Skip to main content

Stephen's Story, Financial Planning


*The following is a fictional account. But the details are based on a blend of true stories I've heard over the years.

Debt Free and Rich with Low Income: How did he do it? 


Hello! I'm 53 years old this year (2015). I've never won the lottery, or had a big investment payoff, and I've never earned more than $17 an hour. I'm debt free, I own three homes (paid in full). I've never paid a dime of interest on a car. And if you count my investments and retirement accounts, I'm currently worth $2.5 million.

My name is Stephen Wage, and this is my story.



The Car Fund


I started working part time when I was 15 years old, as a stocker in a Ralph's Grocery Store. I took the bus everywhere until I could afford a $500.00 car. At 15.5 I had my permit, and by 16 I had my license. I drove that cash car while I made monthly payments to myself into a savings account. That went on until 17.5 years old, at which time I had saved up and bought a $2,000.00 car.

In 1979, that was a big deal, and a nice car. A brand new car was going for less than $5,000.00.


The Individual Retirement Account (IRA)


In 1981, at the age of 19 I had heard of a new account that had become available to me, called an Individual Retirement Account (IRA). My local bank was offering a special called a Golden IRA. They said anyone who would put in an opening deposit of $2,000.00 would receive a guaranteed 10.00% Annual Percentage Rate (APR) on that money until they turned 65 years old.

That may sound enticing right now, but at the time, Certificates of Deposit were going for 23.00%. But I figured that couldn't last forever, so I decided to head to the bank.

My friends and I were on our way to the beach for a full day of beer and surfing. I told them I had to stop by the bank to open an IRA and they thought I was nuts. They went on without me. Eventually I caught up with them.

Over the years time went on, I moved up to Cashier and got many raises. Eventually I was making $17/Hr at Ralph's.


Debt Free Home Buying


When I bought my first home I knew I couldn't pay cash. I knew I could afford $1,000.00 a month. So I shopped for a condo at $800.00 month, but made the $1,000.00 payment anyway. I paid that one off in 15 years.

I got a second condo (newer one with more toys), but still $800.00 month. I made the $1,000.00 a month payment, but rented the first one out and added the rental income to the payment on the new condo. I had that one paid off in five years.

By then I was getting older, and wanted more space. So I bought a 4 bedroom house, at $1,500 a month, rented the first two condos out for $1,000.00 a month each. Then paid $3,000.00 a month on the house. Paid it off in 10 years.


More of the same: Results


So now? I continue to rent the first two condos out, and that money goes into a housing fund. I've nearly got enough to buy a third condo for cash, then I'll have three condos paying into the housing fund.

I've never paid anything other than cash for cars. By making the monthly payment on my $500 car, I saved up for a car that lasted longer. Each car was nicer and lasted longer. Eventually I was buying my brand new BMW 745 iL for cash too.

That IRA? Well I never put one more dollar of my own money into it. Just the first $2,000. It then started earning interest at 10% and it's now worth $65,000, so far (I'm not 65 yet). Why? Compound interest. Every month since 1981, my money earned interest. That interest became part of the balance. So that interest earned interest. Etc. Etc. I made other investments, 401(k), just like the first one.

My beach friends still drink, but gave up surfing because they are out of shape. They are all broke, every last one of them. Very sad to watch. Most of them have no idea how much I really own. I didn't lie to them. I told them I moved (I just left out the fact I kept both places, and now all three).

Me? I still work 45 hours a week at Ralph's Grocery Store. Why work with my financial status? I don't have to. But what would I do with my time? Watch TV? Golf?

So I go to work. It's still interesting. The bad days are never that bad, because you always know you really could leave whenever you want. But I'm irreplaceable at the store, I know where everything is. Same store since 1977.

Every so often, I take 2-3 months and go on a tour around the world. But not every year, just every few years. I don't drive the BMW that often anymore, I've decided I enjoyed my new Ford Flex much better anyway. I saw it at a Car Convention and bought it on the spot. It was special ordered with my preferences, and delivered to my home, no loan paperwork to sign, paid by Credit Card at the event. I got a lot of rewards points with that purchase, and of course I pay my Amex Card off in full every month (I NEVER pay interest on a credit card).

So... that's my story... Your Turn: What's your story?


How have you handled money? Good, bad, neutral... what lesson's have you learned?


