5 Question From You: Timeshares, F**k You Money, and Peer To Peer Lending

Updated on October 13, 2019 Updated on October 13, 2019
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We get dozens of emails from listeners each week asking really thoughtful financial questions. When a question needs a detailed answer or might be helpful to others, we turn it into part of a 5 questions episode.

Today we have 5 questions about buying a timeshare, the Lending Club strategy, f**k you money, buying rental property, and what to do with a million-dollar inheritance.

Question 1: I Bought a Timeshare

We’ve never had a timeshare question before!

I knew it was stupid and almost immediately regretted it. But my wife and I gave into a salesman selling a timeshare in the Cayman Islands. Going on vacation there every other year isn’t the worst problem to have, but we don’t need it.

Curious about your thoughts. Should we pay it off and sell it or give it away because that seems like all we can do? Or keep it and enjoy it?

Kylen

Anything that requires a hard sell that includes being bribed with jet ski rides and locked in a room is probably a bad idea. Buying a timeshare includes other expenses than just the cost of the timeshare, including various fees and travel costs. Andrew did some math and the cost per night of the timeshare is only slightly less than the cost of paying for a hotel room.

Life's a pitch, and now you bought a timeshare.

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If you’ve just signed the contract, contact a lawyer, and see if there is a way to get out of it. If not, sell it. There may be fees or penalties involved but keeping it to avoid those is just a sunk cost fallacy. 

Question 2: Peer to Peer Lending

What’s a winning strategy?

I was going back through some of the archives and dug into your Lending Club strategy episode. I wanted to know if you still subscribe to that peer to peer lending strategy? Do you still use the platform? Any change of thoughts?

Also, where are you putting your money these days? You said a little while you doubled the amount you put into Fundrise. What’s your portfolio looking like?

Thanks for the show. I really love it.

Spencer

Lending Club is a peer to peer lending platform where people can get loans crowdsourced from investors. It’s great for borrowers because they may be able to get a loan that a bank would deny and the loan may have a better interest rate than a bank’s. For investors, it’s a chance to make money the ways banks do, by earning interest on the money they loan.

Andrew and Laura still receive income from the loans they funded using the Lending Club strategy but aren’t investing more. Investing with a peer to peer lender can offer great returns, but it’s riskier than investing in a more traditional platform like Betterment (but the returns can be higher), and it’s a lot of work. 

To increase the chance of finding a successful loan, you have to do a lot of research. What does the borrower do for a living, what is their income, why are they borrowing? Is it for a wedding or vacation, or is it to refinance their credit card debt? 

Peer to peer lending should make up no more than 10% of your portfolio and be funded with money you can afford to risk.

Andrew and Laura are putting 50% of their investment money into Fundrise and the other 50% into the Golden Butterfly. 

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Question 3: F**k You Money

Living the dream.

This question is from the Facebook Community.  What is the meaning of f**k you money? Many people dream of being rich, but circumstances often seem to defeat their dreams. Is there a step-by-step strategy to build enough wealth to have f**k you money?

F**k you money is an amount of money that gives you the freedom to make the decisions you want. It’s not the bare minimum you need to survive, nor is it enough to set yourself on FIRE.

F**k you money allows you to say f**k you to stuff you don’t want to do. You don’t want to clean your house? Fine, hire someone to do it. You don’t want to stay in a job you hate? Fine, quit and find something you like.

You have the money to do it. 

How much money this is will be dictated by your lifestyle and your money mindset. You don’t have to be cheap, but you have to spend a lot less than you make. That means deciding what your spending priorities are and making the appropriate cuts. 

materialistic-lifestyle

Get out of high-interest debt and save a 3 to 9-month emergency fund. Start investing aggressively, first maxing out retirement accounts, and then investing in taxable accounts.

We’ve created a lot of material around growing your wealth and achieving financial independence.  

Question 4: Taking Action on a First Rental Property

Taking the rental property leap.

For those scared to take the first step, how can you avoid unnecessary risk and prepare yourself before diving in? Can you walk us through the steps of how to start the process of buying a rental property?

Buying rental property is a significant up-front expense for anyone, but you can mitigate that when you buy a home in an affordable area. Andrew and Laura live in Hoboken where real estate is expensive, so their properties are in Indianapolis and Atlanta where homes are much cheaper. Two of their homes were purchased through Roofstock, and they’ve had good experiences.

Finding a good management company and having enough of the appropriate insurance can help reduce your risk. It’s a big leap buying a rental property, more than investing with Betterment or Vanguard, but the right house will provide cash flow right from the start.

Question 5: What to do With a Million-Dollar Inheritance

A problem we’d all like to have!

I just turned 26, I’m married, and we both work full time with a pre-tax household income of $110,000. Currently, we are saving 45% of our post-tax/post-retirement money.

I have a trust worth $500,000. When I turn 35, I can access the second half, which is valued at $540,000. We are on the same page and pretend the money doesn’t exist. We both plan on retiring early at 35-40 years old.

With all this money, is it worth it to set up a Roth IRA? Or should we just take all of that 45% of our income we save from our take-home pay and keep adding it to the taxable brokerage accounts?

Respectfully Submitted,

Martin

Taxes are your most significant expense, so you want to minimize them by maxing out retirement accounts including a Roth IRA if you qualify. The money invested inside the Roth will grow tax-free for decades.

The bigger problem for you will be what to do once you’re retired.

It sounds great to quit your job and never have to work again but the reality is different. We all need to use our brains and reading books or doing crossword puzzles isn’t enough, especially if you retire before you’re even middle-aged.

So start thinking about what you want to do during retirement. Perhaps you’d like to start a business. That would not only give you something to do, but you could open a SEP IRA as a business owner and the SEP has a much higher contribution limit than a Roth IRA, so that is another good tax shelter.

And here’s another plug for rental property. Researching them and even traveling to look at them in other areas will give you something productive to do and provide cash flow. It’s tough, especially so young, to see money going out of your checking account with nothing coming in. A good rental property can put money back into your bank account every month.

Thanks, Everyone!

We appreciate all of your questions, catchphrases, compliments, and stories. Some of y’all are doing amazing things, and we love hearing about it. So keep the questions, catchphrases, and stories coming!

Show Notes

Cape May City To Shore: A Double IPA

Thick Blueberry Goo: A smoothy style Berliner Weiss.

Candice Elliott - Editor-in-Chief Candice Elliott is a substantial contributor to Listen Money Matters. She has been a personal finance writer since 2013 and has written extensively on student loan debt, investing, and credit. She has successfully navigated these areas in her own life and knows how to help others do the same. Candice has answered thousands of questions from the LMM community and spent countless hours doing research for hundreds of personal finance articles. She happily calls New Orleans, Louisiana home-the most fun city in the world.
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