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Some novel ideas to assist retirement investing

Filed in Ideas ,Research News
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The New York Times just ran a piece called Some Novel Ideas for Improving Retirement Income about having people read Victorian novels in order to increase their retirement savings rates.

Actually, that is not true.

But it did feature some newer ideas from Psychology and Behavioral Finance and Economics presented at a Allianz-sponsored event on Monday in NYC on improving retirement decision making, including:

  • Work by Hal Ersner-Hershfield, Dan Goldstein, and Bill Sharpe using age-morphed photos of people with varying emotional expressions as a way to increase how connected people feel to their future selves. It is like the scene in a Christmas Carol in which Scrooge sees the future and upon returning promises: “I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future. The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me. I will not shut out the lessons that they teach.” Like the Distribution Builder, this technology helps people imagine what the future may be like.

Hal, sad about saving now, but psyched about spending later

  • Work by Eric Johnson on high sensitivity to loss among the elderly
  • Findings by Alessandro Previtero on how recent stock market returns affect people’s decisions to buy annuities (which of course last a long, long time)
  • Ideas by George Loewenstein on using mental accounts to help people achieve goals

These projects and more can be read about in the new report from Allianz entitled Behavioral Finance and the Post-Retirement Crisis.

photo credit: www.flickr.com/photos/nrg-photos/4199392655


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