The book “Die with Zero” is a 2020 novel written by Bill Perkins popularly known as “The Last Cowboy” according to the Wall Street Journal. The book gives ideas to handle personal finances during our life. It is considered a common-sense guide to living rich instead of dying rich. The intriguing factor is that this book has not been written by the author after his financial success. The book covers his life right from when was earning 16,000 Dollars annually to his life today. The book has received a very great number of reviews and a few among them are; “Bill Perkin’s Die with Zeo teaches us how to trade off money for something of real value — life’s moments of pure joy, whose memories are our ultimate treasure.” by Laurence Kotlikoff Boston University Professor and best-selling author of Get What’s Yours; “If you’re wondering what the secret sauce is to living your life to the fullest at every stage without running your resources dry, then crack open this practical, timely book.” by Barbara Corcoran, Shark on Shark Tank & Founder of The Corcoran Group; “This book brilliantly gives one a roadmap for living life over planning for death... Read it and reap a richer, fuller and more exciting life.” by W. Randall Jones, Managing Director, Patriarch Partners, LLC and author of The Richest Man in Town; etc…
Die With Zero Summary
The book begins with the following passage that captures all the readers’ attention and interest to read and follow his philosophy of life. The passage goes like this;
“Imagine if, by the time you died, you had done everything you were told to do: you worked hard, saved your money, and looked forward to financial freedom when you retired. The only thing you wasted along the way was… your life.
Die with Zero presents a startling, new, and provocative philosophy and practical guide to how to get the most out of your money – and out of your life. It’s intended for those who place lifelong memorable experiences far ahead of simply making and accumulating money for one’s so-called golden year. In short, Bill Perkins wants to rescue you from over-saving and under-living”.
The tagline of the book is “Getting All You Can from Your Money and Your Life”. The lessons included in the book are;
1. Optimize Your Life, Invest in Experiences
2. Why Die with Zero?
3. How to Spend Your Money (Without Actually Hitting Zero Before You Die)
4. What About the Kids?
5. Balance your Life
6. Start to Time- Bucket Your Life
7. Know your Peak
8. Be Bold – Not Foolish
9. Conclusion: An Impossible Task, a Worthy Goal.
The Book Die with Zero teaches people that earning isn’t the only way of our life. We should focus on meaningful experiences, relationships, and the limited time we have on earth. The result of all the chase, tirelessness, earning, buying, and saving is ultimately to be happy but, do we tend to be happy all along our busy schedule? Die with Zero gives us the idea of a life work living. The book gives us the following rules to be applied in our life.
Rule 1: Maximize your positive life experiences
“Start actively thinking about the life experiences you’d like to have, and the number of times you’d like to have them. The experiences can be large or small, free or costly, charitable or hedonistic. But think about what you really want out of this life in terms of meaningful and memorable experiences.”
Rule 2: Start investing in experiences early
“Remember that ‘early’ is right now. Of those experiences you thought about earlier, think about which ones would be appropriate to invest in today, this month, or this year. If you’re resisting having them now, consider the risk of not having them now. Think about the people you’d like to have experiences with—and picture the memory dividends you stand to gain from having those experiences sooner rather than later. Think about how you can actively enhance your memory dividends.”
Rule 3: Aim to die with zero
“If you’re still concerned and resisting the idea of dying with zero, try to figure out where this psychological resistance comes from. If you love your job, and you love going to work every day, identify ways that you can spend your money on activities that fit your work schedule.”
Rule 4: Use all available tools to help you die with zero
“If you’re nervous about someday running out of money before you die, then spend some time looking to annuities as a possible solution.”
Rule 5: Give money to your children or to charity when it has the most impact
“Consider at what ages you want to give money to your children, and how much you want to give. The same goes with giving money to charity. Discuss these issues with your spouse or partner. And do it today! Be sure to consult on these matters with an expert such as an estate planner or a lawyer as well.”
Rule 6: Don’t live your life on autopilot
“Think about your current physical health: What life experiences can you have now that you might not be able to have later? Think of one way in which you can invest your time or your money to improve your health and thereby improve all of your future life experiences. Learn about how to improve your eating habits to improve your health. Do more of the physical activities that you already enjoy (such as dancing or hiking) that will also improve your enjoyment of future experiences. If your ability to enjoy experiences is more constrained by time than by money or by health, think of one or two ways you can spend some money now to free up more of your time.”
Rule 7: Think of your life as distinct seasons
“If time-bucketing your whole life feels a bit overwhelming, just do the exercise with three-time buckets covering the next 30 years. Know you can always add more to your list; just do it long before your age and health become a real factor. If you have children … What one experience do you want to have more of with them in the next year or two, before that phase of their life and your life is over?”
Rule 8: Know when to stop growing your wealth
“Calculate your annual survival cost based on where you plan to live in retirement. Consult your doctor to get a read on your biological age and mortality; get all the objective tests you can afford that give you the status of your current health and eventual decline. Given your own health and history, think about when your enjoyment of those activities is likely to start declining in a noticeable way on an annual basis—and how the activities you love will be affected by this decline.”
Rule 9: Take your biggest risks when you have little to lose
“Identify opportunities that you’re not taking that pose little to risk to you. Always remember that you’re better off taking more chances when you are younger than when you’re older. Look at the fears that are holding you back, rational or irrational. Don’t let irrational fears get in the way of your dreams. Realize that at every moment you have a choice. The choices you make reflect your priorities, so be sure you’re making those choices deliberately.”