Discount rate: The value of a payoff, or cost, expected on some given future date is diminished by the discount rate for each year intervening between the date of payoff and the present. To assume a discount rate of 0% would imply, unrealistically, total indifference between receiving a payoff now and at any other time; in the U.S. a more suitable assumption is 3%, a benchmark found in typical studies of government-financed projects. At this rate, the expectation of receiving $100 in one year has a value approximately equivalent to $97 today.