Achieving Healthy Smile From Cosmetic Dentistry

smileYour smile is one of the first physical attributes people notice about you; shouldn’t you make it stand out? Cosmetic dentistry can help you achieve that healthy, beautiful smile that will turn heads!

To obtain a beautiful smile and maintain your excellent oral health care, it is imperative that you find a dental professional you trust. Ask for recommendations from friends and family, and do some research on the doctor. Check the dentist’s accreditations and affiliations, as well as his or her expertise. Visit the dentist’s website and if you are looking for a cosmetic dentist, view the gallery of patients before and after their procedures to see samples of the doctor’s work, and schedule a free consultation, if available. Make sure to ask questions to ascertain whether or not this dentist is the one you want to work with. Once you have settled on your dental professional, the next task is determining the cosmetic procedures necessary to achieve your desired result.

Need a little confidence boost? Teeth whitening is an easy, relatively inexpensive way to change the look of your smile. Have stains from coffee, red wine, smoking or tea? Simple bleaching or whitening can have a dramatic effect on the aesthetic appeal of your smile. These products contain some type of peroxide and the amount varies from product to product. In-office professional teeth whitening such as ZOOM! BriteSmile, and Rembrandt use a whitening gel and ultraviolet light to take your teeth to a lighter shade and to remove stains. KOR deep bleaching is a product that is more expensive than the others but can lighten your smile by 16 shades! Also, the results with KOR are permanent while other whitening options require continued maintenance. Want to try whitening your teeth at home? Dentist near Edmond can give you recommendations for the best at home whitening including gels, toothpaste and whitening strips. Used correctly and consistently, whitening offers a stunning, white smile to you give you the added self-confidence to show off that smile! It’s an uncomplicated, economical way to transform your smile from dull to dazzling!

If your teeth are chipped or your smile could use a little help to be extraordinary, dental bonding is also an inexpensive option to discuss with your dentist. Bonding is just what it sounds like—tooth colored resin is bonded to the tooth and hardened with a high intensity curing light. It can be used to fix chips or cracks, close gaps between teeth, replace silver fillings or even change the entire shape of the tooth. In addition to being one of the most economical cosmetic dental procedures, it is also one of the fastest: each tooth can be bonded in just 30 to 60 minutes in office. The two drawbacks to bonding is that the bonding material can chip so it is best to avoid chewing on ice or hard foods; and bonding material only lasts between three and ten years, depending upon your oral health care. However, bonding can be an excellent way to make your teeth more attractive, even temporarily.

Looking for a more permanent fix to your less-than-perfect smile? Porcelain or resin veneers are thin, custom made covers that are applied to the front of your teeth and then bonded. If your teeth appear too thin, with gaps or chips, veneers can rectify your problem. Veneers can be used to change the color, shape, size or length, dramatically changing your smile! Your dentist will place temporary veneers on your teeth while the permanent veneers are constructed in a dental lab. Once the veneers are bonded to your teeth, they are permanent, making them an excellent choice to achieve the smile you have always wanted!

A simple way to even out your smile is enamel shaping or contouring. If your teeth have an uneven edge or are slightly overcrowded, your dentist can correct those small imperfections by gently reshaping the tooth or teeth in question. If your teeth look fine, but your gums take away from your perfect smile, gum reshaping might be an alternative to consider. If you have a “gummy” smile, one that makes your teeth appear smaller, the gum line can be changed to one or several teeth to expose more of the enamel, which “lengthens” the teeth and improves the overall smile. A discussion with your dentist will determine whether these procedures are right for you.

Considering replacing a silver filling with a tooth colored crown, but don’t want to invest a lot of time? Ask about CEREC one day crowns and see if you might be a candidate for this advancement in cosmetic dentistry. The first step is having the dentist examine the tooth and prepare the tooth for restoration. Your tooth will then be coated with a safe, tasteless powder and then photographed with a special digital 3D camera to create an optical impression. If you always hated the goopy impressions involved with crowns, this new technology makes that a thing of the past. The tooth is then designed on Computer Aided Design (CAD) software, down to the very last detail. This ensures the snug fit of the crown once it is placed. When the rending is complete, it is sent to an onsite milling machine and it makes the restoration within minutes. The new crown is fitted, then polished and bonded into place. No need to wait for a new restoration; a new one can be ready in less than an hour!

Dental implants are a procedure that is changing peoples’ lives. Whether you have lost a tooth or teeth to dental decay or an accident, a brand new tooth can be put in its place, reserving the integrity of your smile. It’s like growing new teeth! A titanium screw is attached to the bone of the missing tooth and a fabricated tooth is attached to an abutment, securing the crown to the implant. If well cared for, implants can last a lifetime! They also look, feel and function just like natural teeth. If you are missing one or more teeth, discuss dental implants with your dentist to see if you are a candidate for this revolutionary procedure.

An investment in your smile can last a lifetime, so having a smile makeover to put your best mouth forward might be worth the time and money involved. Discuss with your dentist your aesthetic goals, budget, and options to determine the cosmetic services to best reach your desired results. A combination of efforts can take an unflattering smile and turn it into your best feature.

Does Cosmetic Surgery Make You Beautiful?

Now it’s out in the open and a decade ago plastic surgery was quite hush, hush and many people are talking about it. It was previously just for the wealthy and famous and now it is for who can manage it and needs to enhance their look. Its all about altering that part of the body which you do not enjoy whether it be belly, your nose, breasts, chin, the sky is the limit these days. With progress and new techniques in surgical instruments the variety of cosmetic operations is growing annually.

Although, most individuals who receive or need cosmetic surgery have a certain aim to reshape, remove or correct imperfect regions of the body, plastic surgery additionally engulfs added kinds of operation including hand operation and reconstructive, microsurgery, burn treatments. In these kinds of operations restoring or correcting function and form into a particular part of the body is not unnecessary.

In the current society the goal would be to appear, behave and feel lovely and youthful. It’s said that cosmetic surgery has grown by 50 percent since the start of the century. This can be a great increase that shows the reality that folks are obsessed with beauty. With cosmetic surgery of looking youthful and beautiful the dream could be a reality. Select an area to improve and a Oklahoma City plastic surgeon can alter your look for your liking. This occurrence just isn’t restricted to race or sex. Men and girls are getting cosmetic surgery in addition to African American, Hispanic and Caucasian.

Typically the most popular aesthetic operations include abdominoplasty, liposuction, nasal surgery, eyelid surgery and breast augmentation. Without needing to eat healthy or exercise with a great number of operations to select from a man could become an ideal specimen.

Nevertheless, having cosmetic or plastic surgery when you get right down to it isn’t all fun and games. Lots of individuals who have plastic surgery need added operations and become hooked. Having a lot of operations can be harmful to to your own body but also to not only your pocket book. Every time open you run the risk of disease and organ failure.

Make a listing of questions to your surgeon when you’ve got your consultation to reply. Ask your surgeon the benefits and drawbacks of your operation. If you comprehend the dangers involved in advance it’s simpler to make a suitable choice. Have your physician summarize all the steps to your own process and after what you should anticipate and so you realize not only what will be going on during the operation but how long it takes to recuperate. Testimonials with graphics are an excellent means to get a sense of what you should expect after surgery. Request your physician if he’s any from previous customers.

Sadly plastic surgery is getting a quick fix for those who are not happy with themselves. It’s these individuals who desire to always have operation after operation and are never pleased. After you’ve had plastic surgery taking yourself can be comparatively simple or hard. Remember that you’re still that same individual even if you’ve had important changes. Operation does not alter the interior we should not rely on a scalpel to make us beautiful and it just alters the outside.

Acupuncture and FAQ’s

Acupuncture is an early Healing Artwork which arrives from Japan, China and other Asian nations. Acupuncture operates nicely with other types of medicine. Acupuncture balances a man’s life energy, or Qi (pronounces “Chee”). Treatment is according to the assumption that a free flow of Qi maintains well-being. Disorder may be caused by a block in this flow like heart problems may be caused by a blocked coronary artery. Softly touching the Qi energy is like releasing congested regions, enabling the Qi to yet again circulate thus restoring well-being or opening a gate.

Acupuncture can work for a variety of states, including but not restricted to:

  • Respiratory
  • Circulatory and Digestive states
  • Menopausal and Reproductive issues, menstrual
  • Dependence
  • Stress
  • Injury
  • Depression and other emotional issues
  • Sleeplessness

The Immune System additionally reinforces, provides relief from long-term illnesses, and encourages general well being, personal growth and interior core strength. An assortment of individuals of ages have located Acupuncture to be successful where other types of treatment have not been successful. Individuals frequently report an overall improvement of well-being as well as progress in the state they initially sought treatment for, because Acupuncture treats the entire individual.

It’s possible for you to expect to have a thorough history taken during your first treatment, and a thorough check in during subsequent sessions. The acupuncturist will keep a secret graph by which your progress is tracked by her. You may ask any questions you enjoy the acupuncturist herself or about the treatment. Before the real treatment, the professional will feel your beats in establishing the best course of treatment to help her. She’ll also feel your heartbeats after adding needles and by the end of the treatment.

Acupuncture OKC expert will add several really fine, clean, disposable, stainless steel needles into distinct point in your body – . A few of these needles will stay in place for a period, others will be removed promptly, dependent on your beats and your symptom. Maybe you are requested to rest with needles set up for 10-15 minutes. Some of US will feel improvement within their state promptly, for others – either way is not paranormal and cannot be called in advance of treatment.

Acupuncture is practiced by An Accredited Acupuncturist who generally has a master’s level training. The exact same medical boards that control MDs regulate the profession. This is determined by your reasons. If you’d just like to experience relaxation, a decline in pressure-induced symptoms such an overactive mind, stressing, muscle tension, troubled slumber etc – you are extremely likely to see improvement in these symptoms from only one session. This can be particularly helpful in the beginning of your holiday as it allows you take complete benefit of your time off and to leave behind your routine life for the time being. If, on the other hand, you happen to be experiencing illnesses that were more serious, more intensive and/or more routine treatments are called for.

Any kind of painful musculo-skeletal condition responds to 2-4 treatments, scheduled together, say every other day or daily. More long-term conditions respond to 2-3 sessions scheduled together, followed by treatments that are standard, say every 2-6 weeks, according to the state.

I recommend that you just do the following:

  • Participate in some type of routine exercise.
  • Be certain you acquire some sort of quiet time every day – it can be short.

There are hardly any side effects to Acupuncture, particularly in comparison to things like operation or drugs. It’s also crucial that you notice which you may experience what’s termed a Healing Crisis – there may be an initial, quite short lived aggravation of your symptoms, continuing up to several hours, followed by noticeable improvement. Healing Disasters are a comparatively common, but usually not a cause for worry.

Auricular (Ear) Acupuncture is another system of acupuncture. Some acupuncturists practice just this kind of acupuncture. Auricular Acupuncture Allergies, and is effective for states like Stress, Depression, Insomnia, Dependence. At Cabot Shores, it’s integrated into an individual Acupuncture session. Auricular Acupuncture is generally supplied in an organization setting, and for habits and mental states it can be more powerful this way. Supplied in an organization setting, it’s exceptionally cost effective along with community-building. Groups like Community Mental Health Centers, Detox Facilities, Chiropractors, Veterans Groups frequently use this type of acupuncture.

