Customer Stories

“Teamwork makes it happen, in life, work and finances.”

Kristin Austin | University administrator and doctoral candidate | 33 years old
Participant since 2006

Get to know Kristin Austin

Kristin and her husband work hard to strike a balance

Are you on track for retirement?

“I am on track. My husband and I began contributing the maximum into our employer-matched [plan] from our very first paychecks. We were both fortunate enough to attain gainful employment within weeks of completing our Bachelor’s degrees…As our salaries have grown, so have our contributions to our [retirement plans].”

What does successful financial planning mean to you?

“It means creating more opportunities to be charitable. The better we manage the resources we have, the better the chance we can be generous toward others! It also means mental health, as you decrease the likelihood of stress due to unforeseen financial setbacks.”

How do you see TIAA helping you in the next 5-10 years?

“I will be using TIAA to help me expand my portfolio.  In 10 years, I will be at the half way point towards retirement. So, I will be more strategic with making sure my investments are really working for me. TIAA will be instrumental in helping me make informed decisions for my portfolio. I plan on using the web tools more heavily, and building a closer, more personal relationship with the advisors.”

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

“Having children has affected everything! We adjusted our savings in order for us to both take extended leaves of absence when each child was born. We also have had to divert some of our funds towards college savings plans…It is never easy, but it's also never impossible. Teamwork makes it happen, in life, work and finances.”
Working Together

How has TIAA helped you?

Kristin and her husband started saving right away in their employers’ plans, which helps them save on current taxes and gives their money a longer period of time to grow.
  • Started saving from their first paychecks
  • Contributing the maximum amount allowed
  • Putting what’s left toward other financial goals, like charitable giving
Charitable Giving

Kristin’s financial planning is driven by a desire to give back

By setting up a Giving Fund from TIAA Charitable to make her charitable donations, Kristin can potentially increase her impact on the causes her family supports.


Contribute to your Giving Fund and you may be eligible for a tax deduction in the current year.1


While you decide which charities to support, your contribution is invested and all growth is tax-free.


Use your Giving Fund at any time to support your favorite charities and discover new organizations.

Visit TIAA Charitable to learn more about how a Giving Fund works.

TIAA Charitable
Kristin's Inspirations

“I have been working in my dream field of higher education for over 13 years.”

Discover more


Taking your plan to the max

Find out how to get the most out of your retirement plan.

TIAA Charitable

Take your charitable giving to the next level with a Giving Fund.

Prepare for life’s big events

Make sense of college saving and financial planning.

Checking loans and CDs

Manage your cash conveniently, along with your retirement savings.

Contributions to your TIAA Charitable Giving Fund are irrevocable. All recommendations from donors and donor-advisors are subject to review and approval by TIAA Charitable.


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.