Hi. I’m Bill Manassero and I just spent the last 11 years of my life serving with my family as missionaries to orphans, abandoned and at-risk children in Haiti. It was one of the most incredible and beautiful experiences of our lives. My wife Susette and I founded an organization called Child Hope International that helps the people of Haiti. We have seven children, four grandchildren and another 50 beautiful Haitian children at Child Hope’s Lighthouse Mission orphanage in Haiti .
We feel the Lord has called us back to the states for a number of reasons. First, to just slow down. Before Haiti, I spent over 20 years in business, both in corporations and as an entrepreneur. I also was a professional musician who toured the world singing children’s music. We have been working hard all our lives and now it’s time to slow down, spend quality time with our children and grandchildren and continue to help our mission in Haiti. Also, we are back in the states to help care for my wife’s elderly parents who are in the later season of their lives. You see, both of my parents passed away while we were in Haiti and I always wished I could have spent more time with them before they passed on. So now we are able to do that for Susette’s parent. I didn’t want my wife and kids to miss this special time with them.
Of course, we miss seeing the kids, staff and people of our Haiti mission every day. But we know that in this new season in our lives, it is part of our retirement dreams to continue to serve and visit Haiti as often as we can.
Before moving back to the states, I had a bit of an epiphany. While we lived in Haiti, God provided for our every need though the many wonderful people and organizations who supported us through donations and other forms of support. But now that we are no longer in Haiti and in full-time ministry, we need to support ourselves. I had a little money in an IRA but certainly not enough to support us for the long haul. So, the big questions was – “How are we going to survive?” Numerous questions went through my head. Can I get a job? Who would hire a 60 year old guy whose most recent experience is helping children in Haiti? Should I continue in full-time ministry? Again, my age and diminishing energy are factors? Do I have to start another new career path at 60 years of age, when most people are getting ready to retire? Yikes! I prayed.
Realizing that there are not a lot of jobs out there for me, I pondered my options. Working for someone else wasn’t likely. But, I have started businesses before so, why not be an entrepreneur again? Well, that didn’t exactly bring a smile to my face. Too many not-so-fond memories of 16-hour days, monotonous hours spent on accounting, sales calls, endless meetings and very little time with my family. That’s when I considered the option of passive income.
Passive income is something that, once you set it up, it literally generates continuous streams of income that continue to come in even if you stop working. There are various types of passive income out there and I explored and tried various online options while I was still in Haiti. What I found was that the ones I tried took a lot of work and seemed more like a full-time business. Then I found out about real estate investing. I had received some inheritance funds and was concerned about getting taxed so, in 2014, I decided to buy my first rental properties as a means to diversify my investments and to offset taxes. I was still living in Haiti at the time so I had to shop properties online. I chose to go through a turn-key company that had rental properties that were already rehabbed, and had tenants and property managers in place. All I had to do was purchase the properties.
I researched emerging markets and areas where I could buy houses cheap and ended up buying three properties, two in Memphis and one in Atlanta — two single family homes and one duplex. The following year I bought another duplex in Indianapolis. This year (2016), I leveraged my first three properties with a cash-out refi to purchase a 22-unit apartment building in Indianapolis. I am now generating steady cash flow and have a goal — to double the number of units I have each year until I real 1,000 units/doors by 2020. God answered my prayer.
I’m actually very excited about real estate investing because it is not like a full-time job. I regulate when and how much time I want to work. Obviously, the more time I dedicate upfront, the sooner I will reach my goal but I can still control my hours.
My focus is on buying multifamily properties to create income to support us in our retirement years, help fund our mission in Haiti and to have something to leave our children after we are gone.
I have made my share of mistakes and learned a lot since I got started but overall, I see how real estate investing is a viable means to generate the cash flow we need for our retirement years and beyond.
I have decided to share my journey through this website and my podcast for anyone who is interested. I know there are many out there like me who are concerned and/or struggling regarding their retirement. If, through the Old Dawg’s REI Network, we can provide information and resources that can help people who are approaching or are already in their retirement years I hope it will be a blessing.
Thank you so very much for stopping by. If you want to join our community and receive value information on how you can succeed in real estate, your are welcome. Everything we offer here is free. Subscribe to our newsletter below and/or our podcast. We will continue to provide a steady flow of information to help those who are interested in real estate investing. Also, feel free to write me any time. I will try to get back to you as soon as I can.
In the meantime, be encouraged and know that if I can do this real estate thing, anyone can.