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Personal Finance Concepts

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I have a project with a group portion and an individual portion. My question is how on earth do I start this, determine the figures in question, etc?!?! Here are the details of the project:

Your younger brother, Tom, just received information from his company on his benefits. He tells you that he is not interested in reading the retirement information because he has another 30 years of working before he can even consider retiring. You take a look at the information and see that his company offers a great 401(k) plan that matches contributions up to 6% and has been offering an average return of 12% annually. At this time Tom is making $30,000 per year and receives an average raise of 3% per year.

Individually: Prepare a spreadsheet for Tom that shows how much money he could expect to have in his retirement account in 30 years given the following scenarios:

He takes advantage of the 401(k) plan offered by his employer by putting 6% in the plan for the next 30 years. (Assume that the plan will continue to earn 12% annually.)
He waits 10 years to begin putting 6% of his salary in the plan.

Each of you are to prepare your own spreadsheet for this task. The spreadsheet should clearly indicate each of the two scenarios required in the assignment. For the first scenario assume Tom puts his 6% into the fund at the END of each year with one ANNUAL payment. Also assume that Tom gets his annual salary increase each year AFTER the first year (so no raise until 1/1/09 for example). Monthly payments to the fund are not acceptable for this assignment. Use the same basic assumptions for scenario two, only he waits ten years to begin. You will need to use time value of money calculations for these deposits, and this would be a regular annuity when you go to use the tables in the text. You are not required to use the tables (you could use a financial calculator for example). Make sure your work is clearly labeled and explained.

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