The convention pathway to financial freedom used to be clear: invest in 401(k)s, pay off debt and save. But what if you dont want to work till youre 67? What if you want to achieve your retirement goals now rather than wait? With the high rate of inflation today, a penny saved is a penny earned no longer applies.

To achieve financial freedom, we need to challenge what we’ve learned about money and to make our paths, we need to learn how to invest on our terms. In his new book, Find Your Financial Freedom, Logan Rankin reveals how to become financially independent. In the book, he debunks common myths, provides a structure for managing money each month and show us how to scale investments and achieve financial freedom.

Wealth is gained by trading time or money, which will it be for you? With strategies you could use with your kids, the book is your first step in a new direction towards confidence, clarity and a lifetime of wealth.

Hey Listeners, my name is Drew Applebaum and Im excited to be here today with Logan Rankin, author of Find Your Financial Freedom: Let Go of Fear, Gain Control and Achieve Lifelong Wealth. Logan, thank you for joining, welcome to The Author Hour Podcast.

Logan Rankin: Yeah, appreciate you having me on, Drew.

Drew Appelbaum: Logan, help us kick this off. Can you give us a brief rundown of your professional background?

Logan Rankin: Yeah, its pretty short overall from a professional background standpoint. I graduated college and got the opportunity to start working for a Fortune 50 company. So I had a corporate job and spent 10 years doing that. I just slowly worked my way up the corporate ladder that I think a lot of individuals do and I enjoyed the responsibility. I got to lead large teams, some pretty big portfolios but it was nights and weekends, 80-hour weeks and during that time, I wanted — my wife and I wanted more for our life. 

So we got into real estate and around age of 30, 180, 200 units, was able to retire and for the last four, five years here, my wife and I have enjoyed retirement but were still building. So, from a career standpoint, I built few multimillion-dollar businesses now and my real estate portfolio went from one unit back in 2013 in about a month here I’ll be crossing over 2,000 units.

Drew Appelbaum: So, why was now the time to share your personal journey? Was there something inspiring out there for you? Are you just so relaxed and successful, you have some time on your hands or did enough people tell you, Hey, these are — your story is fantastic, you need to write this down and spread it to the masses.”

Logan Rankin: That’s a good question and I think I’ll go back a little bit further. In my life, I grew up in a small town in Northern Wisconsin. My familys very blue collar, worked very hard but you know, we didn’t always have a lot of money and I didn’t have a lot of money in. When – as I was growing up, I didn’t have a lot of friends or family with money. 

Society doesn’t really teach you about money and how to build it and school certainly doesn’t either. So for me, I’ve always had that like in the back of my head and I’ve been grinding towards how do I get money, how do I get to financial freedom and even after college, you graduated college, my wife and I are negative $40,000 in debt and we still didn’t know anything about money.

You know, that’s a tough place to be especially when you want it and since I didn’t have anybody around me, I just started reading books and you read enough books, you try enough, different kind of investments, you make a lot of mistakes and trust me, I tried all the traditional things that were taught to me, right? I tried the 401(k), I tried just saving my money, I tried that all debts bad debts, so get rid of that as fast as possible.

You know, played around in the stock market but eventually, you read enough books on building wealth, you come across real estate and we saved up about five yearsworth of earnings and were able to buy our first property way back in 2013. Left $7 in our bank account, by the way, when we first bought that property. I continue to learn, I continue to educate myself and we continue to build our wealth through real estate and fortunately like I said, around the age of 30, were able to retire and continue to build. 

But I guess, the answer to your original question, I wanted to get this book out because my goal for the longest time was financial freedom. It was to understand money and to build that wealth and once I hit financial freedom, I continue to build that wealth but something was missing. I thought back to me as a kid and I thought about how long it took me and relatively obviously fast at the age of 30 but I just wonder, how many other people that aren’t going to read as many books as I read, you know, aren’t getting the education from school, aren’t learning about and educating themselves when it comes to financial literacy. 

So my goals have kind of changed, Drew, its more about, how many other people can I help understand money, understand how to get the financial freedom and certainly, do it in ways that maybe society, school, family, friends, even financial advisors dont teach you how to do that. 

The Importance of Financial Education

Drew Appelbaum: You know, when you started writing the book, in your mind, who are you writing this book for?

