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Dec. 5, 2021

71. Achieving Early Financial Independence in Your 20s with Dan Sheeks

71. Achieving Early Financial Independence in Your 20s with Dan Sheeks

Join Mike Cavaggioni with Dan Sheeks on the 71st episode of the Average Joe Finances Podcast to discuss achieving early financial independence in their early 20s. Dan is the founder of SheeksFreaks, an online community dedicated to helping young people learn money management skills, real estate investing, and early financial independence. He shares how he helps teens learn financial literacy. He is also a BiggerPockets author!

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • A passionate high school teacher helping teens get educated in terms of finances
  • Why someone with a mentality of reaching financial independence is a “freak”
  • Job traps that most people, typically young, get caught in
  • What the FIRE movement is all about, and who is it for
  • The Happiness Curve and how it affects one’s financial independence journey
  • And much more!

About Dan Sheeks:

Dan is a high school Business/Marketing teacher, real estate investor, and personal finance advocate in Denver, Colorado. He and his wife have a variety of real estate investments, including multifamily, single-family, Airbnb, and out-of-state BRRRRs (buy, rehab, rent, refinance, repeat).

Dan launched SheeksFreaks in late 2019, an online community dedicated to helping young people learn money management skills, start investing in real estate, and pursue early financial independence. The SheeksFreaks community aims to help those between 15- and 25-years old use specific methods of saving, earning extra income, and investing to set them on a track to purchase real estate investment properties in their early 20s and achieve financial independence at a young age.

Find Dan Sheeks on: 

  • Website: https://www.sheeksfreaks.com/
  • Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sheeksfreaks/
  • Personal Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dsheeks/
  • LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dan-sheeks-0ab489106/
  • YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-zSyE5oX0L_npo00xDCsYw
  •  Bigger Pockets Book Link https://biggerpockets.com/teen
  • 7-Day free trial mentioned in the show: https://averagejoefinances.com/sheeksfreaks/ (Use code: "averagejoe" all lower case)
  • Dan's email: dan@sheeksfreaks.com
  • Get the book: https://amzn.to/3IO8tAb

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Transcript
Average Joe Finances:

Hey, how's it going everybody? So today's guest is Dan Sheeks and Dan is a high school business marketing teacher, a real estate investor, and a personal finance advocate based out of Denver, Colorado. In his 18 years of teaching high school, he has taught a variety of business subjects, including personal finance. Entrepreneurship and marketing Dan's passions include working with teenagers, advocating for personal finance education, investing in real estate and promoting the fire movement embedded in his classes is the co-curricular DECA club in which students travel, compete, acquire leadership skills, do community service and have fun. His students have completed the national level in entrepreneurship, personal finance, marketing, and hospitality services with much success over the years. So Dan launched this thing called Sheek freaks back in 2019, it's an online community that's dedicated to helping young people learn money management skills. Start investing in real estate and pursue early financial independence. The Sheek freaks community aims to help teens use specific methods of saving, earning extra income and investing to set them on a track to purchase real estate investment properties in their early twenties and achieve financial independence at a young age. So Dan and his wife have a variety of real estate investments, including multifamily, single family. Airbnb and out-of-state BRRRRs. They currently have 15 units in Colorado and Michigan. So Dan, awesome background. I am super excited to have you on the show. Thanks for joining me today.

Dan Sheeks:

Yeah, Mike excited to be here. Thanks for having me and looking forward to it.

Average Joe Finances:

Yeah, absolutely. The first question I want to ask you right out the doors, the same thing I ask everybody, right? And that's, if you could tell a little bit more about your story, I kind of gave like a wave top brief of your background, but how did this all get started for you.

Dan Sheeks:

Honestly, it's not that interesting of a story. I I've been teaching high school for 19 years now. I'm a business and marketing teacher at a public high school in the south Denver Metro area. So I've always been interested in business. And more recently I'd say five, six years ago really got into. Real estate investing the early five movement or the fire movement. Some people call it and advocating for personal finance education for our young people, specifically high school kids. That's kinda my niche. And yeah, so you add all that together and started the community that you mentioned, have a book out now and just have a mission to help as many young people live their best life as it.

