Merrill Edge (a division of Bank of America), has put an interesting app on the web, hoping to scare the young folk into putting more money away for their retirement with Face Retirement. An interesting bit of graphic trickery to show you what you might look like when you get older (and thus making you think a bit more about the future).
Yes, this is pretty much the message being sent, if you don’t save money now, you will be old haggered and sad (like I am , or are about to be evidently). Note the wrinkles and bags under your eyes (that is kids causing that, just as a side note), this simple drawing was actually a prototype for the real system (not).
Will the altered picture change the saving habits of a 23-year-old New University Grad? I somehow doubt it, but it may jolt a couple of folks, and if that happens, I suppose the tool can be deemed effective.
The message is simple if you start sooner, it will hurt less later in life, but everyone’s story is different as we have seen, but with lifespans increasing I think this next generation is going to face a few very interesting issues with the whole concept of retirement:
- Will retirement exist as a concept as they become older? Really only one or two generations have been able to take advantage of retirement (before, you usually died before you retired), but are the economic models (both at the micro, mini and macro economic level) still feasible?
- If you work until you are 75 and plan on living until you are 95, how much money should you be putting in when you are 25? I don’t think those numbers are out of whack with what might be possible in 50 years, so how does that change the equations?
- Will the concept of a pension as we know of it now still exist? As it exists now, no, I don’t think they will. If pensions do exist, they will be much more expensive, but they may be phased out in favor of the Employee taking care of this problem themselves using: CPP, RRSPs, TFSAs and such.
I was tempted to include an aged picture of me, but given how white my goatee is now, there wouldn’t have been much difference in the Before and After pictures.