In an effort to shock users into saving more for their retirement, Bank of America's Merrill Edge investment advisory unit has introduced a social tool that ages a picture of consumers, enabling them to see how they will look years down the line
To use the Face Retirement service, consumers input their age and gender and use a Webcam to load a photograph. Viewers can see images of what they will look like at various ages in the future, and share photos of their future selves on Facebook.
"In a Stanford University experiment, people who saw age-enhanced images of themselves were more likely to save more for retirement, compared to those who weren't exposed to their future selves," says Alok Prasad, head of Merrill Edge. "Face Retirement is designed to minimise that gap by giving consumers a preview of their future self, encouraging them to take control of long-term financial planning."
According to the 2012 Merrill Edge Report, half of mass affluent consumers have saved less than $250,000 for retirement. As a result, more than half of respondents plan to retire later than they had one year ago, a year-over-year increase of 19% from November 2011.