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VOL 37 NO 25 JUNE 16 – JUNE 22, 2018

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36 YEARS YOUR VOICE

H T L A E W G N I T A CRE N’Ts TH E

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RETIRE AT 40

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alues v e r o c g in Align and banking

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asianweekly northwest

2

36 YEARS

JUNE 16 – JUNE 22, 2018

■ NAMES IN THE NEWS NW Emmy Awards

KING 5’s Lori Matsukawa won her first Emmy on June 9, at the 55th annual Northwest Regional Emmy Awards. She posted on Facebook, “First #NWEmmy. Took 40 years! I dedicate it to the Japanese American concentration camp survivors of WWII who were the subject of the stories.” Fellow KING colleagues who also won Emmys: Lori Matsukawa holding her first NW Emmy video journalist Ryan Award. Takeo, sports producer Ty Nguyen who won two, and director Emily Wen. KOMO’s Molly Shen took another Emmy home for Best News Anchor, and fellow anchor Ryan Yamamoto won for coverage of the Amtrak derailment. Susan Han, senior producer at Seattle Channel and Amy Chu, illustrator and KCTS also took statues home. 

Pagdiriwang Philippine Festival

held a two-day Pagdiriwang Philippine Festival at the Seattle Center on June 2 and 3. It was to commemorate Philippine Independence Day, which officially takes place on June 12. Attendees enjoyed a variety of dance and musical performances, and of course, food. 

Desi Detour

Senate Page Ogaki

Jasmine Ogaki, a junior at Shorewood High School, was appointed by Sen. Patty Murray to serve as a U.S. Senate Page during the spring term of 2018. Ogaki was one of 30 students selected nationwide. Her term lasted for nearly five months, during which time she lived, worked, and went to Jasmine Ogaki school in Washington, D.C. Senate Page duties consist primarily of delivery of correspondence and legislative material within the Congressional complex. Pages live in a dorm near the capitol and attend classes in the early morning at the United States Senate Page School. Ogaki became interested in applying for the U.S. Senate Page Program after being appointed by State Sen. Maralyn Chase to serve as a page for one week in the Washington State Legislature. 

Bollywood dance group Live2Dance will perform Desi Detour on June 30 at Newport High School in Bellevue. The performance is a benefit for Sukarya — a U.S.-Indian based nonprofit fighting for the health of marginalized population of women and children in India and ensuring they get access to basic health checkups, vaccines, and essential medicine. Tickets are available at tickethungama.com/desidetour. 

Leadership transition at PeaceTrees Vietnam

Photo by Yvette Tang

Living Future Hero award

Folk dance by students from the University of Washington.

The Filipino Cultural Heritage Society of Washington

At the annual Living Future sustainable design conference held in Seattle in May, King County green building project manager Nori Catabay was honored as a Living Future Hero. Catabay, with King County Recycling and Environmental Services, leads the internal King County Green Building Team and provides green building technical training for County capital Nori Catabay projects. She also manages the County’s sustainable infrastructure evaluation. Catabay is also active in Seattle’s Filipino community. 

Quang Le

Ha Pham

Quang Le, the long-time in-country director for PeaceTrees Vietnam, will be stepping down from his role effective June 30, 2018. Le began his service at PeaceTrees Vietnam in 1997. He worked with Quang Tri Province leadership to design and manage the construction of the PeaceTrees Friendship Village, including 100 homes, a kindergarten, a community hall, power, and water for residents. Pham Thi Hoang Ha has been appointed to succeed Le — he has been with PeaceTrees for the last 16 years, most recently as a project manager. 


asianweekly northwest

YOUR VOICE

JUNE 16 – JUNE 22, 2018

■ COMMUNITY NEWS

3

How to retire by 40 Is it a pipe dream?

By Ruth Bayang NORTHWEST ASIAN WEEKLY

From left: Christine Kwon (left) holding Nola (1), Brooklyn (5), and husband Olivier Rigon holding Valencia (2) at SeaTac Airport before a recent trip. John Chen, CEO of Geoteaming

“I’m the busiest retired guy you’ll ever meet,” said John Chen, CEO of Geoteaming. He quit his Microsoft job at age 32 and almost two decades later, he is loving retirement. “I always knew I was supposed to do something, I just didn’t know what it was,” said Chen. He admits to falling asleep in meetings during his seventh year at Microsoft, even though he loved his job. It was 1997 and he was 30 years old. That’s when he started laying the groundwork to transition out of being an employee. He made the jump into entrepreneurship two years later, with a wife, kids, and a mortgage. The word “retirement” can prompt visions of sitting on the couch all day long and doing nothing, or playing endless rounds of golf, sitting on a beach, traveling the

world, or countless number of other scenarios. For the purpose of this article, retirement means the ability to quit your job and do your own thing — such as opening up a business, working for yourself, and not being beholden to a boss. For Chen, it meant starting his own business around corporate team building. “You’ve got to get your stuff in order,” Chen said, financially and otherwise. He said to think about your lifestyle. “A lot of us grew up with not a lot. So therefore, you can actually change your lifestyle to ‘not a lot’ and be OK with it. Everybody has a number. You’ve just got to figure out what that number is. For some, that number for ‘enough’ could be quite low.”

