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

Question of the Day: Given $10,000 to invest, what would be the #1 choice for millennials?

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Apr 22, 2018
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Question of the Day, Credit Cards, Research, Investing
Answer: Pay down debt (22.4% of respondents) Here were the next 4 most popular answers: Real Estate (15.1%) Education (9.9%) Virtual Currency (9.2%) 401(k) or Roth IRA (8.5%) Questions: What would you do with $10,000 to invest?  What type of debt do you think most millennials would choose to pay down? Over 9% of millennials would choose to put their money in virtual currency (e.g., Bitcoin). Do you think this is a good decision? Why or why not? Do you think of “paying down...

Question of the Day: What is Senior Citizens' Biggest Financial Regret From Their 20s?

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Apr 19, 2018
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Personal Finance, Retirement, Current Events, Research, Investing
Answer: Didn't save enough for retirement. Questions: Why do you think that 20-somethings have so much difficulty saving for retirement? What do you think seniors mean when they say "spent too much on non-essentials?" How would you answer the question, "what is your biggest financial regret?"  Here's the ready-to-use slides for classroom use.  Behind the numbers (from Priceonomics): The plurality of the respondents, 21.4 percent, indicated that the biggest financial regret from...

Question of the Day: What percent of taxpayers don’t know what a W-4 is?

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Apr 18, 2018
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Question of the Day, Current Events, Taxes, Research
Answer: 57% Questions: Do you know what a W-4 is? If so, Explain what it is in your own words. How did you learn about it?  Given that anyone who earns a paycheck has to complete a W-4, why do you think so many people still don't know what it is?  You are hired by the I.R.S. to rename the W-4 so more people will remember it. What would you call it?  Click here for the ready-to-go slides for this Question of the Day that you can use in your classroom....

Mini-Activity Idea: How To Avoid Financial Pitfalls

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Apr 17, 2018
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Financial Scams, Behavioral Finance, Activity, Article, Activities
A great article from Of Dollars and Data that highlights six of the "tried and true" methods that make us susceptible to financial trickery or just plain bad decisions. On the subject of trickery, be sure to check out NGPF's release of SIX NEW Financial Pitfalls Projects that will increase your student's savviness. So what are the six ways of influence described in the article (with the tag lines he provides): Authority: Trust me I'm an expert.  Commitment and consistency: Just say...

Question: Who pays more in income taxes: corporations or individuals?

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Apr 17, 2018
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Question of the Day, Taxes, Research
Answer: Individuals pay five times more ($1.66 trillion) compared to corporations ($324 billion) based on fiscal year 2017 projections Questions: Who do you think should pay more in taxes? Why? When it comes to lobbying Congress on taxes, who do you think has more power: individuals or corporations? Explain.  What do you think is a more powerful boost to the economy: a dollar of corporate tax cuts or a dollar of individual tax cuts?   Click here for the ready-to-go...

Why We Are Investing $25 Million in Teachers

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Apr 16, 2018
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Professional Development, Personal Finance
I had the good fortune of addressing JumpStart leaders at their recent Awards Dinner in Washington, D.C. I announced that NGPF will be investing $25 million in teacher professional development over the next decade to ensure that  "every classroom has a highly qualified, confident educator to develop the financial skills so the next generation of students has a better future."  Why are we investing in educators? It's pretty simple. There is no other way to accomplish our mission...

Question of the Day: Where are the most federal tax dollars spent? a) Defense b) Education c) Health

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Apr 16, 2018
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Question of the Day, Current Events, Taxes, Research
Answer: Health Questions: Did the answer surprise you? Why?  Why do you think that health costs are such a large part of the federal budget?  If you could prioritize spending among these three categories, how would you order them from most to least important? Explain.  Click here for the ready-to-go slides for this Question of the Day that you can use in your classroom. Behind the numbers (National Priorities Project): Tax Day materials...

Question of the Day: What is the deadline for filing your 2017 tax return?

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Apr 15, 2018
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Question of the Day, Taxes, Research, Current Events
Answer: April 17, 2018 Normal deadline is April 15th but 15th is a Sunday and D.C. has Emancipation Day holiday on 16th 59% of consumers don’t know when their taxes are due Questions: Just like school work, why is it important to know the deadline to file your tax return? Can you file your tax return early? Why might be a reason to file BEFORE the deadline?  Why do you think the IRS gives people a few months in order to file their tax return?  Click here for...

