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A "very good" sidewalk Vs. building the hard Fastlane

Discussion in 'General Entrepreneur Discussion' started by JAVB, Aug 27, 2018.

  1. JAVB
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    JAVB Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED

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    I'd like to share my current situation with you'all... Although I know what the Fastlane is, and what most fastlaners will answer here, I want to discuss it anyway. I'm not in the fastlane, but not uncomfortable either, so this is not an obvious one. At least not to me. I don't commute every day. I take a day off any time I want, I don't have to deal with people (which I mostly hate), I don't have any debts...

    My profile:

    • 33 years old
    • Married with two kids. Both under 4 years old. Not planning on having more.
    • Big 4B house with a pool. Paid off. No mortgage.
    • Paid off decent cars. (although I allocate a monthly amount toward new cars every 5 years)
    • Current lifestyle expenses: $5,500 (not luxurious, but don't feel I want a Lamborgini nor a mansion)
    • $100K in cash savings
    • $300K in real estate investments
    Current work scenario:
    • Employed. Work remote, very little supervision, can work from anywhere, have a lot of flexibility
    • Gross Annual Salary: $170K
    • Net monthly income: $11,000
    • Net monthly savings: $5,500 / Annually: $66,000
    • Advantages:
      • No "building a business, managing teams, selling, accounting, and just hustling"
      • More relaxed lifestyle. Get to focus on one subject matter (the job's) and that's it
    • Disadvantages:
      • Sidewalk (slow wealth building) / Can't see a way out. 10 years in this and I can what, save $700K? What's that good for? Not much.
    I've built a business before. It's not easy! It's a lot of work!! But the only reason why I'm considering building a business (again) is to achieve real liberty before 45. But still, some mornings I'm like: meh... others I'm on fire. I guess it's mainly because of the "relatively decent" situation I have.. I'm curious about you'all experiences... Have you been in similar situations? How have you proceeded?
     
  2. Captain_Picard
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    Captain_Picard Contributor

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    You seem to have a good thing going for you. And if you are happy with it, why fix it if it ain't broke. If you get into the wrong business, it could take you a long time to make it fastlane and that fastlane venture could take you the same timescale (10yrs).
     
  3. garyfritz
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    garyfritz Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane Summit Attendee

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    If you decide to ditch the job and go all-in on a business, I suspect a lot of people here would be happy to take your job. :)

    You are WAY ahead of probably 99.9%++ of people your age. Well done, for having the smarts and initiative to qualify for and secure such a lucrative job, AND for being smart with the money you're earning.

    I get your reluctance. I'm in a similar-but-not-as-nice situation. For one thing I'm almost 62, and I would DEFINITELY trade with you on that!! But it means I have a shorter horizon to work with. I also have a sorta-consulting (training) biz that pays very well, better than most self-started businesses, without the headaches. Knowing my limitations and my chances of actually building a successful business, I've chosen to keep focusing on the training business in spite of its issues.

    I think you have to make the same decision. If you're confident you can spin up a nice profitable business, you have to choose between the free time & freedom vs. the potential of big payoff. If you're not confident, then you need to factor that into your decision. It's not a simple or one-size-fits-all answer.
     
  4. Ashish Kulkarni
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    Ashish Kulkarni Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER

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    What if....

    What if you lost your job?
    What if your Real Estate investments went south?
    What if your cash investments went sour?

    Don't get too comfortable is what I would say.

    I am very happy for where you are and I hope your wealth may continue to flourish.

    Good luck!
     
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  5. lowtek
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    lowtek Platinum Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass Summit Attendee

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    Edited for typos.

    Haven't been in a similar situation, but here are my thoughts.

    While many of us hold up the "fastlane" as the holy grail, really it's a lifestyle choice. Nobody can tell you how you should live your life and what you should prioritize. If you're happy with your situation, then keeping on the path you're on seems OK to me. You're making the right choices, by anybody's definition. Nobody here is going to tell you that you're a loser.

    No home debt
    No car notes
    No consumer debt
    High paying career
    Real estate investments

    If you don't want to build a business, then don't. If you're not completely committed, then it's not going to work out well and you'll be worse off than you are now.

    It seems clear that you have a high value skill set. If I were in your shoes, I'd do some frequent side hustles (freelancing, consulting, etc.) to generate an extra 30k-50k a year. Then that 700k becomes a million, quite quickly.

    Either way, on your current trajectory, if you roll that 700k into a real estate portfolio (rentals) you could generate a solid income. Possibly enough to live off of, and do some work to keep yourself busy / buy some luxuries.

    Just my $0.02
     
  6. MTEE1985
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    MTEE1985 There is no opportunity in comfort Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Stand up, walk to a bathroom and look in the mirror. Now ask him the question you’re asking us. He’s the only one who can answer it.

