MONEY Estate Planning

Why My Grandparents’ Home Got Torn Down

Empty residential lot
Shutterstock

Estate planning can prevent a lot of heartache.

My family loves get-togethers—we find any reason to gather and eat. We credit this wonderful trait to my grandparents. They were gracious hosts with amazing culinary skills. Their home, built with my grandfather’s hands, was a sanctuary for family, friends, and welcome strangers.

My grandparents didn’t just leave legacy of memorable gatherings; they also left their home to their children, expecting regular family reunions after they were gone. My grandparents would not have it any other way!

My grandmother died in 1994, eight years after my grandfather’s death.

Their children tried their best to embrace my grandparents’ vision of maintaining the family home. But time, distance, and money wreaked havoc on implementing the plan. Our hearts sank as the house slowly fell into disrepair. It took almost 14 years before the children agreed that one sibling would buy out the other childrens’ shares of the home.

By then, however, the damage to the home was done. Now, only the land and memories remain.

I believe that if my grandparents had addressed certain questions about the house, they might have been able to protect it after their death with some thoughtful estate planning. Here are those questions:

  • Who wants to keep the home?
  • Who would prefer their inheritance to be cash instead?
  • Who can afford to buy the home?
  • How will the children handle multiple owners now? How would they handle ownership upon their own divorce or death?
  • Who will pay the property taxes?
  • Who will ensure upkeep?

One option might have been an estate-planning provision requiring the home be sold, with the first rights to buy given to the children. Or maybe the home could have been left to one or more children, and other assets left to other children to equalize inheritances. Maybe they could have established a trust in order to fund perpetual care of the home, and to manage generational ownership.

These considerations and others in the estate planning process might have allowed the children to preserve both their wealth and their legacy.

A significant amount of wealth is transferred through real estate. According to a 2014 study by Credit Suisse and Brandeis University’s Institute on Asset and Social Policy, the primary residence represents 31% of total assets for the top 5% of wealthy black families in the U.S. and 22% for the wealthiest white Americans. The percentage of wealth embodied in a primary residence is even greater for less well-off households.

Now it’s up to my aunts and uncles to get it right for the next generation. Will wealth be lost again or will it transfer for the benefit of their descendants? It’s a great question for the next family gathering…at a place to be determined.

———-

Lazetta Rainey Braxton is a certified financial planner and CEO of Financial Fountains. She assists individuals, families, and institutions with achieving financial well-being and contributing to the common good through financial planning and investment management services. She serves as president of the Association of African American Financial Advisors. Braxton holds an MBA in finance and entrepreneurship from the Wake Forest University Babcock Graduate School of Management and a BS in finance and international business from the University of Virginia.

MONEY home selling

How to Sell Your House Without Paying an Agent’s Fee

For Sale sign illustration
Robert A. Di Ieso, Jr.

Q: Do we really need a real estate agent to sell our house? — Peter Koo, Kent, Ohio

Real estate agents typically charge a 4% to 6% commission on the sale price, so selling without an agent could certainly save you big bucks. Even after you pay $1,000 or so for your own online ads, open-house brochures, and a lawn sign, you would still probably clear an extra $14,000 on a $300,000 sale, $24,000 on a $500,000 sale, or $36,500 on a $750,000 sale.

And that’s not the only advantage to selling it yourself — a process often referred to as “for sale by owner,” or FSBO (pronounced “fizz-bo”). “You get to control the negotiation, rather than having it filtered through a middleman,” says Los Angeles real estate attorney Zachary Schorr.

While a good agent can certainly help with the negotiation process, he or she also has a vested interest in the transaction. “And closing the deal may in some cases be more important to the agent than getting you the absolute best price,” Schorr says. If you’re a good negotiator and can handle the process without emotion and with clear eyes, you might do better on your own.

You will need to write your own description of the house, take your own photos, and give your own tours to prospective buyers. “If you excel at these things — or if you’re a control freak like me — you may do a better job than some realtors would,” Schorr says.

The Downsides

Make no mistake, though: Working without an agent requires a huge investment of time, knowhow, and effort. You need a wide range of skills, from home staging to salesmanship to negotiating. And you need to be able to completely divorce yourself from the emotions that can arise when a buyer takes a dig at your curb appeal or lowballs the offer on the beloved home where you raised your family.

