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Patience - 8/12/16

It is said that patience is a virtue.  Recent research indicates that it’s also good economics.  A recent survey of nearly six hundred people, all aged over seventy, reveals that more patient people grow richer and healthier than their more impetuous peers.  Patience boosts wealth by much more than marriage or religion. 

Olivia Mitchell, a professor of risk at the Wharton School, undertook the analysis.  Among other things, respondents were asked about how much they would accept in a year’s time rather than receiving one hundred dollars today. 

More than half of those surveyed specified that they would need more than one hundred and sixty dollars to wait a year and quite a few, mainly the very old, require more than two hundred dollars. 

As reported by the Wall Street Journal, the overall average discount rate, which represents the rate of interest that would render these respondents indifferent to waiting or not, was a whopping fifty four percent, about twice as high as the level most other studies find for younger and middle-aged people. 

More impatient people are also more likely to smoke, drink to excess, and miss their flu shots.    

Anirban Basu, Chariman Chief Executive Officer of Sage Policy Group (SPG), is one of the Mid-Atlantic region's leading economic consultants. Prior to founding SPG he was Chairman and CEO of Optimal Solutions Group, a company he co-founded and which continues to operate. Anirban has also served as Director of Applied Economics and Senior Economist for RESI, where he used his extensive knowledge of the Mid-Atlantic region to support numerous clients in their strategic decision-making processes. Clients have included the Maryland Department of Transportation, St. Paul Companies, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Players Committee and the Martin O'Malley mayoral campaign.