Die with Zero Book Summary - Die with Zero Book explained in key points
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Die with Zero summary

Bill Perkins

Getting All You Can from Your Money and Your Life

4.5 (319 ratings)
19 mins
Table of Contents

    Die with Zero
    summarized in 7 key ideas

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    Key idea 1 of 7

    You can probably earn more money, but you can never recapture time.

    John was just 35 when doctors told him he had terminal cancer. When his family received the bad news, John’s wife Erin quit her job, and they enjoyed the time they had left together. 

    After John’s death, Erin was thankful for all their final shared memories. 

    This story may sound a bit simplistic and, perhaps, a bit extreme, but it reminds us of a profound truth: our time on Earth is finite. We must spend it carefully. But, when we think about the limited resources we all have, we rarely focus on time itself. Sadly, this approach can mean a wasted life. 

    The key message here is: You can probably earn more money, but you can never recapture time. 

    When people treat time as infinite, they tend to delay their gratification. Consider a 30-year-old who’s looking forward to retirement. That’s when she’ll take that vacation to Italy; that’s when she’ll learn to water ski; that’s when she’ll go on that round the world trip. 

    This may all sound sensible, but by putting these experiences off until her later years, our patient 30- year-old will probably enjoy them a lot less. Or even worse, she won’t get to do any of these things at all. 


    The reason is simple: wealth is nothing without health. Even if you have the money and the time, will you relish climbing Rome’s Spanish Steps when you’re old? Will you enjoy waterskiing in your nineties? 

    So why doesn’t our 30-year-old get started on those experiences now, while she’s in the prime of life? Because, like the rest of us, she’s been taught to save money rather than spend it. 

    The author used to do this too, until one day, he had a conversation that changed his life. 

    This conversation happened when he was a junior finance worker. Despite his low salary, he saved every penny he could. One day, he boasted to a senior coworker about his savings. But to his surprise, the coworker wasn’t impressed. 

    Here’s the logic he offered: the only reason the author took the low-paying job was to move up to a more senior role with a bigger paycheck. 

    So, then, why put away the little money he has now only to give it to his older, richer self? This thought changed the author’s financial approach. He started using his extra money to enjoy his twenties. 

    In the next blink, we’ll explore how you can enjoy your money now while still investing in your future. 

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    What is Die with Zero about?

    Die with Zero (2020) explores the benefits of spending more and saving less. These blinks bust the myths that surround the concept of delayed gratification and comfortable retirement. They also explain how everyone can squeeze out more enjoyment from their money.

    Who should read Die with Zero?

    • Workaholics searching for balance
    • Financial advisors looking for fresh insights
    • Young professionals wanting a new perspective

    About the Author

    Bill Perkins is a hedge-fund manager and film producer. He specializes in venture capital and energy markets.

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