DIE WITH ZERO – Getting All You Can from Your Money and Your Life By Bill Perkins Full Book Summary 2023

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About Book

Dying with zero means using all your money to get tons of great experiences. Why wait until you die to do the things you want to do? In this summary, you will learn how to live life to the fullest. In this, you will also get advice on taking care of your children and creating your legacy. We cannot avoid death. What’s the point of working and saving money if you can’t spend it on activities that bring you joy? This summary will show you how to use your money, time, and health wisely to live a fulfilling life. Read More: The Audacity of Hope Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream By Barack Obama Full Book Summary 2023

Who should read this summary?

  • Young Adults
  • to adults
  • Elderly people

About The Author

Bill Perkins is a hedge fund manager, poker player, and film producer. Currently, he manages the energy hedge fund Skylar Capital. He has also served as the CEO of Qtuco Energy. Bill has produced some of Hollywood’s action films. Bill’s total winnings in poker tournaments have so far reached more than $5 million. He once won $1.9 million in one event.

DIE WITH ZERO – Getting All You Can from Your Money and Your Life
Bill Perkins

Introduction

Once upon a time, there was an ant and a grasshopper. Throughout the summer the ant stored food and the grasshopper played and had fun. When the rainy season came, the ant had plenty of food while the grasshopper had to starve. Our society teaches us to be like the ant that we should work hard and save money for a better future.

And so, like the ant, we toil in the struggle to survive each day. But when do we get time to live freely? When do we get the fruits of our hard work? ‘Die With Zero’ is all about that. There is no point in saving money for retirement when we will not be able to spend money on fun activities due to old age and ill health. So, we should do the activities we love and make good memories with our near and dear ones as long as we can.

This summary will teach you how to balance your spending and savings. You’ll also learn about the time-bucket technique, which will help you find the best experiences at every stage of your life. If you are tired of your boring everyday routine, then this summary is for you. Now is the time to wake up because life is too short. You can’t turn back time or be young again, so it’s better to die with Zero.

Optimize Your Life

John and Erin are successful lawyers and have three young children. But then, John learns that he has a rare form of cancer called clear-cell sarcoma, which is rapidly damaging his body’s tissues. It was October 2018. John was then only 35 years old and his body had a tumor as big as a baseball. To make matters worse, X-rays revealed that the tumor had spread to his back and legs.

John was no longer able to work, so the burden of family responsibilities fell on Erin. The author of this book was a childhood friend of Bill Erin, so he gave her advice. Bill tells her that she should quit her job so that she can spend time with her family as long as John is alive.

And Erin did exactly that. She quit her job to focus on John and their kids. In addition to accompanying John’s cancer treatment, they began watching movies together, playing video games, going to the park, and picking up the kids after school.

In November, the local doctor in Iowa, where he lived, said he had done everything he could. Afterward, John and Erin went to Boston several times to try an experimental treatment. As long as John could walk, he spent his free time walking around the city.

John died early the next year, only three months after the disease was diagnosed. Erin was in shock, but she was glad that she quit her job to give time to John and their children.

What would you have done if you were in Erin’s place? Death comes before us like a shocking truth, it opens the eyes of all of us. The death of a loved one, some trouble, some accident or some illness, makes us realize how short life is. All of a sudden, we find ourselves asking, “What am I even doing with my life? Why haven’t I done the things I’ve always wanted to do?” Until death approaches, we live life as if we are immortal.

Always thinking that you are going to die tomorrow is also stupid. By doing this, you will not be able to go to work, study or think about your responsibilities. But Bill just wanted to say that many people put off what they want to do until it is too late. They keep saving money for a long time. Then, later they realize that they are too old or too weak to use their money to experience and enjoy the world.

John and Erin’s story is an extreme case. Clear-cell sarcoma is a rare disease, but it is a reminder that we will all pass away one day. Illness and old age are part of life, so we should live our limited time freely while alive.

Today many people are living in auto pilot mode. He wakes up in the morning, goes to work, pays his bills, saves money for the future and then does it again the next morning. But what’s the point of having a lot of money in retirement if you can’t enjoy it?

Optimizing your life means using your money and time to have experiences that you enjoy, while you are in good health. When you get older, you probably won’t be able to do the fun activities you enjoy, so why wait until retirement? Learn to live freely as long as possible and waste time and money as little as possible. Spend it on experiences to remember, this is called the principle of dying with zeros.

Invest in Experiences

Bill had a roommate, Jason Ruffo, who was in his early 20s. One day, Jason decides to take three months off from his job and travel alone through Europe. Bill and Jason were both working as clerks in an office and earned $18,000 a year.

