Financial Planning for Professors and Administrators

Scroll Arrow

Financial planning for professors and administrators is a unique niche. At Emeritus, our advisors have decades of experience advising employees in 403(b) and 457 plans. Many of our academic clients are located in greater Philadelphia, central Pennsylvania, Lehigh Valley, southern New Jersey or Delaware.

Many professors and administrators are confused by the array of investment choices in their 403(b) and 457 plans, which are available only to employees of private nonprofits and government workers. Because they often don’t understand how much risk is suitable for them at different stages in their careers, they don’t know how to allocate their investments to avoid taking on more risk than is necessary or tolerable.

We’re intimately familiar with the investments available to these employees. We can provide advice to existing employees about appropriate investment selections and to those planning for retirement and in retirement about maximizing the value of their investments held in these plans.

Assessing risk, and assisting with investment selection, is the starting point of our evaluation.

We take the time to learn about you, your family, your priorities and your goals.

Unique Issues for Professors

Professors confront an array of financial planning issues. Dealing with these issues requires an understanding of the massive role of tenure and its impact on risk.

Tick Icon

Secure careers

While the public perception is that professors enjoy secure careers, this isn’t the case pre-tenure. Assistant professors without tenure have little protection from job loss. While those with tenure have far more job security, it’s not absolute.

Tick Icon

Financial plan

Financial planning is significantly different for pre-tenure and post-tenure professors. At Emeritus, we take this issue into account when preparing a financial plan and adjust it when our clients become tenured professors.

Tick Icon


Many professors will be employed by different universities over the course of their careers. A comprehensive financial plan needs to account for the difference in how these institutions permit retirement accounts to be managed.

Online education is having a serious financial impact on colleges and universities. Professors offered early retirement packages may require specialized advice concerning cash flow over an extended period of time and when to start taking social security benefits, among other issues.

Question Mark

Here are some issues confronting you. We can help.

Should I keep or terminate my life insurance policy?

Do I need long-term care insurance? If not, how can I ensure I have enough funds to cover my care?

Are my investments properly diversified, or am I taking on too much risk?

Does my TIAA® plan have excessive liquidity restraints? If so, how can I access funds should the need arise?

What happens to my accounts, including my TIAA® annuity, when I die?

How would my affairs get managed if I am incapacitated?

How can I reduce my tax burden?

Am I taking distributions in a tax-efficient manner?

Does it make sense to keep my money in my TIAA® or 403(b) account?

How can I plan for a major expense, such as a second home?

What is the best way to donate to charity?

Understanding Your TIAA® Annuities

We'll leverage our experience managing TIAA® 403(b) plans to clarify the complexities of your annuity contracts and help you make informed decisions moving forward.


Our experience as former advisors with TIAA® gives us the expertise to advise you about the different types of TIAA® annuities you may be holding in your retirement account.


The TIAA® Traditional “fixed” annuity provides for a fixed value that will be paid to you over time. Understanding  the ramifications of this annuity can be challenging'.


The TIAA® Traditional annuity includes many options, each of which has different rules applied during the accumulation period and the payment period.

There is a Retirement Annuity, Group Retirement Annuity, Retirement Choice Annuity, Supplemental Retirement Annuity, Group Supplemental Retirement Annuity, Retirement Choice Plus and two IRA annuities (issued before or on/after October 11, 2010).

Annuity holders have various options (depending on the type of annuity held) governing the cashing out of these annuities and transferring them to other investments. If you’re a participant in a TIAA®-sponsored retirement plan, we’ll help you select options suitable for you. If you’re about to retire or in retirement, we’ll review your annuity holdings and advise you how to maximize their value in retirement.

A common annuity-related issue we confront is whether you should annuitize your TIAA® annuity. Doing so may have significant advantages, including giving you the peace of mind that comes from knowing you’ll have a guaranteed income for the rest of your life (and the life of your spouse, if you choose that option) regardless of how long you live or the performance of the stock market.

If you decide to annuitize, you’ll also need to decide how much of your annuity should be annuitized. There are many pros and cons of annuitizing. We have the experience to provide you with the necessary guidance to help you make the right decision.

Emeritus Wealth Management and Stratos Wealth Advisors, LLC and its affiliates do not provide tax and/or legal advice or services. Please consult your tax and/or legal professional regarding your specific situation.

