DIY real estate investing or call an expert?
Many, if not most of us have hobbies. Obviously they’re by definition the antithesis to ‘callin’ the guy.’ Then, there are those times in life we must choose, if there is a choice. Do we chance doing things on our own, or do we call the expert? There are also the times we all like to forget — when we completely screw the pooch ourselves, then call the guy to clean up the Chinese fire drill we’ve created.
In my family, I’m in the distinct minority when it comes to this choice. Count me solidly in the ‘bring in the expert’ crowd. I came by this honestly, as growing up, no male in my family could do much more than screw in a lightbulb — not an exaggeration. My male role models were excellent, but thanks to them, if I ever find myself needing to earn a living with my hands, I’ll starve. Then, there are the so-called manuals for various electronic devices we buy. Pick the smartest eighth grader in your local middle school/junior high, and I promise you they’ll write an infinitely superior manual. ‘Course they have the advantage. Their intent would be to, you know, simply communicate how to make the product work. But I digress.
Calling in the experts
What’s important enough for you to Call the Guy?
One day while visiting my in-laws — I was 24 or so — one of my brother-in-laws asked me where I was goin’. “Gonna change the oil on my truck”. “No, really, where?” They literally came out to the driveway to watch. I changed my own oil and filter for the next 12 years or thereabouts, as it relaxed me — until it didn’t.
It was shortly after I bought my first really high quality car that I stopped. Since the engine alone was worth at least six times what I sold the truck for, the days of changin’ my own oil ended.
Saving folks from real estate investment fiascos
I talk to folks all the time who are lookin’ for advice on how to extract themselves from investment real estate fiascos. My favorite is when they found out the hard way that callin’ one’s self a flipper doesn’t make ya one. Go figure. Unless you have so much money, buyin’ a house to fix ‘n flip is like Vegas cash, don’t do it yourself. The self-evident exception would be that you’re in construction AND can arguably claim expert status in the required skills. We’ll charitably call that unlikely. Yet those challenged when it comes to rational, logical thought, do this all the time, in virtually all markets.
Though a surprise to some, it’s often worse when investing for the long haul. After all, how hard can it be, right? Buy low, sell high. Who needs Einstein in the room? Not them. Been doin’ this forever, and I’ll never understand their thought process.
It’s their freakin’ retirement, yet they treat it as if they can do some in-depth research, read a book or two, talk to a local investor, and voilà! — they’re not only competent real estate investors, but’ve made their ultimate retirements secure. You may think I’m generalizing, but I talk to three or four of ’em every month. Some I can help, about half require either an act of God or a magic wand.
Where is your line?
Again, I ask the question — Where’s your line? When is it valuable enough to you to call in an expert?
Ultimately, the problem doesn’t reside in the answers to some of your most complex questions. It lives in the universe of questions you’ll never know to ask. Those are the answers that bite us all where we sit. This cannot be breakin’ news to most. Still, given the depressingly high percentage of people who think putting together and executing a viable retirement plan is merely a product of a little research, it must indeed be breaking news.
Think I’m exaggerating? Don’t believe me. Take a moment and think about your extended family, friends and acquaintances, neighbors and co-workers. Most are hard pressed to name even one person who’s retired well. Some can name one or two. I’ll leave it to you what ‘retired well’ means.
The common denominator of successful retirements
I have first hand knowledge of dozens who’ve retired well. By well, I mean they live where they want, travel as they please, and still save money. Many of ’em have incomes exceeding the most they ever earned while working. No, really, they do. Know what their common denominator is? They made the decision, early on, that maybe, just maybe their retirement wasn’t a do-it-yourself project.
Hobbies are for fun and relaxation. You screw up, you learn, and do it better next time. It’s not only part of the process, it’s usually part of the fun. Over time, the big failures turn into small ones, and before ya know it, you’re pretty damn good at it. We all know those who’ve become so good at their hobby, many consider them bonafide experts.
Smartass alert – the upside to treating the creation of your dream retirement as if it was a do-it-yourself project? You won’t hafta call the guy to learn how to say, ‘Welcome to Wal-Mart!’
Boomers retirement may be the true reason behind the labor shortage
(ECONOMY) Millennials and Gen Z were quick to be blamed for the labor shortage, citing lazy work ethic- the cause could actually be Boomers retirement.
