Many of us spend decades working hard and saving money with the dream of an amazing retirement. But as my guest David Buck points out, by the time some people finally retire, they may not have the health or mobility to truly enjoy their longevity.

In this insightful interview, David and I discuss the importance of proactively planning your time now to ensure you’re making amazing memories along the way – not just saving for a future that may never come.

The “Die With Zero” Mindset

I started our conversation by mentioning the book Die With Zero, which argues against the traditional approach of relentlessly saving every penny for retirement. The author, Bill Perkins, poses the question: Why hoard money into your 80s and 90s if you’re too frail to spend it?

As David says, “People do have regrets. There are times I wish I had spent more time with my kids. Now that maybe I can’t change the past, I can shape my future.”

Planning Your Bucket List

To avoid those deathbed regrets, David recommends creating a “bucket list” of all the dreams and experiences you hope to have. Don’t censor yourself – write down even the wildest ideas initially.

From that master list, identify goals you’d like to pursue in the next 2-4 years and start actively planning and saving for them. Work your way up to annual goals, too.

The key is proactively deciding how to spend your limited time. As David states, “You need to place as much emphasis on what’s important to you personally as in any professional productivity strategy.”

Spending for Memories

One point we stressed is not letting others shame you for splurging on amazing experiences. I shared how I fly First Class, not because I’m wealthy, but because I value the luxurious travel experience.

As David noted, “The time we invest creates memories, and there’s tremendous value in that.” So, if the motivation comes from desiring incredible memories, spending extra can be justified.

Of course, this philosophy requires budgeting and being financially responsible in other areas. But by balancing purposeful spending with saving, you ensure you’re optimizing your time for a life well-lived.

The Triune of Time Optimization

David left us with this great perspective on proactively optimizing our time, which he calls the “Triune” approach:

1) Preparation – Whether a task or experience, prepare thoroughly for how you’ll invest your time.

2) Execution – With preparation done, execute effectively on your plan.

3) Control – Consciously control and refine the process to achieve your desired outcome.

These three elements interact cyclically. You may need to re-prepare based on how the execution went or adjust your control based on the results.

Consistently working this triune approach allows you to maximize amazing output from the limited time you’ve been given.

Don’t just endure life while repeatedly delaying your dreams for “someday.” Decide now what incredible experiences you want to manifest and start proactively optimizing your time to make them a reality!