Helping parents manage retirement accounts, [TIAA 403b]

Non-investing personal finance issues including insurance, credit, real estate, taxes, employment and legal issues such as trusts and wills
Post Reply
Topic Author
MonkeyPants
Posts: 60
Joined: Sat Apr 28, 2018 2:07 am

Helping parents manage retirement accounts, [TIAA 403b]

Post by MonkeyPants » Thu Jun 11, 2020 1:15 am

This is a long one, although perhaps not entirely foreign subject here on BH. I’ve done my best to pre-read as many of the similar queries on the forum. So thanks to any of you that may stick with it to give some perspective:

My parents have been proactive in preparing me and my two brothers for their eventual age-related decline and eventual passing. As a part of these discussions, my parents recently decided to legally authorize me (POA) to monitor and manage all of their financial assets (right now this primarily extends to their retirement accounts not their daily banking). My brothers are both in full agreement about this and I am happy to be an extra set of eyes to look after their well-being and financial goals. My parents are generally very good on keeping records organized, saving and cost control, but they don’t have a lot of knowledge where it comes to building a portfolio.That said, even with what I see to be an inefficient portfolio, we have been told it is unlikely they will outlast their means.

Having followed the forum here for a while, I feel comfortable enough to build a 3-fund portfolio for myself and not run it into the ground for a long investment timespan and genuinely enjoy improving my knowledge around finance and investment. However, I am aware this does not make me an expert and l have a number of blind spots around near-retirement decisions and eventual wealth transferal.

The complexity of my parents’ particular situation feels like it may make sense to bring in some professional help. So here are my questions:

1. Both TIAA (current primary administrator of both parent’s retirement accounts) and Vanguard offer comprehensive investment service, but stop short of a robust tax planning function. Do I need to be likely working with a CFP, CPA, both or neither? With potential taxable events such as a substantial pension overpayment refund, eventual sale of their home when they move into a care home as they have planned, etc, I think it makes sense to consult a professional tax advisor/attorney. Aside from finding someone fee based only, I have little idea of what I’m looking for in such a resource.

2. Although I know much of BH community advocates a self guided approach, I do have a sense that retaining a service such as the Vanguard Personal Advisor Service or an equivalent at TIAA could be worth the peace of mind. Even if I can build them a reasonable looking portfolio, I don’t feel well equipped to evaluate it against their evolving needs late in life with a monte carlo simulator, etc.

3. I understand both VG and TIAA to be generally reputable as companies, but from conversations I’ve sat through together with my mother with “advisors” from both companies have left much to be desired. For example, I noticed that the ER’s in my mother’s 403b are some of the most astonishingly high rates I’ve ever encountered, but the TIAA advisor seemed to have not looked at that when presenting a multipage “indepth” portfolio proposal to improve my parent’s wealth potential. Anyone have similar experiences?

4. A number of advisors my mother has engaged at both Vanguard and TIAA have suggested my parents pick up additional life insurance policies as a means of converting a portion of their pension income into a tax advantaged wealth transferal vehicle. This sounds a bit too slick and perhaps too good to be true. Am I the mistrusting cynic or am I missing a worthwhile consideration here?

5. Because both TIAA and Vanguard are encouraging us to consolidate my parents assets to each of them respectively and won’t offer meaningful guidance on non-managed accounts, I think it makes sense to try to align under one umbrella for simplicity. But this feels tricky. My parents like holding their non-equity investments in the TIAA Traditional Guaranteed Annuity (mostly the liquid/unrestricted option at 3% base return) and I think there is something good in that too. But while my father has very low ER index funds available to him in his 403b, I think my mother’s assets in her TIAA 403b could eventually benefit from being moved in a Vanguard account where she could potentially have access to some lower ER funds. Does anyone here have experiences with straddling both companies for their portfolio?

Thanks for any added perspective!
MonkeyPants



Additional context for anyone that needs/cares to read on:

My parents are retiring in 1-2 years maximum at the ages of roughly 78 and 71. Although they began saving for retirement relatively late due to the circumstances around their emigration, they’ve accumulated a nest egg in the low 7 figures. Both are in education so the vast majority is held in their respective 403b’s administered by TIAA. Because of the pension that my father will receive from the state university where he teaches, they will not likely need to touch this nest egg to cover their needs in retirement, based on an analysis provided to us by TIAA.

My parents have expressed that they wish for me to invest this nest egg money is if it were mine and my brothers’ already with the assumption that we’d allocate more aggressively based on our investment time line (Both brothers, for different reasons, have asked that I would manage their portion of this potential inheritance on their behalf).

However, because my parents retirement success without this savings/investment nest egg is based on my father’s pension in a state with precarious finances (Illinois) I am inclined to play things more conservatively. The pension currently can’t be revised unless the state constitution is amended, but that feels difficult to place great faith in.

With this in mind I am inclined to bucket at least 40% of their savings to be allocated based on their current life stage and 60% bucketed to take on more risk (70/30 or so) that can be also tapped if needs arise unexpectedly while they are alive. All is officially in their names until they pass and I would prefer my parents enjoy this money entirely, but it is their generous preference to enjoy the sum by passing it to their sons in this way.

They will additionally receive a mid 6 figure pension overpayment refund that will increase the nest egg by about 30% upon retirement, which makes me feel much better about their financial security in these times. Options when this is received is to roll immediately into an IRA or to cash it out. My impression the former option helps on spreading out the tax obligation.
Last edited by MonkeyPants on Fri Jun 12, 2020 11:57 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
David Jay
Posts: 8624
Joined: Mon Mar 30, 2015 5:54 am
Location: Michigan

Re: Helping parents manage retirement accounts, need help identifying best resources

Post by David Jay » Thu Jun 11, 2020 8:07 am

MonkeyPants wrote:
Thu Jun 11, 2020 1:15 am
My parents have expressed that they wish for me to invest this nest egg money is if it were mine and my brothers’ already with the assumption that we’d allocate more aggressively based on our investment time line (Both brothers, for different reasons, have asked that I would manage their portion of this potential inheritance on their behalf).

However, because my parents retirement success without this savings/investment nest egg is based on my father’s pension in a state with precarious finances (Illinois) I am inclined to play things more conservatively.
This is a good perspective. Your goal is not to maximize return but to make your folks always feel secure and keep good relationships between the siblings.

