Volume 2 in the Tax Strategies series is here! Learn to slash your taxes and turn your real estate investments into a tax-saving machine.
Natalie Kolodij is a tax strategist. (You’ve probably seen her in the forums!) With April 15 looming around the corner, we’re going to chat about ways to choose the RIGHT tax professional who can best serve YOUR specific needs.
Natalie also shares a few red flags about potential tax preparers, aswell as specific things your tax pro should be asking for—and what it means if they do not.
She’ll also share some common missed deductions that can cost you BIG and how to prepare and organize your documents so your tax pro can process your returns quickly, efficiently, and with the least amount of time billed to you.
Looking for that seemingly-elusive real estate professional status? Natalie explains in detail how to qualify for this lucrative benefit. She even shares how long you can depreciate a kangaroo!
If you’re a taxpayer, this show can help you save time and money. If you’re a real estate investor/taxpayer, you can’t afford NOT to listen to Natalie’s advice!
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One of the most frequently asked questions in the BiggerPockets forums is "How can I start investing in real estate with no money and bad credit?" The answer? You can't (Well, to be more accurate, you probably shouldn't). You need to fix your "No money and bad credit" situation and invest from a position of financial strength. Co-hosted by BiggerPockets' Scott Trench and Mindy Jensen, this podcast provides the education you didn't get in school. You'll get tips for getting your financial house in order and actionable advice from guests who have been in your shoes - and found their way out.
Ultimate Beginner’s Guide
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"The Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Real Estate Investing".
This show provides the education you didn't get in school including tips for getting your financial house in order and actionable advice from guests who have been in your shoes - and found their way out.
On episode 110, we interviewed A Purple Life. As she was sharing her story of financial independence, she casually mentioned that her mother didn’t start investing until later in life, and STILL managed to retire at age 55!
So this week, we’re talking to her mother - who has her own amazing story of early retirement which she was able to accomplish even though she didn’t START investing until she was 40!
Momma Purple shares her pragmatic approach to money in general - buying what you need, trying to make repairs instead of buying something new, sticking to a budget and banking bonuses instead of spending them.
Momma Purple is also a big advocate for having multiple, passive income streams like rental properties and a pension.
Hear her story of weathering TWO market crashes during her investing journey, taking immediate action when she discovered her money was in the wrong investment, and how fabulous her life is now, after retirement.
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Purple graduated from college and got a job in New York City making $35,000 a year. And spending $35,000 a year. Her net worth was a whopping $5,000. Her partner shared the concept of financial independence with her, but she wasn’t interested.
Two years later, her net worth had grown considerably, but she was still not tracking her spending or paying attention to much of her finances.
So, she took a good look at her money situation and discovered that there were places she could make cuts—yet not really feel them.
She moved across the country, she changed jobs, she asked for raises. And she saved and invested her money.
And her net worth grew to the point that she is retiring before the end of the year and traveling the world—all because she looked at her financial situation and said, “I can do better than that!”
Listen in to hear just how she increased her income and decreased her spending to craft the life she wanted!
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This week, we sit down and talk with Airman Mildollar, from Military Dollar.
(Spoiler Alert: Despite the name, Airman Mildollar is a woman!)
Airman Mildollar shares her story of college debt, car loans and rapid payoff to start building her wealth to become financially free, despite not being married, having kids or working in tech. In fact, she’s an officer in the Air Force.
She shares her systematic goal setting and goal reaching strategy that allowed her to pay off her debt ahead of schedule - including stretching her military benefits to cover more than just food or housing.
She started reading finance blogs and books and starting putting money away. Moving in with a friend reduced her rent payment, and she began investing in a Roth IRA, opened up a TSP (Military version of a 401k) and also invested in individual stocks in after-tax accounts, saving about 20% of her pay.
Every time she received a raise, she committed to put at least 50% of that raise into her investments.
In 2011, she bought a rental house as she was deploying, put tenants in place and then went overseas for one year, returned home and bought another property for herself to live in. Originally intending to live there for a year then rent it out, she ended up staying for two years then selling to realize HUGE tax-free gains.
2013 is when her Financial Independence journey really hit its stride as she read Your Money or Your Life, and she took a much closer look at her budget, finding another thousand dollars to put into her investing.
MilDollar shows that you CAN become financially independent on your own, without working in an ultra-high-paying job, when you diligently pursue your goal.
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Kristi Tanner Smith considers herself privileged—she was an only child in a big house with lots of toys. But Kristi’s mom was diagnosed with a fatal disease and given six months to live when Kristi was five. While her mom did beat that estimate, she ultimately lost her battle when Kristi was 12.
During her mom's final years, she tried to teach Kristi about money: "Save up and pay cash for purchases. Be responsible with your finances."
