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Estate Planning, Wills, and What to Do NOW to Protect Your Heirs

The BiggerPockets Money Podcast
32 min read
Estate Planning, Wills, and What to Do NOW to Protect Your Heirs

Financial freedom allows you to do what you want, when you want, and with who you want. But it’s not just for lounging in hammocks or jet-setting around the world. When tragedy strikes, a sudden loss occurs, and you need time to spend with your family, friends, and loved ones, financial freedom becomes the bedrock of what helps you recover. This is why the option to retire early is so crucial for the everyday American; you never know when you’ll need to take some time for yourself.

Jordan Klint, former guest on episode sixty-three, achieved financial freedom at a surprisingly young age, with five children to boot! His time freedom and ability to live on his terms was an added bonus the last time we talked to him, but now, we understand that it was necessary for Jordan to keep sane during the past year. Jordan’s family went through a significant tragedy, resulting in the loss of not one but multiple relatives all at once. This was an incredibly hard time for Jordan and his family but has allowed him to reflect on what FIRE-chasers need to do to ensure their families are protected when they pass.

While this episode does bring up some difficult points, it’s full of extremely useful tips that Jordan used to get his family’s finances together. We get into estate planning, why you need a will, life insurance, car insurance, and the “emergency binder” that EVERYONE should have. Don’t wait until the unexpected happens. If you’re building wealth, you NEED to put these plans in place. 

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Listen to the Podcast Here

Read the Transcript Here

Mindy:
Welcome to the BiggerPockets Money podcast, where we catch up with Jordan Klint from Episode 63, and discuss life, death, and how to combine living for the moment with financial independence. Hello. Hello. Hello. My name is Mindy Jensen and with me, as always, is my supportive co-host, Scott Trench.

Scott:
Thanks so much, Mindy. Great to be here.

Mindy:
Scott and I are here to make financial independence less scary, less just for somebody else to introduce you to every money story because we truly believe financial freedom is attainable for everyone, no matter when or where you’re starting.

Scott:
That’s right. Whether you want to retire early and travel the world, go on to make big time investments in assets like real estate, start your own business or deal with tragedy and planning for the passing of loved ones yourself, we’ll help you reach your financial goals and get money out of the way so you can launch yourself towards your dreams.

Mindy:
Scott, we are checking back in with Jordan Klint, I’m sorry, Dr. Jordan Klint from episode 63 where he originally chatted with us about having five kids and still being able to reach financial independence. Today’s episode is a little bit different. After he joined us on that show, his life took a big turn, and today we’re talking about what’s happened since.

Scott:
Jordan has really kind of experienced some tough times and he was very brave and transparent to come out and talk about those things today. It’s a very powerful episode and we’re very grateful to him. I think, we’ll learn a lot, but it’ll be a tough one. Just if you’d like to connect with Jordan to learn more about him, you can find him on Twitter at @JRKlint.

Mindy:
Before we bring in Jordan, let’s take a quick break. We’re back. Jordan Klint last joined us on episode 63 where he shared his journey to financial independence at age 33 with five kids. Jordan, can you please catch us up on what has been happening in your life since that episode?

Jordan:
Well, I’m still on the journey, I guess the financial independence. We’ll talk about it later, but I have retired and that’s not really even the biggest news since then. It’s been four years since we talked last. In that time, we did have some trauma in our lives and we’ll talk about that a little bit.
August of 2019, I had four of my family members were killed. A guy made a series of bad decisions and it ended up in my parents, both of my parents and then my youngest sister and then one of my uncles all passed. He was caught though, I guess, that’s good. You don’t have to think about that. Then, convicted as well. He’ll be in jail for a long time, but that adds a lot of complexity to your life.

Scott:
That’s just devastating. I can’t even imagine how that would impact folks. These folks, they lived close by and were an intimate part of your day-to-day life too?

Jordan:
My folks lived close by. We talked about it in the last episode, but they watched our kids and were pretty involved in our lives. Then, my youngest sister as well was still around here. My uncle lived out of state, but they came and vacationed here in beautiful Michigan every August. They were here just on vacation when it happened. That’s kind of like that. Yeah.

Mindy:
Wow. When you’re going through such a tragic event, how do you recommend asking for support and receiving support from your family members and friends?