Average Joe Finances:

Yeah that's fantastic. And what I really like about this is it's very similar to what our mission is here with average Joe finances, right? And that's promoting this financial education and showing people that, Hey, anyone can do it, especially like the average Joe. And I like how target the younger generation, because, it's actually really refreshing to hear of a high school teacher that is teaching personal finance and different things like that, because it is not something you hear about in the public education system. Like at all. It's not something that's really taught in school. To know that you're out here impacting these young lives can really set some of these young people up for success. In the near future. And I'm talking, when I say near future, I'm talking about post-graduation from high school, they've got a good foundation to go off of to start building that dream life that they want. So I want to thank you for what you're doing with that service. That's absolutely fantastic. And the community that you're building I'm really excited to share that and talk about that today. So you said you got into the FIRE movement and just, personal finance and all of that, about five to six years ago. And now, what is it that drew you to it? What is it that that flipped the switch and said, Hey this is something I really want to get down with and look into to, to better my life and better my situation. And what are you doing right now on your own personal journey into financial freedom?

Dan Sheeks:

Yeah. So at that time, five or six years ago, a couple of things happened. One had one rental property and I was always pretty good with my money. I didn't overspend. I did make a lot of mistakes, but I wasn't awful. And at that time I met my wife, my now wife and she had been investing in real estate for a couple of years at that point. So when we met she really reinforced the idea of real estate being the best wealth builder that there is at least in our opinion. That's true. So when we met each other, it was two plus two equals 10. Like we just took off and we've been buying real estate ever since. So that was when it started and why it started when we met each other, we, the same time we found, or we did find the bigger pockets community and their blog and podcasts and all that stuff became really big fans of bigger pockets, quickly digested, a lot of what they had the content that they put out and have been ever since, honestly. And yeah, we just went all in on real estate and that's worked out really well for us. We have other investments, but that's our main. Our main focus is real estate and yeah, that's where it started.

Average Joe Finances:

Yeah. That is absolutely amazing. And so you see me, I'm looking down I'm actually sitting here taking some notes while you're talking. And that whole two plus two equals 10, that is some serious compound interest right there. So the sparks must've been flying between the two of you. That's fantastic. Especially when you meet somebody that is on the same wavelength as you and wants to complete the same, this is a word I use often being in the military. But they want to complete the same mission that you want to complete. And then talking about bigger pockets, right? So that's definitely a catalyst for a lot of people where they get started. It's where, one of the places where I got started too I've been listening to podcasts for a while. And most of the stuff I listened to was not personal finance related. It was just different things. And when I found bigger pockets after I started really looking into getting getting into real estate, it is the first podcast that I listened to. Like religiously new episode comes out like that morning it's on during my commute to work. And then it's on the way home because usually, I can finish an episode on the way to work and on the way back home Sometimes it's tough because I'll show up, I'll get there. And I just want to sit in the car and just finish the episode. I'm like, ah, I gotta go in though. I got to go in. But yeah, it's, that's definitely something that's very refreshing because if you weren't like at a younger age when you discovered this. If this was five to six years ago, I don't want to like, show your age here, but I think you and I are pretty close in age. I'm 37. And, I started around this time too, like a little bit later and I've gotten to the point where, next year I will be reaching, I'll be right at the cusp of being financially independent. And I was able to do this over a couple of years of just being serious about what my goals are and, the fact that I'm seeing somebody else do something very similar. It makes me realize that, this isn't just for, somebody who is privileged or anything like that, anybody can do this. And it's just a matter of, putting your mind to it being disciplined and setting goals and setting boundaries. I want to talk about that a little bit as well. One of the things I have a whole list of things I want to talk to you about. So I wanna, I want to find the right thing. Now there is. There's a book that we're going to talk about. You have a book coming out. It's called first to a million. One of the things you talk about in there is, or I guess the introduction is becoming a FI freak, right? A financial independence freak. And one of the things you talked about in the introduction of the book, and I really liked this, and I put this in my notes here is. Financial freak is someone who doesn't just subscribe to the commonly accepted life rules of what everybody thinks. The typical American dream is. That, you're here. You have to work, 40 years. You have to go to college to be successful. You have to have a really nice car and a big house. And that when you think about personal finances it's too complicated. And that you have to look wealthy to be wealthy and you should spend all your money as you make it. That whole Yolo thing that, and that's probably something that can relate to a lot of the youth right now, too, is right. You, they want to have this appearance, this image and social media has not been the kindest when it comes to that, because. People are very judgmental. And as much as we want to say that we're not, we are right. And people will try to push this stuff out on social media to try to show them living this life that they're really not living. And one of the things I like that you talk about is that, you don't have to accept that is not the life that you have to accept. Why is it that. Somebody who has this mentality of reaching financial independence or financial independence freak as you call them the book, why don't they subscribe to this normal every day life that, that you see typical Americans subscribing themselves to?

