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Ep. 219: How this remote investor earns passive income from real estate with Whitney Hutten

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In this episode, I speak with Whitney who is a remote real estate investor generating multiple streams of passive income from her active portfolio.

She discovered the power of real estate in 2002 when she became an accidental landlord and turned what could have been a failed investment into $52K+ in profits in 11 months.

Listen on to find out how Whitney has successfully created passive income from real estate.

Listen Below:

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Transcription:

 Debbie:

Hey everyone, thank you so much. Being here. I’m super, super excited for my guest today. I’m here with Whitney.

Hey, Whitney, how are you?

Whitney:

I’m doing great, Debbie. Thank you so much for having me on.

Debbie:

Can you tell us about you and why you live an offbeat life?

Whitney:

Well, I am a real estate investor and I would say for myself and my family, we have a very non-traditional way of living life. We’ve broken the, I guess, the golden handcuffs of the corporate world, and we kind of live life on our own terms.

I would love to share that story. That’s exactly why we’re here today.

Debbie:

Me too. So for you, were you always a real estate investor? How did that start? How did this journey start for you?

Whitney:

Actually, no. Real estate was never on my path. I actually started off and I guess we go back to my humble beginnings of employment, I grew up wanting to be a doctor. Followed the traditional narrative, I guess, go to college, get a good job.

In college, I focused on med school. So I did two years of med school, really knew at that point in time when I entered the med school, that my passion was in public health. So I graduated, switched gears, and instead of finishing up med school, went to grad school and finished up public health and epidemiology. And worked for government agencies for a few years.

I think at that point in time is when things started to kind of diverged for me. I had trained myself to be in my passion at my heart but my parents actually fell on very hard times. My dad fell ill. He had Parkinson’s and some other complicating factors. He fell and shattered his leg in the shower. This is a story that I honestly, Debbie, don’t think I’ve ever told live on air.

But when that happened, here I was, it was right after 9/11, I was working for the CDC and bioterrorism 80 plus hours a week, not unlike what’s happening today during the COVID pandemic. Bless these public health workers right now.

My dad had had this devastating, not only illness but accident. And I had to ask for time off to be with my family. At that point in time, it just kind of blew my mind that our employment system just wasn’t set up to really support people to be with their families in their time of need.

I didn’t know what life looked like, where I was going to take this and where I was going to go. But I just knew at that point in time, things had to change. This was not how I wanted to live my life. If I chose to marry and have a family that was not how I wanted to cultivate that relationship with my family just having to choose between employment or being at home with them.

That’s really kind of where the journey really starts, it was at that inflection point.

Debbie:

And from that, when you finally took that time off to be with your family, which I think a lot of us who start working remotely or want to become location independent, one of the biggest things that we want to have is to have the freedom to either live anywhere, to travel but also to be with your family.

And you mentioned this, your father wasn’t feeling well, you wanted to start a family someday and you needed some freedom to be able to do this. How did you go from working that corporate job to getting into real estate investment? Because it’s not too polar opposites but it’s also not something that you had done before. How did you get into that process?

Whitney:

Well, yeah. At this point in time when, and this is a story that most people do hear me tell, is I had actually bought a house. And when I bought the house, I bought it with a significant other and the relationship fell apart very quickly after we closed on the house. And here I was, left kind of holding the bag. I had the bills, it was also a house that was in dire need of a rehab.

I knew how to change the tire on my car. That was about it. That was how handy I was. And so I stuffed the house full of roommates, went and bought the Home Depot 1, 2, 3 book. Because YouTube wasn’t around, I couldn’t go on YouTube and try to figure out how to repair things from watching videos. And so I really tried to figure out how to do the majority of this work myself, to keep the expenses down.

Fast, forward 11 later, I sold that house, which probably was my number one investing mistake but we’ll set that aside for right now. I realized that that time that I hadn’t been paying for my house and building the entire time. In fact, I’d actually probably been putting away about $300 a month in my pocket. And I walked away with $52,000 at the closing table when I sold that house.

And so that for me, the light bulb came on. I was like, “Oh man, I can actually make money in real estate.” And I didn’t have to go to college to get a degree for it. I could do this on the side. I didn’t have to get a certificate or anything like that. It was just all about hard work and ingenuity.