Logan Rankin: I think I was writing this book for honestly, everybody that wants to achieve financial freedom on their own terms. You know, I shared a little bit of my background. It doesn’t matter in my opinion, if youre blue class, white class, in between, if you want to achieve more for yourself financially and have more of your time on your side because that’s really what it’s about, its not even about money.

I think, most people want to write their own schedule, right? Dictate their life and their time, how they want and unfortunately, you need money to be able to do that because I think if you dont slow down and think about it for the longest time, you are trading your life, your time for money and the only way to get that time back is to have enough money to be able to pay for that time back to have that financial freedom. 

So, for anybody that wants that time back that wants to coach their kids, that wants the opportunity to dictate their life how they want it versus trading their life for money and only being able to maybe live on the weekends, that’s what I was writing it for. And its especially honestly, not just for adults but even for high school and college because I felt myself just having a very poor education when it came to money and I dont think society or school are educating people the way that they need to.

Drew Appelbaum: Yes, so let me ask you that question. Why aren’t we learning this stuff growing up and even if there are one class here and there for some students, what do you think is also missing that should be taught alongside finance?

Logan Rankin: Well, that’s your first question, why is it being taught? I mean, a lot of that can be very politically driven and a lot of it is to make money in Wall Street and for banks and for a lot of other individuals. There’s a lot of red tape with getting financial literacy into our school systems, honestly and then, there’s also just a lot of people that are teaching it that dont understand it themselves.

I think that’s a really big gap, its getting a little bit better but its still far cry from where it needs to be and I think unfortunately, there’s adults because theyre not getting what they need, outsourcing their financial literacy, right? Theyre all outsourcing it because they dont know what to do so they’ll outsource it to — lets just call it a financial advisor and that financial advisor is or a lot of them are going to help them put their money into life insurance or a traditional investment like a 401(k) or some sort of diversification, some sort of defense.

These traditional investments that theyre putting them into just, they didn’t even work that well before but theyre especially not working great right now, especially in the inflationary period that were in and I mean, Drew, how many multimillionaires or billionaires do you know that achieve that through a 401(k)?

Drew Appelbaum: Yeah, zero.

Logan Rankin: So I mean, that’s my point and I once had a friend that said, I outsourced my cleaning, right? I had a cleaner come over, cleaning my house so that I could spend time doing other things that produced more income.” I remember him saying vividly like, I would never spend the money, I would never be able to spend the money on outsourcing my cleaning.” It’s the same individual that knows nothing about money and is outsourcing his retirement, his wealth to a financial advisor.

Drew Appelbaum: Right.

Logan Rankin: Im not here to pick up financial advisor, there’s some great ones out there but the fact that I am here to say that you, as an individual, need to understand your financial literacy, whether youre using a financial advisor or not. I think that’s where this book comes in play, I didn’t know anything. I had nobody to teach me it and society didn’t help with it but if I can achieve what I achieved. I think that a lot of other people can too and I hope that’s his book by the way, speeds them up. 

Even my real estate career, I got a chapter about real estate in this book and it took me three years to be able to buy just seven units. Its very, very slow but I was just very uneducated and I had a lot to learn and that’s a lot of inspiration for this book is how can I – how could I build a book to help people truly achieve financial freedom and its a little bit about mindset but there’s actionable steps that I’ve learned along the way over the last decade or so that I think other people could replicate rather easily if they had the same kind of knowledge and I do believe this book could give that to them.

Is Debt Bad?

Drew Appelbaum: Now, the book is – falls along your professional and personal financial journey and the start of that journey, besides crashing the car you bought with your savings, your first car was again, like you mentioned before, leaving school with 40k of debt and you were scared of that debt and you made an immediate plan to get rid of that debt. 

The question for you is, is — with your thinking now, is debt, is all debt bad debt and should you have been that scared at that time?

Logan Rankin: Yeah, its a great question. One of my favorite parts about that book — and that’s a fun story too is I think, especially in the beginning, it does a really good job challenging or asking or asking questions to these, lets just call them, I call them myths but these beliefs that I think are pounded into our brains as we grow through school, through college, even in society.