Dan Sheeks:

Yeah that typical life that you mentioned, I refer to that as the typical American dream pathway that most people subscribe to or follow and really it's because that's the only path that they think there is. And by the way, there's nothing wrong with that typical American dream pathway. It is a proven method. It's worked for millions and millions of people. It's a very noble way to live. And it can provide a lot of happiness. It's, there's nothing wrong with it. It's not. But I, the reason I have the community and the book and I do what I do is so that people know that there are other options and it's always good to have options. So why not learn about the other ones? And again, my focus is on young people. I like to say 15 to 25 years old. That's my niche. That's where my passion is working with teenagers and, college age students. And I call them freaks. The book is has that theme, right? It's all about becoming a freak. Because well, one, it, it rhymes with my last name, so that was handy, but two is, if you're a young person and you actually think about your financial future and you're taking steps to improve your financial future, like listening to a podcast or reading books or following blogs, social media accounts that have to do with this kind of content. Then you are a young person who is not normal because most young people don't ever think about this kind of stuff. And so you're different, you're exceptional, you're unique. And so you're freakish, but in a good way. And so that's where the Sheeks freaks came from the five freak financial independence freak came from my book that I wrote. There's a lot of really good books out there for young people and teenagers about personal finance and that's a good thing. But my book, to my knowledge, it's the only book for teams that is specifically about achieving early financial independence. How do you get out of that rat race decades before turning 65?

Average Joe Finances:

Yeah. Again, that's something that's not common that you don't see a lot of young people talking about, it's funny because I recently had someone reach out to me on LinkedIn and I was surprised because it was a 16 year old kid reached out to me on LinkedIn and said, Hey, I just want to let you know, I've been listening to your podcast. And I think it's really awesome. And I'm immediately going to message him and say, Hey, I got this episode coming out that you're going to have to listen to and oh, by the way, go check out Sheeks freaks for sure. Because yeah, absolutely. Cause that is the type of, the community that you're building, is something that will change lives like for the better. And like you said, there's nothing wrong with the typical American dream. There's nothing wrong with that typical lifestyle. People need to understand that there are other options out there besides that.. And, if you want to, live your life while you're a little younger and not have to wait until you're in your sixties, to where you really can't enjoy it because you want to go out jet skiing, but you can't because your back hurts or something like that. There's opportunity to do that while you're younger, but it's, you have to change your mindset. You have to change your lifestyle. There was something that you put in the introduction of your book that I really liked. It's an analogy that you hear about often where one of the employees is checking out the boss's car, the Lamborghini. And he's oh man, that's super cool. And the boss walks up to him and he's yeah. He's if you continue to work hard and keep doing what you're doing, I'll be able to afford another one next year. And it's so funny because. I think a younger person reading that would understand it a little bit different that they'll look at it like, wow. That might be the thing that flips the switch because going into life after high school or after college as an employee, that's typically what you're doing. Not necessarily always the case. But when you're, in a nine to five or you're you've got yourself in the rat race, that's typically the path that you're choosing. And then you talk about Jimmy and I have to mention this because you say that Jimmy is the typical average Joe. And how the reader like, can relate to them. And how, Hey, this can be you 10 years from now. And he's living the typical American life that a majority of us do. And. What Jimmy is doing. What most people do is he's living this lifestyle and making someone else wealthy. And there's not like we said before, like there's nothing wrong with being an employee. But. You can still be an employee and work towards financial independence and work towards financial freedom and build your wealth. And there's definitely different ways to do that. I know you're working a nine to five job and you're doing it yourself. You're investing in real estate, I'm working a nine to five job and investing in real estate and other small businesses. And it's little things like that you can build and build upon. Typically you'll see the everyday person they'll live their life and they'll put their contributions away into their, IRA and 401k and then that's it that, by the time they're 65. Sure. They're set off pretty good, but you're 65 now. And you've lost a lot of the younger years of your life. Yeah. Okay. I want to get away from that. I can be long-winded when it comes to this kind of stuff. I want to talk about, so with these jobs with working in a nine to five, whatever that may be there, there are some times, and I'm pretty sure it's mentioned the book too, that there's these traps, right? These jobs traps. So what would you call like a job trap.

