(((My Fellow Americans))) #121: Bill Perkins and DIE WITH ZERO

(((My Fellow Americans)))

About This Episode

What if everything you were taught about working, investing and leaving your legacy behind for future generations was wrong?

What if the best plan, for everyone, were for you to live life to the fullest now, and plan to die with absolutely nothing?

My guest tonight is Bill Perkins. He’s a hedge fund manager, high-stakes poker player, and author of the book Die With Zero, and I have SO many questions for him.

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Visit the store: MuddiedWatersMedia.com/store

Episode Transcript

This episode transcript is auto-generated and a provided as a service to the hearing impaired. We apologize for any errors or inaccuracies.

i’ll be buried in my grave
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we have solely changed
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but it seems like since that day
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south carolina you’re watching my fellow
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oh please
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miracle how would we know that you
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much welcome to my fellow americans i am
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turks’s momentum as always folks
according to the wall street journal my
guest tonight is the last cowboy which
is pretty offensive because they didn’t
even ask me what i wanted to do when i
grow up but he did make his fortune as
an energy trader he’s now the ceo of
brisa max holdings i probably should’ve
asked him if i’m saying that correctly
uh he is based in the virgin islands of
course and we’re going to be talking all
about that uh he is also a high-stakes
poker player and the reason we’re having
him on tonight is because well because
he’s a great guy but also because he is
the author of die with zero and i have
so many questions about this book uh it
is uh i cannot wait i’ve been waiting uh
since we booked this i have been eagerly
waiting for this moment i cannot wait to
talk with them ladies and gentlemen my
fellow americans please welcome to the
show mr bill perkins bill thanks so much
for being on the show man thanks for
having me you entirely you had entirely
too much fun during doing the uh the
sponsors i mean i wish i had that much
doing just anything
anything yeah so this is this is i told
you this i warned you i said like it
seems like i’m roasting my sponsors um
but it actually works you know when i
first started doing it it was like all
right if you want to give me money but
i’m not going to be able to take this
seriously because i i rarely take
anything seriously especially if someone
pays me and uh and then the uh it turns
out it actually works well people go and
they’re like wow that’s fantastic i’m
gonna buy all those things because he
made fun of it so you know it it works
um so uh and with that in mind we’re now
to talk about your book but uh i’m
actually no i’m super excited about this
uh now i will admit that you do i part
part of the reason most of the reason
why i brought you on was to talk about
this book and about your incredible life
but part of it is that you are actually
filling a quota you see three times a
year on this show i have a male guest on
who is arguably more attractive than me
we were running low we only had two
confirmed people who looked better than
me who were male and uh you know we’re
rounding out the year we wanted to make
sure that we got it in so you’re on so
thank you for for coming on and uh and i
look forward to it man
appreciate it we might have to do a
survey to validate that to make sure i
made the cut but who knows
okay in the comments everyone spike
versus bill who looks better this is
going to be bru this could be worse than
like with my wife this is just it’s like
i go when i’m around people that look
better so folks uh be sure to uh chime
in with your thoughts and questions in
the comments if you’re listening or
watching this live and bill and i will
tell you if you are right or wrong now
bill before i whenever i have someone on
the show for the first time
hopefully the first of many uh i
always ask them about i guess their
genesis story you know what is it that
got you to this moment where you are
making this book uh you know tell us a
little bit about what got you here what
tell us the bill perkins in a nutshell
yeah i’m gonna try and shorten it
because you know we have a time limit
i guess
uh you know
coming out of college
you know grinding as a peon
and looking forward in my life i started
to think about
what’s the purpose right like what what
what does money mean
you know everybody has the idea that oh
i want to be rich before x before i’m 25
or 30 or whatever whatever uh right
right delusions of grandiosity that i
had at the time
and you know those thoughts
kind of brought up this idea of well i
don’t want to be rich at 95
right i don’t i don’t like i’m not
working to get rich at 95. yeah and
being rich as a baby doesn’t really do
you anything right you’re just gonna
wipe your butt with it or eat it or gum
it right it’s really to convert that
money into experiences right like i’m
exchanging hours in my life
for certain experiences i want to have
according to my values right everybody
has their own values and so kind of
realizing that as time goes on
recognizing that you know my body decays
my mind decays um my ability to convert
money into experience
is that i that i choose also decays
we start thinking about that there’s
kind of like this optimization function
when is there going to be this maximum
right right if i’m trying to get the
most out of life right i’m not going to
work to work for free i’m not
uh running in that wheel for no cheese
right like a rat for no cheese right i
want to i want to get the reward the
reward isn’t the money the money is just
a tool
to get the things that i want
right and so
i’m like okay i need to
to order get the most out of my hours
working i need to spend all the money
before i die so what does that spend
pattern look like given the fact that my
health will decline
my taste will change
um and also the order of my life like
let’s say
i like
going to strip clubs and hanging out
with the fellas right that should be
before i get married not after right and
if i want to climb mount everest
right that might that should be probably
not planning that for 86 i probably
should be planning that you know
when i have the
and uh mental stamina to deal with the
rigors of climbing mount everest and so
those questions were hitting me at
various stages during my life and i i
was developing this
this theory of
you know
you know it’s
i think everybody can realize quite
obviously that you if you could you want
to spend all your money before you die
um then the question becomes well how do
you spend it all of me and die how do
you how do you optimize that spend so
you get the maximum experiences you
possibly could while you’re living
well and so that’s the interesting thing
here so
the thing that struck me by the way this
is another interesting story that i’m
not sure i told you
someone told me about this the reason i
first found out about uh and by the way
i’m i’m fully milking the fact that i
have your book in front of me so i keep
holding it up as opposed to having to
rely on a graphic that has a book so
good job there giving me the book
beforehand um
someone i was telling someone about my
personal experience
that you know and i’m not sure if you
know if you know i can give you a
nutshell version of this i started a web
design company when i was in my teens i
grew it into a successful company and
then i got diagnosed with ms which
completely derailed everything um it it
it put me on realizing what you just
said you know we are decaying you know
it’s not just you’re gonna die one day
it’s your ability to live the life you
want is also going away so if you’re
waiting to become a multi-billionaire in
your 50s 60s 70s whatever
let’s say that even happens you’re still
going to be in your 60s 70s 80s at that
point and uh and now and then with ms
it’s like that’s even potentially more
accelerated and that led me on this path
of changing everything retiring from
that going full bore into uh you know
political activism and everything which
is why i am where i am now and i
couldn’t be happier um but i’m not as
rich as i probably would have been had i
stayed on that course um and so someone
said you know this sounds like something
that i read in a book called die with
zero and i went that’s great and so i i
looked it up and i looked you up and i’m
like man i need to start following this
guy turns out you’re following me so
then i was like so that’s when i reached
out to you i was like well that’s great
if he’s following me usually it’s like
oh hey i’m a fan i’d love to have you
and you’re already so i’m like you know
hey would you come on so uh i i agree
with you 100 on this i will say i i
when i first reached out to you i’m like
you don’t mean really mean zero right
and you’re like no i mean i mean i 100
mean you should
optimally try to strive to in fact
that’s actually one of your your nine
rules is aim to die with nothing and
correct as a jew i’m scared so walk me
walk me through this a little bit
as anybody who’s ever worked hard and
capital right it’s always scary right
like you know what if you spend all your
money what you know there’s all types of
like push back
that is basically fear coming back at
you right and yes you know one thing i
say is like look we’re not going to do
it perfectly right we have our
our i just want to get this out front we
have our
our uh fears limitations we’re never you
know we’re constantly looking and
upgrading our mental models to get to
zero but you know you don’t stop going
to church because you’re like well i’ll
never be like jesus or i’ll never be
like moses so i’m not going to synagogue
because right like you you strive for
the optimal life right even if you’re
going to miss it right you strive to be
kind and forgiving and all these things
that you want to be but we’re human
and we’re just always going to be
suboptimal what i’m trying to do is
eliminate that waste i’m trying to
eliminate people being their own
insurance agent against future
calamities which is
clearly inefficient
and silly
right to have a customer of one yourself
and like well i’m saving just in case
this happens i’m like
what actual tables did you use you know
i mean you’re one person so you have to
have this huge buffer right for this
random event that you don’t even know
what the odds are
it’s kind of it’s kind of just basically
you know people being inefficient and
when they’re inefficient
they’re based they have wasted hours of
their life working for no reward
no experience no fulfillment
right these experiences choices memories
that they have is what fulfills them
when they look back on their life it
will be what choices did i have make
what experiences did i have you know
what what did i do not do
right and and most of us
uh are working
yeah we like our jobs but out of the
millions of things you could do you
probably didn’t perfectly align with the
job you would do for free
right right
you did it
as a means to an end
right and the end was to get
first experience we all want to have is
survival right we all want to survive
right we want to pay the bills we have
food shelter et cetera and then there’s
all these other experiences beyond
survival right and so
what i’m trying to
do in the book is give people mental
models to thrive
how do i optimize to thrive how do i how
do i how is my net fulfillment greater
than my net worth how do i do this is