Just over and over and you just hit on a good one, Drew, its, all debts bad debt, you should be scared of debt, you shouldn’t utilize that. I mean, not only did I crash that car but to get out of debt, I was so fearful of that. My wife and I ate basically ramen noodles and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for a year and a half. 

So, to answer your question, yeah, I dont believe you should fear debt, I think you should understand debt. Debt is an amazing tool and one of the topics that we do not educate and teach enough about. Debt is a very productive tool and if I could go back in time, I would do things a lot differently. 

In fact, I just recently did. You know, I recently bought a Tesla and I had enough money to be able to pay for the whole $100,000 Tesla and I would have, thinking back in time about all debt being bad debt but what we really need to think about is the productivity of our assets and our liabilities. 

So for example, if I have the car completely paid off, well then, the productivity of that liability, because it is, right? Is zero because I dont have to pay a monthly premium, there is no debt on it, probably a little bit negative because there’s still insurance, right? But if I put debt on it, lets just say my debt cost me a thousand dollars.

Most people would think, well, why would you put debt on it because now, if youre negative a thousand dollars, but, the debt right now for a car is at a 1.99%, okay? So, what happens if I can take that hundred thousand dollars and then Im paying a thousand dollars a month and I could invest it in something that produces 10%, 15%, 20%? So lets just take 10.

If you can take that same amount of money that you have debt on now and you can produce 10% returns when youre only paying for two, that’s an 8% spread. Its like saying, Would you like to pay $0 per month or would you like to gain $2,000 per month, right?” Because you got $1,000 leaving to pay for the mortgage on the car, the debt on the car and then you got $3,000 coming in because you’re able to invest it in a way that produced more money.

It’s even more powerful when you attach debt to income producing assets. So, a car, you know, that’s tough — it doesn’t produce income, you have to move that money into something that does produce income. That arbitrage or that money in between is really where I felt like there’s a lack of education. 

I mean, they’ll teach you everything about compound interest, put your money in something you just leave it over and over and over again but how many people have heard compound interest and then how many people havent heard about velocity of money? 

That’s a prime example, if you could velocitize your money in and make 8% more and then continue to turn that money, you can really create some wealth but I think again, most people are trained to look at youre losing a thousand dollars a month. Theyre not trained to look at you could be gaining $2,000 a month. 

Drew Appelbaum: Right, I think you bring up an interesting point because if you are at work and somebody gave you two paths and those were the answers, you would pick whats best for the company and the bottom line but some people dont do that in their personal life and in the book, you actually have a chapter on running your life like a CEO and to me, that makes so much sense but it seems like folks struggle to get into that mindset. 

So what suggestions do you have for people to really step back and evaluate every decision, every financial decision at least the big ones in their life?

Logan Rankin: Yeah, well, I think it comes with I have a three-step process and you are kind of touching on step number two but first it starts on step number one. Before you even run your life like a CEO, just like if you had a business, right? You might have a goal, which is to net profit X, Y or Z and then maybe you want to, maybe the net profit is a $100,000 this year. So if you are going to run a business that way, you know, this chapter is about [that.]. Well, why dont you think of the same? 

Why would you slow down and create a vision for your life, right? I think a lot of people say they want financial freedom but they dont really slow down and say, I want financial freedom. I want financial freedom by this age and these are the sacrifices or this is what Im willing to give up to go after it.” I mean, we live in a world of instant gratification. There is so many distractions from social media, different apps. 

There is just so much going on, so I think very few people might hit. Its fun to say I want financial freedom but is a whole other level to really get rid of those distractions and focus in on your vision and then obviously to answer your question, to really slow down and create a plan of how to track what is going on. And then step two, that is exactly what in my book what I teach people. I give everybody in the book the same part of my financial plan that I have used. 

I truly believe this has helped me reached financial freedom at 30. It is a step-by-step process to really track your cash flow just like you would on a business because I think a lot of people they probably — you know, Dave Ramsey is very popular so I think a lot of people [are] like, Oh man, we need to do a budget.” Well, Im telling you right now, youre not going to budget your way to financial freedom. 

You are not going to cut out the Starbucks to financial freedom. I mean, yes, I do talk about sacrifices so you should be very aware of what you are spending. I break my expenses and needs and wants. What is a need for me? Just like a business, what does it take to live on? What is it and then after that, those are your wants and I think you should just be aware of those expenses and there’s some really cool stuff in my book that talks a little bit about that. 

