BiggerPockets Real Estate Podcast

Set For Life With Hacking, Frugality & Maximizing Your Income

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A lot of people want to achieve financial freedom—but many who start the journey never arrive. So what’s the best way to truly set yourself up for success in achieving financial independence and wealth? That’s the topic of today’s show, where we sit down with Scott Trench, author of Set for Life, to discuss some of the simple yet powerful, tactics people can use to increase their income, reduce their expenses, and lead a legendary life.  

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In This Episode We Cover:

  • A little bit on Scott‘s background
  • The path to early financial freedom
  • How to house hack your way to a portfolio of properties
  • Tips for using the BRRRR method
  • How to invest despite what the market situation is
  • An introduction to the book Set for Life
  • The three stages of wealth mentioned in the book
  • What you should know about the “financial runway
  • The bonuses that comes with the book
  • A discussion on making more money
  • The importance of finding a job you love
  • How to get the set of skills you need to succeed
  • Scott’s advice to those who are getting their first deal
  • And SO much more!

Links from the Show

Books Mentioned in this Show

Tweetable Topics:

  • “It’s not just about being thrifty or cheap; it’s about being smart.” (Tweet This!)
  • “Because we were responsible financially, we were able to take risks.” (Tweet This!)
  • “Understand that what I’m doing today is what I need to get to the next level.” (Tweet This!)