If these factors don’t dissuade you from attempting to sell it yourself, here is how Schorr suggests overcoming the three biggest challenges you’ll face:

Limited pool of buyers: Most serious house-hunters are working with a real estate agent; the commission would normally get split between the buyer’s and seller’s agents. But without a commission on the table, no agent is going to bring clients to see your house. In fact, many shoppers are contractually obligated to purchase their home through their agent — meaning even someone who finds your house while out on a drive or surfing the Internet may not easily be able to buy it.

If you don’t get any offers, Schorr suggests a compromise solution: State in big bold type in your online ads and your lawn sign that you will pay a 2.5% commission to the buyer’s agent. You’ll only save half as much in commission costs, but you’ll get a much bigger pool of potential buyers coming to look at your place.

Bargain hunters: Of course, some buyers may find you even without a buyer’s agent. “If you have a great house, in a sought-after neighborhood, and you’re on a busy road where you’ll get a lot of visibility, then you might do fine working with only the unsigned homebuyers who discover your house on their own,” says Schorr. If you’ve got a charmer with a great kitchen in an affordable price range, they’ll find it online no matter how far off the beaten path you are.

The trouble is that those buyers may seek to discount the purchase price: Because they know there are no agents involved, they may feel that they should benefit as well.

How should you handle that? It depends. If you’re in a great house that sells itself, stick to your target price. But if you’re thrilled to get an offer because you can’t stand showing the house anymore, split the commission savings and make a deal.

Lack of advice or tools: You may miss an agent’s help throughout the process, starting with when you set a listing price. Online price calculators may not be sufficient to determine the fair market value of your home because they use completed sales, which tend to lag the market by a few months. Also, the algorithms don’t necessarily account for factors like curb appeal, landscaping, recent renovations, or school district lines.

A smarter idea is to hire an appraiser to value your house, likely for around $300 to $500.

You may also want a lawyer to produce and review contract documents; some states actually require you to hire one. Although you can find much of the paperwork online, Schorr says, “you need to tailor it to your deal — and the way you fill it out is just as important as what the boilerplate language says.” You’ll probably pay $1,000 to $3,000, depending on the cost of living in your area, but you’ll get an experienced pro who’s in your corner and can make sure the deal gets done right.

Obviously, these solutions all can eat into your sell-it-yourself savings. So try going it on your own for several months.

If your house gets lots of attention and you get good offers, stay the course and be prepared to give up a little of your savings to close the deal. But if the process drags on without any real bites, hire an agent. You’ve lost nothing but time, and you’ll enter the agreement with a far better understanding of how it works and how to get the most from your agent.

You Might Also Like:

Will I Pay Income Taxes on the Sale of My Home?

What Renovations Will Pay Off When I Sell?

If You Want to Sell Your House This Year, Start Doing These Things Now

TIME breaking bad

Here’s Your Chance to Pretend to Be Jesse Pinkman

A Look At "Breaking Bad" Locations Through Albuquerque
Steve Snowden—Getty Images A view of Jesse Pinkman's house.

‘Meth lab not included’

Always wanted to live out a Breaking Bad fantasy without actually operating a meth lab? Here’s your chance. Two of the houses featured in the critically acclaimed series are on sale in Albuquerque, N.M.

The house where fictional Jesse Pinkman lived in the series has an asking price of $1.6 million —”meth lab not included” — according to the Coldwell Banker’s press release. The realtors for the house, a mother-daughter team, created a website touting its celebrity status. The house, which was posted for sale Tuesday, has two stories, with 3,500 square feet, and four bedrooms. According to TODAY, the house for sale wasn’t used to film the parties or any “intense” scenes.

Though the series ended almost two years ago, Breaking Bad still gets plenty of hype. “Better Call Saul,” a prequel series that premiered earlier in 2015, was recently nominated for an Emmy. And Albuquerque’s tourism industry continues to capitalize on “Breaking Bad” buzz, offering tours of key locations in the series.

MONEY mortgage

This City Has Nation’s Healthiest Housing Market

Beacon Hill neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts
Getty Images/iStockphoto Beacon Hill neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts

The healthiest market isn't necessarily the most affordable.

The Red Sox may be in the cellar. But when it comes to its housing market, Boston is first in the nation.

That’s according to a recent report by financial Web site WalletHub, which ranked the relative health of real estate markets in the nation’s 25 largest metro areas. Researchers determined a market’s “health” based on factors like how much equity owners had in their homes and who paid the lowest interest rates.

Oklahoma City ranked second; San Antonio was third. Four Florida cities ranked in the bottom 10 (Miami, Jacksonville, Orlando, Tampa), while Las Vegas was dead last.

