The Pandemic Was An Experience In Hedging Your Life

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One of nan main reasons why I retired astatine property 34 was to hedge against an early death.

When I was nine, my grandfather died from crab and I intelligibly retrieve seeing my mother distraught for months. Then erstwhile I was 13, my 15-year-old friend died successful a car accident. Here today, gone tomorrow is simply a jolting experience.

When I was 24, nan Twin Towers went down. I had been astatine nan Windows Of The World restaurant, situated astatine nan apical of nan northbound building earlier that year. Then connected November 26, 2008, terrorists attacked nan Oberoi Hotel successful Mumbai, wherever I had conscionable stayed a week earlier for a conference.

When nan global financial crisis crushed nan world economy, I knew I had to make a change. I didn't want to regret spending nan champion years of my life doing thing that nary longer brought maine joy.

The person you travel to death, nan much you will admit life.

Now that nan Public Health Emergency For COVID-19 is lifted, I want to reappraisal what I did correct and what I did wrong. Just for illustration wood fires, different situation is inevitably coming. Learning from our mistakes is really we tin amended past nan adjacent calamity.

Early Days Of The Pandemic

I intelligibly retrieve Friday afternoon, March 27, 2020. San Francisco was successful its 2nd week of lockdown and my boy (three astatine nan time) and I had compartment fever.

The metropolis had closed disconnected nationalist playgrounds during nan pandemic, but I decided to person a look anyway. We utilized to spell to nan playground 5 days a week. But we had resorted to drafting slides pinch chalk successful our backyard arsenic a impermanent solution. It was some heartwarming and sad.

The Pandemic Was An Experience In Hedging Your Life - drafting a playground descent building pinch chalk

When we arrived astatine Vicente playground, we saw its 30-inch precocious obstruction was chained. Given cipher was astatine nan playground, I decided to enter. Carefully, I lifted him complete nan obstruction and distant he went screaming for joy.

An Unfriendly Welcome

As we climbed to nan apical of nan main playground structure, we heard an older man who was stepping astir nan parkland outcry astatine us, “Get retired of there! You're not expected to beryllium there!”

I smiled and waved backmost astatine him, but he kept connected barking. So I told my boy to hold for maine arsenic I needed to person a speech pinch him.

As I approached nan man, I asked him why he had a problem pinch maine and my boy playing astatine an quiet playground. Why not proceed enjoying his stroll? Instead of responding, he scurried away. I conjecture he didn't for illustration to beryllium confronted.

Moments later, a parkland ranger drove by to speak to a foursome astatine nan picnic array adjacent nan playground. He past looked our way. I waived and he waived back.

But for a infinitesimal there, I thought he was going to travel complete and manus maine a summons aliases something. Instead, he seemed happy that a begetter and boy were capable to bask nan outdoors.

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Difficult Decisions For Parents Of Young Children In 2020

From that infinitesimal forward, I realized each of america had to determine whether to conform to nan government's rules aliases unrecorded our lives nan measurement we saw fit. I'm judge immoderate of you judge I was thoughtless for entering an quiet playground pinch my three-year-old.

But I decided to consequence it because cipher was around. At slightest we wore our masks for illustration pious soldiers. Three-year-olds request to beryllium extracurricular playing.

Eventually, I decided nan nationalist scrutiny of others stepping aliases jogging astir nan parkland wasn't worthy it. So we went to different playground which was unfenced. At “fighter pitchy playground,” we felt much free.

park closure during nan pandemic

The uncomfortable emotion of ever being monitored reminded maine of my days moving successful finance. My e-mails were ever monitored. And if I stepped distant from my table for much than 10 minutes, group would commencement questioning my whereabouts.

By 2020, I had already knowledgeable eight years of financial freedom. As a result, I had adopted a defiant attitude astir authorities restrictions, especially, those surrounding nationalist spaces outdoors. I knew nan authorities regularly makes carte blanche decisions to protect nan number who can't decently return attraction of themselves.

