- Pharmacist Ryan Chaw owns six rental properties, netting $6,000 a month in cash flow.
- He keeps his day job because he loves it, and because he’s not sure what he’d want to do next.
- It’s also easier to get home loans with a W-2 job, another reason to keep working.
Ryan Chaw is a real estate investor who brings in over $70,000 annually from a business he works on for less than an hour a week. He started purchasing real estate in 2016 as a strategy to reach financial independence and has since acquired six properties. According to documents viewed by Insider, these investment homes just about $6,000 per month in cash flow. While he doesn’t work close to full-time on this venture, he does work over 30 hours per week — in an entirely different field.
Chaw is also a pharmacist, a job he plans to keep for the foreseeable future despite his significant real estate income. As The Great Resignation continues to impact labor in the United States, Chaw is going against the grain. Below, he shares with Insider the reasons he plans to keep his W-2 job over joining the millions of workers who have left the traditional workforce behind.
1. He loves his job
“I love my job,” Chaw told Insider, “I love what I do as a pharmacist.” He started his career working in infectious diseases, which was particularly exciting for him since it was one of his favorite subjects. “It’s like a puzzle,” he explained. “You get to figure out which bacteria or virus is causing the illness, and then you choose the drug that will best target that bacteria.”
It’s not just that he finds the work intellectually stimulating, he’s also motivated by a strong desire to help others. “That’s why I chose the industry,” he said. “Because I could serve others.” He has also worked in pediatric pharmacy, an area of the profession where he can very easily see and feel the impact he’s making on others.
2. He wants to reach financial freedom before leaving his job
Even if Chaw didn’t have a passion for the work he was doing as a pharmacist, he didn’t want to jump the gun and leave a secure financial situation too quickly. “I don’t want to be in a position where I’m desperate and having to make my next buck in real estate,” he said.
Instead, he wants to reach complete financial independence before he considers what his next professional move could look like. “My strategy is to do it in a safe, secure manner,” Chaw explained. For him, this means generating $10,000 per month in cash flow.
When he started investing in real estate, about six years ago in 2016, he planned to use the income stream to reach financial independence over seven or eight years. He decided he would buy one house per year, after which he would have the cash flow for financial freedom. This level of financial security has always been the end goal and something he didn’t want to rush.
Based on his projections, he should meet this goal next year after two more acquisitions. Then, he plans to sell his first home, and use that money to pay off the remainder of three other homes.
“I didn’t want to burn the bridges and jump in full-time and say, ‘I’m going to have to make this work otherwise I’m going to fail,'” he explained.
3. It’s easier to get home loans with a W-2 job
Though his passion for pharmacy and his desire for complete financial security are his primary reasons for keeping his current position, there’s another logistic factor that comes into play, too. “It’s so much harder to get a loan being self-employed,” he explained. Access to a financing agreement is integral to most real estate investors, and having a W-2 job makes it significantly easier for Chaw to do this.
“Usually lenders want to see a minimum of two years of positive profit from your self-employed business,” he explained. “So if I did that, I would have to wait two years to purchase another house, because I’d have to show enough income coming in from my tax returns.” Though there are other financing options, in his experience a conventional mortgage offers the best rates. Keeping his salaried job makes everything much more feasible for him.
4. He’s still considering his next steps
Ultimately, Chaw is still considering what life might look like once he hits the goals he’s strving toward. Right now, he’s set on his goal of financial independence. “And at that point, I can live life on my own terms and figure out how many hours I really want to work as a pharmacist,” he said.
He hopes to reach a point where he can donate $100,000 per year to charities he supports, particularly organizations that are doing allergy research. “I had this life-threatening anaphylactic reaction, and I almost died,” he said, explaining that he’s always hoped there would be a cure for allergies in his lifetime. “I love working as a pharmacist and helping people, but I’ve always wanted to go a step further and make my own impact on the world.”