The Best Way To Spend Less When You Move

You can find many measures to planning and executing an effective move. Each measure is a vital part of the large image. It will help you save cash and keeps you. Each measure is not irrelevant to any kind of moving service you’re contemplating for the move. Setting thought into your move ahead, studying the procedure that is transferring and preparation each step manner in advance will make an effective relocation moves. You need to prevent any expenses that are additional. The matter that is significant is that several measures are easy and can be done way.

The initial step to saving money when you go, it to write down everything! Keep a laptop and a little pad with you where everything is listed by you. Use a laptop that is sectioned like we’d have used in school. Write everything in pencil rather than in pen. By doing this you keep your moving notebook and always have the option to make changes or corrections arranged. Use colored pencils that are different and create a color code on your own. It’s going to help you.

Begin to list every one of the things you happen to be intending to go. Leave several pages. This way you won’t forget anything, although you always have the option to make changes or delete things on! One piece of advice about carton counts or cartons is that most folks under estimate the amount of cartons we’ll have. Be not conservative relating to this. As you going day gets close changes can be made. Yet this will allow you to to see the bigger picture about how big your move.

You’ll have created a working inventory on your move after you have created a listing of every one of your stuff. The packing material that is most significant will be cardboard boxes. You do not need to go out and purchase unique cartons unless you possess specific things that need handling and unique cartons. Make sure that the cartons are clean and powerful. It’s very important to be sure that every one of the boxes are stack-able, although you want cartons which can be different sizes for different needs. This help you when you must unpack at your place and will save space in your current place. It will likewise help load and unload your stuff in the truck that is moving! One important guideline to remember, although easy is the more heavy the carton, the more difficult it’ll be to proceed. For heavy things including publications, use cartons that are smaller. This is why you’ll want cartons of different sizes.

By gathering cartons that are used, you are going to save numerous dollars. Another excellent way to spare cash on packing materials would be to conserve old papers! This really is a superb packing material. It can be used by you for many of the things you will end up packaging into the cartons. Keep in mind that paper has ink on it , nor use paper for packaging anything which will be sensitive to it (including clothes, since it might create spots which is difficult to remove.) It’s possible for you to use paper for wrap and also shred it positive and if needed it as stuffing within the cartons.

Remember that you’ve got other stuff in you as you are able to use. Some models that are great are all your towels and linens. These may be used to wrap going such as lamps you will be packaging. Even though going is an excellent opportunity to do away with tons of stuff which you may not desire or desire, those old drapes which you might despise might only be convenient so do not throw them out fast when you’re packaging. Save them if you’re able to use them and throw them out.

The following step if you are going in saving money, is contemplating the various kinds of moving services which are accessible for you. You’ve got several choices. Each has its benefits and drawbacks and you’ll need to research them to make an educated choice. If you understand people who have moved over the last number of years you may want to talk about it together and their encounter with the moving service they select. Although moving just isn’t about your property, but can also be a life altering encounter, you may need to consider your personal physical and psychological demands and to what extent you will end up able to participate in the move.

Now it’ll be important that you begin getting free moving quotes to your move! The web also can enable you to study the services that are moving in addition to get free moving estimates. Allow the movers! You are going to want thing list or your inventory helpful when you’re discussing to moving services and moving companies OKC. This can be how they’re going to have the ability to give a free moving estimate to you! Don’t forget to discuss any for going, packaging or possibly storage. It’s crucial that you remember a quote is an approximation and never a a cost that is guaranteed. A “Binding Approximation” for example is only going to be binding if there will be no additional work or materials desired on your moving day and if your stock is right.

Each moving or mover service will have the capacity to e-mail you a free moving estimate for the move! It’s important to prepare yourself about the language of proceeding, so that the moving quotations can be correctly deciphered by you. One crucial move to make when you read a quote that is moving, will be to make sure exactly what you discussed with the company that is moving is written down. Anything not written and assured down will not be binding! Ensure there’s no obscure language on the quotation. Obscure language will mean that someone is attempting to conceal something and that will not function as sort of folks you need to conduct business with! It will likewise mean that day on moving, you are going to have tons of unpleasant surprises which will set you back considerably more income. No one loves that!

Once you’ve made your selection, make sure you be in experience of your moving company or service that is moving. You may need to upgrade your inventory when you’ve got changes to make removing or adding items. The important thing is, to save cash going, plan and you should think ahead of time. You should prepare yourself about the moving services accessible to you personally and the moving business. You must know of going the language. You must be clever and think about where it is possible to save and make use of easily accessible stuff, not spending money on high-priced stuff which you don’t desire or desire. You have to be clever if you are talking with moving services and moving companies. Remember whether it seems too good to be true, it likely is, be bright!

Oklahoma Aviation Careers For Oklahoma Aviation Degree Holders

Oklahoma Aviation is profession that is quite fascinating. It’s significant impact on economic condition of world. Oklahoma Aviation sector not only contain aviator/flyers just, all others are belong to Oklahoma Aviation. It includes private jet charter, airport management, space exploration, human factors, jet mechanics, airplane design, electrical engineering, computer systems, and customer service. Oklahoma Aviation professionals works in distinct sections of Oklahoma Aviation sector. Considerable chances will be explored by you in Oklahoma Aviation sector. Aerospace business or Oklahoma Aviation can generally broken up into:

Flight operations that are-

  • Navigation services and Air traffic
  • Oklahoma Aviation repair and care
  • Passenger and cargo services
  • emergency services and Earth treatment
  • Weather services
  • Design and building
  • Communication
  • Laws
  • Oklahoma Air Travel management

Ancillary services

  • Airline Professions- Airlines are considered as among the biggest company in sector that was economical. Individuals may believe airline professions are limited pilots and flight attendants. The scenario is completely distinct amounts of professions can be found in airline. Distinct professions can be joined by high school pupils to faculty degree holders with specialized learning Oklahoma Aviation in airline. Following are some professions in airline.Fixed-base Operator Supervisor
  • Handler
  • Representative
  • Security Representative
  • Supervisor
  • Inspector
  • Booking Sales Attendant
  • Employees
  • Machinist

Engineering Professions: Engineers play several functions in plane production. Pupils with special specialized training and college degrees can join engineering professions in Oklahoma Aviation. Following are some engineering professions in Oklahoma Aviation.

Aviator Professions: Many alternatives will also be accessible for aviators besides airlines. Second class medical certification, commercial pilot certification and specialized training are required to join Oklahoma Aviation as aviator. Airline Transport Standing and first class medical certifications can also be prerequisite to join Oklahoma Aviation as aviator for some pilot professions. Aviator professions that are distinct are offered in Oklahoma Aviation contain following-

  • Astronaut
  • Military Aviator
  • Coverage Aviator
  • Aviator

Plane Production & Care- Plane making firms assemble broad assortment of plane for example Airbus and Boeing, Pilatus, Cessna and Eclipse. These plane making firms offer many professions in care and plane making in Oklahoma Aviation sector. Working as professional in plane care & making you’ll be designing planes of tomorrow -engine private plane to plane that is enormous. Tech and exceptionally skilled engineers are permitted join this profession. While assemblers, automobile mechanics and tech have to have high school diploma school degree holders can act as engineer. Avionics specialist can also be quite demanding profession in Oklahoma Aviation. Service plane and avionics specialist installs electronic. Following is the list of significant professions accessible production & plane care.

  • Jig & Fixture Manufacturer Tool
  • Sheet Metal Manufacture
  • Assembly Setup
  • Tech & Electric Installers
  • Quality Control Tech

Authorities Professions for Oklahoma Aviation Professional- U.S. government supplies amount of chances in Oklahoma Aviation sector. Livelihood opportunities accessible authorities for Oklahoma Aviation specialist are as follows-

  • Inspector Specialist
  • Security Engineer
  • Security Engineers
  • Aerospace Manager

Wages Info for Professions in Oklahoma Aviation- Following is the typical per year salary info for some professions in Oklahoma Aviation.

Airport Professions can earn to 91,563 from $30821
Avionic specialist can bring in $70, to from $40,000 000
Aerospace and o Engineering can bring in $200, to from $24,000 000
Aviator can bring in from $27,000 to $230

Oklahoma Aviation profession is essential part of modern society. Demand for qualified professionals is growing day by day for various professions in the area of Oklahoma Aviation. Oklahoma Aviation sector offers amount of Oklahoma Aviation livelihood chances to personals with backgrounds, abilities and different interest. It depends on private interest which profession you need to join in Oklahoma Aviation sector. To become professional in any area of Oklahoma Aviation you must get any degree in the area of Oklahoma Aviation sciences. Distinct degrees from entry level to progress degree are for sale in Oklahoma Aviation.

These degrees include bachelors in Oklahoma Aviation, associate degree in Oklahoma Aviation, and masters in Oklahoma Aviation. Any degree can be earned by you according to your own demand. If you need to enter in the area of Oklahoma Aviation and are new pupil you are able to join associates degree in Oklahoma Aviation. But you need to enhance your abilities bachelors and master degree and if you’re in middle of your profession in Oklahoma Aviation is best for you. Both of these degrees update abilities and your knowledge. It is now very simple to get these degrees. You are able to go for on-line degrees in Oklahoma Aviation should you be unable to get degree in conventional mode.

Distinct top accredited online universities and schools that are on-line offer on-line degrees in Oklahoma Aviation. Online degrees accessible the area of Oklahoma Aviation comprise On-Line Masters in Oklahoma Aviation, On-Line Bachelors in Oklahoma Aviation and Online Associates in Oklahoma Aviation.

Some Great Benefits Of Braces In Oklahoma

The healthiness of your teeth cans really enhance besides enhancing the look of your smile. In Oklahoma you can be noticeable in your head more than other things, when you take into account some great benefits of wearing braces in the city. Braces enhancement from  Orthodontist Norman OK can align the look of your teeth. But did you know that they are able to do a lot more for well being and the health of the mouth area? This short article will talk about some of the advantages of braces.

They might be made up of various materials including ceramic, steel or plastic. Although it’s more typical for their sake to be glued to your own teeth throughout your therapy some braces may also be eliminated. By putting a bit of stress on the on tooth, gradually pushing them to go into the specified posture, braces work. The time frame you will use braces is determined by the seriousness of the situation. It generally runs from a few years.

Among the very obvious advantages of wearing braces is the enhanced look of your teeth. Your teeth can be correctly aligned by braces and complete differences between them. Your assurance may increase when your teeth are right. By being assured in the look of your teeth, you can be allowed to smile more. It’s been shown the more you grin, the more happy you are feeling. It is sometimes a huge relief in order to smile confidently after years of being uncomfortable about how that they appear or attempting to conceal your teeth.

The healthiness of your teeth cans really enhance besides enhancing the look of your smile. Being unable to wash them correctly often leads to rot. It could result in gum recession and use your teeth for those who have issues with your chunk. This may result in injury to teeth that are specific where the stress is the most heavy.

It may be hard or even also debilitating to chew the food in case your teeth aren’t correctly aligned. Additionally, it may hinder your capability to make presentation sounds that are appropriate. Braces help alleviate these issues and may enhance your sting. Sky Ortho have found various advantages that go beyond simply enhancing the look of your teeth.

Net Worth Benchmarks To Ensure Proper Growth Over Time

Net worth benchmarks to ensure it grows on trackWhen I was in my 20s and early 30s, my goal was to always grow my net worth faster than the S&P 500. This is easier to do the less money you have thanks to aggressive savings. Now in my 40s, my goal is to try and earn a return equal to 3X the risk-free rate of return. With the 10-year bond yield at ~2.35%, the target return is roughly 7%.

