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We Manage Complex Retirement Plans.

So You Don't Have To.

Your Solution to Retirement Complexities

Planning for your retirement is never as simple as saving a percentage of your paycheck and then sailing off into the sunset. Various retirement plans have different investment menus, tax implications, contribution limits, and distribution requirements. These different plans call for unique management strategies to optimize saving and coordinate with other accounts, driven by a comprehensive financial plan. 

When navigating your benefits package and planning for retirement, choose an experienced financial advisor to guide you and manage the intricacies of your sponsored plan, assisting you in understanding your investment options, planning for your future, and coordinating your accounts.

At Exchange Capital Management, we simplify the complexities in managing your retirement accounts. Whether you're using a 401(k),  403(b), 401(a), 457(b), or a combination of these accounts, we can help you make informed decisions on your path to retirement. Breathe easier knowing an experienced team of advisors is helping keep you on track to reach your goals.

Struggling to Decode Your Retirement Plan

Whether you work for a local university, private company, hospital system, or school district, our bi-weekly blog entries will present actionable strategies for you to consider as you plan for your future.   

Helping Public Sector Employees Navigate Retirement Planning

Higher Education

Health Systems

K-12 Education

The University of Michigan Museum of Art

Complex Investment Menus

While employer-sponsored retirement plans are supposed to help individuals ease the burden of retirement preparation, many individuals find their plans to be onerous and restrictive. This rings especially true for those who work for public sector organizations that offer unique retirement plans through Fidelity and TIAA that differ from a traditional 401(k).

Much like a traditional 401(k), retirement accounts such as 403(b), 401(a), and 457(b) plans are limited to the investment choices of the plan provider. Often, participants find these large investment menus are filled with more expensive junk than proper investment options. With funds locked into the plan until your employment ends, choosing investments from this list can feel like playing a game of minesweeper, but with a lot more riding on it than beating your own high score. 

We work with Fidelity and TIAA to manage your account and optimize your investments, allowing them to coordinate the other accounts in your portfolio, always guided by your financial plan. 

An Annuity Problem

Unfortunately, with such large investment menus and the multitude of landmines hiding within, it is very easy to make sub-optimal selections. Luckily, most of these decisions are easily reversible and adjustable. Unfortunately, some investment missteps are exponentially harder to rectify, specifically TIAA annuities.

TIAA annuities are an insurance product that offer investors a set stream of income beginning at some point in the future, usually retirement, and lasting until you die. While annuities may make sense for some individuals, their situational benefits are, unfortunately, overshadowed by TIAA's advertising and promotion of them. Within TIAA investment menus,  annuity offerings are often highlighted above the fold, making it very easy for investors to jump at the promise of predictability without looking at the entire picture. 

Predictability doesn't come without a cost. TIAA annuities can be full of hidden fees and are coupled with perhaps their most damning quality: the way they lock up your hard-earned money. If you change your mind and decide the annuity is not the optimal solution for you, it takes ten years to fully reclaim your money. With all of these downsides, TIAA annuities can equate to little more than a hyper-expensive security blanket at best, and a financial straitjacket at worst. 

If you have made the decision to invest in an annuity, there is a path forward. At Exchange Capital Management, our team will help you navigate these restrictions, working around the limitations in your accounts, to optimize your retirement savings and guide you towards your goals. If the goals, risk tolerance, and personal circumstances, reflected in your financial plan, call for transitioning out of your annuity contract, we'll help you manage your transition and reclaim your money as swiftly as possible.  

University of Michigan Health
Olivia Stacey, CFA
Michael Reid, CFA
Joseph Crowley, CFP
Kevin McVeigh, CFA
Gwenn Buschell

Investing is hard, we get it, especially when the starred and highlighted investment options in your retirement plan aren't necessarily the optimal solutions for your circumstances. Why spend your valuable time digging through how-to documents and investment menus?

There is a better way.

Get Personalized Guidance
The Law Library at the University of Michigan

The Retirement Rabbit Hole

When it comes to employer-sponsored retirement plans, few are as complicated and tedious to navigate as the benefits packages available to the employees of public universities, hospital systems, K-12 schools, and government branches. These employers often offer 403(b), 401(a), and 457(b) plans rather than a traditional 401(k).

However, the account offerings in these complicated plans rarely just end there. Public sector benefits packages commonly include supplemental plans to increase saving opportunities for employees beyond the standard sponsored plan. The more savings avenues the better, right? In theory, yes. In practice, however, more accounts mean more complications. 

While maximizing savings is important, taking advantage of these avenues can lead to a chaotic mess of accounts, where bits of money end up in different buckets, and savers are left confused and frustrated when trying to track down their hard-earned money. 

At Exchange Capital, We Simplify the Complex. Many of our clients who work for the University of Michigan, or other public sector employers, truly have no idea what they have saved. Years of taking advantage of every opportunity in their retirement plan have left bits of money scattered in every direction. They are frustrated, confused, and in search of assistance. 

How do we help? We'll take stock of your entire portfolio to get an accurate snapshot of what you truly have saved and where. More importantly, we'll help you consolidate your assets into as few accounts as necessary, allowing for a more manageable and understandable portfolio. Saving is hard, but tracking down what you have saved doesn't need to be. 

Additional Resources

With complex investment menus, cascading accounts, and confusing fees, retirement plans managed by Fidelity and TIAA can be hard for the DIY investor to access and understand. Use these resources to better understand your retirement plan. 

Understanding University Retirement Plans

University retirement plans can be complicated and confusing. Don't spend your limited free-time digging through HR documents. If you are a university educator, administrator, or staff member, use these resources when navigating your benefits package and planning for retirement. 

The University of Michigan
Michigan State University
Eastern Michigan University
Wayne State University
Oakland University
Central Michigan University
Western Michigan University
Grand Valley State University
University of Toledo
University of Ohio
Ohio State University
University of Dayton
Miami University
University of Cincinnati 
Case Western Reserve University

Understanding Health System Retirement Plans

As with other public sector employers, health system retirement plans often include 403(b), 457(b), and 401(a) accounts. If you are a doctor, nurse, technician, or skilled staff member of a medical system, use these resources to better understand your retirement benefits package.

University of Michigan Health System
Beaumont Health
Trinity Health
University of Cincinnati Health
Cleveland Clinic
University Hospitals 

Understanding K-12 Retirement Plans

Like at universities, employees in public, charter, Montessori, and private schools often suffer from complex retirement plans with less than transparent investment opportunities. If you are employed at one of these schools, use these recourses to help understand your retirement options.

Michigan 
Ohio

Understanding State Employee Retirement Plans

State officials, government employees. and other state workers also have to navigate complicated retirement plans. Use these resources to learn more about the plans offered to state employees.

The State of Michigan
The State of Ohio