Personal Development

Investing in a Better Life: An Argument for Jumping Into Real Estate NOW

Expertise: Personal Development, Real Estate Deal Analysis & Advice, Real Estate Investing Basics, Business Management
42 Articles Written

“It’s not that we have a short time to live, but that we waste a lot of it.” – Lucius Seneca

You only get one shot at it. When I look around, I see most people living for tomorrow, yet all we really have is the present moment. They have big plans and work long hours at jobs they don’t like so that someday they can have it all. But what if that day never comes?

Investing in a Life Well Lived

When most people envision real estate investing, they focus on cap rates, finding exceptional deals, cash flow and future opportunity. Yet we really aren’t investing in real estate at all. We’re investing in a life well lived. Real estate is just a currency; it has the potential to get you that life, but until it’s used for that, it’s worth nothing.

“Life is long enough, and it has been given in sufficiently generous measure to allow the accomplishment of the very greatest things if the whole of it is well invested.” – Lucius Seneca

I know investors who will take years to make a decision and spend countless hours learning and relearning because they’re afraid to make mistakes or not meet their high expectations. I know investors who make more than most people dream of, yet they never stop searching for more.

Why is it that what we want always seems to stay a few steps ahead of us? It’s because we don’t actually know where we’re going. We focus on the treadmill of how to get there, but haven’t identified why we’re traveling in the first place.

The end goal is and always will be living a good life.

Related: The Small, Simple Business Model That Supports Profits AND Free Time

Protecting Your Most Valuable Asset: Time

Time and what you do with it is finite. You don’t know how much you have; you can only spend it right now, and you have less today than you did yesterday.

“How late it is to begin to live just when we must cease to live! What foolish forgetfulness of mortality to postpone wholesome plans to the fiftieth and sixtieth year, and to intend to begin life at a point to which few have attained!” – Lucius Seneca

Investing in real estate is simply a way to bring in consistent income without trading it for time. You can use it to take long vacations and still have a paycheck. You can switch jobs and not have to worry about losing your retirement. You can work part time and spend the rest doing something epic.

Too many new investors are afraid of making mistakes and will never start because they focus on how instead of why. They find it easier to stay in the comfort of trading their only life for a small paycheck rather than taking a leap that if done wrong will result in them standing in the same spot they started from.

Think about how much time you’re giving away right now in exchange for money? Is it worth it? If you had all the income you could dream of what would you have done today?

Related: 3 Clever Life Hacks to Help Reclaim Valuable Free Time

Attaining the Life You Want

One fallacy that keeps most people in the 9-5 for the best years of their life or keeps them from investing is the thought that they have to save everything for retirement and live later. People work all of those years for one thing: a consistent paycheck. That’s what we give our lives up for. Real estate is a consistent paycheck, and it’s quicker and less costly than retirement. With proper cash flow, it can give you the life you want now.

“By great toil they attain what they wish, and with anxiety hold what they have attained; meanwhile they take no account of time that will never more return.” – Lucius Seneca

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Can one or two rental houses allow you to work part time and travel part time? Could they allow you to get the lower paying job you always wanted or to spend more time with your friends and family? Investing is not the end goal, but rather a way to buy down future hours of work so you can have the life you want right now.

Working is trading life for money, investing is trading money for life. The direction you choose has only to do with the actions you take. What is your next actionable step?

Lucius Seneca was born in 4 BC, and as far as I can tell, things haven’t changed.

Why do YOU invest in real estate?

Leave your comments below!

Brett Lee is a licensed Real Estate Broker in Portland Oregon where he helps people achieve a better future so they can do the things that truly make them happy. Brett is also a buy-and-hold invest...
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    Brandon Stevens Investor from Lexington, Kentucky
    Replied over 5 years ago
    Nicely done Brett, we are on track to retire* when were 40 because of the passive income streams we’ve developed through RE. To us it was just as you say, it was never lets get into RE investing to get rich, it was lets get into RE so we don’t HAVE to work. I don’t need to be rich I just need to have enough coming into maintain my lifestyle. Its about having options and making the time to do what you love. We dont have any grand plans for after 40…but thats the beauty of it.
    John A. Investor from Sierra Vista, Arizona
    Replied over 5 years ago
    “Working is trading life for money, investing is trading money for life.” Great quote. I’ll be using that in the future.
    Frankie Woods Investor from Arlington, Virginia
    Replied over 5 years ago
    Excellent article and a great way to think about life!
    Jen Shrock from North West, Pennsylvania
    Replied over 5 years ago
    A truly excellent article & perspective on things.
    Kim Martin Rental Property Investor from Wenatchee, WA
    Replied over 5 years ago
    Great post! We are on track to retire with the lifestyle we want, following the principles above. It is fun now to show others the way. Thank you!
    Rick Grubbs Rental Property Investor from Salisbury, NC
    Replied over 5 years ago
    Time is life. If you waste your time you waste your life. The highest possible use of life in this world is to prepare for the next life. God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
    Viliamu Amitoelau Investor from Mililani, Hawaii
    Replied over 5 years ago
    The more time we have in this life the more we will be able to help others……awesome way to look at life…..thank you for this article.
    Patrick Donley Investor from Columbus, Ohio
    Replied over 5 years ago
    Great article and loved the Seneca quotes….”On the Shortness of Life” is a must read….
    Andrew Syrios Residential Real Estate Investor from Kansas City, MO
    Replied over 5 years ago
    Real estate is a get rich slow scheme so the sooner you start the better
    Sebastian Villa Homeowner from Atlanta, GA
    Replied over 5 years ago
    Reading this while at my lunch break at my 9-5 …. Definitely a good motivation article to just jump in and quit running on the “learning treadmill”.
    Brandon Johnson Investor from Baton Rouge, Louisiana
    Replied over 5 years ago
    Brett, I LOVE your article. This is my mind set and exactly the reason I began in real estate.
    Issa Rice from Brooklyn, New York
    Replied over 5 years ago
    I need to read this. Thank you
    Jim Braun
    Replied over 5 years ago
    Like your article. I do not need to be rich I just need to be out of low pay, boring , dead end JOB. I already 3 rentals just need to aquire more quick.