Financial Independence: It’s Not the Final Chapter

financial independence

Financial Independence – what is it really? Is it when you finally rid yourself of all debts and can actually afford to buy some bling with cash? Or is it when you finally have enough money socked away for that inevitable future emergency?

There are many different opinions about financial independence. Some of them are blatantly wrong (like the emergency fund statement above), while others are close but are stretched a bit so that financial independence becomes more achievable for them.

A little advice for you. Don’t dumb down financial independence just because you’re not even close. Learn what it truly is, decide if it’s for you. And if it is, then work your butt off to get there in the least amount of time possible!

What is Financial Independence?

Surprisingly, I think Wikipedia did the best job defining financial independence:

Financial independence (FI) is generally used to describe the state of having sufficient personal wealth to live, without having to work actively for basic necessities. For financially independent people, their assets generate income that is greater than their expenses.

Basically, once you create a regenerative income outside of work . . . → Read More: Financial Independence: It’s Not the Final Chapter

Let’s Be Real. Are You a Financial Disaster?

Have you ever heard the saying, “If you don’t have a goal, then you’ll wind up hitting it with amazing accuracy.”? In other words, if you have no idea where you want to be in your future life, then it really doesn’t matter what you do because wherever you end up will match your goal…which apparently was never important enough for you to think about in the first place.

While I believe that’s certainly true, I think many people need to step back even further. They need to question their starting point.

It’s quite often that I hear people tell the story of their financial destruction, and somewhere in the mix they typically say something like, “I always heard of people living paycheck to paycheck and thought they should change their ways. It never occurred to me that I was one of them!”

If you don’t get real with yourself about your starting point, then how on earth do you expect to get to the finish line??

Many times, we become blind to our own financial blunders because we’ve lived with them for so long. It seems only natural to live the . . . → Read More: Let’s Be Real. Are You a Financial Disaster?

3 Steps to Creating Passive Income in Your Life

While passive income has been loosely defined since it’s inception, the idea is that passive income refers to money that is regularly earned with little or no effort.

Popular examples include money earned from

stocks, interest, retirement pay and rental property.

Many work-from-home type companies also throw the term around. With the age of the internet business, many people are also creating passive income in the form of affiliate sales, niche sites and product sales. There are also new ways of investing, including peer-to-peer lending where you invest into loans you then earn interest on.

Although the term “passive income” has gotten a bad rap over the years, it’s important to note that creating passive income can be done successfully. In fact, incorporating forms of passive income into your financial plan is a great way to work toward financial independence or simply supplement your current income.

The more you can stop trading time for dollars, the more freedom you have in your life. That’s why creating passive income should be a part of everyone’s financial goals.

There’s just one caveat when it comes to creating forms of passive income: You . . . → Read More: 3 Steps to Creating Passive Income in Your Life

First-Time Landlording – My First Two Weeks

retiring extremely early

I’ve wanted to be a landlord since I was 16 years old. I always loved the idea of owning property that would appreciate in value, and I adored the notion of someone else paying off the loans.

“Why wouldn’t everyone want to be a landlord?” – I often thought to myself.

As I grew up, I began to understand both the positives and negatives of becoming a landlord. And now that I am a landlord, I’m beginning to see the pros and cons first hand.

First-Time Landlording – My First Two Weeks

“Going to be a slum-lord huh? Have fun with that when the toilet backs up!” — Clueless Broke-Guy

I thought that I would be the envy of all of my friends. I finally had the ability to buy a rental property and I could conceivably earn money passively from anywhere! I could be taking an all-day nap, watching a baseball game, or playing golf…and still earning money every minute. But, then I started getting comments like the one above from my friends. Instead of feeling proud, I felt like I was back in the network marketing . . . → Read More: First-Time Landlording – My First Two Weeks

Freedom Money – The Road to Financial Freedom

pros and cons of paying off the mortgage early

There’s a difference between being financially uncomfortable, being comfortable, and reaching financial freedom. And Brian Robben is committed to reaching financial freedom and teaching others how to do it along the way. Today, I interviewed Brian who recently wrote the new book Freedom Money.

Debt is often a roadblock for many people trying to get rich. What are some specific tips you have to destroy debt?

I 100% agree that debt needs to go if your goal is financial freedom. Debt is vicious and can ruin your life if it gets too much power over you.

Because of that, if you have debt then it’s crucial you aggressively attack your debt.

Below are some tips I recommend for paying off student loans, credit card debt, or any other debt:

Pay every two weeks instead of monthly. If you do this you’ll actually make 13 payments a year instead of 12. (Since there are 52 weeks in a year, you’d make 26 half-payments every two weeks which equals 13 full-payments). This can save you thousands of dollars in interest!

