Die with Zero Book Summary By Bill Perkins

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Die With Zero (2020) is a book that helps people rediscover their relationship with money and how it can affect the state of financial freedom.

It explores why spending more can be beneficial and that delaying gratification doesn't always have to be the answer.

The book breaks down several different myths about comfortable retirement and understanding delayed gratification without actually sacrificing on enjoyment.

From an introduction to learning about your own relationship with money to understanding ways to get out of debt more quickly, Die With Zero provides useful information for everyone looking to build a strong foundation for their future.

It also examines how you can enjoy more experiences instead of saving up for them so you can squeeze out maximum rewards from your hard-earned money.

Die with Zero Book

Book Name: Die with Zero (Getting All You Can from Your Money and Your Life)

Author(s): Bill Perkins

Rating: 4.4/5

Reading Time: 19 Minutes

Categories: Money & Investments

Author Bio

Bill Perkins is an entrepreneur, hedge-fund manager, and film producer whose specialty lies in venture capital and energy markets.

He is the author of the book 'Die With Zero', which provides insight into the importance of financial planning and how to plan so you can have a comfortable retirement.

His expertise in venture capital has made him a sought-after speaker at various conferences, as well as a sought-after commentator on CNBC.

He currently resides in New Jersey with his family.

Discover The Secret To Living Your Best Life: Why Responsible Living Is Wasting Your Life

Wasting Your Life

What if the key to living life to its fullest was rejecting the idea of working hard, saving every penny, and expecting a peaceful retirement? That’s where the concept of “die with zero” comes in.

Die with Zero suggests that people should seek to spend their time and money in ways that bring about happiness for them and their loved ones instead of following conventional advice on finances.

The book provides advice on things such as turning experiences into investments, inheritance planning, chasing dreams at the perfect age, when to buy insurance, and how to prioritize spending money.

At its core, Die With Zero encourages readers to make sure they are living life rather than simply preparing for death.

It is a reminder that life should be enjoyed today since life-enriching moments can nevercomene back once they’re gone.

Life Is Too Short To Delay Happiness: Why You Should Enjoy Your Money Now And Not Later

John and his wife, Erin, tragically learned the truth about time when he was diagnosed with terminal cancer at just 35, prompting her to quit her job and enjoy their remaining days together.

Sadly, this story is a reminder that time on earth is finite and should be spent carefully.

The key takeaway from this is simple: money can be made, but time lost can never be regained.

When we delay or put off gratification for later years, ironically, it can very well mean that we waste our lives rather than fulfilling them.

Why should a 30-year-old wait until retirement to plan an around the world trip when they would enjoy it significantly less in their nineties? This delaying of memories was perpetuated by the mentality of saving money rather than spending it – something the author used to live by until he had a key exchange with an older coworker that pushed him in a different direction.

This new mindset encouraged him to start using his extra money to experience life while still investing in his future.

Ultimately, John’s story serves as an example of how our wealth is nothing without health – so let us not postpone our joys any longer because when you come down to it – you can probably earn more money…but you can never recapture time.

The Benefits Of Investing In Experiences Instead Of Money

The idea of making investments isn’t just limited to stocks and funds – you can also invest your experiences, and reap the rewards in terms of valuable memory dividends.

We might not get a 10,000 Euro return when we take a trip abroad, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t worth it in some way.

Whenever we look at photographs or relive memories with friends from that trip, we’ll experience a rush of pleasure.

These small-scale dividends will keep paying off throughout our lives.

If we choose to live a varied and interesting life filled with meaningful experiences, then all these little memory payments will eventually add up to great wealth; not in terms of money but in terms of experience.

It’s also worth noting that the sooner you set off on your travels, the more years you’ll have to enjoy their memory.

That’s why it makes sense to try and find the balance between working hard and enjoying life too!

Don’T Work For Free: The Life-Cycle Hypothesis Helps Us Avoid Wasting Our Lives


Elizabeth was a 45-year-old woman with a net income of $49,000 and no children.

She wasn’t living life to the fullest, because she decided to put the remaining $16,000 from her salary into her pension and savings account each year.

When she died at 85 years old, Elizabeth still had $130,000 in her savings, seemingly a lot of money — yet this amount equated to over 6,000 hours of work that she never got to benefit from.

The key message here is: Die with zero or work for free.

