Tools & Calculators

Annuity Cost Savings Calculator

Lower expenses. More savings

With some of the lowest expenses in the industry,
lower costs + your savings = more retirement income potential for you.
The Tool

Calculate your cost savings

To show you how a TIAA-CREF Life Insurance Company Intelligent Variable Annuity could help you save more for retirement, we'll need the answers to these four questions:
What's your initial investment amount?
How long do you intend to invest?
What's your current annual rate of return?
What are your current annual expenses?
Step 1
Step 1
Enter your initial investment amount
How much do you plan to invest?
($2,500 to $1,000,000)
We're among the highest rated insurance companies in the U.S. by the four leading insurance company rating agencies.1
Step 2
Step 2
Create your investment timeline
How long can you let your money mature before you need income?
(Min 0 years to max 30 years)
Variable annuities are designed for retirement and other long-term investment needs.
Step 3
Step 3
Share your annual rate of return
Estimate how much your current annuity will earn each year.
(Min 0% to max 8%)
Variable annuities involve risks as well as potential rewards which will impact your return.
Step 4
Step 4
Tell us about your current expenses
Add up your current annual charges for your annuity.
(min 0% to max 4%)
1.33% industry average2
The Intelligent Variable Annuity has some of the lowest expenses in the industry3 and no surrender charges. See below for how much you could save.
The results are in

You could save

Lower expenses now can have a significant impact on your options, later in life. Keep in mind that lower expenses do not necessarily result in higher returns.
Total account balance and contribution amounts over time
Date TIAA Life Intelligent Variable Annuity Comparable annuity
01/03/2016 100000 100000
01/03/2017 104782 103980
01/03/2018 112197 109239
01/03/2019 117392 112597
01/03/2020 121582 114872
01/03/2021 125972 115687
01/03/2022 128476 118390
01/03/2023 131320 122297
01/03/2024 139703 127973
01/03/2025 146128 132330
01/03/2026 157541 143256

Try different hypothetical scenarios to explore various retirement outcomes:

Enter initial
investment amount
($2,500 to $1,000,000)
Enter years
to invest
(Min 0 years to max 30 years)
Adjust annual
rate of return
(Min 0% to max 8%)
Adjust current
annual Expenses
(Min 0% to max 4%)
1.33% industry average
Value at 0% Rate of Return: TIAA-CREF Life Annuity $2,133 / Other Annuity $2,184
Take action

You could save $14,314

Exchange your annuity

Take advantage of our low-cost annuity. A tax-free 1035 exchange can transform an old annuity into a new opportunity.4

Give us a call

We're here to help.
Call us at 877-554-8282
Weekdays, 8.a.m.- 8p.m. (ET)

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There's a reason why we call it “intelligent”

Consider our Intelligent Variable Annuity for retirement income you can't outlive.

Are you getting the most out of your retirement plan?

Learn the essentials, get on the right track, and show your retirement savings who's boss.

1For its stability, claims-paying ability and overall financial strength, TIAA-CREF Life Insurance Company (TIAA Life) is a member of one of only three insurance groups in the United States to hold the highest rating available to U.S. insurers from three of the four leading independent insurance company rating agencies. TIAA Life is a wholly owned subsidiary of TIAA. TIAA Life holds the following ratings as a result of its relationship with TIAA: A.M. Best (A++ as of 6/16), Fitch (AAA as of 5/16), and Standard & Poor's (AA+ as of 7/15), and the second highest possible rating from Moody's Investors Service (Aa1 as of 8/15). There is no guarantee that current ratings will be maintained. The financial strength ratings represent a company's ability to meet policyholders' obligations and claims and do not apply to variable annuities or any other product or service not fully backed by TIAA Life's claims-paying ability. The ratings also do not apply to the safety or the performance of the variable accounts, which will fluctuate in value.

2According to Morningstar, the average annuity expense charge is 1.33% for all non-group variable annuity subaccounts in Morningstar Direct as of 5/23/2016. ©2016 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. The information contained herein: (1) is proprietary to Morningstar and/or its content providers; (2) may not be copied or distributed; and (3) is not warranted to be accurate, complete, or timely. Neither is Morningstar or its content providers are responsible for any damages or losses arising for any use of this information. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

3TIAA Life's Intelligent Variable Annuity's maximum annuity expense charge ranges from 0.45% to .70%. If the Guaranteed Minimum Death Benefit option is selected, the maximum expense charge ranges from 0.55% to 0.80%. All expense information presented here is as of the prospectus dated March 31, 2016. Please see the prospectus for more information.

TIAA Life's Intelligent Variable Annuity Explanation of Annual Annuity Charge Rates:
  Years 1-10 accumulation from $0 to <$100,000: 0.50%
  Accumulation from $100,000 to <$500,000: 0.35%
  Years 11+ any accumulation: 0.10%

4When comparing annuities and before considering replacing an annuity, clients should carefully consider differences in features, costs, charges, services, company strength and other important aspects. there may also be tax consequences associated with the transfer of assets. Indirect transfers may be subject to taxation and penalties. Before initiating any replacement of an annuity, be sure to follow company policies, applicable state laws and industry regulations.

The information derived from this tool is for illustrative purposes only and must not be regarded as a promise, project or estimate of actual investment performance. Results are based on your inputs and certain hypothetical assumptions may be have been made based on information you provided. The purpose of the tool is not to predict future returns, but to be used as an educational tool. You should not rely on this tool as the sole source of making any financial decisions. Contact your tax advisor regarding the tax impact of any decision regarding potential savings strategies. You may also contact TIAA Life at 877-554-8282 for additional information about our annuities.

This calculator allows for assumed rates of rerun up to a maximum of 8%. Please note the assuming higher rates of returns implies higher risk levels, and may not match actual future returns. Past performance is not a guarantee of future performance. This chart assumes a hypothetical interest rate of 6% with no withdrawals during the period indicated. Any withdrawn amounts are subject to federal and state ordinary income taxes and, if made before age 59 1/2, the IRS 10% penalty. This calculation does not reflect the deduction of any fees or expenses and taxes and is not intended to predict or predict an investment rate. If these amounts were include, the performance would be lower. Actual returns will vary. Our current administrative fees are 0.10% and we reserve the right to raise this rate to 0.30% upon notice.

Please keep in mind that annuities are designed for retirement and other long-term goals. If you choose to invest in variable investment products, your money will be subject to the risks associated with investing in securities, including loss of principal.

Annuity contracts contain exclusions, limitations, reduction of benefits and may contain terms for keeping them in force. We can provide you with costs and complete details. Please note: lower expenses do not necessarily result in higher returns.

The Intelligent Variable Annuity, contract form series TCL-VA2, is issued by TIAA-CREF Life Insurance Company (TIAA Life) , 730 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10017. TIAA Life is solely responsible for its own financial condition and contractual obligations.

When comparing annuities and before considering replacing your annuity, carefully consider differences in features, costs, charges, services, company strength and other important aspects. There may also be tax consequences associated with the transfer of assets. Indirect transfers may be subject to taxation and penalties. Consult with your own advisors regarding your particular situation.


Annuities are long-term investment vehicles designed for retirement purposes or other long-term goals.