Susan Beacham’s company has sold nearly one million of its piggy bank with four slots – for spending, saving, donating, and investing. She has now developed an iPhone application based on the iconic pig.
Children who use the clear blue piggy bank like to watch their money clink to the bottom of one of the four separate sections in the pig’s innards. Beacham has developed an entire curriculum around the four choices. The Money Savvy Pig has been adopted as a teaching tool by more than 200 Chicago public schools and by school systems in Seattle, North Dakota, Europe, and elsewhere.
The idea behind the game app, called “Savings Spree,” is the same: to help children “strengthen the muscle of choice and, therefore, their self-regulation and self-control,” said Beacham, chief executive of Money Savvy Generation Inc., a small, mission-driven company employing four people. …
Americans have squirreled away some $7.1 trillion in their retirement accounts. But once they actually retire, they don’t seem to know what to do with their money.
The U.S. income retirement system is in the throes of a foundational shift from guaranteed employer pensions to a system that puts most of the burden onto employees to make sure they have enough retirement income. I’ve been hearing recently about the heated debate on how Americans who are retiring are handling their finances under the new system.
Some worry that retirees are using up their personal retirement account (PRA) assets too quickly, while others believe they aren’t using the funds as retirement income, as intended when they were working and saving the money. By not spending it, they may be unnecessarily lowering their standard of living. … Learn More
In a May 5 Squared Away blog post, I provided a list of financial planners’ five favorite tools for helping people control their spending. In this post, I’m providing their motivational suggestions.
Here are the five tips, based on my informal survey of planners. Each tip includes the psychological rationale behind it.
Find the “Aha! Moment.”
Some clients respond when they see, in detail, how much they’re spending and what they’re buying. Bonnie A. Hughes, a northern Virginia planner, is a big believer in mild shock therapy. She’s had great success by showing clients how much their income would fall if they were laid off, divorced, or dropped out of the workforce. Or she shows them just how much they’ll need in retirement, and it’s usually a big number.
Reason: The Aha! Moment provides the self-motivation that clients must possess and that planners can’t provide. …Learn More
Many parents feel the tension between competing priorities: saving for their children’s college education and saving for their own retirement. Once the kids graduate and move out, the parents rationalize, we’ll really start socking money away.
But do they?
They do not, according to a recent report from Boston College’s Center for Retirement Research, which is affiliated with Squared Away. The report found that parents, suddenly feeling rich after the children leave the nest, indulge by spending 50 percent more on eating out, going to the movies, or buying new clothes.
Financial planners say poor spending habits are their biggest obstacle to helping clients.
So I asked a dozen financial planners around the country – all members of the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) – to share their best tools and tips.
This week I’ll provide the five “best” tools and the reason planners like them. Next, I’ll post planners’ top five motivational tips. …Learn More