Fixing Up Retirement


Real Estate Recovery

Those who have been reading this site for years know that I began recommending buying US rental real estate in Smalltown USA since 2009.   The fundamentals have always been good for a recovery around 2015.

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Here’s the most recent Smalltown USA rental house Merri and I invested in.

There is still potential in some places, but a lot of the low hanging fruit is gone.

An April 2013 article in Time Magazine entitled “Real Estate Recovery” by Bill Saporito confirms the tale we have been telling for the past four years.

Marcel Arsenault is a student of economic cycles, parsing sine waves and prone to discussing land values in Europe after the black plague. So when he and Peter Wells, his partner in the real estate investment outfit Real Capital Solutions, saw mounting evidence of a housing bubble in 2005, they sold nearly their entire portfolio. Yet when the pair was asked to invest in a new condo project in Miami, a city with more than 20,000 unsold condos at the bottom of the bust, they jumped on it.

And they aren’t alone. Large private-equity firms like Blackstone Group have scooped up thousands of homes on the cheap to rent to people who are gun-shy about owning or don’t qualify for a mortgage.

People like Arsenault and Wells are not surfing a hot trend like house flippers; they’re smart, data-crunching investors who anticipate a cyclical and sustainable rebound in housing. This recovery is being driven by demographic and economic fundamentals–population growth is outpacing housing supply–and the Federal Reserve’s low-interest-rate policy. “We’re all going to be shocked by how fast housing is going to take off,” Arsenault says.

Current index prices are around what they were in autumn 2003–meaning there’s still plenty of room for prices to rise.

For home buyers, the trick is in the timing–close enough is generally good enough if you plan to stay for a few years. “We’re going to get what we can wholesale and rent it and wait for the market to come knocking on our door,” says Wells. Then they’ll sell, presumably at a profit.

The math of this new cycle favors their bet. Arsenault thinks that about 1.2 million new homes need to be constructed annually to keep pace with the growing U.S. population, but so many homebuilders were wiped out in the crash that meeting demand won’t be easy.

This means that part of the investment retirees make may be better placed in their own business. This is not bad though. Chances are that those who remained engaged doing something useful and productive will live longer and happier than those who clip coupons.   ~~~

 

Personally…Merri and I are now entering our 70s and we have not become tired frost time round, so why would we want to retire? What we do is what we love… It’s fulfilling and fun. Instead of retiring, make your golden years really fun by doing something you’ve always wanted to do while being paid for it.

So there is still some opportunity in real estate… in some places.

The key is to continue looking for value.

The way Merri and I do this is to link the price to what we can receive in rent.

Determine how much you want to earn per annum from the property (be reasonable).  Then calculate costs… taxes, insurance, management. Subtract this from rents in the area and then calculate your return.

Ignore the Flippers

For example, in parts of the Mount Dora area we can get $1,200+ a month rent.  We base the price we’ll pay around this factor. That is how we determine value.

In the historic area for example the flippers are now back.  Last week we looked at one house where an investor bought a house at $86,000 March 6, 2013 and re offered it for $128,000.  At $86,000, since there was considerable fixing up to do, the value test barely worked.  At $128,000… not a chance.

By having a value anchor such as this, you can avoid getting caught up in a bidding mania.

The fundamentals have always been good for a real estate recovery around 2015.  We are getting near.  With the stock market at an all time high and cash and bonds paying so little, real estate continues to make sense as a place to invest if you do not abandon your anchor of value.

Gary

Seven P Secrets of Self Publishing

When you write, you can work anywhere.   Here I am working poolside in the winter, at our Florida farm.

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Here I am with our hound Ma, working during the summer at our North Carolina farm.

Learn how to earn everywhere, while living anywhere you choose.  I have been able to earn by writing in Hong Kong, England, the Isle of Man, Dominican republic and Ecuador to name a few of the place I have lived.  Everywhere I have been… too numerous to share here, I have been able to work.  All I need is my laptop.

A pencil and pad even did the job before.  Freedom is just one benefit that you can gain from writing.

Another is income.   Writing has brought me both farms, free and clear… plus a lot more.

Another good example is my friend Hugh Howey.  He was working for $10 an hour in a book store when he self published his novel Wool, typing in a storage room during his lunch breaks.  Soon he was earning over $100,000 a month on Amazon.com.  This helped secure a six-figure book deal from Simon & Schuster, and an option for film by Ridley Scott, director of Blade Runner and Alien.

Hugh Howey

Sometimes Hugh and I get together at my  farm and play chess (he beats me badly).

Writers like High are great inspirations.

A couple of years ago Hugh  left Florida, and moved to South Africa.  He had a sailing catamaran built for him and now can sail the world while he continues to write.

Hugh explained it like this: And that’s the miracle of working as a writer: I can do it from anywhere and everywhere. The past few years, I’ve done a lot of writing from airplanes and airports while on business trips abroad.  SAND was entirely written overseas while traveling through seven different countries; I think it’s a better story because of those inspirations. In upcoming years, I may be writing near your home port.