hold on this is i you have this is the
set the fulfillment curve here that
you’re talking about right
yeah so
this this is a a concept in the book
called memory dividends right and so
i talk about experiences as like well i
want to have these experiences i want to
go to florida and ride a roller coaster
right right and so you plan a trip you
have that and you have this great
but it’s not over after you’ve had that
you’ll recall that trip and have
memories of that trip you’ll discuss it
with friends
and you’ll get enjoyment from what i
call the memory dividend
it will it may be a fraction of the of
the original event right and it may
decay over time but oftentimes the
summation of those memory dividends will
be greater than the original experience
so much like investing in a bank or a
stock right where you do that for
delayed gratification you’re like well
i’m investing for this cruise at 60
and it grows it doubles and you’re able
to afford the cruise at 60
and you get this fulfillment from having
this experience but investing in
experiences also pay dividends
much like investing in the putting your
money in a bank and it pays dividends
it’s called a memory dividend and that’s
part of your fulfillment
so there is an optimal level here then
though and and i assumed as much because
you know you’re still you are still
working so it’s not necessarily like
okay whatever you have right now spend
it unless you’re a billionaire already
then obviously just start spending but
there is an optimal level here right
like this is not uh go
stop doing whatever you’re doing right
now and immediately start spending all
of your money you know figure out how
long you expect to live and spend that
much until then you’re trying to find
this optimal
i guess mix
you’re trying to find an optimal mix
between uh
still building
financial security but not doing it for
the sake of it so where most people just
keep saying i want to keep growing my
net worth and building a financial
legacy you’re saying there’s a point
where there’s a major diminishing return
there and not just for you but for
future generations because the first
question i had when i first saw a die
with zero
was what about the kids and then i
opened the book and one of the first
things i see what about the kids so
clearly i’m not the the you know
foresighted genius i thought it was but
so you’re not saying leave the kids out
or leave because my my second question
was what about a legacy of helping those
less fortunate and you know a trust fund
and those types of things but you have
answers for that as well
yeah so the the first thing let’s just
talk about the kids or charities or
whatever right like when i say yeah
in order to get the maximum fulfillment
out of your life the first thing first
thing a rational person will do is aim
to spend all their money before they die
right all their exhaust all their
resources before they die
when i the key word there is yours right
money that you’ve decided to give to
your kids is not yours
i’m not saying spend your kids money i’m
saying okay
your money right so
let’s just take my kids as an example
the money that i’ve given them they
don’t have control of it yet right but
it’s in a trust fund
so if i you know somebody sues me or
something happens that money doesn’t get
vaporized so that’s just
smart planning right because if you’re
just mentally keeping accounting like oh
this is for my kids it’s not really your
kids yet and it’s at risk right of all
kinds of all kinds of things okay
um you can give them the money without
giving them control of it until they’re
mature enough right at the time they
want to have right and and those are
tools that people people have if you
don’t have the exact amount of money uh
you want to give them uh
it may be zero i’m not saying that you
should or shouldn’t but you can give
them a little bit per year and model
that out into this
separate account or gift account or
whatever right like i’m not i don’t want
to go into like tax and estate planning
but yeah of course of course
so because the same the same
optimization curve for yourself the same
fact that you’re gonna you’re gonna
reach a peak mental uh acuity and peak
physical maturity and then you’re gonna
go into decline and decay it’s going to
happen for your kids too
and so
for people to be waiting until they die
and give money to 60 65 year olds is
yeah right right like the average
inheritance i think is 60 it’s in the
book um
it just doesn’t make any sense what’s so
effing ever um
um it’s it’s more like giving random
amount of money to random people on a
random date it’s not really planning or
caring about kids
it’s just
historical culture of like this is what
happens right which is not
really being thoughtful about
what do i want to give live my kids when
do i want to give it to them when does
it have the most massive impact right
like perhaps in certain people with
certain health profiles you know i’m
just use a hundred dollars
at 30
is like
hundred eight hundred a thousand two
thousand dollars at sixty-two right
right if they make it to sixty-two right
so the same thing where like you need to
optimize your your spending and invest
in experiences at a certain time and
have the memory dividend to have the
most fulfilling life is the same thing
for your kids
that’s an experience like
i use the word experience as broadly as
possible so if you’re like hey
i’m allocating capital to charities i i
i have a uh uh
talk in a book about the time is now
like you know i’m pretty much like you
know warren buffett once said like well
i can make a better return in the market
and and then i can give more money to a
charity later
and you know i just kind of have threw
up over that statement i was kind of
like well okay we’ll just let these
thousand people die and these 10 000
people die
while you go into the future this
unknown future
and think that you’re going to get a
better return than an investment in a
human broadly now and i just think it’s
absurd like your 8 10
you know
15 return is not going to be greater
than the capital investment and the
charities that are efficient that you
put in now
so the time is now right
like i i i i just think those those
arguments are absurd um
maybe there’s some sliver of something
where it does make sense that i don’t
charity for ice dancing or something
that it doesn’t really have that big of
an impact but
you know i i i you know i’m all about
at all levels right if you run this kind
of model like the top level optimization
for your life
is the same for your children’s life
charities etc
it’s all fear i’m realizing this as
you’re saying it all of this i have to
do it for the kids i have to do it for
charity i have to do it for my legacy
it’s not it’s if i
if i acknowledge or at least i’m at
least this is for me if i acknowledge
that that wealth building isn’t this
endless thing that only just magically
ends when i die and that there’s
actually a curve to it that acknowledges
my life cycle i have to acknowledge my
life cycle i have to acknowledge that
i’m not only am i not going to be alive
100 years from now it’s possible that i
might not be alive 40 or 50 years from
now and even before that i’m gonna not
be in the same shape that i am right now
this is literally what i had to face
because of ms that i would have never
faced at this point in my life i’d be
freaking out being turning 40 next year
because i’d be like oh now i’m getting
old but i i i this is fear and i think
it’s also possibly that you know if you
go back a thousand years you know where
someone’s life expectancy was something
like half what it is now then yeah it
made sense to just build up what you had
and however many kids you had that
survived could have it for you know
their formative years when you know when
and then you know when they die 20 30
years later they’ve built up whatever
they have but if like you said if there
are people who routinely outlive their
and and because they live to be 90
something and their kids died in their
70s which neither of those is uncommon
and yeah
it’s kind of intuitive right like
when you it’s kind of intuitive like you
you know in order to
you got woken up on like what
experiences you got off autopilot you
said okay you wanna have these
experiences and these are the things i
want to do and the book is really about
getting off autopilot and have a
visceral understanding that you’re going
to die and you’re going to decay
right so like you have to have that or
else you live in this kind of la la land
like it goes on forever and that i’m
good you know my life is going to look
like a carnival cruise commercial when
i’m in my 70s and i got to tell you and
it’s not i look i love to say thomas for
seven years it’s not like that
right it’s just it’s just not like that
and and you know
i get asked the question
why do you think
it’s such a hard
it’s so hard for seniors to uh
to accumulate assets like to spend down
their assets
and my answer is always they can’t
the the time has passed them you know
there’s there’s the the go-go years in
your retirement the slogo years and the
no-go years right and a lot of people
think the the the slogo years or maybe
in your late you know 70s it’s a lot
earlier for a lot of people especially
the health profile in the united states
of america maybe in europe or japan it’s
a different profile
um and that’s one thing you have to be
viscerally in touch with like okay when
am i going to die what is my health
how is my take curve going to look etc
right and these these mental models that
you’re daily updating weekly updating et
cetera is going to inform you okay
what experiences do i want to have and
so it’s not just like the movies where
like you have this bucket list and
before you die like i’m gonna run around
and do all these things at 82
and be happy and then die right like
remember the movie the bucket list i’m
just like this is the most ludicrous
thing i’ve ever seen in my entire life
right like
what you should be doing is time
bucketing your life like
when the 48 year old me dies
what experiences from 40 to 49
do i want to have what belongs in this
when i’m 50 to 60 what experiences
belong in this bucket
60 to 70 70 to 80 80 to 90 you know and
now that we’re we’re approaching where
i’m expected to die at between 80 90
right right and so
and so
and that’s where from wherever you are
right it’s from wherever you are it’s
not it’s not too late right what
experience if i’m 20 and i’m single
right yeah and it’s 21 to 30 what
experience is going 21 to 30 because
that you dies
what experience is when i have young
kids when my kids are five to and i’m
that parent what experiences go in that
bucket and if you just eliminate the
money right because money is just a
means to acquire it it’s a medium of
exchange right and you’re exchanging
from experiences whether it’s the
experience of buying something and
enjoying that thing or giving to charity
or or you know being hedonistic and
going out in florida and going bananas
right like it doesn’t matter
it’s your values not my values right and
so it’s like
if you if you just started like
bucketing all these experiences if you
could perfectly do that now right you’d
have this curve
and by and large the money spending will
kind of fit that curve as you go to zero
right because when you’re
let’s face it i mean
uh a lot of us have had
older relatives or grandpas or grandpa’s
eyes you look into life like they’re not
they’re not going anywhere their
experience is come over and talk about
old times come visit me yeah share
photos what’s your life they’re not yeah
you know i tell the story in the book uh
i i made the dumb mistake of giving my
grandmother like i just
and quote unquote made it uh and i gave
