At the age of 32, I was unemployed, broke, which I define as having no savings, and $50,000 in debt. And, if not for the kindness of family, might well have been homeless.
Today, I am financially independent and my annual income is about $100,000 for a few hours of work a week.
But that is not to say that I did not screw the money pooch a few times in my life.
At the age of 30 I quit a promising job and career. When I finally went back to work a few years later, my little hiatus from earned income had cost me about $100,000 in lost wages and used-up savings.
And I got divorced. Another $100,000 hit!
But neither of those was my biggest financial blunder. That would be the time I sold my house in the Golden Hill neighborhood of San Diego, CA, for $129,000. The purchase price, four years prior, had been $119,000.
In 1989 I had bought that house to live in but turned it into a rental when I changed jobs and relocated out of state for no good reason. When it proved to be difficult to manage, I sold it in 1993.
Today that house would sell for approximately $400,000.
In fact, that property is one in a string of homes I should never have sold. I sold the first home I ever owned in Pacific Beach, CA for a profit of $10,000. I paid about $100,000 for that home and today would be worth $800,000 or so.
All told, the amount of equity I have lost to homes sold is over $1,000,000!
My brother, Jim, died with a net worth of approximately $6,000,000 and a net monthly rental income of about $10,000 or so. He had never finished eighth grade and suffered sometimes debilitating health issues throughout his life. He died alone in a million-dollar home over-looking Mission Bay in San Diego.
Once, when he was still alive, I told him I was thinking of selling the house in Golden Hill he said, “Don’t do it.”
I didn’t listen. Stupid…stupid, stupid!