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My fantasy being that after the conversion I wouldn’t have to deal with them much.

Yup. Mine, too.

In defense (sort of) of TIAA:

1) I now recall checking their annuities relative to those of competitors and finding that TIAA's are a very good value (relatively speaking) and that TIAA is top-rated in terms of safety.

2) Ever since the annuity started (which involved some needless complications), the money has been showing up in my bank account on time every month; and thus your fantasy and mine appears to be coming true.
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