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In December of 2001, Italy’s Leaning Tower of Pisa reopened after a team of experts spent 11 years and reportedly $27 million in renovation to stabilize the tower without eliminating its famous lean. In the process, they removed 110 tons of dirt and reduced the lean by about 16 inches. This was necessary because the 185-foot tower had been tilting further and further toward the ground for hundreds of years and the Italian authorities were concerned that if nothing was done, it would eventually collapse.
What was the problem? Bad design? Poor workmanship, Inferior materials? No, the problem was found underneath the tower.
Construction of the bell tower for the cathedral of Pisa, began in the 12th century. While the construction was still in progress, the tower’s foundation began to sink into the soft marshy ground on which it was being built, causing it to lean to one side. The builders tried to compensate for the lean by making the top stories slightly taller on one side, but the extra materials required to do so, only made the tower sink further into the soft ground.
The sandy soil on which the city of Pisa lies, wasn’t firm enough to support a monument the size of the bell tower. From the very beginning, the tower was not built on a firm foundation.
Like the Leaning Tower of Pisa, if we are not careful to build our personal finances on a firm foundation, we are at risk that it will crumble some time in the future. Without building your financial house on a firm foundation, the financial storms of life could cause everything you built to lean to the point where expensive repairs are required if not total ruin.
While it is the least exciting and least attractive part of any new home construction project, the foundation is the most expensive and critical element of the entire home structure. In the same way, the construction of your financial house begins with the least attractive or exciting components of the wealth-building process. But, when properly done, these components will hold up your financial house in almost any storm.
In this blog series, we will cover all facets of building wealth from storing and protecting wealth to investing and income independence. We will share insights we have learned both fortuitously as well as the hard way. Some insights will be steeped in facts and data while others will be more lighthearted and philosophical, intended to provoke thoughtfulness and inspiration.