grand grandmother for christmas like ten
thousand dollars right she’s 70
something at the time i think 72
and uh
the only thing she did would it was buy
me a sweater
and that’s it
and then my mom goes well she did buy a
necklace for your daughter she corrected
me i made him mistaken look she did mine
but there was no
consumption or experiences like i’m
gonna get up my girlfriends and go drive
to florida or i’m gonna go to the casino
i’m done on a cruise trip or there was
none of that there was there was none of
that and i i first i was like [ __ ] if i
if i had that money that’s what i would
have done i would have you know what i
mean i would have my z at 72. and then i
checked myself and i was like wait a
minute this is my ancestors this will be
right who are you fooling
right you know what i mean like and i
already feel it now like if if my if my
friends called me
when i was 22 at 3 a.m
they’d be like there’s a party there
might be girls i’d get up go to wherever
this party is on the upper west side in
manhattan and charge it now
don’t don’t call me after 11. you know
what i mean like there’s certain
experiences or what happened if somebody
calls me up to 11 i’m in a panic because
i think somebody has died or something
bad has happened you know whereas before
it was like party or i’m getting lucky
and you’re still relatively young so
this you know imagine 20 years from now
what an 11 o’clock call will be like so
you actually have a there’s two
different fears here because like like
you said you know after a certain point
you know when people are in their 60s
70s 80s you know my parents they they
want me to come over and and spend time
with them and you know you know watch
things with them and talk with them
about stuff maybe go out to dinner or
something like that but they’re not
looking to go on some like you know wild
adventurous thing even i
am much different than i was you know 20
years ago i’m not even 40 yet and but
the two fears you’re dealing with first
of all the fear of giving up money
instead of the idea of you know having
more money every year than you did
before instead of less money than you
had but even more so you’re literally
getting people to think about okay
39 year old me is going to die what does
39 year old me want for 40 to 45 year
old you know
this not necessarily every day you know
december uh first spike is dead tomorrow
but like you know uh spike who’s going
to be in his late 30s early 40s will be
dead at this point what does he want to
do at that point you’re making people
not just face their mortality but the
mortality of their
immediate condition and like you said
take them out of la la land out of
autopilot and
which once they can make that that leads
to a way more fulfilling life because
now you can see the charitable works
that you wanted to do happening and they
can help people now you can see your
kids benefiting from what you’ve given
them you can see all these great things
happening and and have that be part of
your experience along with whatever else
you wanted to do at the times that it
would be optimal for you to do those
things but it requires you like really
giving up on this weird like almost
immortality uh uh
like sort of refusal to acknowledge our
mortality thing that we have going it’s
it’s incredible
yeah i think if you if you just did that
you’re already optimizing right like
when you look if you break up your life
in time periods of whatever seasons you
want to make it like pre-married meat
five year buckets ten year buckets
whatever you can you can make them all
the same period or you can lengthen them
out like you know as you get older or
you’re already off autopilot you’re
already optimizing more for net
fulfillment you’re already going to get
more out of this life
right yeah and what you’re going to find
is is that
you know not every experience costs
money but um but the ones that do cost
money and the ones that don’t what
you’re gonna find is is that there’s
gonna be this natural bulge
of these experiences and you’re gonna
find your spend pattern and if your aim
is to die with zero you’re kind of gonna
you know roughly come to this like okay
i get it right like i get it like at a
certain age your net worth should peak
and it should be going down if you look
at census if you look at the data
people in their 75 have their net worth
going up and i always ask them i always
i always kind of joke you’ll see me on
twitter commenting you know ray dalio he
likes to make money 72 and i said yeah
he’s saving up for that party at
what age when is when does the party
start for ray you know i mean like
for me
the party is now
it’s now until
whatever my you know my health decline
curve is i would say like 63 65 you know
yeah yeah right and then the party and
then party gold keeps going right there
i’m not saying like i don’t want to be
complete there’s people with other
profiles that are going to be running
marathons and discoing and partying
that’s not going to be me i’m talking
about me right i’m saying that you know
it starts to die down the music starts
to slow down they’re not playing you
know the bangers and the edm and the
reggae and the hip-hop they’re playing
they’re playing you know
new york new york it’s almost time on
the way out right in the slow jams right
and as my life naturally slows down as
my temperament slows down as as all the
you know
limit my ability to convert my money
into experiences that i enjoy
and i’ll give you a like an example of
not in a book but
when i i lived in paris for three months
for the summer um and i used to backpack
to language immersion class and then
walk all around city and and part of
that was to like really get the feel of
paris like no the streets no subways
know the local stuff interact with the
local students yada yada yada and i i
probably walk seven miles a day in paris
just all around seven eight miles a day
now if i did it
it’s not that i can’t walk seven miles a
day but it becomes unenjoyable because
of my knees
right in a degenerative back condition
that i have and so
a trip to paris is less of a trip to
paris for me
i have to spend more money to get the
same fulfillment out of paris because i
can’t do the things that really got me
value out of paris
and then i give you another example of
this is that
i went to st petersburg um
beautiful city and one of the things
they let you do is climb the steps of
these church and walk around the dome
it’s like 111 steps or 100 211 steps i
can’t remember exactly and there was all
these tour buses coming in of all these
seniors coming to saint petersburg right
not a single one of them
climbed those steps
so they had a different st petersburg
than me
now i’m not saying they didn’t enjoy it
i’m just saying that they got less of st
petersburg than i did because we went to
the same museums and we saw the same
tourist stuff they went to the you know
the summer palace wonder palace you know
they didn’t get to do that one thing
yeah that one thing because either they
couldn’t or it would be unenjoyable you
know traversing those steps and perhaps
perhaps maybe for a city like st
taking that trip earlier might have been
the better thing and shifting other
that you can get full value out of as an
older person might have been the better
play now if you’re there then you’re
there and you just got to take what you
get but i’m saying that wherever you are
kind of deliberately thinking about the
experiences you want to have and what’s
the value proposition going to be is
going to get you a more fulfilling life
like i had
me versus older me
i had a much more fulfilling
paris experience
than me now
like walking seven eight miles a day of
paris with a backpack around and doing
stuff is not as enjoyable i’ll only get
four before i’m like [ __ ] this [ __ ]
you know and the same thing
same thing with st petersburg it’s like
hey bill you want to go around and climb
all these things and do this thing i’m
like nope i’ll see you in the casino at
the tea house you know the russian tea
house you know that’s it
you said you you have a degenerative
back thing i have ms so
for two people that have various issues
if you’re at home is still having a hard
time with this you don’t know what’s
going to potentially happen it could be
great or it could be not so great when i
was you know 33
i never would have thought that i was
going to be in a hospital being talked
to about the possibility that i might
end up in a wheelchair in just a few
more months now thankfully i’ve been
stable for many years now and i’ve
actually gotten a little bit better
slowly over time but you don’t know
what’s going to happen and you know
whatever you’re able to do you know even
just outside of the the financial aspect
of this if there’s something you want to
do and you have the means to do it go
ahead and do it because you might find
that you can’t do it later and you know
i i think what’s happening a lot i want
to i want to add to that like you you
know ms basically is a
like robs you a little bit of your
quality of life and the length of your
life right
and and and and what’s going on but
it doesn’t matter like you’re still
going to die and you’re still going to
decay we all suffer from this disease
called aging
all of us and so
you know
this idea like we are humans are not
wired to think about death we’re wired
to survive to endure but we’re not wired
to think about deaf and to thrive right
and so i’m trying to give people the
mental models on like how to thrive
based on their values and it’s not you
know we’ve been talking about spending
all your money to your down et cetera
it’s an optimization book like there’s
truly people who are not saving properly
because there are experiences they’re
going to enjoy in their 30s and 40s that
should be delayed gratification right
and so when you when you put you you
know when you start thinking about your
life in stages you’ll think about the
things that okay this is a delay
gratification thing this is a bring
gratification forward right this belongs
in this season in my life this belongs
in this season of my life right so it’s
not all just spend it’s
it’s optimized so that you die with zero
regrets you’re not like oh [ __ ] i should
have uh read books to my daughters more
i didn’t know this time period was gonna
end or i should have went on this trip
with my friend backpacking through
europe instead of doing x y and z right
and i’m not
throwing those examples out those are
just examples like everybody has
different values different wants
different needs it’s just a mental model
for you to optimize your own life
i think it’s incredible man i i i like
a lot of this i was
i was forced to do with the m so the
interesting thing you mentioned we all
die we’re we all have this this uh 100
fatal disease called being alive um it
wasn’t the ms diagnosis that was the
most brutal it was when i sat down with
doctors and talked about my ms treatment
options and they said well the goal of
your ms treatment is to slow down slow
down the progression of your ms so that
it’s not much different than just the
typical aging process and that was
supposed to make me feel better and
instead that hit me like a ton of
freaking bricks because it was like holy
crap best case scenario i’m still going
to decline because i even said to them
you know you know how how much can we
slow down the decline can we slow it
down to nothing and they went well
you’re already in your 30s and i’m like
ah like that the the
you know it’s like yeah you’re already
going to start to slowly meant uh
physically decline and then you know 30
years 33’s average age like once you hit
33 that’s physical peak you’re in
plateau and decline at 30. anybody who’s
older than 33 you’re in decline uh and
mentally it’s 28.