Jordan:
That’s a good question. When you’re going through it, everybody comes and says, whatever you need, I can help with. Every person that you know randomly shows up and says that. It’s actually, I think it’s just kind of how humans work and it’s not really even that helpful because that first week, you don’t know what you need and the second week you don’t know what you need, and by week four, they’re kind of getting it over it already, but you’re obviously still weighing it and you don’t know what to ask for.
That’s a little bit hard probably, as you’re going through it, but I would say one of the biggest things is you need to have this stuff set up in advance. You have to have your support structure all there and built before you need an event like this or you need support. It’s kind of like insurance. Insurance do you any good if you buy it after the fact. You kind of got to have it all in place before.

Scott:
Jordan, would you mind giving us an overview of some of the challenges that you faced, not just in the context of losing these four close family members, but also in kind of dealing with the aftermath of that and the estate challenge and estate transfer that took place upon that event?

Jordan:
My parents had prepared some of that stuff. They did have a will and they did have a trust for my youngest sister who was disabled. Some of that stuff was already set up and that was all supposed to go obviously much later than we were expecting, but that stuff was set up. Some of the difficulties we had were, they did have a few pieces of property around and then their personal home obviously, and you had a lot of, so there was still five surviving siblings and we had to work through how are we going to deal with this stuff because none of that was really spelled out how do we split it up?
Again, most of it was supposed to be there to take care of my youngest sister and her financial needs and her medical needs going forward. You had to decide, does anybody want this? Does anybody not want it? There’s a lot of emotions built in there because they had passed and you feel a lot different when you’re going to their house, which was the house I grew up in and you’re going there now has a lot different feelings than it did before.
Before, it was a place of rest and camaraderie and stuff like that, and now it was kind of empty and it had lost some of its soul, I guess. I don’t know if that’s the right word to use for a house. Some of those kind of things. There was some delayed maintenance on the house. I spent a good chunk of that fall catching up on some stuff that hadn’t been done, was getting put off, and that was very cathartic for me. I got some healing from that probably and it really showed.
It was a big house and it wasn’t something that we were going to be able to manage just as siblings and I kind of came to that realization first and then slowly everybody started to come around towards that. That’s probably the biggest thing was letting their house, getting it fixed up and then putting that up for sale and stuff like that because aside from the finances side, it was just a lot of emotions tied up and something like that.
Other things that were a big issue, passwords. Everybody says you got to take care of your passwords. It’s really true. We had no idea what some passwords for some things were, but you need to have a plan if you have it, keep it in your underwear drawer or whatever, some way to get all those or last pass or whatever the thing is you’re going to use, but you have random accounts for this and that and you have to find some way to get into those and get all those taken care of and closed up. Definitely keep that in mind and leave it nice for somebody because somebody’s got to take care of your mess, so you got to find a way to leave that buttoned up.
Also, just regular accounts. It took forever to go through every random piece of paper and find old insurance, accounts and bank accounts. There was a bank account from where my mother had grown up from 50 years ago. We had to go find that account and find out how to get into that account and she had never logged into it even electronically because it was so old and it just had sat there. Lots of that stuff, just those little things and they were super time-consuming and you don’t even know if you get to them all because you’re at some point, it’s like, okay, I think I got to most everything, but I don’t really even know.

Scott:
It sounds like you and your siblings would’ve benefited from some sort of filing system digitally or physically that housed all of this stuff in an organized fashion and that item would’ve saved you lots of grief and time. Is that kind of a takeaway for someone listening to this?

Jordan:
Yeah. It’s definitely true. I have all that all put together now and I have files for all of that and I have the person that’s going to take care of my mess if it ever came to that. They know about that and they know how to get into everything and where to track it down. Even down, once it crosses over a thousand dollars, it goes into that account. I figure, if it’s less than a thousand dollars then it’s probably not even going to be worth worrying about, but if that account’s over a thousand dollars or if it’s worth something, it’s in there and it’s all filed away and it’s ready for the next guy to take over my mess.

Scott:
Jordan, was there any conflict that came about as part of this process and if so, how was it resolved?

