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401a TIAA vs Fidelity

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  • 401a TIAA vs Fidelity

    My new employer offers their 401a through TIAA-Cref or Fidelity. Is there one that is better? ie lower fees, easier to work with, better funds? This is my first job out of residency. I have followed WCI for a while, I just don't know which of these I should go with. It also allows me to do a percentage of the 401a to go to each. A 403b and a 457a (government) is also available which I plan on utilizing. I assume that the same funds are available.

  • #2
    You should have documents to read and decide this, and its likely they are not totally cookie cutter but specific for your institution and thus we likely wont know. Ask for the plan docs and you'll know a lot more.

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    • #3
      I guess I was looking for generalities. I can choose among a large numbers of their investment choices. Both have hands-off investments that are based on what year you expect to retire and seems to be index funds of sorts as well as funds that I would manage myself and could invest in a large range of things.

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      • #4
        My point was that generalities about the companies in general may or may not apply to your specific institutional situation. Lots of these types of products are semi custom (higher than usual fees) if the custodian can get away with it.

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        • #5
          I think you have very similar benefits like my institution, a 401a with matching, supplemental 403b, and state employee 457a. I started not too long ago and was also deciding between fidelity vs TIAA. Now I only started reading WCI and learning about finance recently so take my opinions lightly, but I thought I could share what I did if it's of any benefits. Initially I picked fidelity since that's the only firm I was familiar with but it seemed TIAA has lower expense ratios for comparable funds and with similar performance (I did not do a ton of research so if you think differently I would like to know) so I started using TIAA for the 401a and 403b. Fidelity also has a supposedly unique real estate fund which apparently is different from most REIT, for further diversification. I decided to contribute to the 457a as a roth despite the high marginal tax bracket figuring dumping some money early on will allow growth of a good bucket of un-taxed retirement distribution. I may change that to pretax contribution after a few years.

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          • #6
            Yes I agree with Zaphod that in order for people to help you post the specifics.  What are the fund options and expense ratios?

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            • #7
              I have pretty much the same options as OP and I went with TIAA. They have a decent selection of vanguard funds that both my husband and I are invested in for the 401a and 457. Haven't opened a 403b yet but probably will down the road.

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