Comment on this post, or Hit me up on Twitter @DarrellWolfe , Google +DarrellWolfe, Facebook DarrellGWolfe



Tweet These:
#TellYourStory#BeStillBeLed

By Darrell Wolfe

Storyteller, Creative, INFJIntellection, Ideation, Input, Learner, Achiever





For more book suggestions, see my Amazon Store:



Other Hobby Sties by Darrell:

Comments

Connect With Me

Popular posts from this blog

It's a new season...

I just read a Facebook post from a friend/close acquaintance I know who was just laid off from a place I wanted to work at one time. It reminded me of my current season here...

I came to North Idaho with plans.... and they haven't worked out the way I intended. I'm not living where I thought I'd live, working where I thought I'd work, or doing the things I thought I'd be doing.

This season feels like a microcosm of my life... I'm not where I thought I'd be by now. I'm having trouble coming up with the motivation to do the things I maybe ought to be doing.

*Shhhh... Do you feel that? That wind gently blowing through the trees, down the hills, brushing your shoulders...

It's a new season! It's a fresh anointing.... it's coming your way.

The past doesn't matter. Not ten years ago, ten months ago, or ten minutes ago. God is always ready, ever ready, to do a new thing. He does best with participating people.

If you are feeling like I am, it…

White Noise - Distortion - Grounded Cafe - Re-Write #3

*White Noise - Distortion - Grounded Cafe - Re-Write #3

***
Grounded Cafe
Through the window of the Grounded Cafe, Ash noticed two men dressed in all black duck behind a blue minivan. Ice ran down his spine. His right arm shot to the Glock 9mm at his side. Sucking a breath he took a second look—  They were gone. Black mist poured out from under the minivan and evaporated into the early morning air.

He shook his head, closed his eyes. Counting to ten, silently, Ash released the grip on his sidearm, which he now realized was a tape measure and not a Glock. Ash hadn’t had a right to carry a weapon since he left the service. He let his arm fall to his side. Reality settled back onto his shoulders.

A college age girl walked by just outside the window, head buried in her smartphone. She bumped into Chester, the town’s crazy old homeless man who was headed the other direction. She didn’t even notice. He gave her a dirty looked and kept walking the other way. She sat down at a table just outs…

Simply Grateful: It's more blessed to give than receive... So be humble and let someone give to you.

Receiving gifts is hard for me... 
Yesterday was orientation and today was my first day at a new job location. They prepared a gift bag full of fun treats and a hand-made card:


I mentioned Pokemon during the interview and they took note of it. Remembered it. Then used it to personalize my card.

Amazing! Stellar Service! Totally blown away.

Inside, though, part of me also took it for granted. Anytime I'm the center of attention I run from it as fast as I can. So I left shortly after and went back to my office to train on the computer.

The whole way back to the desk there was this inner voice saying:

"Aww... that's just what companies do for new hires... you're not that special. Don't let it get to your head..."

News Flash, ladies and gentlemen, that is false humility. It's actually serving to lessen the gift by a refusal to be simply grateful.

I can give and give and give and expect nothing in return, that's second nature to me; however, I have a hard t…

An eye on eternity...

Heart of the City Church

Church Notes from April 29, 2017
Living Life in the Light of Eternity: http://bible.com/events/210278
Guest speaker: Pastor Bob Johnson & his lovely wife, Cindy, with us this weekend from New City Church in Great Falls, Montana!
See Message Here



*These are my notes from church today using the YouVersion live app:

II Corinthians 4:5-16 NKJV For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your bondservants for Jesus’ sake. For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed— always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus …

Change: It's harder than you thought and better than you imagined

I'm at the tail end of an end and the head of a beginning.

After 7 years in Nort Texas (Fort Worth), we moved. We spent the last few months getting the house ready to sell, selling the house, and moving. A week (03/19 - 03/24) was spent on the road and since then we lived in a hotel until we could find a place to live.

On Friday (03/31/17), we moved into our new house (rental). We're still unpacking, building storage shelves, figuring out to live with a basement for washer/dryer (odd).

We just found a store (EntertainmentMart) that sells games, Pokemon cards, and more. They allow the kids and adults to come play against each other live every Monday and Wed. So the kids are now adjusting.

There are things I already really enjoy about North Idaho... some of the transitions were easier than others.

Some things didn't go the way I wanted and some things went better. I just needed to learn to flow, slow down, breath, and listen... it's always about listening to the Holy Sp…

FICO Credit Scores | Everything you need to know & one easy way to build credit without paying interest!

Want to build credit without paying hundreds of dollars in interest? Find out in this article.

Credit Building Myths

So, I'm hearing a lot of people say things that are just not true, don't make sense, or are just plain bad advice, when it comes to building credit.

