No. of Recommendations: 0
A friend of mine has asked me to help her decide what to do with her IRA account. She is 59 years old and currently her IRA is with Morgan Stanley. I looked over the account and saw that she pays them a 1.5% management fee to maintain an agreed upon allocation of stocks/bonds. This was set up in October 2000 and she has experienced about an 18% loss compared to 36% loss for the S&P 500. Could have been worse, but she is very risk adverse and upset about the reduction in her retirement savings.

Recently, she began work with a non-profit who has TIAA-CREF which she plans to participate in. They will match 1% on the TIAA Group Retirement Account, and offer her a TIAA Group Supplemental Retirement Account also. Since I did not know anything about TIAA, I began researching the web site to see if this would be a good candidate for her to rollover her MS IRA.

It seems that the TIAA Traditional Fixed Annuity (pays 5% in GRA and 4.5% in GSRA or IRA) is a good option for the fixed portion of her portfolio. I was thinking that she make whatever salary contributions she can there.

This leaves the MS IRA. She is not too keen on the stock market, but I have pointed out to her that if she wants to recover the losses, she may have to stay in the game. I was thinking of recommending that she rollover the MS IRA to TIAA-CREF. Allocating about 25/75 Traditional Fixed Annuity/CREF Stock fund. The stock fund has a .4% fee.

We are not sure yet that her employer will allow the rollover to the GSRA account, but she will also be eligible for an TIAA IRA account that would do as well. It is my understanding that the fixed/stock allocations can be adjusted over time and it seems like an easy to understand way for her to manage her portfolio.

From what I have been able to find out, it seems that she will have access to the GSRA or IRA portfolio when she retires in a few years without surrender charges or unresonable restrictions.

The other option is to go with Vanguard, but they don't have anything like the TIAA's Traditional Fixed Annuity that I am aware of. She really likes TFA's safety of principle, 3% minimum rate, and interest rate adjustments for rising interest rates.

I know that there are many options for her, but also know that she is not interested in learning about investing or the stock market or such. So I am trying to find a way for her to manage her portfolio with a minimum of risk and effort.

Would appreciate any comments or suggestions.

Print the post  


When Life Gives You Lemons
We all have had hardships and made poor decisions. The important thing is how we respond and grow. Read the story of a Fool who started from nothing, and looks to gain everything.
Contact Us
Contact Customer Service and other Fool departments here.
Work for Fools?
Winner of the Washingtonian great places to work, and Glassdoor #1 Company to Work For 2015! Have access to all of TMF's online and email products for FREE, and be paid for your contributions to TMF! Click the link and start your Fool career.