right give or take it so it’s
one thing i want to note there is i’m in
better shape now than i was then not
because i’ve reached a better physical
peak but because getting out of
autopilot it made me realize take your
health seriously take your diet and
exercise seriously find out what you
want to do with your life instead of
just constantly trying to make money and
now i’m actually minus the ms i’m
healthier now than i was
what seven years ago now but it took
getting out of autopilot it’s everything
you’re saying
yeah so you know in the book the mental
model is like you know the i wrote this
book basically
given your wealth your health and your
and we’re solving we’re optimizing for
net fulfillment over our life okay how
do we play these three variables right
and so
you you’re you’re looking at you know
your health is the biggest
massive impact and it has cascading
effects i’ll give a simple example if
you’re overweight
for every i think it’s a
pound overweight it’s five pounds extra
force on your knees and your cartilage
a lot of people don’t realize that knee
replacement surgery is the fastest
growing surgery in the united states of
america because we’re becoming more and
more obese
but that that once you you know
can’t walk or walking becomes painful
your whole ability to take this organic
spacesuit that you’re wearing right your
to move around and explore the world
around you planet earth basically right
starts to diminish
in everything every activity and so yeah
these things that is such a massive
impact on your future enjoyment right
and your net fulfillment
that it’s it you know i originally
wanted to build just a model like a
computer model
uh and you know
there’s first of all there’s not enough
computing power in the world to handle
all the variables i want but i could of
course i could i could strip it down and
kind of show you the magnitude of these
impacts and one thing that had the
massive impact is your health
like it’s it’s it’s wildly different
fulfillment score
okay if we’re gonna you know have this
theoretical fulfillment score uh not you
know with your help just small changes
in your health
so you really want to be you know this
this big macro optimization there’s all
these sub optimizations right people
write books on how to make money and how
to do this and how to save time and how
to organize and how to stay healthy
right you know
really really think about
optimizing that health bucket
uh completely
and this is so
you’re getting you’re reversing the
entire structure of everything and you
can watch it like if you watch the news
which typically like if you watch cable
news which is typically watched by older
an older demographic they’ve got all
this stuff that’s based on like you know
your health and your you know your your
livelihood and your well-being and it’s
because there are people that are having
to having spent all this time on
autopilot they’re now having to cope
with the very real fact that there’s a
decline happening that there’s there’s
little to nothing they can do about and
if instead they were optimizing it they
would already be settled into that phase
and living their life in that phase in
the optimal way of doing it instead of
freaking out trying to claw back a life
that they’re never going to get it’s
yeah it you you
the the zero is zero regrets right like
you’re not clawing back you’re like i
had a fulfilling 35 to 39 i had a my 40s
were great i got everything out of it
and i also left enough room for what you
know what i call discovery because life
is discovery you don’t know what you
want you kind of discover what you want
right like i didn’t come out of the womb
like i like chocolate ice cream i hate
onions i really like paris i don’t like
you know uh
rio as much as everybody says right like
i had to go there and discover it and
then some of the things i discovered
that i thought i would hate
i love and i’m like i want to do that in
my 60s like i went on a train trip on
the orient express and i was like i hate
wearing a suit anyone going to train
with a bunch of strangers you got to
wear you know
in the dining car and
the formal in in the in the in the
evening thing and i went on this train i
i freaking loved it
you get to see uh
views and cut through towns that a plane
doesn’t get to see a car can’t go
it was very relaxing and i was like this
is great um and i’ve discovered this
whole world of training that’s out there
and then when i was gonna plan a trip
and we were gonna go take a train
uh and then go up to machu picchu and
then we we i paused as i was doing my
bucket list my my time bucketing for
each period of my life and i’m like
why am i taking time
to go training now
right when i could do training in my 60s
70s and 80s
right i could sit on a train read a book
and enjoy that in my 67 80s
i can’t hike machu picchu in my 80s i
can’t you know i can’t do x y z i can’t
go wakeboarding i can’t do all these
other activities so i realized like i
was inefficiently allocating my
on the activities i was choosing with
respect to training and so if you’re off
autopilot and you realize you’re going
to die and there’s certain experiences
below some well you’re making that
decision right and so for me just that
simple exercise
i’ve gotten i’m going to get more
fulfillment out of my life
right i’m not gonna go [ __ ] i should
have went weight boarding
you know instead of training on that
trip right like you know like i did it
right because it’s 76 like i think my
wakeboarding days are actually almost
completely over
and wake surfing is in but wake boarding
is out just because of the speed of the
board the injury you can have to your
back it’s just not as enjoyable um
and so
you know i did the wake boarding thing
and i’ll do the training thing later
i’ve optimized right just that thought
process right that mental model has got
you getting them more out of life
i love it i love it so you’ve got nine
rules and let’s just go through them now
keep in mind for anyone saying how can i
know how to do this because i you pretty
much got me sold on it but i already
have the book so i can read and find out
uh but for those who who need to uh in
fact i’ll put the link in the notes it’s
die with zerobook.com
um i’ll put that in the comments so
everyone can can go and get that but
let’s walk through really briefly your
your nine rules and then we’ll do some
we got a couple different various
questions oh by the way update on the
poll um between who is better looking uh
the clear runaway winner
was tasha so welcome to my life
this is every
anyway um you know i’ll put up something
really nice and thoughtful that i did
and people will go hey great job tasha
cohen’s husband i’m like sure all right
anyway um so that’s part of die with
zero is recognize that you might end up
marrying a woman who both doesn’t age
and becomes better and more graceful
over time so everyone naturally loves
her more than you and no one’s gonna
like you over time by contrast and you
have to cope with that you’re you’re
being liked by people will die slowly
over time too um
so uh the nine rules that we have i got
them uh here so rule number one
maximize your positive life experiences
i i think we’re just going to go through
each of these and and kind of give us a
brief synopsis of like what because
we’ve talked about a lot of this but
like what that means exactly
you know
i i’m like what drives it
fulfillment right and really broadly
speaking it’s experiences you have right
what you choose to do your first kiss
person you marry the trip you took the
charity you helped the project you
worked on
you know
when you are at the end of your days on
your deathbed you’ll look back on your
life and you’ll be like did i have the
most adventurous fulfilling life
possible and that will be the situation
your your positive life experiences and
your choices some of them will be
terrible at that time
but as time goes on you’ll be like that
was a great thing
and and a positive thing in itself like
the dividends from bad experiences are
sometimes even good and so
i’m like hey this book is about net
fulfillment about getting the maximum
you can out of your life and optimizing
your life so
we’re going to aim to have the most
positive life
experiences okay so uh and i’m letting
everyone know to get their questions in
for q a um
next uh number two start investing in
experiences early
yes so
the the idea of you know
you you hear it over there oh if you
were 20 and you saved five dollars
whatever you’re a millionaire at 70.
