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Bill Perkins 0:02
Life is discovery sometimes you discover the things you want to do. But people look at life in like the buffet, your eyes are all bigger than how much they can eat right? Like you're not going to do all these things like you don't need that capital. You know there are definitely people can light some money on fire and have some very expensive things that they want to do. And some people that don't but like you need to be personally in touch of what are you saving for?
T-minus 10 seconds. Welcome to the Journey To Launch Podcast with your host, Jamila Souffrant. As a money expert who walks her talk, she helps brave Journeyers like you get out of debt, save, invest and build real wealth. Join her on the Journey To Launch to financial freedom in five, four, three, two, one.
Jamila Souffrant 0:55
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If you want the episode show notes for this episode, go to journeytolaunch.com, or click the description of wherever you're listening to this episode. In the show notes, you'll get the transcribed version of the conversation, the links that we mentioned, and so much more. Also, whether you are An OG Journeyer or are brand new to the podcast, I've created a FREE Jumpstart Guide to help you on your financial freedom journey. It includes the top episodes to listen to, stages to go through to reach financial freedom, resources, and so much more. You can go to journeytolaunch.com/jumpstart to get your guide right now. Okay, let's hop into the episode.
Okay, derniers, I am so excited to be having this conversation and for you to hear it because what I hope that this will do is what reading his book did for me, which was completely changed my perspective on what I was doing with my money and life, which is a big deal for me to say. So I want to welcome Bill Perkins to the podcast. He is the author of die with zero getting all you can from your money and your life. So welcome, Bill.
Bill Perkins 3:12
Thank you. Thanks for having me. Glad to be here.
Jamila Souffrant 3:15
So the first time I heard about you, or I think I saw you you were doing something with Farnoosh. I think like that was the first time I saw something you were doing. And I and I just saw the title of your book or what you were talking about, and it was die with zero. And I gotta say my initial reaction was like, What do you mean die with zero? Like the thought of it felt like, what is he talking about? Does that mean like, we die in terms of not having any money left over? What about our children, and like creating legacy wealth for them. And so I was not a fan at first. But that's because I didn't understand what you were talking about. And then I saw people rumbling around on the internet reading your book and saying this changed my perspective. And I I gave it a chance and I read it. And I must say it has changed my perspective. So can you for people who have just are just hearing about this? What does the concept of die with zero actually mean when you say it,
Bill Perkins 4:07
it's true that the title is jarring. It's meant to be that way that you know we got to get people in the door right? It does mean die with zero resources left over it does mean die with zero money. But in the course of doing that you die with zero regrets or as close to zero regrets as possible. I like to use like stories and analogies anecdotes to try and get the message across like most of us are raised by our parents, like eat the food that's on your plate, right? We don't put food on our plate that we're gonna go throw in the trash. But we don't do that with our money will go out work, harvest a bunch of capital, put it on our proverbial plate, and then check out and die with all this food money on the table which is a waste which is a waste of your life. And so a rational person will look to use all the resources towards their goal. What I posit in the book is your goal is net fulfilling Right, you want a fulfilling life. So this book is about net fulfillment over net worth, we're not trying to grow your net worth per se. We're trying to grow your net fulfillment over the course of your life. A lot of people believe what about your kids and ancestors, etc. And that's all in the book, I'm going to go straight to that we can go into depth later, the money that you're setting aside for your kids, is for your kids. It's not your money. It's their money. So I'm saying spend all your money before you die, in order wisely and at the right times, so that you get the most out of life. That's what the book is about.
Jamila Souffrant 5:36
I appreciate the clarity from understanding that point. Because as a black woman as just also understanding how much it took for my mom to immigrate here and for what she did for me. And now that I have the children, when I first saw it, I was like, wait, no, but I want to give back to my children. I want to give them a head start. And when I read the book, it talks about no when I say not to help your children out, and to give them a financial foundation, if you can, we're saying why wait until you are dead to do that you do that while you're alive.
Bill Perkins 6:05
Correct. That's like one of the most absurd things that is part of our culture is that people are waiting to they check out to bequeath assets to their kids, and like, you know, not kids at 60, right? You're dying at at 60 and a kid at 26, or 60, or 59. Like they're not kids. And that's not the optimal time for them to receive money, capital, all of us have a utility of money curve, right? Money is not useful to us when we're a baby, we can't really consume it and use it. And money when we're in diapers at the end of our lives is less useful as well, right. And so each one of us has a curve that we deteriorate, it's very, but on average, we're going to deteriorate. And so our ability to convert that money into useful experiences, the things we actually have money for deteriorates and that that applies to your kids as well.
Jamila Souffrant 6:55
Right, I do want to go deeper into how we can do that for our children or for people we want to leave money to while we are alive. I do want to go back just a little bit to talk more about the foundation of your work and why for me, this was so important to hear and why things hitting and changing people's perspective. Because I originally started in the financial independence retire early movement, because I was so unhappy with my job, even though it paid well. And so I was almost like running away from this unhappiness. And I was like, I'm gonna save and invest as much money and as much time as I can to get to this end goal of financial independence. And then as I started to get into movement, I realized a lot of it for me, at least what the leaders I saw, were using a restrictive model approach on, you live on less, and you don't enjoy your money now that you'll enjoy the time later, even if it's only five or seven years later. And eventually, like that wasn't working for me, because I was like, There's no way I'm going to stay in this job longer than I need to be stressed with this commute. I need to find a more balanced approach. And so how can I actually enjoy the money that I have? Now, when you talk about your story, you talk a little bit about when you first started working? You were also like a saver. And someone came to you and said, Why are you saving all this money? And I would love for you to like talk about that in a bit and how that started to change what you were doing.