The more money you have, the more risk averse you tend to become. At least that is my experience. Further, there’s no need to swing for the fences when hitting singles and doubles can provide for a healthy lifestyle, especially if you’ve already escaped the rat race.

For example, you can invest your entire $300,000 portfolio in the S&P 500 to earn potentially $45,000 (15%) or lose $45,000 one year. Losing $45,000 is not a big deal if you’re making a decent salary and are willing to work for many more years. But if you have a $5,000,000 portfolio and are approaching retirement, shooting for a 15% return is unnecessary because if you can comfortably live off $300,000 a year, then you only need a 6% return.

Some people have tried to make me feel bad about a 10% YTD return on my public investments when the S&P 500 is up 14% YTD 2017. But given my net worth benchmark is roughly 7%, I’m happy with the returns, especially since my private investments are doing well. I was happy when my net worth was 60%+ lower five years ago, so I’m still happy today.

In this post, I’d like to review various benchmarks you can follow to gauge your net worth performance.

Benchmarks To Gauge Net Worth Performance

* The S&P 500 Index. If you live in America, the easiest and most common benchmark is comparing your portfolio’s return with the 500 largest stocks in the country. The S&P 500 represents 14 different industries, thereby thoroughly representing the economic health of our nation. Wherever you live, just use your country’s largest stock index as a benchmark.

* Risk Free Rate Of Return Times A Multiple. The risk free rate of return is the 10-year bond yield, which changes every single day.  You need to figure out a reasonable multiple on that bond yield because you are guaranteed to return the yield if you put all your money into Treasuries. What rate of return over the risk free rate (equity risk premium) do you require? My simple formula is to take the latest 10-year bond yield and multiply the figure by 3.

Historical returns of stocks and bonds

Returns of Stocks, 3 Month Treasury bond, 10 Year Treasury Bond

* Sector Specific Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs). If you work in the real estate industry and invest in REITs and homebuilders, then perhaps you should consider benchmarking your financial performance to a homebuilder ETF such as ITB, XHB, or PKB. If you work in pharma at Genentech, then consider ETFs such as PJP, IHE, XPH. If you work in finance and own your bank’s shares as part of your annual bonus, then maybe indexing yourself against XLF is a good idea. Whatever industry you are in, there is an index or an ETF for you to use.

* Consumer Price Index. The CPI is produced by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and is often maligned as an unrealistic gauge of inflation. For example, the current CPI is roughly 1.8%, but how can this be if tuition, food prices, and everything else that matters to you are soaring? The CPI should be considered the base case benchmark for everyone to beat.

* The Case/Schiller Home Price Index. The Case/Shiller Home Price Index has risen to be the authoritative benchmark for real estate performance. The Index breaks down home price growth by region. Given we’ve discovered that a lion’s share of the median net worth in America consists of property, then the Case/Shiller Index should be a relative good barometer for the median American.

Case Schiller National Home Price Index

* Hedge Fund Index. Hedge fund managers are supposed to be masters of the universe. Unfortunately, in a bull market they suck a lot of wind because of their mandate to hedge. They have absolute return goals where investors expect them to continuously make money even during recessions. One of the most widely followed hedge fund ETFs is HDG. The HDG is designed to reflect hedge fund industry performance through an equally weighted composite of over 2000 constituent funds.

Hedge Fund Index

Alternative Benchmarks To Track Performance

* Your Parents Financial Situation At Your Age. Ask your parents what their circumstances were at your age. Did they own a home? A car? What was their savings level, salary, net worth? It may be a fun exercise to have a candid financial conversation with your parents. Be sure to use an inflation multiplier to get a like-for-like comparison. It could be interesting to get some subjective thoughts about their financial situation compared to yours.

* The Neighbor You Despise. Comparing yourself to your neighbor is one of the most common, yet worst ways to compare your financial situation because you don’t really know exactly how they got their money. Whenever we see a new car in our neighbor’s driveway, it’s hard not to feel envious. We wonder whether they got a great bonus at work or in my neighbor’s case an inheritance. My neighbor is 26 years old and rides a brand new $10,000 motorbike along with a sports car because he has no living expenses living at his parent’s house. His parents travel back and forth between their two houses. He probably has an embedded net worth of $2,300,000 because he will inherit his parent’s house when they pass.

* The Average Net Worth For The Above Average Person. I firmly believe many Financial Samurai readers can and will achieve a $1,000,000 net worth by age 50 by aggressively contributing to their pre-tax retirement savings, investing an additional 20% of their after tax savings, owning a primary residence, and working on a side hustle.

Average net worth for the above average person

* The Average Net Worth Of The Top 1% By Age. If you’re really gung ho, then you might want to try and earn a top 1% income level for your age group, followed by a top 1% net worth as well. There are plenty of people who make a lot of money but blow it all due to a lack of financial discipline. Shoot for a $1,000,000 net worth by 35, $5,000,000 net worth by age 50, and $7,000,000+ net worth by age 60. These numbers are roughly 13% light because nowadays top one percent income is over $400,000 a year.

Top one percent net worth by age

* The Median Retirement Household Savings In America. If you’re feeling unmotivated, then you can always follow the mean (average) retirement account savings of American families by age based on 2013 data. The sad part of this chart is that it’s much higher than the median retirement account savings of families by age, where the median 56 – 61 year old only has $17,000 saved. I hope you guys all agree that the below figures are not very inspiring.

Mean retirement household savings by age group

Assign Meaning To Your Numbers

Having more money tends to be better than having less money. But after a certain point, more money means nothing, and can often bring about misery if too much time is spent chasing the almighty buck.

Write out your financial objectives, make a plan, track your net worth, benchmark its growth against your comparison of choice, and go about living as full a life as possible. If the numbers are good enough for your lifestyle, that’s all that matters.

Since 2012, my #1 goal has been to earn enough money from my investments and my writing to never have to work a day job again. In order to do this, I had to figure out a way to generate $200,000 a year in passive income to cover our family budget in expensive San Francisco.

Today my goal is to sustain this level for the next 22 years until our son graduates from college. This may sound daunting, but that’s the challenge I’ve set for myself!

Readers, what do you benchmark your net worth performance to? What are your main financial objectives? What other net worth benchmarks can you think of?

The post Net Worth Benchmarks To Ensure Proper Growth Over Time appeared first on Financial Samurai.

Your Chances Of Becoming A Millionaire By Race, Age, And Education

Your chance at becoming a millionaire by race, age, educational attainmentA million bucks! What a dream. Once you have the cash you can promptly fly to Macau, bet it on black and turn it into $2 million! Or, you can lose it all and spend the rest of your remaining years wondering what were you thinking.

Getting to at least one million dollars in net worth is a nice milestone to achieve. I firmly believe the majority of people reading Financial Samurai and other personal finance sites which don’t hawk credit cards will be able to achieve millionaire status.

If I were to guess the exact percentage of Financial Samurai readers who become millionaires in their lifetimes, I would say 65%. It doesn’t sound like a huge amount until you read the data below. For the remaining 35%, you’ll have more money than if you hadn’t started reading personal finance sites.

Since 2009 I’ve received dozens of e-mails from readers saying they’ve busted through the $1 million net worth figure thanks to aggressive saving and investing. Many have mentioned they wish they had discovered the personal finance world sooner. But better late than never I say!

So what about the rest of the 300+ million Americans who were fortunate enough to be born or gain citizenship to our great country? What are their chances of living the champagne dream and caviar lifestyle?

(audio version)

How Many Millionaires Are There In America?

According to Spectrem Group’s Market Insights Report 2017, in 2016, there were 9.4 million individuals with net worth between $1 million and $5 million, 1.3 million individuals with net worth between $5 million and $25 million, and 156,000 individuals with more than $25 million in net worth, the report says.

In other words, there are roughly 11 million millionaires in America. This count is at a record high thanks to a bull market in stocks, bonds, and real estate. Although 11 million sounds like a lot, it still only accounts for roughly 3.5% of the US population.

But if you happen to be born into one of the 11 million millionaire families, then the chances are extremely high you will also become a millionaire thanks to an inheritance or a living trust. With all the resources money can buy, you should have a greater chance of generating more wealth than the kids born into non-millionaire households.

Related: A Massive Generational Wealth Transfer Is Why Everything Will Be OK

So I began to wonder what the data says about the average American’s chance of becoming a millionaire. Luckily for us, Bloomberg has compiled three highly insightful charts based on Federal Reserve data which I’d like to show you today.

Chance Of Becoming A Millionaire By Educational Attainment

Odds of being a millionaire by education

The chart says that the more education you receive, the higher your chance of becoming a millionaire across all races. Makes sense since high paying jobs often require higher levels of education e.g. lawyer, doctor, executive management, and scientist. The chart says that for Asians with a Bachelors degree, the probability of millionaire status is roughly 17%. For Hispanics with a Master’s degree, the chance for millionaire status is roughly 11%.

The statistic that jumps out the most is the 37% probability a White person with a Master’s degree becomes a millionaire. 37% looks incredibly high compared to every other percentage in the chart. If I was a White person, a Master’s degree is exactly what I’d get. Just not one in History or Journalism.

What I’m also surprised about is the low level of probability for Hispanics and Blacks to become millionaires even with a Master’s degree. You’d think that by the time you get to the Master’s level for education that the people and institutions you hang around with would provide very similar financial and career opportunities for all types. But with Blacks with Master’s degrees only having a 7% chance of becoming a millionaire compared to a 37% chance for Whites, something seems very wrong.

The Chance Of Being A Millionaire By Age

Odds of being a millionaire by age

Everybody’s chance to become a millionaire improves up until the age of 61. But after 61, the chance for Hispanics and Blacks to become millionaires declines. It’s interesting to see the slopes for Asians and Whites are much steeper, which probably indicates there is a higher representation of Asians and Whites in higher paying industries.

Given investments tend to appreciate over time, their performance is independent of age, even if you are over 61 years old. Therefore, one my hypothesize that Asians and Whites make up a greater representation of investors in stocks, bonds, and real estate.

The slope difference between races is why there’s been such a rally cry for Hispanic and Black diversity in industries such as tech and finance. Humans tend to take care of their own. So if all Google has are White people as managers, it will be harder for non-Whites to get ahead.

But I’ve noticed there’s only an uproar for a lack of diversity at higher paying companies and industries. No uproar can be heard in grade school teaching where the majority of teachers are female (I’m a high school tennis coach). There is also no uproar about diversity in the military, where the majority of service people are male.

Hopefully those who fight for diversity are willing to fight for diversity across the board, not just at places which pay the most money.

Your Chance Of Being A Millionaire By Race

Odds of being a millionaire by race

Putting everything together, the Fed data says Asians have the highest odds for becoming millionaires, which I find odd since Asians are a minority that represent roughly 5% of the American population. Asians still face discrimination just like Hispanics and Blacks. Meanwhile, it seems like test score requirements are higher for Asians to have the same chance of admittance at certain colleges.

Perhaps its easier to mobilize a smaller population to heavily invest in their future, as is the case with Singapore and its 5.6 million population with a $53,000 per capita GDP versus trying to mobilize a 1.4 billion China population with a per capita GDP of only $8,100.

Here are some personal insights on why Asian income and wealth is so high.