Hugh’s a super star writer and his success could not happen to a more deserving and talented person.  He pours enormous energy into being worthy of his readership.  But you do not have to be a million dollar a year earner or a traveler to benefit from writing.

The good news is… you do not need a huge success to have a rich and fulfilled lifestyle.  Self Publishing can bring you a life that most people only dream of, as a journeyman writer, instead of a super star.

May I hastily add that the path to stardom begins as a journeyman… so the journeyman’s path brings success without stardom… but can also lead to stardom.

What most success stories like Hugh’s rarely explain is the many hours of writing that was devoted before their self published book sales soared.   Hugh, like me and most writers were journeymen first.  Stardom came later.

Here are sevens secrets that can help you become a journeyman writer. 

The secrets are a writer’s armory of tools that allows almost anyone to create successful publications for income, freedom and fulfillment.

Take Merri’s and my publishing business as an example.  

Merri and I are not writing stars.  We are journeymen who have for more than 40 years, year in and year out, earned solid income writing and self publishing dozens of publications about multiple subjects.

Some years that income has been more than solid… over a million dollars.  Yet in terms of stardom, we are hardly known.

In a moment you’ll see why that’s fine for us and probably will be for you too.

First some history.

Merri became involved in self publishing over 40 years ago… first helping a veterinarian publish a book on a very specific market… animal acupuncture. Then she showed a needle point artist how to sell more books to an even more specific audience… “needle point enthusiasts”  about her needle point work to an audience larger than the population of the city she lived in.  This led Merri to eventually become Executive Editor of an award winning magazine in Florida.

My story allowed Merri and me to work and live from Hong Kong to London to Europe to Eastern Europe, then the Caribbean and then Ecuador… making millions in the process of following our adventures… having fun… while helping a large readership adapt to a rapidly changing world.

That’s what self publishing can bring, profit, adventure and fulfillment, a great feeling of worth and wonder.

Self Publishing has created exactly the lifestyle we desire allowing us to span the world and work with meaning and purpose.

Self Publishing has become a new business art form. 

The seven secrets can help you start your own self publishing business now.

Everything in publishing is new and exciting and changing.  Publishing is being recreated by the wonderful power of destructive technology.

Everything is new… except the seven secrets. 

Change in the publishing industry is disturbing many.   We love this evolution due to these seven secrets we call the 7Ps.  The 7 Ps are so fundamental to writing and publishing that new technology enhances rather than reduces their power.

The First P is Passion.

Whatever your passion, you can immerse yourself in it AND create income with self publishing.  This can be your direct ticket to the kind of fulfillment you’ve always wanted.

Whether you want to travel the world or live as a recluse, work 12 hours a day or not work much at all,  you can set your schedule to succeed, if you’re willing to learn these seven secrets.

You can start part-time with any dream, passion, and budget.  Once you’ve created a product, you’ll enjoy the “multiple effect” of producing profits over and over again.

So the question is… What do you love to do?

What’s Your Passion:  An example is that thirty years ago, a client of Merri’s had a passion to help people who were in pain?  He published a series of pamphlets explaining various chiropractic disorders in very simple terms.  For example: “What Is Whiplash?”

The pamphlets contained solid information, but were simple 5″ x 7″ brochures with drawings and explanations. He sold them with a rack to chiropractors, who put them in their offices for patients to read.  These little self-published items sold year in and year out for decades.

There are thousands of ideas of this sort that can lead to big business.  It’s just a matter of defining and then acting on your passion.

Although I can work when I please and go where I wish, for me the most important reason for being a publisher is the satisfaction it brings. 

I love the projects I take on, so work doesn’t feel like, well… work.

What do you love?  If you love golf, then you can write and sell publications about golf.  Love travel, fishing, dogs, dolls, or art?  Write and sell publications in these fields.

Are you concerned about crime, war, poverty or environmental issues?  You can publish information products that help reduce these concerns.

Would you like to help the world be a more spiritual place?  Publish a newsletter, write a book (or hire someone to write it for you), record a tape… publish something that enlightens people.

Whatever your passion, you can immerse yourself in it and earn income by publishing for ereaders, print on demand, CDs, lists, bound books, or any format you choose.

Be immersed in your passion and get paid well for it. 

This is why stardom is not the main goal for most writers and self publishers.  Extra income, more freedom and fulfillment are usually more than enough enough.

The seven Ps are:

#1: Passion

#2: Problem

#3: Person

#4: Profitably Priced Product

#5: Prospecting Pathway

#6: Promise

#7: Presentation

The first time I exposed others to the secrets in Self Publishing was in a weekend “Writer’s Camp” seminar.  We offered the camp for $1,500. 80 delegates enrolled.  People from all walks of life attended—chiropractors, businessmen, investors, doctors, realtors, inventors, airline pilots, engineers, and housewives.

Merri and I were so overwhelmed by the response, we decided to make it available to a larger audience.  We created a written course based on our current self publishing activity called “Self Fulfilled – How to be a Self Publisher.”  Then we recorded the weekend “Writer’s Camp” seminar.

Thousands have used the course as it has evolved over the decades.