Dan Sheeks:

Yeah. In the book I mentioned to two traps one is the paycheck to paycheck trap, right? Where someone just gets into a habit. And this is part of the typical American dream. As you kinda mentioned, that they spend everything they make or very close and whatever they are saving, they don't have access to it. Because it's going into a 401k or something like that. So if you're spending everything you make. You got to pay your bills every month. And so you need that paycheck every month. So to quit a job, to change jobs or change careers, or start at, start your own business. That's just not an option for a lot of people because there's that transition that's really risky. How am I going to pay my bills after I get my last paycheck with the job I currently have and switching to a job that I'm going to get, or starting a new business, and who knows when money comes in? So that's a trap. One is that they just don't have the ability to take that risk. And then the other one I write about is the idea that once they're in a job, they, a lot of us tend to stay there because. We don't want to have to update our resume. We don't want to have to go through the job interview process. We don't want to have to apply for 50 jobs to have 10 interviews to get two second interviews and maybe one job offer. We don't want to run through that gauntlet of different chores. That's not fun. And they just stay where they're at.

Average Joe Finances:

Like being complacent. You're just, you're complacent with that job and you don't want to change anything. And one of the things we say in the military too, is complacency kills. You sit here and you get complacent in something and that's when everything goes wrong. Yeah. Yeah. Okay. That's a.

Dan Sheeks:

I would say complacency kills creativity in the area that we're talking about. When people can't go and do what they're really passionate about or create that business, they've always wanted to cause they complacent in the job. It's paying the bills and that's just the life I'm going to have for. 40 plus years, which is a long time

Average Joe Finances:

That, yeah, .That could definitely be a long time. So I'm coming up on finishing my 20 years in the Navy and then I'm done with that. So thank you. Thank you. Yeah, I appreciate it. And I know you're getting close to to wrap it up your time as a, as an educator and a teacher For the career field not in general. Cause I can see with what you're doing right now, especially with this book and the community that you're building, you're going to be teaching for a long time. And the beautiful part about it is because of, how much you enjoy doing it. I could definitely tell that you're passionate about this. When you're doing something that you really love doing, can you even really consider that work? So it's definitely something that's cool. Okay. So talking about the FIRE movement, right? Financial independence retire early. So who is the fire movement for?

Dan Sheeks:

It's a select group, actually. I don't think it's for everybody. Early financial independence is not something that's easy to get. It does require making some choices that are not there that are freakish, honestly. Just like entrepreneurship is not for everybody. Being in the Navy is not for everybody being a teacher is not for everybody. So the FIRE movement is for people who have the mindset where they're willing to make those different choices. And I don't like to use the word sacrifice because that's not part of the journey. But you're also not going to be able to spend everything you make and achieve really financial independence. So you're going to have some element of frugality. And so it's for those people who, if you want up to anybody and said, would you like to have the ability to retire or do whatever you want, earlier in life. I think everyone would say yes, but then the followup is well, that's possible to proven journey many people have done it already. So here's the list of things you need to do. Not everybody's on onboard for that. And that's fine. Yeah, I think the FIRE movement is for those people who were actually willing to pull the trigger and make some of these adjustments in their life and earn more and save less and invest wisely. It's kinda what it comes down to so that they can reach that milestone decades before 65 and then have many more options in their life.

Average Joe Finances:

Yeah, absolutely. So I'm sitting here taking notes as you're talking again. And when you say how FIRE is not for everybody, the idea of FIRE is something that everybody loves right now. You had mentioned that. Any random person said, Hey, if you could retire early and just go live the life you want, would you do it. Of course, they're going to say yes. And then the thing is what are you willing to give up to make that happen? What are you willing to do? And I like how you said it's not a sacrifice. And typically, when we talk about this topic, we talk about the different sacrifices you have to make. And I like how you say it's not a sacrifice because I've always called it a sacrifice too. I always said, oh, I'm sacrificing this to, to gain this. But realistically, it's not a sacrifice. It's a choice. It's a choice that I made to not do something to have a better result elsewhere. Because life's full of choices. I think that's a key thing. And that's why I wanted to write it down. That it's not a sacrifice because I think I have to get that out of my vocabulary, myself personally. So this is like a personal growth thing for me to realize that, Hey, I'm not making sacrifices. I'm making personal choices that affect a better lifestyle. A couple of years from now. And you said that there has to be an element of frugality. Now, a lot of people look at the fire movement and they say, oh yeah those guys, they just, they don't spend on anything and they're coupon cutters and this and that. Cheap and blah, blah, blah. So it's not necessarily that there's some people that are really extreme and it's if they spend more than like a dollar 50 per meal, they're upset. What do you do to, to the people that, that lump everybody into that one category? I guess you can call them like these fire haters, or fire extinguishers. That's what I'm going to call them. You have these FIRE extinguishers. What do you say to somebody like that? That just puts you in this category and thinks that you're nothing, somebody who's a frugal and not like overly frugal, like extreme, and that's what they think everybody is like, how do you respond to something like that?