Now, not all investments went very smoothly after that. Like, even at that point in time, Debbie, I hadn’t actually put two and two together that I wanted to be a real estate investor because I really feel like life is an iceberg, right?

When you see somebody and where they are in their success at that point in their life, you may think they’re an overnight success but what you’re actually seeing is a culmination of the journey that they’ve had up until that point.

Even after having success with this initial investment, I was still trying to find a “job” or build a business on the side for myself because I would have convinced myself, I need to be in the healthcare sector. That was my identity. It was very much tied to my identity.

I had tried health coaching on the side. I was doing freelance medical research writing. I even tried to do a time management coaching business. I went back and completed my doctorate and started wellness and personal training business which had a level of success. And I eventually sold that because starting a business from scratch is so hard and I’m sure most people here can really identify with that.

On the side, the whole entire time, I am buying houses, fixing them up and flipping them, and continuing to repeat this model that I had with this first house. It took me about 15 years, Debbie, to realize that I could actually succeed in life and meet my life goals, this desire to have total freedom and control of my time through real estate. I just had to change my identity.

Debbie:

That is amazing. And also the fact that a lot of people when they think of real estate, they don’t think that you can have that freedom and you can’t do it remotely. But you have been able to do this for a really long time and have the freedom that you always wanted to do.

And it’s so funny how life and the universe give us something that we actually want and need and we just don’t see it. We don’t see even when it’s right in front of us.

Whitney:

Exactly. I felt like it was beating me over the head until about 2016. And that’s when I was like, “Oh?” The big head slap, right? “Oh, this is what I need to be doing right now.”

Again, we talk about how my identity was really tied up in healthcare. I felt like that was the only way that I could really create an impact in the world. Well, it turns out life had another plan for me and I just needed to get to the point where I could listen to that plan.

Debbie:

I love that. So for you, Whitney, how did you replicate that first accidental investment that you actually did with real estate, with buying houses and flipping them? How did you do this over and over again and make it well?

Whitney:

So with that first house, again, totally by accident, I learned a lot of things along the way. And in part of this was learning how to utilize the tax code to my favor. When I sold that house, that first year, that $52,000 that I made was tax-free money.

Let’s discuss how it came tax-free. Well, there is part of the tax code called the 121 exclusion. And I think most people who own their primary probably are familiar with this; that they can actually buy a property, create value on that property and they can sell the property and $250,000 of that gain is tax-free as an individual or $500,000 if you’re married, filing jointly.

Once I was kind of able to put two and two together on how I could leverage the tax code and reduce my number one expense, which is my taxes, that’s when I was just like, “You know what? Most people don’t know how to do this.”

As we continue to build and scale our portfolio and flip these houses, I thought I had to live in them. So eventually my husband and I needed to pivot and do more houses because, at this point in time, we felt like we had to flip in order to find this financial independence. Meaning, that we weren’t always living in the houses to do this.

So we couldn’t use that 121 tax code. We had to figure out how to structure our business in a different way ’till we could leverage the tax code to keep all of our profits tax-free. And that’s the beauty of real estate: even when you switch from being the home being your primary investment or primary owner of the house, the IRS does want to partner with you and provide you tax benefits to continue to invest in real estate even if you’re holding it as say like a private landlord.

A lot of that was just about educating ourselves. As I mentioned, that crash course in education, really wasn’t a crash course. It took several years for us to truly understand that. And we actually moved away from flipping in 2016 into buying and hold real estate so we could generate rental income on the asset, have the tenants pay down the loan for us, and utilize the IRS tax code for depreciation and bonus depreciation to keep any of the profits on that income tax-free.

Now, what the IRS gives us, they take it away. So if you go sell that house as a landlord, you actually have to pay to recapture on that taxes because whereas your private owner, you’re going to go buy another house more than likely. But as a landlord, you need to harvest the equity and go buy a boat or invest in a trip around the world or something like that.

Here, the IRS wants you as the private investor to continue to scale up and invest in real estate. So they give you a couple of other opportunities like through a 1031 exchange to, like, continue to forego that depreciation recapture.