Bill Perkins 8:11
Right? I believe the fire movement, Vicki Robbins and Dominguez wrote a book called your money or your life, right, which kind of launched the fire movement. And I had read that book and it completely changed my life, about how I thought about money and time and how they're interrelated about what my values were, and what was going on. So I became an extreme saver, right? Like that was kind of like that. My first takeaway from that book, one of the first takeaways, and I was barely making any money to make ends meet, I drove a limo at night to like, have cash to support myself. And I was proud of myself, you know, this guy who bought the bus ticket in advance, you know, calculated everything out and I had saved up about $1,000. And my boss at the time basically said, What are you doing saving this money like you got in this industry to make millions, right? And we wouldn't care about $1,000 Go enjoy your life go enjoy your time. And it kind of set me for a loop because I started thinking about it was like, can't write like, what am I doing? He's right. I do believe in my future. I do believe I'm going to make more money. Why am I scrimping and denying my poor self activities, interests, hobbies, etc. To give to my future wealthier self? Right? It was a version of like, robbing from the poor to give to the rich but it was me on a timeline. You know, sent me on this course of like, when do I want to be rich? When is the time to have certain experiences etc. And you know, a lot of times I tell people one of the stories I tell people is like, I am not one of those guys who will go to jail for seven years to have the state pay me $5 million later right for wrongful imprisonment, right? I rather have my seven years right and I was doing a version of that by denying myself all Like, Oh, I'm just gonna stay in jail in this kind of like self imposed savings jail in order to be free. It's seven years from now, you know, I love the fire movement, it gets you away from your materialism, it puts you in touch with what you really value. But at its extreme, it's suboptimal. There are certain experiences that are meant for certain times in your life. And only that time for each person that might be different, but they don't transfer easily to your 30s or 40s, or your 50s. They are meant for them. And that is part of your story, your journey and your life fulfillment. And to take that away, to give yourself to your 40s is to miss out on life. And so there's a balance there, when you're trying to optimize your life. And this book, you know, this isn't a book about spending, this book is about optimizing your life for fulfillment, a lot of it the value comes from realizing like, wow, how am I being inefficient? And how am I taking a lot of money to the grave that I'm never going to spend? And how am I not living an optimal life. But it also talks about like, sometimes it does pay to delay gratification, right. And so what I was doing earlier was going, new young guy going to work like Oh, save, save, save, save, spend, spend, spend, spend. And over time, I said, Wait a minute, there's an optimal path here. Let me find out what the mental models are to have that optimal path.
Jamila Souffrant 11:19
Right. And this is what I want you to expand upon what you just said a little bit about how certain experiences are useless for us at a certain point if we don't use them, and talk about some examples of that so people can understand what you're saying.
Bill Perkins 11:34
One of my favorite examples is like I wrote about it in the book is that you know, when my daughters were young, I love the the Pooh Heffalump movie. It's a very sweet movie coming of age about friendship, and I still watch it with them. And I do other kinds of activities. And one day I was like, Hey, let's watch cruise Heffalump movies, and my daughter was like, No, that's for babies. I'm not gonna watch it. And that moment died. That was it. I no longer get to watch these type of children's movies with my kids. So if I ineffectively allocated my time, right? If I was going to work to work overtime, instead of watching a movie with my kid I missed out and it doesn't translate. When you're young and you're raging at the club and you're going out and you're, you know, to clap with the glowsticks. Maybe that's the time to do it. Not when you're married in your 30s. Right. You know, maybe you want to climb Mount Everest or the Himalayas, etc. You know, maybe that time is not when you have two kids. One of the things I say is like, listen, we're in heaven, and God's like, like what you're going to Earth. Take all the activities you want to do. Just parliament, sex skiing, traveling, working, running marathons, whatever it is, right? You just dump in the bucket. And the guy goes, here's a trick, you got to get the order, right. So don't put the skiing heliskiing whatever at 90, don't put you know this, whatever, you got to get the order, right or otherwise you don't get all the activities. Let's like Tetris, people are going through life like, I'm going to save until I'm 65. And then I'm going to do all the things I have in the god life bucket. I'm like, No, you're not. Stop kidding yourself. And some of them are subtle. It's like no, you're married now. The club days are over the Salto days. Oh, now you have two kids, you're not doing x y&z and this slaps me in the face. Many times, like I had a friend one time I was out in Thailand hanging out with my friends, great vacation, goofing off, right? And I was like, Well, I gotta go back early. He said, What do you mean? Why are you gonna leave early, whatever I was, like, I made this decision. 13 years ago, my daughter has a soccer game, I'm getting back. So I cut that vacation early and went back. And so these dynamic decisions decisions that, you know, if I, when I have water or juice, it's really not gonna have an impact on something later on. But when I have a kid, it's like 1000 trillion decisions in one in the future. And certain activities are gone, like stay an extra week in Thailand, it's gone. So maybe I should have went when I was in my 20s, you know, and 30s and had had the memories and areas of fulfillment from them. And so for each person, there's their health, their health, decline, what structure to live, whether they want to get married or not, you know, it's a complex thought process. But if you're off autopilot, and you're not just I'm just saving to see to get to this point. And you're actually thinking about how you want to live your life and what experiences you want to have. And when best to have those experiences. You come up with a curve of spend and activity. That's, that's quite natural.