Dan Sheeks:

First, I love that term. I don't know if you just made that up, but the FIRE extinguishers, that is amazing. The people who are anti FIRE movements. Yeah. They're FIRE extinguishers. And they're out there, I think every movement has always had people who think that it's not doable or it's not a reasonable pathway. Yeah. I don't say anything to them because if someone's mind's made up that the fire, movement's not for them, then that's fine. But for someone who's contemplating the FIRE movement, if they had a question and they said, I don't want to live cheap. I don't want to sacrifice the things that I really care about. I would say that's fine. Cause that's not what the five minutes about. There's a difference between being cheap and being frugal. Cheap is I don't spend any money or I spend as little money as possible. That's cheap frugal is I only spend money on things I value. And there's a big difference there. I always say if you're living frugally, you are absolutely spending money. Sometimes the lavishly spending money on the things that you've done. As you should, the path to fi to get to that point, shouldn't be a path where you're sacrificing your happiness. You should still have an abundant amount of happiness during the journey, and then afterwards as well. So you do still spend money on the things that you value. You just stop spending money on the things you don't. And when people actually start to analyze their spending tracking their expenses is a great way to do. They start realizing I do spend a lot of money on things that don't value. If someone isn't really that, if they're not that into food, they're not a foodie, but they see they're spending hundreds of dollars every week eating out or getting door dash or Uber eats or carry out or the grocery store. They're just not planning their meals well, and they're throwing away a few. There's a lot of money that you could save there and not sacrifice any happiness. Without really, too much of effort and there's so many examples, but there are a lot of things because when you're of that mindset, the traditional American dream pathway that I get to spend everything I make, then we just start spending without really any intentionality. We start wasting money on things that are nice, but we really don't value them or want them at all.

Average Joe Finances:

I liked that. I like what you just said, like spending without intentionality, right? So you with without intention. It's almost like spending money just to spend and, I've had a guest on and we in the past, and one of the things we talked about is like the two different types of people when it comes to money, right? You have spenders and you have saver. And a lot of people think that if you're a spender you can't, you can never save. You can never, invest in anything you can't because you always want to spend I could tell you like my wife and I are polar opposites, right? I'm a spender, she's a saver. And it's funny because here I am. I'm the average Joe finances guy. And here I am calling myself a spender. The thing is, what I did is I changed my mindset. I changed how I looked at how I spend my money. And I pay myself. Now I pay myself first and by paying myself, I pay into my investments. I spend my money there first. Then I pay my bills. And then whatever's left over. That can be, for whatever right. Or reinvested, but I just changed what I'm looking. How I spend my money and what I'm spending it on, and I'm spending it on myself and I'm spending on my wife and I'm spending it on my kids. I'm spending it on our future. So I, I think that's really important because I guess what really changed for me in that point is like what you mentioned. It was my intention. My intention changed when it came to what I was doing with my finances. So it's funny. Cause the thing that was in the back of my head, when I was asking you that question about, the people that are haters of the fire movement, right? The FIRE extinguishers the thing that I had in the back of my head, was it you ever seen that show extreme cheapskates? I think it's on HGTV or TLC or Bravo, one of those?

Dan Sheeks:

No, I don't think so.

Average Joe Finances:

Okay. So my, my wife loves this show and I pop in and look every now and then when she has it on. And sometimes it scares me cause I'm like, don't be getting any ideas from what they're doing, but it basically talks about like the people that are extremely frugal, like to the point where it's almost unhealthy and It's and there was extreme cheapskates and there's another one with time, like with how people save time in their life. And it is absolutely. Over the top. And that's one of the things that I'm talking about, like in the back of my head that people lump us into that, and it doesn't help that there's shows that are, advocating that or like really putting a spotlight on that lifestyle because that is not everybody that's in the FIRE movement. People get scared when you talk about this stuff, people want to run away or they think you're trying to sell them something when really just Hey man you can do this. And here's how here's how I'm doing it. You don't have to do it the same way as me. You don't have to do it the same way as Dan, but there is a way you just. Focus, build goals and work towards achieving them. Not everyone's going to do it the same way and not everyone's method works for everybody. And I think that's something that you had mentioned earlier, right? There's different ways to do it. Like you said, like the Navy is not for everybody being a, teacher's not for everybody being an engineer or a, doctor's not for everybody, but those are high paying jobs. But it comes with a lot of sacrifice too, with the debt and the student loans and all that stuff that comes with it. So there's always choices that we make in our life. And the, I guess the ultimate thing is just making sure that, you choose a path that makes you happy, right? Because there was something else that you mentioned. I wrote this down too, an abundance of happiness, right? You can still live this life while you're building up your financial independence and be happy. You can have that abundance of happiness. And then it's going to flow even more. Once you reach that financial independence journey. And I think a lot of people are mistaken with the, when it comes to FIRE because they focus a lot on the R E portion of that, the retire early and not so much the F I, the financial independence. And I know this is something that was always in the back of my head was like Hey, I like FIRE. I like the whole movement, but I don't know about retiring, in my late thirties and early forties I want to continue doing what I'm doing. Like I have a mission. I have, I really enjoy what I'm doing with this podcast in real estate. I don't want to stop that. I want to keep going. And even when I hit that financial independence number, which I'm very close to where all my expenses are covered by my passive income, it doesn't mean that I'm going to stop. And there's something that that was also in the book that was talking about, when do you stop? It was like the, I think it was called the happiness curve. And it shows when you get to that peak point and then when it starts coming back down. If you could, can you share a little bit about what that is and how that affects, somebody in their financial independence journey?.