In July, we reported on the Great Resignation. With record numbers of resignations, there’s a huge labor shortage in the United States. Although there were many speculations about the reasons why, from “lazy” millennials to the number of deaths from Covid. Just recently, CNN reported that in November another 3.6 million Americans left the labor force. It’s been suggested that the younger generations don’t want to work but retiring Boomers might be the bigger culprit.
Why Boomers are leaving the labor force
CNN Business reports that 90% of the Americans who left the workplace were over 55 years old. It’s now being suggested that many of the people who have left the labor force since the beginning of the pandemic were older Americans, not Millennials or Gen Z, as we originally thought. Here are the reasons why:
- Boomers are more concerned about catching COVID-19 than their younger counterparts, so they aren’t returning to work. Boomers are less willing to risk their health.
- The robust real estate market has benefitted Boomers, who have more equity in their homes. Boomers have more options on the table than just returning to work.
- Employers aren’t creating or posting jobs that lure people out of retirement or those near retirement age.
As Boomers retire, how does this impact the overall labor economy?
According to CNN Business, there are signs that the labor shortage is abating. Employers are starting to see record number of applicants to most posted jobs. FedEx, for example, just got 111,000 applications in one week, the highest it has ever recorded. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the pandemic-induced increase in retirement is only temporary. People who retired due to the risk of the pandemic will return to work as new strategies emerge to reduce the risk to their health. With new varients popping up, we will have to keep an eye on how the trend ultimately plays out.
Is the real estate industry endorsing Carson’s nomination to HUD?
(BUSINESS NEWS) Ben Carson’s initial appointment to HUD was controversial given his lack of experience in housing, but what is the pulse now?
NAR strongly backs Dr. Carson’s nomination
When President-Elect Donald Trump put forth Dr. Ben Carson’s name as the nominee for Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, NAR President William E. Brown said, “While we’ve made great strides in recent years, far more can be done to put the dream of homeownership in reach for more Americans.”
At the time of nomination, the National Association of Realtors (the largest trade organization in the nation) offered a positive tone regarding Dr. Carson and said the industry looks forward to working with him. But does that hold true today?
The confirmation hearings yesterday were far less controversial than one would expect, especially in light of how many initially reacted to his nomination. Given his lack of experience in housing, questions seemed to often center around protecting the LGBT community and veterans, both of which he pledged to support.
In fact, Dr. Carson said the Fair Housing Act is “one of the best pieces of legislation we’ve ever had in this country,” promising to issue a “world-class plan” for housing upon his confirmation…
Job openings hit 14-year high, signaling economic improvement
The volume of job openings is improving, but not across all industries. The overall economy is improving, but not evenly across all career paths.
Job openings hit a high point
To understand the overall business climate, the U.S. Labor Department studies employment, today releasing data specific to job vacancies. According to the department’s Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLT) for April, job openings rose to 5.38 million, the highest seen since December 2000, and a significant jump from March’s 5.11 million vacancies. Although a lagging indicator, it shows strength in the labor market.
The Labor Department reports that the number of hires in April fell to 5 million, which indicates a weak point in the strong report, and although the volume remains near recent highs, this indicates a talent gap and highlights the number of people who have left the labor market and given up on looking for a job.
Good news, bad news, depending on your profession
That said, another recent Department report notes that employers added 221,000 jobs in April and 280,000 in May, but the additions are not evenly spread across industries. Construction jobs rose in April, but dipped in professional and business services, hospitality, trade, and transportation utilities. In other words, white collar jobs are down, blue collar jobs are up, which is good or bad news depending on your profession.
Additionally, the volume of people quitting their jobs was 2.7 million in April compared to the seven-year high of 2.8 million in March. Economists follow this number as a metric for gauging employee confidence in finding their next job.
If you’re in the market for a job, there are an increasing number of openings, so your chance of getting hired is improving, but there is a caveat – not all industries are enjoying improvement.
If you’re hiring talent, you’ll still get endless resumes, but there appears to be a growing talent gap for non-labor jobs, so you’re not alone in struggling to find the right candidate.
Economists suspect the jobs market will continue to improve as a whole, but this data does not pertain to every industry.
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