Some people are well on their way to FI before even realizing what it is, and Luc Nadeau was one of them! Through rentals and buy-and-hold, this jack-of-all-trades investor generated enough equity and passive income to retire at the age of 42!

This week, Craig Curelop and Zeona McIntyre sit down with Luc to talk about his real estate deals and how it got him out of debt, the advantages of DIY’ing rehabs and repairs, and how he eventually freed up some of his equity to invest in the stock market.

Stick around to hear how Luc knows Mr. Money Mustache, how one can maintain a frugal lifestyle, and about his part-time job of building caskets (!).

Listen to the podcast here


FI Before FI Was A Thing! Buy & Hold Pays Off For Legendary Luc Nadeau

Z, what’s going on?

Not a lot. I’m excited about our guest. I’m always excited when there’s someone I know. I feel warm and fuzzy about it. I appreciate Luc Nadeau. I first heard about him from Pete or Mr. Money Mustache because he wrote a blog about him. I felt so compelled that I reached out and got to know him in person. Since then, Luc and I have worked together on some of his remodels. I came out to talk to him about Airbnb-ing them. He does beautiful work. He’s this interesting jack of all trades that has reached FI unexpectedly. It’s a cool story.

It’s so funny when people stumble upon financial independence. They were doing the things to get them there without intentionally doing it. They hear about it and they’re like, “Wait a second. I’m there.” Luc didn’t do it extremely fast but he didn’t sacrifice all that much to do it. He bought a couple of properties for 10 or 15 years. Those properties gave him enough equity that he could sell them off or the rents are sustaining his life. At age 42, he hit financial independence and was able to retire at age 42. That’s incredible to me, 25 years early, without even hearing about the whole financial dependence movement. That shows you the power in real estate.

He gets to do his passion projects like building caskets. Let’s get into the story.

Luc, welcome to the show. How are you doing?

Very well. It’s nice to talk to you both.

It’s nice to talk to you too, a fellow Coloradan up in Longmont, which is the unofficial headquarters of financial independence.

My buddy Pete is somewhat well-known in this realm of the world.

For those of you who don’t know Pete, his pseudo name is Mr. Money Mustache. If you haven’t heard of his site, I highly recommend checking that out. You also have Carl and Mindy Jensen up there, the Mr. and Mrs. 1500. We’ve got Luc Nadeau, who is going to tell us a little bit about his story into financial independence. Luc, when did you hear about financial independence? How’d you get into it? Tell us a little bit about your story.

I slipped into financial independence unknowingly. I probably didn’t hear the words FI until the 2010s sometime. I was well on my way at that point. I read Your Money or Your Life in 2012. When I crunched the numbers at that time, I said, “We’re kind of there.” It’s because of a lot of the real estate dealings that I had done in the previous years.

Where did that start? What was your first real estate deal? What did that look like? Were you intentionally buying for cashflow to get financial independence? What were your thoughts then?

We wanted to buy a place to live in. For me, it seemed ridiculous that we were paying so much for rent every month and none of it was coming to us. This was 1998 and we were paying $900 in 1 month for a 2-bedroom condo in Longmont. I told my then fiancé that it was time for us to buy a house. We started looking around and this was our deal.

We got a realtor who didn’t know anything about the real estate world. We had a budget. It was maybe $150,000 and we were still in student loan debt to the tune of about $30,000 or so. How we funded our wedding was with credit cards. We got a little more in debt after we bought this place. We were looking around and not quite finding the place.

My realtor would bring up places, so eventually, I drove up and down the streets of old town Longmont. I found a place that would work for us because it had two units. I said, “Why don’t we rent out the bottom unit? It’s got a basement unit, which is a separate unit.” We can afford this place even though they’re asking $175,000. We ended up getting it for $172,000. Pretty soon thereafter, we were renting out the basement for $500. This was in 1999, so it was $500, $600 a month.

You house hacked before you even knew house hacking was a thing. This was before BiggerPockets. You’re an OG house hacker. I love that you went over budget to rent the place out. Typically, it’s a $20,000 increase in purchase prices but $100 a month in the mortgage. You paid about $20,000 more than you were anticipating but you were making $500 more, so that’s a $400 difference. You’re still coming out on top. I don’t know if you did that math then but it makes perfect sense.

