Getting Started

One of the key steps to creating a retirement income plan is to educate yourself about the withdrawal options available from your income sources, so you can maximize your income.
TIAA’s income solutions offer a wide range of flexible income options available through your employer retirement plan, personal savings such as IRAs and Managed Accounts, and non-traditional sources such as permanent life insurance.
If you have assets in an annuity within your employer’s retirement plan, here are some key things to consider before deciding which of the available income options will work best for your situation.
  • Which income sources will you use first? Remember, you are required to withdraw assets held in tax-deferred accounts such as IRAs, 403(b) or 401(k) plans after you turn 70 ½.
  • Do you want annuity income for a specific number of years or for the rest of your life?
  • If you choose lifetime income from TIAA Traditional Annuity, your payments will remain consistent and guaranteed. Guarantees are based on the claims-paying ability of the issuer, Teacher’s Insurance and Annuity Association of America.
  • Lifetime income payments from TIAA Real Estate or any of the CREF variable annuities are not guaranteed and will rise or fall based on the performance of the underlying investments.  In addition, there is an opportunity for growth potential.  Please keep in mind that with variable annuities, your money will also be subject to the risks associated with investing in securities, including loss of principal.  To learn more, click here.
  • If you are part of a couple, do you want income for just yourself or joint payments? If joint, consider whether it makes sense for the surviving spouse to receive a reduced payment amount (due to reduced expenses, life insurance proceeds, etc.). This will increase the amount of your initial payout.
  • What are your legacy plans? Adding a guarantee period will ensure that your annuity payments will continue to your beneficiary should you (and your spouse or partner if you select joint benefits) die during the specified period.
You can use a combination of income options and accounts to create an income plan that’s personalized to your situation.  Withdrawals of earnings from a retirement account or annuity are subject to ordinary income tax, plus a possible federal 10% penalty if you make a withdrawal before age 59 ½.
Learn more about TIAA’s flexible income options.
Next Steps

How TIAA can help

Lifetime income

Investigate income options that can help create lifetime income to help realize your retirement lifestyle.

Investment strategies

We can help you align your asset allocation strategy with your long-term income needs.

Don’t go it alone

We can help you create a retirement income strategy that factors in your concerns, as well as your goals.

Get in Touch

Talk with a TIAA Consultant to help you shape your overall retirement strategy and to help you consider the next steps.


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This article is intended for informational and educational purposes only and should not be regarded as a recommendation or an offer to buy or sell any product or service to which the information may relate.  Certain products and services may not be available to all entities or persons.
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Annuity contracts and certificates are issued by Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America (TIAA) and College Retirement Equities Fund (CREF), New York, NY.   Each of the entities referred to in this piece is solely responsible for its own financial condition and contractual obligations.