There are companies now who are working on technological breakthroughs that could allow you a healthy full life well over the age of 100 and they say even up to 150 years old. But even without specialized “longevity” companies working on these miracles, our overall health is increasing, from better healthcare and medical research to increased access to education and the reduction of violence.
As you might guess, due to all of the above factors and more, we’re also seeing worldwide life expectancy grow. In 1820, the average lifespan was just 26 years. Today, the global average life expectancy is 67 years – a dramatic improvement from since the year 1900, when it was 31 years.
Success can mean many things to many people. I think in a room of 100 people – if you randomly and secretly surveyed each one on their definition, you would get at least 60 different meanings.
The conventional definition of success, for many of us, would revolve around our finances. We assume that if we have that going awesomely, then everything else will fall in to place. Sometimes it does, but not always.
There are so many ways to make money in real estate, and just a few to lose.
The absolute best & surest way to lose money in real estate is – to buy in a “hotspot.”
We’ve all seen them – newspapers and media bloggers, various self-proclaimed experts – generally people we shouldn’t be listening too – announce that property in a certain town, suburb or region is “hot”.
Sure enough, all the people who don’t know any better, and full of the need for greed, and the desire for that one shot silver bullet to riches, race right out and buy whatever they can. Often with little or no research other than that in the newspaper, blog or information supplied by the friendly neighborhood real estate agent who is rushed off her feet, courtesy of the hot spot announcement.
I have said it before and its worthy of saying again – there are no secrets in real estate investing. Pretty much everything you need to know can be found online or in books. The magic is in knowing how to interpret the information – and what to do with it!
There are however things you need to be aware of that can affect the value of your property or real estate you are considering buying.
So many factors can alter the desirability of a location and therefore how much someone will be willing to pay to live in that area. And the past does not necessarily equal the future either – imagine if a previously desirable high capital growth area found itself under the flight path of a proposed new expanded runway, or perhaps a nuclear power plant was on the drawing board? That would change things.
Last week, comic genius Robin Williams passed from this earth, as we all will someday. That he is no longer with us is a tragedy. The media tells us he took his own life, which makes it even more so, if true.
I think back about all the marvellous movies & shows I saw him in – like Mork & Mindy, his live stand-up shows, movies like “Good Will Hunting”, “Dead Poets Society”, “Mrs Doubtfire”, the very dark “One Hour Photo”, the off-beat “Fisher King” and the hilarious “The Birdcage” – to name just a few of the 80 films & 26 TV shows he appeared or starred in. He entertained me and tens, maybe even hundreds of millions of people around the world over decades. It takes a very special person to achieve that. And a very clear “why?”
Every day in every way we are bombarded with statistics and figures, flight and fancy, opinions and thoughts, about what is happening with “the economy.” And not just ours. Now we have to contend with what is happening all over the world. Much like the theory of “the butterfly effect” where a flap of a butterfly’s wings in South America can cause a tidal wave in Japan.
Lifting of interest rates in the US can have markets fall all over the world, concerned about slowing world growth – and all this happening before the interest rates have lifted. An airliner shot down, rockets fired over a border, retaliatory strikes – all these things and more we are flooded with every day – all things we need to be aware of? Because in our global world, they can and do affect each of us and our financial future.
I am going to start off this blog where I ended off last week with my last thought for you –
“You can be young without money but you can’t be old without it.” — Tennessee Williams
One of the absolute simplest and best ways for most people to generate some wealth for their senior years, is to own a home. And the younger the better, to have the time to pay it off. I also think that owning a home is for most people the easiest and safest way to build some wealth. I am a strong believer in the concept of everyone who wants to own a home, should be able to do so, which is why I support Habitat for Humanity (www.habitat.org)
I am noticing a lot of chat in the media and in public commentary on blogs, about the negative effects on our real estate market of foreigners buying up our real estate – this is nothing new – it has been an issue since Japanese money started arriving in the 70’s and 80’s. Right now, there seems to be particular angst about Chinese buyers. People are saying that our marketplace prices are being forced up by the high level of Asian investors, which means that Australians are being forced out of the market. There has even been enough media noise for an inquiry to be commenced by the Federal Government, headed up by the Treasurer Joe Hockey.
Let’s challenge the thinking.
In recent days the Reserve Bank has released a report which basically says that renting is better than buying. The report says that “if housing increases in price at its traditional 2.4%, buying beats renting when the home is owned for more than eight years”. They then go on to say that “the rate of increase experienced over the last ten years has only been 1.7%, then owning only beats renting over a thirty year period.”
This is just another “shot across the property market’s bows” as the Fed continues to try to slow the property market without raising interest rates. They are thinking they can talk the market down while leaving rates “low” so that the rest of the economy can continue to grow – unemployment at 6% has them worried.
An expert is someone who knows a lot about the past
– Tom Hopkins
Property investing seems to be in a bit of a sweet spot all over the country right now. You know that property is on the move when you see the mass proliferation of self-styled real estate experts and seminar speakers, all come from seemingly nowhere, many of whom are promising to make sure that you are a millionaire by this time next week, if only you will follow their secret formula. Some of them are in their early twenties, having bought a couple of properties in the latest cycle and are now experts. I have read several email blurbs and advertisements in recent weeks promising me these amazing riches, just like 723 other clients who are on their path to fabulous wealth.
And then you have the media commentators – most of these people are famous for making outrageous claims, analysing statistics, tearing down someone else in the marketplace, or for controversial opinions. They are paid to do this. Few of these people are wealthy investors out there at the coal face, actually doing what they are writing about.
Never listen to someone who has an opinion that isn’t backed by action.
And then you have the naysayers – the prophets of doom who predict the popping of the property bubble and slashing of property prices or the stock market – a drop of 30, 40, 50 or even 60%. There is one particularly (in)famous US economist, who I won’t name because naming him will just sell more of his naysaying books, who has for several decades predicted everything from the Dow Jones stock index dropping by over half to 6000 in 2014, Australia and the US property market to halve. He also predicted that in 2013 the Dow Jones would drop by half. In 2006 he predicted the Dow Jones would reach 40,000 in 2007, before tapering off around 2010 – this man has been so spectacularly wrong so many times, yet the media eats it up when he writes of doom and gloom – bad news sells. And he sells thousands more books.