Hi AllWhen opening variable annunities are there any suggestions as to which firms (e.g. Vanguard, T.S. Rowe, Fidelity) are good ones?Thanks.
smadan asksWhen opening variable annunities are there any suggestions as to which firms (e.g. Vanguard, T.S. Rowe, Fidelity) are good ones?The first thing you should do is revisit your decision to buy a vaiable annuity. Most people don't need them and would do better investing elsewhere at much lower fees and expenses.If you're sure you need a variable annuity, Vanguard probably has the lowest expenses. You might also check out TIAA-CREF.intercst
I have a variable annuity through TIAA-CREF. That, for educators, is the only option, or used to be when I was an educator.If I die before I start collecting, my beneficiaries will collect a good chunk o' change. If I collect, however, I have to elect the payout method. As I understand it, I may not change my mind once I do.I am single, and I would maximize my up-front payments by choosing the 1 life, 10 year guaranteed option. But if I do that, and I get married after starting to collect, then if I keel over after 6 years, my wife only gets 4 more years of payments.At the other extreme, if I choose a co-annuitant to whom I am not married (think of Daddy Long Legs until the closing scene of that movie) and she is 25 years or more younger than I am, I may only choose the 2 life option with 50% survivorship.Now, the TIAA-CREF rules may be different for the general public. But, as intercst points out, you really want to make sure you understand when the money runs out with an annuity.
..I have a variable annuity through TIAA-CREF. That, for educators, is the only option, or used to be when I was an educator...JABoa ..I read you posts with great interest since you seem to be the TMF guru on TIAA/CREF. In a previous life I worked for educational institutions and have a substantial amount of my retiremnt dollars with TIAA/CREF. I have worked for Uncle Sam for the last 17 years. You have consistently said that the payouts from TIAA/CREF have to be taken as an annuity. That didn't seem quite right to me so I finally called them tonight. For me at least, this is not true. The representative told me that with my contract and most all the other contracts they have, there are many options available. I can take the CREF money as a lump sum (a dumb idea!), role it over to any IRA I want to use, leave it with TIAA/CREF and take money on an "as need" basis, work with their trust department to set up an account and essentially invest it on my own, move it into their mutual funds, or of course establish an annuity with the payout options you describe. The TIAA account can be converted to a 10 year payout account and the payouts handled as above. I am sure you have investigated all this for your account, but I just wanted to let you and the board know that there are many options with TIAA/CREF.CheersJ Hewetson (aka WoodsFool)
WoodsFool, regarding #12490, I am glad to stand corrected. I am in the process of updating my will and talked with a TIAA representative about 2 weeks ago. Only annuities were mentioned, but that may well be because I was not asking the right questions.I guess there are 2 lessons here:1)We don't need no steenkin' gooroos (even though I am not one)2)Better talk to someone, and not just read the literature, before leaping to a conclusion.
If this will make things any clearer:TIAA-CREF allows cash withdrawals from CREF accounts (and certain TIAA accounts), subject to IRS and employer restrictions. Information is at http://www.tiaa-cref.org/ra-cash.html.Separately from any cash withdrawal, it's possible to withdraw up to 10% of whatever is being annuitized as a "retirement transition benefit."There is also a provision for taking "systematic withdrawals" instead of, or prior to, annuitizing the account. The web site has information about both of these as well as about taking only minimum distributions.
...I can take the CREF money as a lump sum (a dumb idea!), role it over to any IRA I want to use...Why is that a dumb idea? It seems to me that moving the money into an IRA gives you flexibility both in where it is invested and in the distribution of the funds to you. - George
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