Jordan:
Yeah, there was some conflict. Some of the stuff you don’t know if today’s your last day. You really don’t and you don’t know if tomorrow is. That’s one of the things I think about. I get on and I wake up every morning, I put on my socks and I think one of these days is the last day that you ever put on socks. You never put on socks again after that day. There was some kind of relational stuff that was a little bit left undone.
We live in a pretty small community here. I’m sure they thought we’ll get to that next year or next week or whatever. Some of that stuff wasn’t taken care of and it left a lot of chances for us to take care of it differently than they would. Some of that stuff didn’t probably go as smooth as I’m sure that they would’ve wished, but again, that’s another thing to impress on all of us.
As you get your stuff taken care of financially, you got to work on these relationships and you got to make sure that stuff’s buttoned up because again, I mean, today could be the last day, your last day or it could be their last day and you don’t want to leave some of that baggage sitting around and unkept.

Scott:
How about, was there any conflict in dealing with it’s the assets or understand interpretation of the will?

Jordan:
No. The will is pretty straightforward. Everything was supposed to go to my sister, basically. The rest of us were all pretty well taken care of. We had our heads screwed on straight. That wasn’t supposed to be a big issue. I had known about that because I’m the oldest son, oldest kid, whatever, and I was supposed to take care of a lot of that.
I knew all that was coming and I knew some stuff was in place and I was executor of their will and their trusts and I was supposed to be guardian of my youngest sister if that did come, but since they all passed together, a lot of that just kind of got washed out. It went through probate, like a triple probate all at once because they all deceased at the same time. They were able to do one probate and clear. They were able to clear each of their estates and then the disability trust and it all cleared at once.
That was pretty clear. It all was just going to come back to the five of us that were still left and we were all on good terms and we were able to talk through most of that. There were a few things that there’s only one of. There’s only one wedding ring and there’s only one of this and that. Some of that stuff we just kind of worked out and it kind of went naturally, I guess. I don’t think there was any, well there’s not from my position, there’s no hard feelings, I guess. I guess, that’s for some of them to say how they managed it.
My dad had a old car. He had a 1966 Mustang that he never really drove. It was just parked in the garage for 30 years or whatever. Nobody really wanted that. I mean, I wanted it a lot. Nobody else really wanted it. That came to me and I spent the last couple winters storing that. It’s beautiful and it’s out in the garage but it’s all fixed up and got a big old engine in it. I take that out in the summers, not in the winters because the salt’s so bad up here, but that was one of the things that there’s only one of. If they’re ever around, they can come and drive it, I guess.

Mindy:
Jordan, a moment ago, we were talking about your support structure and how important that is. Who were the people that supported you outside of your siblings and how did they provide support?

Jordan:
I have a real good set of friends. You realize that now because you’ve leaned on them so hard for the last few years, but they’re there and they’re the people that they have to come there when you’re not even aware of what you need and they got to be there for you. Like I said, in the very beginning, everybody says they want to help but nobody really knows how to help. It’s about having those close people that are just standing there when you need it and they’re the ones that you can just stop by and I got some that I can just stop by. That’s the great part, I think.
One of the things, if you had asked me this in 2019 when we had our last call, I would’ve said that my four support people, my closest support people were probably my parents and my wife and then my uncle as well. Three of those people passed on the same day. You have to have a pretty wide support net to get you through some of that stuff because out of the top four, I was down to one real quick. Then, everybody else has to step up. That’s where my friends really, really stepped up.
I’m heavily involved in my local church as well. You get a lot of support from there. If that’s not something that’s in your life, you have to find a different way to offset it. You have to have these people. We tend to isolate ourself in the fire movement, I think. I’m independent. I can go to work. I can save. I can manage my own properties. I can underwrite my own deals, all this kind of stuff. You get pretty independent.
Really, we’re not made to live independent. We’re made to live as a team and even if you have it all together today, you need to be there to support somebody else and there will come a day when you don’t have it all together and then you’re going to need that support.

Mindy:
How did you practice self-care while you were grieving?