Her father was the opposite. So Kristi was able to see both sides of the coin and recognize that being responsible was the better way to go.
Kristi lost her father to a freak accident in 10th grade, and she used the insurance settlement to pay for college, where she studied Criminal Justice. Kristi’s husband worked at Nike; they paid for his entire college tuition once he went full-time with the company.
(Pro tip: If you need your college tuition paid for, look for a company that offers tuition reimbursement!)
After college, she took a job in the Probation Office. She didn’t like it. To make matters worse, on her honeymoon, she discovered they were looking to replace her!
She knew she didn’t want to be dependent on someone else for money, so she turned to real estate. She discovered BiggerPockets, ChooseFI, and the concept of financial independence—this became her new focus.
She started with the home she inherited from her mother, then bought a home from the MLS, followed by a primary residence, then another MLS purchase, and a cabin in the mountains.
Her cash flow on these few properties covers her monthly living expenses, freeing her to pursue her passions. Because when you take care of the money part, you can pursue your dreams and live the life you TRULY want!
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Financial Panther (Kevin) went to law school, graduated from law school, and took a job as an attorney. Attorneys make a lot of money, right?
So, with all this income potential, why is he doing side hustles that pay him significantly less? Happiness.
Being an attorney didn’t make Kevin happy. In fact, it made him decidedly unhappy. He changed jobs several times but in the end decided being a lawyer simply wasn’t for him. So, he left the field to pursue fun things that he liked doing.
Kevin loves to be outside. He lives near a university in a large city. He loves dogs. Put that all into a shaker, and out comes Kevin 2.0.
Kevin 2.0 takes dogs for walks during lunchtime. He gets out of his downtown office (he makes himself go to a co-working space so he accomplishes things every day) and delivers meals to office workers who can’t get away.
Kevin walks dogs around the downtown area for their owners who can’t get away at lunchtime to take them out. Kevin charges scooters overnight, and on his way home, he delivers even more meals.
Best of all? Kevin gets to spend time outside almost every single day. He does what he CHOOSES to do, regardless of what it pays.
Financial freedom isn’t about quitting your job. It's about living your best life, which Kevin 2.0 is now doing.
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Megan Gorman started learning about money very early – at age 5 she begged her parents for a Little House on the Prairie Dress. Her parents said we’re not buying it for you, but you can save up for ityourself. 18 months later, she was the proud owner of a new dress – and a bonus bonnet from her parents who were so proud of her for saving up and being so determined.
Fast forward to high school, and she got a job at a vacation resort during the summer high season. Her father made it clear she was to save some of her earnings to contribute to her college tuition, and she was able to save $5,000 a summer. Her experiences with money were empowering up through college, but she ended up with credit card debt and eventually had to negotiate with the banks on a payoff.
She took a year off between college and law school, choosing a state law school to keep her costs low. Megan graduated from law school, got a job, and had to navigate adulting – getting an apartment, buying a work wardrobe, starting her adult life on very little funds, again trying to not incur more debt after having so recently paid off her credit cards.
Megan’s student loan story is different from others we’ve heard on the Money podcast – while she aggressively paid down her private loans, Megan actively chooses NOT to pay off her public loans because they have such a low interest rate. She feels she can make a better return in the S&P 500, so she leverages her debt and is comfortable with her decision. However, Megan readily admits this strategy is NOT for everyone, and you definitely need to be comfortable with the decision to continue to carry debt. Once her private debt was paid off, she started investing in a Roth IRA and 401k to grow her assets.
And because she’s from Generation X, Megan bought a house when she got a HUGE promotion. She watched the value of her home soar, then sold to move to California. She bought in 2007 in CA, and watched that price drop, then rise again. Location location location.
Megan now advises high net worth and ultra-high net worth individuals manage their money, because no matter how much money you make, everyone struggles with expenses.
And today, Megan shares excellent advice with us for strategically thinking about our money for the present as well as planning for the future.
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Jen Hemphill was born in Colombia and lived there for the first eight years of her life. The economy was really bad, and her earliest memories were of a scary time when her educated father did whatever he had to do to make money.
Her redheaded dad stood out in Colombia, and it wasn’t a safe place for him to be. So, they moved to the U.S. Jen remembers being embarrassed for not having money, knowing her friends had it.
She attended the same college where her mother was a professor. Discounted tuition coupled with scholarships and a bit of parental help allowed her to graduate with no debt. She bought a car, paid it off quickly, and felt very proud of herself for doing so.
Then, she met and married her husband. They took 15 years to pay off his $40,000 in student loan debt. She thought they were doing great, but a deeper look at their finances about 10 years in revealed a huge mess.
