Human beings are terrible at buying these things, simply because it is almost impossible to sell the future.
What we’re good at is the ‘now.’
When we buy a stake in the future, what we’re actually buying is how it makes us feel TODAY.
We move up all the imagined benefits and costs of something in the future and experience them now. That’s why it’s hard to stick to a diet (because celery tastes bad today, and we can’t easily experience feeling healthy in ten years). That’s why we make such dumb financial decisions (because it’s so tempting to believe magical stories about tomorrow).
If you want people to be smarter or more active or more generous about their future, you’ll need to figure out how to make the transaction about how it feels right now.