I was a senior portfolio manager at TIAA-CREF for 7 years. Your investment options likely include two that would be difficult to find replacements for it you rolled over your funds at another firm. This is TIAA Traditional and Real Estate. There are various reasons why rolling over your 403b to an IRA with a different firm could make sense, but you should consider keeping some allocation of these funds at TIAA depending on your specific financial needs.
The guaranteed rate on your Traditional will depend on the contract type and vintage, but it's going to be a positive number whatever it is and may look relatively attractive in a rising interest rate environment. Real Estate is a nice asset to have as it is somewhere between stocks and bonds on the risk spectrum. It's quite different than the REITs other firms may have, so it's worth consideration retaining some portion of this in your 403b even if you move other funds into an IRA.
Damon, I'm a TIAA CREF registerd advisor, meaning we manage clients' accounts within TIAA CREF as well as accounts at other custodians. First, you should know that every employer negotiates with TIAA CREF about what offerings will exist in their retirement plans, and we see a wide range, so the first thing to do is see how many funds you have available and whether they are actively managed with higher expense ratios or if they are lower cost index funds. Can you put together a nice low cost diversified portfolio? Morningstar.com portfolio analysis tool may help you if you want to do this yourself.
Great advisors do a lot of things, especially if they are fiduciary, comprehensive advisors, focusing on the whole picture. They incorporate small and mid cap stocks (which data shows do beat the S&P 500 over the long term, but are much more volatile) in the proportion appropriate to you, help you understand 'tax diversification' and the associated somewhat complicated tax rules, so you can move into tax free Roth options if that is what makes the most sense for you. They review insurance options (e.g. long term care) and estate planning holes, and guide you through the withdrawal phase. NAPFA is a great source for finding someone who can explore this topic with you, and many NAPFA advisors will meet with you at no cost to discuss your situation.
It is a least worth it to consider moving to an IRA. Some factors to consider...
Are there asset classes that I would like to access that I can get to through an IRA and not my 403(b)?
How do the expenses compare? Will my expenses go down if I transfer to an IRA?
Do the expenses I pay to the 403(b) provide value that I will not receive in an IRA?
Will I need professional advice to allocate my assets if I move to the IRA?
Those are just some to get your started thinking.
Jason gives a great answer. I would add we want to weigh the totality of the options that are available to you, and the overall income plan via the financial plan prior to picking an investment provider.
You may not receive the benefits of international yield curves and real estate markets through a single provider.
There are also significant benefits to the ability to rebalance, which there are some roadblocks to doing effectively when invested in an annuity option that restricts withdrawals.
Talk with trusted advisor before moving a retirement plan to an IRA. There are many factors unique to your situation that will inform your decision, including age at retirement, need for access to the assets, available investments, need for investment/planning advice.
Here's hoping the next 4 years fly by!