Cleo Murphy writing on financial independence…
Gary Scott’s seniority hasn’t stopped him grabbing the opportunities presented in the new economy.
“The sharing economy can be phenomenal for people looking for income. You don’t need a big marketing operation to succeed,” says Gary, who is now in his seventies.
He and his wife, Merri, have a farm in the Blue Ridge Mountains…an orange grove in Florida to escape the winter months…and independent incomes to fund it all.
The couple has five cabins on their 250-acre farm that they rent out to vacationers using the Airbnb platform. This, they say, is what makes the farm sustainable.
The Airbnb website requires only that you post the details of the room and property you wish to make available. With more than 10 million bookings since it started in 2012, it exposes you to more visitors than your own website could hope to attract.
Gary and Merri have become “superhosts” on Airbnb, with a 95%, five-star rating, and enjoy the company of interesting vacationers while they’re on the farm between June and October.
“We love being in nature out here,” says Gary, describing their North Carolina home. “I get up around 5 a.m. Then I get the tractor out and bush hog a field. I like living where there’s not a big crowd. I have a pond stocked with trout and, every year, I shoot a deer for meat. We have a water supply and wood for heating.”
After that, they head south for some sun to their 16-acre orange grove on the shores of Lake Dora near the 100-year-old village of Mount Dora in Central Florida. “It’s an old, rambling place,” says Gary, who has a team growing the navel variety of oranges there.
In addition to their rental income, Gary and Merri run a successful publishing business that’s completely portable.
“Technology allows us do it,” says Gary. “Ashe County, where we live in North Carolina, has one of the highest percentages of fiber optic cable in the country. I can be more effective as a publisher here than in a city. Being online has been liberating for us.”
With 50 years of global investment experience, Gary shares what he knows through his website, daily email, reports, seminars, webinars, and other digital information products. From time to time, he hosts events at the farm.
“It’s a micro-business enterprise and it’s our pinnacle career,” he explains, referring to the concept of a time in your career to learn, a time to do, and a time to teach. “Our experience now is worth more than the cost of getting it.”
Freedom and independence are important to Gary, who recently celebrated what he describes as 50 years of “business adventure.” That adventure has taken him from Hong Kong to London to Ecuador and back to the U.S.
“There are three basic elements of real freedom,” he says, “good health, the ability to earn through service, and good investment based on financial information.”
Part of his motivation to achieve optimum health — both physical energy and mental clarity — is the desire to avoid “the grip of the expensive, big-pharma-fueled, healthcare system.
“You can spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on the high cost of U.S. healthcare,” he warns.
Instead, he and Merri have chosen to pay close attention to their diet, exercise, sleep patterns, and spiritual wellbeing. They have opted to constantly try new ways of earning a living and discover new life experiences.
Their life today is self-directed. They do what they love…and only as much of it as they want. They use the resources of new technology and the new economy to live in beautiful, natural surroundings. Their search for a simpler, more independent life has been fruitful.
“Our emphasis now is on lifestyle decisions rather than income decisions,” says Gary.
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