Are We a Nation of Perpetual Children?

Are We a Nation of Perpetual Children?

Lately, I’ve been thinking about a word that I believe we avoid to describe our actions - immature.

The word makes many of us feel bad when we see it or hear it applied to our behavior.  We fought so hard against it when we were young.  We told our parents we were mature and ready to go out and make our own way.  There's no way that word could still be applied to us as adults, right? 

If you were like me as a teenager, then you saw your parents as essentially fools.  They had no idea what was going on in the real world while they were hiding inside their own home. 

As the years passed, though, my parents grew smarter.

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How I Bought My First $1.5M Commercial Building

How I Bought My First $1.5M Commercial Building

In late 2016, we bought a 10,135 square foot retail building in Deer Park, Washington.

At that point, it was the largest and most expensive building I’d been a part of acquiring.  Quite frankly, I was a bit scared that we could pull it off.  Up until then, the most expensive building I had purchased with partners was $390,000.  The building we were contemplating was almost four times that price.  It made my heart race considering it.

However, we believed the building to be well-built, positioned great and priced right.  That’s the trifecta when looking at a commercial project.

We made our offer on the building and then conducted our due diligence.  My investing partner and I believed in the project, but our partners thought the price needed to be a bit better.

Then we did what we previously thought unthinkable.

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What Does Your Broker Invest In?

What Does Your Broker Invest In?

I’m going to rant against some of those in the financial services industry.

You see, I’m a commercial real estate broker who loves the product he represents.  My clients can see and hear my enthusiasm when we talk about their needs, whether it be buying, selling, developing or leasing. 

A lot of my excitement stems from the fact that I own real estate.  I own various types of commercial property.  From small retail strip centers, a couple office buildings, a ground leased property and even a couple residential rentals.  I love real estate.

It’s one of the reasons I started Building-Income.  I wanted to share my excitement for the product.  I’m always looking to buy another piece of property.  It’s how I’m going to secure my retirement and leave a legacy for my family.

It’s one of the best investment vehicles out there and I wish everyone could feel the excitement I do.

However, there are some in my industry who don’t feel the same way.  They take their commissions and run.  They buy anything but real estate.  If they invest in anything, it’s the stock market or some other get rich quick scheme.

Now, I’m not against the stock market or investing in a business.  I’ve invested in both.  It’s just that I believe a real estate broker should practice what they preach and put their money where their mouth is.

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Downsizing Your Empty Nest to Make Way for the Future

Downsizing Your Empty Nest to Make Way for the Future

More and more empty nesters are finding that downsizing to a smaller home is a sound financial decision. When kids have left the house, you may realize that much of the space in your home is going unused. Downsizing to a smaller place that better suits your needs can free up some of the money you have invested in your home, giving you more financial freedom and more time to devote to whatever comes next in life.

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You Don't Buy Things With Money

You Don't Buy Things With Money

I was recently talking with a colleague who said he was close to retiring.  Gil (not his real name) is in his early fifties and slightly quirky.  He’s the type of guy who marches to the beat of his own drummer.  Although he works for a large, corporate-think company, he sports a long beard and tattoos.  He’ll freely talk about politics and other matters that most folks would shy away from.  With his wife, he lives in the country – far away from the hustle and bustle of society.

It had been a while since I talked with Gil so his mention of retirement was exciting.  I told him congratulations.  He said he was more than ten years ahead of what society had scheduled for his retirement, mostly because he’d been debt free, including his home, for many years.  He’s got a rental house which has some debt on it, but that payment is being covered by someone else.

I loved hearing he was free of consumer debt and asked him what led him to that point.  Almost everyone who is debt-free has a story about a moment of awakening to the soul crushing weight of financial liability.  Gil said he got himself into a position to retire, based upon some advice he was given when he was young.  Gil said once he fully grasped that concept, his life changed.

Being on a quest for knowledge that can help me grow, I immediately asked, “What was it?”

The advice, he said, was, “You don’t buy things with money, you buy them with time.”

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How Much Stuff Do You Really Need?

How Much Stuff Do You Really Need?

USA Today and The New York Times (among many others) have published articles about the Baby Boomer generation starting to pass down treasured heirlooms to their GenX and Millennial children.  Unfortunately, those trinkets and other items are being looked upon with some disdain.

We don’t want them.

We don’t value these items the same way our parents did or their parent’s generation did.

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A Year After Reading The 4-Hour Workweek

A Year After Reading The 4-Hour Workweek

In the Beginning…

I was full of excitement after reading T4HWW and I made some immediate changes to my life.  These changes included:

1.     The Low Information Diet – I reduced the amount of print and television media I was bringing into my life.  Previously, I read three newspapers daily and watched the evening news.  That’s a lot of time spent on subject matter that I can’t control and that was putting me into a bad mood.

2.     Batching – I looked to “batch” any chores or responsibilities.  This is completing like tasks at the same time, therefore your brain doesn’t have to transition into new patterns for every job.  If you stay focused on similar tasks and not try to multi-task, you’ll actually get the work done quicker.

3.     Controlling Email – I also limited the times I would accept knew emails into my inbox.  I set a rule of turning on my email filter from 10 a.m. – 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. – 4 p.m. everyday.  I never felt so productive in my work days.

My business partner liked the batching and email ideas and eventually bought into them.  We talked frequently about how to tweak these new hacks that we learned to make our lives more efficient.  My work life took on a new level of fun.

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Don’t Just "Tell" Your Kid the Way to Financial Freedom

Don’t Just "Tell" Your Kid the Way to Financial Freedom

Among the discussions of Legos, parkour and throwing the football, I do my best to slip in discussions with our 10-year-old about ‘needs and wants’. 

He’ll say something like, “I need that Nerf gun auto-repeater with the doomsday grenade launcher,” after seeing an advertisement on YouTube.  Commercials are still effective in the age of content-on-demand.

“Do you need it or do you want it?” I’ll ask.

He’ll think for a minute before saying, “I want it.  Then he'll grin and add, "But I really want it,” making his sales pitch dependent on a big smile and some funny antics.

“Enough to spend your own money on it?”

The smile fades quickly as he shakes his head.  “I don’t want it that much.”

He’s a good kid who, because of the age difference with his sister, sometimes gets spoiled like an only child.  However, when he’s forced to consider spending his own money, earned and saved through various chores and birthday gifts, he rarely gives into his own boyish greed.

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