Money Isn’t Everything

Money Isn’t Everything

  You’ve heard the expression, “Money isn’t everything” but do you really believe it? Maybe there is a part of you that wants to believe it but you’re not sure that you can really live by it. I’ve had little money and I have had plenty of money. I have been happy with both. Both situations can cause stress. Both situations can make you feel carefree. So, which one is right for you? There’s no right or wrong answer here, but here are some things to consider: Is acquiring money keeping you from family or friends? Are you able to use the money you are acquiring or are you too busy working for it? Have your eating habits changed? Are you exercising? Has your personality changed since focusing on acquiring money? How’s your mood? Do you live vicariously through social media? If you are in a work environment that makes you money but the culture is terrible, you may want to re-think your situation. Money can bring great joy but it can also cause you to be miserable and have health problems if the acquisition of it is consuming. A friend of mine recently told me that he ruined a relationship because he worked too much and that he’s not going to do it again. He will do what he needs to do to make money and be smart with it but not at the expense of his happiness. On the other hand, not focusing on money at all can cause just as much stress: Do you worry about paying bills each month? Do you have a savings account? How many credit cards do you have and are they maxed out? Do you live beyond your means? If friends ask you to go out, do you have to check your bank account first? The bottom line is, we need to have some balance when it comes to money. Money isn’t everything but it is needed to live comfortably in our world today. Another saying you may want to adopt is “Work Hard and Play Hard.” Make sure you are doing what you need to do to support yourself but take time to enjoy it...

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Let’s Get (a) Physical

Let’s Get (a) Physical

  A cold, the flu, broken bones, bruises. Some of these will go away on their own, but sometimes we need the help of a professional. Sometimes, we have symptoms but don’t know what’s wrong. And, other times, we may not have any symptoms at all, or think they are just normal wear and tear on our body but really, they are much more serious. We are told to get yearly exams and a physical from our primary care physician. We are told to get our teeth cleaned twice a year by our dental professional. Some of us see a chiropractor on a regular basis to make sure we stay aligned and in balance. Some may get regular acupuncture or acupressure treatments as well. All to make sure our bodies are performing the way they are supposed to. We all know that when it comes to our health, if we find things out early, we have a better chance of combating illness or disease. If we take care of our bodies by eating right, exercising, and getting enough rest, we have a better chance of preventing the illness altogether. If we don’t take care of ourselves and we don’t go to the doctor until symptoms are severe, we may put ourselves through more pain and suffering than necessary. And at the very worst, we may not be able to correct the problem. It is the same with your house. In my years as a REALTOR, I have seen too many houses to count. Most home owners have done a fairly decent job taking care of their home. Comparing to the human body, they have missed a couple of physicals here or there and maybe only get their teeth cleaned once a year. They’ve had to fix a few things that could have been prevented, but for the most part, it’s in good shape. There are those rare homeowners that stay on top of every maintenance item possible. They have a handyman on call and they spend the money to maintain instead of having minor things turn into major. These are the people that do exactly what their doctors tell them to and are pictures of health. On the other hand, there are many more that wait to go to the dentist until their tooth hurts so bad they can’t sleep and end up having to get the tooth pulled when if they had been getting regular cleanings, the problem could have been solved with a small filling. These are the homeowners that don’t even change the air filter in their HVAC unit – ever. Just like some will argue that you will spend more money to eat healthy and get regular checkups, some will also say that you will spend...

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5 Tips to go From RR to R & R

5 Tips to go From RR to R & R

  How are you feeling? Are you exhausted? Are you in need of a break? Are you Running Ragged or are you bright eyed and bushy tailed, ready to take on the world, Rested & Refreshed? Last week, I took a break. The first vacation I have had in over a year and a half. I took on some new challenges this past year that prevented me from getting away without distraction, and as a Realtor, it’s difficult to completely “check out”. However, I knew it was way overdue. I knew I needed to recharge so I could come back with a fresh mindset and a new vigor and passion for my work. Here are 5 tips to go from RR to R & R: Get away. I went to the beach but not everyone can go out of state and you don’t always need to spend vacation kind of money. Getting away can be as simple as house sitting for a friend while they’re gone. It will give you a change of scenery and you can pretend you’re in another world. Get in nature. When you can take a hike in a beautiful setting or walk through a nature park, listen to the sounds around you, take in the sights. Nature is an amazing thing. It can calm your spirit and destress you in a very organic way. Set auto-responders. Create an “out of office” greeting on your voice mail and an auto-responder for all emails. Let people know when to expect a response and/or tell them who they can contact in your absence. You don’t even have to be gone. Just do it on a random Tuesday. Just knowing you will not have to react to everyone that “needs” you, will do wonders for your attitude. Take a Staycation. Sometimes we can let things go around the house to the point that it stresses us out just to walk in our own home. Why not take time out to focus on getting those things fixed, organized, moved, tossed, and cleaned, without having to do anything else. When you get back into your normal life, you will feel the difference without those things staring you in the face every time you come home. Unplug. I think it goes without saying, but, however you are trying to go from RR to R&R, you MUST turn off your electronics. This doesn’t have to be long term and it doesn’t have to be for the entire time. If you even turn them off for a few hours at a time you will feel a difference. Some people think that their downtime is perusing through Facebook to see what their friends are doing or...

