A Single Sacrifice Is All It Takes To Retire Early

necessity-vs-luxuryLast night I met with a colleague of mine who said she didn’t have any money to invest in her retirement. As it turns out, within five minutes I found several instances where she was believing her own lies. The biggest one? Her car costs as much as her mortgage… that’s nuts!

Mortgage ($810 mortgage + $140 property tax)
$950 / month

Car ($465 payment + $250 insurance + $240 gas)
$955 / month

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Our Love for “Luxury” is Costing Us Our Freedom

luxury house with poolDoes that $30,000 kitchen renovation really make you that much happier? Did you need granite countertops, new stainless steel appliances, built-in double ovens and recessed ceiling lighting?

Alternately, would new modern cabinetry with a standard countertop at a tenth of the price have been sufficient?

What about that $30,000 pool install? Did it need to be installed in-ground? Did you also need to replace your patio and extend it with high-end interlocking stone?

Alternately would an above ground pool that was a tenth the price have been sufficient?

Do these “luxurious” upgrades really bring you increased sustainable happiness or are you a victim to consumerism, short-term lust for higher-end physical possessions and, of course, trying to keep up with the Joneses.

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Due Diligence: The Difference Between a Successful and Failed Investment

Performing your due diligence when considering a real estate investment opportunity is the single most important step to ensuring an investment that meets your expectations.Due diligence

Unfortunately most real estate investors that I’ve mentored have shared with me countless tales of errors and assumptions that have cost them severely. For this reason I am sharing an email that I sent this morning to help novice investors to learn.

The following email with attached cashflow analysis asks the questions required to ensure that I can make an informed decision without assumption. It also shows the realtor that I am serious, experienced and respectful of his time.

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How to Perform a Real Estate Cashflow Analysis

This is what a real estate cashflow analysis looks like. It informs you of your up-front costs, assesses cashflow positivity with current and potential future scenarios, budgets appropriately for vacancy/repair/contingency and accounts for overhead costs even if they may be unrealized (e.g. property management, accounting, bookkeeping, etc.). It is also vital to highlight any assumptions and verify them in writing, absolutely no exceptions.

real estate cashflow analysis

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Save An Hour of Salary, Prevent a Day and a Half of Work in the Future

The power of saving and investingOver the last 112 years, the stock market has averaged an annualized return of 8.5%*.  If you were to invest a single dollar into the market and receive the average returns, in 30 years it will be worth $11.56 (see “The Power of Compounding”)!

Let’s translate this into a figure that will scorch an image into your mind that will hopefully transform your perception of the importance of saving and power investing.  Let’s talk in terms of something that keeps us away from doing what we want, when we want to.  Yes, that’s right… work!

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Start working for yourself without quitting your job!

Early RetirementWouldn’t you love to work for yourself?  Are you afraid to quit your job?  Surprisingly, you don’t have to!  You don’t even have to work any additional hours!  What am I talking about then?  It’s simple.  Start saving today!

Alright… at this point I’ve lost a solid percentage of my readers, individuals who simply aren’t willing to sacrifice their own “perceived happiness” just to save.  But hold up one minute there… what exactly is a sacrifice?

When I used to have to wait to purchase something I thought of it as a sacrifice as well, but as time has went on and wisdom has slowly creeped into my head I now realized that I had a threatening disease known as first-world slavery and that making the actual purchase is the sacrifice.  What?!  Am I completely nuts?  No, in fact I’m not!

Recover from these words, regain your composure and then continue reading my blog please.   It’s okay… you can do it.

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Quit gifting your financial freedom to the government

Financial freedomWhat if I told you that there is a legal way to pay less tax every year?  What if I told you that there was also a way to retire earlier and with more money than you would have if you continued down the path you’re on right now?  Would you take advantage of this?  Of course you would!  Well then keep reading and let’s get started…

Almost every individual has a tough time saving.  In fact, almost half of all individuals are living paycheck to paycheck… and sadly, this includes thousands of people making $100,000+ salaries!  Terrifying!

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Change The Way You Think About Purchases, Quit Being A Slave To Your Possessions

Slave to MoneyLast week one of my friends was talking to me about her weekend filled with her perceived much needed bout of “retail therapy”.  She talked about all the new clothes and shoes, and even more clothes that she bought!  She upgraded her iPhone to the latest version and she even managed to go out to both lunch and dinner twice!

We both know what happened after.  I completely lost it!  “Are you nuts?!” I exclaimed, “I cannot believe my ears!”.  She smiled and retorted in sarcasm, “I know… I know… I went a little overboard, but I work hard so I deserve it!”.  Ironies abound, what she didn’t realize was she was about to start working even harder just to cover the costs of all of these material possessions.  Believe me, I was once in this trap for several years of my life… I know this situation all too well.

After some coaxing I convinced her to reveal the details of her purchases over the weekend so that I can create a case study to present back to her (I got her permission to post it to my blog as well).  I just couldn’t take it that she was about to set herself up for decades of suffering and I had to at least try to pull her out of the trap of first-world slavery (self-inflicted by the lust for unnecessary physical possessions).

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Want to Achieve Financial Freedom? Stop Spending So Damn Much!

Saving moneyOver the past several months I’ve had dozens of discussions with family, friends and colleagues surrounding various topics related to investing in order to achieve financial freedom.  These discussions have blurred a number of different topics – What are the best investments?  What exactly is financial freedom?  How do I approach an opportunity?  How do I get over my fears?  And the list goes on.

Today I’d like to cover one of the most important topics to achieving financial freedom.  This topic in particular revealed both significant discomfort and resistance from the majority of my colleagues during our conversations – saving for financial freedom!

Saving for financial freedom isn’t a new concept.  It’s not even a complicated one, it’s simple, spend less than you earn and save the rest; optimally save as much as you can.  After all, if you aren’t capable of saving, you won’t have very much money to invest towards achieving your financial freedom!  Ironically, in almost every instance where the topic was brought up, the reactionary comment was something along the lines of “I can’t save any more money; I’m already barely getting by!”

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OREIO Event Recap: Don R. Campbell, President of REIN

Ontario Real Estate Investors Organization (OREIO)Last night, my business partner Reid and I attended the Ontario Real Estate Investors Organization (OREIO) monthly event at the Travelodge Hotel on Carling in Ottawa.  This month I was very excited, because this month the presenter was one of my mentors and educators and the catalyst which brought me out of the phase that many investors get into known as “analysis paralysis”.  The presenter was none other than Don Campbell himself!

For those of you who don’t know Don Campbell, he is one of Canada’s most experienced real estate investors.  He wasn’t born into riches, didn’t have a silver spoon, he started when he was working at a customer service desk at Sears and worked his way to where he is today, one accomplishment at a time.  It wasn’t an easy ride, there’s no such thing as easy money, but he worked through the challenges as he faced them and any real estate investor can save themselves thousands or even millions in mistakes learning from his experience.  He is a realist at heart, and isn’t afraid to share both the successes and challenges he’s been through.

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