A lotof people figure that since retirement is eons away, they have more than enough time to start saving for it. This might cause them to push it off to yet another day.
Stanford researchers have nipped this procrastination problem in the bud by experimenting with a virtual reality world which assigns an avatar to participants that looks and acts like an older, more aged version of themselves. Findings show that young participants whose avatars were aged said they would save twice the amount of their peers who didn't view elderly versions of themselves.
This might mean more creative ways to incentivize people to save. For example, the Wall Street Journal suggests the possibility of retirement advisers morphing their client's picture in order to encourage them to put more money in their 401k.
If you want to test out this theory on yourself, you can check out the neat little app called AgingBooth (99 cents) on iTunes. As you can see from the picture in this post — I tried it out for myself. I'm not sure what kind of effect it'll have on my attitude towards saving, but I definitely feel an immediate urge to take better care of my skin.