Casual Friday: Face Retirement


Merrill Edge is helping you Face Retirement. They are convinced that we don't save enough for retirement because we just can't picture ourselves living into our 70s and 80s. By showing you what you will look like in the future they hope to convince you to save for retirement. All I have to say is that it worked. I now believe I should save more - for plastic surgery. If the age progression is correct, I might need a little nip and tuck at 67. Beyond scaring (and possibly scarring) you with a glimpse into your future, the site also provides some cost of living data. See how much a loaf of bread will cost, a gallon gas, or a movie ticket. It is all enough to make you realize that tomorrow will be here before you know it, and it will cost you a lot more to live the same lifestyle.

If you are brave enough it just takes a minute to find out what you'll like 20, 30, 40 years from now. The program uses your webcam to take your picture and begin the aging process. Bonus, you can share right to Facebook if you are so inclined.

So if you are ready to start saving more, find out exactly how much you need using the bizologie favorite tools: retirement planning post.

How are folks spending their money?


Need stats on how consumers are spending their hard earned dollars?  Or are you just curious how your personal spending stacks up to your neighbors? Bundle is the free resource that provides spending and saving data gathered from over 20 million Americans. The Everybody's Money feature lets you filter by income, age, household status, city (even down to the zip code level). You see bubbles for broad areas of spending and then Go Deep for more of a breakdown. Under Food & Drink you can see dining out spending separate from grocery store spending. Bundle even provides you with the names of the merchants most used by your select demographic for that area of spending. Then they give you monthly spend and even average purchase price!

How do they do it? The largest portion of the juicy information comes from anonymous and aggregated customer spending data from Citi and other third party providers. It is even updated quarterly so that you can see seasonal spending and spot trends early. Not only is it amazing data, it is also easy to use, and really pretty.