Financial planning for financial independence

Content, resources and services to help people make intelligent decisions with their money in route towards financial independence

investment property providers

I am a fan of owning income-producing real estate as part of your overall financial picture.  The reasons I think this is a good investment from numerical terms can be summarized here.  But most importantly, I think real estate is one of the most cost-effective ways to build your own personal pension.  Here are two providers of income-producing real estate that I have vetted and conducted business with first hand.


Norada Real Estate Investments is a one-stop, turnkey real estate investment provider.  The team will guide you through the purchasing process as you explore real estate markets nationwide.  They do a fantastic job of making the process as easy and informative as possible for investors, so the buyer doesn't have to stress over doing the heavy lifting themselves.  The primary focus of Norada is on passive, cash-flow positive properties.


Smartland is another quality, turnkey real estate investment provider.  They are based in the northeast Ohio market which will will limit the investment landscape, but they provide a top-notch product and should not be overlooked.  Much like Norada, Smartland has a focus on providing passive, cash-flow positive real estate to investors which I recommend over appreciation-based real estate investments.

investment property lending

Not all banks and lenders are the same, especially in the world of investment properties.  The underwriting standards for rental property loans are different from that of a primary residence, so it's important to work with a lender who is an expert in this area of lending.  It's also ideal to work with a lender who is flexible in their approach and offerings so you can keep growing your holdings, even when pushing up against the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac limit of 10 property loans.  Ridge Lending Group specializes in working with real estate investors and, from what I've experienced, their knowledge and product set is unmatched in this arena.

investment property insurance

Owning an investment property is different than owning a primary residence for a myriad of reasons.  In addition to insuring the structure like you would any normal property, your liability is greatly increased as your butt will be on the line if any injuries occur on the property as a result of potential home deficiencies.  Real Protect can provide you the coverage you require, as they cater to the real estate investor.  I use them for protection on my properties and have been pleased with both the pricing and service.

Nellivest Resources

Real Estate Cash Flow Calculator

For investment properties, I recommend utilizing the 1% rule (see the Real Estate section of this article for a description of the 1% rule) as an initial screen for potential purchases.  After that, it's important to dig further into the numbers to help ensure the property will indeed meet your cash flow (positive) targets.  That is where this calculator will come in handy.  Simply plug in the baseline numbers in the top section of the calculator and the bottom section will crunch the important numbers for you.  I keep this calculator on hand to better screen any property I am serious about purchasing.  I hope you will as well.


As you grow your real estate portfolio, it's important to keep track of how your properties are performing over time.  This will help you distinguish which assets are truly assisting in your journey towards financial independence (those cash flow cows), and which might be holding you back and need to be weeded out.  It also can be a nifty tool to help when reporting income and expenses during tax time.