This might be a little bit high level for the people here listening to the pod but once you really kind of educate yourself on how you can leverage different parts of the tax code and incorporate them into your business, you can really significantly reduce your number one liability when it comes to building the business, which is your taxes.

And that goes for whether you are a passive real estate investor, an active real estate investor, or even just a business owner.

I love that. And I’m also very interested in this. This is actually what my fiance and I want to do. So I’m like, “So Whitney, give us all the information.”

Whitney:

Oh, sure. What do you want to know?

Debbie:

All right. I’m like, “Yes!”

Okay. So the next thing I want to know from you, Whitney, do you all just market in the same area, or do you go to different states? How do you find the right places to actually invest in?

Whitney:

Great question. So we actually started investing in our backyard. I think most people that get into real estate, probably initially look at their backyard, right? They know it, they love it, they understand the market, it’s familiar to them. Maybe they already own a property in that market.

Now, that doesn’t mean that your backyard is actually the right place to invest. And I’m going to step back just a little bit, you have to understand what your goals are. Why are you investing in real estate? Do you need the cash flow? Do you need to create buckets of wealth to increase your net worth? Or do you need a balanced blend of both?

Because even just being able to answer that question right there is going to help you determine where you should be investing. Example: if you’re desiring cash flow probably investing in, say, San Francisco, California, Seattle Washington, or New York City, you’re not going to get it. The asset prices are too high and the rents don’t continue to grow at the same pace as the asset value grows.

Now, turn those tables. You invest in a Midwest property, maybe you can pick up a property for, say, a hundred or $150,000. And the rents on that property are probably a thousand to 1200 a month. Now you’re walking away with three to $400 in your pocket every single month. But that asset price, that hundred or $150,000, isn’t going to grow as quickly as it would, say, on the coastal markets.

For me, I am a very conservative investor. I want cash flow because cash flow for me is king. If I have cash flow coming in on a property, the markets go up down or sideways a little bit, it doesn’t matter. I don’t have to sell the property. I’m very much insulated.

Whereas if I have to breakeven on a property or even put in a little bit of money on a property, and I’m waiting for 10, 15, 20 years should that asset grow in value before I sell it, now I’m at the mercy of the market and what happens. Right now we’re very blessed that asset prices haven’t faltered.

Honestly, like, in the last five recessions, only three recessions asset prices went up. One, they stayed basically neutral. And then we all know what happened in 2008 asset prices. So how do you know where to invest?

So I would first take a look at your backyard. Now, maybe your backyard is a good place to invest. Can you find an affordable property that actually cashflows on rents after all your expenses, principal interests, taxes, insurance, HOA? Those are your hard expenses and setting aside reserves. And this is where most investors kind of mess up at the beginning.

They fudged the numbers. They’re like, “Ah, my property will never be vacant because it’s such a strong rental market. So I’m not going to set aside for anything aside for vacancy, “or, “It’s in complete repair. I’m not going to set aside for maintenance.”

Well, guess what? Things happen. Properties go vacant. At some point in time, that roof is going to age, you’re going to have to replace it and tenants can do damage, some pretty extensive damage to properties. And so you do need to be able to set aside reserves. That is the challenge: being able to find property in your area that meets those qualifications.

If they don’t, then how do you set that system up out of state? Well, pretty much exactly like how you would do it in your local market. My husband and I fell into that trap. Initially. We were like, “We have to invest in Colorado because there’s not a good quality house outside of Colorado.”

And it’s funny, a lot of people share that too about their own market but we bought a house here in Colorado. One of our first rentals, we bought it for $335,000. And it rented for about $2,100 a month, not horrible numbers but our initial down payment was $80,000 on that property. And we were probably making about $400 a month, probably weren’t setting aside those reserves.

And so the toilet broke the first month. We made no cash flow ’cause we had to fix the toilet and the plumbing. The next month, the fence broke. We made no money that month because we had to do some repairs on the fencing. And that’s when I was like, “Oh, this is painful. I don’t think I did this the right way. How many people were retiring?”

And I really started educating myself on the financial metrics of holding rentals. Because up until this time we had just flipped houses, flipped properties. And when I started educating myself, I mean, I had to kind of hang my head low. And I went back to my husband. I’m like, “I think we goofed.”