well i’m like [ __ ] that [ __ ] i don’t
want to be a millionaire at 70. you
didn’t mean multi-millionaire or
whatever it is like
i want to invest experiences and live
off those memory dividends and i want to
be interesting and i want to have
conversations about dinner about the
experiences i have and create new
experiences and have that radioactive
compound interest of the memory dividend
right because
those experiences broadly speaking are
what drive my fulfillment so let’s
invest in them
right when you’re older i think a lot of
people you know every i think everybody
has all the relatives or you know at
least or fortunate to have some older
when you meet with them they want to
talk about
the old days
or what happened and i think even when
you meet with your friends
a lot of the conversation of what’s
going on is about things that have
happened or experiences they’ve had
yeah yep right and so
you know in the extreme case right that
home run you hit in high school you’ve
heard that story like oh he tells a
story all the time right like
that with that story retelling that
experience is fulfilling fulfilling and
you get that fulfillment out of it and
if we’re talking about net fulfillment
net fulfillment comes from the
experiences you have invest in them
early and get the
memory dividend slash fulfillment
to make your life as rich as possible
which brings us to this next one aim to
die with zero which means money but also
like you said zero regrets as well
yeah um that you know there’s this
i came to this on my own but there’s two
it’s called a full life cycle hypothesis
i hope i’m saying it right about like
the rational person who’s trying to get
the most out of life would die with zero
money right and so
fact of matter is humans aren’t rational
right we have
fears irrational fear some rational
fears and we don’t
we don’t recognize and think viscerally
about we’re going to die and our and our
decay and so this is just an axiom right
like we do not go to work we do not
waste hours of our life for zero reward
and the reward is not money
money is an abstract in order for you to
get the experiences you want to have
the dentist working on your teeth the
plane ticket the trip
saint jude’s charity unit charity
donation to the libertarian party
whatever it is there’s a trillion of
them right whatever fits your value
system that’s why you went to work
that’s why you spent hours giving up
hours of your life
right of all the other things you can be
doing in those hours
exchange for this this capital or money
right so that you can have all these
other experiences and so
do not die
with chips left on the table right do
not waste your life working for no
right that is suboptimal
that’s and as a high specs poker player
you know all about leaving the chips on
uh so uh use and then number four use
all available planning tools
yeah so um
you know
spreadsheets charts
knowing when you’re going to die right
the most important thing is having a
good estimate of when you’re going to
your medical history
your decline
charting these things out use your
planning tools to be like okay
what do i need to survive the first
experience i’m solving for right right
everybody’s worried about retirement
right but they think in terms of
survival and fun right and i’m like no
no no just solve for survival then
optimize your life for fun yes there
will be fun in your 60s 70s and 80s 90s
100 people that make it to 120 right but
be realistic about what experiences you
want to have in those time buckets right
and use those tools to get there
uh don’t live life on autopilot we kind
of nailed that one down but i guess
you’re gonna have a clue yeah
like like
most of us are walking through like
we’re going to live forever our 20s are
going to be forever we’re going to be
single forever our kids are going to be
five and six and want to hang out with
us forever they’re not going to turn
into teenagers and be like get the hell
out of here uh you know what i mean like
i’m going to have the same career i’m
going to be first-time business like
those periods of your life come and go
and however you want to divide up the
seasons of your life depending on what
your life plan is or what you
anticipated to be them and and realize
you’re constantly updating this this
isn’t like i do this once it’s static
it’s done and i’m i go live my life
right this is a constantly continuously
updating model right in order to
optimize it’s like when you’re on a
plane and they’re coming in from landing
right there’s there’s four lights that
are there and and they they also they
will go from you want white white red
right and they basically glide path to
come into the landing right yeah and so
the pilot is constantly adjusting the
plane to come on glide path right to
stick that landing so just like
getting off autopilot so that you can
have the most fulfilling life and stick
the landing you know what i mean in that
glide down yeah yeah yeah right now i
don’t want to glide down like you’re on
autopilot you have to constantly be
adjusting and thinking about this about
what do i want now what have i
discovered what has changed right i
discovered training [ __ ] i’m going to do
training now i’m going to do this right
for my for my example
right oh i have i’ve gotten healthier
i’ve got not healthier or i discovered i
want to go to italy i want to travel
here or my kids graduation i want to go
to my daughter like life is constantly
changing the variables but you need to
have a nice macro mental model right of
what you want and when
and if you’re on autopilot like i’m just
going to work i make the money and
tuesday i go out the thing whatever
you’re not really getting what you want
you’re just getting the habits that you
which that kind of also answers think of
your life as distinct seasons and know
when to stop growing your wealth
take your biggest risks when you have
little to lose i can take that to mean a
bunch of different tell me what does
that mean to you
and then
i think people you know
people come to me for advice a lot of
times and
and i think there is this miscalculation
of how much risk they have doing x or
whatever adventure it is and so when
you’re when you’re younger or you have
you have little to lose like
i i make the example of like when i went
out to
you know work on the exchange or if i
lost that job or if i was a trader i
could always go make money as a waiter
more than i was making men right like i
didn’t really have
that much
i didn’t have that much risk financial
risk right like and and for a lot of
they miscalculate
the downside and they underestimate the
um getting off autopilot will help you
think about that and i think one of the
things they’re not saying is that
they actually fear
the reactions of others if they fail not
really the money or the position
okay right you know i i i don’t want to
go too deep into that right now because
we’re talking about it
you know most of the time i’ve never
ever sweated
losing money or being busted and i’ve
gone bust after making a bunch of money
and i’ve gone bust and then came back or
whatever what i did slightly sweat was
the perception of others
and i i caught myself because i pride
myself on uh i don’t give a [ __ ]
right like i got a healthy dose of that
from my dad and and being
african-american and having people think
things about you that weren’t true or
stereotyping so you i think you
naturally have this
i don’t give a [ __ ] right uh but
it turned out to be not true
in a case of failure like oh what are
they gonna think or what are they gonna
say like a little bit right and so i
realized like wow i’m not really
sweating the risk reward here i’m not
even sweating the money i’m sweating
what does
my cousins think or my friends or my
peer group or whoever like oh they’re
all gonna you know i mean like
he was high flyer and now he’s working
at mcdonald’s or whatever position i
would had to take right yeah that type
of thing
you’re just
this book could have just been as easily
called stop being afraid of everything
like that
that’s like it really is like you’re
battling so many different fears the
fear of that concept of of i tell you
one of my biggest fears even now uh
would be the concept of like you know
having less money next year than this
year ah like you know and maybe that’s
not my optimal curve yet or whatever but
but even i would think 20 years from now
i’d still be scared of that but all of
these things are based on a fear of
something a fear of but wait that means
i’m gonna die yes you’re gonna die you
need to make peace with that wait but
that means i’d have less money who cares
you’re not going to have the money and
you could use it for the things that
you’re saying you’re going to want it to
use in the future when it’s going to be
worth less thanks to inflation like all
these different things it’s like yes go
ahead and have the fear and then go
ahead and do it anyway because
it’s going to be a more fulfilling life
if you do it that way
yeah i think you know you want to
transfer your fear to like not having
the most fulfilling life to not you know
from not running out of money too soon
right you got to train you got to you
got to be more worried about wasting
your life
than wasting your money right yeah or
running out of money um
or or having your net worth go down and
like i i am
hyper concerned about
my net worth bumping
in ways that it shouldn’t like i’m like
did i give enough to charity this year
did i not spend
you know i i check in with my uh with
how much do i spend on travel and so i
know in in just like if i haven’t spent
x percent of my earnings on travel i’m
living sub-optimally
so i start calling up people like what
should i be doing where should i be
going whatever like i i get off
autopilot like if i haven’t given x per
quarter per charity i’m you know
according to my values then i’m living
suboptimally you know what i mean
you know and i break it down like how
much has been flights how much has been
you know hotels how much has been
parties whatever and like
if it’s low
according to my back then
i’m off i’m off you know i mean i’m off
i’m like wait i’m [ __ ] wasting this
year like i get scared
like i’m gonna be pissed that
you know in the future that i didn’t do
x y and z that i could have done like
what are the things i haven’t done do i
need to do something potluck spin the
globe you know that type of thing and so
you know
fear is
is great because it
you know we’re wired to survive
we’re worried not to thrive right
everyone is wired to survive and endure
right we will endure human beings the
beautiful thing about is we will endure
a whole bunch of
[ __ ]
and we will survive right we will we
will do everything to survive but we
don’t take that next step in evolution
right given our prefrontal cortex and
all this other stuff we have to thrive
to get the maximum fulfillment
and so
you got to get off autopilot because
your your natural default mode is
be safe
have stacks of money to make sure i’m
even safer from all these things and i’m
get an insurance policy dude if you’re
worried about running about my money buy
an annuity if you’re worried about
long-term care get long-term care
insurance you know i mean like
they’re going to do it even if they have
10-15 margins they’re going to be more
efficient than you
trying to be an insurance agent for
yourself right you’re holding money and
giving up life in exchange for like wow
i’m gonna live
three more days in a bed stinky in a
hospital i’m like no
yeah this is all just like face your
fear with all this stuff so all right
let’s go into the q a because we could
literally you could just say another
thing and then my mind’s blown again and
then you say another thing and then my
mind’s blown again uh but i
the first question here it was actually
early on
was from and unfortunately folks i
appreciate all your questions uh we’re
