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Old 09-07-2015, 09:49 AM   #101
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Originally Posted by Gumby View Post
And here is my "unconventional" idea for generating income:

If you really have evidence of pervasive Medicare fraud, you might consider becoming a qui tam relator. (start reading here How Qui Tam Works and Medicare Fraud)
I don't have any evidence of any Medicare fraud.
The care is actually quite good for their clients.
They are apparently total legal in their services for their elderly clients.
Leon is owned by Cigna now and the services have continued since the take over.
Cigna is a big insurer here in FL so if they can get away with it they will.
It's probably not medicare fraud anyway, just a carrot to dangle in front of lonely seniors needing a place to hang out.
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Old 09-07-2015, 10:05 AM   #102
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Here's my nugget: If you have 50K of credit card debt, pay it off NOW any way you can. That could save you 10 grand over the course of a year.

Carrying that kind of debt on plastic is a sure sign your ship is sinking. Good luck.
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Old 09-07-2015, 10:11 AM   #103
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Here's my nugget: If you have 50K of credit card debt, pay it off NOW any way you can. That could save you 10 grand over the course of a year.

Carrying that kind of debt on plastic is a sure sign your ship is sinking. Good luck.
Actually 20K of that is business debt so I am letting my business pay that off.
I may cash in my 457 to pay off the personal debt.
Might as well before it loses more value.
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Old 09-07-2015, 10:26 AM   #104
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So what exactly do you want from the membership here relative to your situation?

Many ideas have been tossed out and have been met with "yes but" or by "I already thought of that".

Other "out of the box" suggestions have been met with what appears to be mild sarcasm and condescending comments such as "can go back to drinking their coffee" ( I actually just got done with an ice hockey scrim so yeah the members here do things other than drink coffee).

Maybe if you bullet point specifically your unsolved questions that you are truly open to trying we can all understand better what you are looking for.


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Old 09-07-2015, 10:38 AM   #105
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She is aware of the situation but like I said her solution is for me to sign over the house and let her get her own affairs in order and she'll sign off of the other properties. That is unacceptable to me because it's my equity tied up in there too.
I understand that the property your mom is living in is paid off. But what is the total equity in the other properties? It might make sense to do this just to get some separation.

In several posts you state you're giving money to your mom each month. But in another post you state it goes into a joint checking account to pay the taxes and insurance on the property she lives in. If you sign over the condo to her - you no longer need to provide the $700/month for taxes and insurance. That helps your immediate cash flow.

You could sell, or refinance the remaining properties to improve cash flow.

If you are hanging on to the apartment your mom lives in for sentimental reasons, you need to decide if you can afford to be sentimental.

It comes down to math: Is all of the equity in the other apartments similar to/in the ballpark of the equity in the paid off condo. If it's at all close you can improve your cash flow and take some of the stress off your life.

Somehow I suspect you'll have new and creative solutions why this is not an option, though. The reason you are getting pushback from members here is because REALISTIC solutions are being rejected for reasons that make no financial sense...
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Old 09-07-2015, 10:48 AM   #106
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Chriskre, I believe your issues are real. I have worked with senior managers and even a director in finance with personal financial issues. Many here are numbers oriented and future thinking - a personality type often described at INTJ. I think the reality is many posters here are the outliers by being able to think 20 - 50 years down the line. I get that many people do not think that way, but if you want to get your finances in order you have to thinking about where you want to be financially in 30 years and work back from there. Begin with the end in mind.

We've all given you our basic LBYMs advice. Here are my creative suggestions per your request:

Instead of just selling jewelry, consider making an online jewelry making class, a tutorial or youtube video on jewelry. Something you can make once and have viewed thousand or maybe millions of times far into the future, collecting ad revenue and course sign ups along the way.

Also look for something you can do online and from home with a salary to cover your expenses right now and do the eBay business on the side until you have more income from that. Then you can drop the day job once you are out of debt, have an emergency fund and savings to carry you through a business drought. I have a friend who works at home as a paid forum moderator for a big brand company. Becoming an expert in a particular type of software can also be lucrative if you have a programming aptitude.

Also do all the passive and close to passive extra income ideas on forums like flytertalk, slickdeals, fatwallet and the Reddit beer money thread. This can add up to 5 figures a year without much ongoing effort once they are set up, especially since you have two households and three adults (your mom, aunt and you) to work with. (Skip the credit card dealies - those aren't a good fit for you.)

