Retiring Well: Creating Your Roadmap for Retirement Success

When you have successfully completed this online course, you will be able to:


Obligatory Fine Print:  Please note that this course if offered for general informational purposes only.  It is not intended to offer or provide financial advice and no warranties are made with regard to potential for investment returns.  There is a guarantee that this is a topic that is important to anyone who hopes to retire someday, so thank you for taking this course.  

Know Yourself: What is your version of "Retiring Well?"

Retirement can mean many things to many people.  What does "retirement" mean to you? Check all that apply to you.

  • I want to travel the world.
  • I never want to leave home.
  • I want to explore new hobbies.
  • I don't really know what I will "Do" in retirement.
  • I plan on living in my own home.
  • I plan on living in a retirement community.
  • I plan to live with my children/other family.
  • I'm afraid I'll be bored in retirement.
  • I'd like to start a second career.

What percentage of your pay should you save each year to ensure you have "enough" for retirement?

  • 3%
  • 5%
  • 7%
  • None of the Above

Survey Says

Social Security is a two-way street

69% of you are counting on Social Security to play a role in your retirement; however, only 15% of you have created a login to track and manage your account.  

Did you know?  You can visit to set up an online account for personalized benefit information, access to planning resources and more.

Where there's a will, there's a way

Only 15% of survey respondents have written a will.  While retirement planning is all about planning for a future, preparing for contingencies helps create a strong foundation. 

Did you know?  You can access resources - including discounts on legal services - through many Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs).  

Home is where the retiree is - or not

85% of you are planning on living in your own home in retirement.  While that can be economical, understanding options is important to effective financial planning.

Did you know?  An average one-bedroom apartment in an assisted living community can cost more than $36,000/year.  Visit to get more information about average costs where you live.  

Know Your Obstacles: Why is it so hard to save for retirement?

Marshmallows and Money:  what's the connection?

Google "retirement strategy" and you'll find lots of great advice, information and solutions for saving.  But before saving can occur, you have to find and foster the resolve to focus on long-term goals.  In a 2016 Business Insider article reporting out on a study conducted by the Economic Policy Institute titled "The State of American Retirement," we can learn that almost half of the US population has no money saved for retirement.  NONE.  Zip.  Zero. Nada.

So with all the info swirling around us, we know we ought to be saving for retirement.  So why is it so difficult to focus on it?  Because we would rather have one thing now than two things later.  Let's see this concept in action.  Click "Next" to continue with the course, or click the link below if you'd like to read more details about how our nation as a whole looks at retirement.  Just be sure to click the back button on your browser to return to the course if you wander off to read the article.  


Consider - for a moment - the marshmallow

They're sweet, they're fluffy and they're great in hot chocolate or in a s'more.  They also have a lot to teach us about why we make it so hard to successfully save for retirement. 

How do you feel about marshmallows?


How much do you like marshmallows? Can you forego a marshmallow today in order to get two tomorrow?

Know Your Numbers: Show Me the Money.

When it comes to retirement, how much is enough?

There is no magic formula

In this brief course, there's no easy answer to a complex and very personal question.  However, start by thinking about what your expenses are today, when you want to retire, how much you already have saved (or plan to start saving) and what your future lifestyle might be.  It's deep stuff.  But well worth the effort.  Think about it as though your life depends on it.  Because it does.  

But help is available

Interested in digging in to what your personal "magic formula" could be?  You can access to resources through your HR department, your 401(k) provider, your accountant/financial adviser and through personal research.  For immediate purposes, here's a link to one resource that can get you headed in the right direction:

Just click the back button on your browser to return to this course once you've taken a look at your personal results.  

Does it all just seem way too complicated?

We hear you. 

Many people want to save more, but the process can be overwhelming.  Some people delay saving for retirement simply because the process can feel overwhelming.  How do you decide where to invest?  You should always seek out advice on what is best for you, but many people are turning to index funds as a way to manage their options.  Want to learn more about Target Date Funds?  This brief video helps to explain how it works. 

What is a Target Date Fund and why should I care?


Think you have a long way to go? This is no time to panic. Small changes can have a HUGE impact.


Know Your Numbers: Being Well.

Survey says...

This is a savvy group.  

Remember that survey you took before taking this class?  Our class full of star pupils already have a sense that Medicare isn't the cure all for health care during retirement.  92% of you said you didn't think Medicare would take care of everything.  And you're right.  Health care costs should be a major factor in your retirement planning.  Let's learn more.  

The high cost of being well.


Know Your Resources: Your Retirement Toolkit.

You're Not Alone.

You have support for creating a retirement strategy. 

Throughout this course, you have already seen a number of resources for getting the information you need to create a great strategy for retiring well.  With all the excuses we can make for not saving, lack of information doesn't have to be one of them.  You've taken the first step by investing time in this course.  Let's look at more that are available to you. 

Here's a recap of your toolkit resources. 

1.  Your 401(k) company.  Your employer's retirement plan vendor has a host of information available to you.  Contact them (or your HR department) to tap into their expertise.  

2. Your EAP.  Your Employee Assistance Program may be able to offer free or discounted advice on navigating certain aspects of financial planning.  

3.  Your financial advisors.  Speak with qualified advisors (such as a Certified Financial Planner) to learn more about personalized options for reaching your goals for Retiring Well.  

Don't forget the free money. 

Oh yeah - free (or nearly free) money!  Most employers will match contributions into 401(k) accounts dollar for dollar up to a certain percentage.  If your employer matches 3% of your 3% contribution, you're saving 6% per year.  Those savings add up.  

Talk to your HR department about other tax-deferred or tax-free options such as Health Savings Accounts (HSAs).  You may have options at your fingertips that can help you meet your personal financial goals.  

Putting It All Together.

Putting it all together

Over the past several minutes, you have learned about why it is important to save for retirement, why long-term focus can be so hard for so many of us, gotten a better idea of how much you might need for retirement and a laundry list of other things to consider on your path to retiring well.  Let's put your retiring well skills to the test with a matching game...
  • Experts say I need to save at least this much each year (including company match) in order to fund my retirement
  • Estimated number of households who have NO money put away for retirement
  • This snack food is not only tasty, but can teach us a lot about saving money for the future
  • The best time for me to pay attention to my retirement strategy is
  • My employer will match my contribution to my 401(k) up to this percentage
    Typically around 3% for eligible employees at many employers.
  • I have access to other free retirement planning and financial resources through
    Our 401(k) provider (ADP), our Employee Assistance Program and your friendly neighborhood HR department

Where do I go from here?

What now?

Information is power, but your retirement isn't going to grow if you just sit there.  Take a few minutes now while you're in the moment to think about what you need to do in order to secure your vision of  Retiring Well.

Recommended Next Steps

1.  Log in to your 401(k) account TODAY, print a copy of your statement and assess how much you're contributing.

2. Use a retirement calculator (available through retirement vendors) to estimate where your savings should be.

3.  Look at how you can modify your savings strategy to support the retirement you want to have.

4.  Stop making excuses.  Saving isn't fun for most of us, and options can be intimidating.  You know what you need to do to get started - let's go do it! 

5.  Make an appointment with yourself to revisit your retirement strategy on a routine basis.  Seriously, take out your phone right now and send yourself a meeting invite to look at retirement at least once a month until you feel like you are exactly where you want to be.  On the road to Retiring Well. 

Your course is done and you're free to exit the training. However, if you'd like some inspiration around planning for a happy retirement, please feel free to watch how some are choosing to retire well. Thank you for your time.