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May 16, 2022

I’m a Mortgage-Free Millionaire. Now What?

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You've saved and invested aggressively. Your net worth now exceeds $1,000,000. And you even paid off your mortgage! What do you do with your money now that you're a mortgage-free millionaire?

Well, that's a question I received from Shane and here it is:

“I have always been motivated and goal-oriented. We became millionaires at 36 and paid off our home but now what? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. – Shane”

Shane, thank you for reaching out!

Mortgage-free millionaires at 36 years old? That is INCREDIBLE! It’s like you did all the stuff you’re supposed to do and now your whole life is ahead of you!

Let’s discuss your question.

What should you do with your time and money now that you’re completely debt-free and have a million-dollar net worth?

I’m going to share 5 ideas for you to consider in your mortgage-free millionaire stage of life. I hope you like them!

Consider Stopping or Slowing Down Retirement Contributions 

Given your ability to save and invest like you have, I’m going to guess you haven’t slowed down or stopped that. But I’m going to ask you to consider it. At least for your retirement investments. 

Why? Well, you might be saving and investing too much. 

Let me show you our situation as an example:

  • Nicole and I are 40 years old. 
  • To live comfortably, we spend around $60,000-$80,000 per year. 
  • We have $550,000 stashed away for retirement. 
  • If we contribute nothing more to this pile of money, we could expect to have around $2,000,000 by the time we’re 60 (using a 7% growth rate, factoring in inflation over the decades). 
  • With the 4% rule, this tells me we’ll have around $80,000 per year to live on. 

That is all we need. We’re good. We don’t really need to contribute anything more. 

Let’s say we just want to build more wealth and have more in retirement.

If we contribute $1,000 per month instead of nothing, then we could get to $2.6 million allowing for $104k per year in retirement. 

Well, if we only really need $80,000 max per year to be happy (adjusted for inflation) then why go for more?

We are of the mindset that we’d rather have more money now than when we’re in our 60s (if we're taken care of our retirement years). 

If you secure the future with this Coast FIRE concept and you essentially create your own pension, then we believe it's important to live more and enjoy more now. 

There are so many other great ways to use your money!

Invest in Income Producing Real Estate

If you’ve done the Coast FIRE calculations and now that you feel confident your retirement years are all set, consider investing for the years before your retirement. 

Outside of the stock market, real estate is one of the best ways to continue to grow your wealth and diversify your income outside of a job. 

I’ve had the opportunity to interview dozens of real estate investors on my podcast. The major benefit they’ve shared with me is real estate investing allows them to create another income stream sooner than traditional stock market investing. 

More of your investment return comes in the form of income (or a dividend) with real estate than with stock market investing. Your asset appreciation tends to be lower over time in comparison to stock market investing, but all in all, you could make more with real estate investing than in the stock market

The trade-off is that you have to work harder for it. 

  • Being a landlord takes time and energy. 
  • Finding the right property takes time and energy.
  • Even outsourcing the landlord's work to a property management company takes time and energy. 

As a busy parent, I have no desire for that in this season of my life. 

That’s why I’m very interested in investing in real estate without being a busy landlord. A couple of my favorite tactics are investing in real estate investment trust (REIT) index funds. 

We do this with both Vanguard and M1 Finance

Also, something I’m really intrigued with lately is Arrived Homes. They allow you to buy shares of actual rental properties at $100 per share, take care of the property management for you and distribute quarterly dividend checks to you. 

I already bought 6 shares of some properties in South Carolina and Tennessee to give it a go. I’ll be sure to keep you updated on how it goes with this company. 

So far so good!

Anyway, real estate could definitely be an option for you in your mortgage-free millionaire stage of life. 

Work Fewer Hours

Building more wealth is fun in all, but what about working fewer hours per week?

If you’re currently working a 40-60 hour workweek, consider modifying your life so you work 20-30 hours.

That may mean that you make less money, but we’re all just trading our time for money anyway. How about getting more of that time back?

If this piques your interest, begin conversations with your employer about the opportunity to do your job part-time or work more hours from home. With this plan to own more of your time, you’ll open yourself up to new hobbies, the ability to take care of your health more effectively and more time with your family. 

If you’re not traditionally employed and own your own business, consider crafting your business in a way where you’re reducing your hours worked. This may mean more outsourcing or a reduction in overall business growth and revenue. 

The trade-off is a happier, simpler and healthier life. 

Maximize Life Experiences

When you’ve become a mortgage-free millionaire, I think it’s time to spend more of your money on things you really enjoy. 

There I said it! A personal finance guy talking about how much fun it is to spend money! 

Bill Perkins talked about “Maximizing Life Experiences” in his book Die with Zero. It’s a philosophy as a super saver that was difficult for me to understand. 

Essentially, he shares that dying with money in the bank is essentially wasting experiences you could have had with the people you love most. For a guy who tracked his net worth frequently and became a mortgage-free millionaire in his 30’s, that notion hit me right in the center of the eyes.

I didn’t want to die with a pile of money and miss out on experiences in my 30’s and 40’s that I probably wont’ want to do when I’m in my 60’s!

So for that reason, I’d highly suggest using more of your money for fun NOW. Go on more vacations, create more hobbies, and carve out more time with your spouse or anything you love to do but you’ve maybe been holding back on. 

Life is short. You’ve done the hard work. Have some fun!

Serve and Give  

Can money buy happiness? Yes. I believe it can. But only to an extent. 

Once all of your needs are met and you’re comfortable, you may find that you’re missing something. 

You can invest more, buy more stuff and experiences, but I believe true happiness really grows when you’re serving and giving. 

This type of service and giving can come in a different ways. 

  • Modifying your work life to right a wrong you’re seeing in the world
  • Volunteer 40-60 hours per year toward a cause that calls to your heart
  • Ladder up your giving by a percentage or two to make a bigger impact
  • Use your voice and influence in your community or on social media to create positive change
  • And bring your family and friends along with you on this journey as well

When you have control of your money and your time, you have the ability to not only improve your life but the lives of countless others. 

That’s powerful.

With that knowledge, the world can continue to become a much better place. 

Oh! You could get a nicer car too if you want. 

Get a nicer car and change the world. Sound good?

What would you do with your life after becoming a mortgage-free millionaire? Which of these ideas excites you the most?

Please let us know in the comments below.

Andy Hill

Andy Hill, AFC® is the award-winning family finance coach behind Marriage Kids and Money - a platform dedicated to helping families build wealth and happiness. With millions of podcast downloads and video views, Andy’s message of family financial empowerment has resonated with listeners, readers and viewers across the world. When he's not "talking money", Andy enjoys being a Soccer Dad, singing karaoke with his wife and relaxing on his hammock.

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