What Does It Feel Like To Obtain Financial Independence? - Posted by Nick

Posted by Russ Sims on March 22, 1999 at 21:58:52:

Thanks, Karp for sharing. You are an inspiration to us all!

What Does It Feel Like To Obtain Financial Independence? - Posted by Nick

Posted by Nick on March 22, 1999 at 07:21:31:


This question goes out to the people at this website who
have obtained financial independence.

So what does it really feel like to obtain financial

Re: What Does It Feel Like To Obtain Financial Independence? - Posted by Lonnie

Posted by Lonnie on March 22, 1999 at 19:25:43:

Hi Nick,

You?ve asked a good question and one that indicates that your mind is focused in the right direction. There are far too many people who are only concerned with a job with “guaranteed benefits and security” and a retirement plan, because that?s all they were ever led to believe they were entitled to in life. Those folks would never allow themselves to believe they can achieve financial independence, so they spend their life-time letting someone else dictate what they will do, and how much they will be paid. Nick, don?t you make that mistake.

You asked how does it feel to be financially independent, and I can only give you my thoughts based on my personal experience. And believe me, I?ve been on both sides of the track, so I can speak as one who?s been there, done that. There was a time that I made a point of buying gas at a particular gas station because they gave a free bar of soap. Grocery shopping meant buying the cheapest item on the shelf. Going out to eat meant a burger joint. And I could go on, but I?m sure you get the picture.

I finally got sick of that life-style and stopped listening to what "they? were always telling me. I woke up and realized “they” were always broke, so how could “they” give me advice on becoming financially independent. That?s when I started believing in myself and started doing something different. I learned how to do something besides work a job. I learned how to buy rental property and let the tenants pay for it. When I grew tired of that, I started selling the property and carrying the paper, so I would still enjoy monthly cash flow with no property, no tenants and no maintenance. Then I learned how to buy notes and mortgages at a discount, which provided monthly checks without having to work a job. Then I learned how to create my own notes with mobile homes.

Now we enjoy monthly cash flow from the work of others. There?s no longer a need for me to work a job for money, the folks that never learned that important lesson are the one?s working the jobs to send us checks every month.

So the great feeling we get from being financially independent is to be able to do whatever we want to do, whenever we want to do it, and not having to ask anybody?s permission. It?s being able to walk into a store and buy whatever strikes our fancy and not having to worry about the cost. It?s being able to pick out the car, or house we like and being able to write the check. It?s being able to take that dream vacation to wherever you want to go, stay as long as you like, and not worry about the cost. It?s knowing that when we get back home, there will be checks waiting to be cashed.

I?m not saying that having plenty of money will necessarily bring happiness, so don?t misunderstand my message. Regardless of the amount of money you have, your attitude is still the most important asset in being happy. But not having to worry about money sure does help.

Nick, let me recommend that you set your sights high, develop the proper attitude, learn from the most successful people that are doing, or have done, what you want to do, and you too will become financially independent. There are many great opportunities everywhere, but you must learn to look for them, be able to recognize them, and then act on them.

Best wishes for a great future,


Re: What Does It Feel Like To Obtain Financial Independence? - Posted by Millie I.

Posted by Millie I. on March 22, 1999 at 18:32:26:

You get up earlier because you want to go for a jog, not to the job.

You do what you always wanted to do, and not what you are told to do.

Your performance review is an A+ when your bank account
keeps growing every month.

You don’t answer to people, they answer to you.

But you just might find yourself working 7 days a week
just because the going is that good.

All your efforts produce wealth for you, not your employer.

You can afford to give your family what you always wanted to give. Just don’t give too much, or you will detroy your children’s motivation.

If you like this life, GO EARN IT.
Millie I.

Re: What Does It Feel Like To Obtain Financial Independence? - Posted by Sean

Posted by Sean on March 22, 1999 at 17:43:00:

Well, I’ve heard some people say how wonderful it feels to wake up sick, and to know that you can just lay in bed if you want and the checks will still roll in. I feel that way sometimes, just knowing that money is going to come in even if I don’t get up.

