Cash Flow With Joe

Working on your Retirement

Right now it’s 5:38 a.m. My back, hands and neck hurt, and I’m not the alert morning person I normally am. Straight up: I didn’t get enough sleep. I worked on three different rentals yesterday. It was a full day.


Rental No.1:

We had a busted pipe. When I got the call, it was 30 minutes till Home Depot closed. That meant if we didn’t get all the right materials on the way, the pipe wouldn’t get fixed. Also, it was 30 degrees and there was a puddle of water under the house.


Our tenant’s graciously suggested we wait until the morning. Boy was I grateful.


First thing in the morning I headed out to fix the plumbing. To me the hardest part of plumbing, besides dealing with poop, is that you’re lying on your back most of the time. This means you have to extend and tilt your neck in order to see, hence my sore neck.


Do me a favor: always wear a mask when you go under a house. I tend to forget in the haste of the repair. As soon as you get into the insulation, you will breathe it in and start coughing if you don’t have a mask.


We got the pipe fixed and were on to the next house.


Rental No.2

This is a recent purchase we’re getting ready for market. Today I was running a chain saw. There were some trees that needed to come down in a roundabout in the drive way.


Whoever designed this roundabout must have had a tiny car. Our trucks were having a tough time making the turns because of the trees. How a moving van could get around them, I can’t even imagine. I know this: running a chain saw for a few hours will make anyone’s hands hurt the next day.


We cut the trees up and moved down to remove the stumps. It was then that I saw the “boulders” they used to make the border of the roundabout. I have no idea what kind of rocks these were, but they were heavy and huge. As I was flipping the rocks and the stumps end over end I thought, “People pay good money for this at a cross-fit gym.” (Caution: when incorporating rental work into your routine, individual results may vary.)


Rental No.3

As we were making supper, the call came in that the toilets were backing up into the tubs. It was 5:30 p.m. two days before Thanksgiving. My plumber was swamped trying to clear his schedule for turkey day, so, I gulped down some food and off I went.


This one was a bad one. There was poo in places there should not be poo. I started working at about 6:15 p.m. In the drain line, there are these little capped openings called cleanouts. They’re put there so if a clog occurs, the plumber can snake it out without having to cut the pipe.


If you have multiple cleanouts in the line, it helps you find where the clog is. You know the clog is in front of the cleanout, if when you open it, nasty water comes pouring out.


The trick is to find the right spot for the final twist of the cap. If you do it right, the cap will come off and you can retreat before you get covered. If not… well you get the picture. Ask me how I know.


I got home at 10:30 p.m. Ashley took one look at me and said timidly, “Are you OK?”


I told her, “Yes!”


I’d worked my butt off. I was tired, hurting and very nasty. But the whole day I was working on my retirement. It’s very fulfilling knowing you spent a hard day achieving financial freedom. This was MY day. What have you done to work on your retirement lately?



Joe and Ashley English invest in real estate in Northwest Georgia. For more information or to ask a question, go to

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