I do not know enough about TIAA to advise whether to leave the money there or to roll over the 403b money to a personal IRA. I would consider editing the title (in the top post) to highlight the TIAA aspect. We have a number of folks who have experience with TIAA but likely passed over your post title. Maybe add this to the end of the title: “[TIAA 403b]”
Prediction is very difficult, especially about the future - Niels Bohr | To get the "risk premium", you really do have to take the risk - nisiprius

User avatar
FiveK
Posts: 9255
Joined: Sun Mar 16, 2014 2:43 pm

Re: Helping parents manage retirement accounts, need help identifying best resources

Post by FiveK » Thu Jun 11, 2020 7:37 pm

How complex are your parents' investments now?

See Asking Portfolio Questions for a good way to answer that question.

GenawithanE
Posts: 43
Joined: Mon Aug 26, 2019 11:14 pm

Re: Helping parents manage retirement accounts, need help identifying best resources

Post by GenawithanE » Thu Jun 11, 2020 9:22 pm

Families can be tricky. My husband and I were both only remaining children when our parents went through this time of life, so I only speak from hearing about friends’ experiences. I would work with your parents to engage an estate lawyer and a CFP on a fee only, non-AUM basis to make a plan. You want this independent plan to help ensure your siblings, or their spouses, don’t have any basis for concerns that you are favoring yourself. A revocable trust might be useful here, and you want to be sure they have their estate plan spelled out while they are very competent and before you engage with their money.
Once your parents retire, they will already be in RMD land so they need to assess how to handle that part of their plan. They don’t have much time to do any Roth conversion or backdoor type strategies, but they probably need guidance on how they need to take the RMDs. TIAA in the guaranteed has some quirky things on withdrawals; some can only be taken out over ten years. While you can take RMDs from any IRA to satisfy RMDs for IRAs, the rules are different for employer sponsored plans. Get clarity on the withdrawal requirements before you start allocating the investments.
While I am a big fan of simplicity, you may find it useful to keep both investment houses. TIAA has some really good fixed income interest rates. The CFP should be able to help you address this question.
Personally, I would manage your parents money as if they might need it. And, find ways for them to use their extra it to build family memories, more so than inheritances. Encourage them to rent that luxe house at the beach that all can come to, with an elevator, or go to the Amalfi Coast when we are back to normal.

Topic Author
MonkeyPants
Posts: 60
Joined: Sat Apr 28, 2018 2:07 am

Re: Helping parents manage retirement accounts, need help identifying best resources

Post by MonkeyPants » Fri Jun 12, 2020 11:58 am

David Jay wrote:
Thu Jun 11, 2020 8:07 am
I do not know enough about TIAA to advise whether to leave the money there or to roll over the 403b money to a personal IRA. I would consider editing the title (in the top post) to highlight the TIAA aspect. We have a number of folks who have experience with TIAA but likely passed over your post title. Maybe add this to the end of the title: “[TIAA 403b]”
That's a great suggestion, thank you. Have done that just now.

Topic Author
MonkeyPants
Posts: 60
Joined: Sat Apr 28, 2018 2:07 am

Re: Helping parents manage retirement accounts, need help identifying best resources

Post by MonkeyPants » Fri Jun 12, 2020 11:59 am

FiveK wrote:
Thu Jun 11, 2020 7:37 pm
How complex are your parents' investments now?

See Asking Portfolio Questions for a good way to answer that question.
Thanks, I'll take some time this weekend to compile this info and add.

Topic Author
MonkeyPants
Posts: 60
Joined: Sat Apr 28, 2018 2:07 am

Re: Helping parents manage retirement accounts, need help identifying best resources

Post by MonkeyPants » Fri Jun 12, 2020 12:14 pm

GenawithanE wrote:
Thu Jun 11, 2020 9:22 pm
Families can be tricky. My husband and I were both only remaining children when our parents went through this time of life, so I only speak from hearing about friends’ experiences. I would work with your parents to engage an estate lawyer and a CFP on a fee only, non-AUM basis to make a plan. You want this independent plan to help ensure your siblings, or their spouses, don’t have any basis for concerns that you are favoring yourself. A revocable trust might be useful here, and you want to be sure they have their estate plan spelled out while they are very competent and before you engage with their money.
Thank you for your thoughtful comments. One of the things my family as a whole has been discussing is that we would like to avoid any scenario, no matter how unlikely we imagine it, where any inherited assets become a source of friction.
GenawithanE wrote:
Thu Jun 11, 2020 9:22 pm
Once your parents retire, they will already be in RMD land so they need to assess how to handle that part of their plan. They don’t have much time to do any Roth conversion or backdoor type strategies, but they probably need guidance on how they need to take the RMDs. TIAA in the guaranteed has some quirky things on withdrawals; some can only be taken out over ten years.
Yes, the TIAA guaranteed investments have a number of restrictions. Fortunately the majority of my parents funds in these vehicles are in the unrestricted option. Only a small percentage is locked in the "9 payments over 10 years withdrawal" type.

About Roth conversions, this is something my mother and I have been discussing. Am I correct in my understanding that the primary benefit in doing Roth conversions emerges when the timeline to retirement is quite a bit longer than the 1-2 years my parents are planning?
GenawithanE wrote:
Thu Jun 11, 2020 9:22 pm
Personally, I would manage your parents money as if they might need it. And, find ways for them to use their extra it to build family memories, more so than inheritances. Encourage them to rent that luxe house at the beach that all can come to, with an elevator, or go to the Amalfi Coast when we are back to normal.
I am in complete agreement about managing the funds as if my parents will need it. I haven't managed to fully bring them around to this perspective, as I think the idea of maximizing an inheritance to their sons gives my parents a certain pride, joy, and peace of mind. But it's an on going discussion and I think we'll likely come to a place where I feel their wellbeing is looked after while also respecting their wishes for their hard earned money. In the meantime, yes!, we are eager to make use of our time and health together and hope to take some family trips as soon as we can.

crefwatch
Posts: 443
Joined: Sun Apr 15, 2007 1:07 pm
Location: New Jersey, USA

Re: Helping parents manage retirement accounts, [TIAA 403b]

Post by crefwatch » Fri Jun 12, 2020 12:40 pm

You might wish to post the percentages of each option in the 403(b) account. (Are you using "403" and "TIAA" interchangeably? Maybe it's because of the length of the your post, but I didn't learn if both parents had careers and both parents have 403(b)s?) Aren't they taking RMDs already?

