Free Retirement Planning Courses


Whether retirement is a distant dream for you or just around the corner, planning for retirement is essential to ensure your financial security after your working days are over. It’s always a good idea to work with a certified financial planner who can help you plan in light of your financial situation and risk tolerance. But it’s also smart to do a little legwork to get a good knowledge base about financial planning and saving for retirement. The following free retirement planning courses and resources can help you get started. Best of all, they’re free.

Complete Online Courses

These comprehensive free retirement planning courses cover most of the basics of retirement planning:

  • Purdue University Extension: Planning for a Secure Retirement. This 10-module course covers expenses in retirement, Social Security, Medicare and health benefits, retirement for self-employed people, retirement plan distributions, and other matters. Each module includes subsections with bits of info and activities to complete. The course comes with a guide to fill out as you run through the modules, which will provide a picture of your personal retirement planning when you’re done.

  • Indiana University: Planning for Risk and Retirement. Planning for retirement requires investing, so it’s important to understand how to invest well for retirement based on your tolerance for risk. This course will help you learn that skill, including how to evaluate investment products and develop an investment mindset. It also covers basics such as step-by-step advice on retirement planning, calculating how much retirement income you need, saving money for retirement, and choosing a life insurance policy.

  • The Open University: Retirement Made Easy. This course, comprised of an introduction, ten modules, a final quiz, and a course roundup, covers various topics, including pensions, divorce and separation, bereavement, and planning for a long retirement. Upon completing the course, you should know how much money you’ll need to save, how pensions work and how to manage your pension income, and how events such as divorce and a spouse’s death might change your retirement picture.

  • Brigham Young University: Retirement Planning Course. Part of BYU’s set of free personal finance resources available to the public, this course comprises six modules plus an introduction, each of which includes a reading (PDF), a slide presentation, a class summary, a video lecture, assignments, and tools. Developed specifically for a religious audience, this course includes non-secular elements and teachings like u0022how to bring Christ more into your finances.u0022

  • Dana Anspach, Financial Expert: How to Invest for Retirement. Dana Anspach, Founder, and CEO of Sensible Money, LLC, and the former u0022MoneyOver55u0022 expert for The Balance, offers this free YouTube video class covering how to approach investing your money for retirement. You’ll learn about different approaches to retirement income, including the total return approach, the income-only approach, the guaranteed approach, and the asset-liability approach. The course also addresses topics like adjusting your plans as you go, choosing an annuity, and how retirement planning can go astray.

Make Your Own Course

In addition to ready-made courses, there are tons of great resources about retirement online that aren’t organized into a course format but that you could easily use to put together your own self-styled, self-paced course. Check out the following sites:

Whether you create your own “course” out of the many free resources available, follow along on YouTube, or sign up for a more formal course through a university, you’ll set yourself up for retirement success.    

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