You might have gotten here through one of our websites, www.taxloopholes.com or www.dkaffiliated.com or maybe someone told you about us. You might have even found this while scrolling around the Internet. Regardless of our how you got here, we’re glad you’re here.
My name is Diane Kennedy. I’ve had a few best-selling books about the secrets of making more money and paying less tax than you ever thought possible (Loopholes of the Rich, The Insider’s Guide to Making Money in Real Estate, The Insider’s Guide to Real Estate Investing Loopholes and Tax Loopholes for eBay Sellers). I’m a CPA, business owner, real estate investor, wife and Mom – not in order of importance. The cool thing about a blog is that it doesn’t have to be about any of those things.
One of my passions is providing an environment where people’s dreams come true. And, for most people, that means more money. So, since it’s my passion, I’ll likely use this blog to talk about cool ways I’ve discovered from my friends (and my husband!) on how to make more money with less work. I’ll also talk about the legal tax loopholes that the government wants you to use.
But, not today. Today, let’s talk about WHY financial freedom is important. I don’t know why it might be important to you. In fact, I’m not even sure if I fully understand why it’s so important to me. There is something about freedom that is a universal need and without economic freedom, true freedom never occurs.
Here’s how it played out for me.
In 1991, I was about to lose my high paying job because banks were tightening credit and real estate prices were dropping (I was the CFO for a major land developer) and I had a negative net worth. That meant I owed more than I owned. I also had the privilege (?) of being one of the first women in northern Nevada to be ordered to pay alimony. Schnickeys. Sometimes equality sucks.
So I borrowed a page out of my Dad’s financial plan, quit my job and started my own business. My Dad had retired when he was 47, so maybe he did know something I didn’t. My Dad has always owned his own businesses and invested what he made in real estate.
You can control your financial destiny with your own business and investments. If you’re working for someone else, you’re making someone else rich. If they make a bad decision, you pay the price.
Financial Freedom Secret #1: The ONLY way to control your financial destiny is with your own business and/or investments.
The second year in business, I doubled what I had done the year before. The third year, I doubled what I had done the second year. By the time 1995 had rolled around, I was exhausted! I sold my business and was ready to retire. I’d done what my Dad had done – invested in real estate. The passive income that came from my real estate was enough to support me. I was out of the rat race.
Financial Freedom Secret #2: When your passive income (money you don’t have to work for) exceeds your expenses, you win!
Financial freedom for my Dad had meant an early retirement. I wasn’t quite ready to retire, though, and so I kept a few clients. One of them went on to write a best-selling book and set the seminar world on fire with his talk of how the rich get rich. I talked about the tax differences between the rich and poor and suddenly I had more clients than I knew what to do with.
I built a tax practice (DKA) and a tax education company (TaxLoopholes), only this time I built companies by doing only what I was passionate about – writing, teaching and doing long-term tax and wealth strategies. I found strategic alliances and partners who were passionate about the things I was not. This time I built a business that was bigger than I ever thought possible.
The passive income from real estate allowed me to do what I cared about. I didn’t have to worry about making a living. I could now make a life that was bigger than me. Financial freedom can mean different things to different people – early retirement, never having to worry about bills again, having the ability to do something you’re passionate about, or being able to make a significant difference in your community.
Financial Freedom Secret #3: If the WHY of creating financial freedom is compelling enough, the HOW will become easy.
In 2003, I hit another wall. My husband and I had everything we wanted. What next? I was challenged by a friend to just step up and do what I had always dreamed of – to create a one-of-a-kind event in a tropical paradise where everyone had to earn the right to be in the room. In December 2003, we launched Maui Mastermind. Only proven “do-ers” in the business world or investments could come. And, we gave a significant amount of money to charity (approx half of the net proceeds). Lives were transformed. Attendees took their businesses up not just one level, but five levels.
I was excited again. Little did I know that my life was about to be changed forever.
One of the charities an attendee recommended was an orphanage in Juarez, Mexico www.LaNuevaVida.com. Amy Fox, Events Coordinator for Tax Loopholes, called me near tears one day. She had been calling organizations who had received money. “You have to listen to this interview,” she exclaimed.
This Mexican orphanage, Casa La Nueva Vida (House of the New Life) had run into a property dispute. These kids had nobody. Without this orphanage, they were on the street. The kids ranged in age from 2 years to 15 years. The director wanted to give them Christmas first and then tell them they would have to leave. The check from Maui Mastermind showed up on December 26th. The check was enough to start work on their very own orphanage. The kids themselves built the first building and after that, a groundswell of support from other groups built 3 buildings.
Casa Le Nueva Vida is now one of the best run and equipped orphanages in Juarez (a city of 227 orphanages). The story was so moving that Amy and I cancelled a shopping trip to London to go down to film the orphanage and capture the story of the children on tape. In just a few days, the Juarez trip turned into a major expedition with volunteers just showing up. We had a great time and after the second day, my husband, Richard, said, “Let’s adopt David!” We spent the night talking and then started proceedings to bring our new teenage son home.
On March 31, 2005, David came home to Phoenix with us.
So…you never quite know how things will turn out. I think you just put your best intentions out there and work in alignment with your values, and great things happen. It started with a seminar that was a dream for me, which led to answering someone else’s prayers and ended with answering my prayer to be a Mom.