not going to be able to do every single
one of them but i’ll try to get to as
many of them as possible uh where was it
um nick uh see i should have written
these down nick gonzalez had asked early
where does factoring in
debt work into this because obviously
there’s a presumption that they’re
you’ve got this lump sum of money that
you’re figuring out
you have a income and a lump sum of
money that you’re figuring out how to
spend optimally but for those who are in
a situation where they are you know
having to have a certain amount of
consumer debt to live their life how how
does debt work its way into this when
you’re factoring in your your your
optimal living
okay so i’ll go first um
smart debt um and i don’t mean like
credit card debt 20 but it sometimes it
can be rational is a rational thing
right like you’re basically borrowing
from your future richer self if you have
that trajectory
to give to your younger poorer self
so that’s not necessarily a bad thing
right like
my club glow if i borrowed
i don’t know 15 interest to go to a
couple clubs
in my 20s
that would have been rational based on
my career path
right because i can’t go back and go to
the club
and have those experiences and i don’t
want to go to the club now i’m just an
old guy you know what i mean like
my mom used to say you don’t want to be
the oldest guy in the club you know like
you just took that’s what my mother used
to say so i’m just going with it so
you know
if you’re optimizing your life right
you’re always net present valuing things
right and it’s like okay
i can take money from my future self and
bring it to my current self at this
interest rate right and have this
experience that i wouldn’t otherwise
have right now most people have a
they overdo it
so they have they borrow a debt they
have these other experiences that maybe
aren’t even fulfilling but they destroy
future fulfillment right because they’re
under this debt burden and so
that is a tool to be used and then i’ll
go with the second thing which is kind
of like
i would say
not immoral but
not right i don’t know what it is but in
a value system
you know somebody points out well i want
to die in debt and i said technically
that’s a more optimal solution is to die
actually in debt like i don’t understand
why a person with 86 90 you know your
last month to die like when you run up
all your credit card bills but you
really can’t because you can’t do
anything right but
that would be a burden on society and i
i would say that’s a kind of immoral
thing to do is like you’re essentially
stealing like you’re taking money that
you have no intention of repaying back
but uh
you know if you don’t care if you’re
like the joker or the riddler or
whatever like it is actually you know
you some people might say hey the credit
card companies are willing to take that
they they charge the interest rate for
it i’m going to do that you know the
sequel to this book die with negative 10
diamond negative 50 or whatever you know
12 credit cards
yeah you know like it’s like it’s like
the evil version of this book it dies
with the banks
yeah you know if you’re just transaction
like it’s their risk they shouldn’t give
you the credit card but anyway
let’s go back to the first scenario
where we’re not like crossing into lake
is that moral is that acceptable i guess
on that is that
using debt
uh which is for income smoothing right
like it makes sense
thought through levels right right right
if you’re let’s just take an example you
work for the
i don’t know the city of so-and-so and
they have the union cut a great deal
right which they often do and you have
these guaranteed pay raises and you you
can’t you really can’t get fired and you
have this career trajectory and you have
this experience to disney world with
your family and your kids and they’re
five and
you can’t do it right but you can borrow
it i don’t know let’s call it a high
interest rate today six percent you know
from from from a home equity loan to get
it out or whatever fi you know yeah yeah
that made sense right because you’re now
borrowing from your future richer sales
to have an experience in this time
period with your kids and family right
ends you can’t get it right
and you’re taking that out and so
you know you have to think these three
through and i’m not advocating people
just going to all kinds of debt to have
experiences now but i’m just saying
that is a tool
most in the united states of america
it’s we have a problem the other way in
japan where people which surprisingly
people in japan
love this book um
they don’t have that problem right they
have a saving they have the most they
have the massive savings problem right
so this book hit them like a ton of
bricks right like nobody ever fulfills
their life they give money to their kids
and then they save money and they give
their kids but they never spend the
money and they give it to their kids and
i’m like whoever gets to really live
their life and fulfill it right right
that’s okay so yeah so it’s obviously i
mean a lot of these questions are going
to be answered with you know your
results may vary it’s based on your life
but in general such and such
i believe in using debt as a tool but be
very careful
yeah uh okay although i do like the idea
of making an evil version of this book
die being a a tax write-off from as many
banks as possible um great uh
i like it um
this was uh oh no here’s the problem we
had a bunch of question marks but it was
all people saying why can’t i vote for
this is great so by the way a side note
here um uh
there’s another i can make a book die
with your wife still looking like she
did when you met her in 2007. um this
this is the pro i used to look like her
too like i used to also be an attractive
person and now i’m 39 yeah long hair and
dark skin like what
you used to look like
joking just joking i look like the
ashkenazi jewish male version of her if
you can catch it actually i this this
analogy is falling apart i was also
good-looking and then what’s happened is
you know she is an incredibly attractive
black woman who just keeps getting
younger somehow and i am an ashkenazi
jew and we are known for being smart and
we’re known for you know great uh
finances and being you know all that and
aging like milk and so it’s just been
one of these things anyway uh so uh it’s
it’s i call it the optimal hot spouse
curve um she i nailed it she i i feel
terrible for her um
so uh let’s see here someone asked a
question i for i want to try to figure
out who it was so i can oh joe hanush
said um you know what would your general
advice be for someone if they if if a
friend or if someone came up to you and
i have a feeling i know how you’re gonna
answer this but someone comes up to you
and says bill i just you know uh
inherited a hundred thousand dollars or
i just won a you know million dollar
dollar lottery what would be some of the
first things you would say to them
yeah i i i would you know the first
thing i always tell people is you got to
know what experiences you want
and and model everything you know like
we got to model your retirement your
survival right that’s the first
experience everybody wants to have and
then we got a model kind of like
what do you really want right like i
think when i first became rich
i was on autopilot even as a rich guy
i had this idea what rich people do so i
just did that it wasn’t really what i
wanted right like getting off autopilot
is a exercise like people meditate to do
it etc so
you know i had habits
pre-programmed into me
when i made money
that really weren’t me you know i had to
get off autopilot i’m like i really
don’t give a [ __ ] about cars why do i
have these fancy cars you didn’t mean
like i’m not a car guy you know what i
mean like
i really don’t like this and i really
don’t like that but i do like this and i
do like that and that that took
some thinking after making some
basically foolish decisions that weren’t
fulfilling me you know
uh not that it was foolish money-wise it
was just
by putting my energy into that thing i
wasn’t really doing the thing that would
fulfill me right i wasn’t really
thinking about wow i really would have
loved to make this trip or go this place
and do a leisure learning immersive
class et cetera instead you know i
bought the mclaren or whatever and so as
even at 100 000 i would think like okay
let’s model it out what experiences you
want to have it all comes from what do
you want out of your life or your value
systems you know your values and what
experiences you want to have the hundred
thousand dollars opens up
some things that you can do but you’ve
got to get off [ __ ] autopilot
right yeah yeah so this is a part of
even even that’s a part of fear of like
well uh i need to be doing what i need
to be keeping up with the other rich
people um and that was i remember like
as i started making money and i’m like
oh what are other wealthy people doing
and then and then it was after i got
married and started doing more was more
based on what my wife wanted to do and
uh and i and i realized often i’m like
i don’t really care what they’re doing
like that doesn’t that’s not i actually
do like cars but like you know having
these gigantic houses that you can you
know yell and hear the echo like why
like what’s the purpose like for me that
wasn’t a big deal so i i get what you’re
saying there i get it
um let’s see here is the oh uh joe
hanouch says did you just yada yada yada
through living three months in paris
for a summer yeah yeah yeah oh yeah
you know people do it better than i did
you know i i got to paris i should have
went backpacking as a kid uh not a kid
but you know in my early 20s uh and did
the youth hostel thing because i i think
it would have a richer experience and my
older more foofier self
i didn’t really connect with paris as
much as they did and my my my
you know everywhere i go everywhere i go
i tell people this is like oh it’s easy
for you you’re you’re rich and i’m like
that’s horse [ __ ] everywhere i go i find
somebody doing it for 1 1000th of the
price right right hustling doing it
backpackers gap year students
everybody you know they’re seeing the
same view i see whatever yeah i sleep in
some expensive hotel or whatever because
i’m a pansy now right i’m not at this
guy that i used to be
they’re in many ways having a richer
experience than i have you know
one of the things i i have i try to um
to um
is that
comfort and wealth isolate you
you you [ __ ] you maybe fly private maybe
you’re first class maybe this gets
handled for you you don’t go to the
grocery store you have an assistant or
whatever like you get isolated you stay
in the fancy hotel where there’s only
rooms you know you’re not you don’t take
the bus right so so for me if you don’t
like those things that’s great you’re
you’re having the best most fulfilling
life as possible but for me
i like people i like culture i like
interacting i like random interactions i
like this stuff and so
i have to consciously make sure that i
spend my money and allocate it in a way
so i have these fulfilling experiences
um so you know
i had a i sponsored a thing i had this
like tv show it’s called the coin flip
trip and
two guys
they would travel the world and they’d
flip a coin if they flipped low they had
to live on like 25 or 50 bucks that day
the two of them
and it was high it was 500 or whatever
right yeah and the purpose of the show
and then they would you know
they’d be like they had a couple of low
flips like they were in the most
expensive city they were in like i don’t
know start or someplace and they were
around and they were in chile and they
flipped high and they flipped low and
they came back and they were like the
best experiences we had and the richer
experiences was flipping low and part of
the point of it was to tell you know i
get this feedback like oh easy for you
to do you’re a rich guy i’m like
[ __ ]