This concept is based on the Life Cycle Hypothesis (LCH) which states that the most efficient way to use your money is by spreading out your spending throughout your entire life.

If Elizabeth had abided by this theory and not let her wealth sit in her account doing nothing while she aged, she would have been able to gain experiences and generate memories that otherwise went wasted due to working for free.

The Key To Not Dying With Zero: Giving Your Children Their Inheritance While You’Re Alive

Under the concept of “dying with zero,” most people think that it’s all about having no money left for your children.

But in reality, this doesn’t have to be the case.

In fact, you don’t have to spend their inheritance if you pass away without any money.

The key message is that dying with zero doesn’t necessarily mean taking away from your kids’ future.

Rather than hoarding money for a potential worst-case health scenario, you can take out long-term care insurance so that your kids still receive their inheritances while you’re alive.

Plus, there are advantages to giving them their inheritances when they still young, as they’ll be able to use it on experiences which will be far more beneficial now than later on in life.

For example, if you give your daughter $50,000 at age 30, she’ll likely put it towards things like a family home or other investments that will help her and her future family down the line.

It’s also cheaper to get long-term care insurance than it is to save up for every worst-case scenario—you may never end up needing it!

Revel In Change: Spend Your Money On Experiences To Live Out Each Chapter Of Life

According to the book, Die with Zero, it’s important to recognize that change is inevitable in life and we must strive to take advantage of the opportunities presented to us.

The author uses his daughter’s growing independence as an example of a significant change that required a shift in his mindset.

He emphasizes the importance of recognizing these changes when they come, so we can make the most out of each chapter without letting opportunities pass us by.

This could also mean taking an honest look at what experiences you want to have for your remaining time.

When you look at it this way, you can better understand how long each phase usually lasts and what goals or aspirations you hope to achieve within those phases.

Knowing this will help you spend your money more wisely during each period of your life.

The Key To Happiness: Stop Building Wealth And Start Enjoying Life

Key To Happiness

When it comes to retirement planning, you must be sure to save enough money and set aside assets that will allow you to survive without working, but nothing more.

To calculate your net worth, simply add up your assets and subtract any debt.

This number is what you’ll need in order to retire with peace of mind.

While net worth is important, saving too much can be detrimental.

Once your net worth exceeds the amount needed for you to retire, you should aim to reduce wealth rather than build it up any further.

You could do this by spending on meaningful experiences or cutting back the amount of work that needs to be done.

Generally, most people will only need 70 percent of the estimated amount needed for survival in their later years.

All other things held constant, interest rates will take care of the rest – meaning there’s no need to save a cent more than what is required for retirement!

Seize The Day To Get The Most Out Of Life’S Risks And Rewards

As you age, the consequences of taking risks become much more serious.

This is something to consider when deciding whether to pursue your dreams or not.

Take, for example, a Hollywood star wannabe – if they make the move from their home city and start auditioning at 21, the worst-case scenario is far less serious than it would be for someone who made the same move at 35.

The younger individual has less to lose because they still have time to build an entirely different career if their acting pursuits don’t work out.

However, when you are older the downsides of risk get worse – but so do the upsides of potential success.

For someone who got their break into acting much later in life might only enjoy their newfound stardom for a few years instead of several decades like someone who had started younger.

This emphasizes why you need to seize the day and take risks sooner rather than later if there’s something you’re passionate about and want to pursue!

Realize that life is limited and opportunities come with an expiration date – so make sure not to wait around too long or too miss out on realizing your dreams.

Wrap Up

The essential message of Die with Zero is to make the best use of your time, money and health now while you have the resources.

Don’t wait and waste time by saving up for a rainy day.

Spend while you’re still young doing what you love, exploring and experiencing life to the fullest – after all nothing will last forever.

It’s important to choose happiness over an ever-expanding bank balance for a fulfilled life.

The golden years don’t come after retirement like many are told but rather somewhere between 50 and 65 when we still have some resources left yet remain fit as well.

This is when we should act on our passions and dreams instead of delaying it until retirement.

So, whatever your age or financial situation, follow the advice from Die With Zero: get started now!

Arturo Miller

Hi, I am Arturo Miller, the Chief Editor of this blog. I'm a passionate reader, learner and blogger. Motivated by the desire to help others reach their fullest potential, I draw from my own experiences and insights to curate blogs.

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