Jamila Souffrant 14:27
Yes. And I think we can all look back. And just to know that this is true, what you're saying is to think about the things when I was in my 20s. And I thought, well, I want to travel and do all these things in my 20s. And I said, Well, I want to save and have enough money to do it or do these exciting activities. And I would push them off until like later in life now that I'm later in life more established. I don't have the desire to do those activities. Like I'm like that is not interesting anymore. Back then it would have and so I think about what are the things that I'm pushing off or say that I'm going to do later in my life right now. And I'm kidding myself because maybe my 40s or 50s It's just not going to be something I'm interested in, which doesn't mean that like you shouldn't do it at all. It just means I just feel like following your happiness or bliss involves like capturing the moment. And I think for what's been hard for me to explain to people who are listening to the podcast and who want to be more responsible with their money is how do you do both? Like, how do you seize the moment? How do you enjoy your money, when we are living in a time where it seems like so many people are not in control of their money, who maybe were not on the same path as you in terms of the income trajectory? And they're looking at it? It's like, Well, Bill, and Jamila says, we can we can spend and live our lives today. But it's like, I know a lot of people who are doing that, and they are really not in a good financial place. They really won't be good in the future, either. So that's kind of where I struggle with showing people like this dynamic path. Yeah,
Bill Perkins 15:48
I think the thing is to be deliberate enough autopilot, there's people who aren't autopilot spend, and there's people on autopilot safe, right? Or some version of it, right? Like they have a natural inclination of like, put things into the future. Like, if you keep going in the future, you'll eventually get to the point where you don't wanna do anything but sit at home, maybe watch Jeopardy or something, you know, like reruns, right? And so, we live off of our memories, like we you meet with your friends, and what makes you interesting is the things that you've done. The stories that you tell, right, like that is what is your comes from your fulfillment? So certain things are for now. And even if you take money out of it, like I have these these questions, you know, like, that thought process and being deliberate about it is like, Okay, I have a kid about to go off to college, do I go out to dinner and do what my friends are? Do I stay home and hang out with my teenager who's about to go to college, and I'm not going to see them? Right? Like, they already don't want to hang out with you that much when they're teenagers, right? Now, they're really going away, you know, what's my decision process, right? What moments belong now and what moments belong later. And sometimes it's the opposite. It's like, Oh, I really want to go to this thing, or whatever. But I was like, wait a minute, I can make a return, save this, I'll be older, I'll be more mature, I'll be able to appreciate it even more. And I'll have more of a trip later. And I'll still have the same health, right. And so for each activity for each experience, and for each person, half at each resource level, we need to think about the things we can or cannot do, or should be doing. That gets us the most fulfillment and gets us there, you know, and then when I talk about is like, the first experience, everybody wants to have a survival, we all want to survive, right? So there's all kinds of savings, retirement calculators, blah, blah, blah, based on where you live and expense, etc, I add zero to that conversation, except for to say, we solve for that first. After that, it's all entertainment.
Jamila Souffrant 17:34
I love that. Okay, so I want to just reiterate what you said. And I want to dive deeper in that. Because when I read your book, also, this hoarding of money concept can also come from insecurity. And from a negative place like, especially depending on like what you foresee your future to be, like, it sounds like in your story, you knew you were going to make a lot more money, you had belief in yourself and your ability to make more money. And sometimes, like even now for myself, now that I'm actually making more money since leaving my corporate job, and sometimes I'll see things coming in. And then there's this fear, like, what if this is not gonna happen again? Like, what if I don't receive this income again, and so then it prompts this energy in me to say, I can't enjoy all these things, I need to save this money, because I don't know that it will get better than this. What's that, like mental work or emotional work that it takes to have the confidence that you have to know that I spend this or I make this but it's not gonna be the last dollar that comes in, there's more to come.
Bill Perkins 18:30
When I was broke, it was easy, because I could have been a waiter and made more money, right, I was choosing a career path to make a lot more money, but starting out at like, you know, I'd be better off sweeping floors. And the other thing is, is like to lose your ego, like, people can get a job that they're going to survive. They might not have the BMW or the car or the thing, but you will survive, people will endure, right? Like, if you really want to see poverty, you got to go traveling, go outside the country, like no safety net, no, nothing, right? Go to Argentina, no prospects for jobs, but most of the people who who are reading this book, etc, have the education or the job opportunities, etc. X ego to survive and make the money. So really, we're talking about things and comfort, right? And like people like well, I don't want to risk the ability to have comfort, versus being comfortable, or versus have experience. I don't want to risk future experiences that I'm probably never going to take. So I'm not going to take these experiences now. And I'm just like, This is crazy talk. Right? It's really a strange thing. And I you know, I've been there. I know this, I see it in people, but I've also seen it myself like, oh, you know, most of the time when I think about failure, I don't really feel the money or failing, right? I like I know I can get a job right? I could work on McDonald's and get a job right like and work at Amazon. They're hiring or whatever, right? Like, that's not a word, but I'm worried about the ego and you failed and x and you used to drive this and now you're doing that and etc. And I'm like, Well, you're not even enjoying the money you have what makes Do you think you're gonna enjoy it at 65? If you're not enjoying it now, when you're in worse health, and a different attitude and a different mindset, that kind of like fear based irrational thinking, you just have to kind of confront it head on and be like, what is the goal here, I'm saving now to what to survive. No, I'm not saving to survive and seeding for future experiences, that what have identified them is just some big giant cruise ship that I cannot afford at 65 that I want to take. You need to meet that's better than me doing something now, while I'm healthy, and having the memories of that, and the stories that what my loved ones were alive, etc. Sometimes that may make sense. If you don't have that reason, then it's kind of like, well, we're we're in fear based thinking land, and we need to restructure our lives,
Jamila Souffrant 20:45
right. And I think there's like a distinction. And you say this in the book, like this book is not for everyone, it depends on like, where you are, I'm thinking of people who are really struggling and need to get to financial stability, getting to stability, first is key and being controlling your finances. But then after that, like there becomes this point in which it's time to be honest with yourself about this false sense of security that your thinking money is going to give you because I started to understand when I was like looking at my investments go up and how much more money I was making that, and you still feel insecure a bit. So obviously, it's not how much you're making. It's not that like having more money, it's gonna make you feel secure. So digging deep into that was really important for me. And then one of the things that you talked about was, if you're over saving, and putting off experiences, like how do you know you can't afford that thing? How do you know you can't afford it and still have the good life that you looking to happen in the future? So how does one decide that and I know what I started to do to help but I would love to hear the things that you recommend for people.
