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									                                         Instructional Guide

Title: Planning to Retire
Content Area and Grade Level: Personal Finance and Civics Grade 12
Suggested Quarter       Quarter 4
Power Standard          Students will evaluate an individual’s need for investment, identify investment
                        options, create an investment portfolio, and devise a retirement plan based
                        on educational level and projected lifetime earnings.

Content Standards    SS.C.O.12.3.2 create a rubric to evaluate career choices as realistic factors
and Objectives       influencing income and lifestyle
                      SS.C.O.12.3.9 differentiate between saving and investing, construct a chart
                     to identify investment options and formulate an investment plan to meet long
                     and short term financial goals
                      SS.C.O.12.3.15 evaluate an individual’s need for investment, saving,
                     spending, and insurance then design a long term plan to meet those needs
                     throughout the life cycle. e.g., defined benefit, {pension, Social Security}
                     defined contribution {401k, IRA, 403b, etc}, investment diversity and

21st Century         Learning Skills &              Teaching Strategies
Skills               Technology Tools              Leading to Culminating       Evidence of Success
Information and   21C.O.9-12.1.LS.3            Teacher facilitates          Student made chart
Communication       Student creates            research on the value        comparing projected
Skills:           information using            of education. Invite the     lifetime earnings for
                  advanced skills of           school counselor to the      individuals with different
                  analysis, synthesis and      classroom to assist          levels of education.
                  evaluation and shares        students as they   
                  this information through     research possible
                  a variety of oral, written   careers and salaries for
                  and multimedia               individuals with different
                  communications that          levels of education.
                  target academic,
                  professional and
                  technical audiences
                  and purpose.

                  21C.O.9-12.1.TT.1            Instruct students on         Students collaborate to
                    Student makes              how to conduct an            create interview
                  informed choices             interview.                   questions.
                  among available              Hand out and discuss         Students will interview
                  advanced technology          Interview Techniques.        adults about their
                  systems, resources and       Hand out rubric and go       retirement plans. They
                  services (e.g., global       over expectations.           will record their
                  positioning software,                                     interview and make a
                  graphing calculators,                                     presentation to the
                  personal digital                                          class.
                  assistants, web casting,                                  Interview Task Sheet
                  online collaboration                                      and Rubric
                  tools) for completing
                  curriculum assignments                                    Presentation Rubric
                  and projects and for
                  managing and
                  information.                                              .
Thinking and        21C.O.9-12.2.TT.2           Teacher monitors and        Students use the
Reasoning Skills:   Student collaborates        facilitates students’       internet to investigate
                    with peers, experts and     searches making sure        stocks, bonds, mutual
                    others to contribute to a   web sites are reputable.    funds, CD’s, and real
                    content-related                                         estate as possible
                    knowledge base by                                       investment options.
                    using technology to
                    compile, synthesize,        Teacher provides            Groups use the 70-20-
                    produce, and                instruction on 70-20-10     10 rule, projected
                    disseminate                 rule and monitors           earnings from
                    information, models,        students’ plans making and results
                    and other creative          sure salary                 of the online risk
                    works.                      expectations are            assessment to create
                                                reasonable.                 a retirement plan.
                                                                            Task Management
                                                                            Collaboration Rubric

                    21C.O.9-12.2.LS.3           Teacher provides            Students use inflation
                    Student engages in a        instruction on the use of   calculators to determine
                    problem solving             inflation calculators,      amounts needed to
                    process by formulating      retirement estimators       retire at different ages
                    questions and applying      and MS Excel.               then create a
                    complex strategies in                                   spreadsheet of the
                    order to independently                                  data.
                    solve problems.
                                                Have students consult       Students use the
                                                representatives of          internet and information
                                                insurance companies to      from insurance agents,
                                                learn about term and        bankers and financial
                                                whole life insurance,       planners to create
                                                then invite insurance       investment portfolios.
                                                agents, bankers and
                                                financial planners to       Students go to
                                                assist students as they and
                                                adjust their portfolios     use a retirement
                                                and retirement plans.       estimator to predict
                                                                            benefits based on
                                                                            lifetime earnings and
                                                                            retirement age.
                                                                            Students incorporate
                                                                            investments, social
                                                                            security benefits and
                                                                            life insurance into their
                                                                            retirement plans.

