What are four principles individuals can follow to achieve their financial and career goals this decade despite the rough start in 2020.
Topics covered include:
- Why we have to be willing to share our journey with others so that they are vested in our story
- Why it’s important to focus on areas where we have momentum
- How to prudently use leverage in order to build an asset
- The importance of urgency, hope, and putting on an event so that we can achieve our business goals
- How asset allocation and portfolio holdings differ depending on the time horizon for the pool of money
- Why we need more control of investing outcomes when the time horizon is short
Welcome to Money For the Rest of Us. This is a personal finance show on money, how it works, how to invest it, and how to live without worrying about it. I’m your host, David Stein. Today’s episode is 314, and it’s titled “Don’t have a lost decade.”
A Horticulturist at a Crossroad
I recently got an email from a new Plus member. He says he’s treating the material on the website like an online college course, but he had a question. He wrote that he’s approaching a crossroads in his life, and he would like to prepare himself for that crossroads. He works at one of the best public gardens in the U.S. as a horticulturist. He’s been there three years, he makes $43,000, has four weeks of vacation, full healthcare, an HSA, they have a 403(b) defined contribution plan where he gets a 6% match. His boss enjoys working with him and he enjoys his job. This member also has his own business, a lifestyle business, providing premium horticulture services for high-end properties. He started it in 2019, grossed $4,000, and anticipates grossing $12,000 this year. He has no debt.
The only thing he owns, he says, that is worth any money, is an old pick-up truck that’s worth about $3,000. He has roughly $18,500 in his defined contribution plan and using the online tools on Money For the Rest of Us Plus he estimates that he’s on track to retire in his early 60’s. He also has about $2,000 in a savings account that pays 2% and about $1,500 in a Wealthfront robo advisor account.
He’s living on about $18,000–$20,000 a year. After contributing to his defined-contribution plan and the health savings account, he brings home about $28,000, but that doesn’t include his overtime bonuses or the work in his business. After taxes and contribution, he estimates that he’s bringing home about $35,000, with everything. Which means potentially he could save $15,000–$17,000 per year, and certainly $10,000 per year.
He writes “For the first time in my life I’m not living paycheck to paycheck, and I’m planning for the future. The business I own now is a hobby passion I turned profitable. It has been a great space for me to learn, and have done a lot of just that. But it ultimately is glorified landscaping business. What I really want to own is a retail nursery that one day will become an event and education center as well. I turn 30 in two months. I thought at this point I would go beyond an entry-level position. I thought I would own my own house, and maybe own a business full-time. Those goals seem so far away.
The question I want to pose to you is how do I get from where I am today to owning a 5 to 10-acre property that I can use to develop into my next lifestyle business as soon as possible.”
He also had an additional investing question that I’ll address in a few minutes. First, he’s not in an entry-level position. He is a master horticulturist. He’s studied it. He learned a lot of those skills working at an organic farm in Tasmania after he got his university degree. He was admitted to a professional horticulture program at the public garden where he works. He is very skilled in all aspects of landscape design and gardening, and there are a lot of people that would be very envious that he has this amazing job working in horticulture and one where he can listen to a lot of podcasts, which he does.
In order to answer his question, I want to compare two couples I know and have known for about a decade. This particular member is approaching 30. He’s looking out over the next decade. What has to happen so that he doesn’t have a lost decade and can reach his goals? I’m positive he can reach his goals.
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