Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Merrill Edge launches retirement tool that virtually ages you

Bank of America is hoping images of looser jowls and wrinkled brows will make people save more for retirement.

The investment bank has introduced a feature to its online retirement program that aims to encourage people to save by virtually aging the customers' photo to show what them what they'll look like when they're older.

Called Face Retirement, it's now a part of the Merrill Edge platform, which serves mass affluent customers.

“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,” Merrill Edge head Alok Prasad said in a statement.

The bank also cites a New York University study that showed that people who saw their age-forward pictures said they'd put 6.75 percent of their pay into their 401(k), compared with 5.2 percent for those who hadn't.

The site gives you a range of ages to choose from and gives you the option of sharing them on Facebook. So you'll know what we're talking about, here's what it says I'll look like at age 77:

And age 107:

Not bad for a centenarian.