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You Do Know I’m Not an Actuary, Right?

Every once in a while, I get a call from someone who doesn’t work for our firm, and the conversation usually goes something like this (every single time):

Caller:  “Hey, who present values your lifetime disability benefit claims?”

Me: “We don’t pay anybody to do it. I do it.”

Caller:  [long pause] “Really? Could you run a present value for me?”

Me:  “You do know I’m not an actuary, don’t you?”

And because it only takes a minute, and I like this person, and my boss knows I do it for this person, I run the numbers, and remind the person that we’ve been using the same amazing present value gadget for decades, that awesome cardboard sliding table-thingie made by Lawyers & Judges Publishing Company, Inc., the Future Damage and Present Value Calculator. Throw those interest rates in an Excel spreadsheet, and baby, you are golden.

$22 and worth every single penny. But hide yours. They are popular in the office.

I also use an iPad app, Time Value of Money, and have located several free online present value calculators over the years, but nothing beats the tried and true L&J PV tables.

Well, except maybe an actuary.

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