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Re: TIAA Portfolio Review & Traditional Question


@QNikki wrote:

Also everyone I apologize because I now think that I've been spamming you all by using the @ symbol. Based on other posts, I shouldn't be throwing it around like that. I'll figure out the etiquette soon.

Sorry!

-QNikki


Actually, there are 2 ways to indicate who are you responding to, either by using quote that I did above, or by using @QNikki that I also did. Otherwise, it may not be clear who are you responding to; sometimes, that is fine too for a general broad response.

YBB
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Re: TIAA Portfolio Review & Traditional Question


@Tibbles wrote:

Of course, advice from paid financial advisors isn't necessarily disinterested. And you’d not be unlikely to get as many different opinions as the number of different advisors you consulted. I'm not sure there's a good alternative, especially for smart, energetic young people, to figuring it out for themselves, with input from books and articles, forums such as this one, and perhaps an occasional consultation with a fee-only advisor. 


I agree. 

@QNikki, if you really think you need to get advice from a consultant, maybe you should.  It would be a good idea to make a list of the important issues to discuss.

Asset allocation...  Take a top-down approach.  You have a good approximate idea.  There is no exact way.  International stocks have not done well in recent years.  You can choose an allocation (0% to 30% of your allocation to stocks, no exact number number). 

Consolidation, eliminating overlaps, and simplification...  You can do it.

Long-term care...  Too early to do anything about it.

Life insurance, disability insurance (if you don't have it)...  You might need to consult someone or investigate on your own.

Moving from higher expense ratio managed funds to lower expense ratio broad-based index funds...  You can do it.

College education for your kids...  You are already handling it.

Keep or sell Amazon...  Your decision.

Keeping an emergency fund...  Easy.

Annuitization...  Way too early.

Taxes and tax planning...  You can do it.  Maybe a little advice is needed.

Contributions to retirement accounts...  Do your best.  A mix of traditional and Roth might be a good idea. 

I do not know what other issues you might have. 

If a TIAA rep visits your school, you can arrange a meeting with the person.  If there is a TIAA office nearby, you can have a talk there.  If an advisor is shown on your TIAA account page (top right), you can have a free consultation with that person too.

By making yourself very knowledgeable in such issues, you will do a lot of good to your family in addition to giving your love and attention to them. 

 

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Re: TIAA Portfolio Review & Traditional Question

QNikki,

I enjoyed your detailed, clearly written post.  You are well-informed and on track for a secure retirement, and I can't offer you any advice better than what you've already received from other posters.  

However, I do have a couple of suggestions:

1.  Check out the history of CREF Growth.  It's been soaring of late, but at one point in its history it had a major crash and took a decade or more to recover.   My own preference is to stick with broad market funds--like CREF Stock and Equity Index--that cover growth as well as value.

2.  Since you are in the TIAA "system," I highly recommend that you read the following book: https://www.amazon.com/Prudent-Professor-Planning-Worry-Free-Retirement/dp/1579224687.  It's a little dated (2011), and far from perfect, but it gives a thoughtful overview of the pros and cons of TIAA from a professor who spent lots of time studying the company and who has decades of personal experience as a TIAA investor and retiree.  In my opinion, it provides good background reading for any TIAA participant.

When I was about your age, I started taking my retirement accounts seriously.  Before that I mainly did what my on-campus rep suggested when he visited my faculty office twice a year (at the time I was with ING, which was collecting 1% of my account value each year for "managing" my money).  Then I read a bunch of books on personal investing that entirely changed my perspective--by Burton Malkiel, Charles Ellis, William Bernstein, John Bogle, and others.  The one that stands out from the rest--for its brevity, clarity, simplicity, and persuasiveness--is Bogle's Little Book of Common Sense Investing.  My reading prompted me to "fire" my ING advisor and move my money to TIAA and Fidelity, two of the other options available at my university.

Good luck.

Aquinas

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Re: TIAA Portfolio Review & Traditional Question


@Tibbles wrote:

Of course, advice from paid financial advisors isn't necessarily disinterested. And you’d not be unlikely to get as many different opinions as the number of different advisors you consulted. I'm not sure there's a good alternative, especially for smart, energetic young people, to figuring it out for themselves, with input from books and articles, forums such as this one, and perhaps an occasional consultation with a fee-only advisor. 


I completely agree with this. If you have a willingness to learn, coupled with a nonpanicking frame of mind, it's easy to learn what you need to know over the course of a year or two, max.

This is especially true in recent years with good internet forums such as this one and the other one (BH)...