I have to tell you a secret. I looked up what house hacking is after Zeona asked me to be on this and I read to a couple of episodes. I said, “I better learn some of the terms here.” I love playing with numbers. I tend to be a gunslinger when it comes to real estate. I have piles of spreadsheets, so I do play with numbers and it’s probably started back then. It made total sense for us to do that at the time and it worked.

Can you go into a little bit of the numbers? Do you remember what your mortgage was at that time so you can compare it to what you were paying at rent previously?

Interest rates used to be a lot higher back in the days. Click To Tweet

This was ages ago. Believe it or not, interest rates used to be a lot higher. Around that time, we were looking at 7% or so interest rates. We bought this place with Fannie Mae or something like that. It was 3% down. I did come into the closing with a check from one of the credit card deals. That was part of how we made that happen. I did get some money from my dad also towards closing but we were paying $1,200 for everything, mortgage plus taxes and insurance.

We were probably still paying them with the rent that we were getting from the basement. We were still paying something like $400 versus the $900 that we were paying before. We were pretty rapidly building equity in terms of appreciation. That was a weird time. That was around the time of 9/11. There was a bit of a hiccup in 2001 but then prices kept escalating for a while after that.

How much did you put down on that first property? Did you do a 5% down or 3% down?

It was 3% down. With closing costs, I can’t remember exactly but it was like $8,000.

It was through house hack, even though you didn’t know what it was not so long ago. With a low percent down, you got into it and started renting it out. You weren’t covering your mortgage all the way but at least you were saving a lot in rent. If you’re going from $900 from that 2-bedroom condo to only paying $400 in your mortgage, that’s $500 a month right there, not including equity, the loan paid out and all the other wealth builders of real estate. Needless to say, it sounds like you came out on top.

We would raise rent every couple of years or so. We stopped doing that in 2006 when my daughter was born and then we took over the whole house but then we only lived there for one more year before we moved into another house. We saved tens of thousands of dollars in the 6 or 7 years that we rented out the basement.

It sounds like that was a good successful first deal, even though you weren’t too intentional in terms of hitting financial independence or doing it for cashflow. It seemed like it made sense and you’re a smart guy to figure that out. Tell us about this house. With the house number two, if we’re doing our math correctly, you bought that in 2007. It might be an interesting story.

That was house number four, the one that we live in. Before we moved, I have a realtor friend that I played soccer with and I was getting interested in real estate investing because it seemed to make so much sense. I was playing with numbers and things. We bought a condo in 2003 in Fort Collins, did a little fix-up and had that for ten years or so. In 2005, we bought a house a couple of blocks from us. I wanted to get a place nearby after having owned the condo that was an hour away. I wanted a place that I would want to live in. It was a nice house and we did some remodel work there. That was our second investment property.

I wanted to ask a little bit about that second property. Having experience with your first house hack, having a tenant and seeing what it was like to get some money, did you have a different idea of your goals and how you were going to look at the numbers going into that? If you go buy a condo in Fort Collins, it’s probably not going to make a very good return. I’m curious how that looked back then.

I was pretty naive but this soccer player friend of mine had started doing real estate investing. When I mentioned that I was interested in that, he had a spreadsheet with the four different ways we could make money and how we were going to get cashflow on it. The second one was all about money. He became our agent, crunching the numbers. He said, “It’s not going to happen in Longmont.” We had pretty high-interest rates and the rent was pretty low at the time.

No cashflow in Longmont. We could have found it but it was hard to find. We were only able to find that in Fort Collins at the time, according to my buddy. That was why we did it. It was money and we had very little cashflow. It was $100 a month or so on the place of cashflow after the mortgage. We did an 80-10-10 on that one. We used HELOC from our first place to finance that one.

Can you give us the down-low on what those are?

On my first house, we had appreciated enough that we were able to take out a $130,000 home equity line of credit in 2002 or 2003. It was variable interest rates starting at around 7% and then the 80-10-10 where we could put 10% down on the condo that we bought in Fort Collins. You could call it hacking. It was another way for us to use our meager resources to be able to afford an investment property.

