customer stories

“Trying to find a balance makes life interesting.”

Kim Emery | Chef Instructor | 39 years old
Participant since 2003

Kim is teaching her children the value of hard work to prepare them for the future


“Having children has changed the way I think about the future.”

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Kim (V.O.): Growing up my grandparents would invite their 7 children to come for a big Sunday meal. I always knew that I wanted to cook for a living and I knew that I could make it a profession because my grandfather was a chef.

Kim(V.O.): I'm lucky that I can balance my personal life to my professional life to make all of it work. I am a chef instructor and I've been with this college for 12 years.

Kim: Great! What day is this of class, that you've got?

Student Chef: Second

Kim: Second day of class. Alright, I'm impressed.

Kim (V.O.): Luckily when cooking is your passion you get to do it everyday. I see my students that didn't cook so now I really embrace my children being in the kitchen and I'm trying to teach them that it's very easy to come up with a meal on your own and far more nutritious.

Kim's children: I'll get the blueberries, you get the strawberries.

Farmer: Here you go, son.

Kim (V.O.): Having children changed the way I think about the future. Life is busy and it really makes me feel good to know that my money is safe with TIAA and somebody is taking care of it. Our parents were able to help us with college and we didn't come out owing a ton of money. So it's important for us to provide that for our children, but it's not just being ready for college, for retirement, but it's preparing for those "what if's."

Kim's children: Ready, Set, Go!

Kim (V.O): When I retire I'm not going to stop cooking. I will be developing recipes and I'll be able to enjoy my family.

How has your experience been with TIAA?

“My experience with TIAA has been great. Each time I work with a financial consultant I get tailored information. I like that there is so much information on the website and it has made me a more knowledgeable investor.

"I contribute as much as I can to my 403(b) and a Roth IRA. They are what give me peace of mind when I am thinking about retirement. As for the brokerage account, it is very easy to access the money when necessary.”

How has having children affected your work, life and financial planning?

“Trying to find the balance between work, life and financial planning is what makes life interesting. We provide and care for our children the best we can. We provide what we can without overindulging, so they can learn the value of hard work and what you can get out of life when you put forth the effort.”

What will retirement look like for you?

“Retirement will give me the freedom to do what I want with my time. It will just be more flexible. So I’ll still be cooking. I’ll still be baking. But I’ll be able to maybe do that on a Wednesday, rather than having to wait until Saturday.”
Working Together

How has TIAA helped you?

Brokerage account

Kim has a brokerage account, which helps her regularly invest money and access it whenever she needs it.

Retirement savings

Kim contributes as much as she can to her retirement plan and Roth IRA, which gives her peace of mind.

Building a savings plan

Kim’s employer sponsored retirement plan and Roth IRA help her save for the future, while her TIAA brokerage account allows her to save for more immediate needs. How can TIAA help you save more?


Money that’s easy to access

For short term savings, many people choose accounts that provide interest, but allow easy withdrawals, like bank savings, money market and brokerage accounts.


Saving for the long term

“Locking up” money for a period of time may help you accumulate more interest. Options include a CD, 529 college savings plan or managed account to help build toward big goals like college and buying a home.


Saving for retirement & beyond

Employer sponsored retirement plans and IRAs are a way to save with tax advantages. Annuities may help you save more for retirement and life insurance to help protect your loved ones.
Learn more about how TIAA's products can help you save
Kim’s Inspirations

“Retirement will give me the freedom to do what I want with my time. It will just be more flexible.”

Discover more


TIAA Brokerage

Considering stocks, bonds and mutual funds we can help.

529 college savings plans

Help your children pursue their academic passions.

Already saving in your employer’s plan?

You can save beyond 403(b) or 401(k) limits with a TIAA IRA.

Boost your retirement savings

We can help you understand your investment options, and whether an IRA is right for you.
This article/story contains edited excerpts of an interview that describes the circumstances, opinions, and experiences of a specific participant from one or more of the companies in the TIAA organization (“TIAA”).  The circumstances, opinions, and experiences depicted may not be representative of the circumstances, opinions, and experiences of other TIAA customers and are not indicative of future performance or success.  Individual results and experiences will vary.
This material is for informational or educational purposes only and does not constitute a recommendation or investment advice in connection with a distribution, transfer or rollover, a purchase or sale of securities or other investment property, or the management of securities or other investments, including the development of an investment strategy or retention of an investment manager or advisor. This material does not take into account any specific objectives or circumstances of any particular investor, or suggest any specific course of action. Investment decisions should be made in consultation with an investor’s personal advisor based on the investor’s own objectives and circumstances.
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