Bill Perkins 21:43
My parents, they come from a different period, they were tougher than I was right. Like, they had things and I didn't aspire to a cookie cutter life. Like I did not want to go through life at the end of my days and regret my life like I wasted this ride. That was the issue and so I my main fear I try identify with is that of wasting my life and my time not of running out of money. People fear wasting your money, I was like you should see you're wasting your life. I look at things through that lens. Right? And that helps me from not hoarding money in exchange for experience, it enables me think okay, what do you really want to have in your life? What does it mean not to waste your life? What does it mean not to waste your 40s your early 40s What does it mean not to waste your your 30s or 45 Wherever you are, right? What experiences belong in 50 to 5545 to 50 Wherever you are right? Do not waste that time here. Because you know, I say people do not die just one death. Like you ever think like oh, yeah, whatever and you got like, periods of you die. The single you dies, the mother of small kids dies, that you don't I mean, the empty nester, the first job, you dies, the broke, you die.
Jamila Souffrant 22:55
Oh my god, I'm getting so sad all these deaths I'm thinking about.
Bill Perkins 22:59
I know, I know, right. But when you start realizing that your life has periods and seasons that end, you tend to take those seasons more seriously. It's like when you go on vacation, you go to like, Whatever town, you're like, we're gonna run around, we're gonna go see this, we're going out, we're gonna wake up, see the sunset, whatever, and you you run around to take advantage of that vacation period. And I'm like, There's a vacation here on Earth. Do not waste it. Right. And on top of that, in that vacation, there's all these other little periods, the single you the mother and you're the college student, you the first job you the whatever, whatever it is, in your life, the structure of life, do not waste those time periods. Right, know that they come to an end.
Jamila Souffrant 23:40
Yeah, you quickly said it, but I'd love to touch upon it here. But for people to write down what age they want to do certain things like to dream out to map out the God given experiences, experiences you want to have in life, but put them age around it. Can you explain that a
Bill Perkins 23:53
bit more? Yeah, so like, you know, there's a lot of movies like this movie, the bucket list or whatever. And, and a lot of people like it comes into you. It's like, oh, yeah, you're gonna work and then you're gonna turn a certain age and then you know, before you die, you know, close to and you're gonna run around the world and talk to the people and apologize and have the romance and do all the things that you wanted to do on your bucket list. And I'm just like, it's good to have a list of activities in a bucket list, but you need to know when those activities belong. Okay? Like your first romance should not be in 70 or 65. Right? I'm just use the obvious one, the Go heliskiing off of avarice, or whatever crazy activity should not be at 85 or whatever the other or they're badass who will do that? Yes, but that is not optimal planning. Right? You know, certain activities belong in each age group, right? Like, each time, right? Like if you're like, I want to start a family and that's part of my bucket list, right? That's the optimal time depending on who you are. I want to go to school I want to start a business I want to do X y&z And I'm not saying you can't do them down whatever age you are. But if you're, you know, when you're wherever you're now there's an optimal time and is a place where these activities belong, where you actually get more value out of it. You know, one of the things I frequently say is that I went to St. Petersburg, Russia, to travel and travel is one of the things I love to do. And they let you climb the steps of walk around these churches is like 211, steps, whatever. And so all these tour buses from Asia, China, whatever, and not one of these older tour buses with got Klein those 211 Steps walk around St. Petersburg, I thought to myself, they don't get the same St. Petersburg as I do. They don't get to see this view, they don't get to enjoy this, they don't get the same activities. So they're, let's call it a $2,000. Vacation, St. Petersburg wasn't getting the same value that I was, because I got to do the activities, etc. When I was younger, I used I went, I lived in Paris for three months, for the summer, just to try and expose myself to backpack all around the city, I walk seven miles a day, easy walking around. Now I can still walk seven miles away, but it won't be enjoyable, my knees start hurting, you know, I probably stopped because it's not enjoyable. So it's not to say Paris one, right? Like the spend a month back walking around with a backpack in Paris was meant for a certain age. For me to get the most value out of it to have the most experience, I get the most memory dividends to have the most stories to tell you. Right. And the most interactions. And so this is true for every activity depending on who you are, or what it is, etc. Where those bucket list items belong on the timeline of your life is equally as important, if not more important than what they are.