On average home owners in Boston have 43% equity in their homes, meaning their mortgages amounted to only slightly more than half their home’s value. The rate was second in the nation, just behind New York City.

Boston also had the second smallest pool of “underwater” mortgages — the scenario in which the owner owes the bank more than the home is worth. About 6.7% of Boston mortgages were underwater, placing just behind Rochester, N.Y. In Las Vegas, by contrast, 39% of homes are underwater.

Of course, one thing that a “healthy” housing market doesn’t guarantee is that you can afford to live there. Boston’s median home price is nearly $450,000, according to Zillow. That’s up from $326,000 at the height of the housing crisis.

The key to Boston’s success: Attractive housing stock and a strong technology and life sciences industry that have helped draw investment and educated young people, according the hometown paper, the Globe.

 

 

MONEY buying a home

Why Millennials Are Better Off Waiting 10 Years to Buy a Home

Millennial in front of house for rent
Daniel Grill—Getty Images

A new Fed study finds most young adults require years of saving before they can afford home ownership.

In a report sure to make the real estate industry cringe, researchers at the St. Louis Federal Reserve suggest most young adults postpone home ownership for years, if not a decade or longer. This comes as the housing market is beginning to boom again and older Millennials, a group that generally has eschewed homeownership, shows signs of wanting to take the plunge.

Can this be sound advice? Home ownership has been a reliable long-term wealth builder for generations. Often home equity is retirees’ largest asset and, along with Social Security, enough for them to live out their days financially secure.

The housing bust changed the calculus. Flipping and other short-term strategies, and risky nothing-down and no-documentation mortgages, contributed mightily to the bust. Yet short-term moves have always been dicey. Properly considered, a home is less an investment than a forced savings plan and place to live. Over time, real estate keeps pace with inflation and a stable, affordable mortgage provides a valuable tax deduction.

The Fed study does not dispute that. It is an examination of age and wealth, and finds that younger families are on track for a lower net worth than all previous living generations. Adjusted for inflation, the median wealth of families headed by someone at least age 62 rose 40% between 1989 and 2013—to $210,000 from $150,000. Meanwhile, median wealth of households headed by someone age 40 to 61 fell 31% to $106,000 and median wealth for younger families fell 28% to $14,000.

Researchers conclude that younger families would be better served by maintaining a personal asset mix that more closely resembles the asset mix of older families—less debt and less real estate relative to their other assets. In other words, stretching for that first home when you have no other savings and little ability to save going forward is a huge mistake.

This “mistake,” by the way, is one plenty of families in previous generations made—and for many it paid off well. What seems to have changed is a greater degree of speculation that leads to a boom-bust pattern in the housing market, one that can wipe you out in the short term if your timing stinks. The Fed researchers write that young people should “delay purchase of a home with its attendant debt burden until it was possible to buy a house that did not make the family’s balance sheet dangerously undiversified and highly leveraged.”

John Bucsek, managing partner of MetLife Solutions Group, finds merit in the Fed’s argument, saying that young families should rent for years for less money than a mortgage would cost. That preserves career flexibility and cuts monthly costs. They should begin saving in a Roth IRA to build long-term wealth through a diversified portfolio. They should also pay down student loans and other debts. Later, when they have more assets, if need be they may withdraw their original Roth IRA investment plus up to $10,000 penalty free for a first-time home purchase.

That is sound strategy, and would have been especially valuable advice before the housing collapse. Today the housing market is on firmer footing. Banks remain careful about extending credit, and in June the median price for an existing home rose 6.5% to a record $236,400, at last topping the previous high of $230,400 set in July 2006—before the bust. The pace of homes being sold is the strongest since 2007. All this suggests the market is in full recovery, though the prominent economist Robert Shiller, as ever, is raising red flags about a bubble.

At the same time, Millennials, a generation that pioneered the sharing economy and many of whom have claimed to never want to own anything, are poised to enter the housing market. A Digital Risk survey found that 70% of 18-to-34 year olds are interested in purchasing a home in the next five years. If they act on that interest, it will further boost the housing recovery—and if they commit to staying their house and saving a bit on the side, they will begin to build long-term wealth much like their parents and grandparents.

Read next: These States Offer the Most Help for Buying a Home

TIME Money

The 7 Biggest Financial Mistakes to Avoid

money-spilling-hole-bag
Getty Images

Missing a student loan payment

As author and leadership guru Dale Carnegie once said, “discouragement and failure are two of the surest stepping stones to success.”

