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Subject:  Re: Happy dance for FIRE milestone Date:  5/5/2006  12:50 PM
Author:  ajs56 Number:  3795 of 5260

Hi Ute,

Kudos on being a SAHM. It's a demanding job, but the payoff has proven to be huge for my wife and I. Wouldn't trade it for anything. Like you, one of her hats was keeping the LBYM process as much as possible.

Our commercial porperties are mainly storage rentals, and one commercial rental building. Along with a partner we bought an old storage facility in 1992. Approx 100 units, with room to expand to about 250. My partner saw the potential demand for more storage in the area... much better than I... but he needed someone who could handle the billing, accounting, paperwork, etc. My wife and I share those duties - but she handles most of the daily/weekly billing, payables, etc.

We were fortunate to enter a market that was underbuilt, and the town also had a growth spurt which allowed us to fill that location and add a second with a retail building on the frontage. We eventually added another facility in a neighboring town, but that barely pays it's way, so that's not been a great thing. Overall we now have about 550 units.

For the first 10 years we took basically no income, instead paying down debt aggressively. After recently paying off a note we have just started to drawn income (about 60k apeice annually) as we continue to pay the debt down, increasing our equity by about 20k annually (10k each).

In addition to still funding 401k/IRA, we are currently banking most of this new income, figuring that a few years will greatly reinforce the FIRE funds. We haven't really changed our lifestyle since we began drawing the extra $$$.

Now we are pondering how much FIRE funds we need to "retire" at 50, 52, 55, etc., and also what we would do with our time if we were to FIRE. We both want to stay active for the foreszeeable future, but freedom and flexibility would be nice too. All in all, good things to be pondering!

As you say, the residential equity is very comforting. We borrowed a little seed money against our home way back in 1992. We are also toying with the idea of buying some acreage, building a little smaller (empty nest) home, and selling some parcels/lots.

I've also thought if we had not got into storage rentals, we probably would have gotten into some rental homes/apts to build equity in a similar fashion. Have you ever considered that? Keep plugging away at your FIRE funds and consider some property investment if you're so inclined.

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