Jamila Souffrant 26:37
And no matter what age you're listening to this, like there are things you can do now. So yes, we can all probably look back and say, Wow, I shouldn't did that thing 10 years ago, but we can't change the past. But I think this is an invitation for everyone to really think about their life and what they want to do. And what can they do now? What can they do within the next year versus always putting it off?
Let's talk about what is "professional" today. On LinkedIn, important conversations are happening around what it means to be a professional. What's considered professional has vastly changed from decades, even just years ago. Right now, LinkedIn members are talking about things like needing more flexibility around where we work, how we work, and even taking time away from work to focus on family or mental health, because those things should not stunt career development and growth. Instead, they should enhance it as we show up on our own terms. Members are even putting what's most important to them in their job titles, with things like "Podcast Host/ Activist/ Mom. I know I'm going to update it to say Podcast Host/ Author/ Financial Freedom Crusader. Professional is ours to define. And our authentic self is our professional self. So, if your LinkedIn doesn't reflect who you really are, update your job title. Post your truth. Show the world the authentic, professional you and join the conversations redefining professional on LinkedIn. LinkedIn, welcome professionals.
Part of what when I was reading a book and one of my fears was okay, so if there's no amount of money that will make you feel secure, how do you know that you're not over saving and over investing to the point where you're not doing and putting off the things you want to do? And so I did end up hiring a financial life planner to help me because I have my own eyes and my own thoughts on what I want. But it's like, Okay, it's good to have someone else who can help me figure this out. And it's funny, because when I started meeting with them, they were like asking me like, how I could save more they like we would here's your saving and investing plan. And I was pushing back, like nobody actually wants to spend more now like so the point is, have you read die with zero and I want to actually take more vacations, and do all these things. And I think it was nice to kind of have that as like an outside eye. But I think for some people, especially as in the fire space that I find out it's like it's all DIY, and that's what I did before it's like I'll do it myself, I figure it out myself. But then I wasn't really accounting for the things I was missing like the blind spots or what I couldn't see and where I could be making mistakes. So that's how I kind of alleviated this fear of am I overdoing it and how can I add more joy and spend more money now so I don't regret it.
Bill Perkins 29:19
Financial Planning is great and saving is great but you have to know what you're saving for we're not saving just to get high score in the bank account like that's this is not a game this is not asteroids, right? Like this is your life it's like sure we're saving for something or something's SS right and so, what you should save and how much you save is 100% related to what do you want to do? Right? What experiences do you want to have? What is your life are you a traveler not a traveler Do you like staying home and playing chess and hiking? Or do you like you know zooming around the world right? Like this is like is is it pleasing to you to go first class or UK going economy like it makes no difference to you? Are you indifferent like all these Things are what are the experiences you want to have? If you take money out of the equation, right, and you just have a list of things that you know, you want to do you know exactly how much money you need, how much money you need to save for, to the penny, right? Like, if you can, God can give you the power and just say, Think deeply, and you go, this is exactly what I want. I know exactly how much money you need, right? And so the closer you're aware of what experiences you want to have, what journey you want to have, how your attitude is going to change, and how you're, you know, you won't be capable or certain things, the more you know that the more you know exactly what you need it you get more than you go out and discover some weird things, right? And you know, exactly. That's not possible, right? Because life is discovery, sometimes you discover the things you want to do. But people look at life and like the buffet, your eyes are all bigger than how much they can eat, right? Like, you're not going to do all these things like you don't need that capital. You know, there are definitely people can light some money on fire, and have some very expensive things that they want to do. And some people that don't, but like you need to be personally in touch of what are you saving for saving is delayed gratification. That's what it's for. It's not just to get a number. And so the problem with financial planners is is like, I'm gonna plan for you to save and get the maximum money at X date. And I'm like, that's just not what my life is about. I'm about I'm saving the money for experiences. And these are weird experiences belong, and this is what I need. And that's how we need to be thinking about like, this is what I want out of my life. How are you going to get a high score of net fulfillment out of my life? And here are the things I want to do?
Jamila Souffrant 31:34
Yeah, that's a good point. Because they're looking at it more from the math, like, how can we save on taxes for you? How much can we squirrel away that you know, and continue to do and help you optimize? Like they're optimizing for something different, but I will say that they're really good at and what's happening now is it's a dance because they're pushing me on. Okay, how much can you save and invest? And I'm pushing them on? Yes. And I want to do these things. Like I want to travel more. Right now. We're doing renovations, like on the basement, because I'm like, you know, what, what that what's the value to myself, my husband, and my kids, just have a nice home. So that's like, what we're spending a lot of money on now. And like, these are things that before it would have been like, well, let's try to save as much as possible to have this pool of money, where it's just like, why wait, you know, isn't that the same thing as someone waiting and working a job they hate for like, 60 years, until they retire and they can't enjoy it.
Bill Perkins 32:24
I always sees my friends. I'm like, well, when's the party? Like I'm getting, you're saving, and you're saving all this money, and you're building and you're investing and you're 55 or 60, however old they are. And I'm just like, just tell me when's the party? And what's the party, you know, at some point, we're going to spend this money, right, we're not making money to give it to the government, and random people in the future, who are going to be old, etc. Right? Like, we're not trying to do that, right. Like we're, we actually have a purpose for our savings and, and being in touch of what the purpose is for will help you save the correct amount, not understate not overstate. So it's really about being autopilot about what you want out of your life. And so your example like, hey, it's important to us for our life, or our happiness or fulfillment to have a nice home a place to commune and have friends over. Whatever. That's excellent. You now know why you went to work, you went to work to have a nice home. This is why people go to work to like, survive number one, and then do other things. And once you I got past survival, it's like, what are the other things that I want?
