What makes some people focus on squirreling away a large nest egg, while others are hopelessly oblivious to reminders to save and end up in debt? It turns out that the psychology of saving is complex, and surprisingly little research has been published on the subject.

Here's what we do know, and how you might help your clients have a healthier relationship with money. Two extreme examples from my practice as a financial planner illustrate the challenge.

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