio would net a 7% rate of return. Investments in mutual funds and other investment products are subject to investment risk and its principle is not guaranteed. Please review the prospectus carefully prior to investing.

What are you paying for?

All services have a cost. It is up to you to figure out if the value of the service provided is worth the price you’re paying.

Our fees are simple

The WEA TSA Trust has received national recognition for being a low-cost, high-quality 403(b) tax-sheltered annuity provider. We charge one low annual administrative fee (0.35%) with an annual cap ($500). Likewise, our IRA program charges one low annual administrative fee of 0.45% with a fee cap of $600 for WEAC members and $750 for nonmembers. Minimum annual fee of $25 for inactive accounts. Inactive accounts are accounts with no contributions within a calendar year. (Prudential Guaranteed Investment and mutual fund management fees apply.)

“It is also worth noting that your family members, including your spouse, children and their spouses, parents, and parents-in-law may also be able to reduce costs associated with various retirement accounts by opening or rolling over into our IRA program. Give us a call for more information,” suggests Schwartz.

<< Part 1: Procrastination                           >>Part 2: Emotion

This article is for informational purposes only and not intended to be legal or tax advice. Consult your tax advisor or attorney before taking any action. The 403(b) retirement program is offered by the WEA TSA Trust. TSA program registered representatives are licensed through WEA Investment Services, Inc., member FINRA. The Trustee Custodian for the WEAC IRA accounts is Newport Trust Company.

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