Afford Anything – Dive Into Real Estate Investing
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Afford Anything – Dive Into Real Estate Investing


Mad Fientist: Hi everybody. Welcome to the Mad Fientist Financial Independence
Podcast, the podcast where I interview personal finance experts to find out the strategies
and tactics that they’re using to achieve financial independence. Today, I have the pleasure of speaking with
Paula from AffordAnything.com. Paula describes her site as the anti-frugality
blog. What she means by this is that rather than
focusing on frugality and limiting spending, you should instead focus on building wealth
and using that wealth to live the life that you want to live. Paula’s primary method of building her own
personal wealth is by investing in real estate. Unlike Shilpan from the previous episode of
the podcast who invested in commercial real estate, specifically hotels, Paula invests
in residential real estate. So, I’m very excited to find out how she
got started and what advice she has to give others out there, myself included, who would
like to eventually start investing in real estate someday. Without further delay, hey Paula. Thanks a lot for being here. I appreciate it. Paula Pant: Thanks for having me. I’m excited to be here. Mad Fientist: My pleasure. So before we get into the questions, I was
hoping maybe you could just tell a little bit about your background and how you started
writing about personal finance. Paula: Sure! I started my career as a journalist at one
of those print and paper newspapers. Do you remember those? Mad Fientist: Yeah, from back in the ’80s,
right? Paula: Exactly! Yeah, I started life as an old school newspaper
reporter. That was great. It gave me my initial training in terms of
how to write and how to tell stories and all of that. I really enjoyed it, but unfortunately, I
entered right at the point where the industry was sort of shrinking. Not sort of shrinking, but really shrinking. Newspapers were shutting down. People are getting laid off. I was at a small town newspaper. It was in Boulder, Colorado, which is a college
town. It was fun and I had a great experience there. I really liked my job. But there was one little problem and it was
that I couldn’t just travel and do whatever I wanted. I had to actually show up for work. And that was a bit of a deal breaker. So, I saved up and saved and saved. I wrote freelance articles for a bunch of
magazines and just saved as far as I could. And then in 2008, I quit my job and just went
and traveled for a while. And by a while, I mean almost two and a half
years. Mad Fientist: Wow! Paula: In my life, I’ve been to 27 countries. Seventeen of those I visited during that two
and a half year span after I had quit my job. And it was a fantastic experience, but there
was one little problem that was nagging in the back of my mind and it was that I was
blowing through my savings and once my savings were finished, I would have to work again. So I put my mind to words, “What can I do
that would help me avoid that?” That was when I decided that I was going to
come back to the US and really focus on creating some passive income. I moved back to the US. I moved to Atlanta, settled in Atlanta and
started buying rental properties. And now I’m up to five units spread across
three buildings all of which are in the Atlanta area. I’m hoping to collect a couple more this
year and then after that, start paying down. Mad Fientist: Yeah. That’s the thing I’m really excited to
talk to you about, all those rental properties and how you got into that and all the challenges
you faced along the way and things like that. Before we do, I definitely want to focus a
little bit more on your site and your message in that two and a half years of traveling. You say on your site that you can’t afford
everything, but you can afford anything. I think that’s a really, really good point. That’s probably what plagues a lot of people. They try to afford everything and then they
don’t have the money to afford what is actually important to them. You saved up and probably sacrificed a lot
along the way, but then you got to travel for two and a half years and see the world. Paula: Right, exactly. So here’s this thing that really bothered
me. When I quit my job and announced to all of
my friends that I was going on this big trip, a lot of them said, “Wow! I would love to do something like that, but
I can’t afford it.” That was what almost every single person said. The thing is my friends lived in bigger apartments
than I did, drove nicer cars than I did. They ate out more and drank more alcohol and
got their hair done and got their nails done and wore nicer clothes. They spent a lot more than I did. So when they told me that they couldn’t
afford it, I frankly don’t believe them because I think that they can. Many of them, they could afford it. They just didn’t make it a priority. Sometimes when people say, “I can’t afford
it,” sometimes they are simply trying to politely say, “It’s not important to me
or it’s not a priority.” But a lot of times, people genuinely believe
that they can’t afford it because they’re not conscious of the many ways that money
is just leaking out of their life. Mad Fientist: Right! One of your articles (that’s one of my favorites
actually), there’s one that you talk about that where you say that when somebody goes