We invested $80,000 in this one property and we’re making $400 a month and we haven’t cleared any money for two months. And I finally figured out how to calculate cash flow and it’s 0.3%. My husband was like, “What?! We’ll never be going to reach financial independence that way.” And I’m like, “Yeah, I know. I think we need to switch tactics.”

Here’s the thing about real estate: it can be pretty forgiving. We did a lot of things right when we purchased that first full-on rental property. We weren’t upside down on anything. We were breaking even, we could hold onto the asset for a while. We had good reserves behind us but we had messed up understanding that.

The first fundamental question is: what do we really need? We need cash flow.

Debbie:

So when you’re talking about that, Whitney, I know a lot of people who are listening to this who are not familiar with real estate investing are probably like, “Oh my God, that’s way above my head right now, ” one of the things that you’re talking about is investing in your own backyard.

I live in New York City and it’s absolutely ridiculous here. Like, there’s nothing here you can buy, and you mentioned this, and you’re definitely not going to get any cash flow here. So now when you actually go into other markets, you talked about the Midwest being a good one for cash flow, how do you know how to invest in those areas?

Because first of all, if you don’t live there, you don’t know anyone, how do you actually tap into those markets without knowing any information or even about the location?

Whitney:

You have to do research. It’s kind of a heavy lift but if you think about it… Let’s talk about Whole Foods. Does Whole Foods randomly open a market on just any street corner? No. They do a ton of market research to understand what’s happening in the population. What’s happening with jobs. What’s the income in the area. What’s the education of the area, right?

You’re going to go through a similar process, if you’re going to invest in other states, with setting up your out-of-state markets I love investing in growth markets, both actively and passively. This is the same process I would go through no matter if I were doing single-family, multifamily, self-storage, if I was going to actively flip, or if I was going to do a more passive strategy. Like, buying off of that MLS, turnkey or a syndication.

I would look for markets where the population’s growing, incomes are growing, jobs are growing, jobs are diversified. I think if anything that COVID has is, as far as a real estate perspective, you need to be in markets where there’s not a large market share going to any employer.

Hospitality took a huge hit this year. The travel industry took a huge hit this year. Those are the markets where asset prices are kind of faltering a little bit right now but I would look for those. Again, this is a business, right? We already talked about taxes being your number one expense in business.

So look for markets where taxes are favorable. They’re pro-business but also they’re lower to the investor. You also want to know who’s the employee of your real estate asset – it’s the tenant. So you want to have a good quality tenant base to rent to and you’ll want to understand the landlord-tenant laws of that area and you want to be in areas where you have control over how you manage the asset.

So I like looking for areas that are landlord-friendly. Not so I can kick somebody out of the house. That’s not it. I want to look for areas that are landlord-friendly so I can maintain control over the physical asset of the property and determine how I want to run it.

Now you can put all that data in a spreadsheet and kind of look for where all of those areas converge. A couple of the things you might want to look for: crime, poverty, and vacancy, all stable and coming down. Those are three other kinds of social-economic variables that I would look at.

Now, where do you get all this data? Remember, my background’s in epidemiology. I love data, I’m kind of a data geek. Like, I can go on Census.gov and pull down data and play around with it and I’m in heaven. But most people aren’t, most people I coach whenever they go on, I ask them to go through this exercise. They’e like, their eyes just glaze over, “You can buy data sets.”

They’re like, “You want me to do what?” I’m like, “I don’t want you to become a data entry expert or a data analysis expert but I need you to look at the data and make an educated decision. I need you to become a decision-maker.”

So there are websites out there: CityData.com, Niche.com. They have some pretty graphics that will help you with this. You can also buy data sets as well. They’re really nice data sets. They kind of scraped the census data, tables, and compiled them into kind of an easily digestible data set.

So, that would be where I’d start. Let’s narrow down the markets maybe to like three to five areas that interest you and maybe where you have a competitive advantage, right? Maybe you used to live there or you went to school there, or you have family that lives there, or you travel there for business, so you understand some fundamentals about the market.

And then once you understand that, you’re kind of narrowing down the parts of the United States. Now we’re going to try to find the locales around those areas. We call them submarkets. So in Denver, there’s the Denver Metro area. There’s Boulder, Westminster, Arvada, Commerce City. Like, some areas you want to be in, some areas you don’t.

