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Last week, I published a review for Passive Income, Aggressive Retirement: The Secret to Freedom, Flexibility, and Financial Independence. It has been my number one resource for starting my own streams of passive income. I am so, so thrilled to have had the opportunity to team up with my friend + author, Rachel Richards, for an interview. I’ve also got a bundle of Rachel’s books to giveaway; details below!
I met Rachel online in a Facebook group where myself and a small group of others shared a similar interest. This was before publishing her first book, Money Honey, back in 2017. To see her do so much in such a short amount of time has been absolutely incredible. Not only does she offer her readers easy-to-understand financial information, but she is so darn sweet. It has been so fun being a cheerleader on her journey and I cannot wait to see what else the future holds for her.
Only 27 years old, former financial advisor Rachel Richards has made a name for herself in the personal finance realm. In 2019, Rachel quit her job and retired on over $10,000 per month in passive income. She is the bestselling author of “Money Honey” and “Passive Income, Aggressive Retirement.” She has been featured on the Penny Hoarder and the New York Times and has been contracted to speak at colleges. Rachel is also a real estate investor with 35 rental units. Her valuable money lessons have helped thousands of millennials work their way out of financial despair. She has successfully done what no one has done before: made the topic of money management fun, entertaining, and simple. Rachel is based in Louisville, KY (soon to be Colorado Springs, CO), with her husband and dog.
Jackie:The last three years have been a whirlwind for you! You’ve generated several streams of passive income, gotten married, self-published two books, and retired at the age of 27. Looking back on all of this – can you believe this all happened? 5 years ago, is this what you imagined your life would look like?
Rachel: I did not think I would achieve so much in such a short time span. My initial retirement goal when I was 20 years old (which was only based on rental properties, before I learned about 27 other types of passive income) was to retire in 15 years at age 35. However, once Andrew and I bought our first rental property, we just kept up the momentum and kept looking for ways to create passive income. The most amazing and unexpected part was that I wrote two books and became a bestselling author! I still can’t believe it.
Jackie: Was retiring this young always a goal of yours?
Rachel: Yes. Ever since I was young I knew that I wasn’t cut out for the corporate world. The way I saw it, I wanted to be working for myself, making my dreams come true; not working for someone else making their dreams come true. Maybe that sounds selfish or naive, but I had the knowledge and wherewithal to actually make it happen.
On a related note, the term “retirement” to me means being financially independent. So what you choose to do with your time in retirement will vary between people. Some want to relax and go to the beach and golf and never work again. I have a passion for creating things. So people get confused that I call myself retired but that I’m still actively working on my books. My books are my passion and source of fulfillment. The difference is that now that I’m retired, I get to do it for fun, rather than for money. Being retired means I get to do whatever I want!
Jackie: Let’s go back to the time when writing Money Honey was just an idea. Knowing what you know now, what would you go back and tell your younger writing self at that point in time?
Rachel:I would tell myself to have faith. Creating any work and putting int out there for the world to see and judge is an incredibly vulnerable thing. I didn’t realize how scary it would be. In fact, for a time, I quit writing Money Honey. I wasn’t going to go through with it; I was convinced it was awful and would be an embarrassment. It wasn’t until a friend encouraged me to finish that I picked it back up. In the end, the only reason I published it was because I told myself that if I just help one person, it would be worth it. Of course, now it turns out that it has changed thousands of lives. I get emails from readers on a weekly basis thanking me and telling me how it has impacted them. But I didn’t have that reassurance or validation back then, so I was a nervous wreck.
Jackie: Having just published your second book, you’ve gone through the process of self-publishing twice. What’s something you did differently this time around that you learned from publishing Money Honey?
Rachel: I learned not to cut corners in certain things. I published Money Honey for less than $600. I was extremely frugal and I didn’t want to invest money in something that might not be successful. Most of that was for a professional editor. But I didn’t hire a professional book cover, and I wish I had. I spent way more money on Passive Income, Aggressive Retirement, and it shows! The book cover is stunning. My flaw is often that I am too frugal!
Jackie: Now that your days are spent outside of an office – do you have any personal goals you wish to accomplish?
Rachel: My “problem” is that I always want to do 1,000 different things. This year I’m really trying to prioritize and narrow my focus, so that I can do a few things really well, instead of being spread too thin. Personal goals include improving my health, nutrition, and fitness. In April I’m hiking Machu Picchu, so I need to make sure I’m in shape for that. Another goal I have always had is to learn to speak fluent Italian. I love Italy, and my husband has family in Italy that don’t speak English. I would love to be able to communicate with them! I also want to meditate daily. I know it will help my brain concentrate and focus better, and will also help reduce stress and anxiety. This one is the most important goal right now.
Jackie:We get a glimpse of a few types of passive income you’re involved with in PIAR, but if you had to choose just one – what is your favorite and why?
Rachel: In PIAR I outline 28 different passive income models! Of course I haven’t tried all of those myself, and I make that very clear, which is why I interviewed 10 different subject matter experts and also did hundreds of hours of research. I still have to say that rental property income is my favorite, because there are multiple benefits. First, you have the passive income, which is the cash flow you profit each month. But also you are building long-term wealth because your tenants are paying your mortgage for you. So over time, you are increasing your equity in the property. After 15, 20, 30 years, your loan is paid off, and you own the house outright, without ever having made the mortgage payment yourself! It’s incredible. There’s no other investment I know of that can provide such fantastic financial benefits.
Jackie: The new year is a popular time for new year resolutions. What’s one piece of advice you’d give to someone whose goal is to tidy up their finances in 2020?
Rachel: In January, I taught a few workshops on setting a successful financial New Year’s Resolution. The #1 mistake people make when setting a resolution is not knowing their current expenses. You must understand your current income and spending in order to figure out how to hit your goal. I recommend using a simple, free tool like Mint to start tracking your expenses and putting a budget into place. That’s Step Number One. My second piece of advice is to have a clear action plan on how you will hit your goal. Know the amount of money you will need to come up with each month, and plan how you will come up with that extra money. Don’t just focus on decreasing your expenses; think of ways to increase your income too!
Money Honey: A Simple 7-Step Guide for Getting Your Financial $hit Together is a sassy, fun book that makes money management easy to understand. Great for female millennials and recent college grads. Makes a great supplement for your financial New Year’s Resolutions. Available formats: eBook, paperback, and audiobook.
Passive Income, Aggressive Retirement: The Secret to Freedom, Flexibility, and Financial Independence (& how to get started!) is an incredibly thorough guide on how to build passive income, written in a fun and approachable tone. Great for entrepreneurs or anyone seeking financial independence. Features Hal Elrod, David Osborn, Bobby Hoyt, and more!
Stay in the loop and get all the best memes by following Rachel on social media!
I will be giving away a copy of Money Honey and PIAR to one lucky winner! This giveaway will close on Friday, January 31, 2020 at 11:59 PM CST. This giveaway is open to participants with an address located in the United States of America.
To enter, simply locate the GIVEAWAY post on my Instagram (photo below) and give it a “like”! Bonus entry point if you comment with one of your financial goals for 2020, or a recent financial accomplishment.
Don’t have an Instagram? No problem! Leave a comment below with your 2020 financial goals or a recent financial accomplishment to be entered. Double entries will not be accepted. Please add a method of contact to your comment so I can notify you if you won!