Dear Dave: I’d like to get involved in real estate investing, but I don’t have a lot of cash at present. What do you think of the idea of crowdfunding as a way to invest in real estate?
Dear Adam: I’ve got a bunch of real estate, and I love it. But I wouldn’t go the crowdfunding route as a way to get started in real estate investing. I wouldn’t give someone money to buy real estate in a crowdfunding scenario, either.
The late Beverly Sills had a great saying: “There are no shortcuts to anyplace worth going.”
Investing in real estate is wonderful when you do it right. Get out of debt first, pay cash and find great bargains. When you get in a hurry, and do dumb stuff like go into debt or get mixed up with partnerships in the process, real estate’s a horrible investment.
I admire your ambition, Adam, but I would advise you to follow my lead on this one. You’ll be glad you did.
Dear Dave: How late is too late to get life insurance?
Dear Anonymous: It’s pretty easy to get term life insurance — the only kind of life insurance I recommend — up until around age 70. Depending on your overall health situation, there are a few affordable policies available past that point, but once you get into your 70s and beyond it can be difficult to find reasonably priced coverage.
I recommend that most people have 10 to 12 times their annual income wrapped up in a good, level term-life insurance policy. But honestly, you shouldn’t need life insurance at 70 or older. If you’ve been wise with your money, and saved and invested, you should be self-insured by that point. This means having plenty of cash in the bank to cover burial expenses and enough for a spouse to live on after you’re gone.
Dave Ramsey is a financial consultant, author and radio host.