This power couple has already reached millionaire status. Great story and thank you for sharing!
39 - 45
CPA - Consultant
What type of employment do you have and what does your comp plan look like? Any side income?
First of all, thank you for putting this website together. We love reading these interviews and discuss the millionaire's each week. Completing this interview has energized us to work harder and dedicate more time to our financial strategy. My Fiance has a consulting business and I am a CPA. We have been together for three years and are getting married in June of 2020. Our jobs are our main income but we net roughly 40K or so a year from a resort condo we own here in town. It brings in plenty of cash but the property manager management groups take a big chunk. grrr. My income is pretty fixed at $125K plus a small bonus but provides excellent healthcare and a 3% 401K match. My Fiance makes around 300K depending on the year. We have not combined our finances as we both have previous marriages. That has complicated our financial goals but the worst is now behind us. We each have two beautiful children which inspire us to be our best.
When did you cross the million dollar mark and how did that happen?
We both crossed this mark earlier in life and then took steps backward after our divorces. It's true what they say, divorce is a wealth killer. We did our best to move forward and now have a beautiful life. Our combined assets are somewhere around 2.5 million and growing. It's been difficult to value the consulting business and believe our true net worth may be slightly higher.
What was the single best thing you have done with your investments?
I purchased real estate with my ex-husband in park city about 10 years ago. Although I lost some properties in my divorce, I kept the ski condo which has appreciated significantly. My Fiance and I should have his/our house paid off in the next 5-6 years. We are wrestling with that decision and wonder if it would be better to try and buy another property instead. The real estate market here continues to go up which should further boost our net worth.
Where do you have your money invested and what are your debts? (account balances) Whats next?
Home- We had our home appraised in 2018 for 1.4 million dollars. We have people knock on the door about every other month asking to buy it for more than the appraised value. We have 1 million in equity. 400K mortgage.
Ski Condo- appraised at 1.5 million in 2019. I purchased the unit for 900K fully furnished in 2010. 800K in Equity. 700K mortgage
Consulting business- As I mentioned, we are not sure what the business is worth. We believe it is at least worth $250K if not more.
My 401K- 170K
Combined cash- 100K- This is sort of our emergency fund. We could also sell the stock if we got in a pinch.
My Fiance has 160K in a Charles Schwab account managed by a friend. He pays 1.25% but doesn’t have to spend time trying to manage his investments. Money well spent in his mind. We have been cautious to put more money here as we expect a market correction in the near future. The US jobs report this week and other factors are causing us to second guess ourselves. I’m pretty sure this website advised against trying to time the market. (lesson learned)
My car is paid off and my fiance has a lease. If we do anything poorly, it’s leasing a new vehicle every couple of years. This has been one of the many compromises I’ve had to agree to. 🙂 We pay our credit cards off monthly and don’t carry debt outside of the mortgages.
What’s next- Prices continue to rise all over summit county. We will most likely buy another single-family home after the wedding. We also plan to bump up my 401K contribution and automatically invest in the Schwab account. Our combined income won’t allow us to contribute to Roth IRA’s so we are looking into retirement account options with the consulting business. (Sep IRA maybe)
My parents are pretty well off and have set up accounts in each of my sibling’s names. We get access to those funds when I turn 45. I am not sure how much and how that will play into our net worth.
What is the biggest pitfall or mistake you have made with your money?
Outside of the divorces, our biggest problem is spending. We love going out with friends, skiing, traveling, shopping, spa's, etc. Outside of our real estate, we really don't have that much. It's become obvious how much of our net worth has been tied to living in the right part of Utah. We should have started to save and invest much sooner. Another regret I have is not having checkbook control in my first marriage. I felt silly not knowing anything about our finances when it came time to split them. I'm sure that cost us more in attorneys.
What are the primary tax strategies you follow?
I have a tax firm here in town file my return. I know he makes sure I get all the deductions for the ski condo and other credits. My Fiance has someone prepare both his business and personal return. I believe we can improve here.
Do you follow a budget and how's that going?
Not really. Another problem that we will change after we are married. We need to better control our spending. Dinner's and drinks with friends seem to be the biggest culprit.
What steps have you taken to protect your money? (estate planning, trusts etc)
Not much. The ski condo is incorporated but we have not set up a living will or trusts. Adding that to my to-do list now.
Do you use a financial planner or software to track your assets?
My Fiance has a friend managing his brokerage account. I chose my only 401K selections with the help of our CFO. Once we combine our finances, I'm sure we will get a balance sheet or software to help us track things.
What's your best money advice for someone who is just starting out?
I think choosing a job that really doesn't feel like work is the most important. Ideally, it's a profession that pays a lot and allows your income to grow. I've learned a lot from this website and agree you should earn as much as you can, live within your means and automate your investing as young as possible. I think it's important that both people have full transparency with the financial aspect of the marriage. I see way too many women that blindly trust their husband to manage the finances and have no clue what they have when things don't work out. I also think Real Estate is the best way to grow wealth.
If you could do it all over, what would you do different?
I believe this question is referring to just financial decisions. I would have purchased as many single-family homes in park city as I could back in 2008-2010. I didn't start to contribute to my 401K until my early 30's and missed several years of match and earnings. We do not have anything saved up for our children's college, have no life insurance on my life and continue to spend more than we should. Final answer, I would have gotten educated much sooner on money and investing.
What does a typical day look like for you?
We are all up and moving around 6:30 am. We eat, carpool kids to school and hit the office by 8:30 am. I am usually off by 4:30 each day and help with kids, dinner, sports. Half days on Fridays or work from home. I enjoy working out in the evenings and don't understand early people. :) My Fiance works weird hours and I can't figure out what he does each day.
Any advice on life you can share? (school, career, family, personal development)
I could probably write a book on this question alone. Marry the right person. Love, forgive, be kind, be careful who you trust, avoid lawyers, drink lots of coffee, work hard, exercise, save, invest, and give back. I hope to do all these things much better this second half of my life.
Any books you would recommend on money?
Nope. never read one. I just purchased my first book recommended by utahmillionaire.com. (Saver page) My Fiance does not read which I will try to change next year. :)
Do you have a retirement goal? What are your plans? Concerns?
We definitely want to travel, live overseas, and have a second home somewhere warm. We have to get married and figure this out next.
Favorite restaurants in Utah?
Valters in Salt Lake is nice. We love Lespri, Ruths, Riverhorse, Edge, to name a few.
Favorite ski resort?
Park city of course
Favorite Hotel in Utah?
Where is your favorite Utah vacation destination? Outside of Utah destination?
We absolutely love Park City. Our neighbors are from all over the world and everyone is very kind. When we travel outside of Utah, our favorite is Italy and France.
Favorite things to do in Utah?
Hiking, boating, biking, skiing, dining, concerts, movies. It seems like the secret is out and everyone is moving here.