                                                                            Project Evaluation
                                                                            Self Evaluation Form
Personal and       21C.O.9-12.3.TT.2         Teacher will provide        Students will use a
Workplace Skills   Student works             instruction on ways to     web-based calculator to
                   collaboratively to        stretch retirement funds   figure the break-even
                   acquire information       over a lifetime and on     age for social security
                   from electronic           the use of retirement      (the date at which the
                   resources, conducts       estimators.                sum of reduced early
                   online research, and                                 benefits no longer
                   evaluates information                                exceeds what you
                   as to validity,                                      would have if you
                   appropriateness,                                     delayed benefits
                   comprehensiveness                                    Group Observation
                   and bias.                                            Checklist
Objectives         Know:
(Know/Do)          The procedures for working collaboratively
                   Application of the 70-20-10 rule
                   Career opportunities and educational levels associated with them
                   Procedures to create and monitor an investment portfolio
                   The difference between term and whole life insurance
                   Methods for allocating assets wisely
                   Ways to make wise educational decisions and long-term plans for retirement
                   and beyond

                   Gather and compile information from multiple sources to learn how to invest
                   Determine what percent of salary can be allocated for retirement
                   Research salaries associated with chosen careers
                   Identify investment options, determine risks involved and create a portfolio
                   Decide if life insurance should be included in retirement plan
                   Use inflation calculator to determine amount needed to retire
                   Create retirement plans that include realistic salary expectations,
                   investments, social security benefits and life insurance
                   Take steps to insure retirement funds last a lifetime

Big Idea            The decisions young people make about education, careers, and
                   investments can have a tremendous impact on their future financial security
                   and retirement.
Enduring              Company pensions are a thing of the past.
Understandings        Social Security is not intended to cover all of the financial needs of retirees.
                      Too many people jeopardize their financial security by failing to learn about
                      Every person needs a financial plan that is suited to his/her specific needs.
                      It is never too early to start a regular investing/retirement plan.
                      The quality of one’s retirement depends on their own personal savings.

