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I am looking for some encouragement as I start investing in my employer's 403(b) plan for the first time come Sept. 1st. I have read the Fool's Guide, and I know this is the best way to go.
The details: I am 31, have a small IRA, but will not be able to contribute to it this year, given the family income limits. In the new 403(b), my employer would match my maximum contribution of $1,320 with approximately $2,885 (these are the annual figures). It looks like a really good deal! They also have a supplmental plan, which I am also considering for additional retirement savings, but they won't be matched by the employer.
And now to the question: I have a choice of investing with TIAA-CREF OR Fidelity. Only Fidelity offers a 500 Index fund (Spartan 500 Index, with 8.28% average annual return over the past 10 years, expense ratio 0.19, though this latter may slightly change: "Fidelity is temporarily reimbursing a portion of the fund's expenses. Absent such reimbursement, returns would have been lower.") -- which seems to be the choice based on the Foolish advice. The TIAA-CREF option has an equity index choice (since 4/94 with an average annual return of 8.55% and an expense ratio 0.37%), as well as a rather good looking 'social choice' annuity (with 8.01% average annual return over the past 10 years and a 0.39% expense ratio).
The traditional wisdom in my family is to go with the TIAA-CREF, which is considered super trustworthy and reliable, but on the basis of the Foolish advice, I am tempted to go with the Fidelity option (which also has tons more other choices, if I ever develop enough financial savvy to want to go to such details).
Any thoughts for or against the Fidelity and the TIAA-CREF options?
Thanks a lot,
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