In an ideal world, it would be wonderful if everybody could have an equal chance to become a millionaire by race, by age, and by education attainment. Unfortunately, the system is rigged. It’s up to us to proactively enrich our minds with knowledge that can help us grow our wealth.

Do You Like Your Odds Of Becoming A Millionaire?

The odds of becoming a millionaire in America are 6.4% to 22.3% according to data from the Federal Reserve Board’s Survey of Consumer Finances. I’d gladly take those odds over trying to become a millionaire in any other country. I bet the odds of becoming a millionaire if you were born in Zambia, where I used to live for one year, is less than 1% because their GDP per capita is only $3,900, or 1/9th the GDP per capita in the US.

But going back to my original thesis, I feel that at least 65% of you who constantly read personal finance sites have a chance of becoming a millionaire in your lifetime. 65% didn’t sound like much in the intro, but now you know that it’s 3X higher than the highest chance anybody has of becoming a millionaire in America.

Personal finance sites do a lot of things, but most of all, they make you pay attention to your finances. As soon as you have heightened awareness about how much you are saving, what you are investing in, your net worth asset allocation, and your retirement plan, it’s only natural to generate more wealth than the typical person who is financially unaware.

If you put away just $350 a month and earn 6% a year, you will become a millionaire in 46 years. If you decide to wisely max out your 401k at $1,500 a month and earn 7.5% a year, you will become a millionaire in just 22 years. And if you decide to max out your 401k and invest another $1,000 in after-tax proceeds a month, you will become a millionaire in just 17 years if you earn 7.5% a year.

If you don’t like your millionaire odds, change them! Believe that becoming a millionaire is highly possible in your lifetime. And once you feel you’re on track to get to $1 million, you might as well shoot for $3 million due to inflation.

Note: There is a poll embedded within this post, please visit the site to participate in this post’s poll.

Related: The First Million Might Be The Easiest

Readers, what do you think your chance of becoming a millionaire in your lifetime is? Why do you think there’s such a huge percentage difference between races for those who get Master’s degrees? With the bull market making so many people rich, do you think more people will be inclined to aggressively save and invest as a result?

Intro graphic by

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Financial Samurai 3Q 2017 Investment Recap: Redeploying Capital

Financial Samurai Quarterly Investment Review3Q 2017 was a complete blur. After selling my rental house in June, I was mentally exhausted and decided to do a whole lot of nothing except try and be a good father and continue writing on Financial Samurai. The feeling was kind of like wanting to just sleep in after taking a final exam.

Having a lot of cash all at once is actually kind of stressful. Because I don’t want to lose out on gains in a bull market, I’m anxious to put money to work. At the same time, since the absolute figure is much larger than I’m used to, I’m afraid any rash investment decisions might lead to regrettable losses.

Out of the ~$1,800,000 in proceeds, I reinvested ~$935,000 as detailed in my post: Ideas For Reinvesting Proceeds After A Home Sale. Then I invested an additional $174,872 in new money.

This post may provide insights into helping wary investors redeploy a large windfall and setting up an investing system during a bull market.

My 3Q investment objectives were the following:

* Redeploy ~50% of house sale proceeds with an overall return objective of 10% a year

* Keep the remaining proceeds liquid in order to have enough ammunition to buy a cheaper house with ocean views if an opportunity arises

* Buy the dips in the stock market to bring exposure weighting up by 5%

* Read perma-bearish websites to have a well-rounded perspective since I’ve been relatively bullish for so long

* Reduce wage income for the rest of the year to reduce taxes given the home sale

(audio version of post with some added nuance)

3Q2017 Investment Review

Financial Samurai 3Q 2017 Investment Recap

Total July Investment: $317,580

Stocks: $82,000

$29,000 in large cap tech names

$20,000 in son’s 529 plan (a 18-year target date fund that’s essentially 95% stocks, 5% bonds)

$33,000 in an S&P 500 index fund

Bonds: $235,000 in various California muni bonds with YTM of 3.7% – 3.85%

Mortgage Pay Down: $580

$580 Lake Tahoe vacation property (I automatically pay $580 more a month)

Comment: After paying off $815,000 in mortgage debt in June, I wasn’t motivated to pay more debt down. Instead, I focused on building a California municipal bond portfolio for low risk and high certainty. I didn’t expect to invest as much as I did in stocks, but there was a sell-off in the beginning of the month that tempted me to deploy capital. 

3Q2017 S&P 500 Performance

S&P 500 had a dip in early July and was very volatile in August

August Recap: $537,403

Stocks: $92,000

$42,000 in the S&P 500 index fund

$15,000 in my son’s 529 plan

$35,000 in various large cap tech names

Bonds: $234,111 in various individual CA zero coupon muni bonds with YTMs of ~3.85%

Venture Debt: $72,712 in second venture debt fund

Mortgage Pay Down: $13,580

$12,000 to Squaw Vacation Property

$1,580 to Golden Gate Heights primary

Real Estate Crowdfunding: $125,000

The RealtyShares DME fund invested $600,000 in a preferred equity investment in Vernazza Apartments, a 168-unit garden-style apartment complex in Las Vegas, NV, only 3.5 miles from the Las Vegas Strip, 4.5 miles from McCarren International Airport and 8 miles from downtown Las Vegas.

3Q2017 10 Year Treasury Yield Performance

Bonds prices were rising until August, and then reversed course hence the higher yield

Comment: There were multiple sell-offs in the stock market in August, which made me invest more heavily in stocks than I normally do. Although I’m not excited about stocks, I decided to hold my nose and focus on asset allocation since I’m ~5% below my target equities allocation of 25% of net worth. I focus on tech and the S&P 500 b/c my rental house was a derivative play on tech.

I slowed my municipal bond purchases because the 10-year bond yield edged down to about 2.15%, which made yields unattractive. If the 10-year bond yield gets back to 2.5%, I will be aggressively buying again.

My b-school classmate launched his second venture debt fund, so I decided to invest $200,000, of which $72,712 was called in August. The first fund has returned about 12.5% a year for the past three years, with one year left to go.  

I’m not fond of the multi-unit Las Vegas residential property by RealtyShares, despite the sponsor putting up $3.5M and this being a preferred equity deal. I’ll be publishing a detailed post about this deal in an upcoming post. Recall that I’m trying to diversify away from expensive coastal city properties and cities like Las Vegas, where prices are much more susceptible during a downturn. Instead, I’m much more interested in the heartland. At least there’s no state income tax in Nevada, which will therefore suffer less if state income tax deductions go away under the Trump tax plan. 

September Recap: $254,889

Stocks: $46,000

$15,000 in an S&P 500 structured note with a 15% buffer and 100% upside participation

$31,000 in an S&P 500 index ETF

Bonds: $74,116

$74,116 in an individual CA muni bond yielding 3.25%

Mortgage Pay Down: $9,773

$7,773 to Lake Tahoe Vacation property

$2,000 to Golden Gate Heights primary residence

Real Estate Crowdfunding: $125,000

The RealtyShares DME Fund approved an investment up to $825,000 common equity investment in River Ranch Apartments, a 104-unit multifamily community located in Canyon Lake, TX. The property is centrally located between Austin and San Antonio (an equidistant 1-hour drive from the CBD’s of both cities) and just minutes from New Braunfels and Interstate 35, providing access to major employment hubs. The property was built over two phases in 2011 and 2017 and features Class A construction, with amenities including a swimming pool, fitness center, laundry facility, BBQ/picnic area and covered parking.

River Ranch Apartments at Canyon Lake, Texas RealtyShares deal

Comment: Nothing looked good in September. It was only in the last week of September that I invested some money in the stock and bond market due to small pullbacks. There’s now excitement about Trump’s tax cut plan, which boosts earnings for large corporations, its shareholders and small business owners. If tax cuts pass, public companies are trading at ~10% cheaper valuations than current forecasts. Further, my online media business’s bottom line might increase by 5% – 10%. 

The 10-year bond yield climbed back to 2.35%, but still not high enough for me to get excited about putting significant money to work.

The RealtyShares domestic market equity fund bought another property in Texas, which is what I want them to continue doing. Now I’ve got exposure in Houston, San Antonio, and Dallas. The latest is a three year deal with a target 16.3% sounds good. But to be conservative, I’m modeling an 8% IRR instead. 

3Q2017 Investment Total: $1,109,872

Remaining cash balance: $1,090,000

Concluding Thoughts

The reason why I continue to hoard so much cash is because I’m addicted to owning physical property, even though being a landlord pains me to no end. I was going to offer $1,500,000 for a fixer, but the agent said don’t bother. It ended up selling for $1,700,000 after being listed for $1,300,000. I was going to offer $1,600,000 full ask for a house if they agreed to cancel their upcoming shows, but the agent declined and the house also sold for $1,700,000.

I keep going back and forth with whether I should just buy a $1,700,000 house that may be worth $2,000,000 three years from now. It’s a lot of money, but it’s $1,040,000 less in SF housing exposure than I had before I sold my rental. But every time I write up an electronic offer, I start to dread having to hire contractors and eventually find tenants. As a result, I’ve motivated myself to try and earn an extra $100,000 a year in business income instead.

For the rest of the year, I plan to continue buying the S&P 500 any time it corrects by 1% or more up to $100,000 each time. If the 10-year yield gets to 2.5%, I will invest an additional $250,000 – $500,000 in bonds. Finally, I’m having dinner with three people in October from the RealtyShares investment committee and will ask them to explain their investment rationale in a couple existing projects and hear what they have to say about future investment plans.

If no corrections occur, I’ll just continue to invest at least $10,000 a month in each asset class and hold the rest in cash just in case a sweet house pops up or a big correction comes along.

Finally, I ran my investments through Personal Capital’s Investment Checkup feature to see how I was doing and also analyze my current investment asset allocation compared to their recommendations based on my profile.

According to the chart below, my public investments are up 9.78% YTD, which is underperforming the S&P 500 by 3.9% and outperforming the US Bond index by 6.74%. I’m happy with the results so far, because I’m shooting for a 10% annual return with my new investments, and a 4-6% annual return in my overall net worth. Because I reached my target retirement figure in 2012, it almost feels like any gains since is a bonus.

What my You Index doesn’t capture are the returns from my physical real estate, real estate crowdfunding, and online business. The online business has fortunately been my best performing asset this year.

Financial Samurai Investment Performance

Here is a chart highlighting my current public investment allocation versus Personal Capital’s recommended investment allocation based on my financial objectives. The 16.6% weighting in Unclassified are manual entries of my private fund investments in venture debt, private equity, and real estate crowdfunding. Therefore, my Alternatives weighting is closer to 17%. Because I just sold my house, my cash portion is much higher than recommended.

Personal Capital Investment Allocation Recommendation

Overall, I’m quite happy with my investment allocation in the current environment. You can find your custom Personal Capital Investment Checkup under Planning -> Investment Checkup to see if your investments are matched up with your financial objectives.

Readers, how did you invest in 3Q and what are you expecting for the remainder of the year? Will this bull market ever end? Disclaimer: Unless you are me, or your finances and risk tolerance are exactly like mine, don’t invest like me. Graphic by

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Career Or Family? You Only Need To Sacrifice For 5 Years At Most

Career or family? You only have to give up 2 - 5 years of your life.It’s impossible to be a great parent and a great employee or entrepreneur at the same time. Something has to give don’t you think? I’m sure some of you are disagreeing since you’ve done a wonderful job doing both. But unless you believe being a great parent includes being away from home for 12 hours a day while your little one gets ignored at a daycare facility, we’ve got different definitions.

