Weekend Reading: How Thinking About 'Future You' Can Build a Happier Life

This article appears as part of Casey Weade's Weekend Reading for Retirees series. Every Friday, Casey highlights four hand-picked articles on trending retirement topics and delivers them straight to your email inbox. Get on the list here.
Weekend reading future you happier life Weekend reading future you happier life
Weekend Reading

You put effort into cultivating relationships with friends and family, but what about the relationship you have with your future self?


You, meet you: According to studies over the past decade, individuals who carry a vivid sense of their future self and view that person in close comparison to their current identity, tend to be fiscally more responsible, as well as more aware of how their actions today will play into tomorrow. On the other hand, individuals who perceive their future self as an entirely different being with little connection to who they are now, tend to be less responsible with their behavior, and how it will affect them long-term.

If you find yourself sitting in the latter, the good news is you can still strengthen the relationship you have with your future self with intentional focus, while reaping the rewards, which include:

📌 Prioritizing financial wellbeing and more retirement savings

📌 Better health and longevity

📌 Higher moral standards

📌 Living an overall more comfortable life

Message in a bottle: As for how exactly to create a stronger connection to the “you” in the years ahead, a simple strategy mentioned here includes writing a letter to yourself. Whether it’s five, 10 or even 20 years from now, pen a message to yourself and describe what is most important to you now, as well as your plans for the decade ahead. In the end, it will prompt you to adopt a more long-term-focused perspective.

My two cents: Above all, you should be able to predict your degree of satisfaction in retirement to the same degree that you can connect with your future self.