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Where do all these numbers come from?
If you have spent any time at all planning for retirement, youhave probably come across an assorted collection of numbers. Someof these numbers are very large, like how long you might live, orhow much money you will need to retire comfortably. And, some ofthese numbers are very small, like the interest you are earning inthe bank, or how long your money will last if the stock markettakes a tumble at the wrong time. But, have you ever stopped andasked yourself: Where do all these numbers come from? Who createdthe underlying calculations? When were they discovered and how longhave they been around? Do they have a proven track record? Well,you might be surprised to learn that the stories behind yournumbers may be a lot more interesting than the numbersthemselves.
For example, did you know that:
The value of a pension was first discovered by a comet-chasingastronomer following his father's suspicious death and a plot tokill the King of England?
The first calculation for how long your retirement nest egg willlast was conceived over 800 years ago by an Italian merchanttraveler best known for an obsession with rabbits?
The most famous mathematical model of human mortality wasformulated by an Englishman who wasn't allowed to attenduniversity?
Your stockbroker's very capitalistic plan to help you retirerich is based on an algorithm designed by the greatest Russianmathematician ever, who was a communist and Soviet hero?
Moshe Milevsky, bestselling author and internationally-renownedretirement quant, explains to the rest of us the work of sevenscholars—summarized by seven equations—who shaped allmodern retirement calculations. He tells the stories of LeonardoFibonacci the Italian businessman; Benjamin Gompertz the gentlemanactuary; Edmund Halley the astronomer; Irving Fisher the doomedstock picker; Paul Samuelson the economic guru; Solomon Huebner theinsurance visionary, and Andrey Kolmogorov the Russian mathematicalgenius—all giants in their respective fields who collectivelylaid the foundations for modern retirement income planning.
With remarkable narratives that span several continents and 800years of history, The 7 Most Important Equations for YourRetirement focuses on universal concepts and big-pictureconcerns, which help you first appreciate and then figure out howto retire while you can still enjoy your money.
From the introduction: An equation can't predict your future. . . But it can help you plan for it
Most books about retirement planning are written as guides,instruction manuals or "how-to" books. The authors tell you what todo, when to do it, and what to expect. I know this quite wellbecause I have authored many such tomes myself.
Rest assured, this is not one of those books.
This book tells stories which I hope will lead intoconversations. It is a narrative involving seven people, theirdiscoveries and the conceptual innovations that made it possiblefor you to stop working and enjoy the money you have accumulated,one day. These protagonists—or scientific heroes—didn'tachieve their breakthroughs while hunched over a laboratoryworkbench, peering through a microscope or trekking throughjungles. They made their discoveries sitting in front of a blanksheet of paper, but while thinking very carefully about life andmoney. And, like the greatest thinker of them all, Albert Einstein,they too expressed their discoveries using a very beautifullanguage called mathematics. Alas, the seven equations profiled inthis book aren't as famous or as elegant as the simplicity of E =MC 2, but they are far more practical for your retirement.
Yes, I know from many years of teaching experience thatfinancial conversations are often dry and humorless. So I promiseto do my best to lighten up the topic by keeping the technicalitiesto a minimum and focusing on the art.
"Art," you say?
Yes. In my mind, famous equations are like beautiful Picassos.Even if I don't quite understand the painting or the mathematics Ican certainly appreciate the beauty and genius behind it. The sevenequations presented in this book typify, at least for me, theconciseness, elegance and beauty that the best of the bestequations demonstrate. By the end of this book, if you're notalready inclined to appreciate mathematical equations for what theyare, I hope you'll agree about the beauty.