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An introductory lesson and worksheet on saving for retirement and retirement planning.  Students learn fundamentals related to saving for retirement and investing such as return on investment, compound interest, and planning for different rates of savings.




Retirement Savings


Retirement  Planning.



Basic Math

Life Skills





7th +

Teaching Teens - Adults

Secondary Education



Suggested Lesson Plan to use with this Worksheet


This is an introductory lesson and worksheet regarding saving for retirement.  Since saving for retirement requires an understanding of many different investment principles, it is not practical to try to cover everything in one lesson.   Use this lesson to build an understanding of why it is important to start saving early for retirement, and the importance of setting long term saving goals.  See our other investment and money categories for other background material.


Key Concepts to understand:

Short and Long-term saving

Importance of saving for retirement

Compound Interest


Other important concepts:


Return on investment

How much will one need at retirement



People need to save for retirement so that way they will have a source of income in their later years of life.  Saving for retirement is no simple matter.  How much do you invest, where do you invest it, how much money will you need when you retire, are just a few of the questions you need to ask yourself.


Begin this lesson with a class discussion about retirement, and saving for retirement.


Questions to ask for discussion:

Why is it important to save for retirement?

When do you plan on retiring?

Why is it better to start early, rather than later?

Saving for retirement is one of the many different things we must save for.  What else might we need to spend many years saving for?


More advanced questions include:

How much money will you need at retirement, compared to what you need now?

How will inflation change how much they will need?

Where should one invest their retirement savings?

Will others be contributing to your retirement savings?  This includes Social Security, and employers pension plan, 401K plans, etc.


Saving provides a way for us to achieve our financial goals.  We can think about saving as short-term and long term.


Short and long-term goals. Teach students to distinguish between short-term and long-term goals.  Investing is for achieving long-term goals, such as saving for retirement, buying a car, buying a house, or saving for college.  Saving for retirement is probably one of the longer saving goals you will have in your lifetime.


There are many things one needs to think about regarding saving for retirement.  How much you will need, how much to save, how to invest are a few of the questions.  Also, two other important factors are taxes and inflation, both of which will reduce the value of your investments.


Compound Interest.  A benefit of investing is getting compound interest, or money on the money you earn.  See our other lessons specific to compound interest.


Return on Investment.  How much money you will have for long-term savings for things such as retirement will depend on your return on investment, or the rate of return your savings will earn.  See our other lessons specific to return on investment for more material on this subject.


Inflation makes saving for retirement even more complex.  Inflation will have a large impact on how much money will be needed for retirement.  If the interest earned, or return on investment is not greater than the inflation rate, then more money will be needed to be saved.  See our other categories on inflation for more lessons on this subject.


How much you will need for retirement.  There is no correct amount, however, some recommend having 80% of your pre-retirement income to maintain your standard of living.  This reflects that some of your pre-retirement expenses, such as work expenses, will be less after retirement.


A more difficult question is how much money you need to save.  The earlier you start, the more you save, and the better investment returns you achieve with your money, then the more money you will have at retirement.


Vocabulary:  Return on investment (ROI), saving, investing, stocks, bonds, mutual funds, real estate, long-term goals, retirement, IRA.



Saving for Retirement Lesson Worksheet Instructions


Use the worksheet to help students grasp some of the important concepts related to saving for retirement.


The top section of this worksheet has a table with different saving scenarios.  Each column reflects different monthly savings rates, and how much money one would have by saving that amount for each listed year.  Saving deposits are assumed to be made at the end of the month, and interest is calculated monthly based on account balances.  Interest rates will vary, though for the worksheet, will usually average 5-9%, which historically has been a reasonable rate of return.  Of course, we never can know for sure what the actual returns will be.


Students should answer the random word problem questions using the table.  An important take-away is that the sooner you begin saving for retirement, and the more money you save, the more money you will have for retirement.  A large reason for this is the power of compound interest, which makes saving for retirement earlier more important.


You may choose a standard worksheet or customize the worksheet to your teaching needs.


To customize the worksheet, you have several selections.  Choose number of questions.  Single question worksheets make for good reviews or introductions.  Two different worksheet formats are available, single line format or box format.  Also, you may customize this worksheet with the names of your students, or use random names, or mix student names with random names.


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This worksheet may be customized with the following settings.

Make any changes you wish, then press "Get Worksheet".



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Teaching Worksheet Lesson Plan - Single Line

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