Die with Zero by Bill Perkins [Book Summary – Review]

What is the number of occasions you have been told that you have to work hard, keep all the money you have as well as relish a serene retirement? What is the number of individuals that have taught you this “right approach to living life”? 

However, what if these people are not correct?

Assuming, by following other people’s footsteps, you are really not making the most of your life?

These chapters will reveal to you the reason all the things you have learned about riches; wealth, as well as life contentment, is incorrect. Also, you will learn about how to make the most of your stay in this world and how to use your cash in a manner that brings joy to you as well as those you love. 

From what you inherited to insurance, from trips to professions, these chapters show the key to a world that is founded on intelligence, memories as well as tranquility.  

In the following chapters, you will discover

the reason your kids need to inherit before you pass on:

the accurate time to follow your passions: and 

the way you can change what you’ve experienced to an investment. 

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Chapter 1 – It is possible to make more cash; however, time can never be taken back. 

John was only 35 years of age when he got informed by the doctors that he had terminal cancer.  When John’s family heard this sad information, Erin who is John’s wife left her work and they relished the remaining time they had. 

Erin was grateful for every last memory they had together after John Passed on.

This narrative may seem a little basic and maybe, somewhat intense; however, it tells us again a deep fact: that our stay on this planet is limited. Therefore we need to use it wisely. However, when we ponder on the little assets every one of us possesses, we barely concentrate on just time. Unfortunately, this manner may signify a life that is wasted.   

When humans view life as endless, they have the tendency to delay their gratification. Think of a 30-year-old that is anticipating retiring. It is during that period she will go on vacation in Italy and it is during that time she will also be taught how to water ski; that is also the period she will go on vacation all around the globe. 

All of these might seem reasonable; however, by delaying all these experiences for further years, this patient 30- years old will definitely not enjoy this as much as she ought to. Or worst-case scenario, she will not have the opportunity to enjoy any of the things listed.

Why is that so?

The cause of that is easy: wealth is basically nothing in the absence of health. Let’s say you possess the fund as well as time, will you enjoy climbing Rome’s Spanish Steps in your old age? Or will you relish waterskiing when you are in your nineties?

Therefore, what is the reason why our 30-year-old shouldn’t begin all of the experiences at this moment when she is in the best year of her life? The reason is that, just like the remaining people, she learned how to keep her money instead of using it.

This was something the author was doing before, until one day when he had a discussion that transformed his life. 

This discussion took place when he was still working as a junior in finance. In spite of his little income, he kept all the money he could. On one occasion, he bragged to a colleague in a higher rank about the money he saves. However, shockingly his senior was not fascinated. 

This is the reason he gave: the purpose of the author accepting the low-wage work is to climb the ladder to a bigger role with a larger pay.

Therefore, what is the reason for saving the small cash he has presently just to offer to his older, wealthier self? This reason transformed the author’s financial method. He began to use his additional cash to relish his twenties. 

In the following chapter, we will see how one can relish their fund presently and at the same time save for one’s future. 

Chapter 2 – The thing you go through will give you significant memory dividends.

All of us know the idea of financial investments. You take your money and put it into stocks, shares, or, maybe, goods, with the expectation that at the end of the day- you will be able to get back your money- with a yield. However, what if it is possible for you to save beyond cash? What if it is possible for you to invest in the thing you experience as well?

Assume you spend ten thousand dollars on a vacation to Europe. While you were on that vacation, you meet new friends, got to find out about different cultures, and broaden your perceptions. You start to feel like a completely new individual once you get back. However, how is it possible for this trip of exploration likely turn into an investment? It is not possible for you to be given back your ten thousand dollars, is it? Also, a training course will not assist you in making more money in the future. 

Hence, what is the reason why this is an investment? For us to have an idea of this, we have to bear in mind that money alone isn’t the only dividend worth getting.

Anytime you go through the picture from your European trip or discuss it with a friend regarding the journey, you will experience a rush of sweet memories. Also, all of the memories will continue paying off throughout your remaining life. 

Definitely, the memory of your journey won’t be as pleasurable as the actual experience. However, that is fine. If you are the kind of person that lives a diverse as well as wealthy life, then, at a point, the entire little dividends that are regularly paid off from your memory bank will come along.  This rush of great memories will turn you into a rich person. However, the riches will come as a form of experience instead of cold hard money. 

Perhaps, you are considering going on that huge vacation someday – however, you are thinking you should not do that for now and concentrate on making extra money. Well, this is something to think about: the sooner you embark on your trips, the additional years you will get to relish the memories you have made from it. 

The author of this book recalls how, when the health of his father deteriorated, he didn’t have the strength to create significant fresh memories. Therefore, the author gave his father a present and that was a showreel that showcased the high points of his father’s football profession when he was in college. His father told him that it was the best gift he had ever gotten. 

There are obvious advantages to using one’s money on experiences; however, how do you do it when you are extremely preoccupied with work to use the money you’ve earned? We will learn more about that in the following chapter.

Chapter 3 – Die with nothing or work without getting paid.