Connect with Scott

Show Preview

Real strategies that work for real people seeking to build wealth through real estate investments. Co-hosted by Brandon Turner and David Greene, this podcast provides actionable advice from investo...
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    Jered Sturm Investor/Syndicator from Cincinnati, Ohio
    Replied over 3 years ago
    Great Interview Scott! Thank you for taking the time to share your wisdom to help improve so many people’s lives. On podcast 205 Dave Meyers said I was possibly the most mature person in his 20s he had ever met BESIDES Scott Trench. I am happy to take second behind you on this because he is right, you have your stuff together and practice what you preach. I sincerely hope your book will get the traction Rich dad poor dad did because the objective is the same but your book is more actionable and updated for today’s financial landscape. Keep up the good work!
    Scott Trench President of BiggerPockets from Denver, CO
    Replied over 3 years ago
    Thanks for the praise Jered – I stand by what I said. I think that you are the most impressive person I may have ever even heard of! I hope to meet in person sometime soon! I appreciate your praise.
    Charlotte Edwards from Beloit, WI
    Replied over 3 years ago
    Enjoyed the show today! Scott, it wasn’t until the end when you shared your age that I realized how young you are. I hope to achieve, now in my 30s, what you’ve done already. Keep it up! You’re an inspiration to many. And I’ll need to listen again for the email address to get the bonus… but it’s already preordered on Amazon…excited to read it.
    John Clark Investor from Pinckney, Michigan
    Replied over 3 years ago
    What a great podcast. 26 years old and has the world by the ba!!s. The way you approach situations is what I wish I had done when I was younger. I just pre-ordered the book and plan to have my young adult children (20 and 18) read it.
    Scott Trench President of BiggerPockets from Denver, CO
    Replied over 3 years ago
    Thanks John! I hope your kids love it!
    Brian Judd from Orange County, California
    Replied over 3 years ago
    Awesome episode today! Can’t wait to get the book in my hands and actually learn the process of building financial freedom instead of being told its possible yet again..
    Scott Trench President of BiggerPockets from Denver, CO
    Replied over 3 years ago
    Thanks Brian!
    Andrew Syrios Residential Real Estate Investor from Kansas City, MO
    Replied over 3 years ago
    Great interview Scott and congrats on the new book!
    Scott Trench President of BiggerPockets from Denver, CO
    Replied over 3 years ago
    Thanks Andrew! Andrew helped provide some feedback on the book. Very helpful!
    Brandon Holley from Lenexa, Kansas
    Replied over 3 years ago
    Great listen and I look forward to diving into the book! Congratulations on your success and thank you in advance, for taking the time to share your thoughts and experiences!
    Scott Trench President of BiggerPockets from Denver, CO
    Replied over 3 years ago
    Tahnks Brandon! I hope you love it!
    Account Closed from Sunnyvale, California
    Replied over 3 years ago
    Just wondering. What is the email I can send my receipt to and get the bonus? Thanks.
    Mindy Jensen BiggerPockets Community Manager from Longmont, CO
    Replied over 3 years ago
    Send a screenshot/photo/scan of your receipt to se[email protected]. You will receive an email with links to the bonus material. ***Please note*** Bonus material emails will not be sent until Sunday, 4/23/2017 when the book officially launches.
    Benedict Chan from Temple City, California
    Replied over 3 years ago
    [email protected]
    Mindy Jensen BiggerPockets Community Manager from Longmont, CO
    Replied over 3 years ago
    Send a screenshot/photo/scan of your receipt to [email protected]. You will receive an email with links to the bonus material. ***Please note*** Bonus material emails will not be sent until Sunday, 4/23/2017 when the book officially launches.
    Mindy Jensen BiggerPockets Community Manager from Longmont, CO
    Replied over 3 years ago
    Send a screenshot/photo/scan of your receipt to [email protected].com. You will receive an email with links to the bonus material. ***Please note*** Bonus material emails will not be sent until Sunday, 4/23/2017 when the book officially launches.
    Jose Matuk Investor from Dallas, TX
    Replied over 3 years ago
    Thanks for yet another great podcast guys. Scott, I really like your FHA (BRRRR like) strategy but I have a question. I’m also in a really hot market right now (DFW) and I haven’t been able to compete vs. cash or conventional offers using my FHA. How do you go about it?
    Scott Trench President of BiggerPockets from Denver, CO
    Replied over 3 years ago
    Thanks Jose! You are correct that you are a less appealing buyer with the FHA loan vs cash or even conventional. The key is to offer anyways and keep persisting until you get a property that makes a ton of sense. The advantage of being able to use such extreme leverage as 5% down is partially offset by the disadvantage that you are a little bit less attractive to the seller, all else equal.
    Natalia Barriuso Investor from Lafayette, IN
    Replied over 3 years ago
    Absolutely loved it!! I have an 18-year-old son, I would like to get the book for him. To get the preorder gift, do I just preorder from Amazon directly or do I need to do anything else? Please let me know. Thanks so much
    Scott Trench President of BiggerPockets from Denver, CO
    Replied over 3 years ago
