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Die with Zero by Bill Perkins. 7 ideas from the book.

I’ve read many books on finance, but I must admit that this one comes with an original idea. Die with zero.


The author sees life as a sum of experiences. And to live experiences, you need money, time, and health.

Most people prioritize money over time and health. And Bill tries to bring us back on track by maximizing our joy rather than our wealth.

    1. Don’t live your life on autopilot.

    "If we didn’t have to work to earn money, most of us would find other things we’d much rather do with our time.”

    This is undoubtedly true for most people. And even if you love what you do, you have to balance work with time and health.

    Statistically, the author shows that people continue to accumulate wealth (and therefore trade their time and health) at ages when it no longer makes rational sense.

    2. Invest in your health

    Investing in your health (eating, moving, breathing) early is like compound interest. You’ll be able to experience more wealth even at an older age.

    3. How to spend your money (Without actually hitting zero before you die)

    To free ourselves from this fear of ” missing out, “Bill suggests buying annuities. It’s an insurance product where you pay a large sum of money to an insurer, and they pay you monthly for the rest of your life. Of course, these products have a cost. (nothing is free in our world😀)

    Not my favorite choice, I prefer to manage my money but could be an option if you search security.

    4. Create "Memory Dividends"

    “The business of life is the acquisition of memories. At the end that’s all there is.”
    — Downton Abbey

    Experiences require money, time, health, and they build memories.

    It’s a form of investment that doesn’t pay dividends in money but in memory— “Memory dividends.”

    And like any good investment, you have to start early.

    5. The time-bucket suggestion.

    "If you want to die with zero and make the most of whatever health you have at every point in your lifetime, you will need to spend more in your fifties than in your sixties, and more in your sixties than in your seventies, let alone your eighties and nineties”

    That’s why it’s essential to be intentional about the way you live and work.

    Time cannot be regained, not even with a lot of money. So you have to live the right experience at the right time.

    6. What about the kids?

    “If I spent all my money, I won’t let anything to my kids.”

    Here again, Bill brings us to the rational part of the équation. Most inheritance arrives too late.

    By following the exercises in the book, you are supposed to find how much money you need to live your full life. Including your crazy experiences.😀

    Now that you know that, why not give money to the Kids and your loved ones when they need it more. So give when you are still alive.

    7. A stoic concept.

    "Remember: In the end, the business of life is the acquisition of memories. So what are you waiting for?”

    We can discuss what kind of experiences, how much I need, when I should stop, etc…And each one of us has to do it.

    But let’s remember the main idea, we are just passing through this earth.

    So if you have the privilege to ask yourself these questions, do so and choose intention over auto-pilot.
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