Well, I’ve found yet another reason to be annoyed with TIAA-CREF… Ever since I opened an account with them to hold my 457(b) contributions, I’ve been unable to login to their site from home. I can navigate the site just fine, but it hangs and times out whenever I go to the login screen and submit my username and password. Oddly, this is only a problem at home (connecting over DSL). It works fine from work using the same computer (I have a laptop), and I’ve never had this sort of problem from home with any other site.
To be fair, this is almost certainly not TIAA-CREF’s fault. Rather, it’s likely some sort of odd connection glitch between my ISP and TIAA-CREF’s secure server(s). Anyway, after beating my head against the wall, I came up with an extremely simple solution…
I created a Yodlee account and added my TIAA-CREF account to it. If you’re not familiar with Yodlee, they offer a free online financial “dashboard” called Yodlee Money Center that can be used to aggregate your financial information and display it all in one place.
Guess what? Yodlee can connect to TIAA-CREF just fine, which means that I can now access my transaction data indirectly via Yodlee. Yes, I still need to sort this out with my ISP, but at least I’ve solved the problem in the near-term. So… If you ever have trouble connecting to your financial institution, try accessing your data through Yodlee.
As an amusing aside, Yodlee automatically categorizes transactions when it downloads them. While they correctly guessed that the TIAA-CREF International Equity Index Fund is a “Security, ” they listed the CREF Equity Index as “Unknown, ” and they categorized the CREF Bond Index as “Groceries.” 🙂