And cut your expenses as much as you can, even if you don't see fit for now to take some of the more drastic measure we have all suggested. Put the cruises on hold, cut the cable TV, keep a price book, sell the timeshares if you can, shop at Costco and ethnic and discount stores instead of retail supermarkets, and look for suggestions from some of the many frugal forums out there. We've cut our run rate a lot without moving just by being better shoppers, wiser spenders and getting interested in urban homesteading and sustainable living.
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Old 09-07-2015, 11:24 AM   #107
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When I first read your post, I was excited to hear about how you made 45K a year on eBay selling costume jewelry. I net 8-10K a year from eBay sales selling my garage sale finds. However after reading further I see that your net profit was in the red.

1. Sounds like you are paying too much for inventory
2. Sounds like you have too much inventory
3. Buying 20k in inventory at high interest rates on a credit card is never a good plan.. Maybe a small business loan would have been better here.
4. Selling 45K a year in gross sales and not turning a profit is you putting a lot of time and effort into a losing proposition. I mean that is a lot of time going to the post office, printing labels, taking photos and writing descriptions. Sounds to me like eBay is the big winner here collecting all those premiums.

Maybe try and settle with your credit card company for a lesser amount then you owe. Bulk sale your years worth of inventory and pay down your CC with it as much as possible. Get your license back and Utilization review RN position from home part time or casual with more than one company if you want.


**ALSO** Many people work with chronic pain and as long as you have a legit prescription they can't not hire you for "failing a drug screen". My wifes friend is a MD and works with chronic pain and takes pain killers. So you can cross that off your list of reasons why you can't get hired.

You obviously can't continue down the path you are on. Time to ditch the eBay "job" & focus on things in your life with positive cash flow. No magic needed, just hard work and tough life choices.
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Old 09-07-2015, 11:25 AM   #108
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Of course I'm looking for magic. Isn't that what you guys and gals do here?
You seem to be in the wrong forum. Practicality, hard work (for those not FI yet), planning and LBYM are the main themes here.
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Old 09-07-2015, 12:30 PM   #109
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Originally Posted by irishgal View Post
So what exactly do you want from the membership here relative to your situation?

Many ideas have been tossed out and have been met with "yes but" or by "I already thought of that".

Other "out of the box" suggestions have been met with what appears to be mild sarcasm and condescending comments such as "can go back to drinking their coffee" ( I actually just got done with an ice hockey scrim so yeah the members here do things other than drink coffee).

Maybe if you bullet point specifically your unsolved questions that you are truly open to trying we can all understand better what you are looking for.


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Honestly I came here at the suggestion of a member on another forum so I wasn't really looking for anything specific from everyone all at once.
I was more interested like I said, in introducing myself as suggested by your moderators in the fashion that they wanted and going from there.

I wasn't looking for all of you to fix me, I just answered the questions as they were asked. But I can understand that you want to fix things for people. We do it too in our community and many follow the advice and many don't.

I've pretty much laid out on the table everything that is going on here. I know several of you think I am lying, lazy, hard headed and I can see where those who think that way are coming from. The answer is obvious and that's not why I came here for. I know the obvious answers, but somehow I thought this community may have had some not so obvious answers.

Maybe it's the nature of creative real estate but I've gotten some much more creative ways of getting money out of retirement funds tax free than here in the retirement forum world. Maybe you guys just don't do that sort of thing since you are all about wall street. It seems to be a part of the creative real estate world but not something shared with all.

And as for sarcasm I have pretty much had to endure that from many here as well. I know I am the newbie here but you guys sure can dish it out but one little coffee comment and you're yet offended again. I guess my skin is a little tougher than many here since I've been mistreated for years by doctors, patients, patients families, administration and fellow employees. Daily I was pushed to my limits to the detriment of my health and now my finances. Should I have left sooner? Yes. Should I have saved more than a years salary for emergencies? Obviously Yes. Should I have paid off my home? Yes or maybe not. Shoulda, woulda, coulda. Can't go back in time.
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Old 09-07-2015, 12:32 PM   #110
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Actually 20K of that is business debt so I am letting my business pay that off.
I may cash in my 457 to pay off the personal debt.
Might as well before it loses more value.
The business that you said is not yet profitable? How will you do that?
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Old 09-07-2015, 12:38 PM   #111
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I understand that the property your mom is living in is paid off. But what is the total equity in the other properties? It might make sense to do this just to get some separation.