    Great! I hope your son loves it! Just email me at [email protected] with your receipt, and I’ll send it along.
    Aaron L. from Kansas City, Missouri
    Replied over 3 years ago
    Scott— great interview, I plan on picking up your new book this weekend. Can you clarify something about house-hacking though? In the podcast you said someone could live in a hacked house for 1 year, then repeat the process…if someone purchases a house with an FHA loan the only way they can buy a second home is by putting 15-25% down… How do you buy a house with 3.5-5% down and then repeat that process in 1 year with another 5% down loan? The only way I’m seeing is if you buy the first home at 70-80% of value and then refinance out of the FHA loan? I’m sure it can be done, but in a hot market trying to purchase a house at 70-80% of value with an FHA loan (especially if it’s 203k), can be tough! Thanks!
    Scott Trench President of BiggerPockets from Denver, CO
    Replied over 3 years ago
    Aaron – great question. The key is that a combination of things work together to help you serial house hack: 1) Yes, if you buy at a discount, you will have some baked in equity that will help you refinance. 2) If you make any improvements to the property with your nights and weekends, you will be able to hopefully add some equity 3) You are paying the loan down through amortization 4) If the market improves, you may benefit from appreciation 5) Because you are using tenants to cover your mortgage, you live rent/mortgage free, assuming things go well. This will help you save cash quickly, which can be used to buy down your mortgage, and help you to refinance. The key is to expose yourself to opportunity, work hard, and do what you can to minimize risk if you can’t get that much equity in a year.
    Jonathan Johnson Rental Property Investor from Charleston, WV
    Replied over 3 years ago
    What was the 200-something loan product, I think Brandon mentioned on the podcast? I thought it would have been in the show notes. Sounded interesting. Great job on the podcast Scott, really like your thoughts and I read a lot of your stuff on BP.
    Mindy Jensen BiggerPockets Community Manager from Longmont, CO
    Replied over 3 years ago
    The FHA 203k loan
    Spencer Glaser Attorney from Memphis, TN
    Replied over 3 years ago
    I have listened to about 100 BP podcasts and that was definitely in my top 3 favorites. I related to so much in this show and I am looking forward to reading “Set for Life.” I am a 27 year old attorney in the process of buying my first house hack and I am dealing with $80k in student loans, so there was so much in this show that hit home for me. Thank you @Scott Trench.
    Scott Trench President of BiggerPockets from Denver, CO
    Replied over 3 years ago
    Spencer – thanks for this awesome comment! I hope you love the book!
    David Krulac from Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania
    Replied over 3 years ago
    Scott, Very enjoyable Podcast, lots of great insights, wish I had your insights at your age! I strongly agree that less is more, as I wrote in the Bigger Pockets Book, “Real Estate Rewind”, I didn’t need to buy and sell more than 900 properties like I did. You don’t even need to buy 100 properties. You can generate $100,000 positive cash flow with 10 properties producing $833/month positive. I house hacked my first property, as I talked about in Bigger Pockets Podcast #82. I also financed the first 11 properties 100% in one way or another. Those first 11 properties generated over $2.8 million in capital gains and rents, maybe I should have stopped there? One of my philosophies is to “Thin the Herd”. Every year I evaluate the performance of my properties and thin out the weaker properties, sort of a Charles Darwin approach, and over the last 2 years have sold 40 of my properties. David Krulac
    David Krulac from Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania
    Replied over 3 years ago
    Scott, Very enjoyable Podcast, lots of great insights, wish I had your insights at your age! I strongly agree that less is more, as I wrote in the Bigger Pockets Book, “Real Estate Rewind”, I didn’t need to buy and sell more than 900 properties like I did. You don’t even need to buy 100 properties. You can generate $100,000 positive cash flow with 10 properties producing $833/month positive. I house hacked my first property, as I talked about in Bigger Pockets Podcast #82. I also financed the first 11 properties 100% in one way or another. Those first 11 properties generated over $2.8 million in capital gains and rents, maybe I should have stopped there? One of my philosophies is to “Thin the Herd”. Every year I evaluate the performance of my properties and thin out the weaker properties, sort of a Charles Darwin approach, and over the last 2 years have sold 40 of my properties. David Krulac
    Scott Trench President of BiggerPockets from Denver, CO
    Replied over 3 years ago
    David – I have great respect for your long history as a real estate investor and am very grateful for your compliment here. I think that you have a great story and hope to be in your position one day.
    Christopher J Lemmon Investor from Little Rock, Iowa
    Replied over 3 years ago
    I enjoyed the show. I look forward to checking out the book. Good job Scott!
    Scott Trench President of BiggerPockets from Denver, CO
    Replied over 3 years ago
    Thanks Christopher!
    Jeanne J. Investor from New Orleans, LA
    Replied over 3 years ago
    Great podcast! Ordering the book now.
    Scott Trench President of BiggerPockets from Denver, CO
    Replied over 3 years ago
