Homeless and Happy

The past week has been a roller coaster. I failed to produce my weekly newsletter due to some other things that took precedence over hammering out my weekly drivel.

Last week the biggest distraction was preparing for the sale of my house and moving. The buyers looked at the house, and 2 days later made an offer contingent on closing in just over 2 weeks. Yikes.

I feel like I have had a full time Craigslist and Ebay job selling a lifetime of junk. I gave away more furniture, clothes and various items than any single human should own over a lifetime. Cars, motorcycles, couches, beds, etc.

The guys at Goodwill knew the sound of my truck when I pulled up. I gave away enough books to the local library they could have probably opened another branch.

I decided almost 2 years ago that owning a house was not for me. In reality, it isn’t for most people although most people have bought into the propaganda that home ownership is the American dream.

One of my favorite bloggers, James Altucher, wrote 2 articles; “Why I Am Never Going to Own a Home Again” and “Why I Would Rather Shoot Myself in the Head Than Own a Home”.

I highly encourage you to read this article (any just about anything else James writes for that matter). But to summarize, basically his point is that owning a home is a terrible investment that ties up your capital, costs you more than renting, wastes your time, creates a huge distraction, and restricts or even eliminates your flexibility.

I agree 100% with all of his points in both articles. Ironically I read them long after I made the decision to sell and never own again, but James articulated the ideas much better than I could have.

Moving on to this week, my house closed on Tuesday. On the same day one of my college age nephews died from injuries from a wakeboarding accident. He was a brilliant kid – a straight A student at Clemson University and a zero handicap golfer. He was truly a gifted individual and he will be missed sorely.

As a parent, I cannot even imagine what my sister and her husband must be feeling right now. He also had an older brother by 3 years, who had to survive a cross country flight to come home after hearing the news. It must have been unbearable. They were best friends.

Now today is my 4 year old son’s birthday. Later today is his birthday party at the pool for friends and family.

As I type this, my oldest niece is in the hospital giving birth to her 2nd beautiful baby girl. I am so proud of her; she is a great niece and a great mother. Her new daughter is lucky to be born into her family.

Each one of these events alone are highly emotional situations and can consume your life. For all of them to happen in one week is truly mind blowing.

Normally I write about asset protection planning and how to protect yourself and your financial future.

Certainly I consider this to be an important endeavor. If you have any level of wealth beyond your checking account, you need to put forth some effort into this planning.

But your most valuable asset of all is time. While life may at times be a roller coaster ride, you only get one turn and it’s important to live your life every day as if it’s your last.

In my family, adventure is one of our key values. By selling the house, we are now free to travel and live anywhere in the world. We can experience other cultures beyond what you get from a one or two week vacation.

Later this summer we are moving back to Eastern Europe. Maybe for just one year. Maybe longer. Who knows? But now we have the flexibility to live our dreams.

I encourage you all to pursue your dreams. Have you always wanted to climb Everest? Start a restaurant? Ride a motorcycle? Travel through Asia? Learn a foreign language? Write a book?

When you were a child, what did you want to do or become? Have you fulfilled those dreams? If not, why?

Was it a childish dream to want to build buildings, ride a bicycle across the country, visit foreign lands, or fly an airplane? Not only are these not just childish dreams, but they are also dreams worthy of pursuing.

I am sure many of you are thinking, “yeah, I would love to learn to fly an airplane, but I don’t have the time or money to do it”. I say bullshit. Do you watch TV? Do you buy Starbucks coffee? Do you watch sports every Saturday? Do you eat out at restaurants? I think you get my drift.

We all have the time and the money to live our dreams. Its how we prioritize that makes the difference. How do you prioritize your time and money? Could you allocate resources better to achieve your dreams? Are you getting any younger?

My nephew was pursuing his dreams. He was living life to the fullest every day. I am very proud of him and proud to be his uncle. His memory will be with me forever.

As I said before though, my niece is having a baby today (it may have already happened by now) and my son’s birthday is today. So I am signing off to visit my niece, and then heading to the pool for my little man’s birthday party.

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