In several posts you state you're giving money to your mom each month. But in another post you state it goes into a joint checking account to pay the taxes and insurance on the property she lives in. If you sign over the condo to her - you no longer need to provide the $700/month for taxes and insurance. That helps your immediate cash flow.

You could sell, or refinance the remaining properties to improve cash flow.

If you are hanging on to the apartment your mom lives in for sentimental reasons, you need to decide if you can afford to be sentimental.

It comes down to math: Is all of the equity in the other apartments similar to/in the ballpark of the equity in the paid off condo. If it's at all close you can improve your cash flow and take some of the stress off your life.

Somehow I suspect you'll have new and creative solutions why this is not an option, though. The reason you are getting pushback from members here is because REALISTIC solutions are being rejected for reasons that make no financial sense...
I am not handing money over to Mom. I am putting it into our joint bank account to pay the taxes and insurance as they come due.

I am not holding onto Mom's apartment. She lives in my house in the suburbs. That house does not hold sentimental value to me. I bought it, remodeled it and then moved out after a year to make space for my elderly Aunt, her sister who needed a place to go after her husband died of Alzheimers and she found herself in a home with a mortgage that she could no longer afford without hubbies check.

I have tried refinancing the property where I am but since I do not have a profitable business I don't even qualify for HARP. I have tried.

I sold one condo already which was my most problematic association although it was cash flowing $500 a month. I used some of that cash for essentials.

And the equity in the two properties is about $100K, that is the condo that I live in and the condo in the burbs that I rent out. The house is worth $375K. One property is in an IRA so I cannot touch that equity unless I sell it and cash out of the IRA.
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Old 09-07-2015, 12:52 PM   #112
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Originally Posted by daylatedollarshort View Post
Chriskre, I believe your issues are real. I have worked with senior managers and even a director in finance with personal financial issues. Many here are numbers oriented and future thinking - a personality type often described at INTJ. I think the reality is many posters here are the outliers by being able to think 20 - 50 years down the line. I get that many people do not think that way, but if you want to get your finances in order you have to thinking about where you want to be financially in 30 years and work back from there. Begin with the end in mind.

We've all given you our basic LBYMs advice. Here are my creative suggestions per your request:

Instead of just selling jewelry, consider making an online jewelry making class, a tutorial or youtube video on jewelry. Something you can make once and have viewed thousand or maybe millions of times far into the future, collecting ad revenue and course sign ups along the way.

Also look for something you can do online and from home with a salary to cover your expenses right now and do the eBay business on the side until you have more income from that. Then you can drop the day job once you are out of debt, have an emergency fund and savings to carry you through a business drought. I have a friend who works at home as a paid forum moderator for a big brand company. Becoming an expert in a particular type of software can also be lucrative if you have a programming aptitude.

Also do all the passive and close to passive extra income ideas on forums like flytertalk, slickdeals, fatwallet and the Reddit beer money thread. This can add up to 5 figures a year without much ongoing effort once they are set up, especially since you have two households and three adults (your mom, aunt and you) to work with. (Skip the credit card dealies - those aren't a good fit for you.)

And cut your expenses as much as you can, even if you don't see fit for now to take some of the more drastic measure we have all suggested. Put the cruises on hold, cut the cable TV, keep a price book, sell the timeshares if you can, shop at Costco and ethnic and discount stores instead of retail supermarkets, and look for suggestions from some of the many frugal forums out there. We've cut our run rate a lot without moving just by being better shoppers, wiser spenders and getting interested in urban homesteading and sustainable living.
Actually before I "retired" I was actually pursuing Internet Marketing.
I joined a local Wordpress group and was already set up with many ideas but once I crashed mentally and physically I was not able to focus like I had in the past and ebay was already familiar to me. I had plans to get into FBA at Amazon and really take this business to another level but then poopie happened and I know many here cannot comprehend this but I was pretty much non-functional for more than 2 years. I had to hire help with my store, luckily my niece also sells on ebay so she was great about coming to help me. I would just open on Friday and close by Monday night and do all my medical things during the week. She's now in University studying accounting and has no time for me so Mom helps with some things.

I really don't have much computer knowledge other than the basics so doubt I'd be an expert in any software but I do have other knowledge that I am expert in and was hoping to build my websites around that. I parked many domains as ideas came to me so I am a creative thinker. I don't want to be a slave to shipping physical items. I much rather do virtual content and products.

I had to quit going to the Wordpress group because it's too far from my home and I can't drive that far anymore. And yeah you can teach yourself many things on youtube and I have but some things are better learned in a classroom setting. Call me old school but I need interaction with the teacher.

