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3 MILLION DOLLARS

Retirement is in 35 years for me, which is a long time to consider. I found one of those retirement planning calculators online and it said I would need over 3 million dollars to retire comfortably. That’s a lot.

While seemingly impossible, it’s not. Save money like I always do and keep investing. I’ve had a lot of friends ask me about investing and more or less, they seemed mildly impressed. While some out there spend their time watching TV or whatever lame brain show is the new fad, I can’t stand it. To sit and do nothing is counter productive.

I don’t believe too many people consider their future as much as I do, but the end goal is live a long life without having to struggle to make ends meet. While I’m not old, this puts me in a position to set myself up for the future — one that includes owning a home, having assets and most importantly, a family. I’m always amazed at how little time people plan for life and act on impulse. Everyone wants it now and actively seek immediate gratification. It’s sad and a mistake.

Take the $1200 everyone got as a stimulus check. I still have all of it. My friends spent theirs. Nice? It’s rather foolish if you ask me. Free money that you didn’t plan on having at the beginning of this year shouldn’t be blown on some extravagant purchase. It’s one of my pet peeves with people my age — stupid spending and a lack of proper money management.

At the current rate, I’ll be worth six figures in the next couple years. It’s a far cry from how I was after college. I feel quite good about myself but I’m willing to bet a few closest to me are jealous. You can’t expect people in this economy to be envious. So be it. Everyone loves to criticize you when you’re down in the dumps but when you’re above them, suddenly they’re silent. It’s fucking pathetic.

I like working which is the crazy thing. I did 60 hours this week and finally launched my company as well. The satisfaction is high and there is no better feeling than having it all come together. My work ethic is one of my better qualities. Granted it doesn’t leave me much for a regular social life but if the end result is prosperity, I’ll buckle down and keep at it to make the dream a reality.

Life can be so open ended and somehow I condensed what I want into three main goals. There’s a charming simplicity to it. This year was one of the craziest there was and yet I’m all smiles and optimistic. I’m doing alright and my God, I like it.

Later world.

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My Company Launched!

In another string of good news this month, the company I’m running had our first official product launch. Nine months of hard grueling work finally paid off and I’m exited for this new venture. I have high hopes and this quite possibly will be my ticket to greater fortunes and a new lifestyle. That’s fancy talk for: I’m going to fucking make a lot of money.

Speaking of money, I applied for a SBA grant. After hearing a friend of mines who runs his own business was approved for a cool $10K, I said fuck it and went for it. Worst that can happen is I get a fraction of that, but honestly — free fucking money. You know the saying the rich get richer? I see it now. I’ve officially gone full circle. Free money is the best shit there is.

There feels like a lot of bragging here but I deserve it. Anyone who doesn’t like it, well, tough luck. Or better yet as my ex would say: that’s too bad. As much I want it feel the pain the rest of America is feeling with BLM, police brutality, or whatever the typical Millennial or Gen Z-er is fighting for on the left these days, their priorities are not my priorities.

I can 100% say that anyone who is down on their luck in life should have the capacity to dig themselves out of the hole. Because every action lead them into that predicament, they should be the ones who get themselves out.

I’m on a fucking roll. Later world.

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I Passed on a Condo

A week or two ago, I got the chance to take a look at a condo for a cool $390,000. Honestly, it was nice property in a very desirable part of town where old money is prevalent and the streets are lined with trees. Was it enjoyable? Most definitely. Did I snatch it up? No. Unfortunately, it was underwhelming. This place was on the market for several months now and the price has dropped four other times according to Zillow.

The realtor seemed anxious — a bit desperate. I don’t blame them. It’s the wild wild west out here in Los Angeles and getting potential buyers in this climate is slim to none. People who have missed rent for the past few months will be met with mass evictions once July is over. Everyone is counting on a rent freeze or a second round of stimulus checks, but I highly doubt it. Online gossip is just that — fiction.

Doing the standard 20% down payment would mean I need just $78,000 liquidated from all my holdings to call it mine and not deal with the bullshit that comes with extra mortgage insurance. While I could have used the government’s first time home buyers program, honestly — it sucks. The interest rates are higher and the extra mortgage insurance does nothing for your equity. I can see why it’s attractive for many buyers. With as little as 3% down, you’re in. There’s always a catch though.

This in my opinion makes no sense. Putting down so little for a higher interest rate and insurance every month doesn’t give a lot of confidence you have all your finances together — or more bluntly — you can even afford a place. Take what you will of this, but it sounds like an awfully quick way to have yourself scrounging for money every month to make the payment.

Fuck that shit.