i i sent guys out into the world and
they went like nine places and they they
did it and i’ve gone to like places in
and the whole world is like gap gearing
working at mcdonald’s and saving up and
then backpacking through china and then
going here and bali and i can tell you
their pictures their memories their
stories they’re better than mine
yeah yeah it’s i mean obviously having
wealth gives you flexibility and all of
that stuff we’re not saying that that
but i i will say some of the best
experiences i’ve had is going to some
salsa one of the best things i did this
year was going with my wife and some
friends after you know a day of of you
know really fulfilling campaign or not
campaign but like political activism
rallying uh uh for for cuba and then
going to a salsa club that had free
entry and i’m drinking water like i’m
paying you know three bucks a pop
drinking water i probably spent of i
don’t know between me and my wife maybe
30 bucks that that day that night mostly
on soda and overpriced soda and water
and that was probably the most fun that
i had
the second most fun i had was the
following day on labor day where i went
out to the beach and laid in the in the
water until i was purple sunburned and
that cost me zero dollars well i had to
get some aloe when i got home but i mean
like like these are things that
literally two days worth of including
the meals that i bought maybe spending
150 bucks between me and my wife that
those two days two of the best days i’ve
ever had in my life so it’s it’s not
just a money thing that’s definitely
yeah i agree with that and i i don’t
want to say that like you know if you
have more money you have more choices
flexibility options and therefore i
believe more you have the tool to have
more fulfillment but that tool is
useless if you’re on autopilot
yep completely useless like
i i i’m gonna use just the public
persona of warren buffett not like
actual because it’s like is like you
could not pay me anything to have his
it it’s like
he’s a billionaire at whatever you ever
see him walk and it’s like what the [ __ ]
is he you don’t even like this is this
is like the most under optimized life
publicly right i don’t know [ __ ] about
warren i you know apologize to warren
right now but the public persona of like
you know i’m gonna eat dairy queen every
day i’m gonna live in the same old house
so whatever i was like you have too much
right like you [ __ ] you know like i
hope you absolutely love looking at
charts and businesses like you had
orgasms doing it because
it seemed like the most wasted miserable
life ever right like
you know so
so and that’s just public i’m not you
know your life is probably rocking
holding fulfilling and you’re getting
the most fulfillment out of it but like
for me i i would like want to commit
like i literally want to commit suicide
like i would be very disappointed with
maybe that’s what he like maybe he is
you know this is like maybe he does and
that’s why you can’t judge like when
people say oh are they doing it wrong
i’m like listen if you’re off autopilot
and you really thought about it you’re
not lying to yourself right because you
can lie to me but don’t lie to yourself
your values are your values and your
curve is your curve and you did it i’m
just giving you the tools to build your
own curve
and get the most out of life
you know according to your values
so most of these other questions are
things like what would be your specific
financial advice on doing this or that
and i’m pretty sure your answer on these
things is going to be i’d have to know
way more about your specifics to tell
you like where you should invest because
one was like you know what would be the
best investment for the next four years
with a plan and all of this stuff so i’m
thinking probably best
you know that that i i don’t want you’re
not first of all you’re not giving them
you’re not going to give them uh
financial advice uh like at that micro
level obviously but i do think that they
should buy the book i i’m going to
answer for you on these they you should
buy the book and these will this will
give you the tools that uh will help you
to determine these things for yourself
and this book is like one question is is
this on audible
yes it’s on audible it’s on audible
yeah and this audio version if you like
my voice i don’t like my own voice but
if you like hearing me talk it’s me i’m
on audible
uh somebody just told me yeah i played
you i said oh you got to hear my voice
well i painted it 2.5 times it’s just
that i sounded like this you know like i
saw like minnie mouse or something like
but they got the book right they got
they got the message
you know if you guys
go ahead i was going to say like
i wrote this book to save lives
primarily my own life right because i am
on autopilot just as much as the next
person and i needed to get this out of
my head into a model for me to check in
right that whole
how much did i spend on travel how much
did i spend on travel that’s me getting
off autopilot like having metrics for me
to check in with and save my own life
and so you know a lot of people think
like oh yeah you’re saying you’re saving
lives like they kind of like
uh but
when when you
when you save somebody’s life who’s
yeah save their life they’re still gonna
this is not to die right then you’re
just giving them some time back
to have the experiences they want to
have throughout their life right
i wrote this book to give you time back
to have the experiences in the film film
and a life just like when you go to save
that person who’s drowning you’re like
okay you’re not gonna die today it’s
gonna be later but you’re giving them
that time back
right so
this book is a lifesaver
i like it and if you for some reason if
you don’t like his voice but you do want
it read to you you but you get the uh
you can buy the book um and then give me
fifty dollars and i’ll read it to you
i’ll read i will read this book to you
oh let’s just watch it right i’m gonna
get like 10
yeah that’s a cheap rate i mean you’re
below minimum wage right there reading
the book yeah i know i know i know i
always undervalue myself and i’d
actually i i’d get a kick out of it
saying that i just read the book title
and if enough of you do it i can do it
on a zoom call and then i’ll make like
you know i’ll be maximizing my income uh
so i did get one uh question that i
assume is a poker question should i go
all in on pocket deuces pre-flop
only if you’re a maniac and like want to
light some money on fire like me you
know you have a chance of getting it
through but yeah only if you’re a maniac
okay so yes if you if that’s if that’s
part of your opinion your goal is to
light some money on fire let’s go yeah
okay all right cool cool cool i i
actually want to ask you this and
someone had mentioned it
uh and then and and then we’re gonna get
your final thoughts on stuff but i i
wanted to ask you
looking at these lockdowns
the idea of
you know we’re gonna shut everything
down to potentially save lives
everything that i’m hearing
from you about optimizing your life
optimizing your experience
in addition to just the the
brutal authoritarianism of that policy
initially that also just completely went
against everything you believe in terms
of optimizing
i don’t want to put words in your mouth
but was that as difficult for you to
process as it seems like it would be
based on what you’re you’re preaching
when it comes to this stuff
i i think as the uh you know when
when you had this
environmentally or lab-engineered virus
coming out right and so
uh you know if you have this biological
weapon coming out and you don’t really
know that much about it i felt like okay
this might be prudent right at a certain
level like
you know it’s an optimism it’s an
optimization program like if i’m gonna
die in the next year but if i do this
this mitigation measure i get 20 years
right it makes sense right
and and honestly it affected my behavior
in the beginning it’s gonna be a little
bit of a long answer because i got
really fat
during lockdown um
and part of it was is i did this
calculation you know based on the stats
that were coming out of italy and i’m
we’re gonna get this like this lockdown
thing or whatever but you’re eventually
going to get it over the next three
years and
um there’s a five percent chance to 10
chance i’m gonna die
right so i was like wow this you know
there’s like a one in 20 chance that i’m
gonna die in the next three years there
is no long term
so the idea of like delaying
gratification and not eating this food
and getting fat because
i you know i want to have a nice long
life a healthy life it went out the
window and i was eating like a prisoner
on death row right i was like like i was
like death row is three years okay
between now and then you know just
probabilistically thinking and as the
information came out
uh it was like this is ludicrous right
like this is this lockdown is uh is is
ludicrous there’s the other side of the
equation and the damages that lock down
lockdowns do
yada yada yada et cetera so we went from
a straight like one experts like we’re
optimizing to minimize infections right
not total deaths or total harm right or
total life loss right and people lost
their lives
the one good thing uh not the one good
thing but
a benefit was that a lot of people woke
they got forced off autopilot
their mortality was confronted
what did they want out of life you know
it’s like
you don’t know
what you’re missing until it’s gone like
don’t you you’re gonna be like like
don’t you love her as she’s walking out
the door and so their freedom went out
the door a whole year went out the door
you know all these things were walking
out the door like but wait i want to
take this trip oh [ __ ] i should have
taken this trip i should have done this
whatever tomorrow’s not promised and it
kind of shook some people off autopilot
and they you know they started quitting
their jobs
especially in the older bracket right
the the they said [ __ ] this [ __ ] right
um they started switching jobs and
choosing careers that they wanted they
started to get off autopilot and so
that happened with me as much as it
happened with everybody else uh and you
know i paid attention to that and i was
i was
redoubled my efforts to
get my time bucketing back and so
yeah now the mandates lockdowns are
completely ludicrous at the way i see it
looking at all the all the evidence and
and authoritarian and just kind of like
you know has this like government do
something effect uh in it
that we must the government has to do
something about it even if they can’t
and it everything they do is worse but
yeah and and you know the evidence
coming back like okay we’ll get the jab
and we do a lockdown it’s kind of like
it doesn’t work
right um um human behavior trumps
everything and and you know it’s
it it’s you gotta start looking at the
totality of the consequences of these
things right uh and and and
also the long-term kind of like
precedence they set
you know on specialist reasoning
to to have these lockdowns and these
authorities and mandates that are not
really afforded uh governments to do
that and you know
it it’s it’s kind of ludicrous in a way
and i’m i’m not like an anti-vaxxer like
i have the vaccine i’m in the old guy
club right and i’m like
it makes sense for me to get vaccinated
right like you know if you’re 17 or 18
might not make sense right it might not
make sense for you right like it’s a but
for my risk reward bucket i’m like
we can eliminate if we can reduce the
odds of me dying by you know
by 90 i’ll take that right yeah yeah so
and i i i’m not a uh i’m not an
anti-vaxxer either the the deciding
factor for me was when i met with my
medical team and two out of three of
them said you have an autoimmune disease
this vaccine is new you’ve been able to
travel the country and not get covered
uh why why why like why would you know