That’s important because you’re able to use the equity in your house, which is part of your wealth, to generate more wealth and that’s the great thing about real estate. To further clarify, 80-10-10 is where you get a basic 80% typical traditional mortgage, then you get a second mortgage that will cover 10% of your closing costs. You’re financing 90% of the property through 2 different mortgages and you’re bringing 10% down. It’s another way to purchase the property for a low percent down. It’s a tremendous way to pick a property if that’s something that you’re able to do.

You are not intentional at this point towards financial independence. You thought real estate was good to build wealth, so you figured you’d buy a property. Your buddy was a realtor, an investor-friendly realtor, it sounds. You trusted him and he got you a place that is okay but where you stood, it sounded pretty good back then.

It was a way for me to get my feet wet. We had been looking at other properties. At first, it was about money and building up some equity in real estate properties. We had gone to my alma mater in Bellingham, Washington prior to this place and put an offer on a house that they had asked for $120,000 and we countered with $110,000. They didn’t take it. They came back to us a month or so later but we had moved on. They would have accepted our original offer. I went and looked at that house. Zillow says it’s about $530,000. We always talk about the ones that got away but there’s a lot that we got that helped a lot as well.

That goes to show you that if you are planning to buy and hold property, it is never worth losing over $5,000, $10,000 or $15,000 because, like you saw, you’re not seeing the forest to the trees. If $10,000 kills your deal, then it’s not a deal. If you could hold on to that property for 10, 15, 20 years, you’re going to triple or quadruple in value. It’s game over. Pick up a few of those and you’re set for life.

Financial Independence: Things finally started to move in our market at a certain point, and they moved really quickly when they did. And so, there was some luck involved and also perseverance. 


Luc, I want to go into the numbers of that condo real quick to see how it appreciated or got better as you owned it. One thing that I know about you and the readers probably don’t is that you’re a total jack of all trades. Mr. Money Mustache talks about you as being the honeybadger. You’ve got all these different ways that you are becoming financially independent. Were you using that skill of being able to fix up places on either that first property that you had in Longmont or this condo to add value to it?

I evolved that skill. I’ll tell you a little story. I could do little things. I had a house painting company and had done little carpentry and furniture projects. The first remodel project I did was on our first house. There was a leaky faucet in the bathroom. A couple of months later, that bathroom had been completely remodeled. That’s how sometimes those things go. I realized I liked and enjoyed that.

I bought the little Home Depot orange remodel book. I don’t know if they still have it. I would learn little electric projects, do little things along the way and slowly get better. It was Pete who moved in next door to us in 2005. He was already getting his feet wet in remodel projects a lot more than I had. He helped me with getting into more extensive remodel projects and pretty much all of my projects since 2005.

Let’s go back to that condo and go over the numbers. What did you end up purchasing it for? Do you remember what you were renting it for at the very beginning and what its mortgage was?

This place sucked in so many ways. We bought it for $92,000, which was high at the time. It was 2 bedrooms, 750 square feet. I cannot remember what we were getting for rent but we were having cashflow about $100 a month in the beginning. We bought this in 2003 and then held it. 2007 rolls around and this place was worth even a little less than the $92,000 we bought it for. Go to 2009. It’s still about the same. Rent hasn’t improved that much.

What started to happen during the great recession though, is all these adjustable-rate mortgages that I had started to redound to my benefit and drop precipitously. It was a very fortunate thing on my part that I happened to have a bunch of arms. A lot of them had restrictions about how fast they could go up but a lot of the banks didn’t think they’d go down so fast, so they didn’t have restrictions on how fast they could go down. Suddenly, I had these 3% arms that were 7% in 1 year or 2 before.

At the same time, rent started going up. That was a boon to us, even though it was a terrible time for most homeowners and investors in our country. That place languished still, as far as the price went. It wasn’t until 2011, 2012, 2013 that those prices started to go up. I sold that one on Craigslist in 2015 for $129,000. It was a big thing but it was something.

You are a Craigslist home seller and I’d love to hear a little bit about that because it’s so funny. Do you find that you’re doing so much better with that very small pool? I know you’re avoiding the agency. You don’t have to pay the fees but is that better than maybe you having become an agent yourself? I’m very curious about why you went that route.

