Would You Take $3 Million Now, or wait 6 months and get $20 million?

Would You Take $3 million now, or wait and get $20 million in 6 months?

Guaranteed, either way. Consider it like a Lotto win. This would be net to you- after taxes. Your health and your family’s are good. No trick question. If the choice were yours which would you take?

I asked two friends of mine, separately. Each took the cash now. I did not judge, criticize or comment. I was just amazed that some people see the now and forgo the future. I would wait, even if I were broke. There is no right answer.

Please take the survey. We all can learn from each other.

Barring any twists I could wait six months for the $20 million.

The only reason I’d pause is not because I’m discounting the value of $20 compared to $3 but I’d have to consider how solid the “guarantee” for payment in six months is. But odds are I’d take the $20 million and wait.

But I also currently have no expenses that exceed my ability to cover and couldn’t, if necessary, wait six months.

For simplicity sake it is a mortal lock solid guarantee.

I have lived long enough to learn there are no guarantees, even when someone assures you there are.

Most people never learn to delay gratification:

It’s a video with amazingly cute kids. I’m guessing the people who said they’d take the money up front, NOW aren’t very successful.

Commencing countdown.

Thats not really much of a challenge. If you had said $3 million now or $10 million in 10 years, that would be harder. I’d still go with the $10 in that situation.

But I’d wait for the $20.

As stated I’d take the larger amount. If I die before the six months is up, do my heirs get the money?

Moving this from General Questions to IMHO, where you can get people’s opinions. Since there is “no right answer,” you shouldn’t have started it in GQ. Hoping we all learn, I am

samclem Moderator, General Questions

They’d better not. At least you would be guaranteed surviving six months.:smiley:

After much hand wringing, I’d probably go with the 20 mil. Really, it’s a hard decision, because anything over a million seems like more money than I’ll ever need. It you said 3 grand now or 20 grand later, the 20 grand is an easy choice (or 300 grand versus 2 mil). But if you said 30 mil now versus 200 mil later, I would take the $30 million easily. 3 vs 20 is right in the middle.

Six months is nothing so as long as I’m assured “no tricks” then it’s a no-brainer. I’ll take the $20 million.

If it were six years though, I’d go for the $3 million now, probably.

In theory, of course waiting 6 months to get $20 million would be the only correct answer. But that assumes the premise of the OP is also correct. If it’s some guy in the back of a pickup truck who’s making the offer and you can see the $3 million in cash in a briefcase right then vs. his promise of $20 million in 6 months, I’d value the promise at significantly less than the face value of the offer. A bird in the hand and all that.

It would probably take me six months to develop an investment plan and charity foundation. I would need that time to help me figure out how to spend it.

But then again I haven’t submitted my timesheets and invoiced my company since last october as it is! Need to get that done I think!

How many of us have expenses that couldn’t be fixed 6 months down the road with 20 mil in our pocket?
I’d gladly go through a complete ruin of my credit (bankruptcy, foreclosure, etc.) if half a year from now I knew I was getting $20 million. Hell, I’d gladly be homeless during the winter for half a year for 20 mil. The OP said it wasn’t a trick question so it’s a no brainer.

:eek: Didn’t think of that!

Since the amounts in the OP make it a pretty obvious choice, how about asking how small would the delayed amount have to be for you to choose the smaller, but immediate amount?

I’d wait, but then I’ve looked at the behavioral economics studies on this very subject.

To take the $3 million now, your discount rate has to be absurdly high - but not higher than the rates measured in people in studies, though usually asking about a lot less money. The rate that those of you who want the money now is somewhere over 1300%!

If someone were at the point of starvation or destitution today, I can see taking the money now, but not otherwise.

well let’s ignore the fact that if you’re “guaranteed” this money, you would most likely be able to find someone willing to front you the money now for a return with a good rate of interest in 6 months from now :wink:

Frankly 3 million dollars isn’t all that much anymore. Worth having to be sure, but you could probably spend every cent of it on just three things: a reasonably nice (NOT luxurious) place to live, 30-40 years living expenses, and medical care for the last four years of your life. That doesn’t even begin to cover some of the things you could spend money on: three or four kids going to medical or law school? A condo in Manhatten? For twenty million, I could survive being homeless for six months.