Welcome to a new episode of The Retirement Wisdom Podcast, where we explore useful ideas and different perspectives that can help you retire smarter. Do you have a clear picture of yourself in the future? What will you be doing in your life in retirement? Hal Hershfield is a professor of marketing and behavioral decision-making at UCLA. His research shows that getting to know Your Future Self can not only help you make smarter decisions to prepare for the future, but also benefit you in the present. His new book Your Future Self: How to Make Tomorrow Better Today examines the world of our future selves and how we can bridge the gap between our present actions and long-term goals – and why you’ll want to develop a vivid picture of and a closer connection with your future self.
Hal Hershfield joins us from California.
Registration is now open for the next Design Your New Life in Retirement group coaching program — with Very Early Bird pricing. Limited to 10 participants.
Hal Hershfield is the author of the new book Your Future Self: How to Make Tomorrow Better Today. Hal is a Professor of Marketing, Behavioral Decision Making, and Psychology at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management and holds the UCLA Anderson Board of Advisors Term Chair in Management. His research, which sits at the intersection of psychology and economics, examines the ways we can improve our long-term decisions. He earned his PhD in psychology from Stanford University.
Hershfield publishes in top academic journals and also contributes op-eds to the New York Times, Harvard Business Review, the Wall Street Journal, and other outlets. He consults with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, many financial services firms such as Fidelity, Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch, and Avantis. The recipient of numerous teaching awards, Hershfield was named one of “The 40 Most Outstanding B-School Profs Under 40 In The World” by business education website Poets & Quants.
For More on Hal Hershfield
Podcast Episodes You May Like
On Visualizing Your Future Self
“…One is to try to really figure out ways that we can ramp up the vividness of our future self….what can we do to make that future self more vivid and more concrete and less abstract? One thing we can do is write a letter to our future self and then write a letter back from our future self. And I think I really want to stress the back part because it kind of forces us to step into the shoes of our future self and see the world through their eyes. Engage in some visualization exercises where we try to think about deeply what’s my life going to be like? How will I spend my time? Who will I spend it with? Am I workin not all the time? Am I traveling? What am I doing with myself? I think most people in the retirement space, in the financial planning space, they think of the future selves. It’s not like this is a foreign concept, but it’s always done at an implicit level. You talk about retirement, you talk about decumulation strategies, you talk about annuities, whatever. It’s all sort of done in a very abstract and implicit way. But to like really bring the self back into the conversation, [ask] who am I? What am I going to be doing? That’s where I think we can start to see some change in the way we really think about that period of time.”
On the FIRE Movement
“And so, the question really does become one of harmony. How can I both live for today and live in a way that puts myself in a good position in the future? And there’s no easy answer here, but the way that I like to think about this is, there may be times when it makes sense to spend the money. There may be times when it makes sense to celebrate right now, especially so that we can enjoy the experience now and later, right? Retrospectively, now the problem arises when I do that all the time. If I convince myself, every time there’s an opportunity to upgrade whether it’s with my car or my TV or the concert tickets or whatever, if every time I do that, I take the opportunity, surely now I’m living myopically, right? And so, I like to think about what other researchers have called The Big Why to say Well, what is the thing that drives me? What’s really at the core of my values? What’s most important to me? Is food the most important thing to me? Is it family? I’m not here to judge what those things are. But if I sort of bring my decisions back to The Big Why, it can help orient me to say, Well, in this particular experience, I’m going to go for it or In this one I’m going to pull back a little bit. And, and my suggestion is that that may help.”
On Thinking About the Future in Days, Not Years
“So this is research done by Neil Lewis and Daphna Oyserman. They had this realization that, days move fast, years move slow. And they did something really interesting. They got people to think about all different sort of future events, whether it’s retirement or my kids going to college, things like this. And they framed those events as occurring in either days or years. So in 30 years you’ll retire, or in 10,950 days, something like this. Well, what happens is when you frame it in terms of the days, people feel as if the event is coming sooner. There’s something ironic about this because the number is bigger, right? Almost 11,000 versus 30 – but 30 years feels like a vast expanse of time, almost 11,000 days. That feels like a lot too. But at the same time, it’s like one day goes to the next and the next and the next and the next. I can understand why so many people would say that event feels like it’s happening sooner. And not only did they feel as if it was happening sooner, they were considerably more likely to say that they’d want to start planning sooner for those events.”
About Retirement Wisdom
Schedule a call to see how the Designing Your New Life process can give you an edge in your next chapter.
Visit retirementwisdom.com for tools and resources to help you retire smarter.
About Your Podcast Host
Joe Casey is an executive coach who also helps people design their next life after their primary career. He created his own next chapter after a twenty-six-year career at Merrill Lynch, where he was Senior Vice President and Head of HR for Global Markets & Investment Banking. Today, in addition to his work with clients, Joe hosts The Retirement Wisdom Podcast, which thanks to his guests and loyal listeners, ranks in the top 1 % globally in popularity by Listen Notes. Business Insider has recognized him as one of 23 innovative coaches who are making a difference. He’s the author of Win the Retirement Game: How to Outsmart the 9 Forces Trying to Steal Your Joy.