Baseball and Financial Independence

How you borrow money will dictate your ability to retire how and when you want. Use this baseball analogy to learn the path to financial independence.

 

 

Posted in life, money, mortgage | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Top 10 Lessons I Learned in July 2017

journal

What a year of learning, growing, and implementing!  Every month this year, I have been journaling the greatest insights and reminders I learn each day.  Here are the Top 10 lessons I learned in July 2017.  Let me know which ones resonate with you the most in the comments below.  *Special thanks to Todd Duncan, who I had the joy of spending a week with in Mexico in July…so much wisdom shared.

I hope one or more can help you in some way move forward.

  1. How you handle even minor adversity reveals a ton about you.  (This has been a biggie for helping me in helping to manage people UP or OUT lately.)
  2. Practice being more interested in what the other person has to say than making sure you are heard.  (Kind of goes with the mantra…we have one mouth and two ears.)
  3. We get more accomplished when focusing on fewer things.  (Amen!)
  4. Leadership doesn’t happen in a day; it happens daily. – Todd Duncan
  5. Connect first, convert second. – Todd Duncan (I’ve been really making a shift in this.)
  6. Stop doing what you don’t want more of! – Todd Duncan (Let this sink in a bit…packs a punch!)
  7. It’s easy to lose touch with the human side of our business.  (A powerful line from the book, The Connector’s Way by Patrick Galvin)
  8. Don’t expect anything from others until you’ve first created value for others.  (I live by this.)
  9. The power of completely unplugging from all work-related activities and thinking cannot be over-stated.  (Vacations and time with family are just not the same when still “connected” a little.)
  10. If I can accomplish just three important things each day at work, 15 per week, I will accomplish more than most. (A new focus I’m working on to improve what I say YES to and what I say NO to…and not feeling like my to-do list is cluttered with the un-important.)

Keep learning.  Keep growing.  It is what we are designed to do as humans.  And please share this with others to give value and help THEM grow.

Posted in Leadership, life | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

How Financially Secure Are You?

Financial-Security

Could you come up with $2,000 next month if there was an emergency?

This latest article on the average American’s inability to save money and establish at least some level of financially security for themselves and their families saddens me.

Here is the link if you want to read it (it’s pretty short): http://money.cnn.com/2016/12/07/news/economy/americans-emergency-money-economy/index.html

This article hits me in the gut on so many levels:

  1. We are a nation of spenders.  There is a reason we are called “Consumers” by our government.  Our ability to spend and “consume” is what drives our very nation.  Unfortunately when we unknowingly follow this path too far, we place our own personal finances in a dangerous position.
  1. Financial literacy is scarce.  Every day I am teaching people that the lack of fiscal literacy is a key “blind spot” in people’s lives, keeping them from achieving the financial future they hope for.  Unfortunately, families are not being taught essential money management skills, so they are never empowered to make smarter money decisions going forward.
  1. “If it’s to be, it’s up to me”.  This is a philosophy I live by, and believe more people should as well.  If you want a better, safer, more secure financial future, it’s all possible…but it’s up to you.  It may not always be easy, but is definitely very simple.  Spend less and save more.  Educate yourself on personal finance.

“It’s not a lack of income.  The problem is what happens to your money when it touches your hands.”

I used to give classes to my clients on this stuff, and I loved creating new thought that led to new, better habits.  One of the coolest exercises I had my attendees do before coming to our first class was to learn what their LIFETIME INCOME was.  (You can do this at SSA.gov)  Most were astonished at how much money they had actually earned throughout their lifetime.  The next exercise was to complete a Net Worth worksheet.  This essentially showed people, out of everything they’d been earning since a teenager, what they had to show for it.  You can imagine this new level of clarity was like a right hook to the jaw.  It became instantly clear to everyone that the problem was NOT a lack of income.  The problem was what they did with the net income once it reached their bank account.