So, naturally, one of my favorite questions to ask guests on my daily podcast So Money is, “What was your biggest financial failure or mistake?”

Not because I want to embarrass them, but because those missteps inevitably reveal invaluable lessons and, in many cases, pave the way towards big wins.

Since launching the show, I’ve had the honor of interviewing everyone from top entrepreneurs to bestselling authors and entertainment personalities including Tim Ferriss, Ryan Holiday, and Margaret Cho.

Here’s what they — and four others — had to say about a personal financial failure.

David Pottruck: ‘Investing in startups.’

David Pottruck, the former CEO of Charles Schwab and now chairman of HighTower Advisors, says that after leaving Schwab, he began investing in small startup companies without any prior experience.

For example, remember Eos Airlines? Pottruck says investing in it was a big ol’ fail.

“… A good idea does not necessarily create a good business and a good business does not necessarily translate into a good investment,” Pottruck told me. “So, you have to look at something in terms of its idea value, its value as a business and then its value as an investment. All of those are different, and so I didn’t know that, and I had to learn that.”

Listen to the full interview with David Pottruck.

Tim Ferriss: ‘Failing to find my market.’

“You should not make a product and then find your market,” says Tim Ferriss. “You should choose your market and then make your product. You should know exactly who you’re making something for and not get stuck as a lot of engineers do, creating something with a bunch of features and then attempting to figure out who you’re going to sell it to.”

The multiple New York Times best-selling author learned this lesson the hard way, confessing that after teaching his speed-reading seminar he was eager to create a product that allowed him to offer seminars without always having to be physically present.

So, he created an audio-book, “How I Beat the Ivy League,” and invested in the project using most of his savings and a lot of his time. Ultimately, he sold only two copies — including one to his mom, he joked.

Listen to the full interview with Tim Ferriss.

Margaret Cho: ‘Not buying an apartment.’

Award-winning comedian Margaret Cho shared with me that one of her biggest mistakes was saying no to a friend who offered her a really great real estate deal back in 1994.

A friend had offered her the apartment in New York City from the movie “9 ½ Weeks” for less than $400,000. She declined the offer at the time, even though she had the money. Now she estimates it’s worth between $8-9 million.

Although it would have been a great real estate investment, Cho doesn’t look back. She says, “I was really scared to buy a house. And I really remained scared to buy a house until I bought a house … But to me, I live very, very comfortably now and really never took those kinds of risks.”

Listen to the full interview with Margaret Cho.

Rebecca Jarvis: ‘Missing a student loan payment.’

“When you don’t pay a student loan, it is a very big deal. And it can, in a very significant way, change your credit and have a major impact on your life moving forward,” ABC News chief business and economics correspondent Rebecca Jarvis recalls.

Jarvis says her biggest financial fail was missing a payment on her student loans. The missed payment not only affected her credit, but her parents’ credit as well.

“Everything ultimately worked out,” Jarvis says, “but to me, that was a pretty significant lesson, and I know it sounds, maybe to some people it doesn’t sound like that big of a deal. It is.”

Listen to the full interview with Rebecca Jarvis.

Dave Asprey: ‘Losing $6 million in 2 years.’

By age 26, Dave Asprey, author of “The Bulletproof Diet,” had earned $6 million dollars in equity at his company, Exodus Communications.

It was a $36 billion dollar company, and Asprey was the youngest person to attend board meetings. But $6 million wasn’t enough.

He was eager and hungry to make more. He wanted to reach the $10 million mark, so he pursued investment deals without seeking professional help. By age 28, he lost the $6 million and ended back at zero.

Looking back, he says, “… What I should have done was quit my job, [sell] all of my shares, and [retire].”

Listen to the full interview with Dave Asprey.

Ryan Holiday: ‘Applying for a mortgage while self-employed.’

Best-selling author and media strategist Ryan Holiday regrets initiating the home-buying process after he left his post as director of marketing at American Apparel.

“If I had just looked … two months earlier it would have probably saved me the biggest nightmare of my life, which was applying for a mortgage as a self-employed person,” he says.

The process involved mountains of paperwork and was incredibly arduous and time consuming. The bank was very demanding due to the fact that he was self-employed (i.e. “risky”) and they wanted more paperwork than usual.

He goes on to say, “When you’re self-employed … and then when you apply for a loan or you’re setting a business up … all of a sudden now your internal system is now being subject to somebody else’s system and those don’t match very well.”