The Boglehead philosophy is great, but I hope you will relax your rigor to allow for the fact that your parents had no choice (?) about the location of their 403(b). In other words, don't rush to get their money over to Vanguard so you can buy Three-Funds for them! I particularly mention that because of the unique nature of the TIAA Traditional option. And with interest rates at an all time low, it's an ideal Fixed-Income allocation with zero interest-rate risk (unlike bond funds.) I am NOT apologizing for TIAA's many disappointments. I'm just advising you not to immediately jam your parents into a Procrustean Boglehead bed!

It is true that many TIAA options have higher ERs than other options. Especially newer products since they bought Nuveen. But since (for example) the CREF VA accounts have three share classes, we need to know more to know how unreasonable the ERs are. (The CREF accounts embody variable annuity payout, a small excuse for their costs higher than Vanguard funds. We don't know if your parents have any CREF funds.)

Yes, TIAA has its annoyances. And TIAA Traditional is a very complicated product. But it is essential that you find out (this can be done with their online account access, at any time, or you can ask for a report to be mailed) what their current TIAA Trad interest rate structure looks like. When you see that they are earning over 3% (maybe) with zero risk to principal, maybe it's not so awful? Also take a look at the TIAA Trad annuity payout rates, because they change every March.

It's very important that you note that they don't need to touch the 403(b) if the Illinois pension holds up. Do you understand the any withdrawal restrictions at TIAA don't apply to PROPORTIONAL RMDs computed by TIAA? That is, the RA accounts are not in a straitjacket when you start RMDs. At any time, if they need additional income, you can make lump-sum (where permitted) withdrawals, or begin PARTIAL annuitization of the TIAA Trad balances. There are also options like Interest-Only payouts, and fixed-term payouts longer than ten years.

If you are proposing a conversion to IRA and a move to Vanguard, note that this can change (varies by state) taxation and lawsuit protection of the retirement plan fund. It is also much easier to do the IRA conversion at TIAA, and then rollover to another provider if you insist on doing that.

Topic Author
MonkeyPants
Posts: 60
Joined: Sat Apr 28, 2018 2:07 am

Re: Helping parents manage retirement accounts, [TIAA 403b]

Post by MonkeyPants » Sun Jun 14, 2020 10:25 pm

crefwatch wrote:
Fri Jun 12, 2020 12:40 pm
You might wish to post the percentages of each option in the 403(b) account. (Are you using "403" and "TIAA" interchangeably? Maybe it's because of the length of the your post, but I didn't learn if both parents had careers and both parents have 403(b)s?) Aren't they taking RMDs already?
This is a great suggestion and I am working to pull together the info to share. You are correct, both parents have 403b's, both administered by TIAA. Yes, they are already taking RMD's as well.
crefwatch wrote:
Fri Jun 12, 2020 12:40 pm
The Boglehead philosophy is great, but I hope you will relax your rigor to allow for the fact that your parents had no choice (?) about the location of their 403(b). In other words, don't rush to get their money over to Vanguard so you can buy Three-Funds for them! I particularly mention that because of the unique nature of the TIAA Traditional option. And with interest rates at an all time low, it's an ideal Fixed-Income allocation with zero interest-rate risk (unlike bond funds.) I am NOT apologizing for TIAA's many disappointments. I'm just advising you not to immediately jam your parents into a Procrustean Boglehead bed!
This is a really valuable and welcome perspective. I have to admit maybe I got overzealous about taking on a purely Boglehead approach. For better or worse I am stuck in analysis paralysis and haven't initiated any allocation changes. I definitely prefer to measure thrice/cut once on this one!
I recognize that the ERs in their retirement accounts weren't necessarily their choice. I agree the access to TIAA fixed income options that are returning 3-4% or so is really great to have in the current climate.
crefwatch wrote:
Fri Jun 12, 2020 12:40 pm
It is true that many TIAA options have higher ERs than other options. Especially newer products since they bought Nuveen. But since (for example) the CREF VA accounts have three share classes, we need to know more to know how unreasonable the ERs are. (The CREF accounts embody variable annuity payout, a small excuse for their costs higher than Vanguard funds. We don't know if your parents have any CREF funds.)
Both of my parents have CREF accounts available to them in their 403b plans. The share classes available to my father are substantially lower cost than those available to my mother. In some cases it's good vs great (.48% vs. 0.05%) in others its high vs good (1.1% vs .3%).
crefwatch wrote:
Fri Jun 12, 2020 12:40 pm
Yes, TIAA has its annoyances. And TIAA Traditional is a very complicated product. But it is essential that you find out (this can be done with their online account access, at any time, or you can ask for a report to be mailed) what their current TIAA Trad interest rate structure looks like. When you see that they are earning over 3% (maybe) with zero risk to principal, maybe it's not so awful? Also take a look at the TIAA Trad annuity payout rates, because they change every March.
I am in full agreement here. Neither my parents nor I are keen to lose on these 3-4% earnings.
crefwatch wrote:
Fri Jun 12, 2020 12:40 pm
It's very important that you note that they don't need to touch the 403(b) if the Illinois pension holds up. Do you understand the any withdrawal restrictions at TIAA don't apply to PROPORTIONAL RMDs computed by TIAA? That is, the RA accounts are not in a straitjacket when you start RMDs. At any time, if they need additional income, you can make lump-sum (where permitted) withdrawals, or begin PARTIAL annuitization of the TIAA Trad balances. There are also options like Interest-Only payouts, and fixed-term payouts longer than ten years.
This is where I am needing to study up, along with my mother who takes interest in these details over my father. Since you seem to have some insight on TIAA trad, what would be your primary reasons for and against a partial annuitization of Trad balances? It's something a TIAA rep mentioned to us an option as part of a financial consultation, but any independent feedback on this would be appreciated.
crefwatch wrote:
Fri Jun 12, 2020 12:40 pm
If you are proposing a conversion to IRA and a move to Vanguard, note that this can change (varies by state) taxation and lawsuit protection of the retirement plan fund. It is also much easier to do the IRA conversion at TIAA, and then rollover to another provider if you insist on doing that.
Well noted, thank you for such a thoughtful response. Deeply appreciated!

Katietsu
Posts: 3471
Joined: Sun Sep 22, 2013 1:48 am

Re: Helping parents manage retirement accounts, [TIAA 403b]

Post by Katietsu » Mon Jun 15, 2020 12:30 am

It has always been my understanding, including from an independent FA, that, if we wish to receive lifetime annuity payments, TIAA Traditional is the best place to do it. If your parents already have enough pension and social security to meet their basic needs, there may be no need to annuitize though.

