I was recently in the USA and Canada again visiting some friends, watching sports; the only reason I really go back anymore truthfully. I do my best to avoid North America from October to April as I just flat out, despise the winter. But the NHL and NFL are played in cold weather and they are two of my favorite sports so I suck it up for the sake of satisfying my cravings, and I try my best not to complain.

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My friends are all tired of hearing how awesome my life is, how gorgeous the weather is, and what an amazing place Costa Rica is to live, and they really hate when I bash the city they happen to live in; “What a dump!”  But heh; that’s their problem, not mine. They could come join me in paradise, just like you can, but for some reason, so many people just postpone. It is incredible how many people email me, looking for info, inquiring about properties, that I know are NEVER going to come here. There are so many of them that just keep torturing themselves, week in and week out, pretending that someday they will live the life, but never put a plan into place.

Maybe they don’t have the fortitude, or the guts to pack up and come; maybe they are all talk and no action; I don’t know. But they keep scouring my website, reading my newsletters, sending me posts; “Don’t give up on me yet, Michael, I am coming.” Dreams just don’t COME true people; you have to MAKE them become a reality. Every time, it is one excuse or another; kids, college tuition, work, the Canadian dollar; blah blah blah. Thanks for the update, I tell them, and I go back to living the dream. They are in the bottom of a rut and won’t ever get out. But as I found out this past week, it can all be over in a minute. Would you be satisfied with your life if it was?

I was stuck at the airport, waiting on a plane. Thanks to the horrible weather that was happening all over the country, every flight was delayed. “How do people put up with this, every single day?” I asked the guy next to me. “What is wrong with you?” He just shrugged and told me how he had no other options. So sad. You ALWAYS have another option. Remember, YOU control your own destiny. Finally, after an eternity, we boarded. Destination: Liberia Airport Guanacaste Costa Rica LIR.

As always happens, when people find out what I do for a living, everyone around me on the plane wanted to talk about real estate. About an hour into the flight, the Captain came on the loud speaker. We have to turn around and go back, he said, as there is a problem with the plane. We have no auto pilot and we have lost some of the navigational equipment. I had visions of that Russian plane that just dive bombed into the ground, exploding in flames. It was just then that the guy next to me made a very profound statement. “It would really suck, if I died without ever seeing Costa Rica” he said, and I found myself thinking of my good friend and client Pete.

Pete is a very successful businessman, who has been coming to Playa Hermosa for over a decade. He has a stunning house on the hill overlooking the bay, and is one of the coolest people you could ever meet. “I am not running out of money, Mike, I am running out of time,” he likes to tell me. QTL Mike; QUALITY TIME LEFT. The majority of you that are reading this newsletter are probably closer to the end of your life than the beginning. Almost all of you are at least half way through it. QTL people, QTL.  If it ended tomorrow, how many regrets would you have? How many months, or years, do you have left? None of us know; so why are you continuously procrastinating. Wanting it to happen and making it happen are two different things. You have to ACT. You only go once around the ride.

As we came in for landing the Captain came back on the speaker. He told us how we will see emergency vehicles, out of the airplane windows, but that it is nothing to fear. Just a precaution, he told us; RIGHT. Every single passenger was silent. Outside, I was stoic, brave and ready to face my maker. But inside, I was screaming and kicking, crying and stomping like a little girl. FIRE TRUCKS???? AMBULANCES???? Why did I leave again? Every time I come back to the USA in the winter, something happens. Please God, don’t take me now. I don’t want to die in Newark, the armpit of America; my ashes are supposed to be spread out in Hermosa Bay, not scooped up in little fragments and put into a coffee cup, one spoonful at a time.  

When I was 19 years old, I met a very wealthy man, who made over $30 Million a year. Now that is a lot of money anytime in our history, but especially so back then. There was no overnight internet millionaires, he made his money the old fashioned way; selling one item at a time in the retail business. I asked him to give me one piece of advice, and to this day, it is the most important statement anyone has ever told me.

“Listen to the people who have what you want, Mike. Whenever someone gives you advice, take a deep look at them. Are they who you want to be? Do they have the things that you want? If they do, listen to them. If they do not, ignore them.”

I hear all the time, how my clients tell me, that their friends think they are crazy for wanting to come to Costa Rica. Look at those people, they are all miserable. They live boring lives, in dreadful places; don’t listen to them. Instead, look at the thousands of people living in Pura Vida land, in the happiest country in the world. I can honestly say I have met the finest people in the world, who have set up shop here in Costa Rica. The best people on this planet seem to migrate to this wonderland. Who would you rather be like? Think about it; if you want good advice on marriage, do you talk to the guy who has been divorced 3 times or someone happily married after 40 years? QTL.

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I apologize for not writing a Newsletter for a couple months, but I have been super busy. The market is REALLY picking up.  It is a combination of many things actually. First, everyone seems to want to get out of the rat race. People are tired of the hustle and bustle and want a better life. Costa Rica offers that. Who wouldn’t want to wake up every day and go for a walk on the beach? Costa Rica has so many positive qualities and people want to flock here.

The other side of the coin is also very true. There is a huge fear about what is happening in North America. The entire system is broken, and everyone is sick and tired of the political noise. If Hillary, Bernie, Ted and Donald are our best options, we are screwed. We have a Communist, a Career Criminal, a Bible Thumper and a Wannabe Demi God. LORD HELP US. Canada isn’t any better. Their dollar stinks, oil is in the tanks, and some cities have as much as 8% unemployment. Everyone is predicting a recession there too. And Europe is completely a mess; NO THANKS.

