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 What Financial Service Providers Can Do to Help Kids Establish Roth IRAs

Help found and sponsor IRAKids Clubs for your customers and clients – as well as other kids in the communities you serve. Please consider sponsoring several clubs – to cover different age and maturity levels. Programs for high school students will be meaningless for kids in upper elementary grades, but all kids will benefit from the right programing at a specific age and maturity levels.

Provide a contact person that can coordinate this program for you, and help plan and conduct the IRAKids Club meetings.

Provide incentives for kids to attend meetings and to help learn the lesions being taught. For example, provide higher interest rate savings accounts for kids (most credit unions already do this). Teach the importance of compound growth through various exercises. For example – for one year (and perhaps a maximum of ten consecutive meetings), give kids a $1.00 roll of pennies for each meeting they attend. BUT on top of that give them 10% interest per meeting on the balance of pennies in their account. If a kid does not attend a meeting he/she does not receive the dollar in pennies or interest on the balance others receive at that meeting. IF a kid attends every meeting, he or she will receive $15.93 over the ten week program, and will have learned that in the NINTH meeting, the interest earned is more than the new contribution of $1.00 (the interest earned was $1.14). Have them keep a monthly accounting of this so they can see the growth on paper – calculated and recorded by themselves.

Provide paid internships during the summer or during the entire year and provide other seasonal employment opportunities. Help give kids meaningful ways to make earned income. Then help them establish their Roth IRAs.

Please support your local public television and radio stations. With our nation’s debt and deficit problems, Federal programs inevitably will need to be reduced and many eliminated. We believe that National Public Radio and the Public Broadcasting System must survive for the benefit of our generation. They offer much of the best news, scientific, and historical programming available to us, and – with specific respect to IRAKids, PBS television stations support the invaluable program, Biz Kids. This is essential viewing for us -- and for our parents and guardians there’s the Nightly Business Report as well as world news. As we get beyond watching cartoons, like our parents and guardians, we also need access to this kind of programming. Please help keep NPR and PBS alive – and especially, help keep Biz Kids – and similar programs, if possible – available for the continuing financial literacy education of our generation.

Please help kids who are less fortunate than many of us. Those of us that are being supported by our parents, guardians, grandparents, and other friends and relatives – to find work and invest in our Roth IRAs – we’re the lucky ones. But there are millions of kids out there that do not have this support structure and encouragement – or opportunities to find work to generate earned income. Please find ways to help these kids. Perhaps you could help fund programs through Parks Departments, or Community Redevelopment Authorities, or initiatives that support elderly home owners – to fund meaningful, supervised work opportunities for these kids. Perhaps these programs can be designed to contain four days of work, and one of financial education and fun, rewarding activities. Make it possible for the kids to invest the earnings from four days of work in their Roth IRAs, and have the money from the fifth day as spending money for their own use.

If you find meaningful ways to help and incentivize kids to establish and fund their Roth IRAs, please let us know what they are. If they are duplicable by other financial institutions and financial service providers, we’ll add your suggestion here. And thank you. You are an essential key to helping our generation get a financial head start in life.

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