For Christine Kwon, 40, that number was double her salary. She owns ROCK PI real estate investment firm with her husband. “We have three kids under age 5,” said Kwon, so it was important to have enough to cover her family’s basic expenses, operate their business, and cash to acquire more rental properties. “Our business doubled my salary at Amazon (in 2017). I figured it was time to quit,” said Kwon. She left her job five months ago — at that time, Kwon and her husband owned seven rental units — the couple bought three more in recent weeks. Kwon and her husband, Olivier, stumbled into real estate investing as a way to create another stream of income. They were living in Georgia when she got the Amazon job offer, and they needed to sell their home. They decided to renovate it for maximum profit. “It was an unintentional flip.” When they arrived in Seattle, they were exploring job options for her husband. They decided that opening up their own real estate business was the way to go, after meeting with other investors. Kwon helped her husband with their business around her working hours at Amazon. “My job was very demanding. And with three young kids, it was a lot. I really needed to be full-time with our business and so I could be with the kids more.” For our first project, nobody wanted to invest in us or with us,” said Kwon. The couple pooled together their savings, 401(k), and even money from their children’s college fund. “We used hard money also.” It paid off. Three years later, being her own boss is a reality for Kwon. see RETIRE BY 40 on 15

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■ FINANCE

JUNE 16 – JUNE 22, 2018

36 YEARS

Photos by Lindsey Wasson of KeyBank.

Putting a human face on banking

Carol Nelson (center) at KeyBank Community Impact Day with KeyBankCEO Beth Mooney (left) and Margot Copeland, executive vice president, Director of Philanthropy and Civic Engagement.

By Jessica Kai Curry NORTHWEST ASIAN WEEKLY In variable economic times, one thing people want to be sure of is their money. Carol Kobuke Nelson, Pacific Region Sales Executive and Seattle Market President of KeyBank, makes sure that when her clients need a human touch, KeyBank delivers. It’s different from the traditional

idea of banking — and it’s different from what many prophesy for the future: impersonal, digitized banking, where human contact is nonexistent. For Nelson, when it comes to both external and internal clients, nothing could be further than that. The core values of KeyBank are teamwork, respect, accountability, integrity, and leadership. To Nelson, it is a fortuitous coincidence that these correspond with her

■ COMMUNITY NEWS

Connect with SPD By Staff NORTHWEST ASIAN WEEKLY

The Seattle Police Department and the CID Public Safety Council are rolling out the ChinatownInternational District (CID) Community History Institute. It’s a series of discussions between eight community members and officers who regularly work in the CID area. The goal is for community members to share their knowledge of the area, and help officers understand the community better. Community participants must

Sharon Lee (center) of the Low Income Housing received a check from KeyBank.

be 18 years or older, and currently living, working, volunteering, or otherwise regularly involved in the CID. The first session was held on June 9. The next one is scheduled for June 23 from 9 a.m–5 p.m. at Chongwa. Free parking is available in Chongwa’s affiliated lot, and a $50 gift card will be provided to each community participant to cover the transportation cost upon completion of the session.  If you’re interested in participating, email Vicky.Li@seattle.gov.

own core values. Nelson chose KeyBank in 2015 because the values of the company and its CEO, Beth Mooney, were in alignment with her own. She had just come from the culture-changing success of transforming Cascade Bank into Opus Bank, which was nominated as “Best Business to Work For” under her guidance. She had spent see NELSON on 12

■ NATIONAL NEWS Plan to diversify elite NYC schools draws fire from Asians NEW YORK (AP) — A plan to diversify New York City’s most elite public high schools is drawing fire from the minority group that has come to dominate the schools in recent years: Asian Americans. Mayor Bill de Blasio announced earlier this month that he wants to scrap the test that governs admission to eight specialized high schools including Stuyvesant High School and the Bronx High School of Science, calling the test “a roadblock to justice, progress and academic excellence.” Fewer than 10 percent of students who score well enough to gain admission to the schools are Black or Latino, despite the fact that those two groups make up two-thirds of the city’s 1 million public school students. “It’s not fair. It’s not inclusive. It’s not open to all,” de Blasio said. But such a change might mean fewer seats for Asian American students, who now make up 62 percent of the pupils. “This policy causes chaos in the Asian American community and we’re here to reject this policy,” John Chan, head of the Coalition of Asian Americans for Civil Rights, said. Opponents of the proposed change accused the mayor of pitting minority groups against each