Thinking back to her childhood, she realized she needed to make big changes in order to get ahead. Her family went on a budget, cutting out all unnecessary spending to focus on paying off the debt. Jen uses a series of labeled bank accounts to ensure they stick to their budget and now saves for purchases rather than raiding the emergency fund to pay for things.
Jen took what she learned and became an Accredited Financial Counselor, knowing that there are so many others who need to be pointed in the correct direction. She calls herself a Money Confidence Coach, because when you have confidence in your money management skills, you can tackle any problem.
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Lauren and Steven met in High School, and attended the same college. After undergrad, Steven was accepted into the Ph.D. program at UC Irvine. During the first year, he decided he didn’t really want aPh.D. in Physics, but really enjoyed working with students. They moved back to Florida for Steven to get his Master’s in Education, while Lauren worked her first “real” job.
But after two years, they burned out from working full time. Combined with learning about Financial Independence and an incredible savings rate - to the tune of $100k in 2 years, they decided to take a break.
Their “break” was a 6-month trip to Hawaii, paid for upfront by their big savings account, but repaid by a series of side hustles while in Hawaii. While most people spend lavishly to go to Hawaii for one week, then ended up $1,000 positive while spending 6 months there.
Re-energized, they returned to Florida for a full-time job for Lauren, and a continuing tutoring job for Steven - making more money than before they left for Hawaii. Increased income meant increased savings rate for these two, having lowered their expenses by purchasing 3 bedroom condo, periodically renting out an unneeded bedroom.
But after about 3 years, they felt burned out again. This time, their “break” was a trip around the country to visit every National Park - all 61 of them - in 7 months. Again, they wanted to pay for the trip with income generated during the trip. They cut expenses by buying a compact cargo van and sleeping in it for the majority of the trip. They continued working about 10 hours a week during the trip, rented their condo for 7 months and hit the road.
Each time they return from their mini-retirement, they are refreshed and re-energized and ready to jump back into work with both feet. Their end goal isn’t early, permanent retirement, but several small mini-retirements to enjoy their journey.
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J. Money wasn’t necessarily BAD with money, but his first home purchase—made because everyone else was doing it—prompted him to seek out advice about money.
He stumbled upon the blogging world and was enthralled with the transparency. Here were real people talking about real issues they were facing—similar to what he was going through himself.
He started his own blog called Budgets Are Sexy and soon was approached by someone who wanted to buy an ad on the site. A new source of income generation!
His blog success brought attention from national news sites, and traffic grew exponentially once they started sharing his articles. But as traffic grew, so did his time commitment.
As he became more entrenched in the blogging space, he discovered that people buy and sell blogs—so he started flipping websites—another source of income generation.
When it came time to choose between his full-time job and his side hustle, he discovered the decision was made for him when he was called into his manager’s office and let go. (The company later went out of business.)
Thrust into entrepreneurship, J. buckled down with his spending and discovered that budgets really ARE sexy, and they can be the key to your financial success.
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Jean grew up in a family where money wasn’t a big issue. Her parents saved for big purchases like vacations, but frugality was part of her everyday life. She graduated from college without any debt, and soon found a job - that she immediately regretted accepting. She moved quickly to change course, and ended up in a job that paid less than half of that first one - but was so much better for her.
A freelancing side job to supplement her income evolved into a full-time Journalism career with Smart Money magazine, which led to a 25+ year stint with the Today Show as their financial editor.
But Jean wanted more. She created HerMoney, a place for women to learn about how to properly handle their finances. Jean knew that your money story is the root of your relationship with money. She created a place and space for you to recognize your money story - and figure out how to apply deep-seated lessons learned consciously and subsconsiously - to lead your best financial life!
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Sunitha Rao remembers a childhood of scarcity. Born to immigrant parents, some of her first memories are of her home being broken into, and her things being stolen. The only money lessons she was taught as a child were frugality and saving, because you never knew what was going to happen.
Her father had grand tennis plans for her, and pushed her into tennis. By age 9, she was playing tennis six hours a day. School was so low on the priority list she dropped out in 6th grade to pursue tennis full time.
She turned pro at age 14, but all the money she made went back into her career: coaches, travel to events, more training.
When Sunitha retired from tennis, she had nothing left. She estimates she “maybe had $1000 in the bank.” Her relationship with her father was so abusive, she sought a restraining order against him and started over, rebuilding her life at age 23.
Starting off at community college, looked up endowment programs in Boston because she liked the city, and reached out to colleges that offered scholarships. Finishing college she got a corporate job, which was her goal - until she started working there. She realized her corporation didn’t have any loyalty toward her, so she started looking for ways to generate income outside of her salary and discovered real estate.
