Within consciousness, the outcome precedes the event. Where else in the universe does this happen?
This depends on the timeframe of events. Case in point: cyclical events.
We might say the mental model is a result of cause, but success (or even definition) of the model is a reflection of the future, which has not occurred when the model is cause.
Yes, because we model based on current/past needs and observations. If I'm hungry (cause: lack of food, secondary cause: no fruit-bearing trees, tertiary cause: nobody planted them, ...), then I'll try to get food (solution 1: migrate, solution 2: hunt, solution 3: look what other things eat and see if I can do it too...).
I think it's less about consciousness being retrocausal and more about conceptualizing time beyond "now." Going back to cyclical events, if I was hungry once, I might be again in the future, therefore store some for later. Can you expect future outcomes without differentiating, consciously or not, past, present, and future?