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Program Summary

This non-credit Extension course is delivered exclusively online and presents research and best practices from both financial planning and positive psychology, in the form of action solutions, so that people in the workforce can begin now to dial up their well-being for retirement and also the years leading to retirement. The eight-module course includes how retirement planning is becoming more of a DIY (do it yourself) project, goal setting, organizing your current financial picture, Social Security, how to find your pension plan facts, taxes in retirement, saving and investing, estate planning, how insurance needs change from working to retirement years, cognitive decline, sudden wealth, suddenly single and more related to finances. Also included in positive psychology are action solutions for positive emotions, engagement, relationships, meaning, accomplishment, gratitude and forgiveness and how they relate to retirement planning. On average, people invest 27 hours completing the course.

Program Benefits

After two years of program delivery with more than 600 participants, we have documented the program’s impact:

  • 100% of those completing the course recommend it to you.
  • 100% of those completing the course met their goals of enrolling.
  • 100% are better informed about their finances.
  • 96% are more intentional about saving, spending, and giving.
  • 93% consider how decisions today will impact retirement well-being.
  • 86% have established or grown an emergency fund.
  • 85% have written retirement goals.
  • 75% give more time and energy to their financial management.
  • 62% learned they are on track to reach their retirement goals while 38% received a wake-up call.

Participants from the first two years of the course are saving a collective $62,000 more per month, as a result of their participation.

Target Audience

The first year the target audience was 30,000 University of Missouri faculty and staff as part of the wellness incentive program. In year two, with a second version of the course, the target audience was expanded to all adults in the labor force.

Program Length

There are eight online modules. Participants invest an average of 27 hours of study and activity in completing the course.

Program Cost

Participants pay $50 to enroll in the course. The University of Missouri can make the course available to other states for an annual use fee. The first step is to experience the course.

Equipment Needed

Facilitators and instructors that are trained in Canvas. Tech support for a Canvas platform.

Want to Know More?

Learn more about the public version of How to get an “A” in retirement here at this site. Details about the University of Missouri faculty and staff version of the course can be found at this site.


If you are interested in learning more about the program, please contact Cynthia Crawford, University of Missouri, at or 660-815-2124.


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