Book Review: Die with Zero

On a recent visit to the local library I picked up a random book from the non-fiction display table, Die with Zero by Bill Perkins (affiliate link.) Interesting title.

Within this book Mr. Perkins presents a life philosophy and a set of 9 rules to “get all you can from your money and your life.” At the heart of things is the idea to spend every penny you have, to die with absolutely no money remaining.

I think the ideas are worth a perusal by anybody considering retirement (early or otherwise) – worst case it will challenge some core assumptions. Best case – new thinking will enable leaving the work force years early.

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Millionaires Don’t Buy New Cars

“Millionaires don’t buy new cars” is something I have heard countless times. This concept probably gained popularity with the book The Millionaire Next Door, in which the authors observe that many millionaires pay cash for quality used cars at discount prices…

…the implication being that if you care about accumulating and maintaining wealth, you too should buy used. And pay cash. It’s just math.

That’s all well and good, but I just bought a new car. And financed it.

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Net Investment Income Tax (and how to avoid it)

The United States has very generous tax rates for investment income such as qualified dividends and long-term capital gains, as low as 0%. This is a key component of the Never Pay Taxes Again strategy.

But sometimes you want (need?) to realize some large gains – say, if you are paying cash for a boat or a house, or if you are moving from a low-tax to a high-tax residence and want a massive step-up in basis. Or maybe you think the market is hot and you want to take some off the table.

In these cases you may come across the Net Investment Income Tax, a nice little 3.8% extra tax surcharge.

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What’s worse than paying taxes? Paying tax penalties

Here at Go Curry Cracker we talk a lot about paying zero taxes. It’s a fun little game that you win just by playing.

But it won’t happen every year, probably. And in the years you owe tax, come April the IRS will penalize you and charge back interest if you haven’t paid enough in advance – either through paycheck withholding or estimated taxes (or both.)

This is how you avoid that bit of unpleasantness.

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Money Printer Go Brrrr

Covid has broken and distorted a great number of things – businesses, industries, supply chains, hopes, dreams, and even many people’s capacity for reason.

Large businesses and the people who work for them have thrived (e.g. Amazon, Microsoft, Facebook.) Small businesses (and the people who work for them) have struggled and many have failed (restaurants, small retailers, etc…)

Now many demand higher wages to offset the risk (and hassles) of working with the public. Shipping backlogs are causing unprecedented delays and reduced supply. People flush with cash and booming investment portfolios are willing to pay more for everything from used cars to housing.

Increased production costs. Reduced supply. Excess cash. And behind it all – governments printing literally trillions of dollars.

It’s like the perfect storm for inflation.

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