Project description

Retirement is something we’re constantly putting money towards, but the constant question is, “Is it enough?” By the time you cross the bridge to retirement, it’s too late to really do much about how much of a treasure chest you’ve been filling. And importantly, there can be a lot of unanticipated—and expensive—pitfalls.

Can You Afford to Retire tries to make those pitfalls more prevalent by allowing our readers to input their own information, and provide them with a rough estimate specific to their situation. Then we guide them through how well they’d fare against some common expenses–having to move into a retirement home, for instance, or facing unplanned medical expenses. We also show how leaving the workforce and stock market deviations can alter the nest egg they’ve accumulated.

What makes this project innovative?

There are a lot of variables that go into what someone’s retirement fund will amount to. We pared down those variables to what we saw as the most universal and impactful. We then derived the amount from those inputs along with data from Boston College's Center for Retirement Research on expected Social Security benefits.

What was the impact of your project? How did you measure it?

The immediate message for many people will be that if they want to maintain the same lifestyle they have while employed, they’ll likely need to save more. This is a warning everyone should hear, and start planning for today.

Source and methodology

Our projections and cost estimates were grounded in data from the Boston College Center, the Employee Benefit Research Institute, the Federal Reserve, Morningstar, Vanguard, Equifax Inc. and a range of research into medical expenses and other consumer costs.

Technologies Used

Behind the scenes the project is built on React and Javascript. This helped us easily plug the front-end elements into the formula, and allowed easy manipulation of the overall number throughout the piece.

Project members

Reporting by Heather Gillers and Anne Tergesen Development by Dylan Moriarty and Angela Calderon Design by Jessica Kuronen

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