So what is the solution?  Where do people start if they want to make a change for the better and begin building a better financial future?  I am not naïve enough to think millions of people will change their poor money habits.  But some will.  Someone will become so utterly disgusted with the empty savings accounts and the constant fear of not having enough money, and they will commit to change.

The first step in a bigger, better financial future is committing to it.  If you are not committed, nothing else will really matter.  I will leave you with that thought, and encourage you to really think about how important financial security is to you moving forward.

Posted in money, mortgage, planning | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Top 10 Lessons I Learned in June 2017

freelancing-writing

Every month since January, I have been journaling the greatest insights and reminders I learn each day.  I can report, now that we are half way through 2017, I am very thankful I started this experiment.  It’s given me a tool (my journal) that I can easily reference at any time for pages and pages of inspiring quotes and reminders on how to enjoy success…both personally and professionally.  And sharing with all of you has been fun!

Here are the Top 10 lessons I learned in June 2017.  Let me know which ones resonate with you the most in the comments below. (*one thing to note…these are never listed in any particular order, other than the order in which I “learned” them.)

  1. You don’t always get what you want, but you do get what you expect.
  1. All things being equal, people will do business with and refer business to those they know, like, and trust.  But I never gamble on “all things being equal”.
  1. Give, give, give…not as a strategy, but as a way of life.  When you do, the money will follow.
  1. Being broke and being rich are both decisions you make.
  1. The fear of one upset client or referral partner keeps you from building the one thing you desire most – a self-managing team and business.
  1. I am a financial educator who happens to be an expert in mortgage advice.
  1. Some things can be done “good enough”.  Let go…and focus on what you need to do.
  1. If someone questions your price, it means you did not communicate enough (perceived) value.
  1. Character is greater than intellect.  Character is what you do; intellect is what you know.  Thus, close the gap between what you know and what you do.
  1. The most valuable gift you have to offer is YOU.  No matter what you think you’re selling, what you’re really offering is YOU.

Keep learning.  Keep growing.  It is what we are designed to do as humans.  And please share this with others to give value and help THEM grow.

Posted in life | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Five Reasons You Might Want to Consider Refinancing

refinance-home

Owning a home and building equity opens up many opportunities. As a homeowner, there will be times you wonder if refinancing your mortgage makes sense. Rightly so, as there are quite a few reasons getting a new mortgage can improve your financial future if done right. Here are some of the most common (and less common) reasons you might want to consider refinancing your mortgage at some point.

Word of Caution from the author: Always remember, there are costs involved when refinancing, and it is a big financial decision. So don’t rush into it, and be sure you work with an expert who can educate you and talk you through the pros AND the cons of refinancing. Don’t make short-term decisions that negatively impact your long-term goals. And do NOT waste your savings after you do refinance! Ok, back to the five reasons:

1. Take advantage of lower interest rates:

  • This is the most obvious, and the most common, reason homeowners look to refinance their existing mortgage. If interest rates have dropped since you first bought your house, you may be able to take advantage and lower your monthly payment by refinancing and getting a new mortgage. This can provide a quick boost to the ability to save or pay off other debts faster. Just be careful you don’t simply spend your savings.

2. Get cash out:

  • If you are considering a remodel, or perhaps would like to consolidate some higher interest debt, or need cash for an opportunity that has come along, you may consider looking into a cash-out refinance. There are limitations, but simply put, you may be able to access some of the equity in your home to achieve the above goals. Often borrowing against your home is less expensive than other options. Your house is NOT an ATM machine, but done strategically, safely, and within an overall plan, your house can be a valuable financial tool.

3. Get rid of mortgage insurance:

  • If you bought your house with less than 20% down payment, it’s likely you have monthly mortgage insurance included in your payment. As you pay your mortgage balance down, and your house appreciates in value to the point you have 20% or more equity, you may have the opportunity to refinance and get a new mortgage without mortgage insurance. Keep in mind you MIGHT be able to accomplish this goal directly through your mortgage servicing company, but if not, refinancing can be a good option.