You can receive both the written course and the recorded weekend seminar, in an MP3 file, in a special “Live Well and Free Anywhere” program I am making available to you.  The normal fee is $299 for the written course and $299 for the recorded workshop.   I’ll send you both the course and the recorded workshop and my course “International Business Made EZ (also $299) all for $299.  You save $598.

We are so confident that you’ll gain from this offer that if you are not fully satisfied, simply email us within 60 days for a full refund .

These courses are not theoretical.  They describe, step-by-step, how Merri and I built a million-dollar international business and how we are running this self publishing business right now.   We use the 7Ps today just as we did four decades ago to create a strong annual income.

This correspondence course is for those who would like their own international self publishing micro business for fun and profit. If you want fun, freedom, extra income and fulfillment with your own full or part time writing or want to build your existing business, by writing to sell you can profit from this course.  The course can help who want their own business or who want to have a business together or a family business.  This is the perfect course for those who can no longer find employment, who are looking for ways to earn abroad and who wish to retire and supplement their income.

Whether you are retired, an investor, chiropractor, doctor, dentist, professional or already own your own business, this offers another way to make money, to turn your passion into profit. We guarantee that we have shared all we know to help you start and run your own international business.  Enjoy and live a life of following your Passion to Profit… through writing.

Here is a special offer. 

We provide two emailed courses  “Self Fulfilled – How to Write to Sell and be a Self Publisher” and “International Business Made EZ”.

We include the “Self Fulfilled Writing and Self Publishing Course” because there are two reasons to write, when you have something to say or when you have something to sell.  In this day and age many of us want to do both, make a statement that makes the world a better place and earn something extra in the process. 

Whatever your passion, however you do business, chances are you’ll be writing either to create a product or to sell a product. 

You save more than $598 because you also receive a recorded webinar conducted by our webmaster David Cross (at no extra cost).

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David Cross

David has been our webmaster since our website began in the 1990s.  He is Merri’s and my business partner. We could not run our business as we do without him.

Learn the tactics we use in our web business that condenses 27 years of practical experience about search engine optimization, and writing for search engines.

For the last 27 years David has worked with companies large and small – IBM, Agora Publishing, AstraZeneca and many small business owners.  He has worked in 22 countries, and lived in six of them.

David’s clients span the globe and represent companies and charities both large and small.  From corporate giants to small, one-woman businesses and everything from finance, healthcare, publishing, technology, real estate, veterinarians, alternative health centers and everything in between.

David is an essential part of our web based business.

Myles Norin, CEO of Agora, Inc.  wrote:  “I have found David’s knowledge and experience unmatched in the industry.  Without David’s expertise and guidance for the past 7 years, we would not be nearly as successful as we are.”

As Senior Internet Consultant to Agora Inc. in Baltimore, MD, he worked closely with Agora’s publishers and marketers and – over a 7-year period – helped to propel Agora’s online revenues from around $20 million to well over $300 million.

David’s webinar will help you gain benefits in your micro business that large internet marketing companies use.  In this practical recorded workshop you will learn valuable skills to help your micro business.

There has never been a time when the opportunity for small businesses abroad has been so outstanding.  Expand your borders now!  Increase your economic security freedom, independence and success.

If you are not fully satisfied that this offers you enormous value simply email us for a full refund within 60 days.  You can keep all three courses as our thanks for giving our courses a try.

You also receive a report  “How to use Relaxed Concentration to Brainstorm Business Ideas” and a recorded workshop “How to Become and Remain Rich With Relaxed Concentration” at no additional cost.

Plus you get more in the program.

You receive the Report, “How to Finance a Small Business Overseas” (no extra fee).

Merri and I have always preferred to start our micro businesses  through cash flow.  However in the early the days of our business I found myself raising extra capital several times.  I have also helped numerous businesses raise money to get started.  This report shares several experiences to give a thumbnail sketch of how to raise money abroad.

In addition you receive regular writing and self publishing updates for a year.  Businesses usually need to evolve.  Merri and I continue to publish and have our independent businesses.  Some basics have remained for decades, but new strategies occur all the time throughout the year.  We’ll be sending along updates that share our most recent experiences as we learn and continue to grow our international micro business from Smalltown USA.

My special offer to you in this “Live Well and Free Anywhere Program”, is that you receive:

  • “International Business Made EZ” course
  • “Self Fulfilled – How to Write to Sell” course
  • Video Workshop by our webmaster David Cross,
  • The entire weekend “Writer’s Camp” in MP3,
  • The report “How to Raise Money Abroad”
  • Report and MP3 Workshop “How to Gain Added Success With Relaxed Concentration”
  • Any updates to any of the courses, workshops, reports or recordings for a year.

We are so confident that you’ll gain from this offer that if you are not fully satisfied, simply email us within 60 days for a full refund . 

To order International Business Made EZ and the entire “Live Well and Free Anywhere” program for $299.  Click Here.

See success stories from Self Publishers and a few who have attended the “Writer’s Camp” you can hear on MP3.

 

Times Magazine  Real Estate Recovery


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