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Vanguard Research Initiative (VRI)

The Vanguard Research Initiative (VRI) is a collaboration of the University of Michigan, New York University, and Vanguard.

The VRI examines decisionmaking of older Americans with sufficient financial resources to face meaningful tradeoffs between consumption across time, between spending when well and when in need of assistance, between retiring and working longer, between long-term care in private or publically-funded facilities, and between leaving bequests versus spending in various health states.

The project employs data on a panel of savers that includes detailed wealth, health, and demographic information. This panel data set comprises over 9,000 Vanguard clients. By the joint use of administrative account data and surveys, the project employs an innovative infrastructure for understanding the decisionmaking and well-being of older Americans. The project also innovates by combining this distinctive measurement infrastructure with survey questions, modeling, and estimation that can yield precise quantification of the considerations that affect decisionmaking and well-being leading up to retirement and during retirement. A key innovation is to pose strategic survey questions (SSQs), a form of contingent stated preference question.


This project is supported by a program project grant from the National Institute on Aging P01-AG026571. The Vanguard Group, Inc. supported the data collection. Vanguard’s Client Insight Group and IPSOS SA were responsible for implementing the VRI survey and provided substantial input into its design. The results reported and views expressed are those of the investigators and not those of their respective institutions.

Please email VRIproject[at] with questions or concerns.

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