This Is Why You Aren’t Saving for Retirement
Spiders, snakes, skydiving: These are legit fears that we completely understand avoiding. But did you know your fear of death could be subconsciously sabotaging your chance at a comfortable, secure financial future? Morbid, we know, but a recent study out of Boston College found that when people are presented with the idea of their own mortality, they will actively avoid necessary steps in their retirement planning.
The study, recently published online in the Journal of Consumer Psychology, was meant to solve the “annuity puzzle,” the phenomenon of people not investing in annuities, which is a guaranteed source of income post-retirement (in other words, a total no-brainer).
Linda Salisbury, study co-author and Boston College marketing professor, and her team presented two groups with hypothetical retirement scenarios. Each group was asked to imagine they were 65 and nearing retirement; one group was asked if they were interested in an IRA (individual retirement account) or an annuity. Afterwards, the group was asked to share their thoughts. 40 percent of the annuity group participants had death-related thoughts, while only one percent of the IRA group did.
Additionally, one group of participants was asked to write an essay detailing their own death. The second group had to recount a previous dental visit. Again, both were asked if they’d be interested in an annuity or IRA at retirement. The group that had written about their own death were 50 percent less likely to choose an annuity.
Salisbury says, “Our goal was to understand how we can help people overcome their avoidance of annuity products,” which is especially pertinent today, as about 52 percent of American households will not have enough saved to maintain their standard of living once they retire at 65.
So what’s the solution to taking the stigma out of annuity saving? Salisbury and her team found that simple changes to wording on annuity brochures — switching “until you die” to “for each year you live” — significantly and positively increased people’s willingness to invest in annuities. It’s these “simple ways financial planners can reduce thoughts about death in these situations” that Salisbury thinks will make the biggest impact.
Lesson learned: It’s time we face our fears for our financial futures!
Tell us: Have you started a retirement plan, even if it might be scary to think about? Let us know @BritandCo!
(Photo via Getty)
It can be intimidating to step out on your own and build a business from the ground up. As part of our collaboration with Office Depot, we're talking with Selfmade alum and solopreneur Colette Lawrence, the faith-based motivator and relationship builder behind The M.E.E. Movement, about ways in which women in business can find success.
B + C: How did you know M.E.E. Movement was your business to start?
The M.E.E Movement represents motivation, empowerment, and encouragement for women. It is what represents me. I did not know at first that it was my business to start, but then the thought of monetizing what I loved came to me. It scared me, however. I registered the business in July 2020 and have been slowly building my wings since.
B + C: What's one strategy that's helped you start your business?
Thinking through and researching what the requirements are to start my business, and then asking questions of people who are in the business. Not all advice worked; however, it helped me to figure out what I needed to do and not to do.
B + C: Did you always know life coaching would be your entrepreneurial path?
(Smiles) No, I did not. I 'stumbled" on it. I knew that people were always coming to me for advice and I found that I loved having conversations with them, especially with women, young and old.
B + C: What was your most valuable takeaway from Selfmade?
My most valuable takeaway was the first day of training: Get out of your own way. There were a lot of great moments and important takeaways from every presenter. However, getting out of my own way, pushing past doubts, was for me my most valuable takeaway. Doing something that I had never done before took courage. If I do not focus on what is happening with me mentally then I cannot deliver to my clients successfully.
B + C: What's one piece of advice you would give to female entrepreneurs on the brink of starting?
Get out of your head. You have something to offer. You have what you need to succeed so go ahead and do it.
B + C: How do you stay motivated?
I stay motivated by listening to music and listening to motivational speakers, and sometimes someone will just reach out and talk about the impact that I made in their life. That adds the extra juice or sauce I need to pummel through the day.
B + C: What's your best organizational tip?
Keep a diary and journal. It's the best way for me to keep organized and it also provides a source motivation as I record not only my "losses" but my wins as well.
B + C: Who inspires you in the entrepreneurial space?
Shirley Toliver – She motivates and empowers and makes me always want to show up.
B + C: What has receiving the Office Depot scholarship to Selfmade done to help you start or grow your business?
The scholarship was a blessing in that all the areas that were covered offered valuable information that I needed, from social media to HR. As a new business owner, I needed to know this to increase my own personal awareness in what it takes to run a successful business. The candidness of the presenters made it easy to see myself in their shoes and helped me to realize that I can also get there.
Want to feel motivated to take the next step for your business? Let Office Depot OfficeMax give you the confidence you need with a suite of business services & solutions to help you put your best foot forward. Make a good first impression with business cards & build the business pitch of your dreams with custom presentations. With Office Depot OfficeMax you'll find the tools to reach new customers with confidence.
Head to Office Depot's Selfmade page to check out even more amazing business resources (and discounts!) to help you accomplish more on your entrepreneurial journey. These offers are available for a limited time only, so be sure to take advantage of all this goodness while supplies last. Want to join the next Selfmade cohort this summer? Check out all of the scholarship details right here.