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FaceApp: Novelty or Novel

July 2019 
by Bill McManus

Anyone with a social media account or smartphone has probably seen results from the latest internet trend, FaceApp, which takes your photo and ages you to a certain degree.

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.

Bill McManus
CIMA®
Director, Strategic Markets

Bill is part of the Strategic Markets Team for Hartford Funds. In his current position, Bill is responsible for engaging and educating both financial advisors and their clients about current and emerging opportunities in the financial-services marketplace. These opportunities range from tactical strategies in areas such as retirement-income planning, investment planning, and charitable planning, to anticipating and preparing for long-term demographic and lifestyle changes.

Bill joined the organization in 2003 as an advisor consultant responsible for marketing Hartford Funds in Virginia and West Virginia. Bill earned his Certified Investment Management Analyst (CIMA®) designation, is FINRA Series 7 and 63 registered, and holds his life and variable insurance licenses.

Bill has been widely quoted in consumer and trade publications such as US News and World Report and Wealth Management.com. He has also appeared as a featured guest on Bloomberg Radio to discuss his views on retirement-related topics.

Originally from Smithville, New Jersey, Bill attended the University of Pennsylvania where he earned a bachelor’s degree in political science. He currently lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

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The MIT AgeLab is not an affiliate or subsidiary of Hartford Funds.

Bill McManus is a registered representative of Hartford Funds Distributors, LLC.

Check the background of this firm/individual on FINRA's BrokerCheck.

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