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It's not TIAA-CREF or the fact that you have a 403(b), rather than a 401(k) that allows you to pay back your loans after you leave employment. It's your employer and the way they set up the retirement plan.

Thanks for the clarification. The TIAA-CREF rep led me to believe it was a TIAA-CREF/403b thing.

My employer did seem to set up the plan so I can't transfer the part they put in to an IRA until I'm 60, which is a drag. And a fairly large portion of the money is in the annuity portion which they say has to be taken out over a 10 year period just to transfer to another TIAA-CREF fund that gives a better return. Which is even more of a drag.

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