But the volatility of the stock market is what is really driving sales in Costa Rica. For the last 3 or 4 years, the market has seen a huge bump, back to prerecession values and that gives people confidence. Many people have recouped their losses from the crash, and are back to putting their retirement plan together and setting a goal and date. But every expert is predicting a decline in the NASDAQ, as everyone knows it is falsely inflated with bogus interest rates. It is all one big scam. Seriously, have you ever seen a daily graph of the Stock Market? It looks like an earthquake seismograph. It is all over the map.  UP, DOWN, UP, DOWN. Scary. People way smarter than me, are pulling tons of their money OUT of the stock market, and moving it to places like Costa Rica.

Recently another very loaded client of mine, David, from Texas stopped by my office. He has purchased tens of millions of dollars of real estate over the years here in the Papagayo area of Costa Rica. He told me that every single one of his rich friends are cashing in their stocks, and purchasing HARD ASSETS outside the USA. Remember what that millionaire guy told me many years ago? They all realize, he says, that the stock market crash is inevitable, and they want their holdings to be in land, homes and cash flowing properties like condos. What better place than Costa Rica? It also seems that almost everyone who gets in my car, regardless of their political tendencies, feel that the government is going to find a way, to manipulate, tax, spend, or flat out steal their assets.

There are entire blogs and internet websites devoted to the thought process that you MUST get your money away from Uncle Sam. How bad are you going to feel if you wake up and 30% or more of your net worth is just gone, POOF!

Do you really want to find yourself looking in the mirror and saying “I told you so” but you didn’t do anything about it. WAKE UP people. It is inevitable. Just in the last couple years, we are seeing more and more individuals rolling their retirement accounts and 401ks into what is called a Self Directed IRA and buying vacation rental properties here in Costa Rica. We have done DOZENS of these, and will do hundreds more in the next couple years. This allows you to take money out of the stock market that you might not normally be able to get to without a huge tax hit, and putting it into an investment property like a condo or a home.

Everything comes in ebbs and flows, ups and downs. The stock market is at its PEAK. There is only one place to go and that is down. What better time than now, to pull it out, and put it into something that is now on its way up; Property in the Papagayo. I ask my clients all the time. “If you had a time machine, and could go back to Hawaii 30 years ago, how much real estate would you buy?’ They all answer the same thing, As much as I could. What are you waiting for? Maybe you aren’t ready to live here yet, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consider it as an investment. Billions of dollars is being pumped into this region, and money breeds money. Tourism is at an all-time high and they just announced another $10 M expansion of the Liberia airport LIR, as dozens of new flights have been arrived just this past year.

Although this is a good venture it is also an outstanding place to live, retire or vacation, as it offers the best of both worlds. Let me give you an example.

Imagine that the investment spectrum is a pencil. Hold it up in the air with your fingers. On one side is the tip, which is the side that will give you MAXIMUM return. Many investors want the tip. They don’t care what it is, as long as it gives them the most bang for the buck. It could be stocks, gold or real estate. We are seeing so many people moving their money from stocks to real estate, here in Playas del Coco and Playa Hermosa. The other side is the eraser. That is the side that gives you the most pleasure, but maybe not the best return; a car, a boat, a vacation. But you have to have these things to justify why you work so hard day in and day out. The nice thing about Costa Rica is it is in the middle of the pencil.

You get a great ROI on your cash but you also get all the terrific activities that you can enjoy, every single time you come. Volcanoes, mud baths, hot springs, beaches, great weather, bars, restaurants, monkeys, parrots, water sports and super healthy food.  Most important; it is SAFE. This country has had a stable democracy for 200 years and NO army for the last 60. There are no terrorist bombings here, no Drug Cartel, any Baltimore or St. Louis riots in the streets and almost no violent crime; it has never had a hurricane, or a civil war, and no one is going to invade us. It has a government that is based on the LIVE AND LET LIVE philosophy and it WELCOMES and WANTS foreign investment. There are low taxes, and a fantastic work ethic, and your assets are protected. Now THAT lights my fire. QTL BABY, QTL!

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I can’t even begin to tell you all the stories of people who have made the leap, purchased in Costa Rica, and are completely satisfied. They are making great returns AND enjoying the beautiful Pura Vida life. Last night I had dinner with my friend Tom, who is a big wig in the beer business. He has purchased 6 houses from me in the last 7 years. He reminded me of the first day we met and what he told me when he got in my car. “I am NOT buying anything Michael, just looking. So don’t try to sell me a property.” Ok, I told him, don’t worry, I will just show you around. Around 3 pm that day, Tom turned and looked at me again; “I should probably be buying something here, shouldn’t I?” he said. Successful people IMMEDIATELY see what is happening here and want to get involved. That is why they are successful. Take their advice. As we toured his latest house, which will be the one he will live in, Tom turned to me again.

“THANK YOU for selling me this house. We have never been happier. Smartest choice I have ever made.” I hear that OVER and OVER again. QTL.

I have lived most of my life with Blind Ambition. Many times, I didn’t know where I was going but I just couldn’t wait to get there. That was how I felt about Costa Rica, from the first moment I heard about it. Even before I ever came here, I just KNEW I would live here. Something, someone, somewhere more powerful than me, was calling, pushing, pulling me to paradise, and it was the best decision I ever made. I didn’t exactly move with lint in my pockets, but I have obviously done pretty well for myself here, and I want to take a moment to thank all my clients and my fantastic team of agents.

This year at our real estate company’s convention in Las Vegas, I was voted Broker Owner of the Year, Number 3 in Transactions for Caribbean Central America Region and earned the very prestigious award of Chairman’s Club. THANK YOU for all of your continued support, friendship and business.

Don’t wait until it’s too late. QTL, remember.

Hope to see you soon, Come on down baby!

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How Much Quality Time Do You Have Left? (QTL)

Article/Property ID Number 5772

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