4. Consolidate a 1st and 2nd mortgage:

  • Another strategic way you may have financed your house with less than 20% down was by doing the first mortgage to 80% loan-to-value, and then borrowing the difference between this and your down payment in the form of a second mortgage or home equity loan. This is often done as an alternative to dealing with mortgage insurance (see #3). Or perhaps you took out a home equity loan or line of credit to remodel your house. If interest rates are favorable, and you have sufficient equity for it to make sense, refinancing to consolidate your first and second mortgages into one new mortgage can make good financial sense.

5. Change your mortgage terms:

  • Perhaps you were overly aggressive or just had a fear of debt, leading you to finance your house using a 15-year mortgage. If you find that these higher than normal monthly payments are impeding your ability to save elsewhere, avoid using credit cards for vacations, or even worse, not allowing you to maximize your retirement contributions, you may want to consider refinancing to a longer-term mortgage. Even if a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage comes with a slightly higher interest rate, the lower required payments can free up cash flow to achieve other important financial goals. On the other hand, maybe you hope to retire in ten years, yet you have 22 years left on your current mortgage. If cash flow is good, and your other debts are all paid off, refinancing to a shorter-term mortgage might make sense. Again, this assumes all of your other financial “ducks” are in a row.

 

Posted in life, money, mortgage | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Top 10 Lessons I Learned in May 2017

lessons-learned

Every month, I strive to learn and grow.  I do it with intention and with purpose.  My day starts with reading.  Throughout my day I have great conversations with others.  I listen to podcasts while driving and working out.  And from all of this, I keep a running log of the many, many lessons I learn, or am reminded of. 

Here are the Top 10 lessons I learned in May 2017.  Let me know which ones resonate with you the most in the comments below.

  1. Your mind is the asset that must be worked on the most.
  2. Looking at my calendar, are the activities I have scheduled this week in alignment with the person I am today? Or with the person, I wish to become?
  3. Your true competition in business is not a competitor who provides a similar product or service. It’s the path the prospective buyer has become used to traveling.
  4. It doesn’t matter how many people DON’T get it. What matters is how many people DO.
  5. Don’t react.  (Yes, I’ve shared this one before, but it’s awesome!)
  6. “Trying to get everyone to like you is a sign of mediocrity. You’ll avoid the tough decisions and you’ll avoid confronting the people who need to be confronted.” – wisdom from Colin Powell
  7. Always care more about those few who like your work, and less about the multitudes who don’t. (Amen!)
  8. “Selective Perception” sucks. It means you’re constantly seeking out evidence that convinces you it is ok to stick with the status quo or what’s already working.
  9. I love having money. But I love having time even more.  And I can always make more money.
  10. And let’s finish off with an amazing quote from Seneca you should pin to your wall: “I don’t complain about the lack of time…what little I have will go far enough.  Today – this day – will achieve what no tomorrow will fail to speak about.  I will lay siege to the gods to shake up the world.”

Keep learning.  Keep growing.  It is what we are designed to do as humans.

Posted in life | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

The Lesson of the Wishing Well

Your energy, time, and resources are limited.  How you choose to spend these are completely up to you.

That being said, you must learn to avoid the most common trap of the wishing well:  The WISHING WELL is 25 holes, each dug 4-feet deep.

On the other hand, the PROSPERITY WELL is one hole, dug 100 feet deep.

Your energy, time, and resources are too valuable to keep wishing for prosperity.

wishing well

Posted in life, money | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Top 10 Lessons I Learned in April 2017

Every month, I strive to learn and grow.  I do it with intention and with purpose.  My day starts with reading.  Throughout my day I have great conversations with others.  I listen to podcasts while driving and working out.  And from all of this, I keep a running log of the many, many lessons I learn, or am reminded of. 

