If you took a picture of your face with the FaceApp, the Russians now basically own you. Let’s just say you made a big mistake. But it’s over now and there’s nothing you can do about it. Now that that’s out of the way… Let’s discuss the positive impact the FaceApp can have on helping you save for retirement.
I’m sure you’ve seen the wave of people posting their faces on social media as old people. The first time I saw myself, it made my heart sink. I’m pretty sure that’s what I will actually look like.
Honestly, it was kind of depressing.
I couldn’t help but think what the next 50 years of my life will look like. What sort of impact will I have on the world and what will I be like when I’m 80! The reality is, we’re all going to get old and die.
Countless studies have shown when people become familiar with their future selves, their willingness to save goes up. Forbes, CNBC, and US News have written articles about this in the past few years.
It’s hard to think that far into the future. But when we do, we accept the fact that we’re going to get old. Our thinking shifts from short-term thinking to long-term thinking.
How can the FaceApp help motivate you to save for retirement?
FaceApp is an app developed by the Russian company Wireless Lab which uses artificial intelligence to generate highly realistic transformations of faces in photographs.
When people see themselves in a highly realistic picture of their old selves it can have a dramatic impact on their current behavior, such as increasing contributions to retirement accounts.
One answer to getting people to save more for retirement is introducing them to their future selves.
“The issue for many is we often get caught up in getting by today, at the expense of our future goals. But the more we can connect ourselves to our future self and goals, the more we will act in alignment with these goals.” Said Jamie Hopkins, Director of Retirement Research at Carson Group.
Research was conducted at UCLA by Professor Hal Hershfield on the healthy upside of thinking about an older you. His main finding was consciously imagining our older self can spur us to take better care of ourselves now. In one experiment, college-age students that were shown aged photos of themselves committed to saving more for retirement.
Some people who experienced this digital interaction basically doubled what they were willing to set aside for retirement as compared to those who did not. But it is not just seeing a future version of yourself that triggers this response, it’s getting connected to that person.
It starts by increasing your connection with the future you, so you are more willing to act on behalf of future goals.
How to become more connected to your future self
Here’s an exercise for the day. I don’t want you to just read without taking some sort of action.
I’m challenging you to write a letter to your future self. Find 15 minutes of your time to sit down and write a letter yourself. You can choose to have it emailed to you in 1, 3, or even 5 years from now.
This was an exercise I did a few years ago and I’ve had some clients do as well.
I wrote myself a future letter on the day I graduated from the University of Utah. It was delivered to me one year later on May 4th, 2019.
A letter from May 4th, 2018
I graduated from the University of Utah today and I anticipate being in Texas by this time next year working on my Master’s degree. I don’t have a job lined up and I don’t know if I will be able to find one.
Here are my top 2 financial goals I hope to have achieved by this time next year:
1. Save up a $10,000 down payment by May 2019 and buy a house in Texas. ✓
2. Pay off our car loan of $13,000 by this time next year. (Still working on this one).
This letter came at such a surprise because I totally forgot I had written it. I promise you will 100% forget that you wrote this letter.
After you get your letter at some point in the future, I hope that you will let me know!
Get to know your future self. Write a letter to yourself. Look a digitally aged photo of yourself. Then think about how you get from where you are today to where you want to be.
You might get to know your future self and be more likely to save for retirement since that future you might no longer be a stranger.
Have a great week old pal!
If you would like to read more about saving for retirement you can read check out this article.
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