Relying solely on the paycheck you get from your employer isn’t always the best strategy.
To achieve true freedom, it’s essential to break the chains of dependency on paychecks or other potentially unstable sources of income. Your financial health impacts your entire life, including your mental and emotional health. So having extra security can truly benefit you in countless ways.
All across the country, there are people making their money work for them through entrepreneurial opportunities, large and small. Everyone is taking the reins of their life through wise decisions — from teachers to firefighters to police personnel. Occupational therapist Sonia Carrasco is one of those people.
Creating multiple streams of income and diversifying investments can put you ahead of the curve. Investing can help safeguard you against the unexpected, give you freedom and peace of mind, and help you achieve your personal goals and dreams. It opens doors and helps you live a healthier life with the knowledge that your needs are taken care of.
In this article, you’ll learn how to save for lean times, how to be smart when making new deals, and what true empowerment can look like when you’re plugged into a dependable network of individuals like the Private Money Club.
Are you ready to learn more? Let’s dive in!
Using Self-Directed IRAs
Before dealing in real estate, Sonia was like most Americans. She had a good career — working in schools as an occupational therapist — that offered some stability. The district required her to participate in retirement savings plans, so she paid into Roth IRAs.
As she progressed in her career, she left jobs for which she’d paid into IRAs. She took note of how they were doing and realized those numbers weren’t entirely satisfying to her.
“I could see how they were performing, if they were doing well or if they were decreasing in value. I’d had them for a very, very long time. So I do know how they were affected in 2008. They did lose a lot of money, and I felt like it was just like out of my control. So when I learned about the self-directing [IRAs], I thought, yeah, I’m definitely interested in that.” – Sonia Carrasco
Sonia didn’t just accept and make do with whatever was given to her. She saw an opportunity to improve her future in a better way by converting them into self-directed IRA accounts that she uses to grow successful real estate ventures.
Believe it or not, most people aren’t aware that this is an option!
As long as you are no longer employed with the company for which you had the account, you can convert the funds from your traditional IRA to be used in this fashion. Note that if you are employed, and the employer is paying into the fund, this isn’t an option.
SDIRAs aren’t well known, and many banks and institutions don’t offer them, in part because custodians of SDIRAs aren’t able to give financial advice (they’re self-directed accounts). This means working with an SDIRA requires a little more research, but the payoff is well worth it.
Real estate doesn’t normally fall under the scope of IRAs, but they are with an SDIRA. On top of having more options, you are still able to place your money in traditional options as well.
To build a more secure future, Sonia uses her SDIRA account to create real estate deals, which then get returned right back to her SDIRA account. She finds this is exactly the level of risk she’s willing to take on.
Sonia’s Strategy for Future Planning Through Real Estate
After being priced out of San Jose, Sonia moved to Sacramento, where she started her first real estate venture. She was immediately hooked.
“Real estate is a way to create wealth.” – Sonia Carrasco
She had a smart strategy: After buying her first home, she bought another one while still living in the first one. Then she bought another, using a very practical, calculated approach.
“I bought my first home and then with the real estate market doing so well, I stayed in that home for about two years and then [said,] ‘It’s time to buy another one.’ And then I bought another one. So I was able to pick up three rentals and then the house that I was living in.” – Sonia Carrasco
Even more importantly, she used her original home to multiply her impact.
“There was so much equity in [the first home]. I was able to take the equity from that house to buy the second house. And even from going from the second house to the third house, I was able to pull money out from the first house.” – Sonia Carrasco
Sonia’s approach to real estate is relatively risk-averse and low stakes, making her a good example for those who want a safe and sensible approach to building a future through real estate. Unlike those who might seek higher gains but with a higher risk, her approach is very practical. It doesn’t get much more grounded than real estate when it comes to future planning.
