CARES Act – Forbearance or Deferment

Posted 1 CommentPosted in Finances, General

Are you deferring your mortgage payments or have a loan forbearance? Is it affecting your credit? Is the loan still collecting interest? Here is the down and dirty…

If you have elected to do a loan forbearance with your lender, make sure you understand the terms they go by. Most lenders are doing three-month forbearance where you do not have to pay your loan over a three-month period. The kick to that, is on the fourth month, all three previous months and now the fourth month are due IN FULL with a balloon payment. During this forbearance, your lender most likely tacked on all of the interest over that three-month period as well. If you were unable to pay a monthly payment, how are you going to pay four months at once? This is why it is important that you READ THE FINE PRINT! Speak with your loan officer extensively and make sure this is the right move for you.

Now, if you are looking to defer your loan payments, this is a bit different. A loan deferral is going to tack on your payments to the end of your loan so you are essentially taking those months off.  Some lenders will even not charge interest during the loan deferral as well. This is something that you need to find out from your lender as some will still charge interest.

No matter which way you go, make sure everything is agreed upon in writing!

Which is better for you? Loan deferment is most likely the best option for you as the borrower. Loan forbearance is better for the lender. They are going to collect all of the interest and payments in full.

We have seen on a few different forums and social media that some people are reporting that their credit is getting hit for electing loan forbearance or deferments. It is very likely that if you elect one of these, you will get a not put on your credit report, however, it is not supposed to impact your score.

One of the tenants of the CARES act allows you to negotiate with your lender on credit reporting. If you have been negatively impacted due to the ongoing pandemic, you have the ability to negotiate. If you work things out with your lender and set up an agreement for forbearance or deferment, they are not supposed to report negative impacts to your loan if you are upholding your end of the terms. If you are keeping up your end of the deal and find that the lender reported negative activity to your credit report, dispute it!

Hopefully this helps some of you to make a decision if you should apply for loan forbearance or deferment. If I was to choose, I would choose deferment. We hope all of you are remaining safe and healthy during these trying times. Keep grinding and pursuing your goal to financial freedom.

Join in on the discussion on the forums.

Mike Cavaggioni
Mike Cavaggioni

Mike Cavaggioni is an Active Duty Officer in the U.S. Navy, REALTOR-ASSOCIATE®, Real Estate Investor, and Finance Coach located in Honolulu, HI. He is the founder of Average Joe Finances and host of the Average Joe Finances Podcast. Mike is building a community for people to come together to learn and build their wealth.

Section 8 Tenants and HUD Vouchers

Posted 2 CommentsPosted in Finances, Investing, Real Estate

During these trying times for both homeowners and renters, we are seeing many tenants being unable to pay their rent.  With unemployment skyrocketing, this will probably be a trend next month too.

In my duplex, one of my renters uses HUD vouchers (Section 8).  This part of the rent alone is enough to cover my mortgage and pay my property manager.  I am still stuck paying my loan for my down payment, but I am good on that for now thanks to cash reserves.  If you have vacancies, consider contacting your local HUD office to see if you can add one of your units to the list.  People on HUD need a place to live too.

Don’t be scared of the image that comes with renting to Section 8 tenants.  They have to qualify and they do not want to lose their ability to keep the voucher.  There are four things that are looked at to determine if someone qualifies for Section 8 (some locations may have even more restrictions) family status, income level, must be a U.S. Citizen, and no eviction history. 

Here is the benefit.  You will get a significant portion of the rent covered by HUD.  For my tenant, they cover 95% of the rent.  So even if they cannot pay, it doesn’t put me in such a bind.  Keep your tenants happy so they stay and you do not lose the voucher.  I immediately did repairs when I purchased the property and became their landlord.  I think this sent a message to them that we do in fact care about their living condition and make them happy.

While this might not be the right route for everyone, its still something to consider during such trying times.  I am keeping this post short and sweet, but it is something to think about.  Hope you all are staying healthy and keep pressing forward.  Don’t let the pandemic sink you!