Eventually, different parents agreed restricting playgrounds was extreme. More and much families came retired successful defiance of metropolis rules, which put a grin connected my look each clip I drove by an occupied playground.

2020 was an particularly difficult business for parents of young kids. It's 1 point to beryllium concerned astir your ain wellness and safety. It's different level of accent to deliberation astir your children's wellness and safety. Every move we made involving our children progressive taking calculated risks.

Examples of decisions parents had to make successful 2020 include:

  • Taking kids to nan playground (low consequence of getting COVID, truthful we went regularly)
  • Sending children to preschool (medium risk, truthful we homeschooled our boy for 18 months)
  • Going to a packed market shop (medium risk, truthful we ordered transportation aliases I went precocious astatine night)
  • Riding connected an airplane (medium risk, truthful we didn't fly, but drove)
  • Going to nan doctor's agency (low-to-medium risk, we went for each regular checkups)

In 2020 and nan first half of 2021, cipher knew precisely what to do. Staying wrong our homes everlastingly was not an option. So we did nan champion we could pinch nan accusation we had astatine nan time.

Working With Imperfect Information Is Difficult

After astir 3 months station lockdowns, I realized if I wholly unopen down our lifestyles for who knew really long, I mightiness extremity up highly bitter astir this unfortunate event. At nan aforesaid time, I didn't want anybody to get sick aliases die.

Since I hadn't knowledgeable COVID yet, I was moving pinch incomplete information. If I publication nan negatively-biased news, past I believed COVID had a precocious chance of sidesplitting america aliases causing semipermanent problems. If I talked to group who sewage COVID, I sewage feedback that it was akin to getting nan flu aliases communal cold.

Making decisions pinch imperfect accusation is hard. But we do our champion to measurement nan pros and cons. Thinking we would person done this aliases that if we could rewind nan past is unhelpful, however, because it is improbable we would person done thing differently.

The Main Negative Impacts Of The Pandemic

The main point that impacted our lives was pulling our boy from a preschool he had conscionable started 5 months earlier successful September 2019. Getting into preschool is simply a large ordeal successful San Francisco. We spent $1,000 connected exertion fees. And now we had to quit? Ugh.

He was starting to really bask his teachers and friends. His societal skills were processing too. The vacation party, wherever he and his classmates sang for america and his grandparents, was a magical moment.

The 2nd point astir nan pandemic that wounded america was not being capable to spot my parents for nan adjacent 22 months. They understandably didn't want to alert to San Francisco from Honolulu successful 2020. And we didn't want to alert 2 unvaccinated young kids pinch nascent immune systems to spot them either. The pandemic took distant 1 aliases 2 precious visits pinch grandparents and grandkids.

In nan end, I decided to alert to spot my parents successful November 2021, truthful astatine slightest I could opportunity I saw them erstwhile a twelvemonth successful 2020 and 2021. Fortunately, they had visited from December 2019 to January 2020 for nan birth of our daughter.

The last antagonistic effect of nan pandemic was not being capable to amended cheque successful pinch much relatives. My aunt successful Hawaii abruptly passed distant successful 2020 while location alone. If location was nary pandemic, my family successful Hawaii would person seen her much often complete meals. RIP Aunty Mele.

Hedging Our Lives During The Pandemic

Here's really I hedged my life from future regret and misery during nan pandemic.

1) We had a 2nd kid truthful we went all-in being stay-at-home parents.

Having a babe successful December 2019, correct earlier nan pandemic, was wholly random. In retrospect, 1 of nan best times to person a baby is during a pandemic.

With a baby, you're ideally ever location and looking aft them for their comfortableness and safety. We didn't scheme to recreation for astatine slightest 2 years aft having her anyway.

For those parents who were capable to activity from home, it was a struggle to activity and supply childcare astatine nan aforesaid time. But it provided little consequence of infection than having to spell into activity and driblet your babe disconnected astatine daycare.

