"...according to the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, 51% of American households are at risk of being unable to maintain their standard of living in retirement, up from 43% in 2004. The center estimates that savings shortfall at $4.2 trillion, or roughly $120,000 per household at risk. In sum, despite decades of badgering, Americans are farther behind than ever in their struggle to save.
Behavioral science offers at least a partial answer: To make long-term financial goals more achievable, you must make yourself feel as if the future is now.
"Why is it so difficult for people to set aside money for the long-term future? Low earnings and high temptations are obvious reasons. But perhaps the most basic cause is a fundamental human frailty: We view our future selves as strangers. "
The article also has the financially incorrect item that both Buffett and I do: use future values for calculating how much to spend. (See Buffett's $300,000 haircut example.) Incorrect financially, but it works. (or at least did when I used it...lol).