That’s kind of like the same with, I’m sure you could probably say the same, New York City. You’re going to try to identify the markets and repeat a similar analysis. Like, are people moving there? Does it have a high enough income? What’s the poverty level of the area? Are the jobs diversified?

Once you get that, now we’re going to start looking at houses in that area. And this is where I think you start building your team in a few different ways.

One, when you look at the houses that have been sold in the area or houses that are being rented of the product that you want: multifamily, single-family, maybe you’re in self-storage, maybe we’re not even talking about houses at all. You can actually start gleaning, scraping data, and seeing who are the realtors, who are the property managers on these listings. And names are going to continue to repeat.

And so you can kind of back into finding these rockstars in the market. Now, of course, there’s always just like going to other investors in the market and going, “Hey, who’s your team? Would you introduce them to me?” Sometimes that works, sometimes that doesn’t, it depends on how competitive the market is. So that’s a few other ways to kind of back into starting to put together a team.

I think for me, the realization happened, I put together a team in my Colorado market and I just repeated almost the exact same process when I went out of state. It’s just now I’m holding the calls virtually as opposed to being there in person with them.

Debbie:

I love that. And I liked the fact that you’re able to do this from anywhere and you can literally be anywhere in the world and still be able to invest in your properties which now you have so much more freedom because of it. So that’s incredible.

Whitney:

Yeah. We’ve traveled out of the country and rents come in and I placed all my properties with property management. So I have a day-to-day operator overseeing the key decisions that are happening on the property. And so yeah, it’s really true time-freedom. It’s amazing.

Debbie:

Love that. So for you, Whitney, when you first started this, you invested in it, you got some money from it and then you kept building it up. But for somebody who’s just starting out, how much money do you actually need in order to get started?

Whitney:

Well, that’s going to vary depending on what you’re investing in, your strategy, and the market you’re going to be in. So I kind of have a basic number that I throw out to people, it’s about $50,000 to get started. Now it doesn’t have to be your own money.

We can kind of put it instead on the side, maybe you have lines of credit or you have friends and family that’ll help you invest in your business to get you going and off the ground. Let’s kind of break down what that 50,000 would cover. Initially, it covers the down payment on the property.

So if we’re investing in, say, a Midwest market in a house that’s a hundred thousand dollars, let’s assume that we’re just buying the property outright and we’re not doing any sort of, kind of creative rehab strategy on it to pull our money out. So you need about $25,000 between down payment and closing costs.

Then the bank is going to ask you to set aside about six months of reserves on that property. They want to see principal, interest, taxes, insurance, maybe even your HOA if you have one on the property set aside in a reserve account.

Now here’s the cool thing: you can use the exact same set of reserves for multiple properties. So it’s not like you have to have each of these reserves set aside for individual properties. That’s the qualify for lending. I do suggest you continue to set aside reserves for each property to financially insulate your business. But this is just to get your business off the ground.

Then I also want you to think about your financial moat and it doesn’t matter if you’re investing in real estate or have another business that you’re building. What is your financial moat? Could you go without any income coming in on your properties or in your business for three to six months minimum?

So you have to really understand what your personal finances are and get that built up. I personally like having 12 months of all of my expenses set aside, including my health deductible, car deductible, and house deductible. To me, I just sleep extremely well at night when I have all that set aside, it might be a little bit overkill. Again, I’m a very conservative investor and that strategy has really served me well.

Debbie:

I love that. So now for you, Whitney, what have been the best markets that you have invested in and why?

Whitney:

I get asked this question all the time. People are like, “Well, what markets should I invest in?” That’s usually the question I get asked. And I’m like, “Well, it depends.” It all depends on what your investment strategy is. Again, going back to that core question, do you need cash flow appreciation or a balanced blend of both? What kind of asset prices are you willing to behave for?A nd then, what’s the trajectory of that market? It really all depends.

Now for me, I started off investing in Colorado. We picked that story apart, we know it didn’t really work out for me ’cause it wasn’t aligned with my goals. But for somebody else who wanted to just appreciation, Colorado is a fine market, it’s a great market to be in. But I needed cash flow.

