Health, Wealth, Wisdom, Work & Play

Since I started writing this bi-weekly blog posts in October, 2020, I’ve become a fan of several others that I read on a regular basis.

The one I’m most addicted to, by far, is Morning Brew.

It hits my inbox 6 days a week at about 3 a.m. and updates me on the financial markets, geo-politics, energy, culture, white-collar crime, and a grab bag of several other tidbits.

Add to that Shane Parrish’s “Sunday Brain Food” newsletter.

Shane is the host of The Knowledge Project podcast, one of my favorites for eavesdropping on thoughtful conversations with some of the highest IQ / highest-achieving people in the world.

I also read the 7-Set Sunday newsletter by Robert Sikes, host of Keto Savage podcast.

I’ve been a cyclical ketogenic diet follower since 2018 and I LOVE it because it keeps me lean and energized, and because it’s binary.

(Things that are binary — either ON or OFF — work far better for me than attempting moderation.)

One of the reasons I like these newsletters is that they all follow a formula for their content each week.

They have an established, repeating table of contents, just with new subject matter fit into each edition.

I know that I have been anything but consistent with this past year of blog posts.

I jump all over the place, and it’s probably as exhausting for you to read as it is for me to decide what to write about.

I LOVE researching a subject then sharing what I found most useful or interesting, like the People’s First initiative, the role of inflation, or the process of navigating the Flooded 4-Plex Remodel.

But in those times when I’m not quite ready to go deep on one single subject, I’d like to have a consistent “table of contents” to default to.

I’m going to try that today.

5 categories of content, all things that I consistently, actively study, practice, or pursue, with a short snippet about each one:

  1. Health
  2. Wealth
  3. Wisdom
  4. Work
  5. Play

1) Health

Until about 10 years ago, my entire health and fitness plan could be summarized by just three words:

“I’m just young.”

To be fair, I’ve been an active person my whole life, an athlete, a hobbyist, an outdoor-lover, a can’t-sit-still’er.

That allowed me to get by pretty well, stay pretty lean and flexible, recover quickly, and live generally pain-free… up until I hit my early forties.

Since then, the “youth card” has diminished year over year and my body’s sensitivity to:

  • what I eat,
  • when I eat,
  • how I sleep,
  • my exercise routine,
  • my breathing habits,
  • my cold exposure,
  • my self-talk,
  • my mindset,
  • my wellness board of directors,

…have all become exponentially more noticeable on basically a quarterly basis.

I am fanatical about my health because I’ve had a front row seat to what happens if you default to a sedentary lifestyle and eat the standard American diet as you age out of your youth.

The good news that we all have the privilege of living with are these:

There is no age where the body won’t respond positively to doing more healthful things.

There has also never been a time in history where it has been easier to get useful, try-it-for-yourself information on how to be healthy as you age, and even how to extend your life for years or decades beyond what is “expected”.

I’m going to very briefly touch on two things that I have found to work extremely well for me, and that I truly believe are important for staying healthy well into older age:

1) Limit your eating time window. When I am feeling my best, thinking most clearly, enjoying the most energy, yawning the least, I am not taking a bite of food until noon or later, and I’m done eating for the day by 8 p.m.

That 16-hour “intermittent fast” allows for  autophagy and a host of other benefits.

2) Never. Stop. Strength-training. If there is one form of exercise you can do to stave off the deteriorating effects of aging, it is resistance or strength-training.

Think: Lifting weights and/or using resistance bands. Loss of muscle mass and strength is what leads to instability, falls, or even just losing the ability to huck a football in the yard with your grandkid.

No matter how old you are now, your body will respond positively to (intelligently, with guidance at first if you need it) starting and continuing some resistance training.

Let the cardio and flexibility go when you must, but NEVER abandon your strength.

Want an intro to one of my go-to health mentors who studies, experiments, and publishes constantly on all things later-in-life health and longevity-related? Check out  Peter Attia MD, who has an amazing podcast and plenty of other content.

Here’s a recent transcript on “How to Train for the Centenarian Olympics.”

2) Wealth

I do believe this to be true: Putting *some* of your time and mental bandwidth towards studying basic wealth creation / preservation is as important — and every bit as do-able — as committing to basic physical wellness throughout your life.

(And if you’re not inspired to do it for yourself, then consider doing it for your descendants.)

I heard something recently that absolutely blew my mind, filled me with excitement and inspiration, and that I’ve shared with no less than 20 people in the last few weeks:

Warren Buffett, one of the top 10 wealthiest people on the planet, made 99.7% of his wealth after his 52nd birthday.

And 97% after his 65th birthday!!!!!!!

(Insert mind-blown emoji here).

Some will immediately wave off that statement just because it includes the name “Warren Buffett” so it isn’t even applicable because, I mean, he’s practically not even human.


OK… take his $110,000,000,000 net worth and remove 5 zeros, so you have $1.1 million remaining.

Couldn’t a person, at any age today, set a goal to do what Buffett did and become a dedicated student of investing, and see how far they could take that number?

I’m not talking about ignoring the other people or responsibilities in your life.

I’m just talking about shifting some of your podcast-listening time, reading time, web-surfing time, to going from wherever you are now further up the learning escalator of investing.

Here’s a real-life scenario I highly encourage you to consider:

We are in an (extreme) inflationary environment right now.

