Author Topic: Good Financial Literacy training info that is not blatantly FIRE?  (Read 2691 times)

rugorak

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So I have found that overall my fellow colleagues at work really do not contribute near what they need to. And I've approached HR about some sort of financial literacy training to help explain why contributing to your retirement is a good thing. They enthusiastically would like to pursue this. A side benefit is the more money we collectively have the better rates we can get for managing our retirement plan. I've obviously come across great articles on FIRE type sites but for obvious reasons don't want to broadcast that is my plan/goal to HR. But I still want to help them develop some training so that my coworkers have the opportunity to get some good information to better help them manage their money.

So any suggestions are great. But some specific things I would like is a good take home pay calculator. I want to give people the ability to see that they don't lose as much as they think when they contribute to their retirement plan due to the tax savings. Some data on how tracking your spending also tends to lead to better financial results to would be great.

Like I said the hard part is trying to do with without all of the blatantly FIRE sources. I'm ok with ones that we all know are but are not a face punch of it. Again I just don't want HR reading too much into things as I am still probably a good 8+ years away from FIRE at this point in time. 

czr

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Re: Good Financial Literacy training info that is not blatantly FIRE?
« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2017, 08:07:09 AM »
Who is your 401k provider? Sometimes they provide free infosessions that they provide and free one-on-one consults. Does your company provide a match? That usually encourages 401k contributions.

Although noble, I would not do anything else. General personal finance education is fine but FIRE is taboo and you're already expressing concern you don't want them to catch on to you.

plog

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Re: Good Financial Literacy training info that is not blatantly FIRE?
« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2017, 08:31:05 AM »
I think you either become that nutty guy at work whose always droning on about contributing to the 401k, or come to the realization that the chasm between what people know and what people do is insurmountable.

I bet if you take a survey at your work over 90% of people will respond about knowing that contributing to a 401k is good.  Just a tad less would say they should contribute more.   And then after that nearly everyone won't change a thing.  You're battling human nature.  How many people don't contribute up to the match?  And that's free money, that's a real incentive people can understand to contributing to a 401k and they still don't do it.  If free money won't work, what chance does anything else have?

The only real thing I can think of, and I don't think its going to fly or even be legal  is do everything in your and HR's power to make the 401k opt-out.  As of now, by default everyone is out--you have to sign up.  It would be better if you had to sign a paper saying 'no thank you' to the 401k.  Force people to act to get out rather than force them to act to get in.  Use human laziness and indifference to your advantage.

birdiegirl

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Re: Good Financial Literacy training info that is not blatantly FIRE?
« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2017, 08:44:40 AM »
Agree that working with your 401K provider is probably the best place to start.  When I've worked at larger companies we used to have them come in quarterly and do short presentations on various topics - mostly retirement but I think they also covered things like saving for college, life insurance, etc.   These were voluntary presentations. HR would send out the info, setup a room, etc. 

Even if your 401k provider doesn't offer something like this maybe they could hire a rep from Vanguard to meet with employees and provide educational materials.  Anything you'd get from the investment companies will be focused on traditional retirement and wouldn't mention FIRE. 

Mr. Green

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Re: Good Financial Literacy training info that is not blatantly FIRE?
« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2017, 11:02:08 AM »
JL Collins Stock Series. It'll come right up on Google. Has a ton of info about stocks/bonds/retirement account vehicles. There are a couple parts that are focused toward how to practically implement an early retirement but 90% of it is just good ol' helpful information. It's the first place I send anyone that asks me.

Cherry Lane

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Re: Good Financial Literacy training info that is not blatantly FIRE?
« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2017, 05:59:18 PM »
The financial/retirement planning training my workplace provides is terrible, and everyone knows it. 

