October 12

Die With Zero

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Have you noticed how fake real estate investing ads have become? My Facebook feed is constantly flooded with self proclaimed “gurus” in private jets, driving Lamborghinis, and throwing lavish parties, as if the obtainment of material things solely defines freedom and happiness.

Now I’m not saying you shouldn’t make a lot of money and buy nice things.

One of the beautiful things about real estate, especially probate real estate, is the fact that anyone can strike gold again and again IF you’re willing to constantly learn and grow.

Take me for example. I never went to college and was dead broke when I started in real estate. But when I made the decision to go all in, I had my first house under contract in just over two weeks!

What I am saying is it’s important to not allow yourself to work non-stop to just accumulate wealth. Instead, you need to make a conscious decision to remember to take the time to live life with your friends and family while you have the chance.

I had a conversation with a friend, Monica, whose husband recently passed way too early. Together, they owned a ton of real estate. How much is a ton? They were collecting a passive six-figure income every single month. She called me to talk about how to keep their assets out of the government’s greedy clutches when she eventually passes.

In the middle of the conversation, she shared her regrets. She had a long list of would’ves, could’ves, and should’ves that she never got to experience with the love of her life. Why? They definitely had the financial means to do all kinds of things with friends, each other, and their community but her husband’s focus was on making more money.

Working in probate, I talk to a lot of people, just like Monica, who have lost loved ones and their biggest regrets are all the little moments they’ve missed out on. Trips they should have taken together. Kid’s soccer games they were too busy to watch. Little conversations that never happened because they were a slave to their business.

There’s a book I read a while back titled “Die With Zero” by Bill Perkins. In its 240 pages, Bill outlines a different way to approach the wealth we generate.

Some people try to make up for their lack of presence with family and friends by becoming Santa. Gifts are great, but remember that Santa leaves presents for others to open alone.

What can’t be wrapped up in a box and gifted to those we love are the experiences you create with them.

Finding the balance isn’t easy. It takes a lot of effort to both provide for your family and be present for them. But in all my years of talking with people who have lost a loved one, I’ve never once heard them say they wish they would have spent less time with their deceased loved ones and more time working to accumulate more stuff.

To your success,
Ernie “Family First” Vargas | The Probate Fox

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