Financial freedom is one of the many things that people hope to achieve. And for some people, the thought of never having problems with money is as improbable as it is impossible. However, financial independence isn’t as impossible as you may think. It’s a very achievable goal if you’re willing to work for it. If you have the right plan in place, understand the math, a mind for due diligence, and a real estate portfolio that generates consistent cash flow, financial freedom may only be a few rental properties away. Real estate investing is a wealth-generating system that’s being implemented by many investors, and there’s no reason why you can’t do the same!
What is Financial Freedom?
Financial freedom is achieved when someone no longer depends on income being generated from any kind of job or activity that would require them to trade their time for money. Instead of relying on income coming from a traditional nine-to-five job or career, people who are financially free can take care of their basic needs with a more passive income stream.
People who are considered financially free depend on a portfolio of assets that have been acquired over time to generate income that’s either equal to or greater than their expenses. But most importantly, financial freedom allows people to have control over their time so they can spend it with their families, passions, and interests.
What You Can Do Today to Achieve Financial Freedom
You won’t achieve financial freedom overnight, and it won’t be given to just anyone. You will have to work hard if want to have any hope of freeing yourself from your day job. To get the momentum you need to achieve financial freedom, you will need to start with a solid foundation. And there are some things you can do to tip the proverbial scales in your favor:
- Take Control of Your Money – The first step toward achieving financial freedom is to get control of your money, so you need to start spending less than you earn. While it sounds simple enough, there are too many people who are overwhelmed by debt. Before you can even think about being financially independent, you will need to get control of your money and manage your expenses accordingly. Basically you need a budget and then you must stick to it!
- Get Rid of Any Unnecessary Expenses – Implementing a 50/30/20 budgeting rule (50% for basic needs, 30% for “wants,” and 20% for savings) will give you an idea of where your money is going. And from there, you can find out how to get rid of any unnecessary expenses. Nobody makes money by spending too much of it, so you need to look at your budget and find ways to cut spending.
- Increase Your Income and Your Productivity – At some point, extra expenses can no longer be cut. So, once you have eliminated any unnecessary spending, the next logical step is to increase your income and your productivity. Eventually it is imperative to find a way to get your money to work for you. Instead of putting your money into a savings account (where it will eventually lose value due to inflation), you should find ways to increase your net worth.
One of the best things you can do to achieve financial freedom is to get help from someone who has already accomplished it. Find a financial advisor that can point you in the right direction, because there are several things you can do right now to put yourself in a better financial position.
How You Can Achieve Financial Freedom with Real Estate
There are several ways to achieve financial freedom, but there’s one wealth-building vehicle that’s better than most. Real estate is one of the best ways to become financially independent. Many investors know it, and so should you. The amount of passive income you can generate from a portfolio of rental properties is enough to eliminate your dependence on your current paycheck. If you hope to achieve financial freedom, there are several things you can do to help you get started.
Nothing is more important to building a profitable rental portfolio than a good education. Having the right knowledge will get you through every step of real estate investing. And the more you know, the more likely you are to be successful. There are several benefits to having a good real estate education:
- A good education in real estate can mitigate risk.
- The fewer problems you encounter, the better chance you’ll have of realizing your return on investment (ROI).
- The more you know about the industry, the more opportunities with which you’ll be presented.
- Applying your knowledge of the real estate industry is the best way to build the right network, which will eventually become your greatest asset.
To make sure your education is the greatest asset you have at your disposal, you should learn as much as you can about the real estate industry.
Determine Your Financial Independence Number
No matter what you may have heard in the past, there isn’t a universal number for every person who hopes to achieve financial freedom. There isn’t a single finish line that, once it’s crossed, will eliminate your dependence on the income you get from a job. You need to figure out how much money you need to achieve financial independence, and it will depend on the type of lifestyle you want to have (which will be related to your spending habits).
The best thing you can do is to look at your current financial situation. If you’re comfortable with your current income, you should try to replicate it with the passive income you can generate from a portfolio of rental properties. You can, of course, always adjust this number over time.
Have a Financial Plan
Once you have the right knowledge and you’re clear about your financial goals, it’s time to take action. One of the best ways to start is to research your financial options, so you can start looking for your first deal. Most new investors won’t have the money to get a complete portfolio of rental properties, let alone a single asset. So, you don’t have to invest with your own money. But there are several ways you can get access to funding – the most promising of which is to find a private money lender.
A private money lender is an investor who loans money to people who need immediate access to capital. While their purpose may be the same as a traditional lending institution, there are several important differences. Private lenders will often charge higher rates than banks, but they will also make loans that the average bank will not. You do, however, need to understand the difference between the two. While banks and similar lenders may have the most attractive rates, they don’t always have the same combination of speed and transparency in their process of making a decision.
Build an Investment Business
Investing in a single property is a necessary first step, but there’s no way you can achieve financial freedom with just one deal. Your goal shouldn’t be to just do one deal (even two or three) but to do enough of them until you’re stable enough to build a rental portfolio.
Most investors will use other people’s money to build an investment portfolio. Private lenders will allow prospective investors to acquire assets that they otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford. They will also be able to fund the purchase in exchange for making money back from the interest (which can be as high as 12-15%). It allows the investor to make the deal, while the lender makes money on the back end.
Money lenders are more than just sources of funding. They’re also gateways to building an entire investment business. Borrowing the money may come at a steep price. But if you do your due diligence, the cost is worth the investment. If you do it right, borrowing money from a private lender will bring in profits that you can use to build a business. And eventually, you’ll be able to build a real estate portfolio that will give you a path to financial freedom.
Grow Your Rental Portfolio
How you grow your portfolio of rental properties will depend on how much you need to make to achieve financial freedom. For many people, it’s better to have more than less. But to get a more specific idea of what your goals should be, try to match your current earnings. If someone hoping to achieve financial freedom makes about $100,000 a year while working a nine-to-five job, that person is hoping to keep a similar lifestyle by supplementing it with a passive income. So, he or she will need to build a portfolio of properties that will replace that income.
According to Zillow, the average rent in the United States is about $1,650 a month. So, to build a passive income portfolio that would make $100,000 a year, you would need to have anywhere between five and six properties. It is, of course, important to know that prices will vary from city to city. And sometimes, you may only need a few properties in the right area to meet that criteria. The national average is a good starting point, but make sure you adjust the numbers for the city in which you intend to rent.
With five properties (each of them bringing in $1,650 every month), you could make approximately $8,250/mo assuming all of them are paid off. And over the course of a year, those numbers total to about $99,000. There are, of course, other variables (such as property management and maintenance costs) that need to be taken into consideration, but they can be offset by adding more properties to your portfolio. This is one of the many reasons why a solid passive income portfolio can make saving for retirement a reality for many.
You should remember that not every dollar of the $100,000 that was previously mentioned will need to be replaced, because owning rental properties has a number of tax benefits that are just as good as real money. Rental property depreciation is one of the many ways that real estate investing can help you to reduce your taxable income, which can save you more money over the course of a year and improve your chances of achieving financial freedom.
The road to financial freedom is a lot more manageable if you make the right preparations. Knowing what it may take to remove your dependence on a traditional job is a great place to start. But if you’re serious about learning how to achieve financial freedom, you should think about having rental properties that can bring in cash flow.
If you want to know more about real estate investing and how it can help you to achieve financial freedom, be sure to get in touch with Trevor Shakiba at Shakiba Capital.