The Retirement Conundrum: How Can I Engage My Students In Such An Important Topic?

Dec 13, 2017
Index Funds, WebQuest, Article, Activities, Retirement, Investing

Ok, I know that retirement is a long way off for your students, which makes it difficult to engage them on the topic. What if the focus instead was on the actions that you students can take in their 20s to set themselves up well for that period far off into the future? 

Here's a Washington Post article that lists five actions that 20-somethings can take to get a jumpstart on their "nest egg." Well, it turns out we have an NGPF resource recommendation for each of their tips. Thanks to Jessica from the NGPF team for making this connection and to Laura for spotting the article in the first place. 

  • Tip #1: Start right away: "Adjusting to a new job can be overwhelming, but don’t use that as an excuse to push aside your 401(k) paperwork, financial experts say."
  • Tip #2: It's ok to start small: "....Saving even just a little now can pay off later since the money will be able to grow in the markets over time, says Rabinovich."
  • Tip #3: Know the basics: "If you’ve never invested before, terms like “small cap” or “large cap” may make the whole process of choosing a plan feel intimidating
  • Tip #4: Consider an IRA: "If you are working at a start-up or freelancing, you probably don’t have a retirement plan through your job. But you can still save for retirement by opening an individual retirement account, or IRA."
  • Tip #5: Increase your contributions over time: "Financial advisers generally recommend that you save between 10 percent and 15 percent of your pay for retirement."


Here's a great question of the day with a surprising result to get your students' attention: What percent of 14-21 year olds (Gen Z) are already saving for retirement? 


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.