Having a babe during lockdowns is for illustration reference your favorite individual finance book during a formation delay. Since you would happily publication nan book astatine immoderate time, you mightiness arsenic good publication nan book during an inconvenient time.

2) We bought a nicer house

Even though we had conscionable purchased a location successful April 2019, we bought different location successful June 2020. The 2019 location we purchased was a fixer that was taking longer than I had expected to remodel owed to nan lockdowns.

As a result, erstwhile a completely remodeled house came to marketplace successful April 2020, I decided to make a move. At nan time, nan determination was a risky 1 that had maine sweating bullets during nan escrow period.

We negotiated for months and I almost backed retired erstwhile nan seller didn't springiness maine a price concession. In nan end, I decided if we were going to enactment location longer, we needed a better layout and much space. Even if we ended up losing money connected nan home, astatine slightest we would person a much comfortable manner during shelter-in-place.

The longer we enactment successful this home, nan amended nan hedge. I'm not rather convinced this is our forever home. But I could easy raise my kids successful this location for 10 years.

It is doubtful we would person purchased our existing location had it not been for nan pandemic.

3) We homeschooled our son.

Although missing retired connected societal improvement was a disappointment, nan metallic lining of nan pandemic was being capable to homeschool our son successful Mandarin and English for nan adjacent twelvemonth and a half.

As homeschooling parents, we learned a batch astir his interests and learning styles. We offered amended accommodations that helped accelerate his learning. We besides learned overmuch astir ourselves. Young children will trial your patience. And we some quickly recovered our limits.

Saving astir $2,000 a period successful preschool tuition owed to homeschooling was different benefit.

Now that he's been backmost successful schoolhouse for almost 2 years, we recognize really overmuch much he learned astatine location than while astatine school. The things he's learning successful kindergarten coming were things he learned 2 years ago. But nan societal aspects of in-person learning person been awesome and thing he really enjoys.

Since we were homeschool teachers for 18 months, we're assured we tin do it again if there's ever different pandemic aliases if we determine to long-travel.

4) Lost immoderate weight.

The CDC and nan media kept telling america that overweight group were much negatively impacted by COVID than non-overweight people. Given I didn't want to get really sick aliases die, I decided to watch what I ate a small much carefully. Further, I decided to play a batch much tennis and softball during nan pandemic.

Overall, I mislaid astir 3 pounds, which doesn't sound for illustration a lot. But I had initially gained astir 5 pounds during nan first 3 months of nan pandemic. In fact, plentifulness of my softball friends gained betwixt 10 – 25 pounds during nan pandemic.

A pandemic positive a caller babe is not a bully operation for fitness. But I kept seeing images of morbidly obese folks sadly passing distant from COVID. So nan wide media kept maine focused.

5) We made and past mislaid immoderate money.

After nan first daze of nan pandemic successful 1H 2020, 1 of nan main things that made nan pandemic much palatable was a emergence successful consequence plus values. Stocks, existent estate, cryptocurrency, good art, farmland, task capital, and task indebtedness each started performing very good by 2H 2020.

2021 was an particularly beardown twelvemonth for each plus classes. Too bad nan banal marketplace gave backmost astir of its 2021 gains successful 2022. However, overall, astir investors are overmuch wealthier coming than astatine nan opening of 2020.

I utilized nan pandemic to constitute posts specified arsenic How To Predict A Stock Market Bottom Like Nostradamus and Real Estate Buying Strategies During COVID-19. These posts propelled maine to return much risks that person yet paid disconnected truthful far.

Since I was spending much clip astatine home, I besides decided to focus much connected making money online. As a result, I built much business relationships. Today, I consciousness much comfortable taking attraction of my family because we accumulated a larger financial buffer.

6) Wrote a bestselling book.

After having our girl successful December 2019, I neither had nan desire nor nan clip to constitute a book. But erstwhile lockdowns began connected March 18, 2020, I decided I had to make nan astir of a difficult situation.

I pretended I was a assemblage professor connected a two-year sabbatical to constitute Buy This, Not That. After 2 years, I was either going to win aliases fail.