But where I implore people to spend the majority of their time on is not expenses, it is not cutting out the Starbucks drinks, it is on the income side of things and on the income because to be able to actually have money, to be able to buy real estate or buy businesses or buy other things because this is about your financial freedom. It doesn’t have to be real estate. So in order to really have the money to be able to do that, you obviously have to be able to make more than you spend but more importantly, you really want to track that cash flow. 

You really want to figure out how you stack that cash flow month after month after month and then we move into stage three and we can talk about that too but then once you can save enough money, we dont want to continue to save. You already talked about it, Drew, one of those myths I say is I always heard growing up that a “penny saved is a penny earned.” 

Drew Appelbaum: Right. 

Logan Rankin: Well, saving is not earning money anymore, guys. Saving is one of the worst things you can do when you have inflation at a reported eight to 9% when really, if you look at other indexes its closer to 15%, maybe even 20. I mean, this is not — inflation is really, really tough for people to understand and it is another thing that I feel like is not taught well but if you save your money at basically at 0% interest in the banks, youre really losing 8%. 

So you are not earning money by saving it, what you got to do is you got to figure out how to save in the first place and then as fast as possible, put that money into an asset that produces income. 

The Best Day to Start is Today

Drew Appelbaum: Now, for those listening out there that might say, This all sounds wonderful, this totally makes sense but it might be a little too late for me to start this”, is there a too late or is the best day to start today no matter where you are in life? 

Logan Rankin: Yeah, the best day to start is today. I’ve been lucky enough to coach a lot of individuals that are later in life. I mean, my parents were one of them, to be honest with you. They have done so much for me and my life, taught me so many great principles and character traits, once I understood money and had the opportunity to be able to teach them, one of the hardest things — I will share this story because this is one of the proudest moments of my life. 

You know, my parents decided to sell their house. They lived in their house for 40 years, it was finally paid off and they wanted to move closer to my sister and I. So they are going to sell their house and then take all the money from selling their house to be able to put a 100% down on the next house because God forbid they have debt and I convinced them to only put down 20% down payment and then instead, take on debt on that house that they were moving into. 

Then slowly, educated them on putting it into real estate and so my parents took that 80% that would have been paid down on their house and they bought three duplexes over the period of two years and one thing that’s still crazy but looking at the math. Those three duplexes that they were able to buy, theyre going to learn, by the way at over 60 years of age, actually produce as much income some months more than all of their retirement, their traditional retirement accounts that theyve worked on for the last 30 or 40 years, which allowed them to be able to retire five years faster.

Theyre both retired now and they werent going to retire for another five years but because of those investment properties, theyre even retired five years sooner. So the answer to your question, you could do it at any time and I helped a lot of individuals in their 50s and their 60s be able to move around their money and that brings up a good point, Drew. I also want to make sure that this is clear too. 

A lot of individuals want to retire sooner than 65. They want to retire sooner than 60 but they just aren’t sure how, so they listen to other people that aren’t wealthy or that aren’t making the same decisions that they would make. I once coached a couple that were 45 and they actually had [done] really, really well. I mean, both making a really good chunk of money and had a lot of money set aside and unfortunately they were told by everybody to put all of their money into a 401(k) and their dream was to retire at 55. 

What they didn’t realize is that a 401(k) locks up their money until 59 and a half. 401(k)s tell you when to retire. So you have very little control over that and unfortunately, that was made clear to them. So I think for a lot of people, maybe some people listening, you put your money in traditional accounts because that’s all you know. You know, when I first started my job, they told me to put my money in a 401(k) too. I mean, its amazing that you put it in here, there is even a 5% match. It is like free money, Logan.”

Drew Appelbaum: Right. 

Logan Rankin: Remember that but money that you cant access until 59 and a half without significant penalty is not free. That’s called jail and I think a lot of people dont understand that, which in my book it kind of covers what kind of investments and that people should think through before they put their money into it. Certainly, you should understand investment, you should have control over the investment and in my opinion, that investment should pay you as fast as possible, so they start paying you as fast as possible. You shouldn’t have to wait 20 or 30 years to be able to reap the returns of those investments. 

