Today, we are going to talk about authenticity, owning your privilege and wealth, and a new book I’m reading called, “Die With Zero.”
I was recently told by someone in our PodSquad that they felt uncomfortable when I talked about my wealth. They felt like it was a turn or that it was something I didn’t do in the past. I can understand why someone might feel that way, but here’s what I want to say about it.
I’ll Never Be Fake
First of all, I’ve always been me. I know incredibly wealthy people who lie about their actual situation, or hide it, because they think it makes them more relatable or authentic.
I’m not going to pretend to be something I’m not. I just can’t do that because it wouldn’t be authentic, (plus, I tell the truth because I can’t remember anything) #adhd- but also because it’s the right thing to do. So, yes, the stage I’m in right now has privilege, luxury, and options that we didn’t have when we were broke. (And please note: I talk about those times too!).
Yes, there were times when Bret and I were broke. Due to Bret’s gambling addiction and some other problems we were having in our marriage, we were 500K in debt. At the time, we lived out of an envelope of cash. We weren’t even using our credit cards, and we certainly weren’t going out to dinners, buying things traveling or living an opulent lifestyle.
At the time, I avoided discussing the causes and focused on ways to save and be smart with our money.
Now that we’re not in that situation, I’m not going to hide it. I’m also not going to downplay what I’m actually doing. I don’t think it’s authentic to pretend that I’m in a position that I’m not in. If it triggers someone, that’s not something I can control. If it inspires someone, that’s also something I can’t control.
Why the Truth Inspires
When I was broke and had no idea what it would be like to make six figures, let alone seven figures, I wondered how people made decisions, how they lived, and what kind of choices they made. When you see how others do it, it inspires you, and it feels more achievable.
I remember when the Osbournes had their reality TV show, and it was the first time I saw inside the real life of multimillionaires. A lot of things fascinated me about seeing that, and it made me realize that they were just normal people. They argue with their spouse. The kids were messy and talked back sometimes. Their dogs pooped on the floor. It made me realize that their lives weren’t so distant and far away.
So, to anyone who feels like we’ve shifted or changed, I don’t think so, but you’re entitled to that opinion. I’m always going to be honest about the season we’re in and what we’re doing. Yes, life is a lot different now that our kids are grown and married, and we’re on the second half of our lives. We can’t die with our money, and I don’t plan to (like the title says, I plan to die with zero).
I’m not going to work my whole life as hard as we have the first half of our lives and then squander the second half and not actually enjoy the labor and sacrifices that we made.
So, for me, being authentic means being true to yourself and your current situation. Owning your privilege and wealth when you’ve worked hard for it isn’t something to be ashamed of or to hide. It’s not about pretending to be something you’re not or lying about your situation. It’s about being honest and true to yourself and others. And if it triggers someone, that’s okay. It’s not something you can control. If it inspires someone, then even better!
The Book “Die With Zero”
That brings me to the book I’m reading! If you’re interested, here’s what I’ve gleaned from it and how it has influenced my plans for the future.
“Die With Zero,” by Bill Perkins, challenges traditional retirement planning and encourages people to live their lives to the fullest by strategically spending their money and time. Some of the key concepts include:
- The “Zeros-Based” approach: This approach involves planning your life around your “Zeros” – the moments in your life that are the most important to you. By prioritizing these moments and strategically spending your money and time on them, you can live a more fulfilling life.
- The “Three-Bucket” strategy: This strategy involves dividing your assets into three buckets – the “Now” bucket, the “Soon” bucket, and the “Later” bucket. By strategically allocating your assets among these buckets, you can ensure that you have enough money to live your life to the fullest both now and in the future.
- The importance of experiences over possessions: “Die With Zero” emphasizes the importance of spending your money on experiences rather than material possessions. By investing in experiences, you can create memories that will last a lifetime and live a more fulfilling life.
So far I’m rethinking traditional retirement planning and focusing on living life to the fullest by strategically spending the money we’ve worked so hard for on things that matter most to me, my husband and my kids.
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