Fear of Running Out of Money


As I’m sure you’ve now gathered, I am OOO in Hawaii this week compounding memories with the family.

My “Fall Break” beach read is a book from author Bill Perkins titled, “Die With Zero”.

It isn’t hard to figure out where this book is going.

It’s not a “who done it”. 

Rather, a, “why do it”. 

Most of us spend a lifetime saving up our cash for when we get old and are retired. But the author has his own ideas on this idea.

The premise is that none of us should die with money in the bank. Rather, we should unlock our cash sooner than we think for:

1) our kids,

2) our experiences,

3) our charities of choice.

Perkins suggests giving money to our kids earlier will help them get where they want to go faster — when they actually need the money. Perkins suggests spending money on our experiences allows us to enjoy the adventures while our mobile, functioning bodies are still able to enjoy those expeditions. Perkins suggests giving money to our charities of choice now allows them to put that money to good use ASAP — and boy do they sure need it.

In the spirit of courage, Perkins also inks that what’s holding many of us back from doing any one of these three ideas is a “fear of running out of money”.

I think about money a lot. My standard operating system is constantly auditing if I have enough money to take care of “all the things” that come with raising two kids in a single-income household in California. But as I step back and assess, it is a response that’s rooted in fear. The book suggests many of us are on autopilot. The statistics he shares show many of us are “working for free” as we’re dying off with a lot more money in the bank than we ever thought we would. Note: I don’t want to “spoiler alert” the entire book, so take it for a whirl and this concept will make much more sense. And, also, to be clear, Perkins isn’t recommending we should all be reckless in splurging if you’re in survival mode and if you don’t have money.

Of all the ideas Perkins suggests, the one I’ve appreciated the most is one he describes as an “experience dividend”. Those bonds that happen on vacation created with our loved ones show a direct “dividend” in happiness. Those dividends pay off, as per the data, in helping the people we care about most fend off depression, mental health issues, and all that comes with it.

By no means is this a 100% statistic. But it is something I take into serious consideration with my kids.

If you’re a regular reader of my “weekly dose of courage” then you know I travel a lot for work. I actually really like that I do because I want my kids to know that it’s committed work to live in a nice place like Southern California. I’m hoping they are connecting the dots on this “hard work pays off” reality.

But I also acknowledge that when it comes time to be off — I need to be present, available, and investing heavily in the “experience dividend”.

I have a “Dad Formula” I try to unlock when I’m with my kids.

It goes like this:

Attention + Belief = Dad

While I could add more color to this formula, I sense it’s self-explanatory enough.  As mentioned at the top, I’m presently in Hawaii making an investment with my kids that I believe will, one day, compound.

Ryan Berman
Ryan Berman
Ryan is an author, keynote speaker, and the founder of Courageous. His book, Return on Courage, shows how during these courage deficient times, courage is a competitive advantage for those leaders who choose to unlock it.
Twitter @ryanberman | LinkedIn @ryanberman

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