Why it matters

Telling young people they need to save more money for retirement is easy. But getting them to start saving is hard.

Takeaways

  • The Theory of Planned Behaviour explains that behaviour is controlled by intentions and that behavioural change is driven by behavioural attitudes. Success is a powerful behavioural reinforcer – in the same way that the expectation of failure is not
  • Marketers should deliver communications and experiences that make it seem that everyone else is doing it (saving for pensions), even if they aren’t
  • Make the abstract world of ‘future me’ immediate, relevant and important
  • Develop digital functionality that allows people to experience the real benefits of simple decisions they can make now

Changing behaviour is no simple task. We inherently suffer what psychologists call a ‘status quo-bias’. We operate on autopilot, doing things as a combination of our individual characteristics and environment dictates. Simple actions outside of our normal routine require such a significant degree of effort that, overwhelmingly, we don’t bother.