I had a child at home and it was burning the candle at both ends and five times in the middle of trying to take care of family members. And I knew my job at that point in time when I was still working in public health, had probably some sort of expiration date on it.

And so I started off in Indianapolis at the time that I started investing out of state. We knew Indianapolis. It was solid fundamentally, and we had a competitive advantage there because we had some friends and family that lived in the area.

So we started off there and then, kind of the same thing, I had some friends that were very familiar with the Kansas City market. I went to school in the Midwest so I understood the fundamentals of that market as well.

So we started off in those two markets and still pretty heavily invested in the Kansas City market from a single-family, small multifamily perspective but I’ve really expanded my portfolio, getting into more passive and active strategies and syndication investing in larger multifamily deals.

And so I currently now on the multifamily side, invested in Dallas, Fort Worth area, Orlando, Jacksonville, Greenville, South Carolina, Raleigh, Durham, and then also Charlotte.

Debbie:

Wow, amazing. And this is from obviously, with Whitney, she’s been doing this for so many years and she just knows what to do. She made it work and she did a lot of research, obviously. So this is incredible, Whitney. And you have definitely been giving us so much information, some of us that we need and some of us we didn’t even think we needed. So amazing.

Whitney:

But here’s the thing, right? So real estate is truly accessible. I can totally see somebody, if you guys are still in here, listening to me, they’re might be, mindboggling, glazed over going, “Oh my gosh, she said real estate was accessible as an investor, as a side hustle, she’s smoking opium. What is going on here? This does not apply to me.”

I can totally see that happening for people. Yeah, it is. And I’m going to tell you how. There is a wonderful investment strategy called syndication. It is not for everybody. However, if you have a higher and best use of your time, this is super, super, especially like if you’re a high-income earner or in your job or in your business, more importantly.

For the people here, if you’re making a big income in your business and you need actually more tax deductions or you want to build more core foundation and more passive income so that allows you to step away from your business a little bit, I would highly suggest looking at syndications.

I mean, they come in all different flavors, multifamily, self-storage, residential assisted living, commercial retail even, that’s not a space that I’m currently focused on right now, mobile home parks, stuff like that.

And that’s where my partners Annie and Julie at Goodegg investments, that’s where we help people tap into these different types of investment strategies so they can actually focus on building passive income from their selves, building their portfolio wealth so they can continue to focus on the things be it their family, traveling or building their own passionate business and creating an impact in the world.

Debbie:

Thank you so much for that, Whitney. You have been so incredible.

So for you, Whitney, we’re going to fast forward to around 30 to 40 years from now and you’re looking back at your life, what legacy do you want to leave and what do you want to be remembered?

Whitney:

Yeah, great question. So that’s where I am in my career right now, trying to understand what exactly that impact is that I want to create in the world.

Speaker 1:

And for me, I’m so focused on, still, a big, huge public health issue that we have today. I kind of mentioned this before but my journey has not been linear. And here I am sitting here in the middle of the financial crisis, in the middle of the COVID pandemic going, wow, there’s a hole here. I need to fill this hole. What is it?

And for me, I’ve really landed on it. Focusing on helping people and educating people on how to create financial wealth for themselves. I really feel that this is a huge public health issue. And for me, coming from a health background, I never thought I would be on the financial side of this issue but how can we flip this narrative that you have to go to school, get a good job, marry, buy a house, and then work for 40 years, scraped by for 40 years before you actually own your time?

Speaker 1:

What I want to blow apart for people is how can you actually start here right now, building financial wealth for yourself. Passive cash flow so you can unlock these golden handcuffs and do what it is that you were meant to do in the world. That is the impact that I want to create.

Debbie:

Love that. And it’s something that is definitely doable if you are able to see that and not wait until you’re retired to think about that. And I think that’s a lot of our mistakes. When we’re young we don’t think about these things, right? It’s like we don’t have that type of environment. Maybe our parents or family never did that. So it’s so good to find that for yourself even if you didn’t have that in the first place.

Whitney:

I think you hit the nail right on the head, Debbie. I mean, it’s the lack of financial education. Where does that come from? I mean, it’s easy for new parents to blame the schools but the source in that part is the parent’s responsibility at home.

