About The Book:
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Destination Perpetuity
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“A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.” – Lao Tzu

I am fifty-five years old and arguably, among the last of the baby boomers. The concept for this book came to me rather slowly as I began to notice how so many of my fellow boomers were ill prepared for retirement. When I asked my friends and colleagues how or when they planned to retire, most replied with an uncomfortable laugh or shrug. Few had plans, and those who did have plans often tied them to corporate pensions, fee-laden investment firms, insurance companies, or the stock market. Corporations fail, the stock market can crash over night, and no one wants to pay brokerage fees forever. I knew a better way and thought I should share my knowledge.

My mother and father were the actual inspiration for this book. I was the youngest of four brothers, and my parents were both in their 40s when I was born. As such, I had the unique vantage point of hearing discussions of retirement from a very early age.

My father was a real estate broker, and when you grow up in a real estate family, there is no steady paycheck but rather the ups and downs of commissions and unpredictable cash flow.   As a young boy, I don’t remember thinking of it in such terms, but I did have a gauge on how my father’s business was doing, and that marker was the dinner table. I knew that if we had spaghetti too many nights in a row that meant my dad had no clients. If we had spaghetti with meat sauce, I assumed my father had a deal in escrow. If we had steak, clearly he had closed a sale.

My mother referred to our family’s financial ups and downs as a roller coaster and would remind my father frequently that roller coasters gave her headaches.

Because my father worked as an independent contractor, he had no retirement package from an employer, and since my parents enjoyed nice cars, eating out, and traveling, social security was not going to cut it.

I remember my parents looking into traditional retirement programs, but they were always disappointed with how the programs were set up. Many of the retirement programs they were presented with relied heavily on the stock and bond markets for investments. My mother saw this as yet another head-throbbing roller coaster ride she did not want to take in her golden years.   My parents had both lived through the Great Depression; although they were small children at the time, they remember all too well the devastation of a large-scale stock market crash. The whims of the stock market were not for them. The other component of a traditional retirement program my parents did not like was the use of actuary information. You may or may not know that most life insurance and some retirement / investment companies employ actuaries that will analyze a mountain of data regarding your age, genealogy, current eating, exercise and lifestyle habits, and other various bits and pieces of data. Using that data, they determine approximately how long you will live and how long your money needs to last. Lets call this Bad Idea #1.

Better Idea #1 — With income-producing real estate investments, it doesn’t matter how long you live. Follow the rules of the road, make a smart purchase, and go ahead and live as long as you want; the checks will keep coming.

The second problem is the investment itself. With a traditional retirement fund, you invest your money, it grows into a nice nest egg, and at a pre-determined time, you start taking distributions. The problem is that the nest egg is getting smaller with each monthly distribution that is pulled from it, and if you live long enough, you can say “so long” to the nest egg. This is Bad Idea #2.

Better Idea #2 — With income-producing real estate, your real estate portfolio IS the nest egg.   If you buy it right and follow the rules of the road, your properties will produce income from the rent you collect (after expenses), AND the building or nest egg continues to grow in value with the market. The cash flows and the nest egg grows. Pretty good combo if you ask me.

On my father’s 80th birthday, he gave himself a well-deserved pat on the back for not investing with the retirement firm that had been highly recommended to him by his trusted stockbroker. That company he told me had designed a retirement planned for him that was to last until the ripe old age of 76 and my mother was given to the age of 79. In 2000, my father passed away at the age of 83,and my mother and her twin sister will both celebrate turning 97 next February. Had my parents invested with a traditional retirement firm, it is very doubtful their money would have stretched long enough even to see my father through his last years of life, and certainly my mother would not today still be enjoying a life of stress-free financial freedom.

This book was written to help guide you on to a path of financial freedom. Life is a journey of many roads and many experiences, and wherever your personal path may lead; I can honestly say you will enjoy the journey more with money in the bank.