We also have periodic "lunch and learn" sessions where employees talk on topics of their choosing that may be interesting to others in the workplace.  So last year I volunteered to provide in-house training on our defined-contribution plan.  It took quite a bit of research on my part to make sure I had all the facts.  That time was worth it for me since I learned some things even though I thought I already had a good handle on all that.  I had about 20 people attend (out of ~100 in my org), and received a lot of positive feedback.  I even had a request to give it again.  (Maybe that will be my last task before I FIRE in the spring...)

rugorak

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Re: Good Financial Literacy training info that is not blatantly FIRE?
« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2017, 07:27:23 AM »
So back story. Last year we went from 2 choices to 1 for our 403b. I went around with HR a bit because it seemed to be that they were choosing the 1 with higher fees. Eventually they got around to telling me and everyone else that both providers were changing fee structures so they went with the lowest one. But due to our overall low account balances the fees kind of suck. So my interest in retirement planning is well known to them. I'm not that worried about them finding out I want to FIRE. But I don't want to blatantly broadcast it either.

Oh and we do not have a match, but a fixed contribution made based on your salary. So you do nothing and they put some money in. Which is nice but since it isn't a match I think people don't think as much about how they need to contribute.

The provider we have does do 1 on 1 sessions but they are shiite. They are the usual generic make sure you have a balanced portfolio, if you don't know you should do a target date fund (which oh by the way have sky high fees compared to the vanguard index funds we have). We all had to sit through a mandatory group session last year about the change over anyway.

Also since last year people who became aware that I was interested in retirement planning because of my questions at such group sessions have approached me for advice. But not everyone knows my interest because there were multiple of those information sessions. Because of my interest in it, people coming to me, the knowledge the more people contribute the more bargaining power we'll have over fees, and a request from the higher ups for ideas to improve work life balance that I am pursuing this with them.

JL Collins Stock Series. It'll come right up on Google. Has a ton of info about stocks/bonds/retirement account vehicles. There are a couple parts that are focused toward how to practically implement an early retirement but 90% of it is just good ol' helpful information. It's the first place I send anyone that asks me.
I agree a great source. I own his book too. I'll reread it and see how heavily it mentions FIRE. If not too bad maybe I'll use it.

The financial/retirement planning training my workplace provides is terrible, and everyone knows it. 

We also have periodic "lunch and learn" sessions where employees talk on topics of their choosing that may be interesting to others in the workplace.  So last year I volunteered to provide in-house training on our defined-contribution plan.  It took quite a bit of research on my part to make sure I had all the facts.  That time was worth it for me since I learned some things even though I thought I already had a good handle on all that.  I had about 20 people attend (out of ~100 in my org), and received a lot of positive feedback.  I even had a request to give it again.  (Maybe that will be my last task before I FIRE in the spring...)
Sounds like what I was originally thinking. Care to share any information? Obviously the generic sort of information.

Also I was thinking about something like MMM's post the Surprisingly simple math behind early retirement. But just changing it to the simple math behind retirement.

Cherry Lane

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Re: Good Financial Literacy training info that is not blatantly FIRE?
« Reply #7 on: July 31, 2017, 03:08:25 PM »
Quote
Sounds like what I was originally thinking. Care to share any information? Obviously the generic sort of information.

I'm not sure much of my presentation would help you.  We have matching and super low fees, so it was a lot about that.  Also on the difference between Roth and traditional. (Do you have a Roth option for your 403b?  If so, I'll try to pull out some of that.)

rugorak

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Re: Good Financial Literacy training info that is not blatantly FIRE?
« Reply #8 on: August 01, 2017, 11:03:08 AM »
No Roth 403b option. But going over how fees work is a great idea. Generic and something our provider would probably not want to spend too much time on (as their funds have pretty high fees compared to others such as from Vanguard).

Cherry Lane

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Re: Good Financial Literacy training info that is not blatantly FIRE?
« Reply #9 on: August 01, 2017, 03:46:44 PM »
If you are trying to get more participation, discussion of fees may not be the best approach in your case. 

rugorak

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Re: Good Financial Literacy training info that is not blatantly FIRE?
« Reply #10 on: August 02, 2017, 10:45:56 AM »
True. Maybe I'll suggest putting it in as part of the even though you lose some to fees you still save more in taxes than you pay. This way it isn't ignored but it will bring home the fact that you really should put as much as you can afford in.