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TIAA-CREF has come up with a marketing campaign straight out of a behavioral economics textbook. One of the challenges in saving for retirement is taking a long-term view of consumption by choosing amount X of pleasurable stuff today instead 4X some number of years from now. The campaign is called “Become your future you.”

Just a guess, the future you who is going to be a local superhero – yeah, it’s going to be more expensive than you think.

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Faced with restaurant manager churn, McDonald’s decided to offer a generous company match to its 401k plans. Automatic enrollment with a 1 percent automatic annual deferral of salary were the default rules. To “ease the pain” of the 1 percent deferral, the company gave managers a one time 1 percent bump in salary. Hat tip: Kare Anderson.

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1) As part of their bonus, Unilever senior managers are encouraged to invest as much as 60 percent of their cash bonus back in Unilever shares. The Nudge blog hopes senior managers will choose not to.

2) “The true perversity of The Heart Attack Grill is that the same tactics that are supposed to scare people away from unhealthy food are actually encouraging them to buy it.”

3) Which government agencies will challenge citizens to come up with ideas? Which government agencies will put those ideas into action?

4) People who order food through this mobile app spend 25 percent more on their order than they do using a traditional menu. Credit card executives would have predicted something like this.

5) TIAA-CREF is sponsoring a contest looking for ideas to boost the U.S. savings rate. Grand prize: $50,000

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1) The New Yorker interview with Richard Thaler.

2) London’s mayor wants to start a recycling bank program that gives people shopping vouchers for their recyclables.

3) Another plug this past weekend for the automatic tax return. California says it costs $2.59 to process a paper return, but only 34 cents to process its version of the automatic tax return, ReadyReturn. The makers of Turbo Tax have been trying to end the program, most recently this fall.

4) Calorie postings at Starbucks led to lower calorie consumption by six percent–except around the holidays. Hat tip: Farnam Street.

5) Will Obama mention the automatic IRA in his State of the Union speech Wednesday?

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Mark Iwry and David John of the Retirement Security Project testified before the Senate Special Committee on Aging today about the benefits of automatic enrollment in retirement plans. CQ Politics says the idea is gaining momentum in Congress.

Sens. Jeff Bingaman (Democrat-New Mexico) and Gordon Smith (Republican-Oregon) have sponsored a proposal (aka. the Nudge bill) to provide for Automatic Individual Retirement Accountss, based on the Retirement Security Project proposal. The bill, which has died in the last two Congresses, allows small employers who do not offer employee retirement plans to allow eligible employees to receive an IRA automatically. Follow the Senate bill (S. 1141) here and vote in the internet poll about it. Who are the 71 percent of internet voters against this bill?

Five Senators are co-sponsoring the automatic IRA bill.

Robert Casey (Democrat-Pennsylvania)

Thomas Harkin (Democrat-Iowa)

John Kerry (Democrat-Massachusetts)

Barbara Mikulski [Democrat-Maryland]

Sen. Olympia Snowe [Republican-Maine]

Twenty three House members and one Resident Commissioner are co-sponsoring the House version of the bill.

Neil Abercrombie (Democrat-Hawaii)

Jason Altmire (Democrat-Pennsylvania)

Brian Baird (Democrat-Washington)

Earl Blumenauer (Democrat-Oregon)

Joseph Crowley (Democrat-New York)

Artur Davis (Democrat-Alabama)

Rahm Emanuel (Democrat-Illinois)

Philip English (Republican-Pennsylvania)

Resident Commissioner Luis Fortuño (Republican-Puerto Rico)

Paul Hodes (Democrat-New Hampshire)

Darrell Issa (Republican-California)

Eddie Johnson (Democrat-Texas)

Henry Johnson (Democrat-Georgia)

John Larson (Democrat-Connecticut)

John Lewis (Democrat-Georgia)

Daniel Lipinski (Democrat-Illinois)

Zoe Lofgren (Democrat-California)

Carolyn Maloney (Democrat-New York)

Carolyn McCarthy (Democrat-New York)

James McDermott (Democrat-Washington)

James McGovern (Democrat-Massachusetts)

Linda Sánchez (Democrat-California)

Allyson Schwartz (Democrat-Pennsylvania)

Christopher Van Hollen (Democrat-Maryland)

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Market Movers links to an intriguing paper from Ian Ayres and Barry Nalebuff, both from Yale, that recommends twenty-somethings plan for retirement by borrowing money to invest in the stock market. Leverage up to buy stocks? Yes. They write:

Continue reading the post here.

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