Drew Appelbaum: Now, what impact overall do you hope the book will have on a reader and what are some immediate steps you hope they’ll take? 

Logan Rankin: Well, I think a few of the impacts I would love for this book to help, to truly help people achieve financial freedom faster in life. That would be a big one. At the very lowest level, I truly believe that nobody will read this book and it wont make them think differently about where they put their money or how they handle their money. I truly believe that it should help people just understand that differently. 

I hope this book help people give them — because this is not just a mindset book. I mean, there is a lot of financial literacy books out there but I think some are really about how do you change your mindset and we certainly talk about that. We certainly question belief but there is actionable steps of what you could do tomorrow. There is literally steps [that] even if you have a significant other, how to sit down with them. 

How to create a monthly routine, how to take your financial situation because just like me, you could be negative $40,000 in debt. You might be in a better situation than I was. You could be in worse but it doesn’t matter where you are in this journey, it gives you actionable steps to be able to really help you scale faster towards financial freedom. In this book, I talk about when my wife and I first sat down. 

We read something in a book that you should just dont think about everything that was told to you. Just pick a date that youd be really excited about to be able to achieve freedom and be able to retire. Take back your time and just show everybody how uneducated that I was because you might be too. I mean, we picked 45. We did it by 30. Being 15 years off should show you the lack of education that I had. 

But this kind of shows you about how to have that education, Drew, how to have the steps, how to continue to educate yourself and how to put yourself in a position or in the best position to really achieve that financial freedom as early in life as possible. The last thing I’ll say is there is a chapter towards the end of the book, there is a really cool real estate chapter for those of you that want to take real estate. 

Obviously, I did real estate but this book is about doing it in whatever way that’s best for you but right before that chapter, there is a legacy chapter and this is something that I am very, very passionate about right now. In fact, my next book that I want to write and be able to launch is going to be geared towards kids and that’s what this legacy chapter is about. You know, I really feel that I hope this book doesn’t just educate adults. 

But as adults start to learn these things, there is a chapter about how adults can take that knowledge and they can teach it to their kids because I think that, if we can start helping with financial literacy at a younger age, I think it will really change a lot of things as these kids get older and I think it will create a lot of prosperity, which ultimately will help a lot across the United States, across the world really. 

Drew Appelbaum: Now, the book has tons of resources in it and as you just mentioned but you also have your website as well. Can you tell listeners and readers what they can expect to find there and what the website is? 

Logan Rankin: Yeah, its, so pretty easy. Im sure we can put that in the show notes, if you go there, there will be a link to my book as well. Im really excited for you to be able to check it out and in fact if you do it this week, it is 99 cents for an ebook. I didn’t write this book to make money. You know, I have already achieved that goal. This book is about effective change for all of you guys. 

So, one of the biggest things I wanted to do is make sure this book was very accessible to everybody and you cant beat it for 99 cents. So check that out but other things I have is, I have courses on financial literacy, I have opportunities to come to workshops to learn about real estate if that’s a journey that you would like to take and then I have a lot of other resources that are free, not only at my website but on my social media channels as well too. 

My goal this year alone was to give out one million dollarsworth of free content on my social media site, so definitely check it out. And obviously, if you have any questions with anything that I post, feel free to comment and I’ll get back to you as fast as possible. 

Drew Appelbaum: That is truly, truly amazing and Logan, you know we just touched on the surface of the book here today and there is so much more inside of it and on your site but I just want to say that sharing your expertise and educating folks on financial freedom, financial literacy is no small feat. So thank you for sharing and congratulations on having your book published. 

Logan Rankin: I appreciate it. Thanks for the opportunity on this podcast. I appreciate it, Drew. 

Drew Appelbaum: Logan, this has been a pleasure. I am excited for people to check out the book. Everyone, the book is called, Find Your Financial Freedom, and you could find it on Amazon. Logan besides checking out the book, besides your website, is there anywhere else where people can connect with you? 

Logan Rankin: The best way would be you could just email me at [email protected]. 

Drew Appelbaum: Easy enough. Logan, thank you so much for giving us some of your time today and best of luck with your new book. 

 Logan Rankin: I appreciate it, thank you.