    I would do what Tony Robbins calls the Dickens test. Think about being on your deathbed and looking back on your life. Are you looking back wth regret for not starting the business? Or with happiness because of everything else you’ve done? What are your priorities?

    My job is similar to yours with the exception of dealing with people and going to an office. But I don’t report to anybody, I don’t have to be here at a certain time and more importantly, when my kids are older I will never miss a sporting event or ballet recital or whatever they are into. So for me, my job is not something that I despise. Luckily I can pursue other ventures on the side and hope that gold gumball pops out.
     
  7. ZCP
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    ZCP Legendary Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

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    Use your funds to invest in small businesses. If you get pulled in and find yourself working more on them and having more passion / excitement for them, then you have your answer.

    Your are comfortable, and want more. Buy the sweat equity and still pursue building a business. Keep your current routine to fuel the machine. As an investor, only put in the time that you want and fell driven to do.
     
  8. ZCP
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  9. Timmy C
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    Timmy C I Will Not Stop! Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Alot of people would kill to be in that position, your obviously doing something right. You don't have to go fastlane if you do the want to, but why not of your interested go for it! You don't need a shitload of money to start alot of businesses, alot you can start with under a couple thousand dollars so why not go for it.
     
  10. NaPal
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    NaPal Done > Perfect Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Off topic; what kinda of remote work are you doing that you make $170k and don't deal with people?
     
  11. therealmark
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    therealmark Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER

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    You have a nice pair of golden handcuffs there!

    Reading your post it reads to me like your looking at the slow lane as easy and the fastlane as hard.

    From where I stand: I see the slow lane much more difficult than the Fastlane. I think it’s all about perspective.

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with not pursuing the fastlane.

    I had a similar situation. My last job was dangerous in the fact that I almost didn’t leave. I could work from home. Work my own hours and I was only required to put in 120 hours a month. The salary was similar to yours.

    For me: I built a business on the side and ran the business when not working. The same year I got a 50k raise my business generated four times my salary. I left shortly after the raise.

    It doesn’t have to be one or the other. Pursue fastlane when you aren’t working your slow lane job. Even if your only dedicating 1 hour a day to a fastlane opportunity your still working that gumball machine.
     
  12. garyfritz
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    garyfritz Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane Summit Attendee

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    Dayum. I wish I believed I could build a business like that. Unfortunately I don't. I know that starting a business is a crapshoot for anyone, and I know I have a real problem staying focused. I think my chances of success are low enough that it's a bad risk. Which sounds pretty f***ing pathetic but sadly that's where I am. :frown:
     
  13. MJ DeMarco
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    MJ DeMarco Raving Lunatic Staff Member Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

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    What you describe is nothing remotely emblematic of the Sidewalk. Slowlane, yes, but not Sidewalk.

    Sidewalkers have zero net worth.

    You deserve a HUGE KUDOS for what you've accomplished thus far.

    As for your question, the answer depends on what you want in 5, 10, 15 years. And your tolerance for risk. I definitely would NOT quit the job unless I've had something already working -- a working product with proven demand and proven sales.

    Again, congrats on what you've done thus far! Very impressive!
     
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  14. biophase
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    biophase Legendary Contributor I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

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    To me, this one is easy. Because you make $170k and not $50k, I say you stay at your job.

    Why? Because growing a biz to $170k takes a lot of work. Chances are you won’t get there for many many years.

    What you really need are investments. Saving $60k a year, you should be funneling that into an s&p index fund and some real estate.

    You say you have $300k in real estate, does that include your paid off home? Because if it does, then you basically have $0 in real estate.

    So this is what I’d do assuming your risk tolerance is not super high.

    Put the max in your 401k, add some into a brokerage account. Buy an index fund.

    Get a rental property.

    Buy a small business. Depending on how much free time you have.

    Isn’t it funny how saving $60k a year seems like nothing if you can’t grow it?
     
  15. JAVB
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    JAVB Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED

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    First of all, I want to thank everyone here that took the time to post a reply. I really appreciate it. I'd like to quote and answer a couple of things:

    -- You are right. It was a confusion. I meant slowlane.

    -- THANK YOU MAN!

    -- Definitely what I'm working toward. Quitting and just hope for the best is not the right thing to do.

    -- YUP. But then again, that's a slow lane strategy. Investing that way and continue with my job equals to at least 10-15 years before I can have F*** you money. I want to wake up and do whatever I want, period. (To answer your other questions, my RE investments don't include my home. I own 4 rental properties, and that is a job in itself)

    -- CORRECT! It's not that easy... because it is a lot from a "savings" perspective, but it is not really a lot if you want to invest for a short-term fast lane strategy. All you can do is index, real estate, and small businesses (which I've been looking into and it's a science in itself).

