I Don’t Want to be Old and Broke

Old Lady

This is where it all began about nine years ago…

Financial freedom had never even crossed my mind, until one evening my husband said “You know, we won’t have much money when we retire”.

I was floored by this remark. We were both on excellent salaries and were good savers, and we faced a government pension (if we were lucky) and an old people’s home in our old age?  I was not at all happy with the idea but didn’t know what to do about it.

Interestingly, not long after I caught a snippet of an interview by Robert Kiyosaki on Morning Radio. He was talking about his new book “Rich Dad Poor Dad.” He said he had toyed with the idea of calling it something along the lines of  “If you want to Be Rich and Successful don’t go to School”!! Interesting!
When I saw his book at the airport bookstore,  I bought it and the journey to financial freedom (and face it, there is no true freedom without financial freedom) began:

“Rich Dad Poor Dad” is a great for someone starting out. Some people find it pretty basic but the ideas are important. Don ‘t toss it to one side. Persevere. I know some people who started with this book, who are now very rich!
His next book “The CashFlow Quadrant” digs deeper. Which quadrant does your cash flow come from? How do you get paid? Are you an employee, self employed, a business owner or an investor?

The whole idea is to build enough passive income i.e money you don’t have to work for, to cover your expenses. Rich Dad’s message basically is; to get financially free you must get your money to work for you, not the other way around.

What is the best way to do this? Rich Dad and Robert did it through real estate, so we decided we would do that too. Following Rich Dad’s rules, we started a property portfolio. The secret to success is to buy ‘below market value’ and make sure your investment is ‘cash flow positive‘. This means that the rental must cover all expenses and give you money leftover.

Apart from reading these books the other important thing is to become financially literate. If you want to be rich you need to be able to read a spreadsheet. Just knowing the difference between an asset and a liability is invaluable (one puts money in your pocket and one takes money out of your pocket…so, your house is a liability!). Controversial stuff and the cause of much heated debate.

Another good tip at this stage is to watch where your advice comes from. Free advice is often the most expensive advice. Make sure the person giving the advice has actually done it themselves. Don’t be afraid of paying for good advice if you have to.

Of course everyone has a different path and yours will no doubt be different from ours. Some people make a lot of money out of business, or out of stocks and shares. We did have a lot of shares at one stage but I wasn’t really interested enough to learn a lot about them and leaving your money in someone else’s hands is risky.  No-one looks after your interests as well as you can. We did OK with shares but I was a lot happier when we got rid of them and focused on property investing. I liked property and it’s a good way to build passive income.

These were our first steps toward financial freedom. We won’t retire old and broke. Bring it on!

Photo by kevindooley

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2 Responses to I Don’t Want to be Old and Broke

  1. Thanks for all your interesting posts. It seems as if a) you became aware that you needed to take action to safefuard your future and realised that money was key to a happy future. Then b) you were given the tools to access it. I wonder what it takes for other people to realise that they have a finacial problem up ahead (sadly from what I read in the press these days, some people don’t even acknowledge this until their house is repossessed) so it looks as if early recognition is key. Secondly, what other tools or inspiration is there out there for people who are ready to take charge of their financial security? Keep up the good work Coral!

    • CoralM says:

      Thank you Annabel
      Your comments are right on…early recognition is very important! Financial education should be taught at school. The whole subject of finance doesn’t seem to be of much concern to most people. In fact, they probably haven’t even thought about it. They are paying for their ignorance dearly now. Robert Kiyosaki is the trail blazer. Yay for Rich Dad!

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