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 (528 ratings)
19 mins

Brief summary

Die with Zero by Bill Perkins is a personal finance book that encourages readers to live their lives to the fullest by spending wisely and deliberately. It provides practical advice for prioritizing spending on experiences that bring joy and fulfillment, rather than material possessions.

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    Die with Zero
    Summary of 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.

    Die with Zero Review

    Die with Zero by Bill Perkins (2020) is a thought-provoking book that challenges the way we think about money and time. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • It offers a refreshing perspective on retirement and encourages readers to rethink how they should spend their time and resources.
    • The book provides practical strategies and actionable advice on maximizing happiness and fulfillment throughout life.
    • Through relatable anecdotes and relatable stories, it breaks down complex concepts and keeps readers engaged from start to finish.

    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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    Die with Zero FAQs 

    What is the main message of Die with Zero?

    The main message of Die with Zero is to live a balanced and fulfilling life by making the most of our time, energy, and resources.

    How long does it take to read Die with Zero?

    The reading time for Die with Zero varies depending on the reader's speed, but it typically takes several hours. However, the Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Die with Zero a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Die with Zero is a must-read for anyone looking to redefine their relationship with money and create a more purposeful existence.

    Who is the author of Die with Zero?

    Bill Perkins is the author of Die with Zero.

    What to read after Die with Zero?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Die with Zero, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • Playing with FIRE (Financial Independence Retire Early) by Scott Rieckens
    • Partnering by Jean Oelwang
    • The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren
    • How I Invest My Money by Edited by Joshua Brown and Brian Portnoy
    • From Strength to Strength by Arthur C. Brooks
    • (Article) Why can't the world's greatest minds solve the mystery of consciousness? by Oliver Burkeman
    • Four Thousand Weeks by Oliver Burkeman
    • The Wealth Money Can't Buy by Robin Sharma
    • The 12 Week Year by Brian P. Moran and Michael Lennington
    • The Psychology of Money by Morgan Housel