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Saving a Stranger Self

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After graduating from UC Berkeley, Victor Rose started working in the retirement world via Carlson, Quinn & Associates. He found his way to Ubiquity Retirement + Savings, formerly The Online 401(k) in 2009 and his world has never been same. He transitioned into his role as Project Manager and enjoys the intricacies of special projects and the joys of working with others towards the ultimate goal of providing our clients with an excellent savings experience. Victor enjoys meditation in all forms, especially watching mindless TV, Off The Grid food trucks, helping others and raconteurs par excellence.

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July 23, 2013 at 4:34 pm
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Our book club is currently reading Daniel H. Pink’s To Sell Is Human, and this week’s reading surfaced an interesting tidbit of information: we find it hard to relate to future versions of ourselves.

“To those estranged from their future selves, saving is like a choice between spending money today or giving it to a stranger years from now.” – HERSHFIELD et al.

Is this why so many of us live for today, unknowingly aligning ourselves with the philosophy of Epicurus, which states that pleasure is the greatest good?

We can’t escape the rules of cause-and-effect; what we do today has downstream consequences.

The donuts, the late night ice cream sneaks, the stubborn adherence to a strict policy of no exercise. These choices that I made years ago are affecting me today.

I have proof. I’m sure others can relate.

What, then, can be done to save our future self? Are we doomed to forgo sacrifice instead of pleasure, planning instead of impulse?

No.

“Light Strokes, Fell great Oaks.” – Benjamin Franklin

Just as my impulsive behavior years ago is the bane of my waist-line today, the Krispy Cremes, baby back ribs and el grande pork burritos I eat or do not eat today could harangue my figure a year from now.

If I make small modifications and compromises, like eating light meals two or three times a week, forgoing a $4.50 mocha, maybe not eating out as much, and possibly using the extra money I save to invest in my 401(k) plan, and maybe, just maybe running around the block a few times a week and doing push-ups before going to sleep, I might be in better shape a decade from now had I not made these small adjustments.

What do you think? If you can take a small series of actions that lead to a great payoff, would you do it?

Will you?