Investing for your parents vs investing for a legacy may not be that different given Dad’s pension. I feel the pension allows for more risk in the portfolio just like the longer time horizon does. So, while LifeStyle or Target Sate Income Fund might be invested in 30-40% equities, you and your parents might be comfortable with 50-65% equities.

I second the comment that spending time on this forum can make one too focused on a single best plan. There are many roads to Dublin and it sounds like your parents have done just fine.

The quality of TIAA advisors seems to vary quite a bit in my limited experience. If an advisor provides a suggested portfolio, I think it is usually the product of a third party software program that the advisor simply presents and/or implements.

I like the idea of paying for a few hours of an CFP’s time. It sounds like you could carry out the implementation pretty easily. If you go this route, I would try to use one who has experience with TIAA.

pennywise
Posts: 776
Joined: Sat May 31, 2014 6:22 am

Re: Helping parents manage retirement accounts, [TIAA 403b]

Post by pennywise » Mon Jun 15, 2020 7:24 am

My husband and I retired last year with a somewhat similar mix of retirement investments; we were both college administrators and had our 403b accounts through TIAA. I handle investments and budgets in our marriage; spouse has no involvement other than sitting with eyes glazing over every few months when I make him listen to what 'we' are doing with our money. Our son invests actively and is knowledgeable but his strategy is pretty much opposite my conservative buy n hold mindset.

Re professional financial advice: originally we set our investment plan in each of our TIAA 403b accounts as 75% CREF (stock index fund) and 25% TIAA traditional annuity. By ~ 5 years pre-retirement the balances had grown to a level at which TIAA offers free financial consulting so I took advantage of that. While the advisor was honest in saying that the end goal was to have us allow TIAA to actively manage the accounts after our retirement, he still did an excellent and free of charge in depth analysis of our portfolio including other financial holdings.

I also asked an independent financial advisor with whom we had an acquaintance to do something similar-that was a one time fee experience though again, she would have liked us to become clients.

A year prior to our actual retirement we asked our accountant to do an analysis focused strictly on the income flow and tax consequences.

Last but not least when we retired we moved our 403b equity funds to Vanguard. When we set up the IRA accounts at Vanguard, we also chose to use the PAS. As part of that, Vanguard produced a deep dive analysis as well as specific investment recommendations which we put in place in January.

We left the TIAA Traditional alone for the reasons that have already been shared with you.

My conclusion is that advice is not a bad thing. In hindsight we really didn't need the financial work up from the advisor we went to but there was reassurance in that it did align closely with what I got free from TIAA and Vanguard. The accountant's analysis was quite useful since by that point we were fortunate enough to have enough various assets and income streams that we wanted to understand how everything would mesh in retirement.

The Vanguard PAS was helpful because again, we were consolidating several investment 'pots' and though we didn't plan for it the steadying hand of an advisor during an upheaval has already saved us some money! However OP in your situation you sound pretty knowledgeable so you might become your parents' PAS advisor equivalent :D

The TIAA Traditional will stay where it is. As others have mentioned it is a unique and somewhat comforting product in that one can feel fairly comfortable what's in there won't dwindle and a steady if not spectacular rate of return will continue regardless of what the markets do-or don't!

crefwatch
Posts: 443
Joined: Sun Apr 15, 2007 1:07 pm
Location: New Jersey, USA

Re: Helping parents manage retirement accounts, [TIAA 403b]

Post by crefwatch » Mon Jun 15, 2020 8:56 am

I trust that they both have proper wills and Healthcare Proxies in place, as well as the POAs that are comfortable to all the siblings, as you noted.

Since you mentioned legacies for the siblings, and said that the parents don't need the income, I would recommend against annuitizing anything. A prime reason for annuitizing is the need to produce more income than invested assets can be relied upon to do.

That said, I would mention that TIAA approached me (pre-Covid) with a pitch pointing out that a life annuity (of TIAA Traditional) with a 20-year guarantee would produce just about as much dollars as the current accumulation, without any risk of future decline in accumulation or payout interest rates. (I felt that analysis neglected the time value of money and the years of accumulated interest that I don't currently need.)

I saw nothing in any of your posts to suggest that annuitizing is called for. Although I approve of annuities for those who need them, and do NOT disdain "betting with an insurance company", your parents ages (to me) argue against it as well. Although payouts are higher at advanced ages, I would think that guarantee-periods are also more expensive at advanced ages. (I think TIAA states that all annuity options are actuarilly neutral.) Since your parents are getting RMDs, it's not as if they feel their money is sitting there doing nothing!

Is your parents' contact at TIAA a Wealth Management Advisor? If they have seven figures, I would think so. I believe that all WMAs have a fiduciary duty to the client. I also have experienced subtle pressure to consider their Trust department as a plan for cognitive decline. We were told that TIAA does not directly offer tax or estate advice to WMA clients, but recommends that you get it. Our WMA, on request, gave us a short list of Estate attorneys who may even have all agreed to give a free consultation to TIAA referrals. We were very happy with the one nearest us, and have remained with him.

I disagree with your idea of 60% equity (?) for two people this age. Either it's a backstop for the IL pension, or it's gambling for a payoff to the children. And as I said before, I think TIAA Traditional is a great choice for a Fixed Income allocation. Much better than low-cost Vanguard bond funds.

Topic Author
MonkeyPants
Posts: 60
Joined: Sat Apr 28, 2018 2:07 am

Re: Helping parents manage retirement accounts, [TIAA 403b]

Post by MonkeyPants » Sun Jun 28, 2020 4:14 pm

Katietsu wrote:
Mon Jun 15, 2020 12:30 am
...if we wish to receive lifetime annuity payments, TIAA Traditional is the best place to do it. If your parents already have enough pension and social security to meet their basic needs, there may be no need to annuitize though.
I thought so as well, but I'm glad to have your additional assessment.
Katietsu wrote:
Mon Jun 15, 2020 12:30 am
Investing for your parents vs investing for a legacy may not be that different given Dad’s pension. I feel the pension allows for more risk in the portfolio just like the longer time horizon does. So, while LifeStyle or Target Sate Income Fund might be invested in 30-40% equities, you and your parents might be comfortable with 50-65% equities.
I think I am coming to the same conclusion. Ironically, my parents are the one's more willing to be aggressive with the allocation than I am for the time that they may still need it.
Katietsu wrote:
Mon Jun 15, 2020 12:30 am
The quality of TIAA advisors seems to vary quite a bit in my limited experience. If an advisor provides a suggested portfolio, I think it is usually the product of a third party software program that the advisor simply presents and/or implements.
What do you make of the fact that these TIAA advisor suggested portfolios are comprised of roughly 14 different mutual funds/similar? While none seem to be high cost investments or individual stocks, isn't that a bit excessive? In your opinion am I getting too hung up on simplifying towards a 3 fund approach?
Katietsu wrote:
Mon Jun 15, 2020 12:30 am
I like the idea of paying for a few hours of an CFP’s time. It sounds like you could carry out the implementation pretty easily. If you go this route, I would try to use one who has experience with TIAA.
Thank you so much for your comments!