out and buys a brand new Honda Accord or something, nobody says to them, “Wow! I wish I could afford that. Wow! that’s amazing.” I think you gave a couple of examples. It’s definitely true. If you do something that’s out of the ordinary
– in that sense, go travel the world – people are thinking, “Wow! How can she afford it?” But people are doing far more expensive and
silly things with their money and it just seems to go unnoticed. Paula: Right, exactly. You go out and you buy a car and if you pay
cash for it, that’s $15,000. I know it depends on what kind of car you
buy, but no one will ever say, “Wow! How on earth could you afford a Honda Civic? You must be rich.” Mad Fientist: Yeah, it’s crazy. I really liked that article of yours because
it is such a good point that you just really don’t think about. And I think it is in that article where there’s
a quote that I really like that you had said, “Cutting on things that don’t matter and
then spend money lavishly on things that do.” I think that’s a great point for people
that are pursuing financial independence. Freedom is the thing that they’re saving
their money for, also great things like travel or whatever you want really as long as it’s
a conscious thing rather than just doing whatever one else does. Everyone buys a car as soon as they get out
of college and eventually buys a house on hopefully 20% down maybe. And then, it’s just this cycle that everyone’s
programmed into and then there are a lot of people that aren’t happy. Paula: That’s the thing. Right now, I own a lot of rental – I guess
a lot is a relative number. I have five rental units. I sometimes have friends that jive me. They’ll say, “Wow! Landlords, money bags. You own all these houses. Why is it that you’re too cheap to go get
a pedicure? That’s only $25.” It’s not a priority, that’s why. If I had to spare $25, would I rather put
it towards getting financial independence or would I rather pay somebody to throw some
paint on my toes? Mad Fientist: Right, yeah. Paula: And for me, the answer is obvious. I’m not saying that that’s necessarily
the right or wrong choice for everybody. I’m saying you need to think very, very
hard about what your priorities are and align your spending with that. Mad Fientist: Yeah, absolutely. Another topic that I think linked to one of
your posts actually, it’s about thinking like a creator and not like a consumer. There tends to be a lot of focus on frugality
in the personal finance world and frugality is good. To me, it comes very naturally. Every expense is scrutinized just because
it’s like, “Whoa! What am I spending money on this? This isn’t an investment.” But a lot of the focus is on frugality. I really like the idea that when you’re
always thinking about not spending, you’re still focusing on the wrong side of the equation. You’re focusing on spending. So maybe think like a creator instead of focusing
on the earning side. Can you talk a little bit more about that? Paula: Sure! Well, there’s a mindset difference between
abundance and scarcity. If you’re constantly focused on pinching
pennies and saving money, I find that you’re operating from a scarcity mindset. You imagine that you have x amount of money
and that is your threshold. And from that point, you try to save as much
of it as you can. Yeah, it’s important not to waste your money. It’s important to plug those leaks, absolutely. But your mental energy is limited. There’s only so much that the human brain
can focus on. And while it’s important to not waste your
money, it’s I think also very important to focus on the abundance side rather than
the scarcity side and to think about, “How can I increase my income? How can I earn more? How can I create something awesome and do
something good for the world and get rewarded for it?” Here’s the thing. The personal finance world is full of people
who want to talk about coupons and deals. Advertisers refer to coupons as ads. They’re coupon ads because they’re designed
to get you to spend and they’re designed to get you in the store. Yeah, you’re spending less than you normally
would. You’re paying $1.50 for that thing of yogurt
instead of $2 for it. But at the end of the day, you’re still
buying stuff and buying stuff is just not the mentality that we should be in. I’m not saying that there’s anything wrong
with saving money per se, but I do think that there’s something wrong with being in this
mindset that is so focused on consumerism and on pinching pennies and saving that you’re
not thinking about “How can I create something and do something awesome and find a way to
get rewarded for it?” Mad Fientist: Yeah, it’s awesome. That’s definitely one of my favorite articles
that you had written. I’ll link to it on the show notes. But yeah, it totally changed my mindset because
like I said, frugality is something that comes very naturally to me. I’ve never liked spending money throughout
my entire life really because I know what money can do and if you don’t spend it. Just really thinking on the other side of
the equation, it made a lot of sense and it’s something that I’ve tried to do ever since
reading that article of yours. That’s great. Speaking of what you can do to create wealth
rather than spend it, I’m really excited to talk to you about your real estate portfolio
and how that’s growing it seems because back when I started reading, it was shortly
after I think you got your first one. Now you have five. So would you mind just talking a little bit