Jason borrows $10,000 from a loan shark to make his back packing trip a reality. Bill is shocked to know this. He said to Jason, “Are you crazy? If you don’t give them back the money, they will beat you up a lot!” In addition to Jason’s health, Bill was also concerned that he would miss out on further opportunities in his job, but Jason was fully prepared for it, but Bill did not think twice about joining him. .

Jason went to London first. He was nervous but also excited. All he had was his money, passport, backpack and train pass. He didn’t have any friends with him or a schedule to follow. When he returned three months later, Bill and Jason still had the same income and status in life, but Jason now had wonderful pictures, stories and memories to cherish for the rest of his life.

It was the early 90’s. There was no internet or Google Earth back then, so if you wanted to see a beautiful place, you needed a photo book or, better yet, you had to go there yourself.

In Germany, Jason feels the horror of the Dachau concentration camp. In the Czech Republic, she learned what life was like under a communist government. In Paris, he made some friends and, one day, spent an afternoon sitting in a park enjoying sandwiches, cheese, and wine.

In Greece, Jason falls in love with a beautiful woman and pursues their relationship. She learned about herself and also learned about other cultures by meeting many locals and travelers like herself. Jason felt like his world had suddenly gotten bigger. He started feeling that there is nothing like impossible.

Bill was envious of Jason’s tales of friendship and adventure. Bill also regrets not going on that trip with Jason. As the bills grew, so did his regrets. He got the chance to go to Europe when he was 40, but by then Bill was too old to live in hostels and hang out with 20-year-olds. In addition, Bill had more responsibilities than before, which made it difficult for him to take more days off from work.

Jason told her that if he went there when he was old, he would not be able to enjoy traveling Europe with a 60-pound backpack. Even though he had to pay more interest on the loan, Jason did not regret at all because he had so many priceless experiences on that trip that other things seemed trivial in front of him.

Do you want to spend the rest of your life in autopilot mode? Right from childhood, we are taught to study hard, have a stable job and save for the future. Saving money is a good thing but what are you saving for?

Let us learn from the story of the Ant and the Grasshopper. You know that the Grasshopper in that story was very lazy. He played full time during the summer season and had to starve when the rainy season came. Whereas, the ant was hardworking. He worked hard to find his food and stored it, so when the rains started, he had plenty of food.

Our society teaches us to be like an ant. We are taught to work hard now, save and enjoy later. But maybe we should learn something from Grasshop as well. Yes, we must save but we must never forget to have fun, live freely and make good memories with our near and dear ones.

Why Die with Zero

Arnold Smith was a trader who worked for a hedge fund. His dream was to earn a lot of money and lead a good life. But as they got richer, they kept putting off doing the things they really wanted to do and just started competing to make more money. One day, Arnold told Bill Perkins that if he kept working after reaching $15 million, he could feel free to punch him.

A day also came when Arnold had reached that target but still he did not stop. They knew that there was no point in earning more when they should just be spending their money on things that make them happy. But Arnold didn’t stop even when he reached $25 million or even $100 million.

As he grew richer, Arnold had less and less free time. He became a hedge fund owner and started a foundation with his wife. Arnold had become so wealthy that he put $700 million into his foundation. Finally, when he was 38, he stopped working. By then his wealth had crossed the $4 billion mark.

Although Arnold had retired, it was too late. Now he could never get back the time he had spent in earning money. Arnold will never be 30 again. He had missed the opportunity to take care of his children when they were young. Arnold had so much money that he could sit and eat comfortably for the rest of his life.

You might get the impression that because of his passion for trading, Arnold used to work every day and wanted to earn more money. You may even find that they choose their work over their family or other things in life. But it was not like that, Arnold kept working because he was addicted to it. Just like a teenager gets addicted to cigarettes, similarly he got used to working.

Working to earn money is such a habit which is difficult to give up because then the society gives you the title of being successful. Everyone praises you and if you are rich then tells you that you have done a good job, but the problem lies here.

If you spent all your time earning money and died without spending it then you wasted many precious hours of your life and there is no way on this earth you can get that time back.

So, if you die with $1 million, that $1 million is the cost of experiences you didn’t get. You could have used that money to see the world or create lasting memories with your near and dear ones.

You can say that you are not like Arnold. You are not a trader or a billionaire but still you are probably saving for your retirement. Will you wait until you are old and sick before doing the things you love? Will you wait until then to travel or try new activities? Doesn’t it make sense to invest your money in enjoying life while you are young and healthy?

What About the Kids?

