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Your reasoning skills are better than 1/2 of all 50 year olds if you can answer this!
Old 05-23-2011, 04:39 PM   #1
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Your reasoning skills are better than 1/2 of all 50 year olds if you can answer this!

For your limited amusement, this useless bit of information is being passed to you courtesy of Kiplingers Magazine this month: Less than half of all the over 50 crowd could not give the correct answer to this question. "If 5 people win a lottery and the prize of 2 million dollars is divided equally, how much will each winner get?"
If you answered $400,000 you better than half of all 50 year olds, and 75% better than all 85 year olds. And I thought today's generation didn't learn math! I guess my generation didn't focus on it too much either!
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Old 05-23-2011, 04:42 PM   #2
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Maybe they were trying to figure out how much it'd be after taxes, and if you took it as a lump sum rather than 20 annual payments.
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Old 05-23-2011, 04:47 PM   #3
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Sorry, but Uncle Sam takes his share up front so probably under 300K
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Old 05-23-2011, 08:05 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Mulligan View Post
Less than half of all the over 50 crowd could not give the correct answer to this question.
whether or not this is good depends on how much less than half. At least more than half got it right.
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Old 05-23-2011, 09:09 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Nodak
whether or not this is good depends on how much less than half. At least more than half got it right.
Less than half got the correct answer. After re-reading what I posted, I could have written in a clearer manner, sorry!
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Old 05-23-2011, 09:23 PM   #6
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Actually they would net something around $250k if they took the lump sum option and after getting hit with a 30% income tax, and that's a generous guess. If they meant gross and before a payment option was chosen, then the question was simply what is 2/5.

I am guessing they did not make this clear at all in the question. They basically chose one of the vaguest questions possible, which made it quite a different question than, what is 2 divided by 5.
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Old 05-24-2011, 05:36 AM   #7
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Might be the numbers are bigger than most are comfortable working with. We've all seen the surveys about how most people don't have near that much for their retirement. I bet the same people could figure out how to split a $20 tab 5 ways. Oh wait ... is that before or after tip.
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Old 05-24-2011, 07:40 AM   #8
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The article is not about math skills, it is about age related loss of reasoning ability. This is real and will happen to a majority of us as well. While I'm not a fan of Kiplingers Magazine, the article does have a valid point: while we are still in full command of our faculties, it might help to have a plan to manage our financials at some future time when we no longer have to skills to do so.
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Old 05-25-2011, 04:47 PM   #9
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Many years ago DW and I went to the close-out sale for our local Ernst Hardware where everything was marked 90% off. We loaded up several carts at these prices. The young female clerk was having a tough time operating her calculator trying to determine the discounted prices. To help the clerk, my DW started telling her what the discounted prices should be. For example: if the original price were $18.95 my DW would tell the clerk the discounted price was $1.90. The clerk would struggle with her calculator and finally come to the same figure. After this went on for a while, the clerk asked DW how she could do the math so quickly in her head. DW and I rolled our eyes. Don't schools require a basic level of understanding of math in order to graduate?
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Old 05-25-2011, 08:14 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by packrat44
Many years ago DW and I went to the close-out sale for our local Ernst Hardware where everything was marked 90% off. We loaded up several carts at these prices. The young female clerk was having a tough time operating her calculator trying to determine the discounted prices. To help the clerk, my DW started telling her what the discounted prices should be. For example: if the original price were $18.95 my DW would tell the clerk the discounted price was $1.90. The clerk would struggle with her calculator and finally come to the same figure. After this went on for a while, the clerk asked DW how she could do the math so quickly in her head. DW and I rolled our eyes. Don't schools require a basic level of understanding of math in order to graduate?
lol. That one's extra ridiculous cause you just move the decimal one to the left. No math required. One could teach a kindergartner that.
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Old 05-25-2011, 09:01 PM   #11
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"Many years ago DW and I went to the close-out sale for our local Ernst Hardware where everything was marked 90% off. We loaded up several carts at these prices. The young female clerk was having a tough time operating her calculator trying to determine the discounted prices. To help the clerk, my DW started telling her what the discounted prices should be. For example: if the original price were $18.95 my DW would tell the clerk the discounted price was $1.90. The clerk would struggle with her calculator and finally come to the same figure. After this went on for a while, the clerk asked DW how she could do the math so quickly in her head. DW and I rolled our eyes. Don't schools require a basic level of understanding of math in order to graduate?"

Once schools allowed use of calculators, students lost the ability to grasp the concept of relative values. We older folks know that 90% off is a BIG reduction. But when someone is taught arithmetic using calculators, all numbers look the same and they have no concept if the answer even looks right, so one result is as good as another to them.
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Old 05-25-2011, 10:50 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by mystang52
"Many years ago DW and I went to the close-out sale for our local Ernst Hardware where everything was marked 90% off. We loaded up several carts at these prices. The young female clerk was having a tough time operating her calculator trying to determine the discounted prices. To help the clerk, my DW started telling her what the discounted prices should be. For example: if the original price were $18.95 my DW would tell the clerk the discounted price was $1.90. The clerk would struggle with her calculator and finally come to the same figure. After this went on for a while, the clerk asked DW how she could do the math so quickly in her head. DW and I rolled our eyes. Don't schools require a basic level of understanding of math in order to graduate?"

Once schools allowed use of calculators, students lost the ability to grasp the concept of relative values. We older folks know that 90% off is a BIG reduction. But when someone is taught arithmetic using calculators, all numbers look the same and they have no concept if the answer even looks right, so one result is as good as another to them.
No school I know of lets kids use calculators. I am a teacher. YMMV.
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Old 05-26-2011, 11:40 AM   #13
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No school I know of lets kids use calculators. I am a teacher. YMMV.
When our children were in middle school (a long time ago) they were allowed to use calculators. DW and I were not happy. We taught them how to round numbers up or down and then make quick calculations in their head.
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Old 05-26-2011, 11:44 AM   #14
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No school I know of lets kids use calculators. I am a teacher. YMMV.
An expensive graphing calculator was a requirement for our son when he started high school.

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Old 05-26-2011, 11:56 AM   #15
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An expensive graphing calculator was a requirement for our son when he started high school.

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Touche.
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Old 05-27-2011, 05:58 PM   #16
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My 74 year old Dad came down to visit yesterday. To humor myself, I asked him the question verbally. He answered it correctly in about 2 seconds. I then told him his reasoning skills were better than 3/4 of all people his age. Whether it's true or not doesn't matter because it made his day!
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Old 05-28-2011, 11:02 AM   #17
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The original question was so simple I thought it was a joke or a trick question. I first re examined the question to determine if it were possible that the entire amount was multiply paid to all or a portion of the winners or if some winners were somehow disqualified.
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