But I never feel that way on the first of the month. In fact, I feel that even if I was terminally ill I’d still rise up from my death bed and go do all the things that must be done on the first. Some people’s rents have to be collected in person. Mortgages need to be paid.

I guess I kind of envy all the note-holders out there that don’t have to deal with tenants, mortgages and rent collection. They just know their mortgage check will come rolling in like it has every month for years.

Re: What Does It Feel Like To Obtain Financial Independence? - Posted by JPiper

Posted by JPiper on March 22, 1999 at 13:06:29:


I would say financial independence is just a milestone in the journey?..not the end destination.

Compare it to any other goal you might have had. When I was a kid I wanted to make the basketball team. I did. For one quick moment I was elated?..then I wanted to be the top scorer, the best rebounder, and the team captain. Life doesn’t end when you reach a goal.

As your life proceeds you will pass many milestones. Attaining financial independence means that you won’t be as concerned with some of the more basic issues like eating. But that basic issue will be replaced by others. Financial independence is just one milestone, not the only milestone.

Financial independence doesn’t mean a problem-free existence. Having some measure of wealth simply changes the type of problem. Probably the best example of financial independence is Bill Gates. But I notice he still has problems.

We’re all here to learn and grow, regardless of what financial level we’re at. Somehow I believe that when you are laying in your death-bed, you won’t be thinking about financial independence. What you might be thinking about is the journey itself, how you lived your life, what the quality of your life was. My suggestion would be to make sure that the journey you’re on is a worthwhile journey?.one that you love. Let’s face it, if you love the journey then whether you’re financially independent will tend to recede in importance.

Have you ever heard anyone say “I can’t believe I get paid to do this.”?


Re: What Does It Feel Like To Obtain Financial Independence? - Posted by AJ - Oklahoma

Posted by AJ - Oklahoma on March 22, 1999 at 12:30:36:

I’m not sure what you mean by financial independence. For me, it means knowing the bills are paid, living in a house I like, having the funds to do the fun things in life I enjoy. And knowing that all of the above is secured because I made the financial decisions over the years to get me to this point. And that is a good feeling.

Maybe for some folks financial independence means fancy cars, designer clothes and jetsetting around the globe. But none of that appeals to me. I’m a simple country gal at heart so I feel independent on a lot less funds than Ivana Trump requires.

Unless your parents were rich and left you with so much dough you never have to work, financial independence doesn’t mean you don’t work. You work to get there and you work to stay there.

Plus, I’m just a go, go, go person. I like to have a dozen “projects” going all the time. I can’t imagine waking up one day and thinking “I’ve made all the money I need. I think I’ll stop working.” The day I do that is probably the day I die. I find more interesting things to pursue in this life than I’ll ever have time to do. I have a 10’ X 10’ office in my home and I can barely move in there I’ve got so many projects in work (in addition to CRE); some are money-makers, some are just for fun.

Reading over what I just wrote, I guess financial independence means having more funds to be even busier than when I was living paycheck to paycheck! Maybe I need a vacation…


Hmmmmmmm - Posted by karp

Posted by karp on March 22, 1999 at 10:44:16:

That is a good question and I am curious as to the answers of others as well.

I have enough passive income coming in that I can support my family in a middle class lifestyle here in Utah. It’s all paper- ask John Behle.
Were I to die tommorow, my family would be provided for above and beyond simple “death insurance”.

I am not sure if that is how you are defining financial independence. Would I ever have to work again? No, not if I just wanted to maintain where I am. Who wants that? Blech.

Am I a millionaire? On paper, yes, but who isn’t? (If you have way over a million in mortgages but those are all being paid off by others, welcome to the paper millionaire club. Feel different? Didn’t think so.)

Do I work as hard? Harder. That is for sure. I avergae 72 hours per week and love it.

Okay, wait a sec, I DO know of one difference that I can certainly pass on to you. Now when I work, I feel sort of like I am being pulled forward…that I will have greater successes whether I like it or not. I am not sure if that is a good description but it sure seems like I am doing a lot less “fighting” to get things done and life is easier sailing. I also take MORE risks than before.

I think the biggest change for me occured not with “financial independence” but when I realized I wa not afraid to go broke, having done so a couple of times before. It is not that bad and when you realize you can always rebuild your wealth.

