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Math 123 Quantitative Reasoning Project 2 Spring 2019
Financial Project
As an Ivy Tech student, you are making an investment in your education. This project will look at how that
investment will pay off if you graduate and get a job in your desired field.
You will be comparing your future finances with someone who is not a college graduate. Assume that the
median annual income for a high school graduate is \$19,000, use this value in comparison statements. You
should make use of absolute and relative change in some of the comparison statements in your paper
(without using the words absolute and relative change). Be creative!
1) Income Comparison: Research your expected income after you graduate. Assume you obtain whatever
level of education needed to enter your desired area of employment. We recommend using the annual
Median salary found at: http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_in.htm#27-0000 *You will need to click on
your desired career in order to see the Annual Median wage. If using a different source, you must cite it.
 Your reflection paper should explain your desired area of employment and the median annual salary
for that position.
 Your reflection paper should contain at least one statement comparing your expected salary with
that of the median income of a high school graduate. Remember that absolute and relative change
statements are an excellent way to compare values.
2) Housing Comparison: Assume that you and your high school graduate counterpart plan to spend 25% of
your gross monthly income on house payments. Research the current fixed rate APR for a 30-year
mortgage and choose one that might fit your needs. Then use Excel to determine the largest value of a
mortgage that each of you can afford to borrow under those conditions.
 Your reflection paper should contain at least one statement comparing the value of the house that a
high school graduate can afford and that you, as a college graduate expect to be able to afford.
 Explain in your reflection paper what Excel function was used for these calculations. Do NOT use cell
references in your paper. Cite what source you used to find mortgage rates.
 Research housing costs in an area where you would like to live. Will your future salary allow you to
afford the house you want, or should you consider other housing options? How much more or less
must you spend to get the house you want? Cite what source you used to find housing costs.
3) Retirement Comparison: 401 k investments are expected to earn a 5.75% annual return. Assume that 9%
of gross monthly income is to be set aside for 401 k investment. In addition, your future employer will
match 50% of your 401k investment, while the high school graduate’s employer will match 25%. Use Excel
to determine the balance on such a 401 k after 40 years of investment for the high school graduate and
 Your reflection paper should contain at least one statement comparing the balance of the 401 k
 Explain in your reflection paper what Excel function was used for these calculations.
 Your reflection paper should contain a statement of whether or not this 40-year balance is feasible
for you to live on when you retire.
Math 123 Quantitative Reasoning Project 2 Spring 2019
4) Retirement Comparison Part 2: How much money is the recommendation for you to retire? Research this
question to find the amount you would be comfortable with when you retire. Then, still assuming a 5.75%
return on your 401 k, what adjustments would you have to make to your investment to reach that
balance by the time you want to retire? Cite what source you used in your research. You do not have to
consider this for the high school graduate.
 Your reflection paper should contain an explanation of when you plan to retire, what the balance of
money will be in your retirement account at that time, and how this was calculated. Assuming this
will be enough for you to live on in your retirement, will you need to change your investment
strategy? If so, how?
Project Checklist:
 Paper must contain some relative change statements.
 Explanation of career choice and the salary for this career.
 Comparison of your expected college salary vs. a high school graduate.
 Comparison of monthly house payments and house you could afford with expected salary vs. high
 Explanation of how house value was determined.
 Reflection on the housing costs and researched house values.
 Comparison of 40-year 401k balance with expected salary vs. high school graduate.
 Comparison of monthly investment amounts for you and employer for your expected salary vs. high
 Explanation of how the 401k value is determined.
 Explanation of estimate for how much money and number of years needed to retire.
 Explanation of how you could achieve that retirement fund.
 Paper should be elegant and coherent with a logical organization.
 Paper should be free of grammatical and mechanical errors.
 An organized spreadsheet with clearly labeled values.
 Completed project should be submitted via Ivy Learn on time.

Contain your name, course name and project name.
Be well organized and easy to follow.
The paper should be in paragraph form with an introduction, main body, and conclusion.
Be clear to by someone who is not familiar with the project.
Provide support for your statements e.g. explain how values were found. Do not use cell references!
Give specific values (i. e. quantify statements).
Use appropriate representations (tables, color) that helps the reader understand the project.
Contain a variety of comparison statements, including the use of relative change sentences.
Project should be your original work. Copying someone else’s work is cheating. Sharing your work
with someone else is cheating.
Math 123 Quantitative Reasoning Project 2 Spring 2019
Submit both an Excel and Word file following your instructor’s directions for submission.
Points
Income
– Area of employment
– Why did you choose this job
– Median salary
– Absolute & relative difference between 2
incomes
Housing
– HS and college grad monthly income
– Explanation of 25% of HS & college grad
monthly income
– HS and college grad house value
– Abs & relative difference between houses
Retirement
– HS and college grad 40 year balance
– HS & college grad monthly investments
– HS & college grad employer monthly
investments
– Abs & relative difference between 401k
balances
Retirement (Part 2)
-Research/cite amount needed to retire
– Balance needed for recommendation
– # years needed for recommendation
– Explain changes to formula (years, \$
invested) to reach goal
Reflection Part I
– Explain how calculations were made for
housing and 401k
– Reflect on housing costs in area you want to
live and if your salary will allow you to live
there or if other housing options should be
considered
– Reflect on 40 yr balance of 401k and if this
value meets your expectations or if you
need to change your investment strategy
Specifications
– At least one page, double-spaced
– Spelling/grammar
– Cited source for housing cost & APR
– Turn in Excel spreadsheet with formulas
Organization
– Logical
– Has introduction, main body, conclusion
– Easily understood
0
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4
None of
the items
are
present.
1 of the
items was
properly
2 of the
items were
properly
3 items were
properly
All 4 items were
properly
complete
sentences.
None of
the items
are
present.
1 of the
HS/CG
items
completed.
2 of the
HS/CG
items
completed.
3 HS/CG
items were
properly
All 4 HS/CG
items were
properly
None of
the items
are
present.
1 of the
HS/CG
items
completed.
2 of the
HS/CG
items
completed.
3 HS/CG
items were
properly
All 4 HS/CG
items were
properly
3 items were
properly
All 4 items were
properly
clearly
communicated
None of
the items
are
present.
1 of the
items was
properly
2 of the
items were
properly
None of
the items
are
present.
1 of the
items was
properly
2 of the
items were
properly
3 items were
but not
clearly
understood.
All items were
properly
clearly
communicated
None of
the items
are
present.
1 of the
items was
present.
2 of the
items were
present.
3 of the
items were
present.
All 4 items were
present.
Below
Average
Average
Above
Average
Poor
Excellent
Name:
Class:
Financial Project
High School
Salary
Monthly Salary
25% of Monthly Salary
APR
Home Value
Employer Contribution
Total Contribution
Annual Return of
401K Balance