Solano Real Estate Scene: Wealth builds over body of work

Mary and I just turned 60 at Christmas and we celebrated our 40th anniversary Jan. 27. We now have four kids and six grandkids. The two – and maybe only – huge benefits of getting older is grandkids and 40 years of learning from our mistakes and witnessing others step in you-know-what. Recently, we were fortunate to see the 71-year-old Sir Elton John concert and last year saw 76-year-old Sir Paul McCartney. A few weeks ago I watched the documentary movie about Presidential Medal of Freedom honoree 72-year-old Steven Spielberg. The medal he was given is kind of like our version of being knighted by the queen. The Beatle Paul started his body of work 6o-plus years ago as a teenager and Elton John began his career in music 55 years ago. Both icons started with nothing other than a desire to make music for a living. Both old guys did three hours of nonstop rock ‘n’ roll at the Golden One Center and both rocked the house with a few newer songs and a ton of tunes we have all heard hundreds of times. McCartney is a physical freak, but Elton doesn’t look like one for sure, but he is no doubt. Elton shared with us that he has been clean and sober since 1990 after his life became a huge mess in the 1980s and that this sobriety is why he is so lucky to be on this huge Yellow Brick Road Tour. Spielberg began filming amateur movies at 13 years old with a couple of his buddies and then got his start in the business sneaking onto movie studio lots to learn. He, like Sir Paul and Sir Elton, started with nothing. The body of work over these many years is crazy incredible and genius. The key to this story as it relates to my clients, readers and kids is the longevity factor about success and about how important it is to be passionate about your long-term goals. Most of a person’s wealth in America is accumulated between the ages of 50 to 65 because these are usually a person’s highest income years, and based on the theory of decreasing responsibility these are also the years when kids are less dependent and debt balances are lower. The key is the whole body of work over many years, mistake avoidance and mistake recovery. I consider my two school teacher clients, Mr. and Mrs. T, with the same level of admiration as these three brilliant billionaires based on their body of work. They stayed married through thick and thin for 40-plus years. They are both educated and coached tens of thousands of kids, were passionate about their careers and were promoted up the ladder after obtaining master’s degrees. They had a zero-net worth 30 years ago because of a mortgage and student loan debt and had no vesting in their California State Teachers’ Retirement System accounts at that point, but now after investing in their body of work for more than 40 years are financially set for life. Rome wasn’t built overnight and our youth of today need to understand that consistent hard work over many years is required to achieve success and financial happiness.