Jamila Souffrant 33:26
Right? And you talked about memory dividends, you said it just now also, we're talking? Can you talk about what that means? And then how like you talk about your birthday party planning a big birthday party in the book for you why you did that.
Bill Perkins 33:38
So the purpose of money, right is to have experiences, right? We have experiences, we do things, we get enjoyment and fulfillment from doing those experiences, how use a case of going on a vacation. And then not only do we get the enjoyment of planning it and the experience of going to a vacation, but after the vacation after the event, we have what's called a memory dividend. We recall it. We talked about our friends, we tell them you got to go check out this restaurant, Istanbul is great and the guy and they give you tea and he tries to sell you a rug and you know that creates a new experience. Right? So they compound and so experiences have what I call a memory dividend. When you recall them ask anybody who had a first kiss, hit a game winning home run, got a promotion, etc, right? They recall it, they talk about it. We also have reengaged that experience create a new experience and have what we call the memory dividend. This is what we retire on. This has been my experience with retirement. This is what my dad retired on. This is what every old person ever do. Like when you get too old. And you are not able to go out and do things and acquire these news experiences. You invite people over and you talk about the old days. Even now when you sit down with friends. You mainly talk about things that have happened, right and create a new experience about that right like that's as a supermodel. versus significant portion of the conversation. That's what makes you interesting when you meet an interesting person. It's not what's going on right now that they're juggling and blowing fire out of their mouth, right? It's the stuff they have done that makes them interesting. And so if the purpose of money is to acquire experiences that fulfill us, right, and they produce dividends, just like any investment, we need to think about the investment, the memory dividend as part of the return. So just like when you put your money in a bank, and invest in a bank, and it pays a dividend, or a stock that pays a dividend, when you invest in a memory, it pays a dividend as well. So just like Warren Buffett, who says invest early, invest early, invest early, to get them take advantage of the compound interest of of a bank or a stock, I say, invest early, invest early and experiences to take advantage of the memory dividend and the compound effect of memory dividends.
Jamila Souffrant 35:54
Yeah, and we're not saying experience, at least I'm not saying experiences have to be expensive, either.
Bill Perkins 35:59
No, they're gonna be a walk in the park. A lot of times, it's like, I'm feeling lazy, I'm get out and like, no, let me go on a hike with my fiance, let me go do this, and let me do this thing and invest in this experience, it could be free, it could be expensive. It could be charitable, it could be hedonistic. What I'm saying is, is that when you're weighing things out, whether I spend now, or save and spend later, because I'm going to earn a 5% return, but I do take two trips later, in life, 10 years from now, and you take one trip now? Well, I can I can save my money, and I'm gonna get like this 3% return. And I can take two trips later. But I can take one trip now and have the memory dividend payout and all the other experiences, tell my friends and create relationships and do whatever that gives me all this fulfillment, right? Because the purpose of the money is to fulfill you the purpose of your resources to have a fulfilling life. And if the summation of the memory dividend and the experience now is more fulfilling than taking two trips later, then you have an obvious decision. Maybe it's not, maybe you're 17, and two trips later, being more mature, and having two chips later, and the future experiences we'll have more of a memory dividend. And this is some calculus that people have to run themselves for each individual person, but it's just a mental model of how to think about things, right? Like going to the club is now for me, it's not 10 years from now. Yeah, the experience has a lower quotient, and I don't get that much memory dividend of it, because I'm closer to the grave. Right? And so that's an experience for now. And some of them are delayed, like, you know, versus other experiences, like, do I travel here? Or do I go right on a train? Or do I spend time my kids etc. Like this is a constant dialogue, you need to have what yourself about what maximizes fulfillment? For me? Yeah, the money is secondary, the money is secondary.
Jamila Souffrant 37:46
It is, it's like the tool or it's like the fuel for your life. It's almost like this inner journey, you know, and it's a conversation you continually have, it's not just one time because your priorities change over time, your opinion changes, your likes change. So I love that. And as you bring up kids, you know, myself, one of the things that I was thinking about while I'm creating a legacy for them, or giving them like a nest egg is how do I give that to them? Now you talk about that in the book. So again, I first saw it, I was like, what does he mean, I was zero, I want to make my kids money. And you mean that too. So talk about the way in which you want to leave, or you want people to think about leaving things to their children?
Bill Perkins 38:27
Right. So, you know, the book is really about being off autopilot and being deliberate with your life. And this is every decision. And so like, if you plan on giving your kids money, nest egg, etc? And I'm not saying you should or you should I'm just saying whatever you do, you have to think about what is the purpose of the money? Well, it's for them to acquire experiences, when will have the most maximum impact in life? When are they mature enough to be able to use the money and have positive experiences, right? And take advantage and memory dividends, etc. And so your kids have the same decline curve as you do. Right? They were reached mental maturity around 28. Right, and physical maturity at 33. And from then on, it's plateau and downhill, right? And so their ability to convert money into positive life experiences, or which is correlated with their fulfillment, decreases with age. Now, nobody's like, yeah, I want to give money to my kids when they're 95 or 94. Right? And then you're not like, I'm not going to give a 14 year old, a bunch of money for him to go light it on fire video games, right? Like, he doesn't have the mental capacity to handle it. And so, you know, I argue that the maximum impact and zone for you to give a gift to bequeath a gift not be quick, but to give an inheritance to your kids is between 25 and no later than 35. Right? And it depends on your kids, right? You have some people very mature kids that are like can handle it at 25 it's gonna have an impact. And some people like hey, I'm gonna give them at the tail end but you know, I'm not here to control I'm here to give them a head start. It's their life. They're gonna go vaporize, vaporize it, but it's their it's their money, not my money, right. And I also talked about, like separating that out. A lot of people are, I'm working to give money to my kids, I'm like, Listen, you go get an auto accident, somebody Sue's you, they take all your damn money, right? You didn't separate it out. Right? So there's the process of separating out, it's the kids, money's not mine, I can't spend it, nobody can spend it, nobody can take it, right. And then the control of that money, which I argue should be between, you know, for me, it's 2033. And that age, when it's going to have the maximum impact on their life.