Jordan:
Well, I think that initial period, there’s all the people around. Right after something like this happens, you’re just bombarded with food and people. I’m a natural introvert, so some of that is after a week of that, it was like, “I don’t need this level of support at this point.” Some of the other family members needed that level of support, but I didn’t need it.
I wasn’t working very much at that point. I’m sure we’ll talk about that later, but I was down only one day a week at this point in my W2 job and I was already back at work within that first week and I’m like, “I got to get back and just have some bit of normality in my life.” I think that really helped me, but I’ve grieved with other people since then. We had all this COVID stuff and lots of people lose loved ones during that and other things. I’ve been alongside these people now and everybody’s going to do this process a little different. I think that’s one of the biggest things I learned.
I’m naturally inclined more towards that repetition and introversion and things like that. It really helped me to have the access to be with people and then to be away and do my own stuff and that was what I really needed. Then, again, being at work, I enjoyed work. I was working because I liked it, not because I needed the money. It was real comfortable to be there and it gets you out of, you don’t want to go through old tax bills from a year ago of your parents. That’s not what you want to do for 24 hours a day. You got to have something else to do and to dwell on and to think on. A lot of that is what I did.
Then, we were in process of updating our farmhouse. We were doing a renovation on our own personal house. That was pretty much underway at that point. I took a lot of time and you get to build on some stuff and I really enjoy that. I got to think back on all the things that my dad had taught me all growing up. That’s where I had got to this point was from his involvement. I really enjoyed that. Again, that was pretty healing probably. I’m a hands-on kind of guy and building stuff really, really helps.

Mindy:
What was the most helpful thing someone did for you in the moment? I’m asking from the standpoint of someone who will, in the future, have a friend going through, hopefully not something exactly like you are going through, like you went through, but everybody is going to die.
At some point, I am going to have a friend whose loved one has passed and they’re overwhelmed with grief. What was one of, but when you’re in the moment you’re like, I don’t know what to do. I’ll do anything. That’s not really helpful to you for everybody to say, “Oh, let me know what you need.” I don’t know what I need. I know that that’s the position that you’re in. What was something that was really, really helpful that somebody did that you didn’t have to ask?

Jordan:
We have one really close friend. His name’s Jason. He was there from that first day. He just took it on himself and he was going to do all the errands. If somebody needed to drive up to town and fill out some paperwork or somebody needed to get pick up from the airport, he just handled all of that. You have tons of people coming in, in the moment and stuff like that, but he handled all of those kind of things, just ran around.
There’s tons of, I mean, I guess, I don’t want to just name one person I guess, but people came over and we’re down by the beach. People would just come and say, “Hey, let’s go for a walk.” We would just go out for a walk and you go out for three, four mile walk and you come back.
That was the stuff that was really helpful because again, there’s so many people around in that beginning and there’s not really that much to talk about, honestly, when you’re there because there’s so much to talk about in a way, but there’s nothing specific. You just need to have some semblance of regular life and those people in your support structure are your regular life, especially now. Going forward, those were going to be my support people. Whoever number five was moved up to number two. They got a big promotion there. Now, I was going to need to lean on them a lot more.

Scott:
It sounds like just people being there to be around you and then also I’m going to stand up and help with all of the errands or all the little things that I can to make your life easier for as long as it takes weeks and months even following the event. That’s the way to really be there for the close people in your life if they’re going through something like this.

Jordan:
Well, the other thing I would say, and this is hard, even when I help other people grieve now, it’s still hard for me because it’s not, where you are in the grieving, how close you are to the person that passed, changes how long it takes you to, I don’t know, get back to normal isn’t the right word you want to use, but to find some semblance of that again.
The neighbors are sad for a week and then they’re at the funeral and then they’re not sad anymore because they’re neighbors. That’s kind of how that works. It’s not that they don’t care. It’s just that their healing was a week’s worth and it’s going to be like when the neighbor dies, your healing is going to be a week’s worth and you have to understand some of that.
You need to give grace to some people because some people are going to say things a little too soon. Somebody’s going to say, ‘Hey, why aren’t you doing this?” In your mind you’re like, “Oh that was three weeks ago. I’m not ever going to think about that again. Maybe in four years, I’ll think about that.” In their mind, it’s already been three weeks, why haven’t you thought about mowing the yard or whatever the thing is.
You need to have some understanding for the people grieving but also for the people that are around you that are trying to support you and they don’t really know what to say and they don’t know how long it should be before you mow your yard again, those kind of things. I’ve run into that some with helping other people because it’s easy for me to say, it was easy for me to go back to work. That was the biggest thing. I wasn’t working a lot but I was there and I enjoyed it and it was easy for me to go back. Some people, it’s not easy to go back and that’s not part of their healing and it was part of my healing.

