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Piggies for a mentor and mentee

The difference in fees on 401(k)s could mean the difference between a comfortable retirement and an uncomfortable one. iStockphoto

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Tess Vigeland: Our little blue plastic friend is heading to — oh my! — the U.S. Embassy in Tblisi, Georgia! That’s where Kirsten Michener works. She’s a senior democracy and government adviser with the U.S. Agency for International Development.

Kirsten wrote to tell us about an intern with her office — INTERN! — named Marcia.

Kirsten Michener: She asked if she could have lunch with me and talk about my career path. I was very happy to talk to her about that. And then sort of at the end of the conversation, I mentioned — from one woman to another — that she should start saving for retirement the day she lands her first job. Because I really wished that someone had given me that advice 20 years ago.

And she actually just turned 23 two days ago, so I fairly begged her to start a Roth IRA as soon as she gets her first paycheck. And she listened! She came back with intelligent questions, she sent me an e-mail after lunch. She was kind of chewing on the things that we talked about and I had sent her something about the miracle of compounding with the example of, you know, if you put in $100 a month aside in your 20s and then have that compound and how much that adds up to in your sixties. She sent me back intelligent questions. So we had another lunch, and we had a little tutorial from all the things I learned on Marketplace Money. And I was just so inspired by this wonderful young woman.

Now Kirsten wrote in to suggest we give a piggy to Marcia, which we are happy to do as she gets started on her new savings habit. But YOU get one, too! For being a great teacher and prompting this young woman to think about a future that I’m sure seems far, far away. For that we thank you. Piggy is extremely excited to come live with you across the pond.

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