Let us assume your boss told you to do your work without getting paid. Probably, you would refuse. However, millions of people in America are doing exactly that. For several years, they work hard without any financial profit.

For instance, Let us talk about the woman named Elizabeth. Elizabeth is 45 years of age and doesn’t have any kids, and her yearly net revenue is $49,000. However, Elizabeth just uses $33,000 from the money she gets. The money that is left which is $16,000 is put into her pension as well as the account she saves in. When she turns 65 and retires, she will have a sum of $770,000 net worth. This total will encompass those entire savings and her house equity.  

After Elizabeth retired, she spend $32,000 in a year, up until, 20 years after, she passes on when she turns 85.

When Elizabeth passed on, there was still $130,000 in the account she used for savings. It doesn’t seem too bad, right? Well, let us examine her finances better. 

When Elizabeth hasn’t retired and was working, her salary was approximately $19 per hour. This signifies that the remaining $130,000 that was left is equal to more than six thousand hours of work. That is nearly about two and a half years of labor. However, now that she has died, this is the total money she will never spend. Therefore, in reality, she used those entire hours working without getting paid.

Is there something she could have attempted in a different manner? Well, Elizabeth could have made use of another way on how she spends her cash. This method is founded on a theory called the Life-Cycle Hypothesis or LCH. 

This is what the theory is all about, the most effective approach to making use of your money is to disperse how you spend it. This means, your expenses should stay approximately constant throughout your whole life. Meaning your riches will decrease as you age, and at the end of the day, you will pass on with a net worth of nothing.

Definitely, no one is aware of when they are going to pass on, therefore, the LCH theory recommends that you should make an attempt to guess the number of years you have remaining. 

As for Elizabeth, that would have signified using her riches all through her whole life. Rather, she allowed it to remain in her account.  

Also, as we have realized already, that money signified six thousand hours of lost work. These six thousand hours could have been used to create those experiences and memories for her memory bank. Also, six thousand hours that Elizabeth could have utilized in living a greater life.


Chapter 4 – Leaving the world with nothing doesn’t signify using your kids’ inheritance.

In theory, leaving the world with nothing might seem like a good thing; however, what happens in a situation where you have children? The majority of parents wish to make sure that they leave behind a sufficient inheritance for their kids. Using your entire cash for your personal entertainment is self-centered right?

In a nutshell, it isn’t. To know the reason, question yourself about this: what portion of your riches do you consider yours and what portion of your riches do you see as your kids’ own?

Assuming you wish to leave behind $50,000 for your daughter. So, just consider that this cash is not for you anymore to use. Also, as soon as you’ve made this choice, handling your riches will probably get easier. 

This does not mean you have to die with a bank balance of $50,000. Rather, you have to intend to provide your kids with their inheritance while you are still living. 

According to economic research, it reveals that most Americans get their inheritance from their parents just after they pass on. At that point, an average American is already 60 years of age. 

However, if you ponder on it, it is very logical to give out your riches before you pass away when your kids are still very much at a young age. 

Let us assume, for example, it is when your daughter is 30 years of age you give her the inheritance. She will definitely gain more from it. Let us say she has kids, and that inheritance can be used to have a suitable family house. The daughter won’t need to suffer to survive. 

Or she can use the money on experiences- also, as we have seen already, experiences are a great investment when you are still at a young age.

However, a lot of parents still hold on to their kids’ inheritance. At times, the reason is that they are afraid of having chronic- and costly- sicknesses later on in life.

If you relate to this, note that taking out long-term care insurance is inexpensive compared to keeping money for a terrible case that might not even take place. 

This path could be the solution to both proving your kids their inheritance at an early stage and also securing your own future. 

Chapter 5 – Change is inevitable; therefore, hold onto all the chances.

There is only one life; likewise, you just die on one occasion, right? As a matter of fact, yes and no. Although it is right that one can just die at once physically, we can say that one goes through several deaths in their life.

You might be thinking that what the meaning of this is. The author of this book gives this instance. 

When the author’s daughter was still a young girl, she liked watching movies with her father. Her favorite was one film. However, on one occasion, she mentioned not liking that movie anymore. Instantly, the life of the author transformed in a little but vastly major manner.

The author was no longer a dad to a little kid who wished to use her entire time with him. Rather, he became a dad to a rising independent individual who had her personal interests

Meaning that person the author was passed away on that day. Similar to the untroubled, childless form of himself has passed on the moment his daughter was given birth to. Similar to the adolescent he was then – passed on years earlier. 

What is the connection of this with the manner in which you make use of your cash? Well, every time one form of you passes on, the interests as well as desires that certain individuals had dies as well. 

You could then consider your life as a gathering of time buckets. Every bucket contains a time period between five to ten years long.

For example, let us say you are 30 years of age now; you could split the rest of your time into six or even seven extra buckets. 

After you have done the time-bucketing of your life, ponder on the entire experiences you still wish to enjoy for the remaining years you have left. Then, think about the age you would most relish every one of these experiences.

Also, after this has been done, allocate every experience to the appropriate time bucket.

