I've been reading the blog for as long as I can remember and I sporadically read the board.
We've been clawing our way out of debt and I'm at a point that I want to start increasing my retirement savings slightly. I've got a small amount in a 403b situation (my name) that I'm not happy about now that I'm getting more educated on these matters and will be trying to determine whether I'm better leaving the accumulated funds there or moving them. But that's not my question for now.
I'm going to start having some retirement funds set aside (still deciding 403b or IRA) in DH's name and slightly increase what I set aside each month. We both work for the same school district and have the same options available. I know I want to start sending money somewhere different. Vanguard and Fidelity are both available to us. (One list I have says that T. Rowe Price is, but another doesn't...so I don't think the are). I've read good things about both (here and elsewhere) and particularly enjoyed this thread: http://www.getrichslowly.org/forum/view ... t=vanguard
FIL is my advisor/mentor in this area. He's away this weekend and I'm trying to get all my own ducks in a row so that when we sit down over the next few weeks that I'm educated enough to have good ideas and good questions for him. He deals with both F and V and agrees that both are good choices.
I called both to confirm what is available to me for a 403b. Vanguard was very helpful and all they have is available. I have spent more time on their website. I quite like it (important to me) and I got warm fuzzies from them on the phone. I haven't reached an individual from Fidelity (the number I called switched me to someone else who gave me another number to call and I haven't) so I don't know if everything Fidelity offers is available to me or not, but I'll assume so based on Vanguard's answer. I didn't like having to talk to multiple people and the people that I talked to didn't thrill me. Initially, their website was confusing to me but I've spent more time on it now and it's not bad.
I was ready to just ditch the Fidelity idea and stick with Vanguard, but then I looked at their annual fees. My understanding is that Vanguard (knowing I will have below Voyager level assets for quite a while) charges $15 a year PER FUND, where Fidelity charges $24 a year per ACCOUNT (which I presume can contain multiple funds). Obviously, this isn't the only fee, but it's the first one I can readily grasp.
I initially thought I'd do Target/Freedom funds since I'm clueless, but FIL has scoffed at that idea, and I'm interested in learning more. So I'm sure I'll want to have a few different funds. So that makes Fidelity more attractive if I'm understanding the fees correctly. However, if I'm going to have some $ in DH's name and some in mine (I should do that, right?), and knowing that he has no interest in any of this, I thought maybe to get myself 'introduced' to both F and V I should put DH's money into a Vanguard Target fund and let it be. Then start my new account at Fidelity and let FIL advise me as to how much/what/how etc. This would keep DH's at $15 a year and mine at $24. I could do this for a while and then see if I wanted to go all to one or the other. I know eventually it might be in our best interest to have a larger accumulation in one spot to qualify for something like Voyager level at Vanguard.
(FIL lent me Bogle on Mutual Funds and I'm working on it this weekend as well.)