1 Reply Latest reply on Sep 28, 2016 8:17 AM by Manisha Thakor

    Lucky but confused!


      My wife and I are, so far,  really fortunate in our retirement savings -my first contributions to TIAA-CREF were made when I was 19, and she has a state University based pension.  Both of us also have IRA's and we own a condo.  We have a reasonable mortgage,  and condo sales in our neighborhood are now at 3 times what we paid, so we have plenty of equity.  I stopped working at 58 because of family caregiving obligations and at 60 began taking funds from my TIAA-CREF plans. Now we need a solid plan for when she retires in about 4 years at age 60.  As a same sex couple married 3 years, we don't have experience in planning a combined retirement.  I have gotten advice from several reputable sources, but I think we need a more cohesive plan.  Our current goals are 1) eliminate remaining credit card debt (mostly from using credit as income when I became caregiver for my family); 2) renovate the condo both for our own comfort and to bring it to the standard of other units in this neighborhood; 3) create a plan for income during retirement including (of course) health care costs; and 4) make sure that our estate documents and pension/annuity elections are appropriate for our situation.  We do not have long term care insurance and all of our parents are alive in their late 80's.  I've got so much information but making solid decisions is intimidating.  Between her pension and 401K at work, my IRA, TIAA-CREF and Social Security, there's a lot to coordinate.  How do I turn all this into a cohesive sensible plan?  Help - I need a road map!

        • Re: Lucky but confused!
          Manisha Thakor

          Congratulations – it seems like you are doing a nice job of saving during your working years but you also have very clearly articulated the specific questions you need to address at this stage and most importantly the form in which you need those answers to come — “a financial road map.” This is exactly the purpose of financial planning with a qualified financial advisor. Being part of the TIAA community you have access to exactly this sort of resource, and a TIAA advisor can walk you and your partner through the pros and cons of each of the issues you highlight. In particular I’d note that any steps you can take now to eliminate debt before you both plunge into retirement combined with having extreme clarity about how much spending is reasonable, especially in the early stages of retirement, can go a long, long way towards getting you on solid retirement financial footing. You also mentioned you have a lot of information but actually figuring out how to take all that data and extract from it savvy decisions is intimidating. I’ve yet to meet someone who didn’t feel this way! So rest assured that is normal and something a qualified TIAA advisor can help you sort through. The good news is at the end of the day answering your outstanding questions will boil down to identifying your specific spending resources, highlighting the trade-offs inherent in your different options, and then helping you execute on the priorities you set. If you can think about the end goal as taking action in those three broad buckets that can also mentally help relieve some of the stress that inevitably comes from being so diligent, doing your homework and collecting all that information. To get started, you can
          reach out to TIAA at 1-800-842-2252 and speak with a representative.