About the Author

Tim Ranzetta

Tim's saving habits started at seven when a neighbor with a broken hip gave him a dog walking job. Her recovery, which took almost a year, resulted in Tim getting to know the bank tellers quite well (and accumulating a savings account balance of over $300!). His recent entrepreneurial adventures have included driving a shredding truck, analyzing executive compensation packages for Fortune 500 companies and helping families make better college financing decisions. After volunteering in 2010 to create and teach a personal finance program at Eastside College Prep in East Palo Alto, Tim saw firsthand the impact of an engaging and activity-based curriculum, which inspired him to start a new non-profit, Next Gen Personal Finance.

Author: Tim Ranzetta

For Financial Success, What is More Important: Habits or Goals?

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Aug 17, 2017
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Behavioral Finance, Question of the Day, Article
I think this may be my new mantra: You better have a plan to develop new habits if you are trying to achieve goals that have eluded you for years. Willpower may simply not be enough.  So, just down the road from our offices, a Stanford professor has focused his research on understanding how we can form habits. He provides a simple three step approach in this article from Quartz: According to B.J. Fogg, a psychologist and researcher at Stanford University who has studied behavior...

Question: Can Language Really Impact Savings Rates?

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Aug 16, 2017
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Savings, Video Resource, Question of the Day
This post created by new NGPF team member, Christian Sherrill:  If you’re a rabid TED Talks fan, as I am, you’ll probably remember Yale Economist Keith Chen’s fascinating talk about the impact of grammar on savings behavior. Now famously, Chen concluded that - well, I’ll let you learn about it on your own terms: Video summary (5:53) Full text of study: The Effect of Language on Economic Behavior: Evidence from Savings Rates, Health Behaviors, and Retirement...

Current Events: What's New With Overdraft Fees?

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Aug 15, 2017
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Checking Accounts, Current Events, Payment Types, Policy
As readers of the blog know, overdraft fees are big profit generators for the big banks. Tens of billions of dollars big. So, what's new? The CFPB sees these large fees (average of $34 per overdraft) and wonders whether consumers really understand what they are signing up for when they opt-in to overdraft protection. This current event is a good opportunity to blend a discussion about policy while helping your students better understand a checking account "gotcha." Let's start at the beginning....

Making Student Debt Decisions Personal

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Aug 14, 2017
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Student Loans, Paying for College, Teaching Strategies
I want to welcome Christian Sherrill to the NGPF team. He will be laser-focused on increasing access to financial education in classrooms across the United States. This is a story he wanted to share about why he is so passionate about financial education. ------------------------------- As the new NGPF documentary suggests, millennial college-educated professionals aren’t alone in having made costly investments in student loans. Lifelong educators with multiple degrees have ‘em...

NGPF Podcast: Tim Talks to Kelly-Anne Rush, Crafty Teacher Lady from Windham High School (Maine)

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Aug 14, 2017
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Podcasts
She blogs as the Crafty Teacher Lady, and after listening to this engaging podcast, you will understand how fitting her web address is. From creating engaging activities for her students to flipping houses for a profit to taking her students on amazing trips to California, Kelly-Anne Rush does it all. She uses her personal stories to inspire students to take a big leap towards better financial lives. Listen to this podcast to learn both her financial triumphs (how she managed to come...

NGPF Launches One-Semester Course

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Aug 10, 2017
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New Products, Personal Finance
I'm so proud of the NGPF team (Jessica, Sonia, Amanda, Laura, Ren, Sid and Niko) and the way they came together to achieve great things, namely launching our One-Semester Course, just in time for the school year. It was a marvel to witness the collaboration and choreography required to complete such a monumental task in such a short period of time. Kudos to this amazing team who kept their commitment to educators to deliver this curriculum in time for the 2017-18 school year.  NGPF's...

Question of the Day: Why Can't We Give Up Writing Checks?

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Aug 08, 2017
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Checking Accounts, Current Events, Question of the Day, Payment Types
For those educators out there still teaching students how to write checks, you have been vindicated! From Bloomberg:  In an era of smartphones, online banking, and Venmo transfers, the U.S. still can’t seem to wean itself off paper checks. In most countries, they’ve gone the way of the fax machine and the rotary telephone. But their demise isn’t coming to America any time soon. Americans still reach for their checkbooks more than anybody else. In 2015, they each made 38...

