If you’re a reader of Lazy Man and Money, there’s a good chance you are in a good financial place. Like Snoop Dogg, you have “your mind on your money and your money on your mind.” Otherwise, you would be reading something else.
I have followed dozens and dozens of personal finance bloggers over the last 20 years. Almost all of them have more than enough money to retire early. They’ve invested for years, and the markets have done quite well. By nature, they have watched their spending and lived within their means. For many, including myself, the problem becomes switching our mindset to spending more.
This leads to an interesting question, “What happens when you have more than enough money?”
If you stop to think about it, any successful financial plan ends in a “More Than Enough” situation. For example, no successful financial plan ends with you running out of money. Since no one knows when they are going to die, they can’t plan to “die with zero”. That leaves the only successful financial plan being the one that plans to have more than enough money.
There are two ways to think about having more than enough money. On the one hand, there’s the likelihood that you want to plan well so that any leftover money goes to who you want. On the other hand, you’ll be dead and cease to have any particular wants or plans.
Since we’re Snoop Doggs here, we assume you want to plan where and how to distribute any leftover money.
That’s the very question that the book More Than Enough by Mike Piper successfully answers.
(Usually, this is where I give the disclaimer that I may earn a commission if you click on a link and buy the book. While that is true, I won’t use this space to make that disclaimer. Ugh, it’s too late for that now. I have more to say about this at the end of the article.)
Before we get into the book, I must say a few words about Mike Piper himself. First, he has all the credentials. He’s a CPA who is tremendous when it comes to taxes and retirement planning. I particularly like his personal website, which clearly states areas of expertise AND non-expertise.
I’ve been a fan of Piper’s blog, Oblivious Investor for a long time – it’s been around for 15 years. He covers topics that are very financially focused in those areas of expertise. It’s very different from Lazy Man and Money, which is more about my personal money journey.
Mike Piper writes concise, dense financial guides on specific topics. That’s one reason why I appreciate his work. If you want to know how to optimize Social Security best, there’s a book for that.
The book I’m reviewing, More than Enough, is about a topic that’s been on my mind for some time. I’ve written about it quite a bit over the last few years. Having more than enough money is a difficult topic to write about. There are a lot of people struggling financially due to student loans, health care costs, inflation, and a dozen more things. If you are one of these many people, reading about More than Enough probably ranks a little below getting seven swift throat punches. I would understand if you click away.
If you are still here, More than Enough is a tremendous read. Piper brings years of experience in dealing with real-world clients and situations. Piper brought up so many things that I had never considered. Here are a couple of examples:
- When your heirs receive their money
A generation is often 25-30 years old (simply because adults have kids around that range). If your life expectancy is 80-85 years, your heirs may be 55-60 years old. They may be well into their own retirement planning. It’s entirely possible that they are on their own track of More than Enough.
If they are younger, they may be in their prime earning years. This means that some tax considerations should be considered. It is often better for a retired person to convert tax-deferred stocks/funds to taxable or Roth IRAs. In each case, the retired person pays their tax rate (which is likely low) instead of their heirs, which could be much higher.
- How do you optimize charity giving
Piper points out that charities don’t pay taxes. If you have tax-deferred assets, it can make sense to prioritize those in your charity giving. Your human heirs would pay taxes on that money, while the charity does not.
It can get pretty technical. There’s a good amount of Qualified Charitable Distributions (QCD), deduction bundling, and other concepts that can help ensure everyone gets the most out of the money. In the end, almost everyone wants to limit the money they give Uncle Sam through taxes.
Final Thoughts on More Than Enough
As mentioned previously, this book is concise, but it is very thorough. Piper doesn’t waste words. He uses just enough to get the point across, nothing more. When it comes to the points about taxes, I got to the point where I said, “Enough! Please, no more!” (These last two sentences were puns on the title, but accurate nonetheless.)
After I finished reading More than Enough, I immediately thought, “I need to read it again, take notes, and create a plan.”
I’m not sure if I will read it again, though. Instead, I’m mostly likely to reach out to Mike Piper and explore hiring him for his services. As this blog’s thousands of articles illustrate, I’m a DIY financial planner. However, I have no problem spending a little of our “more than enough” to optimize the future.