Now I’m not throwing parents under the bus. Not doing that at all because I know I did not grow up with that financial education. I had two very brilliant, smart, hardworking parents, and I didn’t even know how to balance my checkbook until I got to college. I couldn’t even define what an asset was.

My daughter, she’s eight. She knew when she was four. She knew the difference between an asset and liability. Very simple definition: asset puts money in your pocket, a liability takes money out. That’s it. We don’t have any arguments as we walk into Target.

She’s not trying to like, “Get me to buy every toy in there.” I’m like, “Is it an asset or liability?” Now, granted she’s a kid, we’re still ticking my chart of child toys. But even just that basic education.

So I think that’s one. Like, how can you start introducing this vocabulary in the household at a much earlier age and talking about money not taboo? Because money is energy.

Debbie:

Yes. I love that, Whitney. ’cause that’s the thing. I think so many people are afraid to talk about money like you’re saying, “It’s taboo. No, we can’t talk about this. It’s not polite to talk about that in front of other people.” I’m like, “Yeah. And who talks about that? People who have money and kids who will have money because when we don’t talk about it, it doesn’t grow. So yeah. Then we all become confused and be broke when we’re adults.”

Whitney:

Exactly. And then I think the second piece to this education is understanding what Robert Kiyosaki calls the cashflow quadrant. Like, how do you make your money? And it’s very important to understand how you’re going to make your money because how you make your money will impact how you get taxed on it.

The middle America right now, and not getting political stay away from politics, but they want tax breaks right now. Most of the middle America makes their money through employment. Honestly, employment is not the highest tax bracket as far as taxes in the United States. It is the second-highest tax bracket. The highest tax bracket is self-employed people.

So if you’re on what we call the left side of the quadrant, employed and self-employed people, that’s how you earn your money. There’s a different tax code for you. How can you now shift to being on the other side, the right side, as a business owner or an investor in an operating business?

How you make your money on that side, you’re going to be able to reorganize it and really significantly reduce your taxes. The tax code right now, it’s set up is just, it’s a series of incentives by the areas to tell you where they want you investing in the capital markets. So how can you leverage that? If you want to pay lower taxes, let’s figure out how to leverage that for you.

Debbie:

Yeah. There are so many things that you can learn and it’s not readily available. So you really have to be educated in that and educate yourself because this is not taught in school for the most part. So it’s like, you either figure it out yourself, find a mentor, or you just don’t know about it.

Whitney:

Exactly.

Debbie:

And today, Whitney, definitely educated us on that. So thank you, Whitney.

Whitney:

Again, for people whose minds are boggled and they’re like, “Oh my gosh, I don’t even know what the first is.” I love leaving people with actionable steps. One, start educating yourself. You can listen to podcasts, read books, go to the web. But you want to have good quality resources.

So for me, I usually direct people to, especially if you’re interested in real estate, I think the Purple Bible, as we all kind of joke around in the real estate world, Rich Dad, Poor Dad is a great first book. The follow-up book to that is Cashflow Quadrant.

And if you’re just like, “I don’t care about real estate,” at least read Cashflow Quadrant because then you’ll get an understanding of just how the way you make your money will impact everything else that you can do in your life. I think that’s a good first step and a first primer.

Then, if you want to kind of dive in deeper and you want to shortcut your path to success, teaming up with a good mentor will help you do that.

Debbie:

Absolutely. Well, thank you so much, Whitney, for joining us today. If our listeners want to know more about you, where can they find you?

Whitney:

Yes. So there are two places you can find me if you’re interested in getting started in small single-family, real estate, small multifamily real estate, or just giving your financial roadmap written out so you can actually proceed forward, you can find me an AshWealth.com.

And if you’re interested in investing in larger projects, in syndication projects more passively, you can find me at GoodEggInvestments.com.

Debbie:

Perfect. Thank you so much, Whitney, for all of the knowledge that you gave us today. Now you’re putting a light under my fire. We’re going to be talking to my fiance about this and we’re going to be yeah, right on it. Thank you so much, Whitney. I really appreciate you.

Whitney:

Thank you so much. It was such a pleasure.


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Show Credits:

Audio Engineer: Ben Smith

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