No One Can Handle Your Money As Good As You Do.

I only used a financial advisor once in my lifetime. It was right after I inherited money from my father back in 2005. For some strange reason I thought an advisor would have been better at advising me than I would have been. Wrong. My advice for myself was to buy a condo in Florida and invest most of the rest of the money in 30 year Treasury Bonds. I would have earned $44,000 per year from the bonds and I could have purchased a decent sized condo for around $65K.

The advisor told me to rent in Florida instead of buying. He told me to buy a second home closer to my main residence and he pooh-poohed the Treasury Bond investment. Stupidly, I followed his advice. I bought a beach house in Newport Rhode Island, one block from the ocean. Sounds like a sure bet right? I held it for 10 years and sold it for $50K less than what I had paid for it back in 2005. Plus, the state ordered ALL homes near the beach to put in above-ground septic tank thus forcing me to spend an additional $37K, which would never be recovered in a sale. I sold the beach house at a $100,000 loss (when you calculate in broker fees and closing costs)

Thank you very much!

Also, since I still winter in Florida, and since I didn’t own a condo, I rented as the advisor recommended. Has anybody looked at rent hikes in Florida lately? A typical monthly condo rental goes for $3,000 to $4,000 a month! Another example of the advisors very bad financial advice!

Instead of buying the Treasury Bonds like I wanted to, I paid cash for cars and RVs. I also took a few very expensive vacations (Paris, Rome, Milan etc). And I dabbled in the stock market, specifically with the S&P 500. I already had a paid-off mortgage, which again was against what the financial advisor wanted. He said I could effectively stretch my inheritance by getting a mortgage.

In the end, after The Great Recession of 2007-2009, my own advice turned out to be much better than what this nincompoop professional expert advised. All his recommendations went bust. Other than me buying one too many cars or RVs, I came out way ahead. However, I will NEVER forgive him for advising me NOT to buy a Florida condo back in 2005 and I can kick myself for not buying the Treasury Bonds I wanted to buy! I’d be a lot more solvent today if I had followed my own darn advice!

No one knows how to handle your own money other than yourself.

Over 75% of my fellow Americans handle their own money and do NOT seek the advice of financial advisors or professionals. According to this article from CNBC (click here) most Americans are just winging it when it comes to their money! Do the self-managers make money mistakes? Yes. About $1200 worth of mistakes per year. But that’s a hellava lot better than what most experts can do to you! Most Americans live paycheck to paycheck and earn on average $50,000 per year.

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Not surprisingly, those making more than $150,000 a year were more likely to consult with a financial pro or use a money management app, the CNBC survey found. Those making less than $50,000 annually were the most likely to admit to not managing their financial future at all. High net worth individuals are still going to have assets at the end of the day. Having a financial plan is even more important for your typical family.

So, what you don’t need is an advisor. What you do need is a good, sound, financial plan. Once you have your plan in place, stick to it! You know what to do. You know what you need. You know best how your life is going to turn out. You know best what kind of retirement you want and how you want your retirement to be.
I always knew I wanted to be retired as soon as possible (early 50’s). I always knew I wanted to be debt free in retirement, live in a mortgage-free home and drive paid-for cars. And I always knew I wanted to RV America in retirement. That’s why we did most of our airline traveling while still young AND gainfully employed. Now at 68, I don’t want to go traipsing through Europe or The Great Lakes. I want to enjoy my home, reside in peace and quiet and when the mood strikes me, hop in my SUV & RV and head down to the beach and listen to the seagulls chirp against the backdrop of a pounding surf and waves. Easy in. Easy out.

I asked hubby where he wanted to spend his Pre-Memorial Day Vacation week this year. We always RV the week before Memorial Day and the week after Labor Day because that’s before the rates go up. He opted for the beach on the Outerbanks of Nags Head, North Carolina. A recent quote at an RV chain was $490.73 for the week ($98 average per night):

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Being we’re retired, a lot less fussy and over the age of 62, which qualify us for discounts, I reserved a camping site, right on the beach at The National Cape Hatteras Seashore for only $17.50 a night!  Our total for the week comes to only $87.50:

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I’m certain my Financial Advisor from 2005 is still working. I passed his office the other day and his shingle still hangs right outside the entrance front door. If you want financial advice from a human being, find a person who is living your dream and ask THEM how they did it. Take all advice with a grain of salt (because we know there are a few braggarts out there!) Otherwise, figure out your lifestyle, calculate how much it will cost and start taking actions to make your dreams come true.

