Retirement Income Portfolios - You're Doing it WRONG!

May 02, 2024

Welcome to the TIAA Simplified Blog, where we unravel the complexities of TIAA retirement plans to empower you in making informed decisions. In today's post, Greg Shepard, a seasoned financial advisor specializing in higher education retirement plans, shares invaluable insights into common pitfalls and strategies for optimizing your retirement portfolio.

Hey there, readers! Greg Shepard here from S&A Financial Services, dedicated to helping individuals, especially those in higher education, make the most of their retirement plans. Today, I want to address some common misconceptions and pitfalls that I've observed among individuals managing their TIAA accounts.

Recognizing the Need for Expert Guidance

Many individuals believe they can manage their retirement portfolios independently, often driven by a sense of self-reliance or familiarity with their current financial setup. However, as I've encountered in my conversations with folks, this approach can sometimes lead to suboptimal outcomes.

Consider the example of a retiree I recently spoke with who had accumulated a significant sum in their TIAA account, primarily invested in tech-focused growth assets. While this individual had done well in growing their portfolio, there was a lack of strategic planning for transitioning to retirement income. Without a clear plan for generating income beyond relying on growth assets, there was considerable risk in the event of market fluctuations.

Three Steps to Navigate Your Retirement Plan

To address this challenge, I recommend a three-step approach to navigating your TIAA retirement plan effectively:

  1. Consult with Your TIAA Representative: Start by engaging with your TIAA representative to understand their recommendations for constructing an income-producing portfolio. Evaluate their proposed strategies, ensuring clarity on fees and potential risks associated with the suggested investments.

  2. Explore DIY Options: If you're inclined to take a hands-on approach, consider constructing a retirement portfolio on your own. However, proceed with caution and ensure a thorough understanding of the investment choices, associated costs, and mechanisms for generating retirement income.

  3. Seek Independent Financial Advice: For those seeking personalized guidance and expertise, consulting an independent financial advisor can be invaluable. Look for an advisor with experience in TIAA retirement plans and fiduciary responsibility, prioritizing your best interests. They can provide tailored recommendations and help navigate complex retirement strategies, such as lifetime income annuity options.

    Why Choose S&A Financial Services?

    At S&A Financial Services, we specialize in helping individuals like you navigate the intricacies of TIAA retirement plans and higher education investment strategies. With a commitment to fiduciary standards and personalized service, we strive to simplify your retirement journey and optimize your financial outcomes.

    Whether you're nearing retirement or seeking to enhance your retirement plan, our team is here to guide you every step of the way. We limit our client intake to ensure dedicated attention and customized solutions tailored to your unique needs.

    Take the Next Step

    If you're ready to explore how S&A Financial Services can support your retirement goals, don't hesitate to reach out. We're currently onboarding one new client per month, prioritizing quality service and client satisfaction. Schedule a consultation to discuss your retirement objectives and determine if our firm is the right fit for you.

    Even if you're not considering becoming a client, I'm here to offer insights and guidance to help you make informed decisions about your TIAA retirement plan. Your financial security and peace of mind are paramount, and I'm committed to assisting you in any way I can.


    In conclusion, managing your TIAA retirement plan requires careful consideration and expert guidance to ensure a secure and fulfilling retirement. By leveraging the insights shared in this post and partnering with trusted advisors like S&A Financial Services, you can navigate the complexities of retirement planning with confidence and clarity.

    Remember, your retirement journey is a significant milestone, and it's essential to approach it with diligence and informed decision-making. Whether you choose to consult with your TIAA representative, explore DIY options, or seek independent financial advice, prioritize aligning your retirement strategy with your long-term financial goals.

Greg Shepard

Make sure to connect w/ us - TIAA Simplified

S&A Financial Services, Inc. 

YouTube Channel - TIAA Simplified

Podcast - TIAA Simplified

*Disclosure* S&A Financial Services, Inc. is a registered investment advisor. Content presented is for informational purposes only and should not be considered as investment advice or as an offer or solicitation for the sale or purchase of any specific securities, investments, or investment strategies. Always consult with your tax advisor or attorney regarding your specific situation.