Jamila Souffrant 40:35
Yeah, and like you said, that makes a lot of sense. Like, if we're thinking about what we leave behind, if we all live to, you know, and die a natural death. And like our 80s, or 90s, or however long people are really living these days, our kids, depending on when we have them, there'll be 50 6070. And you have a great story in the book about a woman who actually needed help earlier in her life, she was like a single mom. And she did get left money by her parents, but it was like she was like, I think, later in life 60 or 70. And she had said, I would have loved this money, like earlier, you know, and if you are in the position, I just think that this is just gonna change on people's perspective, they haven't heard this before, if you are in the position, where you're already saving and investing for your kids, and it doesn't have to be millions of dollars, I think that's sometimes what people think I'm like, Oh, it has to be a lot. Even if it's 20, my mom helped me, you know, buy my first condo at 22. And that's changed the trajectory of my life that I can't even like imagine. And if she didn't purposely, like read your book was nothing, obviously. But she just knew to do that. And what she did for me, like, that's the kind of stuff I want to be able to, to give my kids while they can enjoy it and make use of it in their prime. So I just think it's a beautiful concept that we can consider when we're thinking about leaving, leaving a legacy to our kids.
Bill Perkins 41:46
It's almost a form of like, not confidence in your kids, you're thinking like, Oh, your investments, to whatever your kids 30 to 60 are going to beat their creativity and their utility of the money when they're 30. And it's kind of arrogant, right? It's like, Nah, you know, give it to the individual, they're going to beat your return in the market. Like, they have more use more fulfillment, more goals, etc. Because the purpose is to give them experiences the tool to have experiences, who when is the maximum peak that you can convert money into experience 3033, biologically, mentally, etc. And so, to think that, oh, it's better to give my kid $10 million at 60, then a million at 30. I just disagree. I mean, like,
Jamila Souffrant 42:29
Yeah, and just even like, for maybe someone who's not even thinking that on that scale, it's like instead of 500,000, or 400x, it's like 15,000, for us, a 25 year old, a 30 year old can change their life, or anybody, even any age at this point for some people, I would love to hear more about how you are living your life now, like in terms of bouncing, this idea of spending in the now like, when you get to a certain point, and like you probably have a lot more money, you have a lot more money than me and probably a lot of people listening. Maybe we have some wealthy people listening, like really wealthy I mean, that can spend money now you find later. But how does one like when they have a lot of money, like yourself? Balanced that now? Like do you still I always wonder like how wealthy people intend to spend their money? Is it for you have a choice between first class and a private jet, and I'm making assumptions here, but I'm just trying to understand when someone like myself is looking at the levels of being wealthy, and I'm not in that zone or in that place yet. And the lifestyle. And I wonder like people who are wealthy who can't afford a private jet, and I don't know if you can or not, or can afford like constant first class rights? What does that life look like for you and making those decisions? Now,
Bill Perkins 43:43
you know, I wrote the book for me, you know, I'm originally supposed to be a program on how to spend my money down to zero. And so I go through the exercise I do think about, like, what experiences I won't have between 50 and 5555 and 6065 70 and so on, you know, gets a little wider because it's like, harder to have visibility in the future. And I constantly update this right? I'm like, Okay, well what is that? I like to go travel every summer how much does that cost? What does that excetera was expense? And then like am I really going to be doing this much traveling when I'm in my 70s now I can look at my mom I can look at my dad, I can look at my I can look at my ancestors and be like, Who are you kidding? Like do you are not going to have this level of spend right so I'm front loading the activities and so I have a view of like, how my worth gets spent down to zero over time. And that forces me to think about where the money I have goes and what activities I was like okay, I have one more room for activities in 5050 to 5555 to 60 and some of those things like okay see daughter get married pay for her wedding see other daughter get married pay for winning go on these trips go whatever and then like loose outline of the things I want to do and then I got work backwards and be like alright, this is gonna cost x is don't cost why this don't whatever, I'll be selling off this house. I don't need that at this age, etc. So that I've minimized the waste in my life like it can keep me up at night. Yeah, man, like, what am I doing? I'm wasting my time I should go traveling go like, you know, I just I just went to speak at a class and University of North Carolina, and a friend was like, You never been to Charleston, you got to go visit Charles. I'm like, You're right. I gotta go visit Charleston. What am I doing, I have the ability to do it, I have the health to do it, I have the money to do it. This is where this belongs. Thank you for that discovery that I need to go visit Charleston and go visit. And so that's how I think of my life. I do not think Rich people are doing that. That is why I wrote the book, right? Like, rich people are not doing that. Right? I'm doing that my friends who I beat up and get on their case are doing that and thinking about that, like, how much should they be spending on charity cheer? How much are they doing as a spend their assets down to zero?