    Thanks Jeanne!
    Scott Whitehouse from Halifax, Nova Scotia
    Replied over 3 years ago
    One of the best Bigger Pockets podcast episodes I’ve heard! Very relatable for me, so I’ve purchased the book and am looking forward to reading it. Cheers!
    Scott Whitehouse from Halifax, Nova Scotia
    Replied over 3 years ago
    One of the best Bigger Pockets podcast episodes I’ve heard! Very relatable for me, so I’ve purchased the book and am looking forward to reading it. Cheers!
    Beau Lauber from Tecumseh, Kansas
    Replied over 3 years ago
    Any idea on a time frame for the Audio version? Thanks!
    Scott Trench President of BiggerPockets from Denver, CO
    Replied over 3 years ago
    The audible version is currently being processed (takes a few days). If you buy the hardcover, however, send the receipt to [email protected], and you can begin listening to a free version of the audiobook (along with the other bonuses) in moments!
    Akintunde Akinola from Baltimore, Maryland
    Replied over 3 years ago
    Scott, Excellent show! I must say you possess great poise and wisdom not normally found with someone your age. I myself being just a few years older than you appreciate the information presented in this podcast. I have listened twice already to the podcast and will need to listen a third time about the instructions for bonus material and private webinar for those who purchase ‘Set For Life’ within the first week. Did I hear that correctly there is special bonus material email address and private webinar for book purchasers? Akin
    Scott Trench President of BiggerPockets from Denver, CO
    Replied over 3 years ago
    Akin – that’s correct. Just email your receipt to [email protected].
    Rick Doctor Investor from Orange Park, Florida
    Replied over 3 years ago
    Is this special still available? My wife and are will be buying it.
    Rick Doctor Investor from Orange Park, Florida
    Replied over 3 years ago
    Just checking
    Nathan G. Real Estate Broker from Cody, WY
    Replied over 3 years ago
    First off, Scott is a very mature, capable man for his age. Incredible that he could write a book and have this much financial savvy at such an early age. I don’t think he said anything in the podcast that I disagree with. He’s a gifted writer, particularly for someone so young. My favorite part? He’s financially savvy. I don’t mean he’s a savant; I mean he is smart enough to know that a wise investor doesn’t bet their future on credit card debt and that it’s OK to pack your own lunch and save for a down payment. That puts him in the top 4%! Another wise choice Scott makes is to avoid over-leveraging. BP members love to maximize leverage and buy as many houses as possible that cash-flow $100 or less. When the market shifts – and it will – many of the newer investors (post-crash) will lose everything and guys like Scott will snatch up their properties at a discount. My only advice: stay smart and avoid the advice of newer investors. Stick to your plan and you’ll win whether the market is hot, stagnant, or cold.
    Scott Trench President of BiggerPockets from Denver, CO
    Replied over 3 years ago
    Thanks Nathan – I definitely plan to try to keep working hard and avoid over-leveraging. That will never end.
    Donnie Martens Rental Property Investor from Indian Trail, NC
    Replied over 3 years ago
    Scott & BP Team, Amazing interview! We’ve ordered the Set for Life book and are super excited to use its principles and philosophy to guide us down the runways! Thank you Scott for putting your ideas and thoughts on paper for others to benefit from. Truly appreciate it! -Donnie & Colleen Martens
    Scott Trench President of BiggerPockets from Denver, CO
    Replied over 3 years ago
    Thanks Donnie and Colleen!
    Shiloh Lundahl Rental Property Investor from Gilbert, AZ
    Replied over 3 years ago
    Great podcast. I am also interested in the audio version. Let us know when it will be available.
    Scott Trench President of BiggerPockets from Denver, CO
    Replied over 3 years ago
    Just replied to an earlier comment with this info – see above!
    David Coles from San Francisco, California
    Replied over 3 years ago
    Just finished reading Set For Life on my Kindle after listening to this Podcast. Rated 5 stars. Scott, your attention to detail is amazing. Thank you for laying out the steps so clearly. Looking forward to the journey ahead. Cheers!
    Chris Pinches from Orlando, Florida
    Replied over 3 years ago
    I thought I was frugal and savvy with money. Scott just flipped my world upside down in less than an hour. That’s just with the Podcast. I can’t wait to read the book! Determination, dedication, and discipline with finances is a hard task to accomplish in your lifetime never mind in your 20’s. It’s motivating and admirable. I may be older but I want to be like Scott when I grow up! Thanks for laying out the blue print. I can’t wait to see what doors it opens for my family!
    Rick P. from Richardson, Texas
    Replied over 3 years ago
    Great podcast!! Congrats Scott on the new book! I just order a copy on Amazon.
    David Morris from Meadville, PA
    Replied over 3 years ago
    Great podcast. I just ordered two copies to give to my young adult daughters and their husbands. They are around the same age as the author and I thought the info would be good for them to read. I hope I’m not too late for the bonus material. I really would like to listen to the audio book!
    Michael Christensen Architect from Rockville, Maryland
    Replied over 3 years ago
    Is the bonus material still available?