how you got into real estate? Paula: Absolutely. I got in and it was certainly almost by accident. When I moved to Atlanta – my boyfriend and
I moved here together and didn’t really know the city very well and didn’t know
anybody here. So I contacted the only person that I knew
who lived in Atlanta, this girl who had gone to my college, and said, “Hey, where should
I live?” She replied, “There are really lots of different
neighborhoods here and the one that’s going to appeal to you depends on your personality
and your style and your interests.” So she said, “There’s this one particular
neighborhood. It’s called midtown. It’s fun and it’s universally appealing.” She said, “Go just take a temporary six
month sublet there and while you’re living there, you’ll get a feel for Atlanta and
you’ll figure out where you want to live.” We did that and it just so happened that as
we were living there, we noticed the for sale sign in the track light across the street. So we’re in a very urban environment where
land values are premium. So a lot of the houses here are multi-units. There are triplexes or four-plexes. We had done the math on the place that we
were renting and realized that our landlord was not getting a very good deal. And so when we saw that the house across the
street was for sale and it was also a three-unit house, a triplex, we were curious. We wanted to do the math on it. It was selling at a pretty substantial discount
because it was a short sale. The previous owner paid too much for it and
now he was just trying to unload it. So we crunched the numbers and found that
we could make this property cash flow very, very well. We just bought it on a whim. So it was an impulse buy. Mad Fientist: What year is this? Paula: This was 2010. Mad Fientist: Okay. Paula: So we bought that house and then I
blogged about it. And then one of my readers contacted me and
said that she was a foreclosure agent in Atlanta and she led me to this house that was for
sale for $21,000. So that was another impulse buy. We just snapped it up. I say “impulse by,” but I mean we ran
the numbers in a spreadsheet. We looked at the numbers and the math told
us to do it. It’s so much sense. Mad Fientist: Before you go on, what kind
of neighborhood is a $21,000 house in 2010? Are you talking somewhere you’d be willing
to live or somewhere you wouldn’t be willing to live, but at least it’s safe to go and
paint the walls in? Paula: In terms of neighborhoods, there are
places that are dangerous, places where I would just be too scared to go particularly
at night. And then there are places that are suburban
and boring and what I would describe as blue collar suburban, working class suburban. They’re perfectly safe. I would and had spent a lot of time there,
especially at night, especially because when you go down to fix the unit or do repairs,
usually you’re going after work, that’s night time. That’s where this house is. It’s a blue collar working class suburban
neighborhood. It’s just non-descript, cul de sac suburb,
so it’s “boring” in that regard and that’s the reason that I wouldn’t live
there, but not because it’s dangerous by any means. It’s just not walking distance to the local
dog park or yoga studio, the way triplex is. And those two types of houses appeal to very
different clientele. Mad Fientist: Yeah, I know you guys manage
them yourselves. Is that correct? Are you still doing that? Paula: We managed two of them ourselves and
then one of them we had outsourced to a property manager. Mad Fientist: Is it quite a lot of work? Or do either you or your boyfriend have management
experience? Paula: No. We’ve just learned it as we went along. Let’s see. Is it a lot of work? Well initially, the biggest component of work
is the fact that these are all fixer uppers. So we’re not buying turnkey places that
you purchase and then you can rent out the next day. We buy places that need a lot of work done. That’s really where the work comes in. When we first started buying, we were trying
to do the work ourselves. What we discovered was that if you do the
work yourself, maybe you can do one house at a time, but you can’t really build a
portfolio very fast if you’re doing it that way. So once we started hiring contractors, that’s
when more of our time was freed up to earn more money doing our jobs and then use that
money to buy more houses. And we started building out a lot faster and
growing a lot more once we switched from working in our business to working on our business. Mad Fientist: Alright, that’s a great point. It gives hope to people that do want to start
this, but feel that they have a full time job already and it may not be possible to
go out and constantly fix things and houses and improve them. That’s really good. When you do the work, the property management
yourself, do you still include that in your cash flow statements? Is that correct? Paula: Yeah, absolutely. If I’m doing the work myself, then I’ve
got to pay myself the exact same amount that I’m going to pay a contractor or a property
manager. I feel it’s very dishonest to run the numbers
and say, “My profit is this much because I did the work myself and I’m valuing my
own time zero.” That’s not profit. That’s just work that you’ve done. So if you want to talk about passive income
and you want to talk about financial independence, you’ve got to compare apples to apples. The only way to do that is to budget for the
