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HOT TOPIC Do you live off of your business(es) and/or investments?

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Do your business(es) and/or investments support you?

  • Yes

    Votes: 18 33.3%
  • No

    Votes: 18 33.3%
  • No, but it is a portion of my income

    Votes: 18 33.3%

  • Total voters
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Andrew

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Not sure if this has been brought up before, but I am interested in the ratio of employees to employers here.
 

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phlgirl

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Yes. Made the switch from employee to self-employed about 2 years ago. However, still working very much IN the business. Next goal is to reach a state where we are overseeing the business(es) at a higher level - where the business could operate without our daily input, for months at a time.
 

Russ H

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Yes.

Started my own business in 1979 (in college).

In addition, had "E" (employee) sales jobs (and other "E" things) to help pay the bills until 1988.

Have been "self employed", supported soley by my businesses, since 1988.

(Wow-- 20 years ago! I hadn't done the math recently. Thanks for this :) )

Helped found my first non profit in 1989 (one of 9 crazy guys). We didn't do it to make money-- we did it to help establish an industry. That non-profit's annual trade show currently has over 25,000 attendees and is the core of a now multi-billion dollar industry.

Started my first corporation in 1997.

Now have multiple corporate entities (C corps, S corp, Ltd partnerships, etc). Tax time is a bugger (paperwork out the wazoo). :)

Our most labor-intensive business currently has 4 full time, and 4 part time employees, plus a few more folks who help (landscaper, contractor, etc).

Our PLAN is to retire in the next 4 years or so, w/$200-250K in passive annual income.

-Russ H.
 

Jill

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Nope. I've understood for many years, conceptually, that I had to create some sort of residual (passive) income in order to be truly financially free. I lived off my MLM income for 10 years, and off my ebay ("S" business) for another 3. But in order to maintain the lifestyle to which I've grown accustomed, I've got to do the 9-5 thing. Yes, I could dump the huge house, luxury car, etc and get by on (relatively) passive income. But to create the lifestyle that I want for the long term, it will require that I continue to build massive passive income, which can only be fueled by big "E" or "S" income in the short term.

If I'm wrong, I'm willing to listen.
 

phlgirl

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Nope. I've understood for many years, conceptually, that I had to create some sort of residual (passive) income in order to be truly financially free. I lived off my MLM income for 10 years, and off my ebay ("S" business) for another 3. But in order to maintain the lifestyle to which I've grown accustomed, I've got to do the 9-5 thing. Yes, I could dump the huge house, luxury car, etc and get by on (relatively) passive income. But to create the lifestyle that I want for the long term, it will require that I continue to build massive passive income, which can only be fueled by big "E" or "S" income in the short term.

If I'm wrong, I'm willing to listen.

I think it all comes down to the best use of your time. If you do not believe that you can find a way to make more income, on an hourly/weekly/monthly basis, compared with the income from your job, then I suppose you are best off where you are now.

The question is, have you explored all of the investment options to prove this theory?

Would you be willing to give up the extravagant vehicle/home, temporarily, to obtain true wealth faster?

It is really just a matter of priorities. The answers are different for everyone.
 

Jill

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...The question is, have you explored all of the investment options to prove this theory?

Would you be willing to give up the extravagant vehicle/home, temporarily, to obtain true wealth faster? ...
Thanks for the insight and feedback, phlgirl. I think I recall reading that you have the same background - HR software consulting, formerly Big 5? (Or was that someone else?)

And no, I wouldn't be willing to give up the lifestyle to buy my freedom 5 years sooner. This is, after all, the "lifestyle" that I will be seeking to enjoy then. I'm just lucky that I can enjoy it now, while also having enough $ left over to put in place the plan for the future (e.g. early retirement).

Although, I'll be the first to admit, there might be other avenues that are faster than what I'm currently doing. I THINK that if I can suck it up for a few more years, generating a 10-15K surplus each month, then I can invest a LOT more into passive income properties than I could if I were just squeeking by.

But I'm certainly open to suggestions!!! Just here to learn and grow.
 

Russ H

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Jill-

Have you ever played Cashflow 101, the board game?

-Russ H.
 

WestCoast

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first company supports me and my lifestyle, looking to hire a Business Manager type to take over and move onto the second business in the works.

Kind of slow lane in a lot of ways, but the one business takes care of me to answer your question.
 

