Featured Finalist – Lesley

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Featured Finalist – Lesley

Lesley has already created her own blog to track her journey … you can also read this post there: http://lcurl.wordpress.com/

Or, you can just read Lesley’s post right here …

I’ve been challenged to write a bit about what I’m currently doing to move from being a saver to becoming an investor.

To give you some perspective, I went through a two-year long, contested, and expensive divorce which became final in 2005. My attorney bills were over $100,000 alone, not to mention the nastiness of the situation. (I’ll stick to the financial part for THIS blog!) D

Since the divorce, I have felt so burned out, that I have barely looked at any of my savings and investments statements for the past few years. I just went into a kind of numbness there for awhile. Now, I’m “awake” and ready to move forward.

The first thing I did was to start collecting account statements. This took awhile because I hadn’t received statements from some of the inactive accounts for months and months, and for one account, a few years! Yes, it’s a bit embarrassing, to be sure.  In some cases, I had to prove that I was “me” to these investment companies before they would send along the statements. THAT was fun! (Kidding.) At least these companies are looking out for identity theft.

I’ve always opened a retirement account when it’s offered from an employer and I had over 20 different accounts floating around out there with various amounts in them! Some accounts only had a few hundred dollars, others much more. I had never bothered to roll any of these accounts over into one main investment account. GEEZ. No wonder I couldn’t keep track!!

Once I had recent account statements gathered, I then created a net worth statement in Excel. This was an eye-opening experience. For once in my life, I could see exactly where I stood financially.

To be honest, I’m not sure if I’m in good shape or not. I do have equity in two properties that looks good.

But, you can’t eat equity. I’m STILL cash poor and struggle with daily expenses!

I also have money tucked away in retirement accounts. This isn’t available to use for daily expenses either. Most of the retirement money would trigger all kinds of fees, fines, and taxes if I took it out of the accounts to use for spending or even investing in more real estate. Not to mention bankrupting my retirement, something that scares me a bit. A chunk of the money is in annuities. Yes, the DREADED annuities that someone sold me at one point. From what I read of the prospectus, it seems that I am stuck here too.

So, what I basically figured out is that I don’t really have a clue how to approach “doing” investment real estate. For example, how to you access your assets if they are tied up like this? I’ve had people suggest that I get into mobile home rentals, open a limited liability company and somehow move money into that, start a self-funded IRA or Roth IRA and use that to invest in real estate. Buy single family homes, buy empty lots, buy tax liens, buy more in REITs (no thanks, already have REIT money that I can’t seem to move out of THAT account either!).

Just HOW do you do this? Am I stuck? Am I back to paralysis by analysis?

I certainly hope not! I’m hoping to blast through this quagmire and do something productive with my assets!

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Reader Comments

Sounds like your motivated Lesley, thats half the battle. Looking forward to finding out how you handle all this quagmire.

I can certainly relate to all you’re dealing with, Lesley. Hope your divorce left you better off in the other ways that count. Like you, I am still “shaking it off” and trying to step back up to the playing field. One difference: I’d tapped into the retirement account before – did that even before the divorce started, when my car hit its last $200 of value and there was no headroom in the monthly payment world to take on another expense. You and I could talk all night! Cheers to a new start for you as well!!!