She now owns multiple units in the midwest, and is on the path to financial independence, starting with nothing but a 6th grade education at age 23. If you’re thinking you started too late, Sunitha’s story shows that financial independence is possible - at any age.
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You probably know Brandon Turner from the BiggerPockets Real Estate Investing podcast. On that show, he sounds like he’s got his life all together. But before he discovered the RIGHT way to do real estate, he made mistakes—LOTS of mistakes.
Today, Brandon shares everything he did wrong—from financing rehabs with a credit card to accumulating six figures in debt on properties he couldn’t sell.
But the most important thing Brandon did was learn from his mistakes. He read Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey and put the lessons learned from that book into action, paid off his debt, and started living the life he truly wanted.
This episode is for people who have made mistakes and who are in debt or struggling to find a path to financial freedom. Brandon shows you that it’s OK to make mistakes, you CAN recover, and the life you want is within your reach.
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On today’s episode of the BiggerPockets Money Podcast, Co-Host Scott Trench teams up with two personal finance superstars in Whitney Hansen and Doc G of Diversefi.com. Together, they hear four “life after FIRE” stories, each completely different, each extremely powerful.
We talk with a business owner struggling with millions of dollars in debt who was able to sell his business, re-write his career (he is now a business coach), and get a new handle on his time.
Another guest retired with her husband in 2012 and together, they took on adventures and traveled the world together. Financial independence made all the difference for them in allowing them to experience as much of the world as possible, as her husband passed away a few years following early retirement.
A third couple left their high paying jobs at the height of their earning potential to travel the world together, and they could not be more thrilled with their decision or excited about life.
And finally, we interview the CTO of ChooseFI, William, who was able to retire early, overcome the loss of his wife, and use his financial freedom to pursue the job of his dreams with a great company, and provide for his children.
These stories highlight the importance of achieving Financial Independence and using it to make the most of our lives.
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You know Vicki Robin as the author of Your Money or Your Life, but on today’s show, we dive MUCH deeper into her story and her background. Growing up without a lot of money, she learned how to use herresources to appear as though she had more. With limited funds, her mother taught her that she could use them all at once on one thing, or she could stretch them further by shopping at a discount store.
Vicki carried these lessons through her adult life, moving into homesteading and while, technically living under the poverty line, she never felt the pinch of not having all the trappings of the modern world.
In fact, it wasn’t until she met Joe Dominguez, learned the foundation of what would later become Your Money or Your Life, and started teaching others about how to handle their finances that she realized that the gap between what she had and what others had was quite vast.
She knew she had to appear prosperous, so people wouldn’t reject her message simply by her appearance.
Her message has reached more than one million people, and has changed the lives and financial futures of countless more.
Vicki herself has been able to focus on her passion - environmental issues - and has the freedom to pursue her passions due to her fully funded retirement at such an early age.
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Financial Mechanic wanted a puppy - and her parents told her she could have one when her little sister turned her age (in four years). When she asked how much puppies cost, she was told $100. So Financial Mechanic started saving. Everything!
Birthday money, Christmas money, anytime she received a dime, it went into her puppy fund.
Fast forward 4 years, and she tries to hand over the $100 - to her parents shock. “No, you keep that, we’ll buy the puppy.”
For four years she had been saving, so she just continued. By the time she graduated high school, she had $8,000 in savings. Her parents paid for her college education, and she knew she wanted options.
She studied Mechanical Engineering which led to programming, which led to a 6-month assignment overseas. Upon her return, she discovered mass layoffs - and that she was significantly underpaid!
In this episode we talk about how to prepare for an interview, how to negotiate salary, how salary isn’t the only thing you can negotiate, and how intentionally pursuing a goal can help you achieve it faster and easier.
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Wilson Muscadin grew up knowing how to handle money. His father assigned him “book reports” rather than simply giving him an allowance. But the books he read were personal finance books, like Rich Dad, Poor Dad, The Millionaire Next Door and Think and Grow Rich.
Unsurprisingly, Wilson learned a lot from reading these books. Well played, Dad Muscadin. Wilson handled his finances intelligently through high school and into college, where he saw so many friends making ridiculous mistakes with their money. Things like charging pizza and gas - and not paying off the credit card bill at the end of every month!
He graduated with very little undergrad debt and worked in corporate insurance, but always wanted to teach people about finance. Back to school for an MBA at Duke - and more than $100,000 in student loan debt!!!
Wilson’s path to teaching people how to fix their finances was cemented when a random Facebook post about paying off his student loan debt (4 months after his first son was born) garnered more comments and questions than the post about the birth of his child!
Wilson paid off his debt, now has two sons, moved across the country and is dedicated to helping more people understand how money works, and break the cycle of paycheck-to-paycheck so they can become financially free.
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