    Overall I got the feeling that you guys believe that on average I have a pretty good situation, I'd agree with that and I'm grateful for it. Nevertheless, I'm not free. Sure, I don't have a mortgage, student loan, or make $50K/year, but I'm also far from being "free". What does freedom cost in my view and in my circumstances? I've run the numbers: $15,000/month net (without working), and no major debts. With that, I work only if I want, only in what I want. Things I'd do: Write a book / Become a Pro Ping Pong player / Help poor people (not giving them money, but actually getting involved in certain areas I'm interested) / Showing my children the world by traveling with an educational purpose ... I want to do these things when I want, how I want, and with no regard for money. That's only possible if I'm free, and I'm not nor will I be within the next 10-15 years with my current salary... despite how good it looks and how grateful I feel.

    My next steps:
    1. Keep my current situation and optimize it for maximum free time
    2. Use that free time to continue the search of a business, investment, project that can help me jumpstart a Fastlane route
    3. Launch that, test it, and make sure it works. Without leaving my job...
    4. Quit job, focus on Fastlane project
    5. Automate, delegate, manage, or sell the project
    6. All this has to happen in 10 years or less
    7. Couldn't make it? Meh, ok then. I tried.
    Thank you all again.
     
  16. Kung Fu Steve
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    Kung Fu Steve Platinum Contributor Speedway Pass Summit Attendee

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    Ahhh... the greatest challenge of our lives:

    Having the ability to be satisfied with what you've got and yet hungry for more.

    You don't know me from Adam... but if you don't mind... what does that mean?

    What would you do differently than what you're doing now if you had "real liberty"?

    While I don't have the "F*ck you" money you're referring to, I do pretty well for myself... but I work moreso for fulfillment these days over money.

    Luckily for me what I love to do is also financially rewarding... but it took many years to hone my craft (and I'm still working on it).

    @biophase is 100% right. There aren't many people who can save 50% of their income. You really do deserve more credit here than you're allowing yourself.

    And $60,000 per year is not a paltry sum of investment money. When the market tanks, it'd be pretty simple to buy into the market and ride it back up...

    But you seem to be playing the game of Monopoly right now and it's working for you...

    Trade your 4 green houses in for a red hotel, rinse and repeat.

    If you and I were sharing a drink and chatting as friends I'd really ask you about your psychology around your success.

    I see you've really downplayed it here which makes me question if you'd be happy at 270k, 370k, 3 mil, 10 mil... 100 mil?

    There's nothing wrong with being hungry for more (in fact it's in our nature!) ... but are your grateful for what you already have?

    ... but I'd only say that if we were close friends :smile2:
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2018
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  17. luniac
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    luniac Gold Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    why not start exploring the possibilities in your free time. If one day something takes off you can then quit the job when u feel comfortable?
     
  18. JAVB
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    JAVB Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED

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    You are right. The grass is always greener on the other side. Maybe "true liberty" is the carrot I will never reach because it is a state of mind... but I can try to define it: I have to work to make money. I want to have enough money so I don't have to work. That I consider true liberty. I might be wrong, but that's what's on my mind. Does it exist? I don't know.

    "Everybody knows money doesn't bring you happiness, but everybody wants to confirm it for themselves"

    I'd love to see fastlaners here sharing how they felt once they didn't have to worry about money...
     
  19. Kung Fu Steve
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    Kung Fu Steve Platinum Contributor Speedway Pass Summit Attendee

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    I'm not a "fastlaner" but I'm pretty close to the point of not having to worry about it again...

    so maybe you don't find my opinion relevant but from my experience -- we have to be employed... in some way.. maybe it's a charity thing... something needs to keep you occupied. Idle hands and all. But what do I know :)
     
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  20. biophase
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    biophase Legendary Contributor I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

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    This is 100% wrong. Right now you do easy work to make $170k a year, what do you work, maybe 40-50 hours?

    If you want enough so you don’t have to work, then expect to work 60-80 hours a week for 3-5 years, and then keep on working. That doesn’t sound like less work does it?

    In my opinion your answer should have been, i don’t want to work for someone to make money, i want to work for myself so i can control how much money i can make, so my income potential is unlimited.

    The right answer wasn’t i want enough money so I don’t have to work. You won’t make money doing it that way.

    Do you think that that was Jeff Bezos or Elon Musk’s goal? They worker harder than you and don’t have to work. There’s a huge difference in mindset here.

    Lastly, no matter how much you make, you will need to figure out how to invest it anyway so you might as well figure it out now.

    I’m not knocking your current situation. You are doing well, but going to the next level is way more work than just doing a job. Sometimes i wish i just had a job so i could forget about my work stuff on the weekends or at night.
     