Credit building is not rocket science. 
It's true that the math formulas behind the scores are actually akin to rocket science math... But some of the basic things the average person needs to know are actually quite simple.

If you want to build credit without paying interest or creating debt read on, or just skip to the bottom to the conclusion. 
I'm sure you've seen this funny commercial:




I wrote a post previously about FICO and Lending Decisions, to tell you how the banks makes the decision to approve or decline your application.

Now I want to bring in the focus a little to some Credit Building basics. The score isn't the only factor used in lending decision, but it's a big one.


What is a FICO credit sc…

Logos, JPG's and More

The best Subheader EVER!
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Pellentesque elementum at nibh vel placerat. Curabitur id efficitur dolor. Cras ac nulla elementum, laoreet erat ultrices, hendrerit magna. Duis vestibulum vulputate arcu accumsan consequat. Praesent ornare porta tellus, mollis ultrices ante euismod ut. Cras at augue ac est lacinia laoreet. Cras posuere auctor magna ac auctor. Suspendisse rutrum odio non placerat dictum. 
The best Minor Header EVER! Maecenas mattis ornare urna. In hendrerit lacus ac porta molestie. Etiam hendrerit sem et ante egestas, et imperdiet magna efficitur. Maecenas auctor orci lacus, eu porttitor tortor dictum sit amet. Nam rutrum malesuada dolor in fringilla. Aenean volutpat nunc quis libero dictum dapibus. Vivamus tristique eros eget velit malesuada rhoncus sed auctor tellus.

Quisque ac nibh leo. Vivamus quis arcu vitae nibh feugiat auctor a sit amet velit. Maecenas posuere tempor vehicula. Suspendisse tincidunt nunc a bibendum …

DNA Of The Heart | Church Notes

Heart Of The City Church May 6, 2017

DNA Of The Heart: http://bible.com/events/213349

==================================== Local churches mentioned in the Bible:

Antioch, Pisidia: Acts 13:14; Gal 1:2 Antioch, Syria: Acts 11:26 (Paul's home base) Athens: Acts 17:34 Babylon: 1 Peter 5:13; Acts 2:9 Berea: Acts 17:11 Caesarea: Acts 10:1,48 Cenchrea: Rom 16:1 Colossae: Col 1:2 Corinth: Acts 18:1 Crete: Titus 1:5 Cyrene: Acts 11:20 Damascus: Acts 9:19 Derbe: Acts 14:20; Gal 1:2 Ephesus: Acts 18:19 Hierapolis Col 4:13 Iconium: Acts 14:1; Gal 1:2 Jerusalem: Acts 2:5 Joppa: Acts 9:36, 38 Laodicea: Rev 1:11, Col 4:15 Lydda: Acts 9:32 Lystra: Acts 14:6; Gal 1:2 Pergamum: Rev 1:11 Philadelphia: Rev 1:11 Philippi: Acts 16:12 Puteoli, Italy: Acts 28:13-14 Rome: Rom 1:7 Sardis: Rev 1:11 Sharon: Acts 9:35 Smyrna: Rev 1:11 Tarsus: Acts 9:30 Thessalonica: Acts 17:1 Thyatira: Rev 1:11; Acts 16:14 Troas: Acts 20:6-7 

House Of Grace --------------------------- You want grace extended to you? Extend gra…

What is a Topos? A strategic position of opportunity and influence

What does Topos mean?Topos is a Greek word meaning: "Place, or Opportunity"
Properly:Any portion of space marked off, as it were, from surrounding, space Metaphorically: The condition or station held by one in any company or assemblyopportunity, power, occasion for actingA spot (general in space, but limited by occupancy; whereas chora is a large but participle locality). As used by me: Topos is a strategic position of opportunity and influence
Topos: Your Calling Everyone has a God given calling on this earth. There is something you were created and designed to do. What you are doing now may be "The Calling"; or, it may be the calling for this season of your life. Either way, you are either in your Topos, or you need to find it.

As you read the stories of biblical heros like Noah, Abraham, Joseph, Moses, David, Nehemiah, Peter, and Paul... etc... you find that God put them in the right place to do the right thing at the right time.

They ended up in their Topos, …

About Me

My photo

Hi! My name is Darrell G. Wolfe. I am a wealth of random information and I make complicated things simple at DarrellWolfe.com.

I have a knack for absorbing information, breaking it down to its root elements, and teaching it to others.

Most importantly, I help purpose-driven people to understand their place in His-Story and provide them the tools they need to fulfill their unique position of opportunity and influence in this world (their Topos).