Who aspires to have an average or below average retirement after working for decades? We have optimistic expectations for the last chapters of our lives. Too often, though, our planning falls far short of our dreams and goals for retirement. “Hope for the best” is not a retirement plan.
This course is for those who don’t want an average retirement. It is for those who want to shape their retirement years to be the big finish. Enrolling in this course suggests that you are ready to learn what to do to get that “A” in retirement.
The course is scheduled to take eight weeks to complete, with a new lesson added each week. You will have access to all previous lessons as well as the current lesson until the course closes, usually 30 days after the last week. We know that “life happens” so there is a three month window to work on the 8-week course.
The classes listed below are specifically for University of Missouri employees.
If you are not a UM employee, there are classes available for you as well! Find more information on the How to Get an “A” in Retirement website.
Class info and registration
|Group||Start date||End of 8 weeks||Course closes||Registration link|
|January 2019||January 8||February 26||March 31||Course full - please enroll in a later group|
|February 2019||February 5||March 26||April 30||Registration link for February group|
|March 2019||March 5||April 23||May 31||Registration link for March group|
|April 2019||April 2||May 28||June 30||Registration link for April group|
How to earn 100 points for the 2019 Healthy for Life wellness incentive
Is there a charge for the course?
No specific class times or meetings to attend
|Module||Financial well-being||Well-being is more than money|
|1||Moving from Plan P to Plan I. The new normal for retirement.||Positive psychology’s contribution|
|2||Your financial stats||Positive emotions|
|4||Your pension plan
|5||Saving and investing||Meaning|
|8||The big finish
Frequently asked questions
How often do I have to show up for class and where
are classes held?
All eight lessons will be presented online, one lesson added each week, so you can choose when and where you work on the class (as long as you have an Internet connection). This is one of the benefits of the class design. Each lesson will take about two hours to read and study and to complete the two activities.
In order to get an “A” in retirement, it requires taking action beyond just reading and studying the information. There are valuable exercises and worksheets with most lessons that will help you make great progress with your retirement plans. The time needed to complete these optional (and important) information-gathering experiences will vary, depending on how well-informed you are about your financial life and your goals going into this course.
Why is this retirement planning class unique?
First, it is custom-tailored to University of Missouri faculty and staff on all four campuses and at the system level. It isn’t a one-size-fits-everyone class, but it is specifically for UM faculty and staff so that’s why we can be very specific about the various retirement plans.
Second, it is all about presenting you with unbiased, research- and evidence-based education about your retirement. There are no sales pitches here – and too often that’s what you get when someone offers retirement planning. You are safe to learn the principles and make your own decisions about what is right for you.
Third, it is a mistake to think that retirement planning is only about money. This class draws heavily from personal financial planning and from positive psychology to meld the research and present critical ideas about well-being in retirement and in the years leading to retirement. The course is groundbreaking in its approach to bringing together the two disciplines to boost well-being as you prepare for and embark on retirement.
Fourth, it is contemporary, cutting edge, up-to-date information. This class was written in 2017. It quickly moves past generalities to action solutions you can apply immediately for greater well-being.
We could go on and on…
So is it for people retiring in five years or less?
People near retirement will be the most motivated to register for a class on this topic, and we welcome them! There are strategies for late savers and great practices to make well-informed decisions about when and how to retire. However, faculty and staff who are early- and mid-career will actually get the most benefit from this class. Those who are planning early have the benefit of time for retirement resources to grow.
Just to clarify, even younger employees like myself (age
26) who are far away from retirement are welcome to come
and learn right?
Not only are you welcome, but you can get the most out of it by beginning in your 20’s to plan. The best day to start planning for retirement is the first day of your first full-time job. You have the advantage of the time value of money to grow your retirement funds that people close to retirement won’t have. Yes, this class is for you!
Am I entirely on my own to work through the eight
No, you’ll have an instructor with 35 years of success in family financial education, IT support and your classmates to share ideas with and pose questions to. Your instructor reads every word of your posts and serves as a mentor with feedback for each module. The class is designed to be both high tech and high touch.
I’m totally NOT a fan of online classes so before I commit to this, how LONG is each of the lessons?
What is the homework and the reading?
You’re right, online classes have both disadvantages and advantages. Too many are like laboriously reading a textbook online.
600 participants in 2017 and 2018 tell us that How to Get an “A” in Retirement is surprisingly engaging. Of course, each participant will form his or her own opinion and they may vary. Online classes are preferred by some busy professionals, but not all.
The lessons take, on average, about an hour to read and to view the videos and presentations. The time varies depending on the background the participant has in personal financial management. Time to post twice per lesson and to do the activities is beyond the hour. I would suggest planning on 2-3 hours to get the full benefit of each lesson.
What specifically can this class do for me and my
It depends on you, your circumstances, your goals and your motivation level but, matching positive actions with the content in this course, you can experience many of these outcomes:
Need more motivation to register? Check out the impressive stats from the 2018 Impact Report for this program.
Benefit-eligible faculty and staff completing this course between November 1, 2018 and September 30, 2019 will be awarded 100 wellness incentive points for the Healthy for Life wellness incentive program.
Still have questions? Contact the course developer:
Cynthia E. Crawford, Ed.S., Ph.D.
Personal Financial Planning
Retirement Planning Education Project
Kellogg International Leadership Fellow