70 year old selves – The 200 words project

Here’s this weeks 200 word idea thanks to To Sell is Human by Dan Pink.

How do you get people to save for retirement? Hal Hershfield from NYU conducted a series of studies which had two groups of participants allocate money between various buckets – a big expense now, other household expenses, and their retirement fund. Before doing so, group 1 was shown a picture of themselves now while group 2 was shown aged picture of their 70 year old self.

The 70 year old selves group allocated more than twice the amount for their retirement than the others ($170 vs $80). To test if this was a reaction to seeing older people, the researchers tried replacing photos of their aged selves with that of other older folk. This had no effect.

It turns out that our biggest barrier to saving for the future is forgetting that we will grow old someday. If we’re having difficulty making long term decisions like saving for retirement, perhaps we should experiment consider sticking a “photoshopped” picture of our older self on our wallets and internet banking dongles?

70 year old selvesSource and thanks to: www.EBSketchin.com

‘Do something today that your future self will thank you for.’ | Jeanine Jacob