  21. biophase
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    biophase Legendary Contributor I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

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    About this part, i can answer this. You feel kinda good because you can eat lobster every night.

    But you are bored out of our mind because everything gets old and routine. So you start a business and another and another because you need something to do and something challenging.

    Then eventually you work a lot and make more money and the cycle repeats. Now you can afford 10 lobsters a night.

    Eventually you don’t do things purely for the money, it’s more for self fulfillment or a personal desire. Again look at the goals of Bezos and Musk, they aren’t to make billions. There’s another level of accomplishment they are going for, it’s for legacy.
     
  22. Thomas Chauvet
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    Thomas Chauvet Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED

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    Yeah me too!

    I'll probably be in some kind of the same slowlane situation in 3-4 years (almost finished becoming and orthopaedic and trauma surgeon. Started some "senior" replacements this summer and the money is good).
    Although I am very aware that's a pretty good situation, I can't feel totally happy about it. We'll have to work all of our life 5 days a week for 2 days of freedom (well, that's without counting the weekends and nights on duty). That's why I'm looking for more and I don't think we have to feel bad about it. Plus I try to make it clear to myself that, if I can build a successful business, that will mean I help people and deliver value.

    Not everyone has the same goal and expectations in life. We have only one so I'd rather have very high goals and even if they're hard to reach, I can at least try it.

    Let me clarify something : I totally respect people who are satisfied with what they already have, are fully happy in their jobs and will settle for this kind of life. We're all different.
    But what I can't help telling to myself is, there's so much things to do, so much places to explore, so much challenges to face ; one reason I'd like to make it is just to prove myself I can do it. Anyway, I want my time back so I can try all of this and die at the end without regret.

    Just so you know you're not alone.
     
  23. Thomas Chauvet
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    Thomas Chauvet Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED

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    Thank you, it's really interesting.
    I remember that MJ told us in his book that, when you achieved financial freedom, you just have more time to "do what you love"... without the stress of winning money from it.
     
  24. Anthony Gordon
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    for a realistic point of view i 110% agree with this . you are in a position people dream of. if its because you want to retire by 45 i would look at what above has said. get some more real estate happening with investments generate some passive income but look for high growth potential suburbs (you defiantly have the cash available. maybe look at being a silent partner with someone for their business provide them with cash to start up for a small % of their business.. the thing is you have the money and income to create other options if you dont feel like starting a business
     
  25. Rawseed
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    Rawseed Legendary Lurker Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Dude!!! You're killing it financially. You are living the American Dream. Kudos and applause.

    Is your name Ward? Are you married to June? Are your sons named Wallace and Theodore? Are their nicknames Wally and The Beaver?

    You're so young, you probably don't know what I'm referring to. But seriously though, you're definitely not a "marshmallow eater" and you deserve much props for that.

    With that said, killing it financially doesn't mean you're happy. Only you know the answer to that. There are a lot of unhappy but financially stable people. Robin Williams comes to mind.

    True happiness comes from overcoming struggles. Those struggles can be external or internal. A fastlaner would choose the external struggle of creating a productocracy. A monk would choose the internal struggle of meditating for hours a day and not giving in to carnal desires. Both can overcome struggles. Both can be happy.

    Freedom is the ability to choose what struggles you want to overcome.

    Those are my philosophical thoughts are your situation.

    I'm in the slowlane with you. So, I can't give you advice about getting into or living in the fastlane. However, I do have some basic questions for you to think about.

    My questions don't need responses. They're just presented for you to ponder.
    • Are all of your rental properties cash flow positive?
    • What can you do to get them cash flow positive?
    • Is $300,000 the total value of your rental properties or the value of the equity?
    • Does being a landlord bring you joy?
    • Have you thought about hiring a rental property management company to free up your time?
    • Have you thought about using some of the equity in your primary residence to invest in income producing assets? Or to buy more rental properties?
    • Do you have an adequate amount of term life insurance?
    • Do you have a will?
    • Do you have an estate plan?
    • What are you doing to decrease or eliminate your tax burden?
    • Can you automate or outsource part or all of your day job to free up some of your time? Day job arbitrage is definite possible if you're allowed to work remotely.
    • Do you really need $100k in cash savings? $33k would be more appropriate. ($5.5k x 6) $66k if you're being conservative. ($5.5k x 12)
    • Have you considered investing some of your cash savings in income producing assets? Or in additional rental properties?
    • Since you like changing cars frequently, why not lease them instead of buying them?
    Please take my questions with a grain of salt. You're six years younger than me and your net worth is definitely higher than mines.

    Keep killing it.
     
    Alexan Mandel and JAVB like this.

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