Mike Cavaggioni
Mike Cavaggioni

Mike Cavaggioni is an Active Duty Officer in the U.S. Navy, REALTOR-ASSOCIATE®, Real Estate Investor, and Finance Coach located in Honolulu, HI. He is the founder of Average Joe Finances and host of the Average Joe Finances Podcast. Mike is building a community for people to come together to learn and build their wealth.

Where Will You Be 10 Years From Now?

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Finances, General

I originally wanted to make this blog post about Webull, but I still haven’t had enough time to play with it.  My work schedule has been crazy thanks to this pandemic.  However, a topic on a podcast I listen to this morning really hit me and I wanted to talk about it a little bit.  This post may ramble a bit, and if it does, good!  It’s to make a point about what we should be thinking about during a pandemic like this.

Where will you be 10 years from now?  What a question, huh?  Listening to a podcast this morning, this was one of the topics of conversation… It was really something that got my brain juices flowing.  In 2030, when you are telling your story, what will the year 2020 mean to you?  It makes me think back to 2008 during the Great Recession…

The way I thought back then, made it impossible for me to find opportunity.  I have since changed my way of thinking and realize that as unfortunate the current situation is, it’s important to realize the opportunities that are available.  I may not even be able to invest as much as I want to right now, but there is still opportunity.  By invest, I don’t mean just financially…

Think of it this way.  A good majority of us are stuck at home (not me, thanks Navy…).  What opportunity do you have by being home?  Are you teleworking?  Did you lose your job?  Are you on paid leave?  No matter the situation, take your time and work!  Whether it’s something as simple as spending more time with your family, or learning something new… TAKE ADVANTAGE!  I haven’t been able to spend much time at home, but on the weekends, I have tried to focus on spending time with my kids.  I am putting a little time into my real estate course, but focused mainly on getting some of that quality time.  It made me think about why this journey to financial freedom is so important.  The little amount of time I get with my family is precious.  I want more of that!

So, what are YOU doing?  Lost your job?  Try to make money doing something else.  There are a few things online, but you really have to commit the time.  If you are stuck at home, try your hand at eCommerce.  It can be a great opportunity if you have the time to commit.  It’s relatively easy and cheap to start.  If you are still working and doing well with your budget, consider investing in the stock market.  I am currently looking into energy and natural resources such as oil.  It is so cheap right now!  What’s going to happen when things go back to normal and folks are back at work?  Those assets will grow! 

Where will you be 10 years from now?  Still such a powerful question.  I usually plan my life in 5-year increments as it is.  To add another 5 really made me curious.  Ten years from now, I want to be wealthy and a multi-millionaire.  I want to be fully retired and only working because I want something to do, not because I have to.  Ten years… so much can happen.

Now I am in a pretty good spot thanks to putting almost 20 years in the Navy.  When I retire from the Navy, I will get a guaranteed check for life.  That will be a nice chunk of change and some true passive income.  I worked really hard for it.  It’s not enough to sustain my family long term, but it’s a start.  What else will I have?  Well, I am planning to buy more rental properties.  That will be another source of a passive income.  My current property nets me a little over $1,000 a month after all expenses (mortgage, insurance, property manager, maintenance, vacancy…).  What if I get a few more like that?  $1,000 a month is a lot, but that’s off of 2 doors (so really $500 apiece).  If you are getting $100-$200 a month on a door, that’s good.  I plan to have around 20 doors by the time I retire from the Navy, maybe more.  Check this out… With just one rental property that gave me two doors, I am already making ¼ of what my retirement check will be.   What have I been doing wrong the past 18 years?  Sheesh!  

By the time I retire from the Navy, I plan to have already made some sales as a real estate agent.  I want to use that money strictly to invest.  I think I can swing this in my last few years if I can get another set of orders here in Hawaii.  If things don’t work out and I wind being forced to go back to the mainland, I will request to extend one more year here and just retire.  I will make less in retirement than I wanted to, but I can start my work as a full-time real estate agent.  Either way, I am happy with where I am headed.