User avatar
FiveK
Posts: 9255
Joined: Sun Mar 16, 2014 2:43 pm

Re: Helping parents manage retirement accounts, [TIAA 403b]

Post by FiveK » Sun Jun 28, 2020 4:35 pm

MonkeyPants wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 4:14 pm
What do you make of the fact that these TIAA advisor suggested portfolios are comprised of roughly 14 different mutual funds/similar? While none seem to be high cost investments or individual stocks, isn't that a bit excessive? In your opinion am I getting too hung up on simplifying towards a 3 fund approach?
Three may or may not be too few, but 14 is too many.

Topic Author
MonkeyPants
Posts: 60
Joined: Sat Apr 28, 2018 2:07 am

Re: Helping parents manage retirement accounts, [TIAA 403b]

Post by MonkeyPants » Sun Jun 28, 2020 4:36 pm

Hi Pennywise,

Your situation has remarkable parallels to that of my parents (inclusive of my father's level of engagement in this process :D ). Thank you for such an insightful response. I apologize for my slow response; work has been extremely taxing in the last few months. I have a number extra questions for you below.

Many thanks!
pennywise wrote:
Mon Jun 15, 2020 7:24 am
By ~ 5 years pre-retirement the balances had grown to a level at which TIAA offers free financial consulting so I took advantage of that. While the advisor was honest in saying that the end goal was to have us allow TIAA to actively manage the accounts after our retirement, he still did an excellent and free of charge in depth analysis of our portfolio including other financial holdings.

I also asked an independent financial advisor with whom we had an acquaintance to do something similar-that was a one time fee experience though again, she would have liked us to become clients.
I feel this second opinion maybe worth the cost for peace of mind.
pennywise wrote:
Mon Jun 15, 2020 7:24 am
Last but not least when we retired we moved our 403b equity funds to Vanguard. When we set up the IRA accounts at Vanguard, we also chose to use the PAS. As part of that, Vanguard produced a deep dive analysis as well as specific investment recommendations which we put in place in January.

We left the TIAA Traditional alone for the reasons that have already been shared with you.
1. TIAA's Advisor recommended portfolio is comprised of roughly 14 different but perhaps overlapping funds/TIAA Trad/TIAA Real Estate. Did you find that Vanguard suggested a similarly complex number of investments or hewed more to a 3-4 fund type structure?

2. I am keen to retain the TIAA Traditional portion but deciding with my mother whether to eventually shift equities to Vanguard or keep all under TIAA for simplicity. In using both services, did you find it complicated at all getting a full picture assessment, given that neither seem too willing to account for or give recommendations on assets administered by other companies?
pennywise wrote:
Mon Jun 15, 2020 7:24 am
The accountant's analysis was quite useful since by that point we were fortunate enough to have enough various assets and income streams that we wanted to understand how everything would mesh in retirement.
This sounds prudent. I will speak with my parents about doing the same, thank you!

Topic Author
MonkeyPants
Posts: 60
Joined: Sat Apr 28, 2018 2:07 am

Re: Helping parents manage retirement accounts, [TIAA 403b]

Post by MonkeyPants » Sun Jun 28, 2020 5:04 pm

Hi Crefwatch,

Thanks for your input and apologies for my slow response.
crefwatch wrote:
Mon Jun 15, 2020 8:56 am
I trust that they both have proper wills and Healthcare Proxies in place, as well as the POAs that are comfortable to all the siblings, as you noted.
Correct, my mother has be really proactive on this front and my brothers and I all support her decisions.
crefwatch wrote:
Mon Jun 15, 2020 8:56 am
Since you mentioned legacies for the siblings, and said that the parents don't need the income, I would recommend against annuitizing anything. A prime reason for annuitizing is the need to produce more income than invested assets can be relied upon to do.

That said, I would mention that TIAA approached me (pre-Covid) with a pitch pointing out that a life annuity (of TIAA Traditional) with a 20-year guarantee would produce just about as much dollars as the current accumulation, without any risk of future decline in accumulation or payout interest rates. (I felt that analysis neglected the time value of money and the years of accumulated interest that I don't currently need.)

I saw nothing in any of your posts to suggest that annuitizing is called for. Although I approve of annuities for those who need them, and do NOT disdain "betting with an insurance company", your parents ages (to me) argue against it as well. Although payouts are higher at advanced ages, I would think that guarantee-periods are also more expensive at advanced ages. (I think TIAA states that all annuity options are actuarilly neutral.) Since your parents are getting RMDs, it's not as if they feel their money is sitting there doing nothing!
I really appreciate your helping clarify and confirm this. Thank you!
crefwatch wrote:
Mon Jun 15, 2020 8:56 am
Is your parents' contact at TIAA a Wealth Management Advisor? If they have seven figures, I would think so. I believe that all WMAs have a fiduciary duty to the client. I also have experienced subtle pressure to consider their Trust department as a plan for cognitive decline. We were told that TIAA does not directly offer tax or estate advice to WMA clients, but recommends that you get it. Our WMA, on request, gave us a short list of Estate attorneys who may even have all agreed to give a free consultation to TIAA referrals. We were very happy with the one nearest us, and have remained with him.
Yes, my mother and I have been engaging with a WMA. This suggestion on asking our WMA for a referral for an estate attorney for tax advise is something I hadn't thought of, thank you.
crefwatch wrote:
Mon Jun 15, 2020 8:56 am
I disagree with your idea of 60% equity (?) for two people this age. Either it's a backstop for the IL pension, or it's gambling for a payoff to the children. And as I said before, I think TIAA Traditional is a great choice for a Fixed Income allocation. Much better than low-cost Vanguard bond funds.
I think I did not explain well my potential idea to balance the preference of my parents (invest whole sum for growth for legacy) vs. my concern (use full some as backstop for IL pension. What I thought to propose is to hedge bets or sorts and do something like the following, although your disagreement may remain:

40% portfolio for backstop security (30/70 Equity/Fixed or even more conservative).
60% portfolio of legacy growth per parents wishes (perhaps 70/30 Equity/Fixed)

I suppose this makes the effective allocation to be 54/46 Equity/Fixed while my parents are in retirement. Perhaps still too risk oriented as you note. In your case how would you allocate the savings for a 100% pension backstop if my parents might agree to this approach (assume ages of ~77 and 70)?

