Written By Alisha Chen
With the increase in Lifestyle Planning sessions, I would like to provide this content in advance to help you better understand why I’ve developed Lifestyle Planning. It is easier to share my own personal story. My parents came to the U.S. with borrowed funds to purchase airline tickets and $1,000 in total assets. My parents did not have money for us to be tutored in Taiwan before coming to the U.S., so I learned ABC’s once I was here in the U.S. There were no ESL classes then. So, I sat in the same class as all the other students and had no idea what they were talking about for 3-4 years.
Because I did not understand what was being taught in school, I did not know there was homework to do each day. My grades were barely passing because my “Asian high math abilities” prevented me from failing each grading period. I remember being published in several local newspapers since 5th grade for the art pieces I was able to draw. I was being interviewed, but I had no clue what they were saying and there was no one capable of translating for me.
The reason why I wanted to share the hardship that I had to encounter is to encourage others who may have a tough time integrating into a new culture, new language, new environment, and new life in another country. That was a big step for my family and me. So, if I can be where I am today, you can too!
Somehow, I learned English little by little and graduated from High School and College. As a new college graduate from getting my Bachelor of Science as a Registered Nurse, I soon realized that a very large portion of my income went to pay for Federal and State income tax. Having a six-digit gross income, which was higher than average college graduates, left me with very little after-tax withholdings.
I started to seriously wonder how anyone can really survive in the United States. Yes, I was making approximately 3 times more gross income than my relatives living in Taiwan, but I ended up netting lower than many of them. “There must be something wrong”, I thought to myself.
I started to ask people around me, but many people responded, “that’s how it is”. I was not satisfied with that response. There seem to be many other people who are very well-to-do. I can clearly see that. But how can they do that? I started to ask more detailed questions, but most people were not willing to share their personal financial information with me. I don’t blame them since that is a very sensitive topic. But still, I like to solve my problems of grossing well but netting small.
It is through working for various businesses and attending numerous events that I started gathering little pieces of gold nuggets. Even though those work positions and events really have nothing to do with wealth building, but since my mind was determined to find solutions that would work for me without losing myself.
The more I know, the more I don’t want to follow the mainstream majority. I did not like the concept of “the more you spend, the more you get to deduct”. I wanted to net and save money to live the lifestyle that I desired. I wanted to live a balanced life. I know I can’t count on anyone else but myself to make it happen. I knew I did not want to have a “poor/challenging retirement years”. It was after being a business owner that my knowledge and experience greatly helped me understand how to achieve my goals.
One of the most common complaints I get from my clients is that their CPA does not educate them on how to net well. For the past 21 years, I’ve received the most requests for good CPAs and attorneys to refer them. Unfortunately, I have not found them yet, through my interviews with many.
My Lifestyle Planning is for everyone who desires to gross well and net well. I’ve helped over a few thousand people in my career and not one is exactly the same. I have clients from starting to understand how to break their spending habits to multi-million-dollar business owners who have over 20+ properties. But one common response from all of them after my Lifestyle Planning session is: “I wished I had met you years ago. I could have net so much more!”
The requirement for my Lifestyle Planning session is simple. You need to be honest and truthful. Don’t worry about what you say may sound awkward. After helping over a few thousand people and learning about where they have been in life and where they like to be, I don’t think anything can surprise me. It is fine if you don’t want to answer some of the questions, but just understand I cannot help you in the best possible way if I don’t know how to help you navigate there. As long as you are not planning to harm others, the rest probably will not surprise me. One of the most valuable assets is that I may share with you better ways or directions. It is up to you to make choices in life, but most of the time, my clients most appreciate my honest feedback and advice which they too agree is better than their own.
The Lifestyle Planning is customized for you. My purpose is to use my knowledge and experiences to help you get there. If you are ready to start your Lifestyle Planning, please feel free to contact me for an appointment.
So far, my youngest client is 8 years old and the eldest client is 71.
Contact Alisha today for your real estate needs – 949.229.5987