Last year I wrote about the book Die With Zero: Getting All You Can From Your Money and Life by Bill Perkins.* I wrote:
In this short book, Perkins argues that we target spending all our money during our lifetimes will generate more positive and meaningful experiences along the way. This he argues this is a rich life.
I was reminded of this when I read about the most recent round of charitable giving by Mackenzie Scott. She has been upending the norms of big philanthropy by giving to groups in high dollar amounts and in a low-key manner. In so doing, she is avoiding the problem of leaving a big foundation in your name, which under the best of circumstances follows your wishes. Under the worst of circumstances goes completely off the rails.
If you have the means to donate to charity, why wouldn’t you do it while you were still alive? You have the benefit of seeing your hard-earned capital put to use. And you avoid the risk of weird stuff happening with your money after you pass.
It’s not easy to ‘die with zero.’ There are a lot of things that go into maximizing your efforts here on Earth. Khe Hy at Rad Reads sums it up nicely:
Perkins’s argument is much broader. You should be intentional about what you want from your money. Or else life will just happen to you.
So if you’re passionate about fixing the homeless crisis in LA, use your money – today – to try to improve it.
If you want your kids to inherit a certain amount of money for homes, education and their own experiences – start thinking about it today. Or else it this wealth transfer will just “happen.”
Mackenzie Scott is transferring her wealth according to her own desires and timeline. More power to her.
*You can also hear Bill Perkins on a recent episode of the Risk of Ruin podcast.