Essential Questions   How can I make sure my retirement resources will last a lifetime?
Learning Plan &            The class is divided into at least 4 groups. Each group draws a card
Notes to Instructor   which describes their educational level. Group 1 - high school dropouts;
                      group 2 - high school graduates; group 3 - college graduates with bachelor’s
                      degree; and group 4 - masters, professional or doctoral degrees.
                          The teacher can choose the groups based on knowledge of the class or
                      use the online risk assessment to allow students to group themselves. Guide
                      students as they do research on the value of education. You may want to
                      involve the school guidance counselor in this process. After groups complete
                      their research they will collaborate to create a chart for the classroom
                      showing the expected lifetime earnings for individuals with different
                      educational levels.
                          Next, students will be assigned to interview adults with the same
                      educational attainment as their group. Hand out and discuss interview
                      techniques and the rubric that will be used to score the presentation. Allow
                      students to role play conducting an interview and critique each others’
                      performances. Make sure that you cover all the categories listed on the
                      rubric. Students will collaborate to create interview questions about the
                      individuals’ careers and retirement plans in advance of the interview. Each
                      group will record their interview and prepare a presentation for the class.
                      These will be assessed using the Presentation Rubric. Students will use
                      the Interview Task Sheet and Rubric to reflect on the activity.
                          Students will research careers and salaries based on the educational level
                      they drew at the beginning of this project. They can use the website
             They will decide how much can be allocated to saving for
                      retirement using the 70-20-10 rule found at Then they begin
                      to create a plan for retirement by researching investment options.
                          Groups use online sites such as:,,
            , and to investigate
                      stocks, bonds, money market accounts, mutual funds, CD’s, and real estate.
                      Based on this information they will decide where and how much of their
                      retirement funds to invest. They will create an investment portfolio and
                      monitor choices over the length of this project. They may decide to make
                      changes in their portfolio from time to time.
                          Next, students go online at and use a retirement
                      estimator to determine how much social security they can expect to receive
                      based on their projected career earnings and age at which they plan to retire.
                      Go online and use an inflation calculator to determine how much will be
                      needed to retire at different ages: 55, 60, 62, 65, and 70. These ages are just
                      suggestions. Use MS Excel to create a spreadsheet of the data. The teacher
                      decides whether to instruct on the use of excel before or during the project.
                      Add the social security projections to the retirement plan.
                      Once again students may decide to adjust their investment portfolio
                      especially if they realize they are not going to have enough to retire.
                          Invite insurance agents, bankers and financial planners to the classroom
                      to meet with students. They could look at the portfolios and make
                      suggestions for additions or deletions to the retirement plans. From these
                      community resources students will learn the difference between term and
                      whole life insurance and decide whether or not to add life insurance to their
                      retirement plan.
                          Students then finalize their retirement plans by including ways to make
                      their money last a lifetime. Suggestions here include paying off the mortgage
                      before retiring, delaying taking social security benefits, and not taking more
                      than 4% of their retirement annually.
                          Finally, each group presents their investment portfolio and retirement plan
                      to the other groups and they compare results. Students reflect on what they
                      could and should do differently in order to be able to retire comfortably.
                      Retirement plans and portfolios could be turned in and graded by the teacher.
Academic Prompts   Prompt 1:
                   You are bored with high school and have decided to drop out. You have a
                   part time job selling electronics and believe that the company will hire you full
                   time. You are convinced that you don’t need a college degree and want to get
                   on with your life. Your family insists that you meet with your guidance
                   counselor in an attempt to change your mind. Your counselor challenges you
                   to list your short and long term goals and your plan to meet these goals.
                   Research careers and the salaries associated with them. Compare projected
                   lifetime earnings of high school dropouts to those of earners with higher
                   education. Interview adults who have careers that you might be interested in
                   about what it takes to make it in that field. Use the results of your research to
                   decide whether or not to stay in school. Discuss your findings with both your
                   parents and your counselor. Explain how you arrived at your decision and
                   present evidence of why this is the right decision for you.
                   See Discussion Rubric

                   Prompt 2:
                   You are a single parent of a two year old. You are extremely proud of the
                   fact that you have graduated from college with a four year degree and have
                   gotten your first good paying job. You want to make wise financial decisions
                   for yourself and for your child. You know that your company has a retirement
                   plan that matches employee contributions but you don’t think you can afford
                   to take advantage of it at the present time. Go online and download a
                   budget template. Use the 70-20-10 rule to create a financial plan that will
                   allow you to pay your bills and take advantage of your company’s 401k.
                   See Budget Template
                        Group Observation Checklist

Assessment or      You work for a large investment firm. The President of the company calls a
Product            meeting and asks you to be part of a committee to create retirement plans for
                   individuals with different educational levels. The committee must investigate
                   careers and the salaries associated with them, based on the education of the
                   individual. Decide how much individuals can set aside for retirement, choose
                   investments, and create retirement portfolios, based on projections of
                   amounts needed to retire at different ages. The committee decides to divide
                   the tasks amongst themselves. One group will create plans for high school
                   dropouts; another group works on plans for high school graduates; yet
                   another group plans for college graduates with bachelor’s degrees; and the
                   final group plans for college graduates with masters, professional or doctoral
                   degrees. Each group will create retirement plans based on projected
                   earnings, investments, social security benefits and life insurance.
                   Project Evaluation
                   Self Evaluation Form
                   Retirement Plan Rubric
Links and Other   Full length lesson/unit link
Resources         Related Rubric link
                  Collaboration Rubric
                  Presentation Rubric
                  Interview Task Sheet and Rubric
                  Discussion Rubric for Prompt One
                  Group Observation Checklist for prompt 2
                  Retirement Plan Rubric for culminating activity
                  Student Materials:
                  risk assessment at

                  Interview Techniques
                  Task Management Chart
                  Project Evaluation
                  Self Evaluation Form
                  Budget Template for prompt 2


                  Related Websites:

                  Contact Author: Pam Eversole

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