No one knows how to handle your own money other than yourself.

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I’d rather look at this than a view out of an office cubicle.

 

10 comments

  1. I, also, inherited money- but I was only 30. We were walking on the street in Alexandria VA and passed an AGEdwards. I popped in and was introduced to a 40ish woman.Anne Shine was recently divorced with a great brain and a large settlement of her own. She had been working for about five years outside of the home with a Masters in Economics. She wanted to empower me. I turned over about 75% of my inheritance. She helped me learn the market by buying cyclicly. She sent me books- Jane Bryant Quinn, Ron Blue (precursor to Dave Ramsey) and had me subscribe to the Journal. She got me out- entirely- in 1987. She then fed me back in until I withdrew completely in Feb of 2000- missing the dot com bubble (she followed me in that move and withdrew all of her clients money. AG Edwards almost fired her until the market crashed. )
    Sadly, she retired and I never found another broker I could agree with. I have an on line brokerage account, which works for me now. Homework, buy, homework, sell.
    She was the only broker who said, “Make sure to buy house and cars outright. Never take on debt unless it is because medicine has wiped you out. And never listen to a man who thinks he knows you better then you do.”
    Yes!

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    • God bless this woman! You lucked out. Wow Janette what a story! She gave you the best advice. I remember back in the day, I couldn’t even get a car loan unless my husband co-signed the deal. Amazing.
      Thank you for your comment.

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  2. I agree that no one can handle your money with the same insight to your aspirations as you can. Your using a financial plan and goal setting is crucial if you want to fulfill your dream life.
    Wow, what was the interest rate of 30 year treasuries in 2005? I was to wrapped up in DH battle with leukemia at this time. Not knowing what would be needed for medical bills, I had the majority of money in cash.
    Isn’t it crazy how in Hindsight We see so clearly the choices we let go that would have been so much better than the way we chose. Ah if we just had a crystal ball to be able to review our choices!
    So do you have any idea what the 2005 65k condo appreciation now has in fees and property taxes today? Lara

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    • Lara I don’t know the fees or the taxes but they’re low. As to price the condo tripled in value because I looked in to buying a few weeks ago. Forget it.
      It’s upsetting to know you had it right all along but didn’t follow your gut feelings. We need to trust ourselves more. We know what we’re doing.

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  3. Yea trusting our gut feelings is hard. I thought your Florida condo you own had dramatic condo fees and taxes increases in just two years that it was fortunate you sold. Was the original 2005 in the same area? Lara

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    • No. The original was on the Atlantic Ocean side. Slightly above West Palm Beach. I was redoing the calculations I would still be paying if I still owned the Sarasota condo. It started off $1145 every quarter ($4580) when we bought it in 2016. Today, those very same fees went up to $1450 per quarter ($5800). That would have been an annual increase of $1220. When you are on a fixed income, as we will eventually, how do you come up with money like that? Ditto for the property taxes and all the other fees (like restaurant) they levy against you annually?
      To say the least, it was a learning experience. Sometimes you have to dive right in to things in order to figure out the truth. The sales promotion leaflets didn’t project any such increases at all!
      You can be guaranteed that if and when Nick and I ever buy in Florida again, we will be a whole lot smarter. We’re looking at the Atlantic Ocean side again BUT more northern.

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    • We booked it that way on purpose. Gonna look into all the neighborhoods. What’s funny is many of the most northern units have fireplaces. If we are going to live permanently in Florida all year round, having it a bit chillier in the winter will be a good thing! As long as there is no snow. LOL.
      Plus not being up north in the winter is going to save us a lot of money in fuel bills. I’m still paying down our propane bill! UGH.

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  4. LOL – I dated a guy who was going to be a financial advisor. He is successful, he wrote a book and he’s living a great life. I don’t go to him for advice, though. I come here to see what really works! Thanks again for a great post! I’m still taking notes and paying attention!

    Like

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