So, where you are headed?  In 2030, are you going to look back and say “I missed out,” or will you say that “I stepped up and made it happen?”  Now is the time to take advantage!  Whether you invest in assets such as real estate or stocks, just do something.  Don’t be the person that looks back at 2020 and says, “I couldn’t do anything because of what was going on.”  DON’T BE THAT PERSON!  Even if you aren’t in a good spot to invest, take the time and learn and invest in your greatest asset… your brain.

Where will you be 10 years from now?

Mike Cavaggioni
Mike Cavaggioni

Mike Cavaggioni is an Active Duty Officer in the U.S. Navy, REALTOR-ASSOCIATE®, Real Estate Investor, and Finance Coach located in Honolulu, HI. He is the founder of Average Joe Finances and host of the Average Joe Finances Podcast. Mike is building a community for people to come together to learn and build their wealth.

Will the Stimulus Help?

Posted 1 CommentPosted in Finances, General

So that’s the question of the day.  Many of your who are here, like myself are Average Joe’s and are working on building our wealth.  My wife and I racked up quite a bit of debt with buying this rental property.  From the personal loan we had to take out to over $7,000 charged as a cash advance, we have a pretty good idea of where my check is going.  Or do we?

Buying this rental property before we even knew what COVID-19 presents a challenge.  One of the tenants gets assistance from Housing and Urban Development (HUD).  The good thing about that is we will at least get enough to cover the mortgage.  However, there are other expenses that come with a rental property… such as paying the property manager, taxes, repairs, and for some landlords, they pay utilities.  We sent a letter to my tenants so they understand that I do indeed care about them and their situation, however, my bills are not going away and rent will still be do.  But that doesn’t mean we cannot assist them in this time of need.  One of my tenants already reached out to me and said that both him and his girlfriend were laid off.  We are willing to work with them because we are all in this together.  We are allowing them to pay whatever they can in April and then start making an additional monthly payment to make up the difference over the next 10 months starting in June.

The letter we used will be posted below (it was authored by Brandon Turner from Bigger Pockets).  He made the letter open for public use and we think its great.  We made some minor changes to it, but we think it sends a heartfelt message that we will get through this.  The letter is below:

Dear Resident, 

We hope this letter finds you and your loved ones safe and healthy. The past few weeks have, undoubtedly, been some of the most life-changing weeks we’ve seen in modern times. The looming threat of the COVID-19 virus has taken this country, and our state, by storm. We are hoping that the extreme social distancing will prove effective to slow the spread of this illness and that we’ll all soon be back to normal. 

As your property manager, we wanted to reach out and address a few important issues regarding the pandemic as well as your tenancy. 

1) Social Distancing’s Purpose: 

Right now, no doubt you’ve heard about (and are engaged in) what we refer to as “social distancing.” The purpose of this world-wide action is not simply to stop you from getting sick; the larger purpose is to slow down the progression of this virus so hospitals will not be overwhelmed with those who are most likely to be affected. Without social distancing, hospitals will quickly be overrun with far too many patients and not enough equipment to handle it. As such, we just encourage you to stay home and follow the guidelines set forth by the CDC, which you can read more about by going to http://cdc.gov/coronavirus.

2) Maintenance and Repairs: 

Due to the restrictions on work and the need to keep government-mandated social distancing, we may be slower than normal to respond to non-emergency maintenance requests. Please don’t hesitate to call us with any requests, but please be patient as we work on what we can when we can. And if any maintenance workers are sent to your home, please be sure to keep at least six feet away from them, to maintain the social distancing. 

3) Rent Payments:  

As of now, the owners of rental properties in the United States are still responsible for making their mortgage payments to their banks, as well as paying for taxes, insurance, repairs, and other expenses needed to maintain your home. We still need to make sure we receive income to cover these bills. 

If you have lost all ability to pay rent, including losing your job, your other sources of income, your unemployment has run out, and no government assistance comes to fruition, then please contact us as soon as possible so we can help you go over your options. Communication is key and urgent. 

This is a rapidly changing time for everyone, tenants and landlords alike and we will continue to monitor the economic landscape in the coming weeks and months. Thank you for being a valued tenant and we look forward to getting through these tough times together. As always, don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions. 

