Help A Millennial: It’s Good For The Soul

This week, I encourage you to help a Millennial. It's good for the soul. I'm not sure if the Millennial generation is either really sensitive or simply highly tuned in to real-time media. But, I'm always surprised by how much backlash there is against anybody who speaks out against Millennials.

People react like it's a bad word or something. Millennial is not a bad word. It's just a category for folks born after 1980.

Help A Millennial, Or Two, Or Three

In the spirit of always try to help other people, I'd like to share a good deed I did for a Millennial just the other day. Every first and third Friday of the month there is street cleaning on my side of the street between 12noon – 2pm.

Thanks to the need to pay a large percentage of our city government officials over $100,000 a year in salary, not to mention the $250,000+ for our public train station janitors and elevator technicians, San Francisco is incredibly diligent at earning money ticketing parked cars.

It was 12:30pm when I left my house to deliver a gift to a deputy managing editor of a very large site that highlighted The Dark Side Of Early Retirement. I noticed my 27-year-old neighbor's car parked alone on my side of the road.

His lovely girlfriend had just left his mother's basement. She was waving goodbye to Brendan's mother when I told her to tell Brendan to move his car. She texted him and not 30 seconds later Brendan came out in his t-shirt and PJs!

“Thanks a lot dude! I owe you a bunch of burgers for saving my ass!” Brendan blurted.

I gave him a thumbs up and went to the post office. $85 ticket saved!

I'd like to challenge all of you to help a Millennial brother and sister out this week. It's good for the soul!

The Temptation To Sell My Investment Property

In addition to my thoughts on helping out a Millennial this week, I am feeling the temptation to sell my investment property.

I believe in destiny. And destiny has given me an opportunity to sell my rental house at a handsome price off-market. I don't have to put the $20,000 – $50,000 into the house a couple realtors advised me to do before listing.

Neither do I have to go through the stress of putting the house on the MLS and having hundreds of people stomp all over my newly finished wood floors. Nor do I have to risk having egg on my face if I don't get an offer. The fear of rejection must stem from when I was a 13-year-old kid and decided to throw a house party, but hardly anybody came.

San Francisco Property Forecast

10 years ago, my master plan was to buy as many properties as possible to live off the rental income so I wouldn't have to work again. Today, I've lost all tolerance in dealing with disrespectful tenants no matter how bullish I am on San Francisco real estate long term.

Not optimizing my finances for maximum returns is the #1 downside of achieving financial independence. All I want to do is optimize for lifestyle now. I've still got my primary residence and two condo rentals even after selling this house.

I'm trying to reduce my feelings of regret. Taxes and commissions are still quite high, and 20 years from now I know I'll wish I still had the property for my kid live in. Can you imagine how expensive rent will be in the year 2040 all around the country? Scary!

But in order to get to the year 2040, I've got to pay $500,000+ of property taxes, $150,000+ of property management fees, $40,000+ of insurance, and $100,000+ in maintenance. Seems a little outrageous when I write out all the costs.

I always hear from people who regretted selling years ago. I'd love to hear from readers who've sold and loved their decision.

Investment Update

Finally, the 10-year bond yield is back down to 2.25% and municipal bonds are performing like a champ (see CA muni bond fund chart above). It feels pretty darn good to be able to earn tax-free income and a yield higher than my mortgage. It also feels damn good to be right!

California Muni Bond CMF Performance 2017
California Muni Bond CMF Performance 2017

But now that bonds and REITs have rebounded, I'm not very enthusiastic about any asset class except for specific heartland real estate crowdfunded projects. All I'm doing is waiting for projects to come out of cities like Dallas, Houston, Austin, Salt Lake City, and Omaha with 10-15% estimated returns. If you have a case for buying equities here, I'd love to hear it!