No. of Recommendations: 4
Update on my trials and travails with TIAA-CREF.

Back in September, I wrote here: "I asked the TIAA-CREF guy back in May to send me the paperwork so that I could begin annual withdrawals from TIAA to shift into my CREF mix of Vanguard funds: 50% VBAIX, 25% VITSX, 20% VTSNX, 5% VEMIX. (I chose that mix myself.) I asked him again last Thursday when I met with him the second time. I am still waiting ... but not much longer."

I waited 2 more weeks, and the paperwork still had not arrived. So I complained and got an appointment with a senior guy in the local office. I went to the follow-up meeting, asked questions, got answers.

After mulling it over -- and confirming that it was permissible to do what I wanted to do -- I decided to begin making annual withdrawals from my TIAA account, moving the proceeds into my CREF mix of Vanguard funds. (There are no tax consequences, since I am not taking any money out of the accounts.)

I signed the required papers and mailed them to the local office, 1.5 miles from my house. Two weeks pass and I get no confirmation call or email or anything, and so I phone the office. They have no record of having received the papers from me ... sent in the prepaid, pre-addressed envelope with which they provided me.

So on the afternoon before I am leaving town for 3 months, I rush over to the office and sign the papers in person. Finally, I have a message from TIAA-CREF that they are processing my request, which is to begin in January.

I may at some point decide to purchase a TIAA annuity with part of money. But my intention at this point is to move money into the mutual funds so that I have control of the money and not TIAA.
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