The gritty and granular truth behind the wagers we make with our lives every single day—and, if we’re unlucky, just once in a lifetime.
What are your chances of living through the next 24 hours? This week? This month? This decade? Will your job kill you? Your car kill you? Your spouse kill you? Will your own bad habits kill you? Or will a rogue asteroid just kill us all?
Each time you lay your head on the pillow at night or set your feet on the floor come morning, you bet your life. Exactly what odds do you face 24/7?
You Bet Your Life applies to you, the individual, the analytical approach insurance companies use to calculate risk: actuarial science. The result is a comprehensive, encyclopedic, real world assessment of more than 1,000 of the risks we take every day of our all-too-finite lives, from boarding an airplane to tempting a shark attack by dipping a toe in the ocean.
You Bet Your Life is introduced by an authoritative essay explaining how professional actuaries calculate risk and how less objective entities—in government, finance, science, technology, and religion—apply their own competing calculi of risk and reward.
About the Author
Sheila Buff has written or developed eight national best sellers. She is an honors graduate of Washington Square College at New York University.
Joe Buff holds a master’s in mathematics from MIT and is a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries (FSA). After a long Wall Street career, he became a best-selling novelist.
You Bet Your Life starts with stats and seamlessly segues to everything you ever wanted to know about the risk of dying, with stunning breadth. This exploration from a science writer and an actuary includes familiar causes of death like cancer and COVID, as well as such predicaments as being struck by an asteroid, stuck in an exploding zeppelin. . . and even succumbing to too much excitement watching a playoff game.
— Ricki Lewis, PhD, geneticist and science writer, author of Human Genetics: Concepts and Applications and The Forever Fix: Gene Therapy and the Boy Who Saved It
As serious as cancer yet laugh-out-loud funny in places, You Bet Your Life is a complete compendium of the many ways we can die. This outstanding book helps you assess the risks of daily living and make the best choices.
— Dr. Rob Silverman, Westchester Integrated Health
Want to live longer? Would you like to know how much risk you face in simply working, playing, traveling, going to school, and growing older? . . . As an easily understandable guide for navigating life’s hazards, one can do no better. — Rick Severinghaus, CEO, CRTN Solutions and member, Editorial Review Board, The Submarine Review, the quarterly journal of the Naval Submarine League
Informative and full of surprising facts and figures, You Bet Your Life explains your odds of death from all the usual causes—and plenty of unusual ones as well. The revealing discussions and health and safety tips could save your life!
— Steve Amoils, M.D. and Sandi Amoils, M.D., medical directors, AIM for Wellbeing