What is it you most remember about yourself when you were inyour twenties? Is it the bright enthusiasm of the wonders ahead?Perhaps it’s the memory of the newfound freedom you found?

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Related: The joys of the $1 savingsaccount

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Or maybe, if you’re like many of today’s twenty-somethings, itis the despair you faced every waking moment, wondering what wouldhappen next, where was the money going to come from to pay thebills of real life, wishing you had it as easy as your parents musthave had it.

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Related: Retirement savers can't forget it's allabout retirement spending

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Maybe today you’re wishing you would have done things a bitdifferent in your twenties.

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You’re thinking, instead of buying that cool looking fullyloaded foreign made roadster, you should have opted for the plainvanilla K-car and banked the difference into your retirementaccount.

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Wow. That few thousand dollar from that long ago would be worthtens of thousands in your retirement plan today (and even hundredsof thousands if had the luck of Mitt Romney).

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Maybe what you’re thinking right now is the car you should havebought was that modified DeLorean ol’ Doc Brown outfitted with hisflux capacitor. Yep, just a smidgen of time travel and yourretirement savings problems evaporate.

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Setting yourself aside, think about your children andgrandchildren. The experts know the formula for their futureretirement success (see “The#1 Retirement Saving Goal for People in Their 20s and the MostUseful Strategy to Get There,” FiduciaryNews.com,February 14, 2017). And while it’s easy to lead them to theformula, it’s less easy to get the typical 20-year old to drinkfrom that formula.

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Are you surprised? You were the same way back in the days ofyour own twenty-somethinghood.

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Actually, if you’re reading this, and because you made thecareer choice you did, you probably didn’t make these samemistakes. Imagine your brother or sister or other close familymember/friend who didn’t end up working in the financial servicessector. They certainly made this mistake. How did they overcomeit?

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And the answer “They turned 30” is not acceptable.

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Here’s my guess: gamification.

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First, we must assume the subject is capable for beingmotivated. Some feel it’s simply impossible to stimulate someone intheir twenties.

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I, however, possess this naïve hope for mankind in general: Ifirmly believe there’s something in everyone that can excite them.The challenge is to discover this something and activate it totrigger some positive action.

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That’s where gamification comes in. Of course this makes youthink of “gaming” and you know that happens to be a favoritepastime among at least some subset of 20-year olds.

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What I’m talking about, though, is not the specific act ofgaming, but the concept behind it. Think of it this way, how iscollecting coins like playing a game? For the answer, don’t thinkof the coins themselves; think of those heavy cardboard books withpre-cut holes for every coin ever minted within a specific set ofyears. What’s the first thing you do when you get that book? Youget all you coins and start inserting them in those holes.

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Then what happens? If you’re like most people, you run out ofcoins before you run out of holes.

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And then what?

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You promptly decide you don’t like all those holes and you pullout all the coins in your pocket searching for the ones that canfill in those holes.

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That’s gamification. It’s finding yourself in a position wherethere’s a missing puzzle piece that urges you to find it.

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Of course, in the case of coin collecting, we left out oneimportant part – most kids don’t know there’s such a thing ascollecting coins until grandma and/or grandpa give us that heavycardboard book with all the holes in it. Once grandpa reveals whatthose holes are for, that’s when gamification kicks in.

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How does this apply to 20-year olds? First, someone’s got togive them the heavy cardboard book that contains those holes. Inother words, either their company automatically places them in aretirement plan or their parents set up IRAs for them.

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Either way, some responsible adult gets them started.

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For us seasoned elders, creating and enjoying the everydaypleasures of saving for retirement is a snap. For the averagetwenty-something, it represents an enormous obstacle. Make it easyfor them. Give it them as a fait accompli – no assemblyrequired.

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Then tell them what those holes are there for.

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And let the games begin!

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Christopher Carosa

Chris Carosa has been writing a weekly article and monthly column for BenefitsPRO online and BenefitsPRO Magazine since 2011 and is a nationally recognized award-winning writer, researcher and speaker. He’s written seven books, including From Cradle to Retire: The Child IRA; Hey! What’s My Number? – How to Increase the Odds You Will Retire in Comfort; A Pizza The Action: Everything I Ever Learned About Business I Learned By Working in a Pizza Stand at the Erie County Fair; and the widely acclaimed 401(k) Fiduciary Solutions. Carosa is also Chief Contributing Editor of the authoritative trade journal FiduciaryNews.com and publisher of the Mendon-Honeoye Falls-Lima Sentinel, a weekly community newspaper he founded in 1989. Currently serving as President of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists and with more than 1,000 articles published in various publications, he appears regularly in the national media. A “parallel” entrepreneur, he actively runs a handful of businesses, including a small boutique investment adviser, providing hands-on experience for his writing. A trained astrophysicist, he also holds an MBA and has been designated a Certified Trust and Financial Advisor. Share your thoughts and story ideas with him through Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/christophercarosa/)and Twitter (https://twitter.com/ChrisCarosa).