A while back we wrote about abundance and contentment. We believe that being content with what we have has brought us even more abundance. With today’s’ material obsession, it’s hard to maintain contentment. Those currently focused on paying off debt have likely given up some of the material things they previously enjoyed. It’s hard to maintain focus on paying off debt when your lifestyle has changed so much. It can feel like you lost your freedoms and ability to be financially carefree.
We want to give you an adjustment. The adjustment is with your understanding of home equity. You see, many of us have been led to believe one thing about home equity when the reality is acutely different. This misinformation, if not an outright lie, puts you and your family in a precarious situation that could lead to financial disaster.
We moved into our condo seven years ago. We were very excited, as this was our first home purchase; it was a blank canvass; it was below our budget and met our architectural aesthetic. Another reason why we were so excited was because we bought into a condominium. Neither of us particularly loves yard work, painting and fixing things. David’s handy, but I’m not. I led a cushy life when it comes to home repairs and maintenance and it’s not fair for David to do it all. So, naively, this is one of the reasons we bought into a condominium with a homeowner’s association (HOA) and a property management company. We thought that among all of them they would handle most home maintenance issues.
It’s sure easy to mock the “one percent” and the “one percent of the one percent” these days. I mean, when they compare their plight to Jews in Nazi Germany and claim they’re rich simply because they work harder than the rest of us, what do they expect. It may be true that they work harder than the rest of us, but saying it outside of their head is just as moronic as those who claim life is hard because they’re beautiful.
The truth is many wealthy people become so through their own volition. Many did work hard and smart. Sam Zell is right that the rest of us would do ourselves a favor if we spend as much time emulating the “one percent” as we do bashing them. That is what we’re going to do here.
CNBC reported yesterday that the 2014 Retirement Confidence Survey, produced by the non-profit Employee Benefit Research Institute and Greenwald & Associates, shows that American workers are more confident in their ability to retire comfortably because of recent stock and housing market gains over the last few of years.
In the comment section, I said, as I often do, “A home is not a retirement plan.” This garnered comments, which I appreciate. Comments inspire me and make me think. One commenter said that a home can be part of a retirement plan. They included the example of northeasterners who sell their homes and move to a smaller, less expensive home down south. They often pay for their new home with cash and then have money left over. Another commenter said that it is nice to have a free place to live in retirement, rather than a place to rent.
I do not believe this is entirely accurate.