Katietsu
Posts: 3471
Joined: Sun Sep 22, 2013 1:48 am

Re: Helping parents manage retirement accounts, [TIAA 403b]

Post by Katietsu » Sun Jun 28, 2020 5:09 pm

MonkeyPants wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 4:14 pm
Katietsu wrote:
Mon Jun 15, 2020 12:30 am
The quality of TIAA advisors seems to vary quite a bit in my limited experience. If an advisor provides a suggested portfolio, I think it is usually the product of a third party software program that the advisor simply presents and/or implements.
What do you make of the fact that these TIAA advisor suggested portfolios are comprised of roughly 14 different mutual funds/similar? While none seem to be high cost investments or individual stocks, isn't that a bit excessive? In your opinion am I getting too hung up on simplifying towards a 3 fund approach?
The TIAA advisor spoke to your parents to get their goals, risk profile, etc. The advisor delivered the plan with the 14 funds. A computer program came up with the recommendation. Last time I had a plan done a few years ago, TIAA was contracted this to a third party, Ibottsen Associates. In my experience, they would tell you that their plan will result in the same performance as a three fund plan but with less volatility/risk. I do not recall which way they put it.

We have put our information into Financial Engines, another program utilized by some employers that spits out a retirement plan portfolio, and it suggested something like 8 or 9 funds. And back when Betterment first came out, I ran a sample allocation. I think Betterment proposed a 12 ETF portfolio.

Note that I am not suggesting that any of these are better than a three fund portfolio. I, myself, actually chose to do something in between. I use these examples to let you know that a proposed portfolio of a dozen funds from these portfolio optimizers is the norm and the three fund portfolio is the exception.

I was annoyed that TIAA put all the dozen funds in each of the accounts we own as between my husband and myself, we have half a dozen. But, I realized that the average person is probably just going to set the contribution allocation and forget about it. Therefore, it makes sense for each account to be similar. One of my tweaks was to put all the CREF Stock in one account, all the TIAA Traditional in another, etc.

Based on your post just above this one. It sounds like you might just want to go with a 50/50 allocation and call it a day. Starting to tinker with a 5% shift here or there will not make much of a difference. If something happens and your parents have an increased need for these funds, it is probably not going to happen all at once. You can move to a more conservative portfolio at that point.

Topic Author
MonkeyPants
Posts: 60
Joined: Sat Apr 28, 2018 2:07 am

Re: Helping parents manage retirement accounts, [TIAA 403b]

Post by MonkeyPants » Sun Jun 28, 2020 5:21 pm

FiveK wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 4:35 pm
MonkeyPants wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 4:14 pm
What do you make of the fact that these TIAA advisor suggested portfolios are comprised of roughly 14 different mutual funds/similar? While none seem to be high cost investments or individual stocks, isn't that a bit excessive? In your opinion am I getting too hung up on simplifying towards a 3 fund approach?
Three may or may not be too few, but 14 is too many.
I tend to agree. The suggested portfolio recommended funds that fall into the following classifications:
Guaranteed (TIAA Traditional)
Large Cap Growth Stocks
Large Cap Value Stocks
Mid Cap Growth Stocks
Mid Cap Value Stocks
Small Cap Growth Stocks
Small Cap Value Stocks
International Stocks
Emerging Markets
Real Estate Securities (REITs)
TIAA Direct Real Estate
High Yield Bonds
Inflation Protected Bonds

Am I wrong to think this can be simplified to roughly:
-Guaranteed (TIAA Traditional)
-VSTAX equivalent
-VTIAX equivalent
-Maybe something real estate related? (any thoughts?)

User avatar
FiveK
Posts: 9255
Joined: Sun Mar 16, 2014 2:43 pm

Re: Helping parents manage retirement accounts, [TIAA 403b]

Post by FiveK » Sun Jun 28, 2020 5:38 pm

MonkeyPants wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 5:21 pm
Am I wrong to think this can be simplified to roughly:
-Guaranteed (TIAA Traditional)
-VSTAX equivalent
-VTIAX equivalent
-Maybe something real estate related? (any thoughts?)
No, not wrong. One can argue REITs either way, so don't feel afraid or compelled to use them.

Starting with the assumption that "it's not worth the bother" to have a fund holding less than 10% (or pick a number) of your investments, if you
- start with two funds of 30% each, you now have room for no more than four more funds. If you
- add a third with 20%, you now have room for no more than two more funds.
- Etc.

Of course, if one differs with the above assumption, different conclusions may be reached.

crefwatch
Posts: 443
Joined: Sun Apr 15, 2007 1:07 pm
Location: New Jersey, USA

Re: Helping parents manage retirement accounts, [TIAA 403b]

Post by crefwatch » Mon Jun 29, 2020 8:33 am

In your case how would you allocate the savings for a 100% pension backstop if my parents might agree to this approach (assume ages of ~77 and 70)?

I agree that there is no need to slavishly obey the Ibbotson computer-recommendation for slicing and dicing at TIAA. It can be hard to find the lowest Expense Ratio items at TIAA to make a three-fund portfolio, however.

It's not obvious to me that you need to divide their assets (even, conceptually) into a legacy portion and a pension backstop portion. It may be sufficient to adopt a sensible AA for two people in their seventies, and let the legacy turn out however it turns out. After all, if they have a lean year, they can take additional money beyond that year's RMD, and re-evaluate their position the next year. I will admit that because I live far from Illinois, I don't know how real the danger of a pension failure is. Are your parents "fearful", perhaps because of experiences before they came to the US?

It makes a big difference that you are available and active in advising them. This greatly reduces the urgency to accept formal, paid, active asset management from either TIAA or Vanguard.

I don't know how relevant it is, but we four siblings gave our parents "permission to die broke." That turned out to be unnecessary, although despite a modest LTC policy, my mother is going through her assets at a furious pace. But she has enough to last until age 99. You all may wish to give some thought to those issues.