you you should be okay whatever’s
working seems to be working for you um
but otherwise i mean if i had gone to
them and all of them had said yeah it’s
probably a good idea for you to do this
there’s a good chance i probably would
have done it so i mean it’s about being
an anti-vaccine yeah yeah you know i
have a very nuanced position on it and i
think like what’s lost in the
twitterverse or whatever or the
extremists on the sides is they you know
this nuance that’s there like you know
uh i i have not seen anything where the
or the virus itself or et cetera is at
some sort of risk where i’m violating
the no harm principle of somebody or
something like that like i just think
it’s it’s ludicrous you know yeah yeah
yes you’re like here you are like this
you’re like
no i because i hear it all day long i
hear about well as a libertarian don’t
you believe you’re violating people’s
rights by going outside and breathing
it’s like yeah no definitely um so yeah
no uh i i always tell people like life
is risk
like you you drive on the highway and
you know uh people text and drive and we
don’t put cameras in them we don’t put
cameras in everybody’s single house to
catch fees or or rapists or whatever
freedom is not just paid for by soldiers
fighting wars freedom is paid for the
risk we’re all willing to accept to live
in a free society um
you know it’s not like we tackle people
down and give them flu shots you know 65
000 or whatever more we don’t track
accurately how many people die the flu
or other kinds of diseases we don’t we
don’t round up
you know it’s we do a lot of things and
we accept a lot of risks and a lot a lot
of chance of death in in order to live
live free and and and have people make
their own personal risk reward decisions
that you know well you let this guy
drive and he’s texting and driving did
he violate the denying harm
probabilistically you know like these
whole things you go to bar
everything so anyway i i think we’re
more aligned than not on on this issue
yeah uh yeah yeah
i was just curious from your perspective
of like optimizing life i i agree you
know early on it was like i i
quarantined voluntarily for about a
month um and canceled some events i was
doing last year um because a i had
gotten really sick and thought maybe it
was covid and they didn’t have the
testing at the time this was like last
february and b
yeah you know let’s ride this out and
see what it is but the whole time i was
against the lockdowns but i was
personally i was in a position where i
could afford to uh to mostly lock myself
down which meant i didn’t go to the
grocery store as often i was still going
to the beach like it didn’t really
affect my life and then once i realized
this thing has like a one percent
fatality rate and that’s most of it
almost all of it is is centered in
people that are 65 and older and or
obese and have other comorbidities
once the data start to come out you’re
like wait a minute i’m not i’m not this
is ludicrous right like i got exactly i
had the natural
wire to survive instinct this is
everyone else right like lock down i’m
in the beach stay away from me what you
know i don’t know right
as the information came out you know i
went for
back into
what is how do i optimize my life how do
i how do i thrive you know how does
everybody thrive and so i you know
everybody had an experience of
utter fear and then like okay this is
[ __ ] like
you know
some people
two years of lockdowns or whatever
that’s that’s like 10 15 20 of their
yeah like 50 for some people it’s like
60 percent of their life and some of
them may not even know it yet
one one good thing about omicron is i’ve
noticed a palpable change between
omicron and delta delta had people
freaking out like it’s not gonna end the
pandemic we have to do something
everyone get fat and i’ve noticed more
and more people with omicron who are
like listen i’m not locking down again
i’m gonna go see my family there’s still
people that are panicking but i think
with each new variant with each new uh
pattern each new wave as more and more
people realize this is an endemic thing
that’s not going away and it actually
seems to be getting slowly more mild
over time and the people who the vast
majority of the people who are the most
at risk of getting sick are already
vaccinated or just making a decision not
to be i think more and more people with
each new wave are like okay yeah we got
to go back to living our life we can’t
this was not temporary it’s not helping
it’s not doing anything let’s live our
life that’s at least what i’m hoping is
going to happen yeah
you know
my view is is that there’s a level of
acceptance that this is an endemic thing
this is with us forever and so
it’s just the world we live in you know
i mean like if i lived in a place where
there’s a bunch of alligators you go
jogging like this chance that
alligator’s gonna get you talking to
florida guys
and so like this is this is something
that we we
have we i think
everybody’s starting to accept and not
freak out about and be like okay you
know we want to make sure it’s not like
spiking our probability of dying by 100x
which is not right actually
so far it seems to be mild and people
are like okay this is
you know
worse odds of death than the flu but
it’s like we have to live with this and
we’re going on with our life right like
you you gotta
you have to adapt to the environment
you’re in and unfortunately this is the
environment we’re in and we’re not gonna
give up our whole damn lives uh or or or
or this period of our life that’s gonna
because i’m afraid of this this
particular risk bucket you know and
unfortunately i might get got somebody
else might get got some of us are going
to get got as they say in the hood
from this but
it it’s part of living
yeah yeah
it’s part of liverpool
it’s the old jogging gators i i’m going
to use that from now on but yeah yeah
you’re going to do that
i’m going to use it like things that
aren’t even relevant like i’ll just and
i’ll be like listen if you’re jogging
and there’s gators out there but
everyone knows there’s gators you’re
going to stop jogging and then what the
hell why did you come on our show anyway
so no i i no i like it so uh
i i listen we’re going into hour two i
greatly appreciate your time i cannot
wait to to delve even further into this
book and i know we have a ton of people
here that are going to be doing that
before i let you go i want to give you a
chance to give your final thoughts
anything that you feel like we didn’t
get a chance to touch on if you want to
promote you know all this all the
various stuff about this book anything
you want to talk about for however long
you want to talk bill perkins the floor
is yours
first i want to thank people for
listening to me blather uh and talk
about these uh things but um i think the
main thing is is that
remember this book is about optimizing
your life not lighting your money on
uh not not not building wealth but
optimizing your life so you get the
absolute most adventurous fulfilling
wild ride that you want at the level you
want based on your values it’s not about
me you should do this or visit grandma
or give to this charity or whatever it’s
given what you want
how do i get the most out of life
right that’s all it is and it’s not a
bunch of complicated math
most of it is mental models on how to do
it and then you go do the work um
and the main thing i will say no matter
what get the [ __ ] off autopilot
that is
the number one step to having a more
fulfilling life right a lot of us
have done something that we do well for
5 15 years
and we forget that
there was a reason we did it and it
wasn’t just to be doing that thing
right the goal becomes the job
not the gold at the end to have the
experience right like we have this kind
of like
uh thing and so
the first step is always get off
autopilot get off autopilot get off
okay i like it i like it your money is a
medium of exchange that you uh traded
your time for use it to get experiences
not just to accumulate all this time
that you
ultimately wasted if you didn’t do
anything i like it man like chucky
cheese tokens after you get to a certain
age they’re not useful
right like sorry sir
i have
giant bag
of chuck e cheese tickets that they
would not take
this is this has been going this has
been a problem since i was a kid holy
crap i no i do it’s still and i still
have it for no rational reason
whatsoever because i took it there and
they’re like we don’t use these anymore
and i’m like i got them from here and
they’re like yeah but it doesn’t have
the whatever and i’m like i want the
godzilla plush doll and they wouldn’t
give it to me and you think you know at
27 at that time you’re old man coming in
and yelling you think that again he they
were very insistent they were not giving
me the plush toy and they wouldn’t even
give you the plastic comb
nothing they wouldn’t i said what will
you give me they said sir we don’t use
it because it just said ticket and i
said but it says uh uh it’s actually
showbiz that’s like the the great value
chucky cheese and i’m like it says
showbiz and they’re like no we don’t use
we we now have the thing and i’m like
i want something give me the little
clamshell thing with the pearl in it so
i’ve been doing this for so it’s okay
i’m gonna stop doing it i’m gonna stop
doing it all right
bill thank you so much for for being on
the show uh uh die with xerobook.com
it’s available on amazon it’s available
on audible go to the website go buy it
all the various platforms that you can
get it stick around i’m going to talk
with you during the outro but folks
thanks again for tuning in for this
amazing episode mind-blowing episode and
by that i mean you got to watch my mind
repeatedly get blown in the corner here
while he’s talking and i’m over here
like that thank you again for tuning in
uh be sure to join us uh tomorrow uh
right yeah join us tomorrow uh on
thursday for the writer’s block where uh
matt wright is going to be interviewing
amy lapore who is the duly elected vice
chair of the libertarian party of
delaware they’re going to talk about all
the nonsense that’s been happening in
delaware and what you can do to help uh
on friday join us for cajun and eskimo
from bio to igloo with noel and nullic
uh they will be talking about various
libertarian stuff have a great rest of
your weekend uh enjoy the rest of your
hanukkah and then uh join us on monday
right here at 8 p.m for mr america the
bearded truth with jason lyon his guest
i forgot but he has a great guest and
even if he doesn’t have a guest he’s
great but he has a great he does have a
good guess then join us next tuesday 8
p.m for the muddy waters of freedom
where matt wright and i parched through
the week’s events like the chipper
little middle-aged men that we are and
then join me right back here next
wednesday same spike place same spike
time for another amazing episode of my
fellow americans my guest will be a sex
trafficking advocate
sex trafficking victim advocate eliza
blue she’s not advocating for sex
trafficking just the opposite uh
elizable uh and again thanks for tuning
in don’t forget to subscribe anchor dot
fm slash muddy water slash subscribe
become a member of the muddied
by the by next week i’ll have a name for
what you are but become a subscriber to
muddy waters today uh thanks again for
tuning in i will see you next week i’m
spike cohen and you
are the power god bless guys
indeed the life i’ve lived brings light
to kindness
all you need is a sign
put a cease to the crimes put an ease to
the minds like mine sometimes darkness
is all i find you know what they say
about an eye for a night in a time where
the blinds are blood who am i to deny
with crowd when a loved one dies i
recognize that body outside with the
hoes in the body that was
alive out loud
tell me why
make a change
will make the change

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