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A Financial Story of an American Family (4 Generations)

1st generation: (your own)

When you have a job, even as a top executive, you are the only asset. Your health, your knowledge, your energy and your time are some of the components your employer is paying for.

The entire world seems to conspire against you to convince you to save and do dollar cost averaging into stocks or indices.
The reality is this plan will take a good 30 years to amount to something. You will experience many ups and downs in the market. At the end you will realize it was a plan to keep you stuck with the same company for all your working life with no way out to build a better future.

Many people won't feel it of course because their colleagues are in the same rut.
Large corporate employers are very clever to hide this by periodically letting you go on a short vacation or by creating a social environment that makes you connect and compare yourself with other mediocre people. They do outings and offer trainings to make people feel that they are living a balanced life.

The wake up call comes in if you get a little sick or if you can't keep up with the new technology and are faced with the potential of getting fired.
Or what if you want to help your aging parents or in laws or if you need a little extra cash outside your budget for any unplanned expense, this is when you will realize how weak this structure is for you and your family.

Your spouse will probably have to keep working because your salary increases will not keep up with inflation and the spouse's job becomes the only back up plan in case you get laid off or fired.

Assuming you focus on raising your kids, you and your spouse will have to spend limited time with them to help them with their homework and hope to have some quality time with them the weekends.
You probably, like many parents today, will have to accept the fact that your kids will be raised by grandma, or by a baby sitter or even by some after school organization that the kids attend.
Remember if you and your spouse are both working, exhausted and can't even have meaningful conversation, because life is too fast, your only escape becomes your TV, a home pet and your colleagues from work.

If during those 30 years you run into no hiccups that can derail your plan and you stick to paying off your mortgage then your retirement will consist of:
1) Continuing to live in the same house that is now paid off
2) Starting to withdraw specific amounts from your savings to continue living on an even tighter budget
3) Hope Medicare and social security will be sufficient to cover your needs
4) Pray your kids will care enough to support you financially if there are unplanned events that are not covered by the above plan

2nd generation: (your kids)

Your hope is your kids do better than you so you push them to become licensed professionals like: Doctors, Lawyer, CPAs, Architects, Engineers, etc.

They have to go to college and they graduate but they end up owing a lot of money. They start behind the proverbial eight ball. So they chose to work for a large professional firm just to keep up.

They end up with the same plan of a long-term job with a dollar cost averaging program for retirement.

They get married usually to another licensed professional and load up on more responsibilities with higher debt, a larger home, nicer cars and they end up feeling that everything is conspiring against them to keep working, saving and going no where.

They may eventually pay off the college debt and splurge of a second home somewhere but then they end up selling it when their kids need to go to college.

3rd generation: (your grand kids)

At the end somehow somewhere in the third generation, some kid comes along and says: “I want to be in real estate”.

This kid figures that the best way out is through real estate so she starts building credit, learning about real estate and teaming up with other investors and contractors to buy and sell a few residential properties.

This helps her accomplish three things:
1) She builds up some cash reserves from the profits, which helps her do more deals
2) Her credit lines increases to substantial amounts
3) Her relationship with Investors, Contractors, Architects and others is strengthened

Then she takes her game to the next level:
1) She identifies commercial properties with upside potential
2) She buys and improves the income of such properties
3) She increases her holdings until the market cycle is up then she sells some of the properties and pays off the rest

Along the way she has also structured her business in away that:
1) She minimizes her taxes
2) She protects her assets
3) She avoids probate to be able to pass on the buildings to her kids and other loved ones

4th generation: (your great grand kids)

Her kids may end up in one of two scenarios:

First scenario:

Her kids may spend quality time with her and may go to college without incurring debt.

They may have a balanced life because they have inherited a good portfolio of income producing commercial properties where the rental income keeps up with inflation and the properties have been paid off.

The kids may be well educated so they would be grounded and responsible.

The kids would be able to continue growing the portfolio of real estate without debt and with minimum risk.

They would be grateful that their parents set them up on the right path as they would also be able to raise their kids by spending more time with them without worrying about income and finances.

Second scenario:

Her kids could become spoiled and carless. They could leverage the real estate portfolio to grow without proper planning.

The market, being cyclical in nature would eventually drop in value. That would devastate the net worth and would wipe out their portfolio of properties.

They end up going back like their great grand parents and seek a job with a dollar cost averaging program for another 30 years of misery going nowhere slowly and painfully.

The cycle repeats...


I tell you this short story to invite you to lead the way for your family’s sake. You must take responsibility to learn and apply the right principles of real estate investing that can set you free.

Even if you can’t get there all the way, you would have at least made it easier for your kids and grand kids to carry on and you would have created a path and a legacy for your family to eventually be free for many generations after you.