See your future you

I apologize in advance for the amount of time you’re about to waste.

Merrill Lynch Merrill Edge has launched an online app to show what you’ll look like in retirement, and thereafter. It’s part of a marketing campaign to get you to face retirement (get it?).

I took a typical appearance as I look when I’m writing 5×8…

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And entered it into the gizmo to reveal that at retirement — a mere 8,000 NewsCut posts from now — I am pretty much the second coming of Paul Newman.

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After that, it gets a little dicey. At 77 I prove the existence of gravity and the effects of decades of following the Minnesota Timberwolves and Cleveland Indians.

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At 87, I pass up the high school reunion.

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It’s marketing genius based on some science, Wired.com reports


In a 2011 study cited by Merrill Edge (Merrill Lynch’s online discount brokerage), Stanford behavioral economics researchers say that we’re often reluctant to save for retirement because deep down we don’t identify with that older person we’ll one day be: “To people estranged from their future selves, saving is like a choice between spending money today or giving it to a stranger years from now.”

To find out if they could alter that perception, the researchers immersed test subjects into a virtual reality simulation that showed them a computer-generated vision of themselves at retirement age and then asked them questions about money. The study found that “those who interacted with their virtual future selves exhibited an increased tendency to accept later monetary rewards over immediate ones.” In other words, they were willing to save more.

Here. Try it. Don’t say I didn’t warn you, though.

  • Lesli in Minneapolis

    >> … I prove the existence of gravity and the effects of decades of following the Minnesota Timberwolves and Cleveland Indians.

    Once I stop laughing, I’ll check out the ML site. ( :

  • vjacobsen

    OH NO! I just did it and the resulting picture made my 4 year old son cry. I’m doomed.

  • Cara

    I did it and *gasp* I looked exactly like my crazy aunt Susan at age 77.

  • JB

    It’s not gravity…it’s being a T wolf fan that makes

    you look that way!! Have a great Christmas!

    JB