DYNASIM: Visualizing Older Americans’ Future Well-Being

Elderly Couple

The Urban Institute’s Dynamic Simulation of Income Model (DYNASIM) projects the size and characteristics (such as financial, health, and disability status) of the US population for the next 75 years. Using the best and most recent data available, it helps sort out how the profound social, economic, and demographic shifts will likely affect older adults and their retirement as well as taxpayers, business, and government. The model can also show how outcomes would likely evolve under changes to public policies, business practices, or individual behaviors.

The fiscal health of Social Security
The Social Security trustees estimate that by the mid-2030s, the system will no longer be able to pay all scheduled benefits. Which reforms should policymakers pursue to help balance the system? Use this interactive to explore how the Social Security trust funds would fare over time under different reforms.

Social Security reform: Impacts on current and future older Americans
Millions of older Americans rely on old-age Social Security benefits for retirement and many more are counting on these benefits for the future. Use this interactive to compare how Social Security reforms would affect current and future older Americans over time based on sex, education, race or ethnicity, marital status, income, and work history.

The distribution of Social Security reform
Social Security reform affects low-, middle-, and high-income retirees differently. Use this interactive to explore the effects of Social Security reforms across the income and wealth distributions for current and future older Americans from 2015 to 2065.

The distribution of defined-contribution pension reform
Defined-contribution pensions are an important source of retirement savings for future older Americans. How can more Americans access the benefits of defined-contribution pensions and better prepare for retirement? Use this interactive tool to explore the impacts of defined-contribution pension reform across the income and wealth distributions for current and future retirees from 2015 to 2065.

Validating DYNASIM
Long-run projections are sensitive to small changes in data and assumptions. Use this interactive tool to compare changes in DYNASIM's assumptions for defined-contribution pensions with data from the Health and Retirement Study, Panel Study of Income Dynamics, Survey of Consumer Finances, and Survey of Income and Program Participation.

Social Security reform: detailed income distributions
Social Security reform affects different parts of the income distribution in different ways. Use this interactive to explore the effects of Social Security reforms across the detailed income distribution from 2015 to 2065.

Explore the data
DYNASIM projects incomes and wealth, taxes, poverty, program participation, combined-OASDI metrics, and more. Explore all the tabulated data for a range of demographics and simulations.

About the Data

DYNASIM Documentation
View this project on Github.

Funder Statement

This work was funded by the US Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration. We are grateful to them and to all our funders, who make it possible for Urban Institute to advance its mission.

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