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We weigh every significant decision based on how it will affect our future. But when it comes to figuring that out, we mostly make the process up as we go along. While financial professional Peter Neuwirth can’t help you actually predict the future, he can offer a simple, systematic way to make much better guesses about it—and so make better decisions.
Neuwirth offers an accessible, step-by-step guide to using the powerful concept of Present Value—which allows you to determine the value today of something that might happen in the future—to evaluate all of the outcomes that might arise from choosing one path as opposed to another. Using examples that anyone can relate to, Neuwirth walks you through the process. Your old refrigerator doesn’t work as well as it used to—should you buy a new one right away or muddle through for a while? You’re offered a great discount on a service you don’t need at the moment but eventually will—buy the service now or wait?
With just a little math and some common sense, you can compare future costs and benefits with present costs and benefits and make “apples to apples” comparisons. This book will be indispensable for anyone who has ever had to figure out whether to stick with an awful job or follow his or her bliss, fix that old car or buy a new one, increase 401(k) contributions or keep the same take-home pay, and a thousand other decisions.
About the Author
Peter Neuwirth has over thirty years of actuarial experience. He is currently a senior consultant with Towers Watson and is one of its subject matter experts. He is a fellow of the Society of Actuaries, a member of the American Academy of Actuaries, and an enrolled actuary. In his personal life, Peter has used Present Value to decide if he should take a time-share company up on its offer of a cheap vacation rental in Kauai, what kind of running shoes to buy, and whether to get married, among other quandaries.
“The future comes sooner than you might think. Reading What’s Your Future Worth? is a great way to prepare.”
—Steve Vernon, FSA, author of Money for Life
“Provides a great deal of important insight into the intractability of the future, the idiosyncratic nature of how humans perceive the passage of time, and how best to approach the many decisions that all of us face on a day-to-day basis.”
—Eric Baum, PhD, computer scientist and expert on artificial intelligence; CEO, Azure Sky Research; and author of What Is Thought?
“A must-read for professionals and the general public alike. If only bankers had had this book in the early 2000s, we might have been spared the Great Recession!”
—James Kenney, FSA, EA, President and CEO, Kenney Consulting LLC
“Makes Present Value compelling, interesting, and accessible; it’s a concept for us all to embrace in making important life or financial decisions for the short term, long term, and even the very distant future as our legacies.”
—Jennifer S. Gorovitz, estate planning and nonprofit attorney, Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP, and former CEO, Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund of San Francisco