So rather than thinking about financial independence, I would encourage people to go broke a couple of times so they can get the fear issue out of the way.

Anywa, food for thought. Hope it helps.


Re: What Does It Feel Like To Obtain Financial Independence? - Posted by David (GA)

Posted by David (GA) on March 23, 1999 at 08:09:03:

Thanks I needed to hear that. I am a tired landlord, and think some times if all the trouble is worth it. I thought about selling everything and getting out. But then a house down the street sales for 71k I paid 38k twenty years ago. So I think I will hold on a little longer.

Re: What Does It Feel Like To Obtain Financial Independence? - Posted by Steve Heller

Posted by Steve Heller on March 22, 1999 at 20:32:18:

Great advice for all of us!!!

Steve Heller

Yes - Posted by Laure

Posted by Laure on March 23, 1999 at 07:10:54:

This is where I come to the point of REDUCE/ ELIMINATE DEBT ! I have my own Retail store, but I have machines that break, and employees that call in sick, and customers that only I can deal with …ugh.

Then there is the Real Estate… Nice and Easy. As long as I let it coast along. BUT… I want out of debt. I want the mortgages paid off ! So, I still get up and get going. I have a spread sheet in front of me at least 2 hours a day figuring and re-figuring Taxes, 1031 Exchanges, Mortgage Payments etc. I am on a 2 year MISSION to be DEBT FREE !! LET’S SEE IF I CAN DO IT BY THE END OF THE YEAR ! OH BOY… BREAK OUT THE SPREAD SHEET AGAIN ! LOL


Re: What Does It Feel Like To Obtain Financial Independence? - Posted by Millie I.

Posted by Millie I. on March 22, 1999 at 18:20:12:

Maybe Notes should be the direction you ought to be
going towards. Not a bad idea at all.

Millie I.

Go Broke to achieve Independence - Posted by PBoone

Posted by PBoone on March 22, 1999 at 19:10:53:

Beautifully put! I too have been up and down the scale a couple of times. That is how I resolved the dependence on circumstances to see my wealth.

Karp, just curious… - Posted by Russ Sims

Posted by Russ Sims on March 22, 1999 at 17:16:23:

Hi Karp!
Do you believe, as Legrand does, the less you do, the more you make? Because I’m trying to figure out how one spends those kinds of hours at this business without having their hands in the minute details of the transactions (like driving the hoods, looking for prospects, calling on ads, etc…). I’m just curious if/how you delegate.Thanks!

Re: Hmmmmmmm - Posted by Rick Vesole

Posted by Rick Vesole on March 22, 1999 at 11:13:17:

Hi Karp,

Great post as always. Here’s my take on the desirability of “going broke” and “fear”.

I’m not sure “going broke” is all that it is cracked up to be by those who have “been there”. I have always had a fear of losing what I have accumulated. I think this fear has kept me from getting involved in investments that I did not feel comfortable with. As you now know, my “fear” hasn’t kept me from being reasonably successful.

As I have developed a stronger financial foundation, the fear is less important than it used to be, but I still need to maintain that comfort level before plunging ahead. Yes, I am sure that I have passed up some good deals because of this, but my philosophy has been that there will always be another good deal around the corner.


tired landlord - Posted by Bud Branstetter

Posted by Bud Branstetter on March 23, 1999 at 15:26:50:

I expect that during those 20 years the mortgage has been paid off. You may have refi’d to pull cash out. I think Lonnie was describing the benefits of carrying the note rather than being a landlord. You can L/O, rent to own, sell on contract or whatever to shift the maintenance responsibility to the occupant. With your low basis in the property there will be tax consequences but you pay taxes on the income now.

The question becomes why do it now. I bought a number of properties in the late 80’s when prices were discounted here in Texas. The problem was money was so tight that only squeaky clean people could get loans. Hence I became a landlord. Note buyers wanted 14-16% or more returns and I didn’t know how to broker my own notes. Now money for home owners is much more liberal and most prices have come back. Now is an opportunity to liquidate. There are always 1031 exchanges to consolidate into larger income properties that are managed. The possibilities in the future are for inflation, which will reduce buyers, or a downturn which again will reduce buyers. The long term markets are not predicting inflation.

