How Does a 403(b) Work When You Retire?

Shawn Plummer

CEO, The Annuity Expert

Options for Managing a 403(b) in Retirement

  1. Leave it Alone and Withdraw as Needed
    • Process: You can choose to not actively manage your 403(b) and withdraw funds as required.
    • Pros: Flexibility in withdrawals.
    • Cons: Requires personal management of withdrawal rates and investment risks.
  2. Managed by a Wealth Manager
    • Process: A wealth manager can oversee the fund, making investment decisions and handling distributions.
    • Pros: Professional management and potentially optimized investment strategies.
    • Cons: Involves management fees.
  3. Roll Over to an IRA Fixed Index Annuity with GLWB
    • Process: Transfer your 403(b) into an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) Fixed Index Annuity with a Guaranteed Lifetime Withdrawal Benefit (GLWB).
    • Pros:
    • Cons: Less flexibility compared to managing the fund yourself or through a wealth manager.

Impact on Beneficiaries

  • Remaining Balance: Any remaining balance in the account can be passed down to your beneficiaries in a lump sum.


When retiring with a 403(b), you have several options for managing your retirement savings. Each option offers different benefits, from flexible withdrawals to guaranteed lifetime income and potential savings on management fees. Choose the method that aligns best with your retirement goals and financial situation.

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Shawn Plummer

CEO, The Annuity Expert

Shawn Plummer is a licensed financial professional, insurance agent, and annuity broker with over 14 years of first-hand experience with annuities and insurance. Since beginning his journey in 2009, he has been pivotal in selling and educating about annuities and insurance products. Still, he has also played an instrumental role in training financial advisors for a prestigious Fortune Global 500 insurance company, Allianz. His insights and expertise have made him a sought-after voice in the industry, leading to features in renowned publications such as Time Magazine, Bloomberg, Entrepreneur, Yahoo! Finance, MSN, SmartAsset, The Simple Dollar, U.S. News and World Report, Women’s Health Magazine, and many more. Shawn’s driving ambition? To simplify retirement planning, he ensures his clients understand their choices and secure the best insurance coverage at unbeatable rates.

The Annuity Expert is an independent online insurance agency servicing consumers across the United States. The goal is to help you take the guesswork out of retirement planning and find the best insurance coverage at the cheapest rates

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