As for the cruises I am not doing that but I put that as a hobby since that is what I used to enjoy. I don't have much enjoyment in life these days.

The timeshares really aren't worth much on the resale market but I am able to rent out my Wisconsin cottage to cover expenses so far every year with a friend who handles that for me and we split the profits.

I also own a Disney timeshare and a points broker rents that out for me too. I've given away two other timeshares to friends who wanted them but I still have a few that are pretty much worthless.

Yeah I could just let them go but that's a foreclosure on your credit. If I end up in foreclosure then I'll let them go but for now I share the cost with friends and we are using them. They are all local beach resorts so they make for a nice stay cation.

I bought them as an alternative to a second home on the beach thinking it would be less of a drain on my finances, basically "living within my means" which was the plan and worked for many years until just recently. I've owned them for 15 years. So I do understand living within your means.
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Old 09-07-2015, 01:05 PM   #113
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When I first read your post, I was excited to hear about how you made 45K a year on eBay selling costume jewelry. I net 8-10K a year from eBay sales selling my garage sale finds. However after reading further I see that your net profit was in the red.

1. Sounds like you are paying too much for inventory
2. Sounds like you have too much inventory
3. Buying 20k in inventory at high interest rates on a credit card is never a good plan.. Maybe a small business loan would have been better here.
4. Selling 45K a year in gross sales and not turning a profit is you putting a lot of time and effort into a losing proposition. I mean that is a lot of time going to the post office, printing labels, taking photos and writing descriptions. Sounds to me like eBay is the big winner here collecting all those premiums.

Maybe try and settle with your credit card company for a lesser amount then you owe. Bulk sale your years worth of inventory and pay down your CC with it as much as possible. Get your license back and Utilization review RN position from home part time or casual with more than one company if you want.


**ALSO** Many people work with chronic pain and as long as you have a legit prescription they can't not hire you for "failing a drug screen". My wifes sister is a MD and works with chronic pain and takes pain killers. So you can cross that off your list of reasons why you can't get hired.

You obviously can't continue down the path you are on. Time to ditch the eBay "job" & focus on things in your life with positive cash flow. No magic needed, just hard work and tough life choices.
When I transitioned this from hobby to "business" I was buying from wholesalers who had large minimums. To get the prices that I needed I had to buy in dozens. I cannot do garage sales and retail arbitrage as I cannot walk for more than a few minutes at a time. Since then I have changed my business plan and no longer need the dozens of the same item like I was doing before. It's been a lot of trial and error for me. I am not a business person, I am a nurse. I did have some business savvy while running my own land lording business but it's a far cry from retail sales.

And yes I do have too much inventory. I have more than 2000 listings and probably another 2000 to list but that was my plan as I knew the disability income would stop as they had warned me several times about the "any occupation" clause.

I Have a paypal working capital loan which is part of the debt but that gets paid as I go with my sales.

As for working in nursing again I will just say that physically I am not employable. There comes a point where it's not if you want to work but will you be given the opportunity. I have been on the other end running a big department and can tell you that in the condition that I am currently in I would never be considered for any position part time or full time. It's not just pain meds there are other issues going on but I don't think that you all really want to hear my whole story anyway.
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Old 09-07-2015, 01:10 PM   #114
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The business that you said is not yet profitable? How will you do that?
I am not buying as much inventory anymore.
My sales are there and by cutting expenses the cash flow will improve.
Right now I am servicing the debt with the business and only taking a small salary.

If my disability claim gets approved then hopefully things will improve for me personally. That is still in the works and I know it's not a guarantee, but I know the insurance company wants their money back, so they have a vested interest in the lawyers they hired for me. And I am not naive enough to think they are doing this for my good, it's purely for their benefit 100%.
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Old 09-07-2015, 01:12 PM   #115
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You seem to be in the wrong forum. Practicality, hard work (for those not FI yet), planning and LBYM are the main themes here.
I guess I should have found you guys and gals while I was still working.
Maybe then there would be more sympathy for my plight.
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Old 09-07-2015, 01:45 PM   #116
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I guess I should have found you guys and gals while I was still working.
Maybe then there would be more sympathy for my plight.
Well, if you had found the forums before, you would hopefully have been saving 15-30% of your salary (or even more) and would have a nice cushion already and not even need advice now.