And if you’re rich, hiring a nanny to take care of your kids while you pursue making even more money you don’t need doesn’t count as great parenting either. At least if you’re not rich, you’ve got an excuse to go to work!

Before every parent reading this post gets too pissed off, let me acknowledge we don’t need to be great at both parenting and work. Being good is generally good enough. But if you want to try to be great at either your career or at parenting, then it’s often beneficial to go ALL-IN.

Time As The One Constant For Parenting

This is not a post about how to be a great parent because unlike work, parenting is very subjective. There are no titles or pay increases, only endless care you must provide in hopes that your child enjoys their youth, learns new things, and grows up to be a good person.

I have zero credibility with regards to teaching others how to be good parents given my < 1 year of experience. So I won’t try. All I can hypothesize is that the more time we spend with our children, the higher likelihood that we may become better parents, all else being equal.

Spending more time with your child makes you keenly aware of your child’s unique needs. As a full-time parent, you end up morphing into a pediatrician, physical therapist, visual therapist, and occupational therapist all-in-one to ensure your baby is getting everything he or she needs.

Therefore, we can set up a loose parental ranking system based on time:

1) Both partners stay at home to raise their child, while both partners have activities to demonstrate work ethic.

2) One partner stays at home and has help from a relative, nanny, fellow parent, or friend.

3) Both partners go to work, leaving their child with a close relative like a grandparent.

4) Both partners go to work, leaving the child with a daycare provider.

5) Both partners have incredibly busy jobs that require constant travel for days or weeks at a time.

6) A single parent who is never home and is strung out on drugs.

You can be a good parent in any of the above scenarios except for the last one. But even if you find yourself in scenario 1 or 2, you won’t necessarily become a great parent. At the end of the day, you can only try your best and make the most of your current situation.

The 2 – 5 Year Rule For Parenting

How babies process foodBefore I became a father, I already suspected I couldn’t become a great dad if I continued to work 60+ hours a week in banking. I had spoken to plenty of 60+ hours week colleagues who lamented to never having seen their kids grow up. Many parents, especially working mothers, also told me they felt a tremendous amount of guilt being at the office all day.

When I asked why wouldn’t they just take a break from work, they always said they couldn’t quit the money. It wasn’t just the people from banking who said this. The same refrain was echoed by the people from private equity, venture capital, management consulting, and technology. Despite the good pay, there are plenty of miserable folks.

Because I recognized my inability to simultaneously give my best to both work and fatherhood, in 2010, when I was 33 years old, I started to seriously plan for a career transition. It was one year after I had started Financial Samurai and already I could see its potential to one day free me from corporate bondage.

The whole idea was to have something to do at home while taking care of our little one together with my wife, who would ultimately join me in early retirement. Since time spent with your baby/toddler is a key variable for being a good parent, having two stay at home parents seemed better than having just one.

Dilemma: For years, I thought the best solution was to forsake my career and focus on being a good father. This is one of the reasons why I waited so long before deciding to have kids. I felt I needed to save way more money than I realized because I was never going back to work. I regret having waited so long.

Solution: What I now realize is that if you want to be a great parent, it doesn’t have to be an all or nothing proposition. Instead, all you really have to do is give up at most five years of your career to make things happen.

Why Five Years?

Age five is when most kids start going to kindergarten. Once they’re in kindergarten, you no longer have to spend all day with them. Given you now only have to drop them off and pick them up, you’re welcome to go back to the salt mines.

If you feel five years is too long of a period to be out of the workforce, you only have to give up your career for two years because age two is usually the earliest kids can attend pre-school. A pre-school day lasts between 3-9 hours, but it’s usually recommended not to leave your kid in pre-school for longer than six hours or else they’ll be too tired, too cranky, or too homesick. The only hitch is that pre-school is usually only two or three days a week.

If you don’t have kids, you probably won’t be thinking about these timelines because you’ve got so many other things to think about. We were thinking about things like buying the right home, remodeling, getting a safer family car, life insurance, taking pre-natal vitamins, proper feeding, right size diapers, doctor visits, and more.

But if you know you’ll only have to be out of the workforce for 2-5 years maximum, you won’t have to save and invest as much. You’ll also be able to be more confident having kids earlier, which may make it easier on the mother’s body and safer for the well-being of both mother and baby.

If you exit the workforce for 2-5 years at a younger age, you’ll correspondingly be that much younger when you restart your career. After all, many people who stop work and go to graduate school for 1-2 years seem to have no problem finding work again.

Balance For Everything

Good parenting instructionsI know some of you are thinking I overanalyze things. Millions of people just wing it all the time and are fine. Well maybe not, since there are so many messed up kids and divorces. But this article isn’t for me since I’m already a father who doesn’t plan to go back to work again.

This article is for those of you who are considering when is the right time to have a kid, how will having kids disrupt your career, how much you need to work, save, and invest to ensure your family is taken care of, and for those who want to be the best parent possible.

I wish someone clearly explained to me the 2-5 year timeframe during my most gungho career days. I would have been much more serious about trying to start a family when I was 32, instead of trying at age 36-37.

Being a full-time parent rivals the toughest jobs in the world. You need a tremendous amount of patience, endurance, and calmness about you because there is no reasoning with a baby/toddler. At any moment, she could injure herself or die. I would say in comparison, most jobs are a walk in the park compared to taking care of a baby/toddler. No wonder why so many parents can’t wait to get back to work after their parental leave is over!

Now that I’ve spent over six months being a stay at home dad, I can unequivocally tell you that it was the best time spent. I wouldn’t trade any amount of money to not have that time with him. They grow up so fast. Once that time is over, you can never get it back.

Related: Financial DEpendence Is The Worst: Why Each Spouse Should Have Their Own Money

Readers, how do you balance career and family? Why don’t more people give up 2-5 years of their working life to spend more time with their babies? Is money too hard to quit? What is the best parenting advice you got or can give?

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The Only Scenarios Where Repeated Failure Is An Option

(audio version)

On the way back from a tennis tournament I listened to a TED Radio Hour episode called, Failure Is An Option. My hope was to learn some new perspectives about why failure is OK so we can get enough courage and motivation to try, try again. After all, I’ve been through more failures than I’d like to admit.

Guy Raz, the host, featured a man named Astro Teller who heads up Google’s X division. He calls himself, “Captain Of Moonshots,” to remind himself and his team to always think big. The X division is a highly secretive division within Google that tries to come up with revolutionary devices and applications. They are the 1% within the 1% of people who get a job at Google.

With a PhD in Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University and a BS and MS in Computer Science from Stanford University, Dr. Teller is a well educated man. On the podcast, he proudly explains that his employees get bonuses for presenting their failures on stage. The bigger their failures, the bigger their bonuses and the more they celebrate because it means they went for huge wins.

I was waiting for the hook to help us regular folks get more comfortable with failure. But unfortunately, it never came! Guy moved on to the next guest after a word from his sponsors.

What Dr. Teller and Guy are essentially saying is this: if you work at a company with unlimited resources ($90+ billion in cash), you should always dream big. You have no downside because not only are you working in a department that has been green-lighted to create audacious new things, even if you fail, it’s not your own money you’re wasting!

Once I realized there were no pearls of wisdom to learn from Dr. Teller’s guest spot, I began to think about scenarios where taking big risks should be a given for the rest of us.

Big Risk Scenarios

1) When you’re born into a rich family. Before William Gates III was born, he asked God if he could be born to William Gates Sr. and Mary Maxwell. His dad was a prominent lawyer, and Mary served on the board of directors for First Interstate BancSystem and the United Way. Gates’ maternal grandfather was JW Maxwell, a national bank president. Gates III knew that with money and connections, he stood a better chance at getting into Harvard. Further, knowing that his parents were rich, he knew that there was no downside to dropping out of Harvard and starting Microsoft. Thanks to his success, he set up the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to give back their fortune. I’d say this was a great deal for everybody involved.

2) When you’re not spending your own money. Why are Congressmen and women OK with a government shutdown? Because they still get paid even though everybody else doesn’t. Why do people vote to raise taxes on other people? Oftentimes it’s because they don’t have to pay higher taxes themselves. When you have the ability to risk other people’s money for your own dreams, you should press hard!

The most common example of using other people’s money for your own benefit is when you borrow money to buy property. If the property market rises, you get all the spoils while the lender only gets a tiny interest rate in return. If the property market tanks, you can hand over the keys and walk away in a number of non-recourse states. Many people did this during the 2008-2009 financial crisis, screwing the rest of us who stayed true to our contracts.

Another great example where failure is OK is if you raise money for a startup. There’s less of a need to focus on profitability when you burn someone else’s money. Heck, a couple startup founders of a company called Secret sold several million dollars worth of stock to their VC investors and then decided to shut the company down six months later! Because most startups fail, it’s often wise to raise as much money as possible so you can have as good of a time as possible while your startup is still alive. If your startup succeeds, everybody wins. If your startup fails, it ain’t your money.

A final example is if you get really lucky in an investment or at the casino. In 2000 I knew VCSY going from $3 to $165 within six months was unsustainable, so I took profits at $156 and bought some risky B2B stocks. After losing about 10% within a couple weeks, I cut my losses, held cash, and after a while bought a condo in San Francisco. Taking on a $400,000+ mortgage seemed risky at the time, but I figured I had a $150,000 buffer thanks to the profits made from VCSY.

3) When life has already passed you by. If you’ve already had a go at climbing up the corporate ladder or starting a business, people are more accepting of your failures if you decide to try something new. Age gives you more respect amongst your peers, for the simple fact that you have more experience.

At 40 years old, my time for success is over. I don’t crave it nor do I care to make a name for myself anymore compared to when I was in my 20s and early 30s. Now it’s just about spending time with family. But if I were to try to start something new and fail, because of my situation, I don’t think anybody would really care.

4) When you have a working spouse with no dependents. Life is easier when you have a partner you trust. If you’re in a rut, it may be worth trying something new, especially if your partner has a steady job that includes healthcare benefits for you. No need for both partners to be miserable at work!

Besides negotiating a severance, building passive income, and having some online income back in 2011-2012, knowing that my wife wanted to continue working for at least a couple more years helped give me confidence to leave a well-paying job to focus on Financial Samurai. We made a pact that she could also engineer her layoff when she turned 34, which she did two years later.

I’m not sure if I would have left my job in 2012 if we had had a baby. Having a baby kicks your sense of responsibility into overdrive. You also become much more risk averse. Even with a child, however, I’m inclined to think I definitely would have left my job by 2015. But as I left my job in 2012 and child was born in 2017, I’ll never know for sure.

Don’t Underestimate Your Abilities

By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail. – Benjamin Franklin

Repeated failure is OK if you work at Google X or find yourself in one of the above scenarios. But in any other situation, I’m not sure if taking excessive risk is worth it. At some point, in order to survive, you’ve got to accept your situation and do the mundane.

It may sound depressing to do the same soul-less thing over and over again for the rest of your life. That’s what most Americans do until 61. So let me say clearly that even if you had all the education and money in the world, life may not be better. Therefore, you might as well take some risks now.

Imagine if you had a Bachelor’s degree, a Masters degree, and a PhD in computer science. Imagine if you had a team of a hundred people all with similar academic credentials tasked with creating the most innovative product known to man. Imagine if you had an unlimited budget and could not fail.