Scott:
Talking about what we wanted to cover today in this show, you had some really good logistical points, which are kind of hard to transition to at this point, but I think, it would be great to hear some of those things that your takeaways or advice that you might have to folks listening to this show to button up from the lessons that you’ve learned here as it relates to preparing your financial position, your estate, life insurance, those types of things.

Jordan:
Yeah, I can do that. The one thing you got to think about is life insurance isn’t for you. Life insurance is for those people that you care about. It’s money you could have spent on pizza and beer, but it’s money you delayed and now you’re kind of investing it for them. Make sure you leave them the right amount. You want to make sure, if you’re still working you need to leave enough to offset that salary for however long it’s going to be. It’s just nice.
My parents were older. They were in their 60s and they were getting to the point where some of their term policies were starting to lapse, but they had several, but they were right at that stage where they didn’t really need it anymore and we didn’t really need it anymore. It was kind of in that transition period, but that is one thing to think about and just be very mindful of what you’re leaving and how much you’re leaving for those next people.
The other thing is the cheapest insurance isn’t necessarily the best insurance. We always talk, “Hey, I saved $85 on my auto insurance,” or whatever, maybe you didn’t want to save $85 on that. The insurance is there to cover events, big events like events where you screw up or where there’s some kind of major catastrophe and that’s what insurance is for. That’s one thing to look at is make sure you understand what your policies actually cover.
I don’t know if it’s the case everywhere, but Michigan has a minimum insurance level and most people just get the minimum insurance level. Well, the minimum insurance level covers like your car and that’s basically all. It doesn’t cover any kind of real damages or traumatic experiences or injury that you give to other people. A lot of that isn’t even covered on the minimum policies. You want to make sure that you look at that and if you decide the minimum is what you want, then, you made that decision, but just don’t assume that that $85 wasn’t actually cutting out potential benefits.
Umbrella policy, that’s another thing that we did learn in context of this. Some umbrella policies only cover the stupid things that you do to other people and some only cover the stupid things that other people do to you. You want to make sure that you understand what your umbrella is actually covering. I’m assuming everybody wants a mutual one. If you have a slip and fall at an apartment, you want that covered, but also, if you back into somebody’s truck at your apartment, you know want that one covered, stuff like that. You want to be aware of how those umbrellas are actually paying out.
Most people don’t read any of the details of their insurance policy and they just sign whatever it is. I know it’s boring and you’re not going to want to hear that, but you probably need to understand what your stuff is.

Mindy:
You had a sister with special needs. Is there any certain type of additional planning needed?

Jordan:
Yeah, there is additional planning need. There’s special actual legal structures. There’s a thing called the special needs trust, which kind of understands that this person’s going to need care forever and they’re not going to be at the level where they’re going to be able to handle finances on their own, but a lot of that, you want to make sure you get set up ahead of time because if things aren’t taken care of, it kind of defaults to the state and most people don’t want the state managing their affairs at that level.
In this situation, there was a special needs trust and it was set up and it actually wasn’t needed because of how everything transpired, but that is something to very much think about as you look, if you go through your will, they talk about things like, if your child is addicted to cocaine, he doesn’t get his money or it gets delayed 10 years and stuff like that.
There’s a lot of weird things like that, but one of the things is about disabilities is making sure that, I mean, you want to make sure that the right people are able to handle that and if it’s not going to be that child, then they need to have some kind of support structure built in to those layers, which that disability trust really does allow to make sure somebody’s there to handle that because you don’t want your kids or your grandkids or whatever becoming wards of the state because you didn’t fill out your paperwork right.

Scott:
Jordan, who should one hire to assist them with the process of setting all of these things up?