Dan Sheeks:

Yeah. So the happiness curve that's in my book is borrowed. I won't say I won't say it's stolen, but teachers are really good at borrowing stuff. That's what we do. Your money or your life by Vicki, Robin and Joe Dominguez. Awesome. Awesome book. If you haven't read it, you should, they have the same thing and they call it the fulfillment curve. I like to call it the happiness curve. So it's borrowed from them. And it basically it's wrapped around the idea of enough having enough plus a little bit. And the happiness curve says that your maximum happiness will peak when you have enough. Plus a little enough means you have everything you need to live a safe, healthy lifestyle. Like you have shelter, you have food, you have security And you have, basic clothing, basic food that's enough, but a little extra is good. We deserve to treat ourselves to a nice vacation or other things that we value. Like maybe you do really love cars. So to have a nice luxury car. Sure. That's enough plus a little but not to be spending things on luxuries that we don't really value that. That's enough plus a lot. So the happiness curve starts to go back down, meaning that our happiness is decreasing as we start to pile on more and more stuff. The more things we have, generally, the more stress we have, the more problems we have, the more we have to think about And so get to that enough, plus a little and then stop. And, you don't need to have tons and tons of money and tons of you don't need to have four houses in 10 cars and, clothes in your closet that you never ever touch or wear. But it's nice to know they're in there, I don't know. So that's the concept of it. It's powerful because it ties in also to frugality, meaning that once you have enough stuff, Just stop. You don't need to buy any more stuff.

Average Joe Finances:

I don't know about the whole, you shouldn't have four houses and 10 cars unless it's, making your money, if you have four houses and you're renting out three of them and you live in one maybe you're running a Turo business man, you got to 10 lambos out there.

Dan Sheeks:

If they are, I know what you're missing money. Then keep them all day long.

Average Joe Finances:

No I know what you meant. I was just, I was joking there. Okay. So actually that's a good segue into the next thing I'm going to talk about is assets, right? And the difference between a real asset and a false asset, and you talk about this in the book too, and the way you break it down is easily digestible. So if you could, can you just share with us a little bit, like what the difference is between a good asset? I'm sorry, a real asset and a false asset.

Dan Sheeks:

Yeah, you bet. And you can call it a good asset or a real asset. So that's also borrowed from. Rich dad, poor dad by Robert Kiyosaki, another favorite book in the FIRE movement. And I don't know if he came up with the concept originally. Probably not, but he definitely made it well-known in his book. And so a real asset is something you own. Puts money into your pocket. That's basically the bottom line. It's building your wealth in one way or another. I have a book it's going to be released any day now, and that is going to be passive income. That's going to be a real asset re rental properties, a real asset, a vending machine, a carwash, something like this. That's producing either cashflow or building your wealth through appreciation, something like that. A false asset is an asset that most people think is real. I love to use a car. That's like the best example. Most people think, oh, my car is an asset. It is, it's a false asset, meaning that it's not putting money into your pocket is taking money out of your pocket with all the expenses involved with the car and it depreciate depreciates over time. It's taking money out of your net worth. It's decreasing your net worth every day. You own that car. I'm not saying you shouldn't own a car, but you should be a little bit more strategic about the type of car and whether you buy a new one or use one, or maybe you don't need to have a car, maybe you can get by without a car.

Average Joe Finances:

Yeah. It's important to be aware of, what that car is to you. And what it actually does.

Dan Sheeks:

Yeah. If you actually understand. How it is taking money out of your pocket and how it is decreasing your net worth. And you still decide that car is valuable to you, then keep it. But most people don't really understand the numbers behind any false asset, like a car.

