Professor Joshua Rauh has created a free MOOC version of the graduate-level course he teaches at Stanford University in the finance of retirement and pensions. The goal of the eight-week course, which started October 14, 2013, is to help participants become better informed on the decisions they need to make about their retirement portfolios (401(k), IRA, pension, Social Security, etc.) and about pertinent government programs and policies.
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Professor Rauh notes that Americans now have more of the burden than ever before in preparing for their own retirements. “For many people today, their plans to retire are threatnened by financial realities,” he says. The anticipated audience for the course includes those who want to create or improve their retirement plans, financial planners with clients looking to develop such plans, and anyone who wants to learn more about government-funded retirement programs.
The first of the 45-minute video lectures covers saving for retirement, addressing the problem that at the same time that people are living longer after retirement, interest rates are at historic lows.
The New York Times reviewer who previewed the course considered it unique as a MOOC offering, except perhaps for some Khan Academy videos on investment. She notes that this is not a simple “how to” course but that it achieves the goal set by Professor Rauh: knowing what you need to think about and what questions you need to ask a financial advisor.
You can sign up for the course until November 7th to catch up. There is also a preview video on YouTube.
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