Dying with zero means spending your money on happy memories and great experiences. If you become old and sick, you will not be able to enjoy your money. But of course, you want to take care of your kids. You cannot ignore them while living your life freely.

So here Bill says that you should do whatever financial help he needs as long as you are alive. Why wait till your death to give them the property? The money you are saving for them may be needed most in their life right now. Let us understand it with an example.

Virginia Collin was divorced and had responsibility for her five children. Her ex-husband did not provide any support in raising the children and she had to raise her children alone. Later, Virginia remarried and got a job. When she was 49, her 76-year-old mother died, leaving her a substantial estate. Virginia and her four siblings each received $130,000.

The money was expensive, but Virginia said it would have been better if it had been given to her when she needed it. At that time she had to struggle a lot to raise her children. Virginia is now 68 years old and living a much better life than before. To him the $130,000 now seems like a bonus that would have been nothing short of a lifeline if he had received it ten or twenty years ago.

At that time Virginia was struggling a lot to feed herself and her children. Wouldn’t it have made more sense to give them the money Virginia’s mother was saving for them right then and there? This is also part of the principal of Die with Zero. Before you embark on an experience and die, help your children.

That way, you’ll have more control over what happens to the money you’re saving for your kids. You know they will get that money when they need it the most. You will be able to distribute them equally because who knows what will happen after you die? You don’t even know if all your children will still be alive by then. If you wait until you die, you will bequeath your property to random people in random amounts at random times.

If you’re doing what everyone else is doing, you’re going into autopilot mode. If you want your children to have a good future, then you need to stop and think about it. Virginia learned from her experience. He distributed the money he had saved for his five children, that too when they were between 29 and 43 years of age.

Virginia believed that the age of 30 is the right time to get property. This is because at that age their children can buy a nice house and choose the environment in which they want to raise their children. Because of this decision, the children of Virginia did not have to suffer the troubles that Virginia had gone through.

So, from this you can see how important timing is. It would be foolish to give so much money to your children when they are teenagers. It is better that you give them that money before the age of 50 or 60 because when they become old then they will not be able to enjoy many activities. This is called ‘right use of money’.

Money is just a tool. If you spend it on good experiences when you and your children are young and healthy, then you will be able to make the most of it. When thinking about what you will leave for your children, money should be the last thing you think about. Let us understand from this story.

Charlie is a small but very rich kid. He had inherited a lot of money from his father in property, but the relationship between them could not be called good as his father was always busy with work. Charlie got to eat well, got to wear well and his education was also being done in a good school, but he had a very bad childhood. He used to feel that his parents do not care about him at all.

Eventually even when her father retired, they could never connect with each other because they could not understand each other. Those childhood years gone by yearning for belonging and affection could not be brought back. Charlie’s father was so engrossed in work that he did not even realize when his child’s childhood passed away and when he became young.

So, the real thing you should leave behind for your kids is the lessons learned from life and the box of good memories you spent with them. Instead of leaving a lot of money for them after death, it is better to spend that money on sharing good experiences with them.

What About Charity?

Timing is very important in life, not only when you give money to your children but also when you give money to charity. The New York Times once featured a story about a legal secretary who donated $8.2 million to charity when she died at age 96.

Her name was Sylvia Bloom. He was married but had no children. He worked for 67 years in a Wall Street law firm. Sylvia lived with her husband in a rented apartment and, even into her 90s, still rode the subway to work. She used to invest her savings on a portfolio that she learned from the lawyers she worked for.

Sylvia donated $6.24 million to the Henry Street Settlement, a social service organization. This was the largest amount Henry Street has received in its 125-year history. In addition, Sylvia also gave $2 million to Hunter College for their scholarship fund.

How wonderful is this, isn’t it? She saved money by working as a legal secretary for years and invested her monthly salary and left this world as a millionaire. But wouldn’t it have been better if Sylvia had donated her money when she was alive?

So the thing is that after death you will not have any control over your money. You will not pay tax on your donation. Those who will benefit from your money will pay. Apart from tax hassles, you will also be able to see whether the right money is going to the right person at the right time.

This book is about making the most of your life experience and spending your money on yourself, your family, and the organization of your choosing for as long as you live. It is better to donate your money now than to do something later because there are many needy people who are in dire need of it today.

For example, if you want to donate your money for medical research, then if you give your money to scientists now instead of giving them years later after your death, then they can use it from now on to study about diseases and Will be able to fight them. In this way, your money will be able to save countless lives from now on.

Chuck Feeney is a successful entrepreneur who owns Duty-Free Shoppers Group. He believes in the philosophy of “Giving while living”. When he was 30 years old, he started donating money without telling anyone. By the time he was 80, Chuck had given away $8 million to charity.