I digress. I’m in no rush and the real estate market here looks like it’s cooling off for once after several years of exponential gains. Patience is key. Timing is everything. I have a very large number of assets invested in a real estate in a trust. While risky, I’m certain the gains out weigh the potential for losses. The government tightened up requirements for home buyers, which makes a second real estate collapse the likes of 2008 very unlikely.

Until next time. Later world.

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Did I Do Enough?

With the year almost over, I can’t help but wonder if I did enough this year. Was there more to be done? Did I work hard enough? Did I say everything that needed to be said? Quite honestly, this whole month feels like a huge blur. Everything is back to normal I feel like. My memory is not exactly what I was prior, but hopefully that improves over time.

I got another car — arguably newer and much faster. To be fair, that’s all they had for sale for a used CPO vehicle so my hands were tied. I can just feel the cold weather making me feel slow and lazy. I’ve been trying to finish this Excel file for a few weeks now, but it’s only about half complete. Good grief.

It’s been another great year. Aside from this month throwing me a curve ball, I welcomed every date, accomplishment, goal, and sudden down turn. The pay raise helps too, but honestly, the money isn’t going to make everything perfect any time soon.

At least on paper, I’m up from last year, both career wise and financially. I can safely say I have the least amount of debt in 4 years, which is a huge sigh of relief. Next year, I can say goodbye to all my debt and hopefully find my own place to move into. I’m sure my friends will hate it regardless, but that wouldn’t stop me just yet.

Is there more to be done? Of course. Can I complain about the year having had most of it fly by in an instant? No way. Don’t complain if you can’t find ways to fix it. What’s done is done and it’s best I accept all the events that happened up to now.

I loved, I missed, I adored, and I failed. To everyone I dated, I wished it all could have turned out better. To everyone I saw, I wish it could have been longer. To all the failures I faced, I only wish it won’t repeat. If the sun rises tomorrow, I’ll find more reasons to press on forward towards the imaginary finish line. Except it’s not a race.

2020, I’m racing against only myself. Running from the past yet racing towards the future. It’s gonna be a lonely run, but most goals accomplished on your own are the ones that are most satisfying. I’m not looking for praise or help from anyone. See me for who I am or what I want to be. Just another ant in the glass dome marching on.

Later world.

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Critics and Haters

Evidently, my coworkers today made it known they’re not too fond of my goals to move to the next city over and buy a home there. It’s a city of roses as it’s affectionately called by residents and admirers from afar. I love the art, the music, and the history the city has as part of its soul, yet some don’t see it that way.

By their accounts, my goals for the future are more about bragging rights that something centering on intrinsic determination. Somehow, me wanting a better life makes me an outcast. I find it apparent when others voice their dissenting opinions on my future plans, there’s an underlying tone of jealousy and envy associated.

Honestly, life is too short to be preoccupied with the options of others who can’t admire your future goals and ambitions. For every goal within reach, expect someone there to drag you down. That’s the thing about having an audience. Some don’t want you to make it to the other side to catch the feeling of victory or accomplishment.

So be it. By my watch, I’ll own a home in the next few years. Who cares what others may think or assume.

Stay selfish in pursuit of your own life and goals. Later world.

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My Not So Great Family

My dad complains a lot. Basically, about everything in his not so great life. He hasn’t worked for months and by my watch, hasn’t really been trying to look for a job. He sits at home waiting for his meager unemployment check to come. I recall as a kid, my dad specifically mentioning not to let others know what he did or how we lived. As I got older, I realized he told me so because he himself knew he was nobody — someone who has always been angry at the world.

My mom hasn’t worked a day in her life and complains about wanting a bigger apartment. She’s quite a bitter lady. I’ve never understood this about her. From what I’m told, she’s never had much an education, but insists she’s always right. Give me a break. She’s been absent, unrelenting, and the fire that ravages much of everything it touches.

My sister stopped working the past few years and is known to spend loads of money on expensive designer purses and bags. We’re talking in the price range of $1500-2000. It’s rediculous. Recently, she complained her waitressing position keeps getting pushed back and she no longer gets financial aid. Somehow, she feels wronged. As if the world put her in this position.

My brother, whom I seldom speak about, dropped out of college and has no intentions of ever returning. He complains about life and how he feels everyone is attacking him. He’s lazy.

Frankly, I could go on and on about my “family”. I’m amazed I was born into this world full of people who feel the world is against them. Somehow, their current situation isn’t a product of their own doing. Life is beating down on them and they bare no responsibility for their lives.

When I finally make it out of here, it will be the best feeling imaginable. Misery loves company and I’ll gladly leave them be. Think of me what you will, but my reasons for wanting more and soon stem solely from people like them. The bitterness they have towards the world and lack of action to do anything — it’s pathetic. I can’t say I love them all the same, but there is a common theme. For anyone who’s been following my blog, perhaps I’m the outlier in this whole ordeal. Life is whatever you want it to be and I can’t stand being around people who wallow and weep. Later world.