Here are the Top 10 lessons I learned in April 2017:

  1. There are two ways to be wealthy: to get everything you want…or to want everything you have.  Which is easier, right here, right now?
  2. This is MY journey. Those on a similar journey will be attracted and want to follow.
  3. Be engaged fully with whomever I’m with at the time. But don’t be involved with the outcome.  All I can do is share what I know, but I take no responsibility for others choosing (or not) to apply what I share.
  4. We can never know the full impact of our life.
  5. “We buy things we don’t need to impress people we don’t like.” – Fight Club
  6. Good questions are what open people up, open new doors, and create new opportunities.
  7. We are not as smart and as wise as we’d like to think we are. Becoming wise comes from questioning and humility.
  8. We often place the most value on things that are difficult to obtain.
  9. We are constantly looking at the world around us and putting our own opinion on top of it.
  10. Looking up to the sky, gazing at the stars on a clear night, can remind us just how petty and trivial many of our earthly concerns are.

Keep learning.  Keep growing.  It is what we are designed to do as humans.

milky-way-984050_960_720

Posted in life | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

How Do YOU Define Financial Safety?

financial_security_iStock_000022334703_Full

This is a question I’ve studied and asked people for many years now.  The answers vary and also tend to change over time.

So how do YOU define financial safety for yourself?  For your family?

  • Having no debt?
  • Lots of money in savings accounts?
  • Enjoying a low-cost lifestyle?
  • Being mortgage free?
  • Earning a high income?
  • Job security?
  • Having lots of “stuff”?

What else?  What, above all else, would help you sleep better at night and feel safe and secure when “life happens”?  Because we all know it will.

Once you define what Financial Safety means to you, you get to work building it and maximizing it.    There’s not much worse than financial stress and anxieties around money.

But go deeper than your first answer.  Often times the true definition for you personally is a few layers behind your initial thought.

Posted in life, money, planning | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Debt Happens – It’s How You Repay It That Matters

debt

Whether it’s your mortgage, money owed for home improvements, car loans, student loans, or last months’ vacation still on your credit card, most of us have debt.

Debt comes and goes.  You pay off everything, and then decide to remodel your kitchen.  Your paid-off car finally breaks down and you need to get a new one.

Debt is a part of our lives.  But having debt is not necessarily the problem.  How you pay back your debt is what counts.

With that being said, do you have a DEBT REPAYMENT plan?  Everyone wants to be debt free…but rarely do they have a specific, measurable, and actionable plan to achieve this goal.  And without a plan, goals can rarely be achieved.

So what can you do about this?imageedit_1_9586870040

With the new release of my book, Borrow Smart, Repay Smart, I figure it’s time to remind everyone that our Mortgage Advisors are trained on a custom process designed to help homeowners create a plan to get out of debt faster, and easier.  It’s called The Repay SMART Review™.  You can schedule one by emailing your preferred Mortgage Advisor at Sierra Pacific Mortgage. It’s that simple.

Some of the answers this process will provide are:

  • Where should you start? Meaning, which debts should you attack first, and which debts should you just pay the minimum?
  • How do you balance your goal of paying down your debt AND putting money into savings?
  • Do you focus on the highest interest rates or the lowest balances first?
  • How do you reduce the net cost of your borrowing over time?
  • Should you pay extra toward your mortgage, or save that money instead?
  • And the best one…what’s your DEBT FREE DATE?

We do NOT charge for this service.  It is COMPLETELY COMPLIMENTARY.  Why?  Because we believe that it’s part of our responsibility to help you better manage your debt and find ways to free up cash flow to save more for your future.  It’s one way we give back, and it gives our career a purpose far beyond handing out mortgages.  So there are no hidden strings here.  It’s what we love to do!

And yes, when we do this well and give back in this way…people do tend to choose our Advisors for their mortgage services when needed.  But it’s up to you to take action.  It’s your debt.  It’s your cash flow.  It’s your future.  Call or email, and we can help.

Posted in money, mortgage, planning | Tagged , | Leave a comment