Two Pay Checks Away From Being Broke

What a broke guy looks like!Sure, there are reasons – good reasons – to not own rental property: tenants, vacancies and repairs to name three. But have you ever spent time thinking why owning investment real estate might be a good idea?


This week, my father-in-law was rushed to the hospital with what doctors thought was a massive stroke. When the ambulance arrived, he was taken directly to ICU where a ventilator was inserted, and to prevent further injury, medicine was used to induce a coma.


That was last week. Kim and I have lived at the hospital ever since. Gotta tell you, an ICU’s waiting room is full of interesting life lessons.


Also in the waiting room is a young man’s family. The twenty-year old was in a motorcycle accident. One of the family members told me that the accident victim will recover physically, but financially he’s in a lot of trouble. She said that he’ll probably lose his job, home and car. On top of that, a couple of the family members, because they don’t have any savings, find themselves between a financial rock and a hard place. They want to stay and support the boy, but because of financial obligations they must go to work.


Another man in the waiting room has a son in ICU. The son was shot at point-blank range ten days ago and is probably paralyzed. The father is staying at the hospital around the clock to tend to his son. Because the dad must stay, he can’t go to work, and with both father and son not working, financial ruin is at his doorstep.


Last night, a girl and her young son were rushed to this hospital after being involved in a head-on collision. Because of her serious injuries, she’s in ICU. A large number of her family members are keeping a vigil in the waiting room. This morning, three of the family members were discussing how this young lady was going to pay her bills. She won’t be able to work for several months as she recovers from the crash.


It’s reported that most Americans are two paychecks away from being broke. Are you in this category? If so, there’s a lot you can do to change your circumstance.


First, cut your expenses to the bone. Get rid of the bling. You don’t need to eat at restaurants five to ten times a week. You don’t need a shiny car. You don’t need five hundred TV channels.


Second, increase the amount you bring home. Pick up a part-time job. Ask for a raise. Get a better paying job.


Third, invest the difference between what you bring home and what you spend in an appreciating asset. This is something that will go up in value over time – like rental property.


Kim and I are able to stay at the hospital and not fret our monthly bills because we live well below our means; plus we have rental property, which gets us mailbox money.


Thankfully, Kim’s mom and dad also own rental property. While her dad is in the hospital, and then home recovering, their monthly cash flow never slows down. Where would they be right now financially if they hadn’t made the decision (and sacrifice) way back when to become landlords?


Now for a little good news: We just learned that Kim’s dad did not have a stroke. He’ll be OK and will be going home soon!


Bill and Kim’s North Georgia Real Estate Investors Association meets on the 2nd Thursday of each month, from 7 to 9 p.m., at the beautiful Hilton Garden Inn off Main Street in Cartersville, Georgia. For more info, go to