Last week I wrote about a study that suggested visualizing your future self is a good way to get motivated to save for the future. I had a chance to speak to Hal Hershfield, marketing professor at New York University’s Stern School of Business and one of the authors of the study, about what his work means for all of us trying to whip our finances into shape.
First off, if you have a hard time caring about that wrinkled old person you’ll one day become, you’re not alone. A lot of research suggests that most people have a really hard time prioritizing their financial future over their present wants and needs, Herschfield says.
“One of the reasons why people fail to save in a way that puts themselves in a better position in the future is they fail to feel connected to that distant self who will exist down the line,” Herschfield says. “They fail to vividly imagine what their future selves will want and desire and need, and it’s much easier to think about what you need and desire today.”