Sincerely,

Management”

These are certainly difficult times, but it’s important to remain on the side of humanity while also making sure you do not get screwed over…

So, back to the stimulus check.  What should you do with it?  Well, that depends.  Are you consumer debt free (i.e. no credit card debt or loans?)  If not, take that money and put it into your snowballing debt payoff that we talked about in earlier posts.  If you are consumer debt free and have your emergency account full, consider investing that stimulas check into the stock market.  Not only will it help to stimulate the economy as it was designed to do, but you can get a pretty nice return when the market grows.  If you are new to investing, consider downloading Robinhood as a platform to start. 

Keep saving, and keep investing.  We will build our wealth together!

Mike Cavaggioni
Mike Cavaggioni

Mike Cavaggioni is an Active Duty Officer in the U.S. Navy, REALTOR-ASSOCIATE®, Real Estate Investor, and Finance Coach located in Honolulu, HI. He is the founder of Average Joe Finances and host of the Average Joe Finances Podcast. Mike is building a community for people to come together to learn and build their wealth.

Pandemic Virus Investing

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Finances, Investing, Real Estate

Keeping this post short and simple…

So with the crazy pandemic currently unfolding in front of our eyes we have seen some crazy things happening in the markets. Stocks plummeting and it seems like there will be no end. Well, guess what? It will end. Once the U.S. gets a hold on the situation and gets it under control, we will see the market begin to slowly recover. What does this mean for investing?

Well, it means that if you, like me lost a lot in the stock market, don’t fret! Just like in 2008, it will recover. Now is the time if you have some spare cash (not your emergency fund) to start investing more into the stock market. It may continue to tank a little longer or it won’t. Pay attention to the market and trust yourself. Don’t over analyze and not invest.

I am at a point where I just purchased an investment property and do not have spare cash to invest. I am leaving my emergency fund in tact but I may take from some of my other savings to get in while it’s low.

If you have cash to spare, now is the time to invest it! If you’ve never invest before and don’t know where to start, download Robinhood or Webull and use my referral code. You will get a free stock just for joining.

Mike Cavaggioni
Mike Cavaggioni

Mike Cavaggioni is an Active Duty Officer in the U.S. Navy, REALTOR-ASSOCIATE®, Real Estate Investor, and Finance Coach located in Honolulu, HI. He is the founder of Average Joe Finances and host of the Average Joe Finances Podcast. Mike is building a community for people to come together to learn and build their wealth.

Our First Real Estate Investment Deal!

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Finances, Investing, Real Estate

This blog post was also my introduction post to the Bigger Pockets forum.  I have been a part of a few different groups and have tried many different methods to generate passive income.  I have owned different websites, I have also done the drop shipping thing (with some actual success, but couldn’t keep up with it).  I was always interested in real estate (and I will probably get back into blogging once this takes off to talk about my real estate adventures).  My only other experience with renting property was when I rented my first house before I sold it in 2012.

My uncle has multiple rental properties in upstate NY and he planted the seed in my brain a long time ago.  The big sticking point was convincing my wife that this is indeed the right move to make.  Before doing that, I had to change my mentality first.  Wanting to invest in real estate is one thing, but if I am not mentally ready to commit 100%, how can I convince her?  So, we linked up with some good friends who are also stationed out here in Hawaii to talk about their portfolio.  They have been doing this the past 6 years and at the time where closing on their first commercial property.  When they showed my wife the numbers, she looked at me and I knew she was ready to do this.  As to changing my mentality, I have a list of books I need to read staring with “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” (just finished this book recently).  I plan to burn through a bunch of those books soon after I finish something else I am working on (will discuss later in this post).

