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Author: Lokicious Big gold star, 5000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 57  
Subject: Re: TIAA-CREF Reports Error Date: 9/27/2006 10:49 AM
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Hi (other) Ken.

I think you need to check very carefully what Fidelity has available, and what the costs are, for yoou 403 (b) plan. It may be different, and more expensive, than the Fidelity expense ratios and options for taxable and IRA accounts. I know the expense ratios for variable annuities at Vanguard (e.g., for a Total Stock Market Index Fund equivalent) are comparable to TIAA-Cref's, i.e., about 25 basis points more than more a taxable account or IRA (.44%, Cref's is .43%). And, even in the Supplemental, TIAA-Traditional is a good option to have available, if you can't get access to CDs or free Treasury auctions.

Traditional IRAs seem to be a much better deal than employer sponsored plans, even the better employer sponsored plans, which TIAA-Cref is. Of course, that assumes you aren't stupid and use the greater flexibility to day trade or something.

What I'm looking at is not changing employer sponsored plan providers. I'm looking at getting out of the plan and into a Traditional IRA, come retirement, whatever that means (tentatively July 2014). That will allow me to get CDs and TIPS or Treasuries at auction, as well as to do slice and dice/rebalancing with what remains of stock fund assets in tax deferred accounts (probably not much). I think beating TIAA-Traditional (or bond funds) in the Supplemental account by 50 basis points, with no added risk, will be a breeze—quite likely 100 basis points. And since this will be the bulk of my retirement holdings, that's a big deal.

If Fidelity really does have the options you want, and if the expenses are the same as for their individual accounts, I'd certainly think it's worth filling out a few forms. But check and be sure.
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