Listen to the full interview with Ryan Holiday.

Dan Price: ‘Not being prepared for the recession.’

Dan Price, the 30-year-old CEO of Gravity Payments who raised his company’s minimum wage to $70,000 per year (and slashed his own from $1 million to $70,000), says that in 2008, the small nonprofit he was running was ill-prepared for the financial crash.

This resulted in him having to — ironically — give drastic 80% pay cuts across the board.

“We almost didn’t make it. And so, I promised myself that the next time I faced a recession, I would be prepared for it …” he says.

Listen to the full interview with Dan Price.

This article originally appeared on Business Insider

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MONEY home improvement

How to Get Color in Your Garden Without Spending a Fortune

For Sale sign illustration
Robert A. Di Ieso, Jr.

Q: Not a single flower is blooming in my yard. We had so many in spring, but every July and August, we’re left with monotone greenery. Can we add late-summer color without spending a fortune?

A: Yours is a common problem in the northern tier of the country, where the vast majority of plants bloom in spring. But the good news is that there are plenty of affordable ways to add flowers throughout the summer and into the fall, says Tony Abruscato, director of Chicago Flower & Garden Show.

The easiest, most affordable solution is annuals—that is, plants that complete their entire life cycle in just one year. Annuals don’t come back from year to year, although you’ll sometimes get lucky and the seeds they release in the fall will sprout new plants in the spring.

The great thing about annuals is they bloom pretty much nonstop for the whole growing season, especially if you remove spent flowers to encourage new ones to form. They also spread, so a small patch of them will expand into a large patch over the course of the summer.

Annuals are also extremely low cost: about $1 to $6 per plant, versus $12 to $30 (or more) for a perennial, a plant that goes dormant for the winter and comes back the next year.

Color Options

You can get annuals that flower in almost any color. Many thrive in shady areas, which are tricky spots for flowering perennials. Popular annuals include impatiens, zinnias, petunias, begonias, dahlias, geraniums, and verbena.

Abruscato also recommends tropical perennials, which can’t tolerate northern winters and so die off each winter like annuals. These include Mexican petunia, Mexican sage, and ginger lily. “If you plant them in pots, you can move them indoors for the winter, and put them back out next spring,” he says .

There are also many standard perennials that will bloom late in the growing season. And because most people’s attention has turned from gardening to vacationing this time of year, you can often get them at a 40% to 50% discount. That means you can probably pick up a plant that will add color every July, August, or September for perhaps $10 to $15.

Abruscato suggests several long-blooming perennials: black-eyed Susan, Echinacea, astilbe, aster, geranium Rozanne, allium, Lacey blue Russian sage, and oak leaf hydrangea. Rose of Sharon shrubs also offer late-season flowers, he notes.

Ask your local garden center for plant recommendations that are suitable for your area. Then select a mix of bloom times, so something is always putting on a show in your yard.

TIME real estate

For $725 Million You Can Buy This Massive, Historic Texas Ranch

Texas, Your Texas
Donovan Reese Photography—Getty Images Texas cowboy on a Texas ranch.

It was a favorite of Will Rogers and Teddy Roosevelt

A Texas ranch featuring more than 1,000 oil wells, 6,800 head of cattle, 30,000 acres of cropland, and a tombstone for a horse buried standing up is on the market. You can get all this (and more!) for the cool sum of $725 million.

The ranch “takes days to see,” according to real estate broker Bernard Uechtritz. The W.T. Waggoner Estate Ranch is about 175 miles northwest of Dallas and covers 800 square miles, making it bigger than New York City and Los Angeles combined, reported Bloomberg.

The ranch is being sold whole hog, which means any buyer gets everything on the property, from the 29 tractors to the empty Old Taylor bourbon bottles that sit in an old hunting lodge. If Waggoner sells for its asking price, it will be the biggest publicly known sum ever paid for a U.S. ranch. The most paid to date was $175 million for a Colorado spread in 2007.

The ranch has a storied history and is going on the market after a local judge ordered the sale of the property, ending 20 years of litigation between dueling branches of the Waggoner family, which has owned the property almost as long as Texas has been a state.

Here’s just some of the interesting items that come with the sale:

  • IBM Selectric typewriter
  • 500 quarter horses (for which the ranch is known)
  • Pink poodle lamp
  • 1998 Bell 206B-3 JetRanger II helicopter
  • Dogs named Shoog, Bee, Jazz, CoCo, and Brute

Read more at Bloomberg.com.

