A good way to live – die with Zero?

I find it helpful to read one or two provocative “live your life deliberately” type books every year. Recently, I read “Die with Zero” by Bill Perkins.

The thesis of the book is that we should aim to die with zero money! I did not agree with everything, but it provoked me in a good way.

Perkins says most people work/save as if they will live to 150 years old. But, he says, let’s be realistic – we’ll probably live till around 70-90, if we’re lucky.

Three primary finite resources

And that we have three primary finite resources:

Time, Money and Health

Perkins had interesting things to say about time and money (including that we should give our children and favourite charities the ‘inheritance’ money much earlier than when we die), but what I found most helpful were the bits about health.

It was obvious stuff, but I had not thought about it enough. 

He said we should make sure we enjoy life while we have the health to do so.

So it is good to save and plan wisely for life’s important things, emergencies, health, etc. But often we save too much for these things, and save as if we are going to live to 150 years old, and as if we will still have very active lives when we are 80.

But the reality is we will probably live until we are 70-90 years old, and when we are older we will probably only want to sit around resting, instead of going skiing, or skydiving, or travelling the world.

So we must remember to live life while we can. 

And that involves, amongst other things, spending more money doing active things while we are physically able.

We will look back on happily on such experiences when we are old, when we are too old to be able to do them. 

Die with zero application

After reading the book, for our weekly date, Christine and I had a wake-boarding lesson in Singapore’s East Coast Park

Die with zero - Christine in action wakeboarding
Christine in action!

I’ve walked past the wake park dozens of times over the years, but only now did we go for a lesson. And it was awesome. Fun, energising, bonding, memorable!

We bought a pack of ten more sessions afterwards, and had a second lesson last week! (Our goal is to get round the whole lake by the end of the year!)

Inspired? Check out my first long distance open sea swim

I’m glad we did not put it off until we were too old, when it would be too late. Even in 10 years’ time we might find it taxing!

It’s like how I also do not regret cycling and walking across much of the world in my 20s and 30s.

Question for you

What activities can you do at your current age, which you might not be able to do in 10 years? Make a plan to do them this weekend or on your next holiday!

Carpe Diem.