Question of the Day: Who Loses More Money to Financial Fraud? Millennials or Senior Citizens?

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Apr 15, 2018
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Question of the Day, Research, Financial Scams, Current Events
Answer: Millennials Questions: Do you know any one who has been a victim of a financial scam? Explain.  Why do you think that young people are victims of financial fraud more often then senior citizens?  What are some financial scams that you are aware of? What are strategies you can come up with to avoid scams?  Here's the ready-to-use slides for classroom use.  Behind the numbers (from FTC Data Book):  Of people who reported their age, those aged 20-29 reported...

It's Tax Time: How About Some Videos To Engage Your Students?

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Apr 15, 2018
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Taxes, Video Resource
Here are three videos (with three questions for each) that do a good job of engaging your students with a "not so easy to engage" topic: PBS 2 Cents Project: How do your tax dollars get spent? [4:34] What is the FICA tax that gets deducted from your paycheck?  How do today's tax rates compare with tax rates over the last 100 years? What are the three largest items that get paid from federal income taxes?  Hear Philip and Julia, producers of 2 Cents, on this NGPF Podcast Your Tax...

NGPF Podcast: Tim Talks To Philip Olson and Julia Lorenz-Olson, Stars of PBS Two Cents Project

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Apr 13, 2018
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Podcasts, Video Resource, Behavioral Finance, Taxes
Julia Lorenz-Olson and Philip Olson are two self-described theater kids who gradually got interested in finance (something about being a starving artist). This interest mushroomed into a career switch and ultimately to them starting their own fee-based financial planning firm, The Art of Finance. What caught our attention recently, however, was their weekly show about personal finance for millennials and Gen Z on PBS, Two Cents. This series has rocketed up the charts with their first ...

What's the Catch?: The Case of Golden Valley Loan Company

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Apr 12, 2018
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Activities, Policy, Activity, Financial Scams
If they won't regulate, we better educate.  Listening to Planet Money podcast (20 minutes) last week about an online lender,  Golden Valley Loan, Inc. It was being sued by CFPB for "unfair, deceptive and abusive business practices." Under new CFPB leadership, the lawsuit has been dropped.  So, I went to Golden Valley's website to read the fine print of their short-term, high interest loans to see if I could find the "gotchas."  What a beautiful website... Here's how they...

Question of Day: What would an ad-free Facebook need to charge American users ($/year) to maintain their current sales level?

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Apr 12, 2018
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Question of the Day, Current Events
Answer: $82 Hat tip to David Briggs of Westfield Area High School (WI) for coming up with this question. Thank you David! Questions: How much would you pay in subscriber fees for an ad-free Facebook? If you use FB, do you know what your current privacy settings are? Do you worry about your data privacy knowing that third parties may have had access to detailed information about your FB activity? Explain why or why not.  Click here for the ready-to-go slides for...

Question of the Day: How much more per hour does a college grad earn compared to someone with some college?

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Apr 11, 2018
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Paying for College, Question of the Day, Economics, Employment, Career, Chart of the Week
Answer: About $13 per hour MORE (or over $26,000 per year) Questions: Why do you think that college grads earn so much more than those who start but don't complete? How has the wage premium changed over the last 40 years? Do you think this wage premium will increase or decrease in the future? Your friend says that spending $20,000/year to go to college isn't worth it when you can get a job now that pays $25,000. Agree or disagree with him based on the data in the chart.  Click here for...

In The Trenches: The Impact of Personal Finance Education

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Apr 10, 2018
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Teaching Strategies, Professional Development, Taxes, Case Study, Interactive
Look for this new column, "In The Trenches," to become a regular feature on Tuesdays for the NGPF Blog. Teachers will share their experiences in the classroom and how they apply what they learned at NGPF PD events (FinCamps, FinCamps PLUS, Summer Institute and Summit). This week, we focus on how two NJ educators applied what they learned at the recent NGPF Summit. Kay Paolucci: Barringer Academy of STEAM (Newark, NJ) I wanted to share my experience with the 1040EZ activity. The activity supplies...