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27 Going On 30

There’s just 9 more days to go before half the year is over. I find it frightening how quickly it all seemed to fly by and vanish. Did I autopilot the entire length? Hell no. I have a tendency to believe I got nothing done without really giving the year a hard look. Perhaps it’s my way of not getting too comfortable with myself. After all, how could you aspire to do more without being a little discontent? Life comes at you fast — faster than you can anticipate the impact. Queue dramatic imagery of a car crash.

I’ve been seeing someone, there’s a great opportunity on the horizon for myself, and all the pieces have been magically falling into place. I feel like a million. For all that didn’t go well, I’m glad I remember to stop to smell the roses.

New Goals / Reminders for the Second Half of 2019

  • Save more $$$
    • Kind of a given and my friends tell me I’m the most financially secure of the bunch, but we agree to disagree. I read somewhere you ought to have somewhere around $10K saved up and no debt before moving out. The number sounds arbitrary. Coupled with the fact I picked an expensive city to live in later this year makes this ever more important. I don’t have too many possessions other than several boxes of clothes and a computer and iPhone, but fuck me for wanting to decorate my place with nice furniture. The mid-century modern look is always in.
  • Cook more and eat out less
    • I like nice restaurants, but do I need to indulge? Probably not. A glass or two of wine every date? I’ll let my feelings decide.
  • Keep self-reflecting
    • Stop to smell the roses. Being busy is good, as my Uncle tells me all the time, but getting lost in the daily bustle of work and little leisure is a recipe for disaster. Note to self: do not repeat last October.
  • Keep it real
    • Fuck me for using such low brow vocabulary, but honesty and sincerity needs to remain in the front seat. Be content with myself and history I have with the world and people past and present. Life goes in one direction — forward.
  • Let go
    • Shit happens and will continue to happen so as long as I’m alive and breathing. Let go of all the misfortunes and grievances from the past, present, and future. Don’t hate (anyone). The future waits for nobody.
  • Eye on the prize
    • Everything I’m doing is inching my way up towards buying a home. The thought of having a property to my name and my Grandma there to witness my success keeps me going — like the wick that burns violently towards the dynamite ready to explode any second. Victory is in sight. I don’t like Donald Trump as much as the next guy, but Christ is the stock market doing well.
  • Keep writing daily
    • I’ve accumulated so many journal entries since starting this blog, it feels routine. I think I’ve gotten better at transcribing my inside voice over time. I see no reason to stop and if anything, this can be parts of the book I’m working on. Currently, it’s several hundreds of pages long. Yikes or is it yay?

27 going on 30. What a trip. Later world.

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The Other Side

My mom’s side of the family moved to the US last year from China. It’s been interesting getting to know them to say the least. There’s a lot of cultural differences between them and my dad’s side of my family — considering they’ve been here for the better part of 30 years. One thing has been apparent as I’ve gotten to know them. Most of their communication errs on the side of condescension — meaning very patronizing. It’s off-putting to say the least.

I more or less do my own thing. Whether they agree or not isn’t something I consider or care much for. I’m sure a lot of people listen to what their family tells them or advises, but my family unfortunately doesn’t have a good track record for this. I fly solo — so to speak.

In life, the less you care or think about what others say, the better overall you feel. It’s something to tend to realize more when you get older. When you’re young, you have a tendency to want others to see one version of you — maybe to appease them or something of your own insecurity. It’s the pitfalls of being young and not yet fully mature or an adult.

The quicker you come to terms with how you are naturally, the better life tends to treat you. Make what you will of it and it’s soon your oyster. I can admit with out hesitation I’m a work in progress and everything up to this point in my life is a product of my own doing. All my actions lead me to here and I’m thankful to be where I want to be. Yeah — I can be extremely arrogant, obnoxious if you catch me on a bad day, intimidating, or worse — ungrateful for the things I have. At least I’m aware and can admit it to be true.

It’s the reason I’ve been so close with my beloved grandma, aunts, and uncles from my dad’s side of the family. They realize I am the black sheep of the family and all my accomplishments are my own — no help given. A few kind words of encouragement became the catalyst to send me on the right path, but it I was a journey I traveled alone.

I can’t imagine what life holds for me, but I have an idea. Just try and stop me. Later world.

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Dreams, Meet Reality

Not too long ago, I had not the slightest idea what I was doing with my life and it didn’t scare me the least bit. Wandering is as much a part of life as finding your path among the chaos and darkness you encounter. With some effort involved and a bit of chance, I stumbled onto where I am now. Soon to be 28 with a good sizable number assets and goals reached. Fortunate is the word.