He used his money wisely and lived in an apartment with his wife. Chuck didn’t wait for his own passing to help others. His net worth is now $2 million, less than before but still enough to last him until the end of his life. Chuck has touched many lives by donating money, brought change to many and will be remembered forever for this.

You don’t have to be a millionaire to donate money. For example, through an organization like ‘Save the Children’ or ‘Compassion International’, you can sponsor a child by paying $500 every year. Even if you do not have that much money, you can give your time. Working as a volunteer in an NGO is a good experience. And yes, it would be better if you do it while you are alive.

Balance Your Life

Bill Perkins used to be very stingy when he was young. He took great pride in saving money even from his meager salary. But his boss, Joe Farrell, gave him advice. He said that after growing up, Bill will earn even more money, so it is foolish not to spend and enjoy the money earned in his 20s.

Your parents would also probably tell you that you should save some of the money you get on your birthday. Financial advisors teach us that the sooner we start saving, the better. But many economists have something else to say about this.

Steven Levitt, author of Freakonomics, got advice from a senior colleague at the University of Chicago. He taught them to save less money and spend more, especially when you are from a middle-class family, you should live today the way you want to live after 10 or 15 years. It is insanity to cut yourself off from the things that make you happy.

Your income will also increase with age as you get more experience and skills. You get an entry level salary in your 20s but it goes up in your 30s, 40s and beyond.

But this does not mean that you should set your money on fire and spend it on all the luxury brands. You have to learn to balance current expenses and savings for the future.

Many self-help books and financial experts tell people to save 10% of their salary every month. They all support the FIRE i.e. Financial Independence Retire Early movement. While some say to save 20% and they ask everyone to do so irrespective of their age or financial needs.

For example, Elizabeth Warren created a budget formula called the 50-30-20 rule. She is a law professor and author who focuses on the problem of bankruptcy and helping middle-class Americans avoid it. The 50-30-20 rule means that you should spend 50% of your income on basic necessities such as groceries, rent, and necessities. 30% should be spent on things you want to do like traveling, eating out and watching movies. The remaining 20% ​​should be towards repaying your loan and saving.

However, Bill believes that the balance between spending and savings should be adjusted according to your age. Your saving ratio should not be same at 22, 42 or 52 as your priorities and income level are different at these stages of life. The budget formula should not always be the same and no magic number can always apply to everyone.

Saving 20% ​​in your 20s is insane because it’s the best time to experience all kinds of adventures. In your 20s, you are strong and healthy. You can climb as many mountains or ride a roller coaster as you want. You won’t be able to do all of this when you’re 60 or over.

Bill made a graph that as you grow older, your income also increases but your health decreases with age. There are many activities that you can enjoy in your 20s, but by the time you reach the age of 80, this list of activities becomes negligible.

So, when you are young, it makes sense to spend money to enjoy the experiences of life. For example, save just a little bit of money in your 20s. This age is the best time to go to concerts, travel to distant places, play sports and experience other things.

At the age of 30, you should increase your savings because then your income also increases. Save 20% or more of your income in 40. Then gradually reduce your savings in the following years so that you leave this world with zero. Spend your money on your kids, donating to charity, and experiencing activities that make you feel alive and alive.

The story of the Ant and the Grasshopper teaches us that there should be time to work and save and time to play and have fun. To live life freely people need three basic factors which are – free time, good health and plenty of money. But we rarely get all three together.

People in their 20s have the best health and lots of free time but they don’t have lots of money. People who are in their 60s, 70s or above also have a lot of free time but they are too old and sick to enjoy the money they have earned over the years.

Bill believes that the real golden years of life are the 30s and 40s. At this age, you have a good combination of time, health and money. For example, a 35-year-old can still do the same work that a 25-year-old can, but will make more money.

To have great experiences at any age, you should spend your money on getting more free time and improving your health. You cannot reverse the effects of neglecting your body for years. Therefore, remember that it is also important to eat healthy, exercise, and stay away from bad habits. That way, you’ll still be able to enjoy a variety of fun activities when you’re 60 or older.

Start to Time-Bucket Your Life

Bill loved watching cartoon movies with his daughter. When his daughter was ten years old, one day Bill’s daughter told him that she was too old to watch cartoons. Bill says that he wishes someone had told him that there would come a day when his daughter would not like to watch cartoons, so he would have spent more time watching cartoons with his little daughter.

In life, we often assume that things will always remain the same as they are today, but the truth is that one day everything changes. Pay attention to what is happening right now and learn to be grateful for it. One day, you will completely leave this world, but at different stages of life, a part of you also dies. You move from one stage of life to another, so it is important that you start time-bucketing or planning in each stage.