No, I was probably dumb with the Craigslist thing. It happened to work that time and I couldn’t have gotten more. We had an escalation clause on that, so it was fine. In hindsight, I probably should have become an agent way back in 2003. It never happened. I had other things going on. I had a lot of friends that are in the market. I sold the place I bought on a 1031 exchange with that when I sold the condo. I used a flat rate guy. That was a little messy but it worked. I tried that again on another property.

The one I bought in 2005, I tried to sell that way. It didn’t work. That was 2019. I was able to sell that place in 2020. I did go through a realtor who happens to be my tenant and she did a great job. It was fantastic. To finish that little anecdote, I did go under contract on the latest place I’ve been working on getting ready to sell. I did do that via Zillow. I didn’t use Craigslist this time. I had multiple offers, backup offers and I’m getting more than I asked for.

I want to think that I’m the one who pushed you towards Zillow. We had a conversation about Zillow at some point when you were looking for renters. I don’t know if I dropped that in your hat but I’m trying to take some credit.

You should take a lot of credit. I use Zillow when I try to rent places. The last couple of times, I have put my places on Zillow when I try to sell them as well.

Luc, let’s say the year is 2012. You’ve amassed a small portfolio, got a handful of properties and dabbled in real estate investing. You’re probably experienced than most people out there, then you hear about financial independence. Let’s talk about how you heard about financial independence and what actions you took since then.

It’s more of the word financial independence that I heard in 2012. After all, I lived next door to Pete for a while and then we worked on all these projects together. I was quite aware of everything that he’s been preaching and a lot of it fit right in with what I’ve been. I’ve always been a frugal person and very interested in numbers. Through us and talking to the guy, it consolidated a lot of those ideas. This happened a lot earlier, like 2008 or so. Since then, I started putting spreadsheets together saying, “We can do this and retire early.” At this point, we’re there essentially.

Where were you at in 2012 when you created your first spreadsheet in terms of passive income and expenses?

My stuff is pretty messy. At that point, I’ve got four rental properties and we have our house that we’ve done a lot of remodels too. Maybe it was 2014 when our equity went over $1,000,000. A lot of that, we couldn’t access. It’s all locked up in these houses and that was fine. My wife had gone way back in her teaching job. We’re paying the bills with the little income we were making from actual work. In the background, we were still building out the equity in our properties and not tapping into it. In the last couple of years, we’ve started to free up some of that equity and put some into the stock market. I don’t know exactly what I’m going to do. We’re selling one house a year.

At first, we were talking about, “Some of these places you bought, they weren’t great cashflows initially,” but because you held them over time, the equity built there underneath in the background. If you were living frugally, then you could live off of a part-time income. It’s cool to see that you’re able to sell them off and have these big piggy banks in essence. How many houses do you have left to sell? It sounds like you’ve got 2 or 3.

You could call it hacking. It was another way for us to use our meager resources to be able to afford an investment property.   Click To Tweet

We’re in the process of selling 1 of 3 rentals that we have left. Going back to your other point, there was a pretty long slog there. We were building equity in these houses, not getting much cashflow. At a certain point, things finally started to move in our market and moved quickly when they did. There was some luck involved but it was also perseverance holding on long enough that we realized that equity.

When you say you tapped into the equity in your house, can you explain exactly what you did? Was it HELOC? Did you sell it? How did you access that equity?

If you think about it, for some of these houses, we may be put $50,000 when it was $230,000 to buy it and the rest was bank money. We’ve been paying that off over time. We’ve been adding to the equity with rental payment. At the same time, the appreciation is going up. Suddenly, you got this house that you’ve only got $50,000 that you put into it and it’s worth $500,000 or your equity in it is $450,000 or $400,000 because you’ve been paying down the mortgage.

That’s when I said, “I could almost take that money out, put it in the stock market, not have to worry about managing that property and I’m making the same amount in truly passive income.” That was our thought in starting to sell these off but I love houses, so we’re going to buy another property. It’s going to be a different strategy and more of a lifestyle choice. I love playing with houses. I’m not a materialist guy but there’s something about houses that are appealing to me.

