Face Your Retirement Fears With These Free Financial Tools

Retirement is nothing but an afterthought for millions of Americans. Households are increasingly becoming hindered by stagnant wages, rising living expenses, and an overall weak labor market. Making matters worse, many people fall victim to procrastination when preparing for the future. However, there are two clever ways to help start the retirement planning process — free of charge.

The first trick is to understand that the day will likely come when you can no longer work full time. This might be a difficult concept for younger generations to realize, but fortunately, there’s an app for that. In order to help people face the reality of aging, Bank of America’s Merrill Edge recently introduced a new Face Retirement mobile app, which builds on the success of the Web-based tool originally launched in 2012. The free app provides users with a lifelike 3-D animation of their future self, including wrinkles and gray hair.

“It’s an eye-opening experience to see what you may look like 40 years in the future,” said Alok Prasad, head of Merrill Edge. “Stanford University research — and the experience of thousands of Merrill Edge customers — show that people brave enough to look into the crystal ball are much more likely to take control of their retirement planning. It’s a vivid reminder that everything you do today impacts your future.”