40% of the US money supply has been created in the last 18 months.

(Imagine if the number of Bellingham single family homes jumped by 40% in less than two years. What would that do those homes’ values?)

Here’s the question: Is that inflation happening TO you, or FOR you?

Students and practitioners of wealth-creation / preservation are asking themselves this question:

Q: “How can I be a beneficiary of inflation?”

A: Real estate is just one answer. There are *many* more assets on that list, with much, much lower entry points.

Want to start a young person thinking now about wealth-creation by gifting them what is BY FAR the most highly-regarded book on the subject?

Order them this.

3) Wisdom

Again, by “Wisdom” all I mean is, “What am I studying right now?”

Today’s answer: only one of the most fascinating, relevant, useful and timely subjects I have had the pleasure of wrapping my head around.

It is *miraculously* so scarcely understood, not required learning in school, college, or at any stage of life, endlessly and unnecessarily confusing and outright frightening to most adults, and fully ignored by the majority of the population until they find themselves forced to deal with it.

I’m talking about the process of probate and settling a decedent’s estate.

At BNP Realtors we have the privilege of being frequently recommended to help estate executors or administrators prepare, list, and sell real estate after a death.

(We have three such sales pending right now.)

(Our experience and aptitude for orchestrating and fronting the cost of pre-listing clean-up and all the other required prep lends itself well to this type of sale, often with an out-of-state person acting as executor).

But even though our executor clients may be working with a great attorney on the full probate process, we find they usually have a mountain of unanswered questions.

Therefore, I’ve become a student of probate, wills, trusts, the local legal forms and requirements, personal property disposition, local dealers, the entire universe of logistics after a loss.

I am in up-and-to-the-right learning-curve heaven.

My study goal is multi-faceted:

  • Obviously, to help as much as possible those clients who are settling an estate.
  • To write a guide for anyone who may not yet be working with us but who would still benefit from the information.
  • To be able to teach and demystify this unnecessarily mysterious process to other Realtors and professionals, so more and more people can be helped.
  • And… to prepare our own estate in a way that will make our executor, when the time comes, smile, relax, and give thanks for everything being as prepared and as accessible as possible.

As many as 60% of American adults don’t even have a simple will in place.

If you happen to fit this category, PLEASE fix that right away.

None of us know when our time will be up… but the least we can do is prepare a simple will.

Even just use a free online template, follow the basic instructions carefully, and then record it in the Whatcom County Will Repository for $20.

Below is ne of many different sources I’m currently reading (and hanging on every word as if it were a steamy novel. I know, I’m weird like that.)

4) Work

Work at BNP Realtors has been THE BOMB!!!!!

Let me give you a quick look at what we’re clocking into every day.


In some metrics, it is very similar to how it was on this week last year.


On this date in 2021, the County looked like this for single-family detached homes:

  • Active listings: 189
  • Pending listings: 349
  • Pending percentage: 65%

Today, it looks like this:

  • Active listings: 183
  • Pending listings: 292
  • Pending percentage: 61%

Not vastly different, wouldn’t you say?

Let me offer a couple more data points:

For the 90-day period ending one year ago, there were 587 sales in the County.

  • Median time on market: 6 days
  • Median sale price relative to list price: 102.24%

In the last 90 days, there have been 545 sales in the County.

  • Median time on market: 7 days
  • Median sale price to list price percentage: 102.5%

Again, not too different.

But let me offer one more statistic that IS measurably different.

Median price for those sales in that 90-day window last year:

  • $500,000

Median price for those sales in the last 90 days:

  • $600,000

That’s a 20% increase year over year, or the one data point on this quick overview that has moved significantly, County-wide.


The transaction to acquire 1100 Lakeway Drive is still in escrow, but moving steadily forward.

We finished our 30-day feasibility study with no big red flags.

The appraisal has been conducted and we’re waiting on that report, which will trigger the waiver of our financing contingency.

Meanwhile, we’re working with my Swimrun buddy Trevor and his team at Highline Construction on the remodel design and permitting process, and after we close they’ll start cranking on that work.

If all goes well, we should close the purchase in early to mid-May, with a target move-in date sometime in late summer or early fall.

I will definitely keep you posted!

Meanwhile, if you or someone you know may want to rent our current space at 909 Squalicum Way, put them in touch with me.

It’s currently set up as office space for about 12 people max, but could be re-purposed to become almost anything.

A conceptual look at our new space, post-remodel…

5) Play

My family LOVES Spring!!!

We come to life in all the areas where we had turned the figurative volume level down over the short days of winter.

Rather than try to put it in words, let me share a few pics that will help tell the spring-time tale:

From our recent trip to San Antonio, Texas…

Jazzy, who LOVES riding quads, did her first solo lap around the trails…

Hayden and I made a trip out to Tomas Vrba’s studio to see a 9-foot Sasquatch he was carving…

Heather and the kids continue to train at Life Force Ninja nearly every day. They leave tomorrow for the National Ninja League World Championships in North Carolina…

Hayden and I are making home-school progress on the storage shed near our play field…

With Hayden and Heather off to a competition, Jazzy and I had a day of off-roading, launching model rockets, and Anthony’s for dinner…

Hayden reached a Nelson-boy rite of passage by palming a full-size basketball. (He’s far more normal than I in that he waited til he was 14 to do this. I could do it when I was… 7 years old.) 🙂