What I Really Want

I’ve done a lot of thinking as my Katie’s graduation approached and even more now that I know she will leave the nest in a few short months. What next? What do I want to do now that I know I’ll be on my own?

I honestly don’t know. I don’t know if I want to remain here, relocate, or do something entirely different. I mull over the possibilities and I come up blank.

I do know one thing, however. I don’t want to ever struggle financially again. While I enjoy my simple, frugal lifestyle, I want to build up a larger margin of safety than I’ve had in the past. I want to know that I’ll be okay whether I work a public job in the future or not.

I could do this by marketing my books more aggressively but to do so would compromise my morals. How can I in good conscience market to a group of people who are already struggling financially? I started writing to help people, not rob them blind!

The answer is I can’t. Not if I want to sleep at night.

So I’m going to have to do some research. I want to build up another source of passive income that is unrelated to this website or my book sales. I want to build it to the point where it can not only support this website in the event my book sales completely tank, but to the point where it can support me whether I work a public job or not.

Now, there are a lot of scams out there that promise to do that. I want to avoid them, so instead of following the crowd I’m instead going to study those who have managed to do what I want to do. Since the Average Joe doesn’t get much press, I’m going to research wealthy people, those who started with very little and ended up rich enough that someone wrote a book about them.

Hopefully I can figure out how to apply what I learn to my own life and develop a system that will allow me to not only build a better nest egg for myself but to give you an idea of something you can do to improve your own financial picture.

To start, I know that Chris Gardner was homeless and somehow managed to get a job in the stock market to build his wealth. Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, and others started their own businesses. Robert Kiyosaki made his fortune in real estate as did many of the people who were featured in the “Millionaire Next Door” books written by Thomas Stanley. At the moment I don’t have the resources to even consider real estate as an option so I’ll have to read, and keep reading, until I figure out something that I can start from where I currently stand.

Any suggestions you have concerning research would be extremely welcome. Thank you.

13 thoughts on “What I Really Want”

  1. Most of those people started with something they love. How about a book about how you raised Katie?

    1. Hmm…that’s definitely an option. I’ve thought about working up a small one about how I taught her to be financially independent at a young age, ending with our current arrangement. I deliberately wanted her to know how to manage money for the time when she flies the coop entirely, since I was absolutely clueless when I was younger. Thanks!

  2. Actually raising a kid that is not self-centered in today’s world is quite a feat. Or collaborate with her and write it from two different perspectives.

  3. Dear Annie, first of all, I need to pick a bone with you….
    There is absolutely NO reason to think it would be immoral for you to more aggressively promote your books. We CHOOSE what we buy, and no one can make us buy anything. Look at it this way….how much crap like tabloid newspapers and junk fiction do folks spend their hard earned money on? People will always spend money. It’s up to quality content creators to capture some of that expenditure. It belongs to content creators. Some of it might as well go to you! It is not stealing to promote your books. It is spreading good news about good work…that is what “marketing” is in a nutshell. Your words are an empowering gift. You are the “CAN-DO” queen and people catch that “Can-do” spirit when they read your words. To be selfish with that spirit would be a crime. Ok? rant complete.

    Any who, if you are looking for some interesting reading on starting with little and winding up with a steady stream of income, you may want to read a Canadian author’s books: Derek Foster…the “Lazy Investor” has written several empowering books for the newb investor. He actually published them himself too, so you would have a lot in common with him. He has a large family and has figured out how to coast and fulfill many of his life dreams simply by investing and publishing his own books and the occasional public speaking gigs. Sometimes he is billed as Canada’s youngest retiree.(http://stopworking.ca/) Well that’s all for now.

    btw,If are interested in building up your own stream of dividend income, one place to start is by studying what are called “U.S. Dividend Aristocrats” which are stocks that have increased their dividends every year for the past 25 years.

    1. Aww, you brought tears to my eyes! Perhaps I CAN think up a way to promote my books that wouldn’t be too “smarmy.” You think? I would love to start something grass-roots, but I’ve always avoided studying it for fear it would compromise my morals, you know?

      Thank you so much for the book recommendation! Definitely going to check him out as soon as I finish this comment. Thanks so much!!!

    2. Me again! Ordering “The Lazy Investor” and “The Idiot Millionaire” from Amazon. He definitely sounds like my kind of guy. Would love to order the complete set from his website but I kinda lack the funds at the moment. Another reason to increase my income–to allow me to support more authors by buying their books LOL!

        1. They seem rather interesting! I’ve got two of them on the way. It will take a few days to arrive since I bought used but I am looking forward to reading them. He fits what I’ve been looking for in my research: someone who didn’t start with much and made it work by using the stock market. I hope to learn a lot.

  4. All the best to you as you enter this new phase of your life. Empty nest- so different now. My fledgling has grown and flown away and is soaring high in the sky- so proud of her, as you are of Katie. But I am now/still caring for my mother. I have little to show for my years of work, having had and raised children at a later age. I find myself panicking about the financial future and it makes me stressed. I don’t want to focus on money, money and more money. You have done an awesome job of learning to live on very, very little. I know you once said that you did not believe that social security was in your future so I can see your concern about having some financial security. I have been reading about the lifestyles of those who choose to eschew money- Mark Boyle, Dan Suelo. While I don’t want to live in a cave like Dan has done, I envision my future with very little need for money. I bought some acreage in Tennessee and plan on buying a yurt and living there with no running water, no electricity. I want no bills other than my property tax bill. I spend my free time studying the ways of the Native Americans who lived in the Appalachian mountains and hope to incorporate a lot of what they did for survival. I hope to age gracefully and die peacefully on my mountain land. Plan B- live on my paltry social security and work until I am dead. I look forward to how you work it all out for you, Annie.

    1. Hi Cam!

      I’m with you entirely on the “not wanting to live in a cave” thing. I don’t care to be rich, just…comfortable enough so that I won’t have to worry about money no matter what the future holds. I’ve gotten the “live on less” thing down pretty much, so I figure if I can work up a way to increase my income a bit and invest it somehow, I should easily be fine since I really don’t need a lot of money to live comfortably.

      Basically, my goal is to avoid having to live in a cave…unless at some point I decide I want to give it a try lol!

  5. Marketing your books more aggressively to those who are struggling is not stealing from them. It is helping more people if you can get your books to more people. I know what they’ve meant to me. You have a voice that can really reach those who struggle because you sound like them and you’ve been there. They can relate to you.

    As for other ideas, one way to get into real estate is through tax sales. You would have to do your research to see if it’s feasible in your state. For instance, a few years ago, there were inner city lots for sale where we lived for $50 apiece. With the legal work for title, you could get a lot from the city that had been taken for back taxes for around $400 total. The lots we’re worth more, of course, and you could resell for a wholesale price and make a quick $1000 in profit.

    Look for the opportunities that other people don’t see.

    1. Hi Dawn!

      Believe it or not, I took a course in tax sales years ago when I was scouting for ways to make enough money to leave my husband! I’m more than a bit rusty on the details now, but that’s definitely an option.

      I’ve even considered purchasing run-down properties and fixing them up to either rent out or sell. I know how to do basic plumbing and repair, though I’m far from an expert. My primary concern is the fact that I don’t own a vehicle currently. I’d need one to scout out properties and haul supplies back and forth during the repair process. At the moment I could either purchase a run-down mobile home to repair and rent out or a vehicle…but not both. And with my current income level, owning a vehicle would make finances a tad tighter than I’m comfortable with so I’m stuck in a Catch-22 at the moment. If I can get my income up somehow, it is definitely do-able. Thanks!

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