Jill

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Jill-
Have you ever played Cashflow 101, the board game?
-Russ H.
Yes. I have the computer-based version. I'm looking forward to playing the boardgame at Beer & Pancakes.

I understand the concept. I'm just not willing to take the kid out of private school, and move to a lesser neighborhood so I could have $18K/mo to invest in fastlane projects instead of $14. I hope that doesn't sound smug or defensive. That's not my intention here at all. And I don't want to sound boastful either, as I know many of you make much more.

But I want to enjoy life now. (I'm older than most of you!) Could I get my freedom a little faster if I invested the extra $4K that's currently buying my "lifestyle" each month? Almost certainly. I just don't see it making that much difference. But I'm willing to be proven wrong!! I'm here to learn.
 

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AroundTheWorld

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Our "changeover" has been done step by step.

First we were "e" - barely getting by. (well, hubby was an "e" and I was a "mom"
Then - we were an "s" - doing okay... (I was an "s / b" and hubby quit the "e" to work on some "i")
Now - we are living off the "i" and doing more of it.... (I sold the "b")

However, we are not at the "passive I" level. While some of our investments are "I" - we proactively develop additional investments and other projects. The purpose is two fold: 1) suppliment the I income. 2) Increase the net worth - to be converted to more I income.

Russ.......There is a topic for the P and B Get Together.... how on earth can you streamline all that paperwork generated by the gazillion companies??? :coco: The paperwork and bookkeeping on all this DRIVES ME CRAZY!!!


Jill........ Very successful MLM, EBay business.... You obviously have the capibility to create the "B" style business that can support your desired lifestyle. There are definately options for you to consider. I will be really interested to see how you feel about things after the P and B Gathering.

You can get into the apartment value play game - - or the self storage development game.

You can build another B. How do you keep the lifestyle up in the mean time? Earmark 1 to 2 years worth of living expense as your "salary." Quit the job. Now you have all the time you need - and a deadline.... 2 years to develop your new project or business.
 

Jill

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...Jill........ Very successful MLM, EBay business.... You obviously have the capibility to create the "B" style business that can support your desired lifestyle. There are definately options for you to consider. I will be really interested to see how you feel about things after the P and B Gathering...
Me too! I'm very excited to brainstorm with you guys! (OK, it may just be a flurry in my case!) Thanks so much for spending the time to help me think about ideas beyond my current line of sight. Speed+
 

Russ H

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Jill-

My wife and I live in the Napa Valley, in a $1.2M house, and send our child to the best daycare in town (only b/c we're finishing up a very big project-- we actually want to retire so we can spend *more* time w/the kids, not less! :) ).

But that's just us.

We eat out at some of the world's finest restaurants-- a lot. We drive newish cars (the most recent convt we bought a few months ago w/15K mi on it, full factory warranties to 75K mi).

We travel as we please, as long as it fits w/our businesses and what we're doing w/them (this Sat we leave for a 18 day road trip which ends in Phoenix for the B&P GT). We go to the beach often, and stay in a little beach house there.

Almost bought a beach house this past year.

You *do* sound a bit smug-- but for different reasons that you might suspect.

(and I realize that I sound a bit smug too, but I'm doing this tongue in cheek!) ;)

You are living the life of a middle class rat racer. Not the life of a business owner.

Our childcare is paid for 100% by our businesses (pre tax income). So is our home. So are those great restaurants, b/c we need them for research for our guests.

So is our health care, including the IVF that we did (and will do) for our kids.

Our upcoming trip is also a complete write off. Starts with a hotel expo, middle part is meeting w/fellow innkeepers and business people in So Cal (so we chose Disneyland as our base, hey, what's the problem w/that?), and it ends in Phx w/you guys :)

All my way of saying, you could be doing this a bit differently.

And keeping A LOT more of your money.

By structuring your ventures as Bs and Is, not Es and Ss.

Covering your expenses with pre-tax income.

Diane Kennedy's books are great resources for this.

We can talk more about this at the B&P GT, if you'd like.

-Russ H.
 

phlgirl

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Thanks for the insight and feedback, phlgirl. I think I recall reading that you have the same background - HR software consulting, formerly Big 5? (Or was that someone else?)

And no, I wouldn't be willing to give up the lifestyle to buy my freedom 5 years sooner. This is, after all, the "lifestyle" that I will be seeking to enjoy then. I'm just lucky that I can enjoy it now, while also having enough $ left over to put in place the plan for the future (e.g. early retirement).

