When an amount is expressed in today’s dollars, it means the result has been adjusted for inflation (the rising cost of living) and for the cost of rising community living standards.
This term is often applied to results in financial calculators. This is done to allow calculator users to make a meaningful comparison with current wage levels. If results were shown in future dollars instead, they would be larger.
For example, if your current income is $50,000 and a calculator provides a result of $25,000 in today’s dollars, think of the result as being equivalent to 6 months pay at a future time.
ASIC’s guidance to calculator providers through ASIC Corporations (Generic Calculators) Instrument 2016/207 is that projection-based calculators should present results in today’s dollars where an estimate is provided over two years or more.