Jamila Souffrant 45:46
When you say rich people aren't doing that? What do you mean by that?
Bill Perkins 45:49
I know quite a few rich people. And people have developed habits on how to acquire wealth. And human beings are great once you put them on a habit. They keep going. That's why it's hard to quit smoking. That's why it's hard to get back onto a diet or a good diet, etc is because we develop habits and then we just go on autopilot. These people are successful have developed winning habits. And they just keep going. They forget the real goal, right? Like they're a hamster in a wheel that never gets the cheese, right? They just keep working, working, working and investing and doing deals like you see him out there. You see Ray Dalio and Warren Buffett, these guys still trying to make money investing in this and I saw a guy get on TV, he was like 70 Something he was like this 10 year investment I'm just like, wins the party. We what you're investing here to me like you got to be spending down right? There's a article about a guy who actually spent down his worth to like, as close to his what he felt his survival number was the guy who was a super wealthy, who now is like, broke, according to him, but spent all his money down, gave away to charities they wanted to give done the things he wanted to do. And now he's at his steady state life to the grave. He's not doing all the very expensive things in his life. And that's kind of where I want to go. And I want to just be able to tell Fireside Chats be like, remember that time I rented the yacht in the south of France, and we had that party? Remember that time we did X, Y, and Z. Remember, I got the whole party and do whatever. And that's going to be our retirement, right? Like, not like, Hey, I got like X dollars in the bank that I'm looking for excuses to give away now, because I didn't live a full life.
Jamila Souffrant 47:22
Yeah. And I think there's such a difference. Like, that's why you're talking about intentional spending, because I was, there was a clip by little I always mess up his name. And people do young kids laugh at me. Little Yachty or Yachi, this rapper, and he talked about like, he's making millions, but he spends millions a month and he feels like he's on this hamster wheel. Like he can't stop working. Because he has so so much expenses. And like he can't get off and I was looking at it, like you have so much money that you can literally set yourself up. So you don't have to work as hard anymore. But it seems like he's set up a lifestyle and the expectation that he feels that he constantly has to work. And this was like a year ago, so So maybe it's he's changed. But it just felt like he's on autopilot, it seems in a way in which he has a lot of money, but he's not enjoying it the way he talked about it. He was like, I can't stop working like I have to do this because I'm spending millions of dollars. But it wasn't in the way that you're talking about it like spending it and enjoying it.
Bill Perkins 48:14
Yeah, you know, that happened to me. When I first became wealthy, you know, I was like, I was trained by the media, like, Oh, you want to get the fancy car or whatever. I'm not even a car guy. Like I hated it. I felt like a idiot. I use a worse word. But I felt like a D bag driving around in this car, right? I'm like, I'm not a car guy. And but I was doing what I thought rich people should do quote unquote, I wasn't really in touch with what I really wanted. I had been marketed to and program to have this lifestyle that I thought, you know, I should be spending my money on. And once I got off that kind of autopilot programming and thought deeply about what do I really like? What is really important to me What experiences do I want to have a life? Did I come in more balanced with my spend no align my spend with my income or whatever? You know what my goals? And so that's a great thing about your money or your life and the fire movement? Is it deeply get you in touch with what do you value and what you have spent money on right is no judgment, there's no right or wrong, whoever you are, it's just like, let's identify your values and what you really want out of this ride called life. And I think what little Yachty has done is like, he got a bunch of money. It's like also suspend it and he's addicted to this wheel without really thinking about what does he really want out of life? Does he really enjoy the 15? Does he really enjoy the car? Is it just another thing? Is he attached with status symbols and signaling that I'm wealthy more? And does that really make them happy or not? And so I believe and I hope that this person takes some time to really think about what he values and what really makes him happy and what fulfills him and that you know, it will better get him in line and not feel like I have to work.
Jamila Souffrant 49:55
Yeah, and I think we can all learn from that. Maybe we're not the million dollar spending as he is But even in our own lives, in our own beautiful little lives and think we are heroes and the main characters and so like this applies to us too. It is you don't have to be rich to think about this
Bill Perkins 50:10
at every level, like I've been busted, I've been at the lower wealth level and did the same thing. You know, I was like, no matter how much money I had, I had no money, right? Like how much money in income, it just went out the door, right. And it was kind of like this rocketing back and forth. I'm saving all my money to like, I'm just spending like crazy, because I'm supposed to spend like crazy instead of like, No, you're supposed to figure out what fulfills you and pursue that relentlessly, and do your best. Right? And the first part of fulfilling yourself as knowing what fulfill yourself, know yourself, like get in touch, not be marketed to sit down and get to what you like and do your best on that.
Jamila Souffrant 50:45
Oh, I love this. Okay, so I hope everyone runs out and get your book die with zero pill is somewhere you want people that they want to follow you or follow your work that you want to direct them to.
Bill Perkins 50:55
I'm in the Twitterverse I'm at EP 22 and Twitter. I mean, you know, there's good taste is bad text. That's my little addiction to interact with people if you want to interact with me there. I like debate. I love debate. So Twitter is probably one of the best places to find me. And the Twitter streets,
Jamila Souffrant 51:10
I found Well, this was amazing. Thank you so much again.
Bill Perkins 51:14
Thank you. Thanks for having me.
Jamila Souffrant 51:17
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