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We specialize in helping those in higher education navigate their retirement plans.

University Retirement Plans

S&A Financial Services, Inc. is independent of TIAA and Fidelity, however we have the unique ability to manage your university retirement plan due to the relationship we have with TIAA and Fidelity.  We have the privilege of being able to deduct our management fee directly from your retirement plan with pre-tax dollars.  

Why work with S&A when I can go directly to TIAA and/or Fidelity?

Yes, TIAA and Fidelity reps can work with you with your accounts, however, they are employees of their respective company and can't provide unbiased advice.  We have the ability, if in your best interest, to combine TIAA and Fidelity investments into one portfolio in order to take advantage of both carriers best investments.  When choosing between working with S&A or TIAA/Fidelity, I always tell prospects...."pay attention to who's paying the light bill. The TIAA/Fidelity reps will recommend their own products and are told what to do by those paying the light bill."  It's impossible for those reps to provide true, unbiased advice.  At S&A, we offer independent advice (we pay our own light bill) and will do what's in your best interest.   

Using our 3-Step system, we'll help you take back control of your higher ed retirement plan in 30 days. Upon completion,  you'll be able to understand every aspect of your retirement plan and have more clarity on when you can retire comfortably.  

1.  Take Back Control of YOUR Portfolio

Invest your portfolio exactly how you’d like and ultimately control the costs and what you’re invested in.  

Typically, higher ed employees take NO action when it comes to their retirement plan.  Because of this, your portfolio will align with the vendors (TIAA, Fidelity, etc..) goals, but NOT yours.  In this step we take back control of your portfolio and make sure you know exactly what your costs are and align your portfolio with how YOU want to invest - not the vendor.  We'll introduce you to the best kept secret in your retirement plan - BrokerageLink

2.  Tax Free Income at Retirement

One of the biggest mistakes I see is NOT looking at the Roth 403b option.  Consequently, you'll be paying income taxes on 100% of your retirement money as it’s been growing for 10, 20, or 30 years .  So instead, we look to contribute some, or all, of your ongoing contributions towards a Roth 403b or Roth 457 so you can benefit from 3 things. 

  1. You’ll have 2 buckets of money to choose from at retirement
  2. You won’t be forced to take RMD’s from this money 
  3. You can pass this money on to beneficiaries and they can possibly distribute tax free as well. 

*Of course, the Roth feature in your retirement plan may not be for you so we'll analyze your situation to make sure it's a good fit for you.  

3.  Make Sure You're on Track to Retire

A lot of folks in higher ed convey to me that they don’t know if they're on track to retire when they want and don’t have a clue if they’re putting away enough for retirement.  I have found that this makes people feel a little helpless and not in  control of their own retirement.  Consequently, people tend to do nothing at all. 

Once we get the first 2 steps in place, then we can confidently figure out how much you need to contribute to your retirement in order to retire at your desired age, which will allow you to retire on your terms and not be forced to reluctantly work a few extra years.

Get Started - 15min chat


What is Brokerage Link and Why do I Want it?  

Brokerage Link is an account that most university's provide to their employees - mostly unbeknownst to employees.  This is an account linked to your 403(b), 457(b), or 401(a).  Here are some advantages of Brokerage Link..... 

  • Thousands of investment choices 
  • Sector investments.  We can gain access to any sector you'd like - can't do that in your "core" university retirement plan
  • 401(a) accounts have access to ETF's through Brokerage Link
  • Index investments with expense ratios of 0.03%
  • NO trading costs for investments we use

HigherEd Retire Podcast

Started in 2019, Greg Shepard hosts this podcast specifically to help those in higher education with their university retirement plan.  Greg's goal is to share with you information about your university retirement plan that's difficult to find elsewhere.  

Below, you'll find various videos regarding your University Retirement Plan.

Socially Responsible Investing in YOUR Univ Retirement Plan
What is BrokerageLink? 3 Reasons to Use it!!
Learn 3 Strategies to Improve YOUR University Retirement Plan
Best Kept Secret in YOUR University Retirement Plan
Roth 403b in YOUR University Retirement Plan
403b VS 457b - Which one is right for you?

Ready to see how we can help?    Schedule 30-min phone call