The way that I’ve seen some of your remodels go, it looks so beautiful. If I have the skill to do that, that would be fun because you can create something entirely new out of something that’s very dated. Longmont has cool historic homes. That’s so fun that you get to play in that realm. I wanted to highlight what you were saying about time, how appreciation works and equity can be built up. A lot of people look at real estate and go like, “I’m only going to make $100 or $300 a month.” That’s not enough to retire but I tell people, “You don’t get rich off of the first one.” It’s about starting as early as possible because it’s the time in the home that is what’s going to give it to you.

We never know what the real estate cycle is going to look like but if you have the time, you’re going to hit some appreciation boom somewhere in there. It’s that sheer luck that you prepared yourself by putting yourself in that position. You’re already financially independent. A lot of our guests aren’t there yet and we’re talking about their journey looking forward. What does it look like for you as you’re going towards the future and you don’t need the money?

It’s about being able to do what I want. You’ve talked about this a little bit too, Zeona. You can pick a house that’s not necessarily the one that’s going to make you the most profits. I started down that path. Even after I bought the condo, I was thinking, “I don’t want to work in a place that I don’t care about. I want to work on places that I like and that make my neighborhood better.” I’m at the point where I’d want to get a place in Wisconsin, which is where my wife and I are both from. That’ll be some land with a nice place on it that we can rent out when we’re not there, stay when we want to and have a lifestyle practice moving forward.

I’ve been talking a lot about lifestyle investing. For me, coming out of FI and having been there for a while, it’s fun to have a little extra where you can say, “Having a beach house in South Florida sounds cool.” It’s not about the money and the numbers being perfect anymore. It’s that you know you’ve got more space in the deal. I like hearing that.

If the goal was to hit financial independence as soon as possible, that’s great. You did the right thing without knowing it in terms of investing in real estate. I’ll go to the grave fighting this point where real estate is the highest odds of getting there as quickly as possible. Once you’re there and you look at your equity, you’re like, “Managing properties sucks. I don’t want to do that. I don’t want to manage a property manager, worry about rent and have stress if there’s a vacancy.”

You sold a lot of them and put them in stocks. You’ve got this truly passive thing. If you’re financially dependent, you could do nothing and still survive. You’re not making the highest return but still getting there. You’re like, “I like houses.” You have that option to go and do the thing that you love to do. The glory of financial independence is having that option.

It’s still in my mind that it’s the best way to make money. Even if it’s a lifestyle thing, I can’t go buy 50 acres in Wisconsin and have it be a place that only we get to visit and I don’t make any money off of. It’s a vehicle and a way to afford some new avenues for us to drive down.

Is that what you’re going towards next? Is that a seed you’re planting with your wife or have you made any moves?

The only moves we’ve made are looking online and enlisting my relatives back in Wisconsin to look online as well also. My daughter is interested in this idea. I’m hoping it’ll be a good experience for her to be involved in the whole shebang.

I love that you mentioned your daughter getting interested in it. Have they been around for some of the projects? I imagine you bring your kids around and be like, “You got to go play in the corner while we fix this whole kitchen.” Are they seated along the way?

We always have big plans for them to come like, “I’ll pay you to come and work.” My daughter’s gotten better since she’s older. She puts in more than an hour of continuous work. With my son, you’re lucky if you get a decent 10 minutes out of a 60 minutes’ worth of work but it’s fun. In their ways, they value the properties. My daughter loves the latest remodel we did and she’s interested in doing stuff like that eventually.

I wanted to talk about something. The underlying thesis of this entire episode is that you’re financially independent because you were able to keep your expenses low. We briefly talked about house hacking, which is one expense that you had. What other things have you done to keep your expenses low so that you can hit financial independence quicker? I was thinking about your life in general but if you have tips for how to save on rehabs, that will be valued too.

I’ve always been frugal. I grew up comfortably in the Midwest but my parents never had a lot of money. My grandparents had a lot of money, so I got to do a lot of vacations and things that people with a lot of money get to do. I was very fortunate to have both of those things. I had to be frugal when it came to clothes and stuff like that when I was in high school and that carried over. I remember when I was in college, $13,000 was what I lived on in a year and that included tuition and textbooks. I was like, “This is a lot of money.”

Financial Independence: We lived off regular jobs in the meantime while we’re building all this sweat equity and other equity in these properties.


