From the Inside Flap
Where do all these numbers come from?
If you have spent any time at all planning for retirement, you have probably come across an assorted collection of numbers. Some of these numbers are very large, like how long you might live, or how much money you will need to retire comfortably. And, some of these numbers are very small, like the interest you are earning in the bank, or how long your money will last if the stock market takes a tumble at the wrong time. But, have you ever stopped and asked yourself: Where do all these numbers come from? Who created the underlying calculations? When were they discovered and how long have they been around? Do they have a proven track record? Well, you might be surprised to learn that the stories behind your numbers may be a lot more interesting than the numbers themselves.
For example, did you know that:
The value of a pension was first discovered by a comet-chasing astronomer following his father's suspicious death and a plot to kill the King of England?
The first calculation for how long your retirement nest egg will last was conceived over 800 years ago by an Italian merchant traveler best known for an obsession with rabbits?
The most famous mathematical model of human mortality was formulated by an Englishman who wasn't allowed to attend university?
Your stockbroker's very capitalistic plan to help you retire rich is based on an algorithm designed by the greatest Russian mathematician ever, who was a communist and Soviet hero?
Moshe Milevsky, bestselling author and internationally-renowned retirement quant, explains to the rest of us the work of seven scholars—summarized by seven equations—who shaped all modern retirement calculations. He tells the stories of Leonardo Fibonacci the Italian businessman; Benjamin Gompertz the gentleman actuary; Edmund Halley the astronomer; Irving Fisher the doomed stock picker; Paul Samuelson the economic guru; Solomon Huebner the insurance visionary, and Andrey Kolmogorov the Russian mathematical genius—all giants in their respective fields who collectively laid the foundations for modern retirement income planning.
With remarkable narratives that span several continents and 800 years of history, The 7 Most Important Equations for Your Retirement focuses on universal concepts and big-picture concerns, which help you first appreciate and then figure out how to retire while you can still enjoy your money.
From the Back Cover
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 to do, when to do it, and what to expect. I know this quite well because 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 into conversations. It is a narrative involving seven people, their discoveries and the conceptual innovations that made it possible for you to stop working and enjoy the money you have accumulated, one day. These protagonists—or scientific heroes—didn't achieve their breakthroughs while hunched over a laboratory workbench, peering through a microscope or trekking through jungles. They made their discoveries sitting in front of a blank sheet of paper, but while thinking very carefully about life and money. And, like the greatest thinker of them all, Albert Einstein, they too expressed their discoveries using a very beautiful language called mathematics. Alas, the seven equations profiled in this 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 that financial conversations are often dry and humorless. So I promise to do my best to lighten up the topic by keeping the technicalities to 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 I can certainly appreciate the beauty and genius behind it. The seven equations presented in this book typify, at least for me, the conciseness, elegance and beauty that the best of the best equations demonstrate. By the end of this book, if you're not already inclined to appreciate mathematical equations for what they are, I hope you'll agree about the beauty.