Sahara
Posts: 122
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2018 6:21 pm

Re: Helping parents manage retirement accounts, [TIAA 403b]

Post by Sahara » Mon Jun 29, 2020 4:24 pm

I can add some similar experiences and thoughts in hopes that you might find them useful.

In my area, there’s been a shakeup at the TIAA office. Many seasoned advisors have left the office due to pressure to sell products and services.
  
Both of my parents (no longer married to one another and approaching 80) have their university retirements at the local TIAA office. They had the same advisor/wealth manager prior to his exit last year. They pay no management fees and the advisor uses TIAA traditional, TIAA Real Estate, CREF Stock, and CREF Bond funds to build portfolios. 
 
My father speaks with the advisor every few years but also manages his account with the funds and allocation he prefers. He uses mostly TIAA Traditional, TIAA Real Estate, and the index funds available in his plan. He also manages accounts at Vanguard for himself and his wife using index funds. 

I attended 2 meetings with the local advisor/wealth manager with my mother. At the first meeting, he discussed their goals. He helped guide decisions about beneficiaries, having a safe cushion for the unexpected, and set the overall goal to manage income, taxes, investments, and provide continuity. The office staff was super helpful with changing beneficiaries and other administrative tasks. At the second meeting, the wealth manager produced a report indicating 99% probability of success of the assets under their care. There was also a proposed portfolio created by an outside firm, comprised of 8-12 funds.  
My step-father has accounts with another firm, and the advisor suggested they move those accounts to TIAA under the next level of advisement. I believe it was called a “consolidated account under professional management.” If I remember correctly that would incur a fee of .9, decreasing to .7 with a minimum of $1,000,000 in assets under management. We declined. Have you been offered this “next level?” I believe it includes tax management and withdrawal strategies. The issue of trusts arose as well but we had been discussing that with her estate lawyer so he didn't pursue it. 
 
I don’t involve myself in the choice of allocation or funds for either parent but discuss overall management and scenarios. I would not be comfortable managing their allocation and fund choices. At the same time, I would not be comfortable seeing their savings wasted on management fees if there are no glaring issues. If I were to make any suggestions it would be to obtain the list of available funds and make the best Boglehead portfolio that you can or simply go along with the advice provided by the wealth manager. 

A close friend of mine has had to take a larger role with her parents’ finances as they age. The father has a high 6 figure 401K at Fidelity, stock at a variety of places, and an IRA for the mom at Vanguard. My friend is looking for something easy to manage and Fidelity recommended their service at 1.7. She also went to a local fee-only firm recommended by her estate attorney. This firm produced a nice 16-page report indicating a 99% probability of success. There’s also a pie chart that looks like 12 proposed funds but at this point, they are not providing that information. They also made her very comfortable, as she’s feeling overwhelmed by the responsibility. 

What I found interesting is that the report is titled “financial spending plan.” The parents’ pension, RMD, and social security cover their expenses. The report includes a “Retirement Distribution Cash Flow Chart” through age 94. The row for “strategic distributions” is for the next 12 years is $0! If she consolidates everything with them their fee is .8. As I see it, she would be paying $8,000 per year for convenience. I mention this because "fee-only" firm sounds so appealing, but the end product doesn't strike me as much different. I think you'll be well served by talking to another professional or two and making your own comparisons.

Tdubs
Posts: 1033
Joined: Tue Apr 24, 2018 7:50 pm

Re: Helping parents manage retirement accounts, [TIAA 403b]

Post by Tdubs » Mon Jun 29, 2020 6:42 pm

MonkeyPants wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 4:14 pm

What do you make of the fact that these TIAA advisor suggested portfolios are comprised of roughly 14 different mutual funds/similar? While none seem to be high cost investments or individual stocks, isn't that a bit excessive? In your opinion am I getting too hung up on simplifying towards a 3 fund approach?
Yes, it is excessive. Lots of advisors do this to make you think you are getting your money's worth and that you can't do this on your own. I had a TIAA advisor recommend probably the same dozen or more funds with higher ERs. For this reason alone, I pulled out all my TIAA equity investments and moved them to my current retirement plan. I still have some TIAA Trad, but I don't trust them for advice.

pennywise
Posts: 776
Joined: Sat May 31, 2014 6:22 am

Re: Helping parents manage retirement accounts, [TIAA 403b]

Post by pennywise » Wed Jul 01, 2020 8:54 am

My turn to apologize, I didn't see the response or questions till just now. Here's a bit more of our experiences:
MonkeyPants wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 4:36 pm

1. TIAA's Advisor recommended portfolio is comprised of roughly 14 different but perhaps overlapping funds/TIAA Trad/TIAA Real Estate. Did you find that Vanguard suggested a similarly complex number of investments or hewed more to a 3-4 fund type structure?

Rather than the extensive list of funds suggested by both TIAA and the private advisor we consulted, the Vanguard asset allocation was done in far fewer accounts according to what we requested (50/50) across the funds they are managing. Within those broad categories, our advisor used domestic and international funds to get to our desired mix.

He did not include our TIAA traditional holdings or our emergency cash funds to create that mix, ie we are not heavier in stocks to outweigh the TIAA. He also invested across our entire portfolio with an eye for maximal tax efficiency and with different RMD timelines according to our ages. So put another way, each IRA and our investment account is not strictly 50/50, rather the holdings total to that balance. And yes, overall it is far simpler than either of the portfolio recommendations from the TIAA or individual consultants we spoke with. I feel more comfortable anyway without a lot of 8% and 12.3% and 2% fund holdings! As a retiree on the conservative side WRT money management, having a 50/50 investment mix plus the external TIAA Traditional and some cash money feels right for us (me). I'm more than ok with our total fiscal profile tilting toward less risky.


2. I am keen to retain the TIAA Traditional portion but deciding with my mother whether to eventually shift equities to Vanguard or keep all under TIAA for simplicity. In using both services, did you find it complicated at all getting a full picture assessment, given that neither seem too willing to account for or give recommendations on assets administered by other companies?

No, the Vanguard advisor wasn't reluctant to include the annuity fund as a consideration, nor did he push us to liquidate it and shift into Vanguard funds. Although Vanguard isn't managing that money it was included in the initial analysis of our overall financial picture. Last week when we had our quarterly phone meeting our advisor asked if there was any change in the TIAA annuities so he could include them if necessary as they affected our Vanguard holdings or asset allocation.

