When I talk about my Lifestyle Asset and how amazing it is, people always wonder how I discovered Lifestyle Assets and why my family and I decided to take the jump and buy one. A Lifestyle Asset is a big investment and a lot of things had to come together for my family and I to have discovered and ultimately take the plunge to buy one.
In 2008, we entered the years that have now been dubbed the Great Recession. If you remember, it was a mortgage slash real estate meltdown. I was in the mortgage business, and in March of 2009, the mortgage company I was working for officially shut their doors.
I found myself without a job and made looking for a new career my full-time job. To add to the difficulty, my wife, Linda, was several months pregnant with our second child. She was already taking our infant son to work with her because I was out working temp jobs and interviewing. Linda is an award-winning interior designer, and she is great at what she does, but the great recession was impacting everyone, and Linda’s clients were no exception.
We were burning through our savings, the little savings that we had, and we were in a panic. In September of that year, after spending almost six months taking odd jobs and interviewing, I received a call from my buddy. He had applied for mortgage license with the state of Utah, and he wanted me to help him start his mortgage company, in the middle of a mortgage meltdown. It wasn’t exactly a stellar business plan, but I knew mortgages and I didn’t have any other option lined up, so I said yes.
A the time, Linda and I owned one rental property, and like most homes at the time, it was underwater. We were about a hundred thousand dollars upside down and to help us survive, we decided we would have to sell our primary resident, our home, that luckily still had a little bit of equity in it and move into our rental property. We ended up selling our home through a series of miracles. We sold it in just the nick of time, as we had to borrow money from my mother-in-law in order to make our last payment.
I was embarrassed and ashamed. My mother-in-law had to lend me money after I had promised to take care of her only daughter, and now I was broke. We had $0 to our name, and Linda was about to have our second baby.
Shortly after we sold our home, Linda went into labor and stopped working. Now it was all up to me to bring home a paycheck. For the next three years, I worked around the clock to dig us out of this hole that we were in.
My head was down 12, 14, 16 hours a day, plus most Saturdays I was out the door early to go to networking meetings. I was working late to meet with potential clients in their homes. After work, I was out meeting realtors, CPAs, financial planners, basically anybody who would talk to me. I was in a mode of desperation where I was working around the clock just to make ends meet.
I felt this weight on my shoulders and even worse, my wife and children were having life experiences that I wasn’t a part of because I thought there was just no time. It was not a life I wanted to keep living. But for a few years, things were tight, and it felt like I didn’t have a choice.
This continued for about three years. During that time, when Linda would suggest that we get away or that she wanted to buy something for the kids or house, I’d say, “You know, if we will live like no one else now, later we can live like no one else.” I was saying this all the while I wasn’t living. I was just sacrificing time with my family, which is my most precious asset.
It was hard on Linda and I and our relationship. We fought; we spent a little very little time together. We would put on a good front with the neighbors or at church, or with friends, but we were both scared, tired, and beat up. We loved each other, but we didn’t like each other that much.
Linda, to her credit, stuck in there with me as I stressed and worked and tried and failed and tried again. All the while my genius wife knew there was a better way. She would say brilliant things to me like, “I don’t want to wait until I’m 60 to start living my life, I want to do it now while I can.”
Around the end of July 2012, I had mostly dug us out of the hole we were in, but we were still just kind of scraping by. Linda was looking around at some of the local resorts to see if she could find us an inexpensive weekend getaway for our upcoming wedding anniversary. Everything she found was over budget, but she felt this impression to check out the local newspaper website in the classifieds.
This is where she found an ad that basically said, “Stay in Kauai, Hawaii for the month of September for $1600.” One of the loan officers that worked with me at the time had just worked from South Africa for a few weeks, so this planted the seed in Linda that it was possible for me to work remotely. So Linda called me and read the ad to me and I said, “It’s a total scam.”
That didn’t stop Linda. She called on that ad and found it was posted by sweet senior couple who had retired and had come to Utah to visit family and decided to extend their stay, so they put their condo up for rent.
I still didn’t believe it, but long story short, with our four-year-old son and two-year-old daughter in tow, we jumped on a plane to Kauai, hoping we weren’t a part of some elaborate scam. It turned out the ad wasn’t a scam and the weeks we spent in Kauai changed everything for me, with one particular story flipping a switch for me.
I had gotten up early to do some work and when I came out for lunch, I found my wife, son, and daughter kneeling in family prayer, without me. When I saw that, I committed there and then that I’d be a more present husband and father.
So here I am again, 10 years later, and I’ve been blessed to be able to take my family to Kauai every year since, because we invested in a Lifestyle Asset.
This leads me to the question, what is a Lifestyle Asset? A lifestyle is defined as “The way in which a person or group or family lives.” I love my lifestyle, the way I live, in Kauai. We spend a lot of time at the beach playing in the sand, surfing, reading, and sunbathing. We eat amazing food, and the island is so good for my soul. But, this lifestyle is expensive, especially if you’re there for an extended period of time. That’s where the asset aspect plays a vital role.
An asset, as defined by Robert Kiyosaki, is anything that puts money in your pocket, and if we could get money in our pockets for travelling to our favorite place on earth, there would be nothing better. After some searching, we found a way for this to be possible, by buying a Lifestyle Asset in Kauai.
Some people call Lifestyle Assets an Airbnb, short term rental, or vacation rental. But a Lifestyle Asset is so much more than just an asset that puts money in our pocket. Yes, I have not had to pay for a flight, rental car, meals, or hotel for the years I’ve owned my lifestyle asset, but to me, it is so much more than that. It’s a place where you are present with your loved ones.
A Lifestyle Asset is a place where you can create memories, a place where you can strengthen family and friendships. It’s a place where you can recover, refresh, renew. It’s a place where you can work on yourself, on your company, or on your relationships. It’s an asset that pays for you to live life on your terms, where you and your loved ones find infinite returns.
The hope and purpose of my company, Lighthouse, is to give you all the tips, tricks, and techniques to find finance, furnish, and facilitate buying your own Lifestyle Asset. So take a look at our website, read our other blog posts, listen to our podcast, or sign up for our course. I want to help you buy a home of light for your life.
I’m Peter Skaggs with Lighthouse, and I look forward to helping you on your journey. Remember, a legacy isn’t left, it’s lived.