It’s 2031: I’m Broke …and wrinkled!

February 12, 2013

With all the talk about Social Security going belly up sometime before 2040, my profit sharing plan going kaput and my 401k account gyrating along with every word out of Washington, these days I’ve been more concerned about my finances in retirement—for me, that is 2031, when Social Security fully kicks in at 67 years of age.

Just when I think I have all my bases covered—College tuition in good shape? Yes. 401K contributions up? Check. Roth IRA A-Ok? Yup.—along comes a new retirement investment tool that rocked my world and everybody else’s in the Happi office, too. Last month, Merrill Lynch started an online campaign entitled “See What Retirement Will Look Like.” I clicked on the online ad—during lunch hour, of course—expecting to input current income figures and anticipated rate of return. Instead, what I got was a request to take my photo and age progress it all the way to 108.

I stuck my 40-something mug in front of the camera on my computer, clicked the mouse and gasped at the sight of the future me. Tom Branna at 68, 78, etc. was increasingly wrinkled, frail and well, vulnerable. Co-workers reported the same effect. Pretty eye-opening stuff. It’s the first use of age-progression that I’ve seen that tries to get me to save more money for long-term goals rather than spend more on anti-aging products.

The connection between facial structure and finances was striking and will probably get me to act by using more sunscreen and putting a few more dollars away for the future. It also makes me wonder if visual images of aging can goad consumers into other kinds of action.

If you’re looking to formulate the next generation of anti-aging creams or, for that matter, the next shampoo or hard surface cleaner, be sure to check out our Buyer’s Guide. Published every February, the Guide is the perfect device to find the right supplier of raw materials, packaging components and services. What’s more, Happi’s Buyer’s Guide is continuously updated online throughout the year at Happi.com.

And don’t worry, we haven’t added an age-progression feature to Happi.com—yet.

Tom Branna
Editorial Director