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The Real Estate Gamble

The Real Estate Gamble

  I was speaking with a past client last week. I helped her buy her house 11 years ago. Her house was built in 1905 and she fell in love the moment she walked in the door. The place had charm, it had character and best of all, to her, it felt good. She is only the fifth owner in over 110 years. That says something about the house. The neighborhood has changed a lot over the years and neighbors are selling to developers and building what we call “tall skinnies” on postage stamp size lots. My client understands people wanting to make money and because of the development, it has greatly increased the value of her home but she is not going anywhere. She receives phone calls, mailers, and personal solicitations frequently and she is not budging. She is determined to protect what is hers – a piece of history. She was so thankful that I was a part of helping her preserve history. She made my day telling me how happy she has been all these years and how she just wants to preserve the house and take great care of it for future generations. It got me thinking about how much I love what I do. I get to be a part of preserving history, building wealth, new beginnings, and growth. Some may just see it as a transaction. I see it as a lifelong relationship. To some, it may just be a property. I see it as a home or a tool to build wealth. You need someone on your side to look out for your best interest. Are you trying to build wealth or are you trying to find a forever home and preserve a piece of history for future generations? You need someone who is going to be there to help you navigate through the weeds 11 years later when your precious home is being threatened. Just like a financial advisor that you trust to help you make decisions that will affect you for years to come, a great Realtor can be a wonderful resource and member of your personal advisory council. Next time you are thinking about buying or selling, look at it with a fresh perspective. Have an advisor on your side to help you through the paperwork and possible legal pitfalls. If you wouldn’t take $100,000 or more to Vegas and throw it all down on one number, why would you trust a less-than-professional person with an investment that is likely worth much more than that? Can you do it yourself? Maybe. Should you? Probably...

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Too Late

Too Late

  I had a crush on this boy for several years in high school. He was a couple of years older than me and he was the end-all be-all. I thought, “If I could just date him, everything would be great.” But I had a problem. I was a nerd – and he was totally popular. He was nice to me because he was a church kid. His parents taught him well and we all hung out and everyone had a good time but I was definitely not dating material in his eyes. So the years passed and my “love” for him stayed true. The day we had a party for the graduating Seniors and he left for college was a dark day. I lost my chance. I would never see him again, or so I thought. He came home for holidays and breaks and he would come to church with his parents. Now he was a college boy and that made it even worse! Much to my surprise, he came home for the summer and, well, I had grown out of my “nerdiness,” I guess. Either that or he lost a bet. Nonetheless, he asked me out – on a DATE! I was speechless. I mean, this guy that I had been drooling over for years, actually wanted to go out with me…in public. I wondered if he realized that I would call all my friends immediately and give them every detail after the date. So that I don’t keep you in suspense any longer, I said, “yes” and we made a plan. Honestly, I don’t remember much about the date. I just remember being really bored and really disappointed. I had spent so much energy dreaming of what it would be like to go on a date with him and then I was completely let down. So, there is a reason I tell you this story other than for entertainment and chuckling at my “nerdiness.” I have run across people that have had their eye on a particular house or a certain neighborhood for years. They think that once they live THERE, everything will be great. I have had others who think that once they get that bigger house, everything will fall into place. They have to keep up with the Jones’, have the perfect house in the perfect neighborhood, the perfect car to put in the garage and the perfect furniture inside. What they don’t think about is the bills that show up in that perfect mailbox and the maintenance costs that go along with that perfect house and the HOA fees that come with that perfect neighborhood or the commute time that takes them away from the...

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I’m Stressed Out!

I’m Stressed Out!

  Since when is it admirable to be stressed out? I was talking about this phenomenon with someone recently. They said they are overwhelmed with tasks and deadlines, not only at their job, but at home as well. A mom is a nurse and she runs ragged and has a stressful job. She works with doctors who are always on edge because they hold patient’s lives in their hands. She races home to pick up the kids before they go to a drive-thru on their way to soccer practice. After practice, she makes sure the homework is done and before she can blink, it’s time to go to bed so she can get up and do it all again. No matter where we are in life, what our career is, or how old we are, it seems as though we are “lazy” if we don’t have a million things going on. We go 90 miles a minute without time to ourselves because we are working for retirement where we can sit back, relax, and do nothing. Well, why do we think we have to go, go, go, only to stop? Can’t we slow down? Can’t we ease into it? How about a day off? How about working a half day every once in a while? How about turning off email or our phone when we get home? To be the perfect partner or spouse you have to provide for the family, spend quality time with them, look like a model and always be in a good mood. To have a successful business we need to read so many books, sit on a board of directors, network constantly and burn the candle at both ends. To be considered for the promotion we have to work late and attend all the after-hours functions with the big-wigs. To have a well-rounded child, we have to have them involved in 3 extra-curricular activities. In order to be awarded the scholarship, we need to take extra classes, excel in a sport, volunteer our time to others and visit 10 college campuses. I may be showing my age but when I was growing up, my parents worked regular hours at regular jobs, were home for dinner, had weekends off to spend with the family and took yearly vacations and our family was not the minority. The current “norm” seems to be everyone running in different directions having to book a Sunday lunch with friends a month in advance. I am guilty of feeling bad if I take a day off and am out at the park on a Saturday afternoon. I wonder what clients will think if I post pictures from the lake during the week....

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