What on Earth would you create? Maybe a commercial flying car? An agricultural tool to 10X the output of wheat? Or perhaps a device to help the visually impaired to see 20/20 or better?

Nope. Over the past seven years, the team at Google X has created none of these things. Instead, they’ve come up with this thing called Google Glass.

Google Glass Is Dumb

Do you see anybody wearing Google Glass today? Of course not, because they’ve all been punched in the face by folks who don’t like others taking creep shots of them.

For all of you who didn’t spend hundreds of millions of dollars and years of your life creating Google Glass, well done! Maybe doing what you’ve always been doing isn’t so bad after all. Or maybe, you don’t need credentials or permission from anybody to try something new.

Readers, when is repeated failure OK? Why do you think people with brilliant minds and unlimited resources haven’t come up with anything better for us regular folk?

In an upcoming post, I’ll be featuring stories about the 97% – 99% of folks who don’t take action to improve a bad situation. If you’re one of them, perhaps you can share your reasons why. Stories can be from getting out of a bad marriage, leaving a terrible job, getting in shape, starting a business, etc.

The post The Only Scenarios Where Repeated Failure Is An Option appeared first on Financial Samurai.

What Age Do Most People Retire In America?

Given many Americans are in a difficult financial situation with only $17,000 in retirement savings for those between the age of 56 and 61 according to the Economic Policy Institute, you’d think most Americans are never going to retire.

The reality, however, is 69% of Americans are out of the full-time workforce by age 66. And roughly 51% hang up their boots between the ages of 61 and 65 according to LIMRA, the Life Insurance and Market Research Association. By age 75, 89% of Americans have left the labor force.

It surprises me that less than 1% of Americans retire before age 50. With the way the Financial Independence Retire Early (FIRE) movement has taken off, as well as the rise of freelance work, you’d think the percentage would be higher.

What age do most people retire in America?

Not sure why they have two “Age 50-54” groups

How Are Retirees Able To Survive?

LIMRA estimates the average American household has about $253,200. But most of that is owned by the wealthy. The median holding is just $17,500, which matches up well with the Economic Policy Institute’s estimate of $17,000 (from 2013). 75% of Americans have less than $100,000 saved.

Percentage of wealth ownership by decile

The top 10% own 77.1% of all wealth

The reason why most Americans are able to retire by 66 despite so little wealth is due to Social Security, a traditional pension, and retirement work plans. LIMRA reports that some 41% of retirees have annual income less than $25,000. Of retirees with income over $50,000 a year, about 80% draw from a pension or retirement plan.

Unfortunately, virtually nobody under 40 is going to have a traditional pension any more. And even if there was such a thing as a pension, with the typical American changing jobs every three years, there’s no way today’s workers will stay long enough to ever collect.

Therefore, the focus on retirement savings needs to be on maxing out a 401K, an IRA, and other pre-tax retirement plans while also saving additional money in after-tax investment accounts. Just in case there’s a job change, a need for liquidity, or the desire to retire before the 10% early withdrawal penalty goes away, having a robust after-tax investment portfolio is a wise move.

For added security, it’s wise to build even multiple income streams to reduce concentration risk. There’s not one person I know who retired before the age of 50 who doesn’t have at least three income streams beyond a traditional retirement plan.

See: Ranking The Best Passive Income Investments

Median retirement account savings by age group

Part-Time Work As A Supplement

Despite the anemic retirement income figures, the gig economy enables millions of Americans to work part-time and supplement or replace a full-time income source. I’m pretty sure if all went to hell, I could earn at least $50,000 a year driving for Lyft, assembling furniture for Task Rabbit, and being the friendliest greeter at Walmart. But then, by working 50+ hours a week, I wouldn’t really be retired.

Number of part-time workers in America

Part-time work is a double-edged sword

The key to surviving retirement on a low income is owning a home debt free and having sufficient medical coverage. With health and living expenses taken care of, surviving off just $2,000 a month, while challenging, is doable. If you’re fortunate enough to have children who call you back, they might even come to your rescue if things get too difficult.

Although I left full-time work at age 34, I’ve never stopped working. I think this is true for most early retirees. Your focus simply shifts from something you’re sick of doing to something that’s much more interesting. If you’re lucky enough to love what you do, then by all means work until the very end!

Related Posts:

The Dark Side Of Early Retirement

What Does Early Retirement Feel Like? The Positives And Negatives

The Fear Of Running Out Of Money In Retirement Is Overblown

The Best States For Retirement

Readers, what age did you retire? What is your ideal retirement age? Are you surprised so few people retire before the age of 50?

The post What Age Do Most People Retire In America? appeared first on Financial Samurai.

The Real Estate Investing Rule To Follow: Buy Utility, Rent Luxury

Rent Luxury, Buy Utility as a real estate investorPart of the reason why I bought a smaller house in 2014 was because I wasn’t willing to rent my own house for the market price at that time of ~$8,500/month. The price to rent my house had grown from about $5,000/month when I first bought it in 2005. If I had a couple kids and a penchant for throwing tons of money away on rent, then maybe I would have stayed.

To optimize my finances, I figured the best thing to do was to buy a new house more suitable to my house-spending desires (~$5,000/month max) and rent out my old house at market to those willing to pay $8,500/month in rent. This way, economic waste is eliminated, and everybody is happy.

Conduct the same mental exercise with your existing home. If you haven’t rented in a while, you may be surprised by how much your primary residence can command for rent in the open market. The cost of living in your home isn’t the actual money you are spending to live there. The actual cost is the opportunity cost of not renting it out at market rate.

Let me share with you why it’s important to follow the real estate investment rule of Buy Utility, Rent Luxury (BURL) if you want to maximize your lifestyle and your net worth.

Buy Utility, Rent Luxury (BURL)

A common rule a savvy real estate investor follows is to pay no more than 100X the monthly rent as the purchase price. In my example, an investor wouldn’t pay more than $900,000 for my now $9,000 a month rental house.

That said, it’s IMPOSSIBLE to follow this rule when buying in expensive cities such as New York, San Diego, LA, and San Francisco. Even finding properties priced at 150X monthly rent is extremely difficult to find. Why? Because there is excess demand looking to buy property for lifestyle and capital appreciation. Housing becomes more than just basic living expenses, it becomes a luxury option. A Honda Civic takes you around just fine, but some people like to buy classic Ferraris.

I’ve chosen to live and remain in San Francisco because I believe it offers a great combination of wealth creation and lifestyle. The average temperature is in the low 60s, six-figure jobs are a dime a dozen, consulting opportunities are endless, it’s picturesque, the food is amazing, there’s tremendous diversity, and there are plenty of outdoor activities thanks to the topography. San Francisco is amazing, which is why it’s so expensive.

I’d love living in Hawaii, but it lacks a robust domestic economy. With tourism as its main industry, the economy is subject to the whims of others. Unless you are a doctor, lawyer, or entrepreneur in Honolulu, there just aren’t many six-figure jobs. You need to already be rich or have a location independent business to comfortably afford a sweet home.

Rent Luxury Example

Rent Luxury, Buy Utility

Rent this

Although spending $9,000/month ($108,000 a year) on rent sounds expensive, it’s actually good value since you need to spend roughly 303X the monthly rent (25.25X annual rent) to buy my house at market price ~$2.7M. The 100X – 150X monthly rent rule gets blown out of the water.

Even if you owned the $2.7M home outright, you’d still have to pay $33,000 a year in property taxes ($2.7M X 1.2%), $2,500 a year in insurance, and around $5,000 a year in maintenance costs. Meanwhile, your $2.7M could earn a 2.5% annual rate of return risk-free = $68,500 for a total cost of roughly $109,000 if you had no mortgage. 

But the reality is that most homebuyers only put down 20%. Let’s say a buyer put down 27% and got a $2M mortgage at a 3.5% interest rate. His annual mortgage interest cost would be $70,000 on top of $33,000 in property taxes, $2,500 in insurance, $5,000 in maintenance = $110,500. Then you must bake in the opportunity cost of not getting a 2.5% risk-free return on the $700K and you get $17,500. The total gross cost of ownership is therefore $110,500 + $17,500 = $127,500 after putting 20% down. 

Obviously, renting for “only” $108,000 a year versus owning for $127,500 a year is a financially cheaper option if you don’t include the tax benefits, not to mention the benefits of less maintenance stress. The only way the owner comes out ahead is through principal appreciation and tax deductions. The problem most people have is coming up with the 20% downpayment. Meanwhile, getting approved for a mortgage is much more difficult post financial crisis.

Buy Utility Example

Buy Utility, a Raymondvilla, Texas lovely home

Buy this

Now let’s look at Midwest properties. There are actually $100,000 properties that can earn you $1,000 a month in rent. An $80,000 mortgage at 3.5% after putting down $20,000 only costs the homeowner $359.24/month or $4,310.88 a year. Add on $200 a year in property taxes, $1,000 a year in maintenance, and $500 a year in opportunity cost for not earning a 2.5% risk-free return on the $20,000 downpayment costs only $6,010/year to own compared to $12,000 a year to rent.

If you live in the Midwest, you need to be a buyer of real estate since it’s cheaper and you can cash flow immediately. Capital appreciation is slow compared to coastal city property, but that’s OK because the income generation is so much higher if you begin to accumulate rentals.

So why doesn’t everybody just buy all the Midwest property they can? It’s partly because many people in the past believed that in order to buy Midwest property, you had to live in the Midwest. It’s natural to want to be able to see and manage the property you want to own. Given half the country lives in the coastal cities, half the country focuses on accumulating coastal city real estate. But now, you can surgically buy specific Midwest property through real estate crowdfunding, which is why I’m so bullish on the space. This is financial arbitrage at its finest.

The solution for half the population living in expensive coastal cities such as SF, NYC, LA, San Diego, Boston, Washington D.C. and Honolulu is to therefore rent where you are and buy in the Midwest and South to maximize income and net worth.

What Determines Luxury And Utility?

We can qualitatively say without prejudice that coastal city living can be considered Luxury living while non-coastal city living can be considered Utility living. Who doesn’t want to be near the ocean, see the ocean, fly direct to other countries, eat a wide assortment of food, be constantly entertained, and take advantage of the highest concentration of job opportunities? There’s a reason why expensive cities are expensive.

But of course, non-coastal city people will balk at this classification given there’s so much non-coastal city living has to offer too. There’s something great to be said about a slower pace of living, much lower costs, and lots of space. We’re all biased for where we currently live or where we come from. Therefore, the easiest solution to determining what defines Luxury and Utility is to utilize objective math.

According to data compiled by Zillow, the national Median Price to Rent Ratio is around 11.44 (see dotted horizontal line below). Therefore, we can say the higher a property is valued above 11.44X annual gross rent, the more it is considered Luxury and vice versa.

If we use one standard deviation to determine the Luxury and Utility Median Price to Rent Ratio, the breakpoints are roughly 13.3X and above for Luxury and 9.6X and lower for Utility. In other words, roughly 68% of homes in America trade within 9.6X – 13.3X annual gross rent, which makes renting or owning a wash.

As you can see from the chart, San Francisco (Zillow includes Contra Costa and Alameda counties) trades at a Median Price To Rent Ratio of 20.51X, way above the 13.3X ratio I’ve determined to equal Luxury. However, my rental home trades at 26X annual gross rent, therefore, I should consider selling the property.

