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. You will be creating this project **entirely** in EXCEL.

**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.*

State what your desired area of employment is and what the median annual salary for that position is. Why did you choose this career? How much schooling is needed for this job?

Make at least one statement comparing your expected salary with that of the median income of an unskilled worker. Please use absolute and relative change statements as they are an excellent way to compare values. Assume that the median annual income for an unskilled worker is **$15,500**, use this value in comparison statements.

**Housing Comparison: **Assume that you and your unskilled worker counterpart plan to spend 1/4th (25%) of your gross **monthly income** on house payments. Research the current fixed rate APR for mortgages and choose one that might fit your needs. Most people will use a 30 year mortgage, however, you may use a 15 year mortgage if you wish. Then use Excel to determine the largest value of a mortgage that each of you can afford to borrow under those conditions.

Your answer should contain at least one statement comparing the value of the house that an unskilled worker can afford and that you expect to be able to afford. (Remember to use absolute and relative change here).

Explain what Excel function was used for these calculations. 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.

**Retirement Comparison: **401k investments are expected to earn a 4.5% annual return. Assume that 6% of your gross monthly income is to be set aside for 401k investment. Use Excel to determine the balance on such a 401k after 40 years of investment for the unskilled worker and for your expected income.

Your answer should contain at least one statement comparing the value of the 401k investment of the unskilled worker and for your expected salary.

Explain what Excel function was used for these calculations.

Also use Excel to determine how many years it would take for the unskilled worker and for your expected investment to reach $500,000. Your answer should contain at least one statement comparing the time it would take for the 401k investment of the unskilled worker and for your expected salary to reach $500,000.

**Project Checklist:**

Project __ must__ contain some

**absolute and relative change statements**.

Explanation of career choice and the salary for this career.

Comparison of your expected salary vs. an unskilled worker.

Comparison of house you could afford with expected salary vs. unskilled worker.

Explanation of how house value was determined.

Reflection on the housing costs and researched house values.

Explanation of how the 401k value is determined.

Comparison of length of time it would take to achieve $500,000 in retirement funds.

Explanation of how the time to reach $500,000 is determined.

An organized spreadsheet with clearly labeled values.

Completed project should be submitted via Ivy Learn on time.

In addition to addressing the statements above, your project should:

Contain your name, course name and project name.

Be well organized and easy to follow.

Be clear to by someone who is not familiar with the project.

Provide support for your statements e.g. explain how values were found.

Give specific values (i. e. quantify statements).

Use appropriate representations (tables, color, formatting) that helps the reader understand the project.