When you’re starting out on your real estate investing journey, one of the most important pieces is to get your spouse on board. Everyone develops different relationships with money based on their upbringing and life experiences, and as such, one partner might be more open to trying new things, while the other might be more risk averse.
That’s why it’s so important to maintain open and honest communications throughout the process, so both you and your spouse stay on the same page and can make decisions about your financial strategy together.
Sometimes, the journey might seem difficult, and you might want to throw in the towel, but take heart in knowing that others are traveling the same journey and working through some of the same challenges.
In this article, we wanted to give you a peek into the behind-the-scenes story of one of our Goodegg Investor Club members, her journey of learning about real estate investing, and how she helped her husband get on board with the idea of investing passively in real estate syndications.
Here is Minna’s story, in her own words.
When I was first learning about investing in apartment syndications, my husband and I were – very fortunately – in a place in our marriage where we already had a very united front on many things, including finances. This is largely because I had worked really hard over the course of many months in my spare time on spreadsheeting our entire financial life.
I had our family’s income statement and balance sheet tracked down to the cent. It’s easier to talk about money when we have the dollar figures right in front of us. We had done all this when we started having kids, as we had always planned for me to stay at home with the kids, so we needed to budget for that lifestyle.
Another thing that has helped is that my husband and I talk about money very frequently. I think this is because we enjoy looking forward to our future together, where can go on vacations more frequently, for example. It wasn’t just about creating more cash flow every month to help pay for things, but also to accelerate our wealth building so that we wouldn’t have to rely solely on my husband’s W-2 job to pay for everything.
We would talk about how we both really wanted him to be able to take on a less stressful job in something he’d enjoy doing more. Can you just see my husband’s ears perking up?
What really got us talking about our financial future was when our daughter started preschool, which cost thousands of dollars every month. That spurred us to reassess our investments to try to “wake them up” and create more cash flow.
When I started exploring the idea of investing in real estate, I think it helped that my husband saw me do all the work of educating myself.
He saw me putting on my headphones every night after the children were in bed, listening to BiggerPockets podcasts while folding laundry, reading lots of blog posts, running a lot of numbers, and constantly on the phone with people I could learn from.
Whenever I learned something mind-blowing, I’d stop everything and share it with him right away. I did this almost on a daily basis, so that helped him not only learn from me (which also helped solidify my own learning) but also to trust that what I presented to him as my master plan was something that I had done extensive research and analysis on and had thought about A LOT.
My husband is a little bit more risk averse than I am (I am also risk averse but not quite as much in comparison). Thus, he’d ask a lot of questions, especially around capital preservation, buffering for market risk, and liquidity issues, and I’d work on getting him answers.
This led to me seeking out a deeper understanding of everything and thinking through our risk tolerance for some of these investments. Although my husband gives me a lot of autonomy on what I do with our money, I like letting him know what I’m about to do, so I think that also helps him feel more comfortable with the journey that we’re on.
He knows that we’re in this together and that he can’t “blame” me for things that may go wrong, because I give him ample opportunities throughout the process to ask questions, express concerns, and talk thoroughly through all the risk factors.
In summary, I think these are the main highlights and takeaways of our real estate investing journey thus far:
Passive investing is now a big part of Minna and her husband’s financial strategy, and the passive income they have built has helped them to defray the high costs of living in San Francisco, including those thousands of dollars per month in preschool tuition costs.
What strikes me about this story is how open and transparent Minna was throughout the process. It’s clear that she was the one taking the lead and making the decisions, but she made sure to keep her husband in the loop every step of the way.
I love how she mentions that, “Whenever I learned something mind-blowing, I’d stop everything and share it with him right away.”
Those moments of joy and discovery can be some of the most gratifying moments in a relationship and can serve to not only deepen your investment knowledge but also your relationship overall.
And that really is the key. Real estate investing is not a race, nor is it something that should be a point of contention between you and your spouse. Planning for your financial future should be an adventure, one that both of you take part in. Plan for ample time for both you and your spouse to learn and grow together, and remember to have some fun in the process too.