To be honest, you seem to have enough assets and savings to help with cash flow until you're SS eligible - if you reduce expenses. However, cutting expenses seem to be the last resort for you. First thing I would do if I were in your shoes and didn't want to sell any real estate is move in with mom and rent out your current condo. That's pretty low hanging fruit that should reduce your net expenses and hopefully even give you some profit. Also, pay off the CC bill since you're not in danger of foreclosure anymore. You can always move back to your condo once your cash flow situation improves. There's bound to be some friction with mom but I'd just suck it up until earnings/income increases.

As you've noticed, folks here are kinda big on LBYM so cutting down expenses is bound to be the most common suggestion.
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Old 09-07-2015, 02:01 PM   #117
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Well, if you had found the forums before, you would hopefully have been saving 15-30% of your salary (or even more) and would have a nice cushion already and not even need advice now.

To be honest, you seem to have enough assets and savings to help with cash flow until you're SS eligible - if you reduce expenses. However, cutting expenses seem to be the last resort for you. First thing I would do if I were in your shoes and didn't want to sell any real estate is move in with mom and rent out your current condo. That's pretty low hanging fruit that should reduce your net expenses and hopefully even give you some profit. Also, pay off the CC bill since you're not in danger of foreclosure anymore. You can always move back to your condo once your cash flow situation improves. There's bound to be some friction with mom but I'd just suck it up until earnings/income increases.

As you've noticed, folks here are kinda big on LBYM so cutting down expenses is bound to be the most common suggestion.

Yup.
I get it.



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Old 09-07-2015, 02:09 PM   #118
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You received ton of practical advice from very experienced well meaning board members. Unfortunately you did not invest your time to stop and evaluate what was written so far. Are you looking for simple or complex life? Please read below, and that might help you to re focus, to start your life journey from the new beginning. It is not a solution but food for though.

http://betterexplained.com/articles/...nd-complexity/
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Old 09-07-2015, 02:12 PM   #119
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I have to agree with hnzw_rui.... Your best approach is to tackle the budget/spending side of things. Even it it's not 100% of the solution - it's a big start towards the solution.

I understand you like your loft style downtown apartment... but if you are really honest with yourself - can you afford it? If you don't want to sell, can you rent it to cover the ownership costs and then move in with your mom to the house you paid for. It may not be the ideal situation - but it is a big budget saver.

Other things to look at:
- do you have a landline? If so, consider dropping it or switching to Ooma or MagicJack for much lower prices.
- Cell phone - if you're on a big carrier (Verizon, ATT, etc) consider switching to one of the low cost providers. I save our family over $100/month by using Ting. There are lots of low cost cell providers - especially if you bring your old phone. Since you're an ebayer- you know that good phones can be had, used, from e-bay for FAR cheaper than the price you pay through the cell phone operator.
- Cable or satellite. Do you really need it. Can you reduce your package. I threatened to cut my video cable and they made me aware of a much cheaper option (that didn't show on their website and was never mentioned by the CSRs). That cut my cable/internet bill by $60/month for very little loss of service (I get shows in standard def vs high def - big whoop... for $60/month I can live with the lower resolution.)

These are just some of the areas. I personally targeted the monthly recurring charges as my first place to tackle... These $10-$20 month savings add up on an annual basis.

You've got the low hanging-big impact budget savings of your housing - but you can also nibble along the edges to improve things.

Also - as you find these savings - take that money and apply it to the highest interest credit card. When that's paid off - apply the extra to the next highest interest rate card... I paid off over $20k in credit debt using this snowball method. It is really nice to pay my credit card in full each month.

And with every purchase - ask yourself "Do I really need this? Is this worth risking my home or facing Bankruptcy?"

You've gotten great advice. You have a variety of reasons why you won't take the advice. There's no magic - and 'out of the box' thinking only goes so far when you spend more than your income.... Rather than looking at ways to tap into your retirement income early (and paying tax penalties you can avoid) you should be looking at the non-magic spend vs income.
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Old 09-07-2015, 02:29 PM   #120
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I guess I should have found you guys and gals while I was still working.
Maybe then there would be more sympathy for my plight.
I am sympathetic. You have had a big income shift and health issues to deal with. But we see evidence that you can write, have a nursing background and I think earlier you mentioned being a forum moderator. Those are all skill sets that could lead to work at home or paid online jobs, or at least contract work. $15k - $30K jobs are easier to find than $100K jobs, so with some online / telecommute work and cutting expenses you could be financially worry free in a relatively short period of time.
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