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Building Generational Wealth

I released an earlier publication debunking the Robert Kiyosaki platitude that a primary residence is not an asset. A primary residence is an asset. I think I did an effective job countering his ideology and articulating my position. But, I want to give you a deeper rationale of why a home is an asset. But, in order to do so, let me give you some personal background on my family.

The universe blessed me with some pretty fantastic parents. My father, a part of the Silent Generation (those born between 1928 and 1945), grew up with a lot of trauma that affected him to this day. The nameless generation went through a lot that proceeding generations cannot empathize with. He grew up during a time of racial hostility. He grew up helping his parents Sharecrop. He knows how it feels to labor all year only to break even and not have two nickels to rub together. With his parents struggling and not having a home they owned, my father joined the military so that he could buy the family a house. He said the home he purchased was a Shell Home, meaning the builders just secured the foundation, plumbing, exterior walls, and roof. The interior was left for the homeowner to finish (plumbing, electrical, interior walls, kitchen, bath, etc.). Every month, my father would send money back to the family. When he came home for breaks in duty, he would help finish the interior. They did this gradually, but they had a home. They owned land. This was big for a lot of people, particularly blacks, in the 60s.

In the 2000s, my father sold our DC residence and he and my mother moved back down south. He always wanted to own a lot of land and farm, and that is what he is doing. He loves it. He is re-doing his childhood but in the manner that he envisioned it, with an abundance of acres, cattle, and machinery. He is doing this just for fun.

Every time me, my children, or my nephews go down to visit, we always get a tour of the property. He continually reminds us that he is on the back end of his life and that this will be ours to enjoy.

The point that I am making is that Robert Kiyosaki’s ideology that a home is not an asset but a liability is a total fabrication and a shallow, baseless mindset. Homes do have expenses with them. But, they also help to establish generational wealth.

In order to build that generational wealth, it has to start with someone. I am fortunate that my father was thinking about land ownership, has amassed a large real estate portfolio, and is considerate enough to want to leave his offspring with real property. Others may not be so fortunate and may have to be the one to begin the generational wealth cycle for their family. And, if the offspring go out and acquire real property of their own, then the real estate empire will grow with each generation.

Sometimes, we are not the beneficiaries of our homestead. The expenses associated with real estate ownership can be costly and someone must assume that burden. But, there are times when we are blessed through our ancestors with generational wealth. If we, or our heirs, are lucky enough to inherit property with a free and clear title, knowing that we, or they, have a place to live without worrying about one of the biggest debts an adult will have in their lifetime (a mortgage) is the most priceless asset ever.

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