For example, Bill can go to his daughter’s dance practice or soccer games now, but one day she will start going to college and Bill won’t be able to see her every day. Another example is how Bill loved to travel, surf, and participate in poker tournaments, but there will come a time when he may not be as healthy as he is today to enjoy these activities.

We experience mini-deaths at every stage of life, as a teenager, as a college student, as a single young professional, as a first-time parent. We can’t turn back the time so we should be conscious and make good memories and live freely whatever we have. Don’t put off doing what you want to do and never wait for “that one day” that may never come.

Bronnie Ware is a palliative caregiver who authored the international best seller book The Top Five Regrets of the Dying. He has spent a lot of time with patients who only had a few weeks left to live. He talked to them about his regrets, such as thinking that he wished he had lived his way and followed his dreams. Many patients also said that they wish they had not worked so hard.

Our society encourages us to work harder and earn more money, but Brauni finds that the biggest regret of people who are about to die is why they spent so much time working. They wish they had spent more time playing with their children or enjoying small moments with their spouse.

I know you don’t want to be like one of Brony’s patients, so let’s learn the time-bucket technique and plan the experiences you want to have. The less you avoid them, the less you will regret when you die.

Create a timeline of your life from now to age 80. Divide that timeline into 5 or 10 year intervals. For example, age 30-40 would be a time-bucket or if you want, divide it into 30-35 and then 35-40. Then in each time interval or time bucket, make a list of activities you want to do.

Keep your health in mind when choosing your activities. For example, traveling in your 40s or 50s is easier than traveling in your 70s or 80s. Get creative with your list. It expresses who you are. Most importantly, don’t worry about money as it is just a distraction from the goal of living life to the fullest.

So, let’s say you have your timeline written on paper. At each interval, there’s a bucket on top of it with a list of activities you want to do. For example, between the ages of 25 and 30, you want to start a business, visit London, hike Machu Picchu, and volunteer for the Big Brother Big Sister Foundation. Between the ages of 40 and 45, you want to write a book, live in your dream city, travel to Thailand, and go skiing in the Swiss Alps.

Between the ages of 46 and 50, you want to send your kids to college, swim with whale sharks, and travel to China and the Caribbean. Between the ages of 51 and 55, you want to attend your kids’ graduation, learn a new language, sail the Amalfi Coast, and volunteer for Habitat for Humanity. Between the ages of 75 and 80, you want to be a mentor, volunteer at a homeless shelter, camp at the Grand Canyon, and enjoy a cruise in Alaska.

So, you can see that some activities are better done when you are young. If you time bucket your life, you’ll be able to have as many fun experiences as you want while you can. It is better than a bucket list in which you keep putting off these activities until later or when death is near. Time Bucket helps you die with zero regrets.


Conclusion

First, you learned to die with Zero. Spend your money on quality experiences while you can. You have come into this world with limited time only. What is the use of earning money if you will keep saving money and will not be able to enjoy it? So don’t be stingy. Once your basic needs are taken care of, use your money to enjoy life.

Second, you know that the best time to give money to your children is when they are starting their own families. Don’t wait until you die to give your wealth to them. The money you are saving for them may help them more now.

Third, you learned that donating to charity is best done when you do it while you’re alive. Many people in the world are in trouble at this time. The sooner you help them, the better. Your money or time can make a difference in many lives.

Fourth, you learned to balance your life. The percentage of your savings does not always need to be the same as your needs keep changing as you grow older. In your 20s, save less because then you have lots of free time and good health to do lots of things. In 40s, you can increase your savings as you have more income then. Take care of your health to enjoy fun activities even in old age.

Fifth, you learned about the Time Bucket Technique. This is a list of activities that you want to do during each stage of your life. Do your best to fulfill them and don’t worry about money. Remember the story of the Ant and the Grasshopper. It’s good to work and save, but you shouldn’t forget to live and have fun, too.

So what are you waiting for? No matter what your age, there is bound to be a fun activity you want to do. The best time to do it is now because who knows what tomorrow will bring. Use your saved money, free time and good health to live life to the fullest.

Create the best memories with your family and friends. Your small help done through money or time can change someone’s world. Every day brings a new chance to be happy with yourself, to be kind and to live every moment to the fullest. So to live life to the fullest and to feel the feeling of being alive, one has to spend one’s money.

Finally, if you have reached the end of this summary, then Congratulations, there are very few people who invest time on knowledge, otherwise you could have wasted time elsewhere. See you soon with a new summary

Jai Hind

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