Aging, but Oblivious

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Older people often wonder why young adults get tattoos that they’ll later want to remove.

In this Ted video, psychologist Dan Gilbert says tattoos are a good example of a universal error in thinking. Human beings, and especially young adults, underestimate how much their personalities and values will change as they age.

Gilbert never utters the word “retirement.” But his discussion amplifies financial and psychology research showing that since people have a hard time picturing their future selves, they don’t save for old age.

“Most of us can remember who we were 10 years ago but we find it hard to imagine who we’re going to be, and then we mistakenly think that since it’s hard to imagine, it’s not likely to happen,” he explains.

It happens.

1 comment
Mark Zoril

Nice post – I am glad I came across it! Good stuff. As a financial advisor, I have been far more influenced by psychologists like Gilbert and Ken Dychtwald and others than I have been by the various economic and investment forecasts that I find to be of little value. I spend more time helping people navigate their life and how it will change than hyper-managing their portfolios.

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