The Retirement Tracker simplifies and socializes early retirement on Google Cloud
Co-Founder, The Retirement Tracker
A lot of people talk about retirement but far fewer people have the information and tools to plan for it properly. Just how much money you need to live comfortably once you stop working can be the million-dollar (or more!) question.
Although there is no shortage of retirement calculators, many only provide a limited one-time analysis and require detailed personal information that may be sold to third parties. We developed The Retirement Tracker with one idea: to empower individuals to take control over their retirement planning with tools to easily plan, track, and even socialize their early retirement.
With The Retirement Tracker, people can aggregate their financial accounts—including savings, 401Ks, and stock portfolios—on one safe, convenient retirement app. The Retirement Tracker analyzes real-time data from these accounts to track net worth and automatically update retirement targets. A small part of this information, such as stock transactions, can even be shared among people’s self-created investment groups to encourage information sharing and friendly competition.
Scaling up for early retirement on Google Cloud
When building The Retirement Tracker, we needed a technology partner that would enable us to securely and effectively scale while saving time and administrative costs. That’s why we started working with Google Cloud and partnering with the Google for Startups Cloud Program.
Google Cloud gives us a highly secure-by-design infrastructure, valuable cloud credits to obtain products from an expansive technology platform, access to dedicated startup experts, and potential for joining the Google Cloud Marketplace.
Even though we are a small team, we innovate quickly and easily on Google Workspace using Gmail, Google Docs, Sheets, Calendar, and Meet. We also store and protect all sensitive company documents on Google Cloud and post our “Restimators” investment video series on YouTube. More recently, we’ve adopted Firebase to scale and manage our infrastructure while accelerating the development of The Retirement Tracker.
In just days, we implemented Plaid authentication and authorization protocols, enabling customers to quickly and securely connect details about their investment and savings accounts to The Retirement Tracker. This is a process that possibly would have taken us months if we had to manually build these security capabilities from scratch.
Google Firebase now delivers a seamless customer experience by aggregating and displaying near real-time data from multiple financial accounts on a single dashboard. On the back end, Firebase automatically queries read-only tokens, securely accesses account balance changes, and encrypts sensitive data in the cloud.
Firebase also makes it easy for customers to administer internal investment groups and selectively socialize information such as stock purchases and sales—without revealing transaction quantities or prices. Customers create these small invite-only groups to help family and friends improve their retirement portfolios with friendly competition and strategic crowdsourcing. Customers can also participate in additional investment discussions hosted by The Retirement Tracker on Discord.
Building a sustainable financial future
Since we started using Google and Google Cloud solutions, everything is easier to build and scale. We constantly perfect the customer experience with new features and services, while leaving our IT and cloud infrastructure in the hands of Google Cloud experts. Demand for our app is growing fast as we prepare to move The Retirement Tracker out of beta in 2022.
Moving forward, we're excited to continue to grow in the Google for Startups Cloud Program, and with our dedicated Google team to improve the observability and reliability of The Retirement Tracker to handle the volume of users we’re anticipating in 2023 and beyond. To help us do so, we’re exploring additional Google Cloud solutions such as Looker, BigQuery, and Cloud Spanner. These solutions will enable us to rapidly expand our services and offer customers a variety of new benefits from using The Retirement Tracker.
Our participation in the Google for Startups Cloud Program has been instrumental to our success. The Startup Success Manager has worked with our team to identify programs we could apply to in order to strengthen our relationship even further. With Google Cloud, we’re making early retirement easier and more accessible on one convenient, highly secure mobile app. We can’t wait to see what we accomplish next as we drive innovation and financial inclusion by empowering people to plan, track, and socialize retirement planning that can be at once so important and so difficult for so many people.
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