Tools & calculators

Annuity cost savings calculator

Lower expenses. More savings.

With some of the lowest expenses in the industry, lower expenses means more money working for you.

This calculator is not approved for use in Oregon.

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Calculate your cost savings

To show you how a TIAA-CREF Life Insurance Company (TIAA Life) Intelligent Variable Annuity (IVA) could help you save more for retirement, we'll need the answers to these four questions:

Step 1

What's your initial investment amount?

Step 2

How long do you intend to invest?

Step 3

What's your assumed annual rate of return?

Step 4

What are your current annual expenses?

Step 1
Step 1 Enter your initial Investment Amount
Enter your initial investment amount
How much do you plan to invest?in $
($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
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 Assumed gross rate of return
Assumed gross rate of return
Estimate what you think your current annuity will earn before expenses.
We'll assume the same rate of return for the IVA.
(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
Tell us about your current expenses
Add up your current annual charges for your annuity.
(min 0% to max 4%)
1.3% industry average2
IVA has some of the lowest expenses in the industry. Also consider that many annuities have surrender charges while IVA has none.3
The results are in

Based on your answers you could have saved an additional

Lower annuity expenses means more of your money is invested rather than paying expenses. This can have a significant impact on your options later in life. Keep in mind that lower expenses do not necessarily result in higher returns. Since we use the same investment return assumption for both annuities, this illustration is intended to show how lower annuity expenses affect the annuity’s account value and contractual benefits, and is not intended to predict or project investment results, which include risk of loss including principal.

Total account balance and contribution amounts over time
Date TIAA Life Intelligent Variable Annuity Compared annuity
01/01/2017 100000 100000
01/01/2018 104650 103660
01/01/2019 109516 107454
01/01/2020 114609 111387
01/01/2021 119938 115464
01/01/2022 125515 119689
01/01/2023 131352 124070
01/01/2024 137459 128611
01/01/2025 143851 133318
01/01/2026 150540 138198
01/01/2027 157541 143256

Amounts in the graph above show the IVA at current expenses. At maximum charges, earnings will be lower.

Accumulation comparison

Like the chart above, this table compares IVA to another variable annuity, based upon information you provided, at both the assumed rate of return you chose above* and at 0%. It compares the other annuity’s accumulation with the IVA’s accumulation at the IVA’s current charges and at its maximum charges. This is to illustrate how a difference in annuity charges could affect your initial investment over time. The assumed rate and 0% rate are before expenses.

Please note that our annuity is commonly referred to as an IOVA – Investment-Only Variable Annuity and therefore does not offer many additional riders found in the marketplace. Therefore fees for guaranteed income riders or other enhanced service riders such as death benefits are not included in this comparison.

Keep in mind that you may be paying additional fees on your current annuity for benefits that TIAA does not provide. You may want to consider if those benefits are important for your personal situation. One of our Licensed Annuity Representatives will work with you to help you understand all of the terms and conditions of your current contract, and how they apply to your personal situation.

*If you didn’t change the value for rate of return in the questionnaire, then this column in the table reflects the industry average rate.2

The previous chart and the table above only address differences in expenses between the two annuities. They do not account for other differences that may exist and could affect contract values, such as expenses for rider benefits, surrender charges, or the investment options selected for each annuity.

The assumed rate and o% rate in the graph and table above are before expenses. With expenses, the effective net rates are as follows.

Try different hypothetical scenarios to explore various retirement outcomes:

Enter initial
investment amountin $
($2,500 to max $1,000,000)
Enter years
to invest
(Min 0 years up to max 30 years)
Adjust annual
rate of return
(Min 0% to max 8%)
Adjust current
annual Expenses
(Min 0% to max 4%)
1.3% industry average
Take action

Based on your answers you could have saved an additional $14,366

Currently own an annuity?

You may have questions about your specific situation - talk to one of our licensed annuity representatives who will help you to understand your options.

Give us a call

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

1 For its stability, claims-paying ability and overall financial strength, TIAA-CREF Life Insurance Company 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-CREF Life Insurance Company (TIAA Life) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America (TIAA). TIAA Life holds the following ratings as a result of its relationship with TIAA: A.M. Best (A++ as of 7/22), Fitch (AAA as of 10/22) and Standard & Poor’s (AA+ as of 9/22), and the second highest possible rating from Moody’s Investors Service (Aa1 asof 6/22). 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.

2 According to Morningstar, the average annual annuity expense charge is 1.26% for all non-group variable annuity policies in Morningstar Direct as of 4/25/22. ©2022 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 Morningstar nor its content providers are responsible for any damages or losses arising from any use of this information. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

3 TIAA Life’s Intelligent Variable Annuity’s maximum annual annuity expense charge ranges from 0.45% to 0.70%. If the GMDB is selected, the maximum expense charge ranges from 0.55% to 0.80%. All expense information presented here is as of the prospectus dated May 1, 2022. Please see the prospectus for additional information.

4 This tool is designed to illustrate how our variable annuity's low expenses can impact account value over time. (The tool reflects all our product expenses except for a $25 annual maintenance fee if your account value is less than $25,000 and expenses of any investment portfolios which, if reflected, would result in lower returns. Our current product administrative fees are only 0.10%; we reserve the right to raise them to 0.30% upon notice.) This tool assumes a fixed interest rate that you select, up to a maximum of 8%. The information generated is hypothetical only, since our annuity's actual performance will fluctuate with the market and includes risk of loss, including principal. The tool assumes no withdrawals during the period illustrated. Withdrawals are subject to taxation as ordinary income and, if made before age 59 ½, a 10% tax penalty. This tool is not a promise, projection or estimate of future investment performance, nor a recommendation to buy or sell a particular annuity. Consider your personal situation and all benefits, limitations, charges and expenses, and tax impact in deciding to purchase a financial service or product. You may contact TIAA Life at 877-554-8282 for additional information about our annuities.

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

This material is for informational or educational purposes only and does not constitute investment advice under ERISA, a securities recommendation under federal securities laws, or an insurance product recommendation under state insurance laws or regulations. This tool is intended to provide you with information to help you make informed decisions. You should not view or construe the availability of this tool as a suggestion that you take or refrain from taking a particular course of action, as the advice of an impartial fiduciary, as an offer to sell or a solicitation to buy or hold any securities, as a recommendation of any securities transactions or investment strategy involving securities (including account recommendations), a recommendation to rollover or transfer assets to TIAA or a recommendation to purchase an insurance product. In making this tool and information available to you, TIAA assumes that you are capable of evaluating the information and exercising independent judgment. As such, you should consider your other assets, income and investments and you should not rely on the information as the primary basis for making investment or insurance product purchase or contribution decisions. The information that you may derive from this tool is for illustrative purposes only and is not individualized or based on your particular needs. This material does not take into account your specific objectives or circumstances, or suggest any specific course of action. Investment, insurance product purchase or contribution decisions should be made based on your own objectives and circumstances. The purpose of the tool is not to predict future returns, but to be used as education only. The assumptions underlying this tool are provided here and will change over time and from time to time. Contact your tax advisor regarding the tax implications. You should read all associated disclosures’.

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.

TIAA-CREF Individual & Institutional Services, LLC, member FINRA distributes securities products.

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.