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No. of Recommendations: 2
Hi Spider.

I'm ready to start saving money for retirement I'm just not sure where. I've been reading the boards for a while and have looked at TIAA-CREF, is everyone eligible to open an account or do you have to be a teacher?

No, you don't have to be a teacher...anyone can open a retirement account there. I have a Roth there and am very happy with it.


Vanguard, I want to invest in the 500 index fund but right now I only have $500 to start, they need $1000 to start. Just save another $500 and go there?

Initial investment is not your only concern. Vanguard has charges fees to low-balance investors.

The following links might help:

Prior post re: Vanguard Fees:

Article comparing TIAA to Vanguard for Small Investors:


I have also looked at some of the discount brokers, Scottrade and Sharebuilder. You can open an IRA with them and with Scottrade you can buy Vanguard funds. I don't plan on trading stocks and not sure of the fees with these places as compared to those mentioned above.

If you don't want to trade, I don't see the need in it. If you every want to leave, they will charge you. Why not just open up your Roth (I'm assuming a Roth) directly with the fund company itself? It's very convenient and both companies (Vanguard and TIAA) are nice to deal least as far as my experience has been. (knock on wood :) )

If it were me...(and it was)...I would go with TIAA-CREF for the meantime. Look into TCEIX, their Equity Index Fund. It has low expenses, and covers the broad market (Russell 3000). Then, if you want to diversify a little, they have an international fund (TIINX) and a bond fund (TIPBX) that you can contribute to without all of the fees.

Hope this helps.
Good Luck,
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