I linked up with a good realtor, property manager, and general contractor back on the east coast because that is where I wanted to invest (thanks to my friend for linking me up with great contacts).  I was stationed in the Norfolk/VA Beach area for 15 years, so I am very comfortable with the area and the market.  Thanks to the Navy having the largest Naval Base there, it is an extremely good renters’ market.  Now the hunt begins…

My real estate agent set me up with an MLS list and updates it daily.  It has all the criteria I asked for and would only show me properties that met that criteria.  So now we are searching for our first deal.  So, what would happen when we find this deal?  How will we pay for it?  I talked with my friend about this because I knew we could afford it, but wasn’t smart on the requirements on buying investment properties.  We didn’t have a lot of liquid assets to use so we had to be creative.  I took out a very large personal loan and let it settle for 2 months while looking for “the deal.”  The first 3 places we were really interested in where “no go’s” for us after our contractor went and looked at them… Then BAM, we found it!  A duplex in Chesapeake, VA listed for $160,000.  It was on the market for 2 months and was getting no bites.  I was able to immediately tell from the pictures it was due to the outside of the property.  It looked a little dated and could really use a total paint job.

My contractor went and inspected the property and the current tenants where very happy and they wanted to stay.  The hot water heaters for each unit where probably on their last leg and the roof needs to be replaced soon.  Everything else looked pretty good.  So, I put in an offer.

There is some back and forth discussion and I submit the offer for $149,000 and they pay closing costs.  Deal is accepted and we start moving forward.  While all of this is going on, I link up with other real estate investors in Hawaii.  There were two different meetups that I went to and met some great people (this is also when someone showed me bigger pockets).  Can you say mind blown?  Wow, so I start listening to podcasts, reading the forums and seeing what everyone else is doing.  I am so pumped at this point.  I get my wife to start watching some of the bigger pockets YouTube videos and she is getting pumped.  She’s not quite as gung-ho as me, but I blame my military mindset for that.

Ok, the blood is flowing, I am hungry and I am wanting so much more.  I linked up with a good real estate mentor out here from one of the meetups and I am currently working on getting my real estate license (which is why I am not reading any other books until I finish this).  I am learning so much from the course I am in and I am super excited to keep pushing forward on this journey

Now, let’s move past all the fun motivating stuff and get down to the nitty gritty.  While all of this is going on and I am so excited, motivated, and hungry… I hit some major roadblocks with the property I have an offer on.  I push through many of the minor obstacles, no problem… Well, the day before I am supposed to close, my loan officer hits me up and says, hey, your loan is cleared and you are good to go… but there is a problem… Problem?  What is it?  I asked.  Well, we submitted your loan request with you putting 15% down and you were going to have a slight PMI, but we messed that up… since this is a multi-unit property, you need to put 25% down.  That’s not a problem is it?  Well, yes… yes it is… because I was already tapping myself out to get the 15%.

Now I want this to happen and I want this property… I talked with my wife and she had a minor freak out but I brought her back in and went over the numbers and how we needed to look at the bigger picture.  Not I need to come up with another $18,000.  So, I am scrambling.  I was able to take out an $11,000 loan on my Thrift Savings Plan (it’s a military 401k).  As I pay it back, the interest I pay is also going back to me, so this was not a bad route to go.  Ok, still $7,000 short, I put a $7,000 cash advance on one of my credit cards to make it happen.  While this purchase was a lengthy and somewhat painful process, it was also a great learning experience.  I know I said lengthy, but things are moving very fast since we got serious about this adventure in life.

Now here we are… We closed on the property and we are collecting rent.  We also just locked in a 2.75% interest rate interest rate reduction loan with a $10k credit from the lender on our primary house in Hawaii.  This rate reduction will save us about $330 a month on our mortgage payment.  Now we are recuperating from all of this craziness, getting our finances back in order, and getting ready to start searching for our next deal.

Mike Cavaggioni
Mike Cavaggioni

Mike Cavaggioni is an Active Duty Officer in the U.S. Navy, REALTOR-ASSOCIATE®, Real Estate Investor, and Finance Coach located in Honolulu, HI. He is the founder of Average Joe Finances and host of the Average Joe Finances Podcast. Mike is building a community for people to come together to learn and build their wealth.

Real Estate Investing, Scary? Yes! Fun? Yes!