Make larger payments. A quick . . . → Read More: Freedom Money – The Road to Financial Freedom

Let the Passive Income Flow – How to Develop a Rental Property

options if you can't sell your house - for rent

Liz and I are officially landlords! We started “growing the roots” of our investment by scrimping and saving in 2014 and 2015. On November 30th, 2015 we bought a Fannie Mae foreclosure and the “seedling” was finally visible. And, as of two days ago we handed the keys to three responsible young men that have agreed to pay us $1,200 a month in rent. Our passive income money tree has finally budded and we’re looking forward to putting the money into the next one!

So what happened between the house purchase and the first rent check?

A ton.

And it’s all important stuff too. If you want to turn a second home into a rental property – or even if you want to turn your own home into a rental property – there are a handful of things you’ll need to do to attract those good renters and a number of things that you really should do to protect yourself with your new business venture.

Want to turn your home into a rental property? I suggest you follow the steps laid out in the article below.

How to Turn Your . . . → Read More: Let the Passive Income Flow – How to Develop a Rental Property

Our House Offer Was Accepted! Let the Rental Games Begin!

retiring extremely early

Have you ever thought about getting into the rental game? Personally, I’ve been enamored with the idea since I was 16 years old. And now, 14 years later, it looks like I’ll finally be throwing my hat into the passive income rental ring! YIPPEE! Watch out Monopoly man, you may be getting dethroned! Now where did I put my monocle…?

Leading Up to the Purchase

So how did Liz and I find our investment property? Let me tell you, it wasn’t easy. Prior to this property, we scoured the entire area (for the entire summer) for anything that was for sale under $95,000. We walked through about 10 properties – four of those we simply walked away (for various reasons), and the other six we were outbid on by typically more than $10,000. We wanted to find an absolute deal, not pay retail price for a home.

There was one property that I had been eyeballing all summer (yes, the one we ended up buying) – it was a Fannie Mae foreclosure. The exterior color wasn’t too desirable (see the photo below), it needed quite a lot of TLC on . . . → Read More: Our House Offer Was Accepted! Let the Rental Games Begin!

Should I Pursue an Executive Career or Financial Independence?

employee or entrepreneur

At the age of 27, I proclaimed that I would retire by 34. A pretty crazy proclamation I know, but I had a plan: I would live frugally, invest, and also build up my website to be one of the top blogs in the nation, making it worth $1,000,000 or so. I would then sell the site, live off that million bucks for the next 30 years, and at that point start drawing from my retirement account.

This idea sounded pretty rock solid at the time (blogs actually do sell for millions of dollars by the way), but as many of you know, life rarely goes as planned. Since then, I went through an unexpected divorce, ended up owing thousands of dollars from the settlement, and my blog was penalized by Google soon after. Not exactly the golden road to early retirement…

At this point, my site is worth around $10,000, and I’m nowhere near that million dollar value that I was hoping for by 2019. Fortunately though, I met a beautiful woman who is ready to live life intentionally with me. After marrying just one month ago, the question . . . → Read More: Should I Pursue an Executive Career or Financial Independence?

Want to Build Wealth? Increase Your Circle of Competence

battling debt

Do you want to build wealth? Then I suggest you steer clear of the typical advice that’s floating around today. The average person believes that they’ll become wealthy by doing the following:

Work a job Set some money aside each month Hire a financial advisor to invest for them Sit back for 40 years and expect a huge nest egg for retirement

While this method does end up working for some, it has proven to be a fatal formula for many. Ever hear of Bernie Madoff? Just like Bernie, there are other advisors that are just flat out swindlers, looking for ways to take your hard-earned money without you realizing it. There are still others that believe they are doing good work for you, but after the fees and advisor expenses, you’re typically left earning less than the general market. Sitting on the sideline and expecting your financial advisor to make you millions often leaves you earning less than if you would have simply placed your money in the S&P 500. If you want to build wealth, I don’t suggest that you try to find the best financial advisor. Instead, . . . → Read More: Want to Build Wealth? Increase Your Circle of Competence

Want to Succeed? Then Stop Making Everything So Fricken Complicated

financial hurdles

Do you want to succeed financially? How about physically, mentally, and spiritually? The very thought of succeeding in each one of these categories can be daunting, and can often stress people right out of trying before they even get started! The truth though, is that becoming a success in each one of these categories does not have to be difficult. In fact, becoming financially, physically, mentally, and spiritually fit can actually be quite simple!

Our Tendency to Over-complicate Life

If you want to succeed at shedding 20 pounds of extra weight, what is often the advice of the experts? Many of them will point to a specific 90-day exercise program that will require 1.5 hours of your life every day, not to mention a strict rationing of foods defined on a one-page list. With this method, you must completely change your life in order to accommodate this new workout schedule and eating pattern. With such a radical, complex change, the chances of success are actually quite minimal.

The same often happens with our financial investments. In order to succeed financially, we often think that we need to find the next . . . → Read More: Want to Succeed? Then Stop Making Everything So Fricken Complicated