1.30.20 Paying surrender fees is worth it to ditch high costs; Ford owes drivers millions after court settlement

Nonprofit and hospital workers, teachers and other 403b workers suffer much confusion from this rip off form of retirement plan. It’s a scandal that we give teachers a plan so inferior to the 401k. The surrender charge is how 403b insurance companies handcuff people  to the plans. This often massive penalty fee is imposed for exiting their rip-off plan to put money in a low cost IRA – costing about 1/40th what the 403b takes. Remember 403b = rip off! A financial planning firm found that a young worker would be better off paying a 40% surrender charge to the insurance company to invest at lower cost elsewhere. Over that working lifetime, that worker would still make more money than paying the rip-off fees imposed by the 403b. Some surrender charges are only 15%. If you’ve got 10 years or more working life, it’s generally worth it to pay the surrender charge to get out of a 403b.

Clark reported months ago on an investigative series from the Detroit Free Press about severe problems with the Ford Focus and Fiesta. 2 million people have now been affected by vehicles with defective transmissions. A class action lawsuit was filed 8 years ago on this matter. Possibly the Free Press series finally pushed forward a settlement. There’s no cap on payouts to these car owners. Ford has to pay to make people whole who owned or own a Fiesta or Focus who have filed a claim. Also revealed, Ford knew about the problems on model years 2011 – 2016 and had a procedure in place to BLAME THE CONSUMER as a strategy to avoid paying for repairs.

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Even though the great recession reportedly ended in 2009, the job market remained terrible until 2012. We’ve been on a steady economic and employment upswing since. But there are times when all seems lost, and a worker must reinvent their role in the marketplace. After a job loss, Clark advises that you draw on what you know. Your best opportunity in your next chapter draws on your education and experience. The Detroit Free Press profiled car salesman Brian. This family man worked extremely long days and was abruptly let go. Knowing that people hate going to dealerships, Brian decided to become a car buying concierge. He gets paid regular commission by the dealerships he uses for clients, and charges the buyers nothing. He sells around 35 vehicles a month via word of mouth, gets more time at home with family and makes more money. He helps clients determine the right vehicle for them through a questionnaire. He delivers, helps with the paperwork and either takes in their trade-in or Ubers from their home. We often undervalue what we know and how we can serve others. Businesses have a hard time changing, which means opportunity for experienced individuals who come up with a way to serve people better. You may be your best boss ever.
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