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Re: TIAA Portfolio Review & Traditional Question


@Learner wrote:

@Tibbles wrote:

Of course, advice from paid financial advisors isn't necessarily disinterested. And you’d not be unlikely to get as many different opinions as the number of different advisors you consulted. I'm not sure there's a good alternative, especially for smart, energetic young people, to figuring it out for themselves, with input from books and articles, forums such as this one, and perhaps an occasional consultation with a fee-only advisor. 


I agree. 

@QNikki, if you really think you need to get advice from a consultant, maybe you should.  It would be a good idea to make a list of the important issues to discuss.

Asset allocation...  Take a top-down approach.  You have a good approximate idea.  There is no exact way.  International stocks have not done well in recent years.  You can choose an allocation (0% to 30% of your allocation to stocks, no exact number number). 

Consolidation, eliminating overlaps, and simplification...  You can do it.

Long-term care...  Too early to do anything about it.

Life insurance, disability insurance (if you don't have it)...  You might need to consult someone or investigate on your own.

Moving from higher expense ratio managed funds to lower expense ratio broad-based index funds...  You can do it.

College education for your kids...  You are already handling it.

Keep or sell Amazon...  Your decision.

Keeping an emergency fund...  Easy.

Annuitization...  Way too early.

Taxes and tax planning...  You can do it.  Maybe a little advice is needed.

Contributions to retirement accounts...  Do your best.  A mix of traditional and Roth might be a good idea. 

I do not know what other issues you might have. 

If a TIAA rep visits your school, you can arrange a meeting with the person.  If there is a TIAA office nearby, you can have a talk there.  If an advisor is shown on your TIAA account page (top right), you can have a free consultation with that person too.

By making yourself very knowledgeable in such issues, you will do a lot of good to your family in addition to giving your love and attention to them. 

 


 Thanks for the tips! I haven't received any recommendations yet on a good adviser so I may just schedule with the TIAA campus adviser when they open the schedule for September (all the August dates are already filled). I'll definitely continue to learn and stay engaged--I don't forsee turning everything over, but just want to have a check in about my thinking on a few things (I've already had some of my misunderstandings corrected through this thread), and begin to be more intentional moving forward.

The way you've listed it out as a checklist, we really do have some areas of life planning done. We've been keeping a list of questions and ideas, so will definitely take that to our meeting when scheduled.

Thanks!

-QNikki

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Re: TIAA Portfolio Review & Traditional Question


@Tibbles wrote:

Of course, advice from paid financial advisors isn't necessarily disinterested. And you’d not be unlikely to get as many different opinions as the number of different advisors you consulted. I'm not sure there's a good alternative, especially for smart, energetic young people, to figuring it out for themselves, with input from books and articles, forums such as this one, and perhaps an occasional consultation with a fee-only advisor. 


You are so right Tibbles--there are so many ways to cut a pie! I think what you described is the approach I'm aiming for--taking the time to educate myself(and my wife), staying engaged and doing the occasional check in with an adviser.

Thanks!

-QNikki

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Re: TIAA Portfolio Review & Traditional Question

Hi @Aquinas! Your Traditional post is what started my journey on this forum, so it's a pleasure to "meet" you! I'll follow up on your suggestions--thanks for sharing. Cref Growth wasn't on my radar until recently when the HR office announced that starting August end it will be closed to new investors (i.e. if you had it you could still put more in, but if not, then you couldn't buy in after August end). That prompted me to investigate the fund and then I ultimately decided that it seemed like a good fund to have in the portfolio so I wanted to invest before the deadline. However, with the direction from you all on this board, I'm seeing that it may not be a necessary or desirable holding for my overall portfolio so thanks for that perspective.

I've not seen The Prudent Professor book on any of the lists I've been working from, and my library has an e-version available so I'll be working my way through it! Fantastic suggestion! I too have been inspired by the readings from Bogle. I'm committed to doing it myself as you've done.

Thanks for sharing.

-QNikki

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Re: TIAA Portfolio Review & Traditional Question


@TheWizard wrote:

@Tibbles wrote:

Of course, advice from paid financial advisors isn't necessarily disinterested. And you’d not be unlikely to get as many different opinions as the number of different advisors you consulted. I'm not sure there's a good alternative, especially for smart, energetic young people, to figuring it out for themselves, with input from books and articles, forums such as this one, and perhaps an occasional consultation with a fee-only advisor. 


I completely agree with this. If you have a willingness to learn, coupled with a nonpanicking frame of mind, it's easy to learn what you need to know over the course of a year or two, max.

This is especially true in recent years with good internet forums such as this one and the other one (BH)...


Agreed. The internet is a rich source of information and I'm very happy to have found a forum with folks like you all who are open to sharing your knowledge. I also lurk on BH but it's a bit more intimidating :).

Thanks!

-QNikki

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