Kim and Robert Kiyosaki in front of their exotic car collection

Don’t Let a Man Define Your Financial Future

Investing in real estate could lead to your financial independence

Far too often, women tell me they feel imprisoned by the choices they’ve made or, in some cases, the unfortunate cards they’ve been dealt. They say things like: I want to leave my job, but I can’t because I don’t have any savings. Or I want to leave my husband, but I can’t because I have no money. He doesn’t support my desire to work. I’m financially dependent on my employer or man. I’m stuck and have no options. He doesn’t support my dreams. This is how it’s going to be for the rest of my life.

Other women will tell me that their partner takes care of all their finances. These women feel secure in their man’s decision-making when it comes to investments and savings (even if they’ve never see any of the numbers) and feel comfortable that he’s got their future “under control.”

And still another group of women will tell me that they are looking for a man with money so they don’t have to worry about their future. If they snag the right guy, they won’t have to continue scraping by on their own. Seriously? It’s 2017.

Ladies, I’m here to tell you that your man is not a financial plan. You can only count on yourself, because you are your biggest asset. Financial independence gives you freedom and choices. And that gives you the confidence that allows you to walk away from a bad job or a bad man any time you want. Financial independence is simply the most empowering position any woman can be in.

Real Estate Investing

When done right, rental real estate property, which produces a positive cash flow, could be your ticket to financial freedom. Whether you invest in a single-family house or a shopping center it’s an excellent way to build ongoing income that isn’t reliant on your current job (which could disappear with no notice) or your current man (who could also disappear, or make bad decisions that bankrupt you). Who wants to rely on something you can’t control?

In the late ‘80s, Robert and I began investing in small, single-family homes. When you’re new to investing, by the way, small is definitely the way to go – it greatly reduces your financial risk while you’re still learning the ins and outs of the industry. Once we’d learned some of those lessons (which were painful at the time) and were ready to graduate to bigger properties, we purchased a six-unit apartment building. We paid only $105,000 for that building, and the owner allowed us to put very little down. Over the years, we kept finding new opportunities to invest in. Today, we own more than 1,000 apartment units and receive plenty of cash flow.

Where to Start

Remember how I advised you to start small? Well here are some real-life examples of women who did just that—and you can to!

  • Mobile homes. My sister-in-law found an inexpensive and relatively easy way to get into real estate: mobile homes. She found that she could buy a used mobile home for about $3,000 and receive a positive cash flow of about $200 per month. That’s a pretty healthy return on her money.
  • Billboards. Did you know that billboards are considered real estate? Better yet, they are real estate without any tenants. A woman I know invested in billboards and found that they are a good investment in all markets—when the economy is good, they are used, and when the economy is bad, they are a lower-cost option for companies who want to advertise. You can make $1,000 to $5,000 in rent per side per month.
  • Second home. My friend, Mona, and her husband had always wanted to own a cabin in the mountains so they could escape Arizona’s summer heat. They didn’t like the idea of taking on a mortgage for a second home, so they did some research and discovered a shortage of rental properties in the area they were looking at. Clearly they weren’t the only ones with this plan. So they bought the house (making it an income-producing asset instead of a liability) and rent it out year-round (people also want to use it for winter skiing). Websites like Airbnb and VRBO make this so easy now.

As you can see, these options (and there are even more out there) are inexpensive investments perfect for first-timers. As you start to earn a return on your investment, you can use that money to buy the next one and so on. Pretty soon, you’ll be on your way to the financial freedom you crave and the independence every woman needs.

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