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Merrill Edge launches Face Retirement mobile app

Merrill EdgeMerrill Lynch’s Merrill Edge introduced last week the Face Retirement mobile app, which provides a life-like 3D animation of a user’s future self in an effort to encourage retirement savings.

The app, which builds on the web-based Face Retirement tool launched in 2012, shows users a futuristic image of what they will look like years ahead. The tool also allows users to see the estimated costs of living at any age and to learn about their options in saving and investing for retirement.

“It’s an eye-opening experience to see what you may look like 40 years in the future,” Alok Prasad, the head of Merrill Edge, an investment service that provides customers with investment insight from Merrill Lynch and banking through Bank of America, said. “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.”

The app is available for free download in the Apple App Store. Users enter their age and gender and use their smartphone camera to take a picture of themselves, which is then altered by 3D imaging technology to create a life-like image of themselves at retirement age.

According to the Merrill Edge Report, in 2011, 47 percent of affluent Americans said they were delaying retirement—the number increased to 61 percent by 2013.

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