Jordan:
Even before this incident, we had been looking at financial planners because we had passed the, well, long ago, we had passed the realm of TurboTax. We couldn’t do our taxes on TurboTax anymore as things started to grow. We had found a dedicated tax accountant and they were doing our taxes. Eventually, we got past what they were even able to do. We were into some more complex stuff and they’re like, “I’m not really comfortable trying to figure this out. You need to find your own setup.”
We started to look around. Most of the financial planners actually charge you a percent of your net worth essentially to manage your portfolio. That really turned me off because I don’t like giving away percents and I don’t like not knowing what the bill’s going to be and things like that as you’re hoping to continue to grow and you don’t want that management fee to continue to grow at the same rate.
We were actually able to find a financial planner that was fee-based. Everything was pretty fixed. You knew how much the first year was going to be. That was obviously going to be more and you know how much the years after that are going to be. Now, we have a regular setup with that.
Again, this is kind of the blocking and tackling of financial independence, I guess, and it’s kind of boring, but it’s really nice to have somebody there who understands how your finances interact with your taxes, because mine are different than Scott’s and Scott’s are different than Mindy. It’s nice to have professionals that do that. We’re all smart people, but we’re not professionals that interfacing our financial plans and our tax plans. I think that’s one of the biggest thing.
Also, the financial planners that we have, they’re very conservative and they force us to do things that we would maybe have skipped or not wanted to do. Now, that we’ve been with a financial planner, we get our money into our Roth every year, even though I’d rather spend it on more real estate, but it goes into the Roth as it’s supposed to. It isn’t just mutual funds and it grows on its own thing, but they really force you to those things. They’re going to make you get a will. They’re going to make you sure your stuff’s all in the right kind of trusts.
When it updates, they’re going to be like, “Hey, we updated that will four years ago, but now something has changed in how the government perceives something. We need to make an adjustment,” and you’re not going to know when you need to make an adjustment, but they are. I definitely think that’s amazing.
That profession CPAs and accountants and things like that, are naturally risk-averse. I think that helps a lot. We’re blind sometimes to the risks that we want to take. You’re like, “I want a 50 unit trailer park that doesn’t have any tenants and all the units are abandoned.” That seems like fun to me. To my accountant it might not seem so fun. They’re not there to just direct your business, but they really do provide you some additional support when maybe you need some additional support on the level-headed thinking side.

Scott:
Jordan, you are currently phi and have been phi for many years. Put yourself in the shoes as someone who is getting started and has maybe let’s call it less than $50,000 in net worth and earns $50,000 a year. What is appropriate amount to think about time and energy and money to spend on the exercise of planning for estate issues and those types of things and what is overkill in your mind for that person because I think it evolves over your journey.

Jordan:
I definitely say that’s true. I mean, the very first thing you can do is get a will. You can get a will and I think when I got my very first will, I think it was $50 to get a will. There was a blank, a form that my job had and you filled it out and it tells you how to assign all the people and then you submitted. I’m pretty sure it was 50 bucks. They might have subsidized a little bit, but it’s very reasonable so that, at a minimum, that’s your very first step.
I think one of the next things you need to think about is that life insurance side of things. If you have kids, you need to think about that or just a spouse or a significant other. Even if you have nothing, you really don’t have any other next generation to leave it to or anything like that, you need to think about clearing your own debts because you don’t want to leave you it in a situation where they have to do a fire sale on whatever you do have.
If you don’t have enough to pay your debts, then, people are going to have to sell. If you’re forced to sell, that’s one of the things we look for when we target cold calling or whatever. You look for those distresses. That’s a distress that you look for, but you sure don’t want to have to have your estate even after you’re gone kind of liquidated at a discount to clear some 80% mortgage or whatever. I’d say those are the first things to clear up.
As your stuff grows, I would say start looking at that trust, but you’re probably going to need, again, I’m not a financial planner or anything like that, but I’d say once you’re up into the 4, 500 thousands probably something like that, you want to start looking at a trust and getting that set up because you’re hoping that number keeps growing and the trust really set up well where it can start at a lower amount and as things bump up, everything follows how you structured your trust.

Scott:
That that’s kind of consistent with my journey. I probably should have had more in place in the early years, but I did not have any insurance or estate planning in place. Then, once we had our baby on the way, that’s when we set up a revocable trust and hired an estate planning attorney, versus instead of a financial planner. Although, I think a financial planner would have done a great job as well, to set up, again, a revocable trust where everything goes through it.
It’s amazing how now every investment that I make is through this vehicle and it’s just a part of my reflexes when I’m thinking about a new investment or whatever, but it is a different change in the way I thought about things and yeah, I think would generally agree with that flow of write a $50 will if you have no assets and are getting started and ensure those types of things and then, get more serious about it as you get to a couple 100,000 in net worth. Would you tell us a little bit about your retired life right now, switching subject. What is day-to-day life for Jordan nowadays and what are you up to?