Average Joe Finances:

Yeah. Right now you've get a L you got a lot of I guess maybe it's more of a false asset. Point of view because I don't maybe, I don't know the right words to say this, but when you, so a lot of people right now will justify buying specific cars because of the way the rental car market is right now. And they're taking advantage of apps like Turo and things like that. And then they'll say, oh, my car is an asset. Yes and no. Sure. It's making you money, but what happens when the rental car market comes back and which we're starting to see out here in Hawaii? We had for a while, like it was a huge boom. And if you had a car on Turo, you were making a killing, but now the rental cars, the rental fleets are building back up and they're lowering their prices again. And it's making the competition for people that are doing like this private car rental, a lot more difficult. So now they're not making as much as they were, three months ago. Some sometimes you get like this, a false pretension thinking that this, that this vehicle is an asset. But it's not. Passive at that point, because you are actively engaged with getting it out, getting it rented, cleaning it and all that stuff and all the expenses that come with it. I think it's, something is, it's funny cause we, a couple of years ago we wouldn't even be having that kind of conversation about whether or not a vehicle could be a false or a real asset. But times change how we look at things. So I dunno, like it's kinda like in the middle for me, I think it's like a vehicle can be like, Right there in the middle. It could lean one way or the other, depending on how you're using it.

Dan Sheeks:

Yeah I've heard that people and what a great, I think this is a great business idea because you can make money off apps like Turo, people buying many cars and just, I don't know if this is a word, but Turro-ing them out on a full-time basis and they have staff. Move the cars where they need to be and pick up the people, the clients, the renters at the airport and all that.

Average Joe Finances:

I got a buddy of mine and they're actually killing it right now.

Dan Sheeks:

I think that's a great idea. I sure go for it. That's a business. And it's somewhat passive. It's not, truly passive, but not many passive income streams are truly passive, real estate being one of them. So I'm all in if that's what you want to try to do, it's a lot less expensive to buy 10 cars than it is to buy 1,000. So maybe that's where you want to get started right now.

Average Joe Finances:

But the difference is, when you look at real estate versus vehicles, a vehicle will constantly depreciate in value, right? Where real estate is the opposite real estate. Generally always appreciates in value, right? So the longer you hold onto it, the more it's worth where vehicle, the longer you hold onto it, the more it just depreciates until it becomes like a classic car, 40 years from now. And then maybe somebody will, at the Jackson auto show pay a hundred thousand dollars for it.

Dan Sheeks:

As a business, if you're building in that depreciation expense into your overall cost structure, as you analyze that business. Then it's a business that cash flows and you can take that cash flow and buy real assets like real estate. So I think it's a great, absolutely. If it's a profitable business, it sounds like a great one. I would like to own one of those. I just don't have the time to do it. If prices are starting to even out and people are making less money on Turo, then That then maybe that's not a long-term business solution for cashflow, but it sounds good to me.

Average Joe Finances:

Yeah. So that's why I said like putting in the middle of where they can fall either way, to the left or to the right. Whether it's a real asset or a false asset, but speaking of assets and, because with that comes debt, when we talk about acquiring these different assets, whether or not it is a real asset or a false asset, it comes with debt, right? So I want to talk about the difference between what is considered good debt and what is considered bad debt. And this is something that we talk about on this show often. So I'd like to get your description of what you would call good debt and bad debt.

Dan Sheeks:

Sure. It's related to real assets and false assets and that good debt. Is that's making you money and bad debt is debt that's not. So great examples would be bad debt is credit card debt. That's the worst kind of debt. Especially if you're paying high interest rates on those credit card balances. Student loans are bad debt. Absolutely. They bought you an asset of an education, but after, after you've graduated and you're working your job, they're just sucking money out of you and those payments are crushing your ability to build wealth in the meantime. Good debt on the other hand, if you stick with that Turo business idea, if you had two or three car loans that allow you to have the cars, which allow you to have the business, which allows you to make cashflow, which more than covers the car loan payments, including the interest, that's a good, that's a good debt. A mortgage on a rental property is good debt. I will take good. All day long every day because it is in the end, it's putting money into your pocket. It's building your wealth.

