National Retirement Risk Index

The National Retirement Risk Index is available through the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College.

The Index is intended to show the share of American households that are at risk of not being able to maintain their pre-retirement standard of living in retirement.

According to the Center for Retirement Research:

  • 51 percent of American households are at risk.
  • Including health care costs, the share of at risk households increases to 61 percent.
  • Including long-term care costs, the index increases to 65 percent.

A recent piece of research related to the Index assesses the impact of home equity (presumably through reverse mortgages) on index values. 

Even post-real estate bubble, the results who that home equity is a meaningful factor in the ability of American households to maintain standards of living during retirement. 

For all households, the ability to tap into home equity through a reverse mortgage decreases the index value (thus representing a decrease in the share of households at risk) by a full 10 percent.