Texas Tech Team Wins National Retirement Challenge

Texas Tech graduate students win the iOMe Challene 2010.

Written by Jaryn Jones

A team of Texas Tech University Personal Financial Planning (PFP) students recently won the nationwide iOMe Challenge 2010.

The team of graduate students received a cash award of $10,000, and its faculty advisor, Michael Finke, received $2,000. The winners also were invited to Washington, D.C., to present their essay and video to members of Congress and other national policy-makers.

This year’s contest asked participants to write a 10,000-word essay that demonstrates and supports three significant differences that will exist in our economy 40 years from now, if the U.S. personal saving rate is sustained at 6 percent rather than the rate that has prevailed over the past decade. Texas Tech’s essay focused on improving retirement savings rates among younger generations by simplifying investment choices, improving disclosure and modifying employer incentives.

The contest also required participants to produce a short video that examines issues related to retirement policy. Texas Tech’s video featured PFP associate professor Bill Gustafson and Gordon Hampton, director of professional alliances for Texas Tech’s PFP program. Gustafson portrayed a struggling retiree with a broken-down pickup and living in a shack, while Hampton portrayed Rich Uncle Pennybags, the top-hat-wearing icon from the game of Monopoly. The video illustrated the consequences of low retirement savings and aims to help young people visualize the tradeoff from the choices they make today.

Team members include Ben Cummings, Chris Browning, Shaun Pfeiffer and Tom O’Malley.

Click here to watch the winning video.