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Starter Homes: Shortage Likely To Get Worse

Is a shortage of starter homes going to turn into the next housing crisis? A few weeks ago, I wrote an article called “Should Retirees Sell Their Rental Properties?”. My article showed that rentals generally do not provide a very compelling cash-on-cash return. Real estate is generally considered a “total return” investment vehicle, where free …View Article

Airbnb Host: How to Make Money with Short-Term Rentals

This past week, I met with a couple who is buying a vacation home near their kids and grandkids. This real estate purchase was not part of their original retirement plan, so we had to move a few things around to make the numbers work. I think I’ve been influenced by my recent research on …View Article

The Best Way To Buy, Sell or Rent a Timeshare

If you think cars depreciate quickly, you may be shocked by the resale prices on timeshares. The first mistake people make is thinking their timeshare is an investment. It’s not. They almost never appreciate or generate income. A timeshare is more like a pre-paid vacation. The salesperson may tell you differently, but the long list …View Article

Timeshares: Does It Make Sense To Buy One?

Timeshare presentations have replaced used car salesmen as the image we conjure up when we think of high pressure sales. The timeshare industry has a bad reputation based on sleazy tactics, hidden fees, and an overall lack of transparency. Yet timeshare sales continue to boom. Domestic timeshare sales were $9.2 billion in 2017. That’s more …View Article

Should Retirees Sell Their Rental Properties?

Most people’s dream retirement does not revolve around trash, tenants, and toilets. As such, many of my clients sell their rental properties around the same time they are filing for Social Security. However, some retirees like the idea of having rental properties to supplement their other income sources. This begs the question: “Do rental properties …View Article

Vacations: Why Don’t We Take More of Them?

The Kisner family spent this past week vacationing in Silicon Valley and San Francisco. We were determined not to waste Spring Break sitting around the house like we did last year. Angela and I were partially motivated by the avalanche of research showing that money spent on experiences buys significantly more happiness than money spent …View Article

Life Insurance: Fewer Buyers, Bigger Policies

The fact that far fewer people are buying life insurance is a real head scratcher. I’ve been pondering this and hypothesizing various reasons. Is the life insurance market reflecting the trends of income inequality? Are people in the bottom half of the income scale stretched too thin to protect their families, or are they just …View Article

Trump, Tariffs, and Trade Wars

A few weeks ago, I was talking to one of my lawyer friends. He told me there are two types of lawyers: Those who try to find a reasonable and practical solution to a given dispute, and Those who employ a “scorched earth” negotiation philosophy. I think the tariffs on steel and aluminum imports announced …View Article

Is the Economy Doing Too Well?

Is there such a thing as too much good economic news? That sounds counterintuitive. After all, don’t we want low unemployment, high corporate earnings, and strong real estate and stock markets? Of course we do. However, when it comes to the economy, too much success leads to inflation. Inflation is bad (an oversimplification, but let’s …View Article