From celebrities to high school students, everyone is sharing their photos that show an eerily realistic, but often hilarious, glimpse of their future selves. Needless to say, the app has taken the world by storm. This begs the question: beyond the fun of seeing what we might look like in twenty or thirty years, could there something useful behind the novelty?
Through our partnership with the MIT AgeLab, we have been studying and educating advisors and their clients on longevity management to help them better plan in this unprecedented era of extended life expectancy. Yet the challenge still remains–how can advisors help their clients anticipate and proactively prepare for the needs of their future selves? Particularly when they can’t, and probably more accurately don’t want, to envision themselves as “old.”
One solution the AgeLab has developed is to have clients ask themselves three questions to help predict their future quality of life as they age:
1. Who will change my light bulb?
2. How will I get an ice cream cone?
3. Who will I have lunch with?
These questions can be extremely effective for advisors to start the conversation with their clients about big ticket issues associated with aging: where they’ll live, how they’ll access what they want and when they want, and how they’ll maintain their social networks.
But what about for those more stubborn clients who still delay planning? Maybe FaceApp is the answer.
Right now, the person looking back at them in the mirror has no current challenges around those three questions. If a light bulb in the ceiling needs changing, they pull out the step ladder and get to work. To help them envision a time when that will no longer be possible, ask them to pull out their smartphone at your next meeting. Instead of having clients ask themselves those three questions, ask them of that man or woman in the digitally aged photo with the grayer hair and wrinkles on their smartphone.
Maybe this FaceApp novelty can be novel. It may just help clients in denial about aging ensure their future quality of life.
The MIT AgeLab is not an affiliate or subsidiary of Hartford Funds.
Bill McManus is a registered representative of Hartford Funds Distributors, LLC.
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