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Die With Zero: Why Spending Money On Health Makes A Lot Of ‘Cents’

According to a 2018 study, 48% of U.S. adults experience high or moderate levels of anxiety around their level of savings. Given that we are now either already in or close to a recession, I would imagine that percentage is even higher today. Inflation and uncertainty about the future don’t exactly help people feel warm and fuzzy about their finances. 

For many people nearing retirement, the size of their nest egg has also shrunk over the past year due to the economic downturn. It’s completely understandable why anxiety around finances is so high. 

That said, in his book Die With Zero, Bill Perkins makes the argument that many Americans are actually saving too much and leaving behind large sums of wealth when they die. He explains that many people save and build up their nest egg for too long until they eventually get to a point in their lives where they are too old to enjoy the money they’ve saved for retirement. 

Perkins’ solution? Aim to die with $0 by spending all of your money before the end of your life. The reasoning? He argues that every dollar you didn’t spend while alive is wasted life energy. He also explains that spending money on memorable experiences over material things is best for most people since experiences produce memories that bring us joy over time. 

This is all easier said than done, which is why Perkins devotes the entire book to break down the why and how of dying with zero in more detail. But what does any of this have to do with your health? 

You don’t have to necessarily ‘die with zero’ to improve spending habits

One point Perkins makes in the book is that a big reason we shouldn’t wait for retirement to start breaking into our nest egg is that the younger we are, the more we can enjoy most experiences. This is because our health deteriorates with age, and as this happens, we become more and more limited in the things we can do and enjoy. If you wait for your 60s and 70s to start spending in a meaningful way, you may have missed out on some experiences you could have enjoyed in your 40s and 50s. 

This is why investing in your health is so important. You may not realize it yet, but there will come a time when your health and fitness will limit the things you can do and the experiences you can enjoy. By proactively investing in your health today, you can create a hedge against that happening anytime soon. 

If you agree that memorable experiences are one of the keys to a happy and fulfilling life, investing in your health today is probably better than anything else you could throw your money into. Given recent events, it sure seems like a better place to spend your money than investing in crypto. 

Ouch. Too soon? 

The key takeaway? Whether you buy into this idea of dying with zero or not, investing in your health is one of the best ways to spend your money. Gym memberships, working with a 1-on-1 coach, high-quality supplements, and buying regeneratively raised organic foods all cost money, but your health is not the place to be penny-pinching. 

An investment in your health is the best investment you can make.

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