I will never need more than $13,000. We moved to Colorado and rents are three times as much. It seemed like $30,000 was tough to do. I’m no Pete when it comes to being frugal but compared to the average American, we do pretty well. We’d look at what we purchased and we’re careful about it. I try to do a lot of things myself as far as repairs. When it comes to real estate, that’s how I’ve saved a ton of money. Whenever I crunched the numbers on how much I’ve made in terms of the equity in a property, I include my hours at about $40-$50 an hour.

When I sell a house, I get to pay myself for the work that I did years ago. When you think about it, you’re forced to lock up that equity in a sense because it’s stuck in that house, unless you take it out somehow. A lot of my sweat equity over the last few years has been locked up in these houses. We lived off my wife’s and my regular jobs, in the meantime, while we’re building all this sweat equity and other equity in these properties in the background.

You’re not working, Luc? Are you just doing your projects?

Yeah. I build caskets. I make caskets out of blue stain pine. I build about 3 to 4 a month and each one’s 1 day or 2 to build. That’s my work.

It’s a woodworking passion project though. I imagine you make some income off of it but it’s something that you’ve developed a love for?

I make money from it but it’s just a side gig. It’s a very rewarding job because a lot of people find it very meaningful.

How did you first go to learn how to make a casket? Where did that jump happen? It’s not the first thing you look for on YouTube, I imagine.

This was way back around the beginning of YouTube. It was 2008 or so. I wanted to get out of the painting business and this was one of the little ideas I had. I bought a cheap little book on how to build caskets. I started doing it and they’ve been fine-tuned a lot along the way. They’re pretty rustic and simple.

We’ll do a brief recap of your story. Take it back to ‘99, you bought your first house, house hacked it and did that for a few years. Throughout 1999-2007, you bought a few properties. You had four or so. 2012 comes along. You hear about financial independence. You’re like, “We are pretty darn close to being financially independent.” After that, you looked at the equity in your house and maybe the 4% rule, all of that. You meet Pete, all these good things happen. Fast forward to 2020, you’ve got your casket business. You’re pretty much a lifestyle guy. You’re mostly in stocks.

Most of my equity is still in real estate. We’re about to free up a bunch of equity but it’ll still mostly be in real estate, including our own house.

You’re still financially independent through that real estate and probably through some stock. You wanted to sell it so that you could do less work with real estate but it’s a bug that never seems to go away. You’re looking to purchase a large ranch out in Wisconsin potentially.

I have no idea what’s going to happen. We’re going out there in the booties and see how it goes.

Do you have any other words of wisdom before we go into the Final Four?

In the first decade of this, things were a lot different than the last decade in terms of interest rates and rents. It’s been a lot easier to have cashflow in where we are and with interest rates the way they are. You don’t know what’s going to happen in the future but things are about that best day since I’ve been a real estate investor.

A lot of people are very hesitant to buy. It seems like real estate has risen to a certain point where it’s expensive and people worry about there being a bubble and a crash. Although those things can happen, it is good for people to look at having low-interest rates and those low payments do help you carry it out. Even if your property does lose value in the next three years, it generally will come back around. Having that lower payment and low interest is helpful. It’s great that you’re showing that. Let’s get into the Final Four. Question number one, what are you reading?

I’m going to hit you with three books here. The first one, I have to admit that I like schlocky fantasy novels. I am reading this big one called The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson. I’m enjoying it. I’m finally getting into it. I’m about 500 pages in. I read serious books too. The next one is called Factfulness by Hans Rosling. It’s a book that’s dispelling the idea that humanity is not progressing. It’s like we have all these biases, things are getting worse and 2020 was a year where a lot of things did get worse.

He’s saying, “Let’s look at the long-term trends and the fact here.” We’re generally doing a decent job as a human species. There are some existential issues on the table, like climate change, that we have to be working on. I’m going to show you this third one. You’re going to like this, Zeona. It’s called Robinson Family Governess.

