Weekend Reading: Should You Die with Zero?

This article appears as part of Casey Weade's Weekend Reading for Retirees series. Every Friday, Casey highlights four hand-picked articles on trending retirement topics and delivers them straight to your email inbox. Get on the list here.
Weekend reading dying with zero Weekend reading dying with zero
Weekend Reading

One of the top financial concerns of today’s retirees is having enough income to last a lifetime; however, recent studies show there’s also another issue at bay: Leaving behind too much of that income.


With great wealth, comes great responsibility: Based on a study by United Income, on average, a retiree in their 60s leaves behind $296,000 in wealth, while a retiree in their 80s leaves behind about $315,000 in wealth. Despite what most might believe, retiree wealth tends to go up over time, which means instead of wondering if you have enough, you might want to ponder if you need to spend more.

Maximizing your money: In a book titled Die with Zero by Bill Perkins, a new mindset behind spending and saving your money is presented. The premise? As you might have guessed, it’s to die with zero dollars to your name, whether that’s by spending money earlier while you can enjoy it, or giving it away as an inheritance to loved ones now, versus later. In a world full of many uncertainties, including your longevity, health issues, long-term care needs, etc., this ideology can seem frightening, not to mention difficult to follow.

A modified mindset: While “Die with Zero” is a worthy goal, it will require some serious planning. As such, maybe dying with “Closer to Zero” is the best strategy; One where you truly enjoy the full fruits of your labor.