Rent Luxury, Buy Utility Financial Samurai

Luxury = 13.3X Median Price To Rent Ratio Or Higher

On the flip side, check out properties in Raymondville, Texas with a Median Price to Rent Ratio of only 5.2X. In other words, the median $60,000 house commands almost $1,000/month in rent ($60K / 5.2 = $11,538/year) . In other words, in just 5.2 years, you can have your renter pay back your entire property assuming you took out a 100% mortgage!

Raymondville, Texas clearly is considered Utility, and a savvy real estate investor should be buying Raymondville property all day long if their job market remains stable. The problem is that access to the market hasn’t really opened up yet. Not to worry though, since there are literally hundreds of other towns and cities with properties that trade below the 9.6X Utility classification ratio if you look at the RealtyShares platform.

Rent Luxury Buy Utility

Utility = 9.6 Median Price To Rent Ratio Or Lower

The Optimal Investment Lifestyle Combo

Of course, real estate is a very personal situation for each individual. We live where we want to live mainly due to our families, friends, and jobs. Not everything is about money. But given this is a blog about ways to optimize our finances, a savvy real estate investor should seriously consider my advice of Renting Luxury, Buying Utility.

Here’s a scenario I’ve been pondering now that I’m in the second half of my life. I want to be closer to my parents and live it up like a boss before I die.

For the sake of dreaming big, there’s this sweet 5 bedroom, 5 bathroom, 6,400 sqft new construction home in Honolulu with a killer view asking $6.95M. Think how many sweet blog posts I can write from the pool! Let’s say the real price is $6.2M since it’s been sitting for a while. Based on a 25X Median Price to Income Ratio, this means I can rent the house for approximately $248,000 a year or $20,500 a month. $20,500 is a lot of money, but think about how much rental income $6.2M can earn in Raymondville, Texas.

First, check out this picture and short video highlighting the $6.2M property. I’m happy to throw a pool party for readers who want to stop by and hang.

Rent Luxury, Buy Utility

Financial Samurai reader pool party anyone?

If the $6.2M was deployed in Raymondville, Texas, I could theoretically earn an insane $1,192,307 a year in gross rental income since the annual gross rent to price ratio is only 5.2X. After spending $248,000 a year living in a sweet home in Hawaii, I’d still have $944,307 left over in cash flow if I followed my rule of Renting Luxury, Buying Utility.

Seriously, the last thing I want to do is own a humungous house with tons of ongoing maintenance to deal with. But renting it is a different story. Besides, I don’t have $6.2M laying around!

Here’s a shortcut to decide whether it’s better to rent than to buy. The chart shows the share of homes in each city that can be rented out for more than their monthly expenses according to Zillow’s database. Of course, you just can’t buy every single property above the rental profitability line. You must still carefully run the numbers and do your due diligence.

Where it's best to be a landlord than an owner

Source: Zillow analysis of Zillow Rent Zestimates and Mortgage Payments, Property Taxes, Insurance and HOA Dues.

The opportunities are plenty to buy cash flow generating properties around the country. Specialized REITs and the rise of real estate crowdfunding companies are making this move easier today. You just need to figure out what type of real estate portfolio mix you want.

For 15 years I’ve been 100% long luxury growth markets. Now I’m shifting towards a balance of growth and income (utility) because valuations are stretched in San Francisco and I don’t have a job.

If you can remove emotion, pride, and prejudice from the equation, you should be able to maximize your lifestyle, cash flow, and net worth. Ready to BURL?

Update 9/28/2017: I decided to follow my own advice and sell my San Francisco rental home for ~30X annual gross rent and reinvest $250,000 of the proceeds with RealtyShares so far. I plan to invest another $100,000 – $300,000 by the end of the year in real estate crowdfunding to diversify my real estate holdings and target a 10% annual return. I’m currently still long a SF primary residence, a SF 2/2 condo, and a Lake Tahoe 2/2 vacation property. 

The post The Real Estate Investing Rule To Follow: Buy Utility, Rent Luxury appeared first on Financial Samurai.

Develop Your Sphere Of Influence To Achieve Financial Independence

Work on enlarging your sphere of influence. My first understanding of the power of influence came as a 21 year old at 1 New York Plaza, New York City. During a job interview with a sales trader at Goldman Sachs, I remember him telling me the most frustrating thing about his job was that as soon as GS showed up in the queue to buy, the stock would instantly move higher.

His job was to buy stock for an institutional client at the lowest price possible. But because GS was the most powerful investment bank at the time (perhaps still is), other traders would instantly try and front-run a GS order.

The thinking always went like this: If GS is selling, we should probably sell as quickly as possible because they probably know something we don’t know and vice versa.

Due to the constant front-running, algorithmic trading and dark pools were created to obfuscate large buyers and sellers. When there was simply too much stock a fund wanted to offload, an investment bank would act as a principal, buying the stock at a discount in hopes of selling off the stock to other clients at a lower discount. With enough discretion, taking such risk often paid off. But sometimes, the bank would get slaughtered due to loose lips. 

The Power Of Influence

Nowadays, the most common example of influence lies in an announcement that XYZ famous investor took a stake in ABC stock. For example, whenever Warren Buffet says he bought something, you can be sure the stock will jump several percentage points. The only way you can really get an edge is to buy Berkshire Hathaway stock.

None of us will ever be as influential as Warren Buffet, but over time, we can all develop our own sphere of influence.

The easiest way to develop influence is do something and succeed over and over again.

For example, after you’ve done 1,000 successful eye surgeries, you will become the leading eye surgeon in the land. You will be invited to conferences, be able to direct research funding, and receive a steady stream of clients. Your influence will enable you to raise prices, create courses, license your name, and get rich in the process.

If you’ve done 25 surgeries, and botched five of them, nobody will ever want to see or hear from you again.

Develop expertise through consistent execution and patience.

Influence Can Come From The Smallest Idea

Although a lot of folks from all over come to Financial Samurai to learn more about personal finance, this site is really tiny in the grand scheme of things. I don’t expect to influence the world, especially since I’m an unemployed nobody.

I only expect to help the 3% of you who actually take my advice. That’s right. Based on conversion metrics, roughly 97% of you read something and never take action. That’s cool, because it just means something isn’t painful enough for you to do something about it.

Because I like to check out open houses, on average I speak with three real estate agents every week. I always ask the real estate agent at least three things: 1) How do you think the market is doing versus this time last year? 2) Where do you think the market is heading over the next 12 months? and 3) Where is the best place in the city to buy?

To my surprise, over the past several months, more than half of the experienced real estate agents have told me the western side of SF is the best place to buy. They pointed to Inner Sunset, Parkside, and Golden Gate Heights as the primo neighborhoods to make the most amount of money.

Several even listed reasons why Golden Gate Heights is the best area which sounded eerily similar to the reasons given in my post published in 2014 called, “The Best Place To Buy Property In San Francisco Today.”

Then one realtor handed me a flier with this chart below. It’s Redfin’s 10 hottest neighborhoods in the ENTIRE country to close out the year 2017. Notice anything funny?

The 10 hottest neighborhoods for 2H 2017

There are around 150,000 neighborhoods in America and 119 neighborhoods in San Francisco alone. What are the chances that Golden Gate Heights, a tiny neighborhood, would even make the list? My guess is less than 0.1%.

When I Googled,”the best place to buy property in San Francisco,” I found my article in the #1 or #2 spot of the results. So I asked all the realtors whether they had heard of Financial Samurai before, and all of them said yes.

Ah hah! It’s seems that three years after I made a strong argument for Golden Gate Heights, Google now agrees with the argument, many realtors now agree with my thesis, public company Redfin agrees, and now a herd of new buyers agree.

In fact, just the other day, our local paper republished a post originally published on Business Insider about Golden Gate Heights.

Golden Gate Heights featured in SF Chronicle and Business Insider

I might not be able to influence the world with my tiny site, but I have been able to influence the population looking to buy real estate in San Francisco. In turn, this influence has helped improve my net worth given I’m long a panoramic ocean view home in Golden Gate Heights.

Who said the only way to make money blogging is through online advertising? My biggest mistake was not buying two GGH properties before the mass media and real estate companies decided to agree.

Will they give me credit for the thesis I made in 2014 they are now claiming as their own? Of course not. But it doesn’t matter because what I care most about are the results. The author of the Business Insider article graduated in 2013 and came to SF in 2015. So from her perspective, GGH is an incredible revelation.

Achieve Financial Independence With Influence

The most important place to grow your sphere of influence is at work. Do what you say you will do in a professional manner for a long enough time and you will get paid and promoted.

Once you’ve developed a solid track record at work, develop influence with your clients and competitors. If your clients all believe in you, then you can go anywhere and your clients will follow. The more you are respected and feared by your competitors, the more they will want to poach you for bigger bucks and a larger role.

To really scale your influence, establish a presence online. Compared to offline reach, online reach is unlimited. I could have tried to meet every single realtor in San Francisco to make my Golden Gate Heights pitch in person, but that would have taken forever and expended too much energy. Instead, I simply spent a few hours typing a post, then let the internet do its thing.

Once you develop influence you can scale your influence into any number of things:

  • Consulting
  • Public speaking
  • Building a business
  • Creating a subscription newsletter
  • Managing other people’s money
  • Selling your own product
  • Selling other people’s products you believe in
  • Getting other companies to hire you away for big bucks

With so many new ways to make money beyond your day job, your financial worries should decrease, if not disappear altogether. Achieving financial independence is only a matter of time.

Key Points Of Influence

* Influence must be earned through repetitive successful outcomes.

* You will only gain influence if you do what you say you will do.

* Providing an opinion when you have no skin in the game is pointless.

* The stronger your brand, the longer you can make your influence last.

* Once you gain influence, you can leverage your influence in many different directions.

* You’re only as relevant as your last result.

* You can skip the long slog of developing your influence by joining a firm that already has influence. However, you might always feel like an impostor piggy backing off your firm’s reputation.


When To Sell Real Estate: Every Indicator To Consider

For A Better Life, Be The One Percent In Something, Anything

How To Build Passive Income For Financial Independence

Readers, how would you rate your sphere of influence? Are you using your influence to help others? How has your influence enriched your life?

The post Develop Your Sphere Of Influence To Achieve Financial Independence appeared first on Financial Samurai.

Investing Is The Ultimate Case Of FOMO

Investing is the ultimate case of FOMOFOMO stands for Fear Of Missing Out. The term is usually reserved for those who spend everything they have to buy the latest thing or experience without any regard for their financial future. FOMO is what drives people to go into revolving credit card debt, making credit card hawkers rich, and their slaves poor. FOMO is the main reason why people are unhappy, even if they are living better than 99% of the world.

Those who refuse to save for retirement justify their spending by saying, “you can’t take it with you.” It’s true. No matter how much gold you bury in your grave, your spirit takes nothing physical with it.

But after starting my investment tracker series, I’ve come to realize that investing may be the ultimate case of FOMO. Spending all your money on useless things doesn’t even come close. Let me explain why in three reasons. 

Investing Is The #1 FOMO

1) Everybody is getting rich, so must I.

After violently correcting in 2008, the S&P 500 has been up every year since January 1, 2009. For the first four year, I, along with plenty of skeptics had our doubts about the recovery. The markets were simply recovering what they lost. But when the S&P 500 and other indices started breaching their pre-financial crisis highs in early 2013, the fear of missing out began to take hold.

