Plan B - Alternatives to Furlough

Published: 01-04-2010
It's important to create passive income and build personal wealth for future economic downturns.

Erin Carey recently celebrated her 10 year anniversary as an airline pilot from the sidelines after she was furloughed for a second time from a legacy carrier. During her first furlough, Erin, was fortunate to be hired by Aloha Airlines only to watch that company go out of business. During the first furlough she began looking for another opportunity and was determined to create passive income and build personal wealth for future economic downturns.

Erin says, "After two years of research I decided to buy a Maui condo to live in with the vision of turning it into a vacation rental business if my current company went through any further downsizing. I had the benefit of living in my condo, fixing it up and making contacts in the area regarding the vacation rental business. A year later (with the help of a partner) I found myself in escrow on two additional units bringing the total to three. The next six months became a whirlwind, as I was recalled and returned to my previous airline and was undergoing a major renovation in the newly purchased unit that had been neglected by its previous owner. My phone was ringing off the hook and email box was filling up with future guests that wanted to rent the condo."

A basic formula for revenue vs. expense is if your property can pay for itself with a 12 week rental each year. If you meet that threshold, than the chances are you may break even. Most vacation destinations in the United States have a 12 week high season, so this mix is probably true for any area where you may want a second home. For example, if you purchased a property in a ski area then your high season would be during the 12 weeks period from mid-December through mid-March. If you can command your monthly mortgage, maintenance fee and utilities in a weekly rental then this would pay your costs for the entire year! If you rent the condo during the low season time of the year to guests that enjoy off-season activities, then you may make a small profit for the year. This concept can help you own your own vacation home!

Erin feeds traffic through two "vacation rental by owner" advertising platforms and routes them to her personal website She has managed to keep her future bookings strong even with the downturn of the economy and rising airfares to Hawaii.

Recently, she has started consulting for other property owners and facilitating renovations and face lifts to their properties. Through Erin is giving fellow property owners the confidence to remove the middle manager and rent their properties directly to guests.

Erin adds that "Through the ups and downs of my airline career, I've found that being in charge of my own destiny is empowering and seems priceless compared to to a substandard quality of life offered by many airlines. Nobody should be scared to lose their job, when fear is eliminated from the equation and a pilot is forced to make change, the ability to choose your own destiny is worth far more than perceived job security."

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