Face Aging Web App Helps You Save Money

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Have you thought lately about what you'll look like in 30 or 40 years or how much your saggy, liver-spotted face will resemble a melted Halloween mask? Of course not. You're out seizing the day and sucking on the marrow of youth.

You know what else you're probably not thinking about? Retirement. Have you started saving? Will you have enough?

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Merill Edge (Merrill Lynch's online discount brokerage firm) thinks these questions need to cross your mind. That's why they've created Face Retirement, a Web app that snaps a photo of your face using your laptop's camera and then with a facial aging algorithm, gradually shows you what you'll look like in 20, 30, 40, even 70 year.

The wrinkled, droopy results might give you a good shock. And that's exactly what Merill Edge wants to happen.

"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," said Alok Prasad,

head of Merrill Edge, in a press release. “Face Retirement is designed to minimize that gap

by giving consumers a preview of their future self, encouraging them to

take control of long-term financial planning.”

If haggard pictures of your future self aren't enough to make you immediately open an IRA account with Merril Edge, then maybe Face Retirement's other scare tactics will. Along side your grizzled mug are cost-of-living projections that not-so-subtly remind you that a gallon of gas could cost $40 in 2082.

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Sure, Face Retirement is a glorifed commercial for Merrill Edge and Bank of America, but it's core message of saving for the future is valuable advice. So if Big Banks leave a rancid taste in your mouth, start stuffing that cash under your mattress or go bury your gold in the back yard.

Or, screw it, live for today and go blow that money on a bunch fireworks, booze and trampolines and "don't worry 'bout tomorrow."

via Wired