When my grandkids aliases kids inquire maine successful 10-30 years what I was during betwixt 2020-2022, I tin proudly show them dad/grandad spent countless hours writing, editing, and trading nan champion individual finance book he could write.

It's 1 point to show stories astir what you did. It's different point to person existent beingness impervious of what you did. They tin moreover perceive an audio type and perceive to each my podcasts arsenic well.

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7) Gut remodeled a fixer!

Thanks to a scholar comment, I was reminded that I spent 3 years remodeling a fixer I had bought successful April 2019! I had wholly forgotten astir this arduous task because it was excessively painful.

Phase 1 of nan remodel lasted from May 2019 until November 2019. We remodeled nan kitchen, 3 bathrooms, changed a batch of windows, and installed hardwood floors. This shape took 2 months longer than expected chiefly owed to procurement issues. We past moved successful in November, a period earlier our girl was born.

Phase 2 of nan remodel began astatine nan opening of 2020 and didn't decorativeness until August 2022! We gutted nan crushed level level, which was only astir 350 quadrate feet. It consisted of an oddly-shaped room and a disgusting half bath. Below is what nan downstairs looked for illustration aft nan demolition.

we remodeled a fixer during nan pandemic

We past built a surviving room, bedroom, closet, hallway, and laundry room successful its place. The full quadrate footage downstairs expanded to astir 700. We besides ended up removing a grounded eating room model and installing a French doorway and a deck arsenic well. However, we didn't get to bask each nan remodeling because we moved into our existent location connected August 2, 2020.

The remodeling process took truthful long owed to nan lockdown and proviso concatenation issues. Going done nan various stages of permit approvals besides slowed america down for months. Finally, my scatterbrain contractor went AWOL for aggregate months astatine a time. Even though he had vanished each nan work, he didn't telephone for last inspection for 2 months.

The bully point astir each this is that we were capable to get tenants for astir of nan remodeling duration. Expanding nan livable quadrate footage besides added tremendous worth to nan house. Even though nan remodel was painful, I'm proud to person completed it during nan pandemic.

Biggest Regrets During The Pandemic

Now that I've shared nan actions I took to hedge my life against regret, present are immoderate things I regret not doing.

1) Didn't move to Oahu successful 2019 aliases early 2020

I wish I had moved my family to Oahu truthful I could person spent a bully 2 years pinch my parents. I've been considering moving to Oahu since 2016, but could ne'er make nan move for aggregate reasons.

You tin publication my station called, A Race Against Time: Buying A Dream Home With My Parents to spot wherever my mind was. Seven years person gone by successful an instant and I still haven't taken action!

Luxury location prices were gradually coming down since 2016. But past nan pandemic created an influx of caller Hawaii homebuyers and pushed prices backmost up. What bad timing.

Although we person little time, astatine slightest I called my parents almost each time during nan pandemic. For Thanksgiving 2022, I convinced them to sojourn america successful San Francisco. I'm besides flying them complete this summertime again.

Having a larger location successful a lukewarm ambiance besides meant we could person spent much clip outdoors. Our lifestyles would person improved because we would person little accent and less arguments betwixt my woman and me. It's only earthy to reason much if you're confined to a smaller abstraction much often.

house successful Hawaii during nan pandemic

2) Didn't alert much often.

In retrospect, nan champion clip to alert to Hawaii aliases anyplace was successful 2020 and 2021. Fares were cheaper, nan planes and airports were little crowded, and nan full authorities was connected lockdown.

But backmost successful 2020 and 2021, anybody who traveled without a bully logic was seen arsenic selfish. Most of america were trying to incorporate nan dispersed arsenic overmuch arsenic possible.

I felt irresponsible to recreation if my parents didn't request me. Further, I didn't want to consequence bringing backmost a microorganism to my family aliases consequence my young kids walking pinch me.

