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Undergraduates Help Employees Plan for Secure Retirement

February 15, 2009
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SIFE students teaching about retirementStudents in Free Enterprise (SIFE), an undergraduate student organization, is working with a group of campus employees to help secure their financial future. Led by Brad Cohn, a marketing major, the group recently organized a workshop to teach local university service workers about the benefits of a retirement plan.

"I wanted to help them because they help out many people every day by keeping the place we live clean," he said. "They are very good people."

Working on campus as a resident assistant, Cohn was able to develop a relationship with the workers employed by UNNICO, the firm sub-contracted to provide services to the University. He noticed how many UNICCO employees were close to or over an average retirement age, and through conversations, realized how many weren't properly informed about retirement plans.

SIFE put together a presentation detailing the benefits of long-term financial planning and invited the UNICCO employees to a workshop and luncheon.

SIFE program for UNICCO employees

"We also taught the workers about different IRAs such as Roth IRAs, traditional IRAs, and about 401ks, bonds, and mutual funds," he said. "We gave the workers various examples for items such as interest rates and let them know the advantages offered by 401k plans, bonds, IRAs, and mutual funds."

Cohn said there was overwhelming positive feedback from the workers, who got engaged and asked questions after the presentation.

"I think the UNICCO workers understood after our presentation that giving a small amount of their paycheck every week to a retirement plan could really help them later on.  Saving as much money early on will help them not have to work too long into their lives," he said. "They seemed very thankful."

-Stacey Weitz

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