It’s Inconvenient to be Physically Alive but Financially Dead

Posted on January 1, 2012 by

Your Financial FutureOver the years, Kim and I have had the opportunity to work with a lot of folks who are interested in learning more about real estate investing.  Deep down they know their work-for-the-man-forty-hours-a-week jobs, going into debt to support their keeping-up-with-the-Jones’ lifestyles and not investing for retirement is nothing more than a recipe for financial disaster.

Jack Miller said it best: It’s inconvenient to be physically alive but financially dead.

One of the things that surprise us most is the number of folks who think that, because they’re in a financial rut today, they’re destined to stay in that rut forever.  This just isn’t so.  Here are three truths: 1) God don’t make junk.  2) God gave you free will and determination.  3) You can change the course of your life if you are willing to work diligently at it.     

Don’t believe me?  In 1995, Kim – who was 37 at the time – worked in her dad’s pawnshop, hung wallpaper and cleaned houses.  I was 35 and sold Electrolux vacuums door-to-door.  We lived comfortably but were very much paycheck-to-paycheck.  We weren’t doing anything to prepare for our retirement…if we had it, we spent it…if we wanted it, we bought it.    

Over coffee one morning, Kim and I realized that if we kept doing what we were doing, we’d be unable to retire when we reached our sixties.  That morning, we decided to make a change that would dramatically alter our financial future.  We decided to become real estate investors with the goal of owning 10 paid-for, single-family rental properties by the time we reached our mid-fifties.

When we started, we knew nothing about investing in real estate or rental property.  However, we had some friends who owned rental property and they seemed to be doing all right.  They gave us some direction and told us to join our local REIA (Real Estate Investors Association).  We did, and the rest is history.

I say that to say this: There is absolutely NOTHING special about Kim or me.  We weren’t born with silver spoons in our mouths, nor did we win the lottery along the way.  We just worked hard, regularly met with motivated sellers and continued to learn new ways to creatively structure and finance our real estate investing deals.

Where are you in your life?  Are you meeting your financial goals and obligations?  Are you preparing for retirement?  Are you investing in long-term appreciating capital assets or are you “investing” in shiny red things that honk and drop like a rock in value?

You can change the course of your financial future.  It won’t be easy.  It will require a lot of work and sacrifice.  You won’t be able to buy everything on your whim list.  You will be eating a lot of rice and beans for a long, long time.  But, we promise, if you do what you already know you need to do, ten to fifteen years from now, you’ll be glad you did.

Bill & Kim CookBill & Kim Cook are a husband and wife real estate investing team. They live in Adairsville, Georgia and have been investing in real estate since 1995. They specialize in buying single-family homes, mobile homes and mobile home parks. They also run North Georgia REIA and teach folks how to successfully invest in real estate.


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