amount that you’re going to pay a contractor and the amount that you’re going to pay
a property manager. Mad Fientist: Absolutely, yeah. Paula: After that, you budget for that money. You’ve put that money aside and then you
make your hiring decision. If you choose to hire yourself, then cool. You pay yourself that money. And if you choose to hire somebody else, that
doesn’t change the equation. Mad Fientist: That’s a great point. What about mortgages? Are these financed properties? Did you… Paula: The $21,000 house, we paid in cash. The rest, we financed. Mortgages are the hardest parts. What I encourage people to do is to get creative
because people are stuck in this mentality of “Oh, you good at banking, you get a 30-year
owner-occupant mortgage.” And that’s only one of many, many, many
ways to get financing. I mean you can get bank financing. You can get private loans. There are just so many ways to raise money. Think of it as building a business. How would you fundraise for a business that
you want to start? There are multiple ways to do it, so real
estate is no different than any other business in that regard. Mad Fientist: Does it help if you are working
full-time when you start out? Do you think getting that first foot in the
door with the bank possibly? Paula: For the banks, yes because they like
to see that you’ve got the personal income to back it. For private lenders, no. In fact for private lenders, it makes you
look like an amateur. Mad Fientist: Yeah, that’s a good point. How about property size? How is the triplex compared to the single
family homes? As you’re looking maybe for your next property,
do you have any preference? Paula: What I encourage people to do if they
want to invest in real estate is to pick one niche and one strategy. Here’s what I mean by that. A niche would be single family homes, two
to four units, large multi-family homes of 4 to 16 units, commercial properties, office
complexes, apartment buildings that are above 20 units. I mean there are so many different types of
real estate out there, bare land, mobile home parks. So pick one and focus on that and really learn
everything there is to know about that particular type of property. So that’s your one niche. And then pick one strategy, whether that’s
rent, buy and hold renting or flipping or wholesaling or lease purchase options or hard
money lending to other investors. Pick one type of monetization strategy. So you’re starting with one niche and one
strategy and that’s what you’re focusing on, that’s what you specialize in. You start there and then once you’re very,
very comfortable with that, then you can decide if you want to expand from that or not. There are so many different ways to make money
in real estate that buying a mobile home park and parceling it out and selling it off as
lease purchase options is a completely different animal from buying small multi-family units
and renting them. One of the main things that I talk about on
my website again and again is that human brain is very limited and we can’t do it all and
we tend to be successful if we really narrow our focus and pick one thing and just become
the best at that. Mad Fientist: That’s great advice. Did you make any mistakes along the way? You’ve been around for three years, but
it sounds like you’re doing pretty good. Paula: I think the biggest mistake in the
beginning was trying to do the work myself. My boyfriend and I were trying to do the work
ourselves and we were very much coming from this mentality. Remember we’ve just been traveling for two
years. So we haven’t really been making any money
during that time. So we were coming very much from a mentality
of we don’t make that much and our time is not worth that much. We were very much willing to devalue our own
time and put ourselves through a lot of distraction and heartache and effort for the sake of performing
a task that could be done by somebody else for $11 an hour. So that was probably one of my biggest mistakes
in the beginning. This comes from that I tend to be naturally
frugal. So being a little bit too much of a DIY-er
I think was the big mistake and it slowed me down quite bit. If I could have bought more houses in 2010
rather than waiting until 2012, I’d be doing a lot better because the market was a lot
better back in 2010, a lot better. That was the time when the deals then were
good. Mad Fientist: Are you still finding anything
that’s worth purchasing? Are you actively looking now for your next
property? Paula: I am, yeah. I want to buy a few more. But it’s a lot harder now than it was back
then. Back in 2010, a lot of investors were scared
and so there were a lot of houses on the market and not a lot of buyers. It was a great time to be shopping around. Now, the recession happened so long ago, the
housing bubble burst so long ago that everybody’s flooding back into the market. We’re reaching this point now where your
grandma is talking about buying a rental property. When that happens, the good days are over. Mad Fientist: Yeah. Paula: I should say I know that’s true in
Atlanta. Every real estate market is local. So I can’t comment on what things are like
in Vermont or in Philadelphia or Detroit. But certainly for Atlanta, that’s true. Mad Fientist: So it makes your job a bit harder,
but I’m sure you’ll find something. There’s always opportunity in any kind of
market I guess. Paula: Yeah. Mad Fientist: It’s just a little bit harder
work. So what piece of advice would you give to
