Author Topic: Why are TIAA-CREF Lifecycle funds such a terrible deal?  (Read 1512 times)


  • Walrus Stache
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Why are TIAA-CREF Lifecycle funds such a terrible deal?
« on: August 01, 2017, 06:44:27 PM »
TFTIX -- TIAA-CREF Lifecycle 2050 Fund

Right now the asset breakdown is 64.25% domestic stocks, 27.87% international stocks 6.77% bonds, and 1.11% real estate and other odds end ends. For this one pays a net expense ratio of 0.45%. Not great but not terrible.

But I can get the same breakdown using:

TIEIX -- TIAA-CREF Equity Index Fund (0.05%)
TCIEX -- TIAA-CREF International Equity Index Fund (0.06%)
QCBMIX -- CREF Bond Market Account (0.26%)
QREARX -- TIAA Real Estate Account (0.85%)

Getting the same asset allocation with these four funds gives a proportionally weighted expense ratio of 0.08%.

So I've been paying an extra $370 per year per $100k just to have TIAA-CREF split my money up instead of doing it myself.*

*In my defense this was the default option when I opened the account and I'd decided from the beginning I wasn't going to worry too much about the asset allocation in this account until there was a significant amount of money in it. Anyway, fixed now (simplified to 65% domestic stocks, 30% international, 5% bonds).