The iOme Challenge is a national competition, open to anyone in the USA, that aims to address the retirement crisis. This week, Challenge organizers announced the 2010 Challenge grand prize went to a Texas Tech University team. Four Texas Tech University students, Benjamin Cummings, Christopher Browning, Thomas O’Malley, and Shaun Pfeiffer collaborated on the project. The team’s faculty advisor was Dr. Michael Finke.
The grand prize was $10,000 in cash plus an expense-paid trip to Washington D.C. to present the winning entry to members of Congress. The faculty advisor also receives a $2,000 cash prize.
A University of Nevada – Reno (UNR) team was first runner up and LaGrange College received an honorable mention. These two teams each received $2,000, plus $500 for their faculty advisors.
This year’s sponsors were Sage North America, iShares, the American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries (ASPPA), and LifeTuner, an AARP initiative.
Established in 2009 by PAi (Plan Administrators, Inc.), the iOme (I-owe-me) Challenge was organized and administered by St. Norbert College, De Pere, WI.
The competition encourages Millennials to help solve America’s retirement problem. Student teams are required to look into the future, then write essays and produce a short video. These serve to illustrate what their lives could be like when they reach retirement 40 years in the future. There are 80 million members of the millennial generation.
The essays must be around 10,000 words, in which they outline three significant differences they expect to see in the U.S. economy in 40 years. They may assume that the U.S. personal saving rate is sustained at 6%, not the lower savings rates we have seen over the past 10 years.
The teams must also create a short video that depicts their future retired American life if they do not begin to save enough.
Contest finalists were judged by a Blue Ribbon Panel in Miami, Florida. The distinguished judging panel included:
- John List, Recipient of the Kenneth Galbraith Prize by the American Agricultural Economics Association, Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago
- James Choi, Recipient of the Project Development Award by NBER Center for Aging and Health Research, Associate Professor of Finance at Yale University
- Laura Schwartz, Former White House Director of Events and author of Eat, Drink & Succeed
- Charles Wise, three-time recipient of the William and Frederick Mosher Award, Founding Director of the John Glenn School of Public Affairs at Ohio State University.