Although, I'll be the first to admit, there might be other avenues that are faster than what I'm currently doing. I THINK that if I can suck it up for a few more years, generating a 10-15K surplus each month, then I can invest a LOT more into passive income properties than I could if I were just squeeking by.

But I'm certainly open to suggestions!!! Just here to learn and grow.
Yes, I was a software consultant (SAP FI/CO) for 7-8 years and I did have some crossover work into the HR modules. I can definitely understand the hesitancy of leaving that income. :)

That said, for me, the lifestyle was about having the freedom to do what I want, when I want….. not so much about the car, the house, handbags & shoes (although I do splurge a bit in these departments too). I assume by ‘lifestyle’ these are the types of things you are referring to…. not the 9-14 hour work days and loads of travel? I agree that we should enjoy life NOW and that, to me, means having the freedom to take vacation when I want, to end the day early because it is gorgeous outside - to have a drink with the girls, the husband or head to the beach. I want complete control over every hour of my day, not just a small portion.

Again, everyone is different. You may love the work (I did for a few years) but, if that were the case, I imagine you would not be concerned with an early retirement.

ATW has got it right. +++ If you set aside a portion of those funds for yourself (1-2 years of lifestyle spending), I think you would be amazed at what you are capable of accomplishing. Money seems to grow so much faster once it has your complete, undivided, attention!
 

Jill

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...You *do* sound a bit smug-- but for different reasons that you might suspect. You are living the life of a middle class rat racer. Not the life of a business owner...
That's because I AM a middle-class rat racer. LOL. But I am in the process of changing that, which is why I am coming to B&P and in other ways trying to gain as much knowledge into REI as I can, as I believe this will be the most efficient tool for me to move into the fastlane.

I'm not trying to fight you guys here. I'm not sure I made myself clear. Because I think that I really do understand the concept. But we may not be that far off at all. I think the primary difference in what you're saying and what I'm saying is that since I'm already blessed with a quite a bit of disposable income every month, I don't feel compelled to drastically cut back my lifestyle to provide just a little more.

FWIW, I'm incorporated and pay most of my expenses, pre-tax, out of that. And I have read several (all?) of Diane's books over the past year. One of the reasons I'm coming to Phoenix in March is to meet with an accountant to whom DKA referred me.

Thank you for taking the time to dish out some tough love though! Seriously. I didn't come here to be coddled!

...We can talk more about this at the B&P GT, if you'd like.

-Russ H.
Definitely! That's why I'm coming. OK, well not just to talk to you! :smxB: But to learn from other like-minded folks who are already doing what I want to be doing. Believe me, if I can figure out a way to get something else in place that will support my lifestyle sooner, I'm all over it! There's no warm spot in my heart for HR software!!
 

Jill

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... not so much about the car, the house, handbags & shoes (although I do splurge a bit in these departments too). I assume by ‘lifestyle’ these are the types of things you are referring to….
Not really. I've kinda wrapped up the "doodad-gathering" phase of my life, and am moving on into asset acquisition phase. I realize (now) that I went about it all backwards. But I can't change that now.

I'm just hesitant to give up the consulting gig because I've yet to find anything to compare to the cashflow. As soon as I am able to replace it (100 units, positive cashflowing $200/mo??) I'm outta there! I could do it sooner, since the hubby has a "real" rat race job. But I feel like I need to earn as much as possible, in order to acquire as many properties as possible and quickly as possible in order to make up for lost time and get us BOTH out of the rat race.

What am I missing?
 

andviv

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What am I missing?
I want to ask... how much is enough? why does it have to be $20K a month in order to retire? I know you already are generating extra $15K, but what is the minimum you need to retire?
Do you really need $20K to retire? isn't $10K enough? what about $7K and again, I am asking as all of these questions lead you back to your plan, or lack of.

How would you feel if your apartment building was giving you only $12K a month? Would you retire then?

I ask all of these question as I got the feeling that, no matter how much your investment is generating for you, you will still get the great feeling of those extra $15k that your current activity generates (kind of an addiction). Makes sense? (I got the feeling that I can't express correctly today, no clue why)
 

Russ H

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Jill-

My mistake. If you're a C-corp, then you're getting many of the tax advantages of a business owner, as a self employed person.

Have you done the exercises in the PLAN thread?

(actually, you've already done much of this work, w/your Tony Robbins material).