On the TIAA side, our dedicated advisor had left the firm a few months prior to us moving our 403b equity accounts. So although we got one perfunctory letter from TIAA saying they still wanted our business, rather remarkably there was no attempt to persuade us not to withdraw the money. Not sure if that's company policy or we just fell through the cracks but it was rather nice not to have to jump through any hoops. When I did the transfers Vanguard walked me through how to do it every step of the way. Very simple and painless process.

Again, as someone in a similar situation what I can say is that although we could easily have left everything at TIAA or we could have split the accounts in different ways between the two firms, the Vanguard transfer and management experience has been extremely positive for us so far.

Of course what we could not have predicted is that after a routine set up we quickly experienced a far from routine stock market upheaval. The latter is what's really convinced me that Vanguard and PAS is well worth it for us at this time. Since TIAA Traditional is a relatively 'inert' holding, it's not any more effort to have left it where it is while letting Vanguard assist us with everything else. Hope this helps your parents and you in your decision making process!

Topic Author
MonkeyPants
Posts: 60
Joined: Sat Apr 28, 2018 2:07 am

Re: Helping parents manage retirement accounts, [TIAA 403b]

Post by MonkeyPants » Thu Jul 02, 2020 1:10 am

crefwatch wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 8:33 am
In your case how would you allocate the savings for a 100% pension backstop if my parents might agree to this approach (assume ages of ~77 and 70)?
I agree that there is no need to slavishly obey the Ibbotson computer-recommendation for slicing and dicing at TIAA. It can be hard to find the lowest Expense Ratio items at TIAA to make a three-fund portfolio, however.
As you and others have suggested, I am beginning to see I may have to be a bit more flexible in my approach!
crefwatch wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 8:33 am
Are your parents "fearful", perhaps because of experiences before they came to the US?

...

I don't know how relevant it is, but we four siblings gave our parents "permission to die broke." That turned out to be unnecessary, although despite a modest LTC policy, my mother is going through her assets at a furious pace. But she has enough to last until age 99. You all may wish to give some thought to those issues.
In this case, I am the more fearful member of the conversation. My parents are very sweet to focus their intention around their savings to maximize legacy giving to me and my brothers. However at their ages, my brothers and I would like to see their comfort and quality of living as "bullet proof" as possible. My parents have less time to recover if there is a major shift in financial circumstances, while my brothers and I likely have a longer time span to work and ride the ups and downs of life. So as it is, I am counseling more caution and my parents are suggesting more risk. A funny turning of the tables!

Topic Author
MonkeyPants
Posts: 60
Joined: Sat Apr 28, 2018 2:07 am

Re: Helping parents manage retirement accounts, [TIAA 403b]

Post by MonkeyPants » Thu Jul 02, 2020 1:24 am

Sahara wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 4:24 pm
I can add some similar experiences and thoughts in hopes that you might find them useful.

In my area, there’s been a shakeup at the TIAA office. Many seasoned advisors have left the office due to pressure to sell products and services.
Thank you for confirming this. My mother was working with a TIAA wealth management advisor with whom we felt quite comfortable with then just before we were about to implement a plan, we were told our advisor was no longer with TIAA. Since then the comfort level hasn't been quite the same with our new contact.
  
Sahara wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 4:24 pm
I attended 2 meetings with the local advisor/wealth manager with my mother. At the first meeting, he discussed their goals. He helped guide decisions about beneficiaries, having a safe cushion for the unexpected, and set the overall goal to manage income, taxes, investments, and provide continuity. The office staff was super helpful with changing beneficiaries and other administrative tasks. At the second meeting, the wealth manager produced a report indicating 99% probability of success of the assets under their care. There was also a proposed portfolio created by an outside firm, comprised of 8-12 funds.  
My step-father has accounts with another firm, and the advisor suggested they move those accounts to TIAA under the next level of advisement. I believe it was called a “consolidated account under professional management.” If I remember correctly that would incur a fee of .9, decreasing to .7 with a minimum of $1,000,000 in assets under management. We declined. Have you been offered this “next level?” I believe it includes tax management and withdrawal strategies. The issue of trusts arose as well but we had been discussing that with her estate lawyer so he didn't pursue it. 
We have had a couple guidance meetings as well but have not yet given the green light to implement the suggested plan.The "next level" has been alluded to but not offered with clear terms yet. While I don't feel TIAA is malicious by any means, my mother and I have agreed that it's best to consult an independent tax advisor recommended by the lawyer who helped draw up her will. I prefer to pull perspective from multiple angles so no one has all the keys to the kingdom, so to speak.
 
Sahara wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 4:24 pm
What I found interesting is that the report is titled “financial spending plan.” The parents’ pension, RMD, and social security cover their expenses. The report includes a “Retirement Distribution Cash Flow Chart” through age 94. The row for “strategic distributions” is for the next 12 years is $0! If she consolidates everything with them their fee is .8. As I see it, she would be paying $8,000 per year for convenience. I mention this because "fee-only" firm sounds so appealing, but the end product doesn't strike me as much different. I think you'll be well served by talking to another professional or two and making your own comparisons.
This is good to know, and again thanks for sharing your experience. So far TIAA has been very direct on my parents' "99% probability of success" if their funds are left with TIAA, but they get a bit more vague when I start to press them on ER's of their suggested portfolio.

Topic Author
MonkeyPants
Posts: 60
Joined: Sat Apr 28, 2018 2:07 am

Re: Helping parents manage retirement accounts, [TIAA 403b]

Post by MonkeyPants » Thu Jul 02, 2020 1:29 am

pennywise wrote:
Wed Jul 01, 2020 8:54 am
My turn to apologize, I didn't see the response or questions till just now. Here's a bit more of our experiences:

...

Hope this helps your parents and you in your decision making process! [/color][/b]
Your comments are really useful and I will be sharing this whole thread with my mother. Thank you very much!

Sahara
Posts: 122
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2018 6:21 pm

Re: Helping parents manage retirement accounts, [TIAA 403b]

Post by Sahara » Thu Jul 02, 2020 5:17 am

If you Google your educational institution + TIAA you should find all of the funds available and their fees, in the "Quarterly Investment Update." I've found that CREF Stock has a .35 ER at my parents' institution but a.30 ER at a neighboring institution. Vanguard Institutional Index, Extended Market, and Total International are available at both local institutions.

I was helping a friend with a new retirement plan at the neighboring institution and was able to copy the available funds and create a spreadsheet organizing the ones I felt were best.

What I find a bit confusing are the Noncontributory and Voluntary accounts, but again I don't go into that much detail with my parents.

Post Reply