Doing this will provide a great indicator of the amount of your money you need to target to spend at every time of your life.  

When you agree to the reality that every aspect of your life will come to an end in the long run, you can begin to maximize the chances every period bring and use your wealth accordingly.

Chapter 6 – Make sure you save sufficient money for your retirement; however, not an extra penny

Up to this point, we have looked at the advantages of dying with nothing. However, for a lot of individuals, the dread of living life with nothing overshadows these advantages. Though, this is a concrete worry. Nevertheless, what will be the case if you go broke years after you don’t work anymore? What is the amount of money that is sufficient to retire?

For us to give a reply to the question that was asked, you have to consider your net worth. This can be gotten by summing up your entire assets and subtracting what you whole. Your net worth is the amount that is remaining.

If you are similar to the majority of Americans, your net worth will grow as you age. For example, at a young age, you may be in debt as a result of several student debts and low-income, entry-level work. However, as you become older, you might likely pay off this debt. You will possess a series of higher-salary works, and additionally, you might even have your own house as well.

Your belief might be that, a regularly increasing net worth is part of achievement in life. Definitely, becoming richer is a great thing right? As a matter of fact, it is true, however, just to a degree. Truthfully, your net worth can get extremely high. 

This point happens when have gathered sufficient riches that you could live on for the remaining years of your life without working. Let us examine a scenario.

Assuming you require $12,000 in a year for you to live on. You presume to be alive for another 40 years. This signifies that you require $480,000 for you to retire.

As a matter of fact, you can actually retire significantly below that amount. The reason is that your assets as well as funds will accumulate interest with time; therefore, your net worth will reduce slower than you’ve thought. 

As a matter of fact, you just require about 70% of your estimation for you to stop your work. The remaining part will be sorted with interest rates. 

If you want to maximize your time in this world; do not let your net worth rise much higher than the money you need for survival. Also, when that occurs, start to lessen riches, instead of accumulating them. For instance, you might choose to use more money on better experiences or minimize the job you perform. 

Chapter 7 – As you get older, the more severe the repercussions of risks get.

You might have heard of the term “the more the risk, the bigger the prize.” That is not completely correct. As a matter of fact, doing risky things is a bit similar to backpacking all around the globe: you will make the most of it at a younger age. 

What is the reason why it is good to be confident during the early age of life? Let us examine a high-risk case. 

Let us assume it is your desire to be a Hollywood celebrity. In order to make your dream come to pass, you relocated thousands of miles to Los Angeles. You start doing auditions and going to waiting tables just to survive. 

The risks associated with this are so glaring, the majority of aspiring actors do not succeed, and a lot of them end up without jobs and with no money.

At 21 years of age, if you begin to chase your acting passion at that point, the risk of your downfall is small. Your age is okay for it and if you are not successful with it, it is easy for you to opt into a different thing. There is still time for you to build a completely different profession.

During this tender age, you are going through an asymmetric risk. This implies that the advantages of victory are far greater than the disadvantages of failure. As a matter of fact, at the age of 21, you are really taking a greater risk if you do not chase your passions. What is the reason? It is because you are gambling a lifespan of constantly asking what would have happened.

However, things begin to transform as you grow older.  

Let us assume you resigned from your normal work, relocated to Los Angeles, and began going for auditions when you are 35 years of age. During this period, you already have a profession, a family, or maybe kids. The risk of you not winning would be completely dissimilar.

It may not be hard to live with the fact that the disadvantages of risk become worse as you grow older. However, the advantages of winning reduce as well. Say, for example, you eventually made it into the movie industry at the age of 55. What is the number of years you have to relish your fame? Probably lesser than a younger individual might assume.

The keynote in all that has been said is to grab the day. If there is a thing you are yearning for or to do, don’t delay; do not hold on for more financial stability.

Life is limited so are chances. The only thing that is unlimited is the ability of your desires. 

Die with Zero: Getting All You Can from Your Money and Your Life Bill Perkins Book Review

Do not waste your time keeping money for stormy days. It is possible for you to get richer as you grow older; however, your health as well as your readiness for different experiences will diminish. Therefore, it makes sense to use your disposable revenue when you are still young, chasing dangerous desires as well as going on mind-broadening travel. Always remember that nothing remains for life- and neither will you last forever. Therefore, pick joy over an ever-increasing bank account. 

Think about your golden age again.

We are told to believe that our golden ages arrive during the period we retire, maybe after 65 years of age. This period- as we are being informed- is a valuable time when we possess both cash as well as time to do all the things we have been wanting to do.

However, do not be deceived. 

As a matter of fact, the golden ages come much sooner; approximately around the ages of 50-65. This is the period we possess more assets as well as time than we had during our younger ages- however, remarkably, most of us stay barely in shape.

Therefore, do not delay until retirement. Immediately you possess the ideal blend of riches, health as well as time, chase it – begin doing everything you like!  

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Savaş Ateş

I'm a software engineer. I like reading books and writing summaries. I like to play soccer too :) Good Reads Profile: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/106467014-sava-ate

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