If you structure a 30 year note as an adjustable rate with a prepayment penalty you may just be able to collect payments over the rest of your life. I believe you must also look at the responsiblities to your heirs. Will they know how to manage if something happens to you or will they dump it at 55 just to get cash quickly?

“Debt is GOOD” - Posted by JohnG

Posted by JohnG on March 23, 1999 at 18:56:30:

I feel like Gordon Gekko in Wall Street - Greed is Good. I like that one too.
I have a different viewpoint. I view debt as a good thing. Now, I’m not talking about 28% credit card debt or 18% short term money (although that has its place) rather I am talking about carefully planned and well thought out debt - i.e. mortgages on property that you buy below retail and generate positive cash flows with future potential for increaising cash flow and capital appreciation.
Last year (1998) I increased my debt by over 5 million dollars and in the process I have added 169 units to my portfolio. Cash flows are good and getting better and the potential for GREAT CAPITAL GAINS is excellent. However, I could not have done it without taking on all this debt. I view it as a way to exponentially increase my net worth - I ain’t getting any younger and I want to retire when I can still walk !!! But remember, theres good debt and bad debt. I think real estate represents good debt. By the way whats a spreadsheet ? LOL.

Try it you’ll like it - Posted by Bud Branstetter

Posted by Bud Branstetter on March 22, 1999 at 22:56:27:


You know my position that notes are better than rents. I had been in San Antonio all last week so went to the collection mailbox today. Four payments for the IRA, 3 for Hip National Bank and one bummer. Is it bad news to get a letter from the bankruptcy court? One small second($4400) I took back on a 15K cash simutaneous close I did last spring. I don’t know yet if the house is exempted or not. But it is still secured. This will be a new experience as I have not had one go chapter seven yet.

A DAY IN THE LIFE OF… - Posted by karp

Posted by karp on March 22, 1999 at 18:19:27:

Okay here goes:

730 day started, followed up on email from clients, got 2 emails about deals. To be blunt both of them sucked but that’s okay.

10am is when it starts to hit the fan in my office…
today was no different. I had 4 preforeclosure calls before 1 pm. 3 look VERY good, I will refi 2, buy one and make a KILLING on the 4th. Why? SHe owns a dairy farm worth 6 million, first mortgage is 800K. That is the only encumberance on the whole property. I will do her a short term loan (and pick up 5 points) while putting together her long term financing where I will get another 2.5 points.

11am spoke with a buyer out of state and finished off the terms on a house I am selling. That went fine and we will close that in about 10-15 days.

1130am Got a call from a person who wanted to simply refer another person who was in foreclosure. Funny story, I had a field agent check out a new city to see if it was worth us targeting, as he did he met a lady who worked at the recorders office. She being the good samaritan called me as she saw a notice of default for one of her friends pass across her desk.

By 1pm, I had a closing on a preforeclosure I sold, that was nice, whew! (I was sweating this one for a bit but I will walk with 11K and a 9K note)

By 2pm, I had a 4 more preforeclosure calls and I delegated them ALL to one of my assistants (this totals 6 for him otday). He is setting appointments this evening to gather all of the info, take loan apps, sign contracts if the numbers work and we want to buy, etc.

It is now 4:45pm, I have gotten calls from 4 people who frequent this list. I blew all of you off as I was too busy and asked you to call me after hours. Sorry bout that.

I will deal with returning the phone calls but I won’t do any new business today.

Could this day keep going? Yes. But I am done. Burned out as it is. Everything seems to be going smoothly and there is nothing that can’t wait until tomorrow.

I dont know if this helps you or not but I really dont feel inspired to share EVERYTHING I do. Lemme just suggest, it all starts with a system and getting others to buy into the vision of what you are doing.

Good Luck.


All Good… - Posted by Mark (SDCA)

Posted by Mark (SDCA) on March 22, 1999 at 11:58:02:

I just finished reading The New Rules of Money by Ric Edelman (good book).
He says that
Being broke is a temporary condition but
being poor is a state of mind.
Something to think about.