As with Tony Robbins stiff, the PLAN thread is kinda like riding a bike-- you've gotta actually get on the bike and do it to really appreciate what it can do (as opposed to reading a thread about bike riding ;) ).

You may not have a chance to get all of them done before B&P, but if you can make it through core values and the next step (all the way up to, but not including tracking expenses), then your head may be in a slightly different place-- a good place mind you-- for the meet up.

-Russ H.

PS May I be nosy and ask who the acct is you're meeting with? (ours is in Tempe, and was referred by DKA as well :))
 

kimberland

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Jill,

I'm a corporate gal myself (I take the gigs because I love it).
I don't have a problem with redirecting cash from a J.O.B. into investments.
That's what the hubby and I did (and still do).

Heck, $15,000 a month seed money will build you a million net worth in 6 years
WITHOUT investing.
Combine that with investing (which you are doing)
and yeah, I'd consider that fast track.
Could you do it faster?
Maybe.
But maybe not
(corporate is a completely different animal than start up,
if you're good at one, no guarantee you'll be good at the other).

I think what is throwing people is that language you're using.
Saying that you "Have" to.
"Can only"
that sort of thing.
You know you have choices, we all do.
And this route sounds like your choice.

Are you still in the rat race?
Yep, and you will be until your passive income equals or is greater to your expenses.
If you don't want to decrease your expenses
(and why would you?),
ya gotta bump up the passive income.
It ain't rocket science.
 

kimberland

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I guess I should answer the original question.

Nope, the hubby and I live off of our salaries
(less than our salaries, investing the difference).

Could we live off passive income?
Sure, but I think we would both go stark raving mad within a couple months.
I lasted 4 months retired.
I wrote a novel and a novella
(plan to do that again this year).
My hubby is lucky to make it through an entire weekend without working.

So we simply reinvest the proceeds.

We aren't fast track (took us 13 years to build a million net worth).
My goal is to get us there (working on the stock portfolio).
If you're going to do something,
might as well do it at the best of your abilities.
That means... going as fast as you can.
 

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AroundTheWorld

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Jill,

Perhaps it comes down to your time - and the best use of that time...

From what I have gathered - the goal is to get out of the rat race without diminishing the lifestyle in the mean time. Am I right?

So.... Lets put a timeline on the deal... 2 years. Of course, this is just an arbitrary number I am pulling out of thin air. Insert your own time line.

Now, lets look at 2 options:

1) You continue to work the JOB - socking away 15K / mo into real estate investments. What would your cashflow be in 2 years? Of course, there are a lot of other assumptions you would need to make in this calculation - and this will vary widely from investor to investor and vehicle to vehicle.

2) You quit the JOB - use a portion of your savings to live for 2 years at your current standard of living. If you are able to devote 100% of your time - where could you be in 2 years? If REI is your vehicle - then you could devote your time to development or rehab rather than less time intensive acquisition of an existing property. In the end - could you use your time to build a multi million dollar business or to add the sweat-equity to major property development - and have that dollar amount higher than your salary?

How do these plans differ? Which looks more appealing to you? I could pick some numbers and work through each of these options - but better if you do!!
 

Jill

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I want to ask... how much is enough? ... isn't $10K enough?
No. Not for both of us to "retire".
... what about $7K
definitely not! :nonod:
How would you feel if your apartment building was giving you only $12K a month? Would you retire then?...
I would start considering it.

And no, I'm not one of those who loves the thrill of making a good salary. I'm also not a security freak. I'm actually a bit of a risk-taker. But I've stepped in and out of the corporate world several times already, and I just don't want this final time to be premature, because in my industry, it would be hard to re-enter.
We can talk more details at :cheers: B&P. :smx7: I look forward to hearing your insight! Thanks a bunch for taking the time!! Speed+!
 

SteveO

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In the process of playing cashflow, I recall that it was more difficult to enter the fastlane (MJ, we need a new game) if you started out as a doctor or lawyer as opposed to being a mechanic.

There is no right or wrong. It may just take more time is all.

I personally have been living off my investments for the last 7 years. The passive income exceeds expenses. Done deal on this part. By choice, I sacrificed my home close to the beach as part of the expense reduction. There may be a time that we move back to the beach but I like where I am at now. The expense reduction is in the past.
 

Jill

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Jill- My mistake. If you're a C-corp, then you're getting many of the tax advantages of a business owner, as a self employed person.
S-Corp, actually, since it is primarily a professional service provider. But still.