Interactive: What Happens To Risk When Your Investing Period Lengthens?

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Aug 08, 2017
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Investing, Chart of the Week, Question of the Day
From Of Dollars and Data: Over 1 year periods, markets can be very chaotic for both U.S. bonds and U.S. stocks. This is also true over shorter time horizons (i.e. monthly, daily, intra-day, etc.). However, the chaos fades as the time horizon increases. Below is an animation I created that shows the S&P 500 and U.S. 10-year Bond returns as they vary from a 1-year horizon to a 30-year horizon. Here are two charts from his animation (it changes before your eyes if you cilck on the link above):...

NGPF Podcast: Tim Talks to Insurance Expert Sheri Jamme

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Aug 06, 2017
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Insurance, Podcasts
Ask most personal finance educators about teaching insurance and they will tell you how difficult it is to make it “interesting” to their students. The good news is that we have Sheri Jamme on the podcast today who has some great ideas on how to make that happen. Yes, it took 100 podcasts, but finally we have an insurance subject expert that will entertain and educate you. We discuss how credit scores affect insurance premiums (more than you might think!), how autonomous vehicles...

Infographic: How Do Americans Get Health Insurance?

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Aug 06, 2017
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Insurance, Question of the Day, Current Events
From Visual Capitalist:  Questions: How do most people get their health insurance? Indicate the percentage of people that fit into that category? What percentage of the population is currently uninsured? What do you think are the risks of being uninsured? Do a quick Google search and explain what Medicaid and Medicare are.  Do you think that people who receive their health insurance through their employer have to pay any money out-of-pocket for their medical expenses? _________________...

Chart: How Well Do Students Estimate The Monthly Payment On Their Student Loans?

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Aug 02, 2017
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Student Loans, Paying for College, Research, Chart of the Week
Answer: No real surprise here. They are abysmal at it. Here’s an explanation of this scatter plot (see below) from the recent Sallie Mae report on How America Pays for College: Separately, students seem not to be fully cognizant of how much they will repay. Students were asked to estimate their future monthly student loan payments based on the amount of loans they currently have. Similarly to 2008, a scatterplot of responses indicates little correlation between the amounts students...

Interactive: Taking A Skills-Based Approach To Careers

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Aug 01, 2017
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Career, Research, Current Events, Chart of the Week, Interactive
Ask a student what they would like to be when they grow up and you often get a quizzical look along the lines of “How should I know since I have never had a job?” The interactive tools below help you circumvent this by having students identify their skill preferences in jobs which will lead to a list of jobs that match these preferences. A second step in this activity helps students identify jobs that require skills similar to the ones they selected in step one. Taking this...

This 48 Minute Podcast Explains The Investing Revolution

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Aug 01, 2017
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Index Funds, Research, Investing, Stocks
Teachers often complain that investing is one of their most challenging topics to teach and surprise, surprise, it is an area that students struggle with understanding too. So much jargon (P/E ratios, dividends, IRRs, oh my), so many choices (thousands of stocks and mutual funds to choose from) and so little experience. It’s no wonder that it can seem so overwhelming. Yet there is another way to think about investing and it has one major difference from the existing way that it is taught...

How is Personal Finance Being Taught in U.S. High Schools?

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Jul 31, 2017
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Current Events, Research, Chart of the Week
Here’s a word cloud created by our research team based on their analysis of personal finance course descriptions at almost 10,000 high schools (the larger the font of the word, the more frequently it occurs): A few observations: Where is personal finance incorporated in the curriculum? You can see that “business,” “economics,” and “consumer” are some of the more prominent words suggesting that they are embedded in these courses. What are the most...

Credit Scores: An Article and Short Audio Clip to Supplement Your Lessons

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Jul 31, 2017
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Credit Scores, Activity, Audio Resource, Article, Activities
These two resources (audio and an article) caught my attention over the past week as they provide different perspectives on credit scores. The 3 minute audio from Marketplace (below) describes the history of credit scores in the U.S. and how they have evolved over time while the NY Times provides a plain English Q&A on the topic. Audio from Marketplace (3:28): A credit score is the calculated probability of how likely you are to pay debts. But it affects where you live, what car you can buy...

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