Average Joe Finances:

That is a great way to describe it. It's the perfect way to describe it because good debt is going to be putting money in your pocket, bad debt's only going to be taking money away. It's just that simple. Okay. So this is all fantastic information that Dan has in this book. And then some, like this is only like tip of the iceberg stuff. And again, this book targets young people, but I can tell you right now I got an advanced copy of it and I got to take a look at it and, there's lessons in here for people that are a little bit older as well. If this is something that you haven't really ever gotten yourself into, you might not want to do the selfie weeks or anything like that. But it's cool because there's different things in there. There's spots to take notes to write down your goals. It's almost like a workbook too, so it's a, it's pretty good. So Dan, I actually, I would like to talk about that real quick and give you a chance to plug this book that you have coming out. So it's called a first to a million, and it's, again, it's targeting younger people, but the information that's in this book is absolutely invaluable, right? To anybody that's trying to get themselves in a good spot where you're, the only debt you have is essentially good debt. And your building passive income and building your wealth, which is what our focus is. So if you could, where can people find out more information about you, the book and all that stuff? Cause we want to know more about you. I know there's people that are listening right now saying, man, this is good stuff. And we want to know about Dan. So where can people find you and tell us about the book?

Dan Sheeks:

Yeah. And before I get to that, Mike, I'll just say yeah the subtitle of the book. A teenager's guide to achieving early financial freedom. But like you said, the book is not just for teenagers, anybody. I don't care what age you are. Thirties, forties, fifties, anybody who's new to the FIRE movement, to the early financial independence, strategies and concepts, this book would be super, super helpful. There's pieces of it that wouldn't be relevant to you, but I'd say 75% would be very valuable. And it's funny, you mentioned a workbook because I wrote the book first to a million, and then I also wrote a workbook that goes along with it. And the workbook is, in my opinion, honestly, probably more valuable than the book because the workbook. Walks that teen or reader through about a five-year period of their life. And it's broken into four month increments. We call them freak phases. And in every freak phase, it gives you a, it gives them a list of things to accomplish. Usually there's another book that they should read and some things about frugality and side hustles and passive income, like specifically the workbook it tells them what to do when to do, how to do it and why they're doing it. It walks in. And so it's, it makes it as easy as I could to go from a high school student to financially independent or are very well on their way to financial independence over that five-year period. Yeah. If your listeners are teens or young people, or if they know teens or young people the book and the workbook are available December 6th, 2021. So right about now I think on the bigger pockets website, it's a great stocking stuffer holiday gift, by the way. The timing is perfect for that. If they go to biggerpockets.com/teen. T E E N they'll find the book and the workbook. If they buy them together, they'll actually get a nice discount. And if they buy them from biggerpockets.com, they will get bonus content. They'll get some extra featured free case studies. There's six in the book, but there's many more in the bonus content. They can get some downloadable financial charts specifically for young people. And they'll get some, if they buy the book, they'll get bonus content, which has some downloadable pages from the workbook as well. In addition, if they are interested in joining my online community, which has got many young people from around the country, just crushing it. These are those freaks that are between 15 and 25 who want to be around other freaks that are doing all these types of things. They can go to my website sheeksfreaks.com and they'll see right, there is a button to join the community. There's a free version of the community. There always will be that has great value for just being a free member. But then there's also a premium membership which has more features obviously. And so they can look around and see which one they want. If the young person decides they want to get the paid membership into the Sheeks freaks community. If they on the checkout page, there's a place for a discount code. They can put it average joe, all one word, all lower case a and they'll get a nice discount on the paid membership. There's a seven day free trial, so it's pretty risk-free to jump in any way and just see what it's all about. But if they go past that seven day free trial, they'll get a nice discount with the discount code average joe.

Average Joe Finances:

All right. That's fantastic. And also we'll have a link to that as well. That will take you directly to that. It'll be averagejoefinances.com/sheeksfreaks. Because this is something that, I myself personally believe in. I think the community that Dan is building is absolutely amazing. And now Dan there's one more thing I need from you is where can we find out more about you? We've got the book we know your website, but are you on social media or anything like that?

Dan Sheeks:

Yeah, I have I have two Instagram pages. One is Sheeks freaks. One is my personal, so they can find me on Instagram D Sheeks. I'm also on LinkedIn and anybody can shoot me an email at dan@sheeksfreaks.com.

Average Joe Finances:

All right. That's fantastic. So I want to make sure we get that out there because we talked about some super important stuff and I'm pretty sure that's gonna be people that want to know more about what you're doing. It has been an absolute privilege and honor to have you on the show today. I really thank you for taking the time to talk with me and our listeners and share not only your story, but sharing this path for other people that they can follow and giving them that choice. Because it is a choice if you want to go this route so again, thank you so much.

Dan Sheeks:

And Mike, thanks for having me. And by the way, keep doing what you're doing. We're both fighting the good fight, trying to get all this great information out there. Keep crushing. It love what you're doing and thanks for having me.

Average Joe Finances:

Absolutely and Aloha.