This information is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax or legal advice. Annuities are Long-term Investment Vehicles Designed For Retirement Purposes. Gains From Tax-Deferred Investments are taxable as ordinary income upon withdrawal. Withdrawals made prior to age 59-1/2 are subject to a 10% IRS Penalty tax and surrender charges may apply.

Any annuity guarantees are backed by the financial strength and claims paying the ability of the issuing company and may be subject to caps, restrictions, fees and surrender changes as described in the annuity contract.

Withdrawal Strategies

How you withdraw funds from your savings can have a material impact on how long your money will last in retirement.

Tax-deferred accounts

As a general rule, we advise our clients to withdraw funds from tax-deferred accounts last in order to permit those funds to compound tax-free for as long as possible.

Customized planning

Financial planning for professors and administrators is highly specialized and complex. If you’re a professor or administrator with a 403(b) or 457 plan, you can be confident we have confronted your financial issues many times and have the experience to create a customized plan for you.

Emeritus Wealth Management
Linkedin Icon

Send Message

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
An error occurred while submitting the form.
Schedule Meeting
Location Icon


One Liberty Place 1650 Market Street, 36th Floor Philadelphia, PA 19103

Email Icon




Emeritus Wealth Management has no affiliation with TIAA. The services rendered by Emeritus Wealth Management are not reviewed or approved by TIAA. TIAA is a registered trademark of TIAA.
We help participants in 403(b) retirement plans sponsored by TIAA, Vanguard and Fidelity optimize their investments and plan for the future.
Investment advice offered through Stratos Wealth Advisors, LLC, a Registered Investment Advisor DBA Emeritus Wealth Advisors.
More information regarding Stratos may be found at with the SEC does not imply a certain level of skill or training. Public information concerning Stratos Wealth Advisors is available at A copy of Stratos' current written disclosure brochure discussing our advisory services and fees is available upon request and/or

Stratos may only transact business in those states in which it is registered or qualifies for an exemption or exclusion from registration requirements. Stratos' web site is limited to the dissemination of general information pertaining to its advisory services, together with access to additional investment-related information, publications, and links. Accordingly, the publication of Stratos' website on the internet should not be construed by any consumer and/or prospective client as Stratos' solicitation to effect, or attempt to effect, transactions in securities, or the rendering of personalized investment advice for compensation, over the internet. Any subsequent, direct communication by Stratos with a prospective client shall be conducted by are presentative who is either registered or qualifies for an exemption or exclusion from registration in the state where the prospective client resides. Stratos does not make any representations or warranties as to the accuracy, timeliness, suitability, completeness, or relevance of any information prepared by any unaffiliated third party, whether linked to Stratos' website or incorporated herein, and takes no responsibility therefore. All such information is provided solely for convenience purposes only, and all users thereof should be guided accordingly.

Information presented on this website is for informational purposes only and is not intended to make an offer or solicitation for the sale or purchase of any product or security. Investments involve risk and, unless otherwise stated, are not guaranteed. Be sure to first consult with a qualified advisor and/or tax professional before implementing any strategy discussed here. When you link to any of the websites provided here, you are leaving this website. The information and opinions contained in any of the material requested from this website are provided by third parties as well. They are for informational purposes only and are not a solicitation to buy or sell any product mentioned. We make no representation as to the completeness or accuracy of the information provided by these third -party websites or third- party materials.
Please remember that different types of investments involve varying degrees of risk, and there can be no assurance that the future performance of any specific investment or investment strategy (including those undertaken or recommended by Stratos Wealth Advisors, LLC), will be profitable or equal any historical performance level(s).

Certain portions of Stratos' website (.e.g., newsletters, articles, commentaries) may contain a discussion of, and/or provide access to, Stratos(and those of other investment and non-investment professionals) positions and/or recommendations as of a specific prior date. Due to various factors, including changing market conditions, such discussion may no longer be reflective of current position(s) and/or recommendation(s). Moreover, no client or prospective client should assume that any such discussion serves as the receipt of, or a substitute for, personalized advice from Stratos or any other investment professional. Stratos Wealth Advisors, LLC, is neither an attorney or an accountant, and no portion of the web site content should be interpreted as legal, accounting or tax advice.
Each client and prospective client agrees, as a condition precedent to his/her/its access to Stratos' website, to release and hold harmless Stratos, and its officers, directors, owners, employees and agents from any and all adverse consequences resulting from any of his/her/its actions and/or omissions that are independent of his/her/its receipt of personalized individual advice from Stratos.

  Form CRS