It thought it was a Quixotic quest, and I told the students so afterwards. I asked, “By a show of hands, how many of you really care about saving for retirement? Isn’t your top priority right now to find a good-paying job?” They all nodded in agreement.

Afterwards, I came back to Chapman University and I asked my group of students to make a list of priorities from their perspective. Here was their list:

  1. Get a good paying job, or start their own business in order to become financially independent.
  2. Get out of debt: Pay off student loans and credit cards.
  3. Get good medical insurance.
  4. Go to graduate school to get an advanced degree, or an MBA.
  5. Save for retirement by creating a regular investment program (IRA or 401k plan).
  6. Buy a home (most preferred the freedom of renting an apartment; homes are too expensive, they said).
  7. Buy life insurance.
  8. Buy long-term care insurance (assisted living).