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"Die with Zero" by Bill Perkins (Tim's Book Club #4)

To be honest, this book really challenged me, as a financial adviser. I’ve been thinking and processing for a while since reading it a few months ago. So much of my time is spent problem solving for clients on how to accumulate wealth sufficient to provide a comfortable retirement. The focus tends to be on saving more and delaying spending until later in life. There is great merit in this approach, as delayed gratification is one of the necessary elements to having money later, when you’re no longer working. The risk however is that it can put us into an ‘autopilot’ mindset of saving and investing, having the default response of ‘I’d love to do that thing one day’ or ‘in retirement, I’ll take that trip’.

Die with Zero Book

Bill Perkins, a self-made entrepreneur and philanthropist, challenges this conventional wisdom, encouraging us to rethink what truly enriches our lives – “Getting all you can from your money and your life”.

The premise of the book is that experiences and making memories are really the currency of life. Money is only the facilitator of these things. Memories and experiences are enjoyable in the moment, but also pay memory dividends into the future, making them worthwhile investments. There is a balance required to live now and build memories whilst also making sure you’re providing for your future needs. Sometimes we get the balance wrong and by the time we’re in a position to retire and do the things we’ve put off for so many years, we may not have the health or the opportunity to maximise those experiences.

This is especially true for those who are building a legacy to leave to their children and grandchildren. Bill discusses that giving them an inheritance now (rather than when you die) brings added benefits to both the giver and the receiver. The giver gets to enjoy the results of their generosity and the beneficiaries will often receive the money when they need it rather than later, at a point when its utility is diminished. It makes sense that a 30 something couple with young kids and a large mortgage would gain much more value from an inheritance at that point in their lives, as opposed to when they’re in their 50s or 60s (or even later), on their parents passing. Mum and Dad don’t get to enjoy the fruits of their generosity and their children struggle for longer than necessary, delaying their own financial set up.

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Bill's not advocating a reckless spending, ‘YOLO’ approach to your finances. It’s more about having the experiences when you can maximise their enjoyment and have the greatest ongoing dividends from them over your life.

If nothing else, this book will make you think in a different way about how we allocate our finances and hopefully inspire you to start doing some of those things you’ve been putting off for a later stage.

Do want to travel somewhere in particular..?

Do you want to start a business or change professions..?

Do you wish you could make more of a difference to a cause you care about..?

How could doing those things now (or soon) improve your quality of life and provide memory dividends long into the future..?

I’d love to know your thoughts on this book and what in particular you took from it. How did it change or challenge your thinking, which for me, is the mark of a great book..? If you have goals that you want to achieve but want help assessing the financial implications and building a suitable plan, reach out as we can help you get there.

Let’s keep learning, growing and enjoying this wild ride of life.



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