Have you done the exercises in the PLAN thread?
Working on them.

PS May I be nosy and ask who the acct is you're meeting with? (ours is in Tempe, and was referred by DKA as well :))
WLB, in Glendale. Know 'em?
 

JScott

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Now, lets look at 2 options:

1) You continue to work the JOB - socking away 15K / mo into real estate investments. What would your cashflow be in 2 years? Of course, there are a lot of other assumptions you would need to make in this calculation - and this will vary widely from investor to investor and vehicle to vehicle.

2) You quit the JOB - use a portion of your savings to live for 2 years at your current standard of living. If you are able to devote 100% of your time - where could you be in 2 years? If REI is your vehicle - then you could devote your time to development or rehab rather than less time intensive acquisition of an existing property. In the end - could you use your time to build a multi million dollar business or to add the sweat-equity to major property development - and have that dollar amount higher than your salary?
I think I understand where Jill is coming from...and perhaps others aren't thinking from the same perspective...

While a lot of people have the desire (and ability) to create something from nothing (buying real estate with zero down, building a business from scratch, etc), some people don't want to (or can't) do it this way. Perhaps the effort it takes to creatively finance RE isn't something they want to devote their time to, or perhaps building a business from scratch at this point in their lives isn't something that seems appealing, or perhaps they don't feel like they have the ability to make more money this way than just working a high-paying job.

For people who make a good income, it can be very appealing to just take the excess income each month, divert that to income-producing assets, and then when the income is high enough, quit the job. Sure, it's not as sexy as starting a business or real estate empire from scratch, but it can be just as effective, if not more. And ultimately it can lead to the same goal (full time investing and/or retirement).

It sounds like this is what Jill wants to do. It sounds like she doesn't want to develop real estate, she doesn't want to start a new business, and she doesn't want to be a full-time investor. Instead, she wants to be a part-time investor, where she works full-time to earn the cash to invest, and only after she's earned enough to maintain her lifestyle (instead of building from scratch the ability to maintain her lifestyle) does she want to retire.

Assuming I have that right (and if it's not accurate for Jill, it's probably accurate for me), I don't see anything wrong with it. People can argue that it's not really fastlane, but there are degrees of fastlane, and it sounds like Jill will get to the point of being able to live off her investments faster than most people who claim to be "in the fastlane."

If you're "in the fastlane" today, ask yourself this question: if someone were to offer you $20M to work a full time job for a year or two, would you do it? Even if it meant having a J.O.B.? Most people would say yes, because they see the rewards as outweighing the downsides of having a job. That's no different than Jill's mentality...

Just my $.02...
 

AroundTheWorld

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JScott...

I appreciate where you are coming from. You and I have a similar point.... in which way will a high income JOB-er get there faster?

I want to clarify - - - I am not saying one is better then the other. I am simply giving a framework that could be useful in thinking about the situation. Which is better for Jill? Obviously, only Jill can say!!! Perhaps it is 1. Perhaps it is 2. Perhaps it is the #3 that I haven't thought of!!!

I don't care for labels. Not even the label of "fastlane" or "slowlane." I care about finding what works for me - and helping other's find what works for them. If I sounded like I was trying to "force" one option to be superior, then that was not my intention.

I was also tailoring my response to Jill based on the following "Jill Quotes":

Believe me, if I can figure out a way to get something else in place that will support my lifestyle sooner, I'm all over it! There's no warm spot in my heart for HR software!!
ATW ~ These all sound great to me.

A couple of other topics I would be interested in hearing about, if someone knows anything about them, would be:
  • Real estate Development - building your own Multi-families, to pick up the extra margin (read, "cash flow") Pros and cons?
 

Jill

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Thanks again for the input, but this is getting a little embarrassing since I feel like the thread's become an analysis of me and my financial future! Yikes!! I'd love to have all these conversations going on privately! (Because I love the synergy of having all you guys trying to help me "get there".) But I blush! :blush:

Let's resume this convo at B&P.

P.S. You're both right. I would love to find a way to quickly replace my "S" income, but what I do is so easy for me, I can't imagine finding a way to do it faster than just keeping my current gig for a couple more years, and investing that.
 

AroundTheWorld

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I have a hunch that for most people, making the transition is a step by step process. And, so much of it is the mental shift too - not just the physical / financial reality.

Atleast, I know that for us, it is. We never could have made some of the physical / financial steps that we made without first making some mental shifts in how we think about money!
 

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