Die With Zero - Bill Perkins


The Author has a very privileged position to write this book. And therefore, it will appeal to only some. He puts this disclaimer somewhere at the beginning of the book. To subscribe to the notions in this book, you will have to have money saved up and not be living paycheck to paycheck. You also need to be in zero debt.

Nevertheless, some of the concepts of the book are fundamental. The one that stood out to me and the Author keeps repeating in the book is the correlation of health and experiences.

Most experiences give maximal reward when you are in good health - most often when you are younger. And therefore, the Author is a big proponent of having experiences early in life.

The following diagram illustrates my takeaways from this book -

Give Inheritance and Charity Early

Giving to people after you die doesn't make sense as with inheritance and charity.

Give to them now when it will have the most impact.

There are good examples in the book of children who struggled when they were younger despite later getting a sizeable inheritance in their 50s - when they could no longer spend it.

Most charities need the money now. For example, money given to allow a student to study has the most impact now - both for that person and society.

Balance Saving Money and Spending It

Certain activities like going to the theater can be enjoyed both at a young and old age. These activities also tend to be expensive and perhaps more “affordable” at an older age.

However, as with all activities, the frequency of attending these activities and the enjoyment extracted from these events - does diminish with age.

Money extracts more value from activities when you are younger than when you are older.

Physical activities make more sense when you are younger

Despite what you may think mentally - the body of a 50-year-old is not the same as that of a 20-year-old.

Therefore, the author is a big proponent of shifting activities that you would typically relegate to your retirement years to sooner.

Memory Dividends

The memories we build from experiences are far more significant because they constantly earn memory dividends as we remember them throughout our lives.


Figure out what your interests or tastes are and where to spend the money

Know your peak

Figure out your peak when it comes to how much of the money that you have saved up will satisfy you for the rest of your life.

Get peace of mind knowing how much you will need in retirement by creating time buckets.