The Graduation Gift

My son is graduating from high school at the end of May.  Our graduation gift to him is an IRA with some “seed money” in it, and a challenge to put 10% of everything he makes into the retirement account, for the remainder of his working days.

I do not expect that Social Security or any other Federal programs will be of much help to him when he nears retirement in 2055, so he and his generation are going to have to think hard about what it’s going to take to live, even modestly, after retirement.  A simple spreadsheet calculation (which will be included in his graduation card) will show just how much further ahead he will be if he starts saving at age 18 versus age 30.

There is very little advice I can give my 18-year-old that he will actually listen to (after all, he’s 18 and I’m his father).  It is my hope that saving for retirement, starting at an early age, will be one of those pieces of advice that he will take to heart.


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