Real Estate

Estate Planning 101 – Getting Your Affairs in Order

Estate Planning 101 – Getting Your Affairs in Order

I just finished reading a book called Estate Planning 101 by Vicki Cook and Amy Blacklock. If you haven’t gotten your affairs in order yet, this book can really help get you on track. You can check out the book here. Let’s be honest – estate planning isn’t the most exciting topic. That said, it might be one of the most important subject matters you ever focus on. I dug into this quite a bit in 2013, a few years …

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The FIRE Planner – A Solid Start in the Quest for FI

The FIRE Planner – A Solid Start in the Quest for FI

I just finished reading a really good book. It’s called The FIRE Planner and it might be a great asset for those ready to get on the path to financial independence or those who are already on it. The FIRE Planner was written by a friend of mine named Michael Quan. I met Michael at one of the FinCon money conferences a few years ago (I believe it was the 2017 expo in Dallas). It seems like FinCon events are …

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We Have a Lot of Cash in Hand Now… Too Much!

We Have a Lot of Cash in Hand Now… Too Much!

Having cash in hand is a good thing. Whether it’s for an emergency fund or money you’re saving up for something short-term like a car, having money at your disposal is a good thing. But there’s a limit to that goodness and having too much cash in hand can absolutely be a problem. When you have money sitting in the bank, it’s earning a little bit of interest (a real little bit in this day and age!). However, that interest …

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Owning Rental Properties Is Smart, but I’m Out, Jack!

Owning Rental Properties Is Smart, but I’m Out, Jack!

That’s right, folks – after owning rental properties since 2003, I’m now completely out of the game! In 2018, I sold the house I had bought as an investment property in 2003. And just a couple of weeks ago, we closed on selling the duplex we had purchased in 2015. Here’s the weird part – if you’ve been following my blog over the years, you know that I’m a strong advocate of owning real estate rentals. Each property can provide …

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Is It a Smart Idea to Pay Off the Rental Property?

Is It a Smart Idea to Pay Off the Rental Property?

I’ve been salivating over these insanely low mortgage rates out there right now. But I never even thought that another option might be to just pay off the rental property. Today I want to tell you about how I went from unsuccessfully trying to refinance to considering that maybe I just pay off the rental property. It even involves a discussion with the one and only Clark Howard! There’s always discussion in the real estate world about whether it makes …

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Net Income on Our Duplex Last Year… Negative $7,400!!

I might not be the smartest businessman, but I keep thinking that a negative net income in regards to your rental property for the year is not good. And just over $7,400 in the red makes it so much worse! Ouch, what the hell happened?! This duplex was supposed to be another stream of income that would help level out the bumps from rockiness in the stock market over the coming years.  Last year though, proved to be a particularly …

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How and Why We Changed Our State of Domicile

One of the things we did before we headed to Panama was to change our state of domicile. If you’re not familiar with the term, your state of domicile refers to your principal place of residence.  If you leave for a while, it’s what can be thought of as the place you would return to afterward. In other words, it might be considered your “home base” in the U.S. – your permanent place of residence. For snowbirds that head from …

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Book Review: Choose FI: Your Blueprint to Financial Independence

Choose FI: Your Blueprint to Financial Independence

I don’t normally write book reviews on this blog, but I’m making an exception for the new Choose FI book.  I was expecting my opinion to sway one way with the book but my impression after reading it went in a completely different direction. Chris Mamula is the author of Choose FI: Your Blueprint to Financial Independence (along with coauthors Brad Barrett and Jonathan Mendonsa).  If you’re not familiar with Chris, he retired in 2017 at the young age of …

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Boquete, Panama Places to Live… We Found a Rental!

Looking at places to live in Panama is kind of an adventure.  There are a lot of nuances you need to be aware of or you could end up very unhappy. For instance, if you don’t know to ask, you could get a place that has what they lovingly refer to as “suicide showers” here.  And by that, they mean that it doesn’t have hot water! A lot of the local Panamanians here are used to that and that’s just …

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How to Get a Million Dollars for Your Nest Egg

How to Get a Million Dollars for Your Nest Egg

By early 2017, we had finally built our net worth up to over a million dollars.  It was a great feeling to reach that milestone, but it didn’t really change things for us – we just continued to follow our plan. When I left my job at the end of 2018, we had a net worth of about $1.1 million and, thanks to the bull market still pushing ahead, it’s roughly $1.2 million right now. I’ve written a few posts …

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