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Finances, Investing, Real Estate

So, as I mentioned in the previous post about inbound content, I want to share with you where we are at right now.  The thing I am most excited about is the Real Estate Investment company we started.  Yes, we opened an LLC named Compass REI Properties, LLC.  We bought our first rental property and it is actively making us a passive income.  My next blog post will outline the story of how we rented it.  It is also one of my introductory posts to the Bigger Pockets forums.  I am not being paid any type of commission to mention them, I am just super excited about that community and talking with like-minded individuals.

After such a big break on the blog, how the heck did we get here?  Well, let me give you some of the background and a sneak peak into the next post.  I have always wanted to invest in real estate.  At least for over 10 years.  I bought my first house when I was 21 (ok closed after my 22nd birthday) when I was a Petty Officer Second Class (E5) in the Navy.  This was in 2007.  Well what happened in 2008?  Yeah, you guessed it.  The housing bubble burst… When I transferred from my command in 2009, I was unable to sell the house.  It was on the market for 9 months before I rented it to a very close friend of mine.  I was eating a loss every month because the rent prices for the area were so low.  When my friend transferred in 2012, I was unable to keep up with everything and had to short sell the home.  It was a very tough experience.  I bought that house with a VA loan and thought I would lose my VA loan eligibility forever.

Well, luck was on my side.  The lender filed the paperwork after the cutoff date for the short sale and was unable to tough my VA guarantee.  Phew.  Well, needless to say, a short sale will TANK your credit score.  We weren’t buying a house for a while.  I rented for a few years and moved into base housing after I commissioned because the house was right by my job.

When I got orders to Hawaii, my wife and I knew we were ready to buy again.  We also knew this market was really good and if you weren’t paying full asking price plus closing, there is no way you were getting a home.  We lost the first 3 homes we tried to buy in bidding wars.  Finally, after living in Hawaii for two months, looking at about 97 homes, putting offers on 4 of them, we purchased our second home.  At the time the rate was 4.65% on an $800k home.  Yes, that mortgage payment was rough.  $4,442 a month (taxes and insurance included).  Yowza!  Thank goodness we saved a lot of money up and became debt free before moving here.  About a year later, we refinanced with an Interest Rate Reduction Loan (IRRL) and got our rate down to 3.5%.  This was significant savings.  We lowered our mortgage payment to $3,944 a month.  Rates are so low right now that we are actually doing it again (will discuss in the next post).  Remember the debt free thing I mentioned before moving to Hawaii?  Yeah, it didn’t last…

So yeah… about the debt… Shortly after purchasing our home in Hawaii, we were plagued with issues.  We wanted to do some updates to the kitchen.  It was a big job that became even bigger.  We wanted to replace the cabinets, countertops, and appliances.  We did… However, while doing the renovations and ripping out the old cabinets, countertops, and sink… we found black mold… A LOT of it!  Now we had to rip out all the drywall and treat the beams.  Not only did that happen, but the contractor that was ripping out the countertops dropped the old countertops on my tile floor and cracked in in several spots.  We couldn’t find that exact tile so we had to now replace the entire floor.  It was a fight and they wouldn’t pay for the new tile.  We did however get the company to pay for installation… Sheesh!  Then the contractors we hired to work on our downstairs bathroom started getting really slow with their work… I was paying them by the hour… They finished the bathroom and then started working the backsplash in my kitchen.  Not only was the job starting off sloppy, but with how slow he was going, he had to go.  We fired him and hired a new “tile guy.”  The new guy came in with a much cheaper rate and had to rip out what these other guys started.  He did a great job so we hired him to tile our upstairs guest bathroom.  He tiled the floor and the walls, it was awesome!  But overall, the cost was not so awesome.  We went from having $15k in the bank after we bought our house to a $25k loan and about $10k in credit card debt.