Back in high school, I couldn’t give two fucks about what the future held, mines, theirs or yours for that matter. It’s an interesting predicament I was in to care so little and not have the urgency to want to do more. Perhaps it was necessary to evaluate the goals I so helplessly lacked or send me to the bottom with just one option — an ultimatum by some. Some consider it a last resort.

I didn’t follow the crowd or do what everyone else wanted me to do or become. Call it the teenage rebellious years littered with anst and dread many movies like to stereotype, yet, it was true. My world came crashing and hard without anyone by my side to pull me from the drowning. I sank into the abyss but only managed to find myself cast ashore on a island for one. How eloquent, yet unbashful to admit. I fucked up and paid a price.

Some goals need reevaluating. You tend to be so narrow minded from your current perspective you fail to see other options and paths worth pursuing. I was nobody with nothing to my name, but I at least realized it. It’s sad, disheartening, and shameful to see everyone progressing further with their lives while you see yourself falling into the shadows you find solace in.

I was comfortable not caring, but I knew at least a few people close to me cared — cared enough to tell me in person and privately. For that, I’m blessed and felt less on my own and closer to the light — however dim it may seem from a distance. All I needed was to have a small glimmer and urgency to move forward. No matter what direction life could take me, I knew I had one motion in view and it was forward. Move onwards and don’t look back. You can call it my secret rule of life I never mention publicly to anyone except the tiny voice in my head.

College had its fair share of highs and bottomly lows, but I remained persistent. I fell in love a few times and felt the sting of the dagger through the heart relationships can bring. Yet, I found it just as important as the feelings and emotions love entails. I learned about myself and my intentions. Better yet, I realized if I was ready to love someone when loving myself was just as important. Love, for that reason, is not just singular and far from it.

With all the pain you endure in life, it tests your ability to see the light and find means of coping by yourself. Pain is unwanted, persistent, and long lasting. I found myself cracking a bottle daily and lost in the sweet bliss illicit substances bring. It’s the bitter-sweet allure of being torn between wanting to feel better, but losing yourself in the addiction numbness has over yourself. Escapism is met with more than one avenue. Naturally, not every door is one you should leave open.

Just as the doors open, they close and become boarded up with a handful of skeletons in the closet. Hidden from the world but not out of mind. I learned about self-forgiveness and how the untamed urges can lead to self-harm. I bare no scars from this era, only mental footnotes of just how far I was willing to push my luck every night.

I did a number of things over the years that would disappoint and raise a few eyebrows. That can never be undone. I’ve hurt others and felt pain myself. I can admit not every action can be undone or be forgiven for. I felt bad then but now it’s merely a speck of sand at the bottom of the hour glass.

My name is Daniel — welcome to my world.

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I Want It (Now)

Anyone plan goals for the beginning and the middle of the month? I had one goal so far — run at least twice a day every Saturday and Sunday. I feels good to get in the miles and I have a new found appreciation for how well kept my local park is. It’s spotless. With the middle of the month approaching, I feel I’m at odds with myself. Simply put it, I’m out of ideas. Should I break a habit, take up a hobby, or reinvest for the bazillionth time?

Short term goals are somewhat easy in my opinion. It’s quick and relatively obtainable. More long term goals come and go. I have the full support of my friends on buying a house or condo, but it’s difficult to conceptualize once I have enough money saved. I want it now, but plans change and I can just as easily drop this idea if something else preoccupies my time.

It would be incredible to say I bought my own property at under 30 and not pay rent for some place I won’t ever own. I’m only worried if my idea from the start was for the right reason. There’s a lot of bragging rights and fame that comes with pulling this off. My friend’s mom brought this to my attention a while back. She asked one hard question: Why this city versus all the other ones? Perhaps she’s onto something. The surrounding areas aren’t as full of art, music and history. I could definitely get more for my money and have just of a good time staying put in my hometown seeing as how Main St has been commercialized heavily the past several years. It’s nice to see, but just as jarring. My town had not much to do for as long as I can remember and what felt like overnight, exploded with new buildings and restaurants.

Is it still home? Yes, of course. Do I want to stay put in the familiar confines of the city? No. The buildings are new, but the town is the same. It’s just not my cup of tea. It’s usually the thought I have when deciding where I want to buy in. If I’m going to drop $100,000 on a down payment on a place that’s close to half a million, I should have no hesitations about the neighborhood and the people.

I’m still actively looking at the housing marketing and saving as much of my income I can, but only time will tell if and when I pull the trigger. In the meanwhile, it’s back to the office with my otherworldly pursuits.

Later world.