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The behavior behind instant gratification

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Our brains are hard-wired to live for today. But the choices we make with our money can make a big impact in retirement. Here, behavioral expert and professor Dan Gilbert explains why it can be so hard for us to plan for the future.

The Pulse of the Challenge Lab
Would you rather have $100 today or $110 two days from now?


Could the money in your pocket make an impact on your retirement? If you make regular contributions and give it time to grow, you may be surprised to see what you can accomplish over time.


Automatic payment services make it easy to spend a lot of money without even realizing it. Use this calculator to see how your payments add up over time.

Auto-pay Analyzer

Auto-Pay Analyzer

How many things do you have set to automatic bill pay each month? Calculate the amount and see how setting your retirement contributions to auto-pay can really add up.

Once you know how auto-pay can add up, learn how you can help you prepare for retirement.

Select the products and services you have set to monthly auto-pay.

    • Select the products and services you have set to monthly auto-pay.
per month
Spending over
1 year
Spending over
10 years
Spending over
30 years
What if you invested instead?
go back

Auto-pay for the future

Your selections:

Spending per month: $0.00
Spending over 1 year: $0.00
Spending over 10 years: $0.00
Spending over 30 years: $0.00

With auto-pay things can add up quickly, which can be great when you apply the same behavior to investing.

See how investing a little each month can go a long way.
Invested over 30 years: $23,760.00

Currently viewing: Auto-Pay Analyzer

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Saving for retirement can be a pain

Studies show that our brains register the loss of money as actual, physical pain. So when money disappears from our paycheck and goes into our retirement account, it hurts. So how can we offset that pain?

Overcoming Temptation

Temptation is everywhere. But if we can just show a little restraint, we can enjoy much greater rewards in the future. Can we do it? We did a little experiment to find out.

What Our Searches Say About Us

The things we’re searching for say a lot about our priorities. Based on these charts, we’re thinking a lot more about today than tomorrow.

Currently viewing: What Our Searches Say About Instant Gratification

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Did you know?

Our craving for instant gratification doesn’t just affect our financial planning. We can also see it in our eating habits. We know we should be eating healthy. But right now, we really want that cookie.

We all know fresh fruits and vegetables are good for us. But somehow, we get distracted by unhealthy snacks. Funny how the same thing happens when it comes to our financial future lives. There’s always something that gets in the way.

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