Sunday, March 25, 2012

Three Ways to Get Mortgage Free Sooner than You Thought Possible

My newest Podcast “Three Ways to Get Mortgage Free Sooner than You Thought Possible” is ready to broadcast. I give you the 3 best ways to get mortgage free.

These are real life workable methods for getting to that much anticipated no-more-mortgage, stress free part of life.  Ahhhhh, doesn't that feel better already.

Join my secure email group to get access to this podcast.  Sign up in the box to the left of this post.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

New Home in the Country Outside of Boise Idaho---Moving Forward

We’ve found our Shangri-La.  The home we have under contract in the country outside of Boise Idaho will provide everything we have been looking for.  On the hill overlooking a beautiful river valley filled with orchards and farms.  After Alaska we had to have a beautiful view to help us with homesickness.  We will have three acres to develop into our production lifestyle with a large garden while growing our own fruit trees. 

The home is large enough to accommodate family gatherings.  We are paying about 50% of what it would cost us to get this home in Alaska.  Our property tax is dropping to 60% of our current situation. We will be within a 30 minute drive of grandchildren, and of course their parents too.  Recreation abounds in the mountains north of our home. We will be able to drive a few hours to help my mother in Salt Lake City.     

So the next big step in our journey to retirement freedom is starting to take shape.  The first step was getting back good health.  Now we have a new home and improved weather to enjoy.  If you want to join me in this grand journey you can follow along at my 
If you want the details from what we are learning from the process you can join my secure email group by signing up in the box next to my blog posts.  To help protect my copyrighted material, I only share many of the details with my email group. It would be super to have you  join us.   

Here’s a picture of the new Jeannie & Ralph VanOrden Homestead


Monday, March 5, 2012

Mortgage Free, Property Taxes and Utilities Cut in Half by Moving to Boise Area---Not to Mention other Costs of Living

For more details about our journey as we embrace our future, become part of my private email group by signing in to the left of this post.  This provides security when I share more details and it also protects any copyrighted material I post.  I hope you will join me.   

So here’s what we will be up to once we settle in our new home in the Boise Idaho area sometime in September 2012.  We have been watching the real estate market there for the past two years. We engaged a agent while there last summer and looked at several homes. 

The inventory of properties has continued to climb as the economy ruminated.  Foreclosures and short sales have been numerous.  Right now it is bad for sellers but good for buyers since we are one of the few qualified buyers with equity to bring to the table.  

During my lifetime I have never seen this good a “buyers market”.  Our negotiating position is powerful, especially since we can be patient.  Just now the contractors in Boise are starting to build new homes once again.  That signals the bottom of the market the area. 

One of the tricks with short sales or foreclosures is the need to wait out the banks, who will do all they can to soak every penny out of the deal.  If we go that route, we can start negotiating now and still be waiting in six months as we call their bluff and walk away from the deal several times. You have to good nerves to do this, as well as a willingness to lose the home if necessary.

Since we are working on buying a retirement home, we have one simple goal: to be mortgage free. In real estate it takes getting the right help to maximize your value as you sell and buy.  You want a negotiator who will represent you well.  It doesn’t take long to figure out if you are working with an agent who is interested in your goals or one who is working both sides of the deal.  Choose wisely and it could mean $1000’s of extra dollars in your pocket when all is said and done. 

Another goal is to live a self sufficient lifestyle.   We are looking for a some acreage where we can have a garden and fruit trees.  I believe in America and do not think we are falling apart as a nation. The future looks very bright to me.  We choose  a self sufficient lifestyle because it is a principle of American individualism and responsibility. 

When confronted with a choice of watching TV or being out in the garden, I’ll take outside every time.    This will keep us busy doing good things and will get us in the sun as well providing organic food for our nutrition.  It will be a good way for our grandchildren to learn good work habits as they come to our home to help with the garden. 

A production lifestyle will lend itself to our own sense of wellbeing.  It will allow us to maximize our financial resources so we can continue to grow our nest egg rather than depleting it prematurely.  We are fortunate to have several sources of income in retirement.  Since I am turning 60 this summer, I would like to avoid starting my Social Security income until I am at least 66.  It is much juicier if I wait till full federal retirement age.

One focus of my Retirement Freedom Blog will be to share what we are learning as we progress through this transition to “retirement”.  Please let me know if you have suggestions or comments.    

Thursday, March 1, 2012

First in New Podcast Series is Available Now---Only 7 Minutes Long

I have completed the first Podcast.  It's 7 minutes long, about the secrets for quick debt elimination.  These steps have work extremely well.   
The audio file is available only to my secure email group.  If you'd like the link, sign-in to the left of this Blog post then go to your email address to confirm.  I will always protect your email privacy. 

New Post--Update on my Weight-Loss Battle

Since the first and best step I could take to get ready for my future was to regain my health by losing 80 pounds, I have been in “training” to do so for the last six months.  I am currently hitting up against 50 pounds lost total.  That has actually happened in about 4 months since two months around the holidays I was not in what I call the “weight-loss-zone”. 

Today I am wearing a shirt that would not fit 10 days ago.  I like what I see in the mirror but more important I feel so much better than I did at 280 lbs.  I am amazed how much this has helped my health situation.  I still have about 30 lbs to go to get to my goal of 199.  My three sons are starting to worry that I am going to get lighter than them.  It’s kind of fun to see them squirm.  I am starting to think about which sports I will participate in at the Huntsman World Games next year in St. George once we settle in Boise for the next phase of our lives. 

It is one of the best things you can do for yourself and family, to get control of your weight.  It is not really terribly difficult once you decide to be determined.  Getting in the Weight-Loss-Zone is as much about psychology as it is about other details.  However, the details help the psychology to take root and stay.  Here’s what I suggest from my experience for anyone who wants to get serious about weight loss. 

1)      Get on a good food program that makes it easy to control calories.

2)      Get a private coach who will help you with motivation and questions.

3)      Exercise appropriately as guided by your coach. 

4)      Learn as much as you can about the science of weight loss. 

I have learned that most people like to approach weight loss as a very private time in their lives.  Input from too many people seems to actually get in the way.  The psychology is interrupted by comments that are not meant to derail progress but sometime do.  Such as a comment that I get on occasion, “oh are you OK---you look like you are coming down with something”.  When you start to look so much lighter people aren’t used to your new persona so they say something a bit ignorant without meaning to be so.   Get a good coach and listen to their voice predominately.   

Here is a link to my website where you can learn more:        

Congratulations and Welcome to My Email Group

Congratulations and Welcome to my email group--I hope you will not just read and listen, but particpate by responding and commenting.  My personal email address is  Feel free to contact me directly if you would like to have a non-public conversation. I look forward to our interactions. 

Ralph VanOrden
Retirement Freedom Blog