“I don’t like to actively invest in the stock market. Money’s there sometimes and then it can go away. But with real estate, you have something tangible, something physical. Even if the value goes down, you still have something you can touch and see. So I’ve always been more partial to real estate.”– Sonia Carrasco
Plus, Sonia is setting an example for her daughters. By showing youth who have their whole lives ahead of them the power of real estate, she’s helping leave a legacy of financial empowerment to her family.
“The more they just see mom doing these things and [seeing that I] have all this stability … [the more] they’re gonna be like,’Okay, I’m gonna follow your lead now.’”– Sonia Carrasco
By setting an example for her family and helping them get started making real estate deals early, Sonia is fostering intergenerational wealth. By following her lead, her kids will likely have greater social mobility, access to resources, and security. Improved quality of life is the most important reason to increase financial literacy.
Without an example, it can be hard to know where to get started. So community-building and networking events, like those hosted at PMC, are essential tools for people looking for a secure future.
Why Should You Protect Your Future with Real Estate?
In many ways, we’re at the whims of uncontrollable forces when it comes to our futures. Affordable cities or neighborhoods get gentrified and price us out of easy opportunities. Companies can tank, leaving entire teams without work. Day-to-day essentials are subject to inflation, and unexpected events can leave us reeling.
Thankfully, we’re at a time in history where information and empowerment have never been more available. You don’t have to have a background in finance to secure your future, and you can get started making real estate deals even if you only have a little extra money to spare.
Just ask Sonia, who learned the ropes of real estate without any significant banking background. Sonia was inspired to do so because of the situations she saw unfolding around her.
She watched her family struggle with rising costs in pricey San Jose, a city she eventually moved away from. And at one point in her career, she helped an entire laid-off company recover from job loss as a counselor.
“They were shutting down a cannery [and] they needed employment counselors to try to figure out what these people [were] gonna do?”– Sonia Carrasco
Seeing an entire workforce laid off was eye-opening for Sonia during her time as an employment counselor. Additionally, she reflected on times she wasn’t able to get any work in her field of study. Seeing how unstable it can be to rely on an employer, even if you’re well-qualified, helped form her decision to take her future into her own hands.
Beyond that, however, was the awareness that she didn’t just have to accept the status quo of earning a paycheck, living off of it, and saving some for retirement. Financial empowerment was important to her, and she wanted to go the extra mile to secure her future.
“I’ve always been super responsible with money. I was always living within my means. But I always felt like there was something else, like there was something more.” – Sonia Carrasco
Sonia is now making enough on her real estate ventures to supplement an income that is sometimes a little rocky. As an occupational therapist working in schools, she doesn’t get paid for August every year. With returns on investments coming in, she’s been able to counteract that.
“This summer was like the first year that I had that interest income. [The summer break] didn’t hit as it as hard as it has in other summers because I had that extra money coming in.”- Sonia Carrasco
So, why pick real estate? Besides the fact that it’s a tangible asset that won’t disappear — unlike crypto, for example — there’s also an additional safety measure. If someone can’t pay their rent, government programs can often intervene and pay for housing, so you might have a check coming from the state paying for someone to live there.
Learn More About Building a Strong Network With Private Money Club
Financial empowerment is something we should all be striving to achieve.
Relying on a paycheck from one employer may make you feel secure, but you never know when companies will experience unforeseen circumstances that cause them to close. Instead of putting your eggs in one basket, it makes more sense to pursue deals in multiple markets so you have something to fall back on in lean times.
Real estate deals are one viable, profitable way to achieve a secure future. And it pays to be creative like Sonia — don’t close yourself off from your options simply because you don’t know about them. Stay informed by researching new opportunities and finding strategies that help you gain stability.
Learning from the PMC community can simplify the real estate deal process, whether you’re borrowing or lending. And you’ll be partnering with folks like Sonia directly, helping people like you take care of their families and their lives while you do the same. It’s a win-win!
Are you ready to take the leap toward a brighter future? Visit the website today to become a club member and start building your dream life.
Interested in a self-directed IRA account, visit HorizonTrust.com for more info.