TIAA-CREF Lifecycle target date funds

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The basics of lifecycle funds

Lifecycle funds, also known as target date funds, can help make it easier to save for retirement. When planning your retirement, select a lifecycle fund that’s closest to the date and the fund automatically adjusts over time.

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I’m 25

Since I plan to work for 40 more years, I want my money to work as hard as I do.

I’m 45

I need my money to work through market ups and downs.

I’m 60

I want to keep my retirement money working so I’ll have enough income to live on.


100% of the active TIAA-CREF Lifecycle Funds received an overall Morningstar rating of 4 (92%) or 5 (8%) stars, based on risk-adjusted returns as of 9/30/2021.1
100% of the active TIAA-CREF Lifecycle Index Funds received an overall Morningstar rating of 4 (50%) or 5 (50%) stars, based on risk-adjusted returns as of 9/30/2021.1
We are the only company to win the Lipper Best Mixed Assets Large Fund Group award for five consecutive years, from Refinitiv, an independent ratings organization.2
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As with all mutual funds, the principal value of a Lifecycle Fund isn’t guaranteed at any time, including at the target date, and will fluctuate with market changes.The target date approximates when investors may plan to start making withdrawals. However, you are not required to withdraw the funds at that target date. After the target date has been reached, some of your money may be merged into a fund with a more stable asset allocation.

Target date funds share the risks associated with the types of securities held by each of the underlying funds in which they invest. In addition to the fees and expenses associated with the target date funds, there is exposure to the fees and expenses associated with the underlying mutual funds.
1 Morningstar ratings refer to institutional share class only. Morningstar ratings based on the lowest cost share class for each mutual fund, based on U.S. open end mutual funds. For a fund with multiple share classes and the same pricing, the share class with the longest performance history is used. Morningstar ratings may be higher or lower on a monthly basis. Morningstar is an independent service that rates mutual funds. The top 10% of funds in an investment category receive five stars, the next 22.5% receive four stars and the next 35% receive three stars. Morningstar proprietary ratings reflect historical risk-adjusted performance and can change every month. They are calculated from the fund’s three-, five- and ten-year average annual returns in excess of 90-day Treasury bill returns with appropriate fee adjustments, and a risk factor that reflects fund performance below 90-day T-bill returns. The overall star ratings are Morningstar’s published ratings, which are weighted averages of its three-, five- and ten-year ratings for periods ended September 30, 2021. Past performance cannot guarantee future results. For current performance and rankings, please visit

Diversification is a technique to help reduce risk. There is no guarantee that diversification will protect against a loss of income.
TIAA-CREF products may be subject to market and other risk factors.  See the applicable product literature, or visit for details.
2 Refinitiv Lipper Fund Awards Winner United States 2016 -2020, Best Mixed Assets Large Fund Family Group Over Three Years. The Refinitiv Lipper Fund Awards are based on the Lipper Leader for Consistent Return rating, which is a risk-adjusted performance measure calculated over 36, 60 and 120 months. Lipper Leaders fund ratings do not constitute and are not intended to constitute investment advice or an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy any security of any entity in any jurisdiction. For more information, see The Award is based on a review of risk-adjusted performance of 39 companies for 2016, 36 for 2017, 35 for 2018 & 2019, and 30 for 2020. The award pertains only to the TIAA-CREF mutual funds in the mixed-asset category. Certain funds have fee waivers in effect. Without such waivers ratings could be lower. Past performance does not guarantee future results. For current performance, rankings and prospectuses, please visit The investment advisory services, strategies and expertise of TIAA Investments, a division of Nuveen, are provided by Teachers Advisors, LLC and TIAA-CREF Investment Management, LLC. TIAA-CREF Individual & Institutional Services, LLC, Teachers Personal Investors Services, Inc., and Nuveen Securities, LLC, Members FINRA and SIPC, distribute securities products.  
This material is for informational or educational purposes only and does not constitute fiduciary investment advice under ERISA, a securities recommendation under all securities laws, or an insurance product recommendation under state insurance laws or regulations. 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 based on the investor’s own objectives and circumstances.