It no longer felt as good to have money locked up in a 4.1% yielding CD. Instead, it was all about daring yourself to go maximum long stocks and real estate. Cash and CD savers were falling behind. I stopped seeing myself on the platform patiently waiting for the train. Instead, I was starting to run after the train as it began pulling away.

Even if you’ve reached a financial level where you don’t really have to worry about money again, you won’t feel good if you see other people growing their wealth faster.

For example, you could have a $10 million net worth grow by 5% one year, but you’ll start feeling FOMO if you see someone with a $500,000 net worth grow by 20% during the same time period. Instead of being happy with making $500,000 doing nothing, you’ll start feeling bad you didn’t make $2,000,000 taking the same amount of risk! Crazy right?

It’s only when your peers earn a similar or worse return will you be satisfied with your performance. Even if you only made a 1% return, if your peers made a 0% return you’ll feel happier than making a 10% return if your peers made an 11% return.

Investing FOMO is the only way to keep up with the rich. Otherwise, you’ll be on the wrong side of the wealth gap as it continues to widen.

2) The fear of never being free while you’re still healthy.

The older you get, the more fear you’ll worry about never being able to get out of the rat race. You start asking yourself, “is this all there is to life?” You’ll also start resenting your job and the people you see more than your family every single day. It’s natural after doing the same old thing over and over again. As a result, you’ll start kicking your savings and investing into high gear so that you might one day be able to engineer your layoff and live life on your own terms.

Those who are more aware are able to quantify their purchases, not only in after tax dollars, but in terms of time. For example, buying a $300,000 more expensive house because it has one more bedroom you’ll never use equals at least 10 more years of work if you only save $30,000 a year.

No rational person would choose driving a Porsche and buying a mega mansion if the cost was a 20 year delay in achieving financial freedom. Stretching your finances every month is a stressful way to live.

Investing FOMO gives you hope that you’ll one day enjoy your freedom while still being able to walk, talk, and live pain-free.

3) The fear your children will have a worse life than you. The amount of <35 year old angst about student debt, stagnant wages, underemployment, and unaffordable home prices is overwhelming. You don’t want your kids to turn out the same way.

The more in tune you are with the way the world works, the more you realize the importance of investing for your children’s sake. The top 1% – 0.1% have garnered the lion’s share of gains over the past several decades because they’ve been active investors in appreciating assets. The trend will continue as family dynasties are being formed to ensure that generation after generation of kids will have every single advantage in life.

Rising Inequality

Investing is one of the main ways to make sure your children don’t end up further and further behind. If you don’t invest, your sons or daughters will have a much harder chance of getting into a prestigious university or getting a sweet job because the spots will all be taken by kids of wealthy parents who buy their children’s way into everything. When there are 10 applicants for one spot that all look a like, the tie-breaker often comes down to money or connections.

Not only am I investing the majority of my income every month so that my son can have more options by 2035, I’m also working hard at building contingency plans, just in case he doesn’t do well in school, is discriminated against based on his race, gets into an accident, and I can’t compete in terms of donations and connections.

For Those Who Lack Investing FOMO

How do you do it? I’ve struggled with trying to manage my fear of failure for a very long time. I always felt pressure not to be a disappointment to my parents because I got into so much trouble during high school. But I’ve finally realized at the age of 40, everything will be OK after not having a job for almost six years. The fear in your head is usually worse than reality.

Parental FOMO has revived my motivation to stay as fit as possible and generate as many contingency plans as possible. I’m truly envious of those of you who are able to spend freely, eat whatever you want, and not worry so much about your future and your children’s future. I wish I could let go and just kind of wing it. Please tell me your secret.

But unfortunately, I keep getting shown how the future works because I’ve had the opportunity to go behind the scenes. I’d much rather NOT know that my friend’s son got into XYZ school because of a $1 million donation or that my other friend’s daughter got a job at PYQ investment bank because they are private wealth clients with over $30 million in assets with the firm.

I’m stuck in a world where so many people I know are extremely successful thanks to stupendous careers, amazing businesses, and savvy investments. That’s the problem with living in cities like San Francisco, Manhattan, Hong Kong, or London. They seem to attract the most gung-ho type of people.

Their success naturally pushes me to do more. but I think it may be a good idea to move out of San Francisco to focus more on enjoying life and less on trying to get ahead. At first, getting to know extremely successful people was a novelty. Now, I often wonder, why are they STILL working when they could spend time with their kids or make a difference in other people’s lives who have way less.

FOMO Reduction Plans

I took the first step of FOMO reduction by leaving Manhattan in 2001 to come to a more balanced San Francisco. NYC is the greatest city on Earth, but it will eat you up and make you miserable if you aren’t careful.

Then in 2014, I moved out of the wealthy north side of San Francisco to a middle class neighborhood on the west side of the city. It feels great living next to plumbers, grocery store managers, house painters, and retirees.

In the next five years I plan to take a larger step in FOMO reduction by moving to Hawaii, where there is a tremendous focus on family. San Francisco has one of the lowest children per capita in the country, and I think it would be nice to raise a family in a family friendly environment.

Until then, I plan to keep on aggressively saving and investing the large majority of my cash flow because investing FOMO is hard to quit!

Other Thoughts On FOMO

* FOMO may be a big reason why many delay having children.

* Children change everything when it comes to being financially responsible. There’s no other option but to get your act together once you have someone with zero earnings power and little knowledge depend on you for 18 years.

* You may feel better living in a middle class neighborhood than in a rich neighborhood. In rich neighborhoods, your neighbors are always doing some type of remodeling. They also tend to drive more expensive cars, go on fancier vacations, and send their kids to private schools.

* You may experience FOMO reading personal finance sites like mine. If so, take a break, and focus on your goals. They are the only ones that matter.


Do You Want To Be Rich Or Or Do You Want To Be Free? 

One Of The Biggest Financial Mistakes A Retiree Can Make

Investment Strategies For Retirement Based On Modern Portfolio Theory

Readers, do you have investing FOMO? If not, why not? Do you believe investing is the greatest FOMO there is? How do people successfully go through life without feeling the need to invest? All indications say that most people don’t like their jobs, wages are stagnating, college degrees are depreciating, and globalization and technology are hurting job growth in America.

The post Investing Is The Ultimate Case Of FOMO appeared first on Financial Samurai.

One Spouse, Two Cars, Three Houses, Four Jobs

What's the ideal number for each thing to lead a wonderful life?There’s a simple personal finance mantra everybody should consider following: one spouse, one car, one house, one job. The idea is that if you stick with one of everything, you’ll maximize its usage, minimize extraneous expenditure, and live happily ever after.

We get in trouble when we want too much.

But one of everything can get quite boring. Thus, the divorce rate is ~50%. The average car ownership is six years. The median home ownership is seven years. And the average person job hops every three years.

I want to review each item to see what’s truly ideal. I suspect the answer is different for everyone. Feel free to share your thoughts below.

How Many Of Each Is Ideal For A Wonderful Life?

Spouse: I only have one spouse, and plan to only have one spouse. We met when we were in college and have been together ever since. Now that we are business partners and parents, the stakes are way too high to split now! If we divorced, we’d have to waste money on lawyers, go through some serious financial forensic analysis, get another place to live, and share custody of our son.

Verdict: One spouse is ideal.

Cars: For my entire life, I’ve either had no car or just one car. With the invention of ridesharing, I’ve often wondered about having no car. But having no car won’t work because it would be a PITA to install a baby seat and bring a stroller every time we had to go somewhere.

But for nine months, we had two cars because I actually bought Moose, my current family car in December 2016. Our baby was due in Spring and I wanted to get a larger vehicle before he was born. Sometimes babies are born early, and the seller offered a reasonable price.

Two cars felt like a complete waste of money, but because the Honda Fit was a $235/month business expense, it wasn’t costly. Further, we have plenty of free parking right outside our house, which is a rarity in a city like San Francisco. I mostly still drove Rhino except when taking the little one to the doctor’s office.

Once I returned Rhino, I felt lighter. It was a relief not to own him anymore because he had a lot of starter problems (will show a video in a future post). Further, it was nice knowing I was not financially responsible or liable for him anymore. Calling the auto insurance company to drop coverage was a happy moment.

Verdict: one car is ideal + a ridesharing account per adult.

Houses: Owning your own house feels awesome. There’s this magical feeling you experience that nobody tells you when you get the keys. Owning one rental property feels pretty darn good too. It’s nice knowing your tenants are paying your mortgage and that eventually, you’ll own the property free and clear to earn a nice cash flow. A vacation property can be great if it’s relatively close by and you use it for at least four weeks a year. But after three properties, if you have a job and a family to take care of, things start getting more difficult to manage.

I thought I’d enjoy owning four properties consisting of a primary residence, two city rentals, and one vacation rental/property. But after three years of managing three properties at the same time, I finally had enough after my son was born. If I had perfect tenants, I wouldn’t have minded holding onto three rentals. But I knew renting out a house in the Marina district (infamous for being a homogenous party neighborhood in SF) near a busy street would only attract a group of 4 – 6 male roommates and not the stable family I was looking for.

Verdict: Two properties, one consisting of a primary residence and a rental property to be truly long real estate. It’s much better to vacation all over the world and rent instead of always going back to the same place.

Jobs: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average person has worked 10 different jobs before 40. Sounds high, but it makes a lot of sense if we are counting all the jobs one has held in their lifetimes.

Before graduating college, I had four jobs. After graduating college, I had two jobs, three corporate consulting jobs, and my own business. What do you know. That makes 10 jobs for me too. I felt like I stayed at my last full-time job for two years too long. I should have joined a bucket shop for a big two-year guarantee and then quit. But if I did, I would have left a severance package equal to five years of living expenses on the table so I guess things kind of worked out.

Verdict: Five jobs after college. The first job is to learn. The second job is to earn. The third job is to take a big step up in pay and responsibility. The fourth job is to explore a new field because you’re sick and tired of the old one. The fifth job is to take another gargantuan leap in pay or find your retirement job where you can just chill out, like one of the thousands of people who work at a massive corporation. During these job transitions, I hope to goodness you’re working on a side-hustle as well.

A Wonderful Life Is What You Make Of It

I hope everyone can find a partner or a best friend to experience all of life’s highs and lows. My luckiest break really was getting an e-mail from my wife senior year in college wondering why I had skipped Japanese 101 class. Or maybe the real lucky break was having the foresight into thinking if I took Japanese 101 senior year, I could meet a girl just like my wife. After all, I could have taken any 101 class because I already had enough credits to graduate. Ah hah! Talk about predicting the future.

I’d consider giving up all my money to be in college again. But I wouldn’t trade my family for the world. Since reliving the past is impossible, we just have to make the best of the present. One spouse, one car, one house, one job is good advice. But it’s worth shooting for a little more if you have the courage.

Here are some other profiles I can think of:

The Monk: No spouse, no car, no house, no job.

The Minimalist: Maybe a spouse, no car, no house, a boring job that doesn’t pay well.

The Digital Nomad: Likely no spouse, no car, no house, a lifestyle business that requires cheaper living abroad.

The Early Retiree: A working spouse, a car, a couple houses, lives off spouse, investments, or side business.

The American: Onto their second spouse, two cars, rents, a soul-sucking job.

The Ultra-Wealthy: Onto their second or third spouse, three or more cars, five or more properties, runs a business that will never let them be free even though they have all the money in the world.

Readers, what do you think is the ideal number for each item and why? Which profile do you fit? 

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