Is Dying With $0 the BEST Financial Strategy?

February 28, 2023

We recently received a question asking about our thoughts on the idea that people should strive to ‘die with zero’ and that money that we die with is wasted. In this highlight clip, Brian and Bo give their thoughts on why this strategy could be a problem.

For more information on what you should do with your next dollar, check out our free resources here.


Kyle has a very interesting question. He says, ‘I recently read an article that says people should strive to ‘die with zero,’ and that money that we die with is wasted life energy. What are your thoughts on this?’

Here’s my thought: Did the author of the article have a spouse? No? It’s a very popular book; I’ve had a lot of people recommend this book too. ‘Die with zero,’ yeah, I mean, yeah, I’ve got people who subscribe to that. If you can tell me when you’re gonna die, it’s a great strategy. We’ll do the math; we’ll figure it out; it’ll be great. The problem is, we don’t know that. We don’t know what the answer to that is. And the problem is, what do you want to be the thing that you leave behind? Because I would argue, hey, if you’ve got a spouse and you’ve got kids and you’re thinking about grandkids, you’re thinking about a legacy, dying at zero does not work.

Now, again, I guess it comes back to your ‘why.’ What is the ‘why?’ What are the things you want to do? What are the things that you want to accomplish? But if what you want to accomplish is, ‘I don’t want to get down to my last thousand dollars and decide, “Uh-oh, where’s— you know— where’s…?”‘ You don’t have to make a really difficult decision when you’re down to your last thousand bucks. And you want to be free and flexible. And you have loved ones that you want to be able to provide a legacy and provide wealth for after you’re gone. Or you might have organizations or causes or charities you want to support.

Yeah, I mean, I guess you could try to die with zero. But to say that it is a waste of life force— is that the language, life energy? A waste of life energy? I mean, that’s kind of… So that’s like saying, ‘Well, you know why am I gonna, I don’t wanna exercise because I’m gonna die one day anyways. I’m just wasting my life energy exercising.’ Now, you’re giving yourself a little bit more comfort and flexibility and freedom to live life the way that you want to live life. If you’re shooting at zero, man, that’s too narrow of a landing pad for me.

I’m not so harsh on it because I think that it’s actually telling people the same message we’re telling people is that you’ve got to know your ‘why.’ You’ve got to focus on what the purpose of what you’re doing is so you can… abundance is not a number. Abundance is as you’re living your life where you know what you like to do, you know… you’re very purposeful in everything you do. And that’s what I think. If you go through an exercise of ‘die with zero,’ it lets you sit down and kind of pull away all the noise and all the distractions and figure out what are actually the things that bring you happiness.

There is a famous Steve Jobs quote where he said everything that he truly loves doing actually doesn’t cost any money. There’s an important point there. But I will tell you, ‘die with zero,’ I want you to do the exercises of figuring out your ‘why,’ figuring out what brings you happiness and purpose in life.

Check out our free deliverable called, “How Much Should You Save?” This will show you how much of your income you can replace in retirement!



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