See the future. Fear the future.

Courtesy of FastCompany.

Courtesy of FastCompany.

Merrill Lynch has come up with a creative new way of getting clients to start thinking about their retirement accounts:

The bank just unveiled a digital experience called Face Retirement, which does exactly as its title promises. Much like last summer’s old-timey Mug Shot Yourself app, the site’s camera functionality records and scans your face. When it’s finished processing, Face Retirement reveals a composite photo of how your face will look in the near and far future–so you can see haw the ravages of time will affect your jawline incrementally. The tech, powered by Modiface, reveals wrinkles, spots, saggy flesh, and basically all your worst nightmares about mortality.

As Wired has pointed out, the experience is based on a study conducted in 2011, revealing that most of us are less inclined to save for retirement because our eventual, gray selves are unknowable strangers. The study, conducted by Merrill Edge (Merrill Lynch’s online discount unit) showed test subjects a computer-generated vision of themselves at retirement age and apparently scared the Dickens into them. After seeing how they would look as potential great-grandparents, test subjects were newly amenable to saving more.


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