Why did I give you this wall of text about what we went through with our homes)?  To show you where some of our fear stemmed from…

Like I said earlier, I have wanted to invest in real estate for a long time… My wife was not onboard with the experience we had with our first home as well as all of the additional costs we took on with our new home… A very good friend of mine saw what I was doing with the 3 different websites I built and products I was selling.  He said he saw how much of an entrepreneur I was and suggested I look into real estate investing.  I told him that he is speaking my language, but I am not the one to convince, I need my other half onboard.  So, my friend invited us over for lunch to show us their real estate portfolio and how they were doing it.  Of course, pregaming this, I was already trying to get my wife onboard.  She was actually really excited and started searching for properties herself.  She found two awesome deals and we brought those with us to ask my friends opinion.  When she saw what they were doing as well as the encouragement we received from the deals we found, our wavelengths synced up.  This was the beginning of something new and exciting for us.  Something we would do together and something that will create a passive income.

My next blog post will go into the details of our first deal.

Mike Cavaggioni
Mike Cavaggioni

Mike Cavaggioni is an Active Duty Officer in the U.S. Navy, REALTOR-ASSOCIATE®, Real Estate Investor, and Finance Coach located in Honolulu, HI. He is the founder of Average Joe Finances and host of the Average Joe Finances Podcast. Mike is building a community for people to come together to learn and build their wealth.

Content Inbound

Posted 2 CommentsPosted in Finances, General

So it’s been a while since posting.  There is a lot going on in the world of Average Joe Finances.  WE made a few websites (jumped on the Raid Area 51 Bandwagon and sold some merchandise), had a T-shirt store up and running, and most recently started a Real Estate Investment company.

I am excited to share the journey as we go along… Stay tuned.

Back to the Basics

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Finances, General

So here we are again working on our savings.  My wife and I have been trying to figure out what we want to do after I retire from the Navy.  We are less than 5 years out and we have been messing around with where our money should go.  I think we have come to the conclusion that we are going to buy a sailboat to live aboard and travel.  We have been toying with this idea for a long time and just never thought it could be a reality.

So, where have I been?  I have had some unfortunate medical issues that have kept me away for a while.  During those times, I was also working on another side-hustle by creating a few websites to sell.  That didn’t really work out to well so I decided to focus back to the basics.  What do I mean by back to the basics?  Well, we are focusing on our budget and watching our debt.  We had some renovations done to our house and we are paying off the loan we took out to pay for the work.  Normally, we would stop investing and just focus on the loan, but we have such a low interest rate on it, that I would actually lose money paying off the loan faster versus investing that money.

I have been thinking about different sure things to do on the side here in Hawaii.  The real estate market is really good.  I was thinking about getting my real estate license or work on my CFA certifications.  Sometimes I feel like I need to be doing something else to supplement my income even though we are doing just fine.  I keep feeling like I want to put more away for the future…  It’s honestly not a bad problem to have.  We have this goal of buying a sailboat, but we don’t want to sell the house.  Getting into real estate is something I have wanted to do for years.  I have some friends who own multiple properties and they say it’s not that hard.  It’s about the effort you put into it.  However, effort costs time, and I already spend enough time away from the family thanks to the Navy.  So, these ideas remain ideas and float for a while.

I always keep my eyes open for different opportunities.  Eventually, the right one will come along be it in real estate or finances, and I will jump on it.  Right now, the focus is on the budget and keeping our eyes on the prize.  The recent medical issues have highlighted some service-related medical problems from my last deployment to Iraq.  This has been an unfortunate turn, but we will make the best of it.  Between my Navy retirement and possible disability pay (thanks Navy), we will be in a better place than originally thought.  So, we’ll see what the future holds.  We have out five-year plan to stick with, but there is always room for change, especially if the change is better than the current plan.  This post probably reads a bit rambly (not a real word), because I am rambling in my head as I type.  Well, that’s it for now.  I’ll try to keep up at this blog.

Mike Cavaggioni
Mike Cavaggioni

Mike Cavaggioni is an Active Duty Officer in the U.S. Navy, REALTOR-ASSOCIATE®, Real Estate Investor, and Finance Coach located in Honolulu, HI. He is the founder of Average Joe Finances and host of the Average Joe Finances Podcast. Mike is building a community for people to come together to learn and build their wealth.