But if a pandemic happens again, we are going to alert to Hawaii truthful I tin return attraction of my parents. We'll homeschool and fig things retired erstwhile we land.

Flying to Asia wasn't feasible owed to two-week quarantines successful edifice rooms for countries that fto successful world travelers. But if we didn't person kids, we would apt person been much adventurous.

3) Should person owned a picnic single-family home, alternatively of a picnic condo

What made nan pandemic much livable for immoderate friends was that they owned 2nd homes successful Napa Valley, Sonoma County, Stinson Beach, and Lake Tahoe. These places are betwixt 1.5 – 3.5 hours driving away.

We, connected nan different hand, owned a picnic condo astatine Everline Resort successful Palisades Tahoe. It would person been awesome to spell up there, but nan edifice unopen down for months! Not only could we not spell up to our place, but we couldn't gain immoderate rental income either.

When nan edifice yet opened up astatine nan extremity of 2020, we still didn't want to beryllium astir tons of people. If we had a single-family picnic location pinch a pool, basking tub, and tons of land, however, we would person had much assortment successful nan day-to-day mundaneness of 2020 and 2021.

Now that things are backmost to normal, we are gladsome we person a picnic condo astatine a edifice pinch monolithic amounts of abstraction and amenities. I asked some kids which they for illustration better, a single-family mansion picnic location aliases a picnic condo, and they some for illustration our picnic condo.

4) Should person speculated much

The pandemic provided different awesome opportunity to make gobs of money successful speculative assets. With everybody stuck astatine home, group spent much clip looking for investments online and putting superior to work.

If location is different pandemic, I will earmark astatine slightest $100,000 successful superior to punt connected “greater fool” assets for illustration NFTs. Then erstwhile there's different vaccine and signs of group returning to normal life, I will return immoderate profits. I cognize I won't get nan bottommost aliases apical right. But I will limb successful and limb out.

Making large money requires intentionality. So not only will I earmark $100,000 to speculative assets, but I will besides walk an hr a time hunting for speculative assets.

5) Should person sold much stocks astatine nan extremity of 2021

So galore of my tech precocious flyers came crashing down successful 2022.

Although I sewage a small much blimpish by trading immoderate stocks astatine nan opening of 2022, I didn't do capable to waste names for illustration Netflix (I should person sold erstwhile Squid Games came out), Amazon, Tesla, Redfin, and DocuSign.

These stocks did truthful good for truthful agelong that I figured I'd conscionable fto them ride. It each felt for illustration funny money! But erstwhile you dainty your stocks excessively overmuch for illustration funny money, and not capable for illustration assets that could beryllium converted into buying worldly for a amended life, you sometimes clasp them for excessively long.

I besides didn't want to acquisition investing FOMO fixed I didn't activity successful tech, contempt surviving successful San Francisco. My tech investments are my main measurement of participating successful nan boom.

In nan future, I will beryllium much disciplined successful trading down costly stocks that person risen acold beyond their fundamentals.

Hedged My Life In A Pandemic By Taking Action

The longer you live, nan much bully and bad things will hap to you.

Please besides don't hold for anybody to prevention you. If you do, you mightiness beryllium waiting forever. Everybody is excessively engaged dealing pinch their ain battles to thief you pinch yours. Therefore, you must return calculated risks successful bid to amended your life.

Take a infinitesimal to adhd up really galore bully years you person near to live. Ask yourself what you will regret not doing. Now methodically complete those things you've been putting off.

I'm gladsome nan pandemic is over. Hopefully, we'll each beryllium amended prepared for nan adjacent one.

Reader Questions And Recommendations

Readers, really did you make nan astir of nan pandemic? What were immoderate of nan things you did during nan pandemic to minimize regret? What were immoderate things you wish you did during nan pandemic?

If nan pandemic has taught america anything, it's that life is not guaranteed. If you person indebtedness and/or dependents, getting life security is simply a must. Get civilization quotes done PolicyGenius. Once my woman locked down affordable 20-year word policies, we felt tremendous intelligence relief.

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