Jordan:
Life is fantastic. Really is fantastic. The first thing I want to say about retired life, actually being retired is you bring all of your problems into your retirement. It’s just like if you move. If you move cross country, you’re like, “I’m going to get away from all those bad habits and I’m going to move to San Diego.” You’re going to find all those same bad habits in San Diego. That’s just how we are.
One of the things you have to realize if you hate your life and you think it’s because of your job, retirement is not going to fix that. You’re going to find the new thing to hate. It’s not going to be you. You’re going to blame something else obviously, but some of those attitudes just carry right on over. Make sure you understand that. We all have this as a long-term goal. Some of us have been thinking about it for 15, 20, 30 years, whatever, but understand that if you don’t get some of those head space issues taken care of, that you’re going to have some of the same problems in there. That said, I don’t have any problems. I’m great, but you’re the same person. I was great before and I’m still great, right?

Scott:
Absolutely. Do you have any source of income or how do you occupy your time at this point now that you’re retired?

Mindy:
He has five kids, Scott. His time is taken.

Scott:
Oh yeah, five kids. Fair enough. Yes.

Jordan:
They’re being very quiet and they’re not on the Xbox. They don’t suck up on the internet right now.

Scott:
Wow.

Jordan:
Yeah, no. It’s pretty good. It’s a good balance. Almost all of our income comes from real estate in some form or fashion. My wife does have her realtor’s license. There’s a little bit of sales still happening around here. She could get a little bit of income from that, but we still consider that real estate income. Most everything is long-term rentals. That’s how we support ourselves is passive in a way.
I don’t have to show up and put in hours or whatever, but some of it does take some management on my side. That’s one of the things I found from being retired is, well, I mean, I knew this already, but I can’t sit around and do nothing. I have to do some things. I found the really good balance is to have a project that sucks up for five hours, six hours a day. That’s what I really like.
We get up. We have family breakfast. Everybody goes about stuff that they need to do and I usually take a kid or just go by myself and have something that I’m working on. I do all our own turns on our units when they come up and we’re still able to find a few things that are out there and we can pick them up. They take a little bit of maintenance and they take a little bit of projects and that’s the stuff I like to do. That takes a lot of time. I had just finished last year. I finished my doctorate. I’m officially a doctor now for whatever that’s worth.

Scott:
Dr. Klint, we haven’t been using the honorific today.

Jordan:
Yeah, yeah. I don’t force everybody to do it. I force my brother to do it because he’s a medical doctor. He has to call me doctor as well. I’m not a medical doctor, but he’s the only one that’s forced to call me doctor. Everybody else can call me, whatever, but that sucked up a lot of time. Last year, I was finishing up that and writing a dissertation and all those kind of things. That was last year, but that’s over now.
After my folks passed, I’d gone from three days a week, which was what we were at when we talked last time. I went down to one day a week. I still worked there for a couple more years after that where I just put in one day a week at that same company, mostly doing software stuff and I was able to keep everything running for a while, but eventually got to the point where I couldn’t stay in the business in my head enough to know really what was going on even to do the software.
It just kind of came to the point where I was like, “I can’t do just one day because it’s not really helpful enough.” I didn’t even know what was going on during the rest of the time. I did step away and stepped away in 2021. That was my last time working at all, and I’ve been out here on my own since then and it’s been great.

Mindy:
Dr. Klint, do you have any final takeaways for our listeners to help them prepare for when life throws them a curveball?

Jordan:
Again, I think the most important thing is having that support structure and making sure you’re there to help people. It’s a two-way street. If you’re only going to look to receive, then, it’s not going to pan out, but you need to have some people close to you and some people that you can be really honest with. It’s hard to be honest. It’s easy to be a troll on the internet, but it’s real hard to be honest, even with your friends.
I think that’s one of the things you got to make sure, and if you don’t have that right now, maybe that’s the 2023 goal is to go out and get a couple people that you can be that close with where you can, you have to be able to share when you’re struggling and in turn, that’s going to come back for you and I think it’ll come all around and really pan out. I’d say that’s probably the number one thing.

Mindy:
Yeah. You had a really great quote when we were emailing before the show. You said, “You can’t buy old friends.”

Jordan:
You can’t buy old friends. That is the most important thing. You can buy a lot of stuff. You can buy a backhoe. You can buy a car, whatever you need to buy, but you can’t buy those old friends. You got to start investing in them now. I think that’s real important.