someone who’s thinking of starting out? You sound like you just dove right in. Would you maybe do a little bit more – I
don’t want to say more preparation because people, me included, just get hung up on preparation
and you just read and read and read, but then take no action. So with diving right in, would you recommend
that do you think? Obviously, you ran all the numbers and everything,
but you didn’t spend three years reading every book you could get your hands on about
real estate investment, I assume. Paula: Right, yeah, exactly. I would say do both. Dive right in and read the books and read
the blogs. Mad Fientist: Hmmm… Paula: I mean there is no reason that you
can’t do both simultaneously. Limit yourself. Say that you’ll spend half an hour a day
or 40 minutes a day reading books about real estate or reading blogs about real estate
and then another 30 or 40 minutes a day actually doing something active to pursue that goal. Last year, I went ahead and got my real estate
agent license. And I don’t run around telling people that
I’m a real estate agent because I don’t want to give people the idea that that’s
my full time job or anything like that. But that was very helpful for giving me direct
access to the FMLS. So now I don’t have to rely on a third party
to go look around and try and find something for me. I can just sit on the MLS and set my search
criteria and look for house. When something pops up, I can jump on it right
away. I can pick up the phone and call the listing
agent right away. Mad Fientist: That’s really cool. That’s something I’ve thought about. I know my wife may want to settle down eventually
after our next planned maybe a decade of geographic arbitrage and traveling and living at long
periods of time in different countries and things like that. So I’m trying to think of something that
would really interest me in one place and I could see myself maybe 10 years down the
road, living in somewhere that I enjoy and really just exploring all the different neighborhoods
and taking the time to do that and then getting my real estate license and diving into real
estate investment. So yeah, that’s good to hear that you think
it’s worthwhile to go ahead and get that as an investor. Paula: Yeah, absolutely. Honestly, it’s not that hard. It’s about 100 hours of work. I just took an online class. I studied on my own time at home and then
went in and took the test. So yeah, the whole thing only took about 100
hours, spaced out over the span of about three or four months. So it really wasn’t that bad. Mad Fientist: Yeah, that’s not bad at all. That’s cool. So now once you buy a couple of more properties
and you have your real estate empire that you’re happy with, what are your plans after
that? Paula: That’s a good question because my
boyfriend and I – his name is Will. We’ve been talking about it a lot because
we’re at that point now where we’re trying to figure out whether we are in the acquisition
stage or in the pay down stage. I mean we can both see that at least in the
Atlanta area, the good deals are behind us. For example, the area where we bought that
$21,000 house, houses there are selling for $50,000 now. That’s in two years. Those home prices have doubled. Mad Fientist: Has that increased a lot or
not anywhere near doubled? Paula: No, it pretty much stayed the same. Mad Fientist: Yeah, okay. Paula: Typically what happens is that when
there are more buyers in the market, rents actually decrease because more people are
able to buy houses, so there are less rental demands. Actually what happened with the recession
was a lot of people lost their homes, so there were more renters on the market. So rent prices went up. As home values went down, rental prices went
up. And so one thing we’ve been a little bit
afraid of is seeing if the reverse would happen if rental prices would go down now that there
are more buyers in the market. But that doesn’t seem to be the case. Rental prices seem to be holding steady. Mad Fientist: That’s good. Paula: And regardless, we’re very strict
about what houses we buy. We only buy houses with big, big margins so
that rents could drop by 100 a month and we’d still be all right. Mad Fientist: Right, yeah. Paula: Yeah, having big, big fat margins of
error is very nice for your peace of mind. Mad Fientist: Yeah, absolutely. Have you decided? Are you in pay down phase then? Paula: So we want to buy three to four more
units, whether that’s in the form of one multi-unit property that has four units in
it or whether that’s in the form of three of four single family houses – that I don’t
know. But we want to buy three or four more units
and then after that, we’re going to flip strategies and go into pay down. So yes, that’s pretty much the plan. Mad Fientist: I know you’re interested also
in geographic arbitrage. Are you heading abroad at any point in the
next decade or so to maybe live and enjoy the rents coming in and expand it somewhere
it’s a lot cheaper? Paula: Maybe, I don’t know. I’m turning 30 this year. And I mentioned I’ve been to 27 countries. So I want to hit 30 by 30. Mad Fientist: Nice. Paula: So I’m going to Jamaica in May for
a week, for a friend’s wedding. That will be country number 28. So I need to go to two more places before
the fall. Mad Fientist: Do you have any in mind? Paula: I have no idea honestly. We’ll see what happens. This is going to sound ridiculous, but I need