    Joe Kim Rental Property Investor from SF Bay Area, CA
    Replied over 3 years ago
    Great podcast. I just heard it on my drive home today. I’m buying the book now. I hope the bonus material is still available…but nonetheless I’m buying the book.
    Shaidah Karim
    Replied over 3 years ago
    Scott and Biggerpockets: Another great podcast. Thanks for all the information. I have always practiced frugality so I can relate to a lot of what you say. My spouse and I bought our house similar to “Joey”, at $420k in ’05. I really wish we knew about house hacking back then; we would have bought a duplex. Fortunately, with appreciation, our house has more than tripled in value (in 12 years) and we are using our HELOC to buy rental properties in markets that are on the rise. I really look forward to reading your book!
    Sarah Karakaian Rental Property Investor from Columbus, OH
    Replied over 3 years ago
    Thank you SO much for this episode! It couldn’t have come at a better time for my husband and myself. For the past 4.5 years we’ve been house hacking a Queens fixer and just sold it – we close in 2 weeks. We bought it for 475K with 3% down and sold it for 875K. We’re leaving NYC for a bit of a slower and easier lifestyle and plan on putting into practice all that we learned from our first house-hack. You’ve refocused our mindset on frugality and keeping our eye on the prize. We don’t know exactly where we’re moving to yet – somewhere in the PNW – so we have a lot of work ahead of us: getting to know people, understanding a new market, etc. but this episode turned up the heat in regards to our motivation! Scott, in the episode you’re asked how you deal with being in such a hot market. If 17-27 offers are made on a duplex, how do you score one and still manage to buy smart? We have a significant sum of cash to buy property with, great credit, and enough systems in place to restart our construction and design business wherever we go. We want to buy the fixer du/tri/quadplexs – but any tips on how to do so, without being a big corp., and still spend our money wisely? Happy to message you privately if you’d rather and if you have time to discuss! Regardless, thank you SO much for sharing. Already purchased your new book. -Sarah
    Carolyn Morales Investor from Jacksonville, FL
    Replied over 3 years ago
    What bank was willing to loan you 1 million dollars? What interest rate were they pitching? Great Podcast!
    Michael Lopez Specialist from Wesley Chapel, Florida
    Replied over 3 years ago
    good morning, I had purchased the book within the first week of its release. I was unable to watch the webinar due to time frame. As a pro member, do I have the ability to view it?
    Tim White Rental Property Investor from Madison, AL
    Replied about 3 years ago
    Great podcast. Just picked up the audio book!
    Frank S. Specialist from Chicago, IL
    Replied about 3 years ago
    Scott, That is a very inspiring story. Congratulations on your success! I loved the podcast and forwarded to my brother-in-law. After 232 podcasts, this is one of my favorites. I won’t buy the book, I am a frugal bogglehead, but I will borrow it from the library when available. Regarding DCA, I don’t think it applies to REI. RE has very high front-end and redemption costs. DCA applies more to cheaper and more liquid assets, like (index) mutual funds purchases. Unless someone is very wealthy and this person can buy houses every couple of months, DCA won’t provide the diversification indicated. I’m curious, do you have any data to support that statement? Anyway, congrats again and I am looking forward to reading your posts! Frank
    Alex Corrion Rental Property Investor from Lansing, MI
    Replied over 2 years ago
    Just listening to this podcast now… Loved the question that you pulled about student debt. As someone who has multiple degrees and student debt and fell into the lie that middle class families tell their children (go to college and get a good degree to work a big company and make lots of money and who cares how much it cost)… My point to anyone that has student debt, go refinance it and get low interest and make your minimum payments and hustle in the real estate game, get good rentals that make cashflow and increase your salary in other ways. I disagree with people who work super hard to pay down their student loans and become debt free but have absolutely zero real assets. I think that it is better to buy an asset that cashflows before you are 30 than to payoff all of your loans before you are 30.
    Denny Leo
    Replied over 2 years ago
    I recommend you guys contacting Dark web service when its comes to: * Credit cards fix, * increase your score, * Facebook and whatsapp hack * Phone cloning * Retrieval of lost documents and spying on any target, * criminal record or Email hack. * school grade and more. I got the error deleted from my credit report through the help this reliable hack,gets more details from him right here:[email protected]
    Rob Chang Investor from Clifton Park, New York
    Replied over 2 years ago
    This was a great podcast. Thanks for all the great nuggets! So this was weird…I just started listening to the MorrisInvest podcast and decided to check out others thoughts on it. Someone in the forums here mentioned that he was on BP Show 151. When I went to biggerpockets.com/show151 I was redirected to this one. Was that podcast deleted intentionally? It seems to be skipped in my podcast app as well (Show goes from 150 to 152).
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    Replied about 1 year ago
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