Mindy:
Jordan, I really appreciate your time today and I’m so thankful that you came back on the show to share with us the things that have happened since then and how you’ve dealt with them. I think there’s a lot of lessons to be learned in here. Most importantly, get a will, have a password plan, get your affairs in order now, so that should your loved ones need them, they’ll be able to find them easily. Jordan, thank you so much for your time and we’ll talk to you soon.
Scott, that was Jordan Klint. I am thankful we got a chance to have a conversation with him. I am sad that it was under these circumstances. One thing that he discussed during the show is the concept of having all of your affairs in one order, having all of your documents together in one place. Our friend, Chelsea Brennan, from Smart Money Mamas has created something called the Emergency Binder. I actually have it. It’s the Family Emergency Binder from Smart Money Mamas.
It’s a little flash drive that you put on your computer and it asks you all sorts of questions. You fill out all of your information so that you can give this to somebody they have or keep it in your safe deposit box and let them know where it’s at, so that they can get at it should you pass. You can find that at emergencybinders.com. It’s a great way to get you started thinking about all of the things that you’re really not thinking about.
You have all of these passwords and you don’t really know where to put them. You don’t want to write them down. Here’s a little sticky note by my computer. You don’t want that, but you want people to be able to get into all of your documents.

Scott:
What I recognized from today is I’ve got a million passwords here. While we went to all this trouble to set up a revocable trust and all this kind of stuff earlier this year in preparation for our baby, I guess earlier in 2022, I’m sorry, I did not have a plan for passwords. I should definitely figure that out, make sure that that’s all in place, especially if me and my wife were to pass, which as we were reminded today, can definitely happen. That’s something I should definitely think through and I will definitely check out emergencybinders.com. That’s a great tip. I had not heard of that before.

Mindy:
Yeah, that’s a great site.

Scott:
If this is top of mind and you want to do some further listening for this, we had another episode on podcast number 49, BiggerPockets Money podcast episode 49 with Harry Mix, and we talked about financially preparing for inheritance money and there’s other good tips there. It’s not just preparing all of these things. It was also, he pointed out, thinking about what you want for funeral arrangements, right? Do you want to have your heirs debating what to do about your funeral? Those types of things.
That’s not a fun thing to think about, but it is something to do and own that and have that ready so that you’ve done that and are not placing that burden on the next of kin or whoever’s inheriting your estate. That’s a tough thing too, but getting all this stuff done is part of checking some really important boxes that I think are responsible. It’s not for you. It’s for the folks that come next.

Mindy:
Exactly. You are planning to take away their burden of time spent on figuring out where all of your things are, and the more time you put into it, the easier job they will have. This is so sad wrapping up your life.

Scott:
Well, one, I don’t know if it’s, one part, it was interesting for me was like, what I want to happen to me after that? I talked about it and my instructions are essentially to get cremated and then to have my ashes scattered over a rugby field, a makeshift rugby pitch somewhere in the state of Colorado. It’s powerful to think about that.

Mindy:
It is powerful. It’s hard.

Scott:
Yeah.

Mindy:
All right, Scott, should we get out of here?

Scott:
Let’s do it.

Mindy:
That wraps up this episode of The BiggerPockets Money podcast. He is Scott Trench and I am Mindy Jensen saying, take care of yourselves.

Scott:
If you enjoyed today’s episode, please give us a five star review on Spotify or Apple. If you’re looking for even more money content, feel free to visit our YouTube channel at youtube.com/biggerpocketsmoney.

Mindy:
BiggerPockets Money was created by Mindy Jensen and Scott Trench, produced by Kailyn Bennett, editing by Exodus Media, copywriting by Nate Weintraub. Lastly, a big thank you to the BiggerPockets team for making this show possible.

 

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In This Episode We Cover

  • Estate planning 101 and why trusts, wills, and other documents can protect your family’s wealth 
  • Self-care, mental health, and why investing in your friends is so important
  • Life insurance and why buying a policy is crucial for family members who rely on you
  • Financial planners and how to use their expertise to help you structure an after-passing plan
  • Early retirement and how Jordan was able to take time to recover and recharge
  • Jordan’s post-retirement portfolio and how he’s spending his days after reaching financial freedom
  • And So Much More!

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Note By BiggerPockets: These are opinions written by the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions of BiggerPockets.