Real estate is the best way to make money. Click To Tweet

My great grandmother was a governess in Kauai for a year and a half or so from 1911 to 1913. That was for the Robinson family, who is the family that owned Ni’ihau and a good chunk of Kaua’i as well. It’s fun to read about our connections and I’ve been to Kauai. Maybe if the Wisconsin place goes well, we might have to buy a little plot of land in Kauai or talk to the Robinsons and see if they’ll set me up there.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

I’m going to focus on real estate here. When we were first looking for a house in 1998, we were looking all over town. We didn’t have anything dialed in. I had several houses, so I called a friend’s mom in Madison, Wisconsin, who is a realtor. I said, “What do you think? What should we do?” She said, “I would stick with the old town. I would get into those old houses. You can’t build new old towns.” It was what she said to me.

I like old houses. I grew up in old houses and that spurred me to narrow my focus to old town Longmont. That’s what spurred me to drive up and down the streets and find the place that we ended up in. I’m not saying that this is the only way to make real estate work but for me, it was a huge boon to have done it this way. All of the properties that I’ve valued that have gone well for me have been these old properties, very near where I live and we’re going to try something great.

Question number three, what is your why?

Time. It’s all about time to me. That means more time with my family, with my friends doing leisure activities but maybe just as important, it’s time to do all these projects. I’ve got thousands of projects. I’ve got a book full of projects that I want to work on. I’ll never get to them all but those projects don’t have to make me money. Some of them cost me a lot of money. A certain amount of those projects have to be projects that better the world. To me, the idea of fulfillment is you have to be trying to be a good person and make the world a better place. Otherwise, you can never have true fulfillment. This has afforded me that opportunity.

Next question, what sport would be the funniest to add a mandatory amount of alcohol to?

A lot of sports already include alcohol. Some sports get dangerous when you add more to it. Certainly, you wouldn’t want to do it with football. Hockey would be pretty good. It’s going to be dangerous but you’re going to want to see the pro hockey players. Maybe you could even make it biathlon where you have to have at least three drinks per period and see how that goes by the end of the game.

I was thinking about synchronized swimming. I felt like that would be pretty funny but you don’t want anyone to drown or anything.

Luc, where can people find out more about you?

I want to plug my YouTube channel where I have a lot of these remodel projects that we’ve done. That’s called Poppa’s Cottage. I also have a blog by that name but it’s not as focused on in-house. It’s a much more eclectic blog. I had a video go viral in 2020. It’s up to 3.3 million views. That’s where I got most of them subscribed. Another one of my remodel projects went a little bit viral. It’s almost up to one million views.

It was a pleasure having you on the show. I thought this was a pretty good episode and one that’s interesting. Doing it before you even heard about FI, the fact that you systematically got there for fifteen or so years mainly through real estate shows that you can even buy real estate and not know what you’re doing and still get to a place of riches or wealth.

It’s been a pleasure talking with you. I might have to hit you up on some advice when I start looking in earnest at those Wisconsin properties.

Thank you.

That was Luc Nadeau. Z-Money, what’d you think of that episode?

It’s so cool to bring somebody on that’s already after FI because a lot of times, we’ve got people that are reaching out and they’re maybe five years away. It’s nice to hear the other side of what life can look like and how you can switch to more of a lifestyle investor. I thought he had some great tips and it looked simple looking back on how he did it.

It seems like he’s no longer driven by money like many other people are. He likes to work with his hands, build his caskets, play with his hedgehog and do all those things. Money is great and he’s not going to decline it but that’s not the main motivator for him anymore. It leads to a much happier life and he seems a very happy person.

Financial Independence: It’s all about time to me, so that means more time with my family and friends, doing leisure activities, and, maybe just as important, time to do all these projects.


I liked that fulfillment for him is about doing something to better our species and giving back in that way. He has that Mr. Money Mustache spirit to him. I appreciate these do-gooders.

They remind me so much of each other, even just by talking to him. I feel like they’ve got the same type of personality too, which makes sense. Z, before we head out, tell me one thing that’s new in your life.

I don’t have any new deals going on, just hustling around in real estate. I’ve got a lot of fun, potential new listings, clients or people that want to put offers but nothing that new. Do you have anything new in your portfolio happening?

My portfolio is at a standstill because I’m hoarding all of my cash until I can do my taxes. Every time a new form is available, I’m immediately uploading it to my account so I can get that done.

The fun thing is that you’ve committed to coming out to Hawaii while we’re here. I hope that we get to overlap. Maybe coming up, we’ll be doing shows together.

Until next time, Z. I will you later.


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