MONEY real estate

Seniors Are Seeking Out States Where Marijuana is Legal

senior woman smoking marijuana pipe
Norma Jean Gargasz—Alamy

The top moving destination in 2014 was Oregon, which voted to legalize marijuana last November.

When choosing retirement locales, a few factors pop to mind: climate, amenities, proximity to grandchildren, access to quality healthcare.

Chris Cooper had something else to consider – marijuana laws.

The investment adviser from Toledo had long struggled with back pain due to a fractured vertebra and crushed disc from a fall. He hated powerful prescription drugs like Vicodin, but one thing did help ease the pain and spasms: marijuana.

So when Cooper, 57, was looking for a place to retire, he ended up in San Diego, since California allows medical marijuana. A growing number of retirees are also factoring in the legalization of pot when choosing where to spend their golden years.

“Stores are packed with every type of person you can imagine,” said Cooper who takes marijuana once or twice a week, often orally. “There are old men in wheelchairs, or women whose hair is falling out from chemotherapy. You see literally everybody.”

Cooper, who figures he spends about $150 on the drug each month, is not alone in retiring to a marijuana-friendly state.

Twenty-three states and the District of Columbia have laws legalizing medical marijuana use. A handful – Colorado, Oregon, Washington, Alaska, and D.C. – allow recreational use as well.

The U.S. legal marijuana market was $2.7 billion in 2014, a figure expected to rise to $3.4 billion this year, according to ArcView Market Research.

Figuring out how many people are retiring to states that let you smoke pot is challenging since retirees do not have to check off a box on a form saying why they chose a particular location to their final years.

But “there is anecdotal evidence that people with health conditions which medical marijuana could help treat, are relocating to states with legalized marijuana,” said Michael Stoll, a professor of public policy at University of California, Los Angeles who studies retiree migration trends.

He cited data from United Van Lines, which show the top U.S. moving destinations in 2014 was Oregon, where marijuana had been expected to be legalized for several years and finally passed a ballot initiative last November.

Two-thirds of moves involving Oregon last year were inbound. That is a 5 percent jump over the previous year, as the state “continues to pull away from the pack,” the moving company said in a report.

The Mountain West – including Colorado, which legalized medical marijuana in 2000, and recreational use in 2012 – boasted the highest percentage of people moving there to retire, United Van Lines said. One-third of movers to the region said they were going there specifically to retire.

Lining Up for Pot

The image of marijuana-using seniors might seem strange, but it is the byproduct of a graying counterculture. Much of the baby boom generation was in college during the 1960s and 70s, and have had much more familiarity with the drug than previous generations.

Many of the health afflictions of older Americans push them to seek out dispensaries for relief.

“A lot of the things marijuana is best at are conditions which become more of an issue as you get older,” said Taylor West, deputy director of the Denver-based National Cannabis Industry Association. “Chronic pain, inflammation, insomnia, loss of appetite: All of those things are widespread among seniors.”

Since those in their 60s and 70s presumably have no desire to be skulking around on the criminal market in states where usage is outlawed, it makes sense they would gravitate to states where marijuana is legal.

“In Colorado, since legalization, many dispensaries have seen the largest portion of sales going to baby boomers and people of retirement age,” West said.

The folks at the sales counters agree: Their clientele has proven to be surprisingly mature.

“Our demographic is not punk kids,” added Karl Keich, founder of Seattle Medical Marijuana Association, a collective garden in Washington State. “About half of the people coming into our shop are seniors. It’s a place where your mother or grandmother can come in and feel safe.”

Read next: Can You Buy Marijuana With a Credit Card?

MONEY financial advice

Financial Website Brothers Share Their Best Financial Advice

BrightScope co-founders Mike and Ryan Alfred talk about retirement savings and their biggest money mistakes.

Save until it hurts was the first thing Mike Alfred, a co-founder of BrightScope, said about retirement savings, and that’s part of his best financial advice to give others as well. “Live below your means,” he said, “which sounds very simple in theory but it much more difficult in practice.” His brother Ryan, the other BrightScope co-founder, suggests keeping your investments at arms-length so you’re not tempted to overanalyze them.

Mike said his biggest mistake was buying in to the dot-com bubble, while Ryan talks about how they funded a large part of their business on their own credit cards.

Read next: The Co-founders of BrightScope Share The Painful Secret to Retirement Success

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