to get my wisdom teeth pulled. And being self-employed, I don’t have dental
insurance. I’ve actually figured out I got a couple
of quotes and I figured out that it’s cheaper for me to go to Bangkok and get my wisdom
teeth pulled there than it would be for me to do it here in Atlanta. Mad Fientist: That is crazy. I had a buddy that hurt his shoulder when
he was studying abroad in Germany. I think he came back to the States after he
was done studying. And he I guess got some sort of maybe an infection
or something he was worried about. It was cheaper to buy a plane ticket to Germany
to get it looked at than it would be to get it checked up since he didn’t have insurance
when he came back. So he flew to Germany and that’s what he
did. Luckily he wasn’t infected. So he just flew back, which is absolutely
crazy. So we’re getting near the end of the interview. So I usually ask all my guests if there is
one piece of advice you have for anyone that’s pursuing financial independence, what do you
think it would be? Paula: Good question. It sounds obvious, but just focus on ways
that you can create passive income. I know that’s a little bit of a duh-statement
if you’re trying to reach financial independence. But focus on ways to create passive income. You know what I said earlier about picking
one niche and one strategy and really zeroing in on that. I would actually advocate something like that
if you’re trying to reach financial independence because there are many ways to do it. You could buy rental properties. You could become a dividend investor. You could write a song that gives you enough
royalties that you’re completely financially independent. There are lots of ways to do it. But pick one strategy and learn everything
you can about that and just really focus on that one strategy. Mad Fientist: That’s great advice. Yeah, focus on it and just kill it like you
guys are doing with real estate. That’s awesome. I just want to thank you again for taking
the time to talk with me. I’ve been wanting to speak to you ever since
I’ve started reading your blogs and I thought I could pick your brain for a little bit. I’m sure the listeners there are thankful
as well. Is there any way people can get in touch with
you? Just go to the blog or… Paula: Yeah. If you go to the blog, there’s a contact
button at the top. So just click that and my e-mail address is
there and then there’s a contact form. Mad Fientist: Perfect. Excellent. Thanks, Paula. Yeah, I really appreciate it. Paula: Great. Thank you. Mad Fientist: Take care. Goodbye. Paula: All right. Bye. Mad Fientist: Thank you very much for listening. I hope you enjoyed my discussion with Paula
as much as I did. I often record these outros a few days after
the interviews themselves. So it’s been about two days since I spoke
with Paula, but I’ve actually been thinking about our conversation quite a bit since. It’s really inspiring to hear that she and
her boyfriend just dove into real estate investing. I know personally I tend to spend a lot of
time reading and planning and researching in real estate investments, especially it
seemed like they require lots of knowledge and lots of investigation. But to hear Paula’s story, it makes perfect
sense. They knew what the important numbers were. They’re able to reasonably predict the values
that they didn’t know. And then they just did the math and realized
that “Hey, this is a great investment. So why not just jump in?” And there’s no better way to learning than
to just do something. So I’m sure they’ve learned more after
purchasing that first property than I would if I spend two or three years reading everything
I could on real estate investing. It was a great story and it’s definitely
made me think about how I tackle feature opportunities in investments. If you haven’t already checked out her site
yet, I would highly recommend you go to AffordAnything.com. I’m going to link to some of the articles
that we discussed in the show notes, but all of her posts over there are excellent. They’re definitely worth reading. So go over there and check them out. Anyway, that’s it for me. So thanks again to Paula. Thank you for listening.

7 Comments

  • Hero

    This was really informative, even if I may be a little late in finding this. I learned a lot, thank you for the upload!

  • Allen Sharp

    I agree with most of what she says but when she talks about hiring contractors and not valuing her own time I don't see that. Where I am from skilled labor is not cheap. I guess it depends on what type of labor you sub contract out. To me it is an asset to have diy skills b/c you invest in yourself. This all depends on if you are good at fixing homes and enjoy it. If so the hobby can become a side job even.

  • Brent Shuffler

    Paula, I enjoy overseas travel and vacations also, but I noticed that you seem to be totally unsure about even where you wanted to go next. It seems to have been a childhood or teenage dream, maybe a flight of fancy, rather than something deeply meaningful or purposeful. Much better would be to research other places in the world for a good reason e.g., to live and to work and/or invest there for a while; people worth knowing, meeting, and doing business with/through; properties to buy; investments to get in other countries so that, over time, your foreign investments will generate the income to pay for your overseas travels.

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