other. “For many of these Asian American families I represent, they’re mostly new American families, new immigrants who came here,” Assemblyman Ron Kim, a Queens Democrat, said. “They’re just following the rules that were set. For the chancellor to imply they own the admissions test, I think it’s completely uncalled for. They didn’t create this system.” Tough entrance standards, a rigorous curriculum and a reputation for graduating some of the world’s top scholars have made the city’s exam schools highly sought after among high performing students. The Bronx High School of Science, alone, has graduated eight Nobel Prize winners. Stuyvesant High has had four. In 2018, about 28,300 middle school students took the test to get into the eight specialized schools. About 5,000 were offered seats. Asian students comprised the largest number of test-takers, about 8,800, and had the highest acceptance rate, with 29.7 percent of the students getting an offer compared to 3.6 percent of the 5,730 Black students who took the test and 26.2 percent of white students. see NYC SCHOOLS on 14


asianweekly northwest

YOUR VOICE

JUNE 16 – JUNE 22, 2018

■ WORLD NEWS

5

Trump, Kim claim big summit success, but details are scant SINGAPORE (AP) — Claiming success at their whirlwind summit, President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un left Singapore on June 12, praising their faceto-face progress toward ridding the Korean Peninsula of nuclear weapons. Yet Trump faced pointed questions at home about whether he got little and gave away much — including an agreement to halt U.S. military exercises with South Korea. Meeting with staged ceremony on a Singapore island, Trump and Kim had come together for an unprecedented U.S.-North Korea meeting that seemed unthinkable months earlier when the two nations traded insults and nuclear threats. The gathering of the two unpredictable leaders marked a striking gamble by the American president to grant Kim long-sought recognition on the world stage in hopes of ending the North’s nuclear program. Both leaders expressed optimism throughout roughly five hours of talks, with Trump thanking Kim afterward “for taking the first bold step toward a bright new future for his people.” Kim, for his part, said the leaders had “decided to leave the past behind” and promised: “The world will see a major change.” Soon, Kim was on a plane headed home, while a clearly ebullient Trump held forth for more than an hour before the press on what he styled as a historic achievement to avert the prospect of nuclear war. Along the way, Trump tossed out pronouncements on U.S. alliances, human rights, and the nature of the accord that he and Kim had signed. Then he was off to Guam on the way back to the U.S. The details of how and when the North would denuclearize appear yet to be determined, as are the nature of the unspecified “protections” Trump is pledging to Kim and his government. During his press conference, Trump acknowledged that

President Donald Trump

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un

denuclear ization won’t happen overnight. But he contended, “Once you start the process it means it’s pretty much over,” an analysis that has proven faulty in the past

despite inspection efforts. Light on specifics, the Singapore accord largely amounts to an agreement to continue discussions, echoing previous public statements and commitments. It does not, for instance, include an agreement to take steps toward ending the technical state of warfare between the U.S. and North Korea. Nor does it include a striking concession by Trump, who told reporters he would freeze U.S. military “war games” with ally South Korea while negotiations between the U.S. and the North continue. Trump cast that decision as a cost-saving measure, but also called the exercises “inappropriate” while talks continue. North Korea has long objected to the drills as a security threat. It was unclear whether South Korea was aware of Trump’s decision before he announced it publicly. U.S. Forces Korea said in a statement on June 12 that it was unaware of any policy change. Trump phoned South Korean President Moon Jae-in after leaving Singapore to brief him on the discussions. Trump also said he’d obtained a separate concession from Kim to demolish a missile engine testing site, though it was just one site of many connected to the nuclear program. As Trump took a victory lap on the world stage, experts

and allies struggled to account for what Trump and Kim had agreed to — and whether this agreement could actually be the first of its kind not to be broken by the North Koreans. North Korea is believed to possess more than 50 nuclear warheads, with its atomic program spread across more than 100 sites constructed over decades to evade international inspections. Trump insisted that strong verification of denuclearization would be included in a final agreement, saying it was a detail his team would begin sorting out with the North Koreans next week. The agreement’s language on North Korea’s nuclear program was similar to what the leaders of North and South Korea came up with at their own summit in April. Trump and Kim referred back to the so-called Panmunjom Declaration, which contained a weak commitment to denuclearization but no specifics on how to achieve it. Between handshakes, a White House invitation, and even an impromptu tour of “The Beast,” the famed U.S. presidential limousine known for its high-tech fortifications, Trump sought to build a personal connection with Kim and said they have a “very good” relationship. The U.S. president brushed off questions about his public embrace of the autocrat whose people have been oppressed for decades. He added that Otto Warmbier, an American who died last year just days after his release from imprisonment in North Korea, “did not die in vain” because his death helped bring about the nuclear talks. In the run-up to the historic face-to-face with Kim, Trump has appeared unconcerned about the implications of feting an authoritarian leader accused by the U.S. of ordering the public assassination of his half brother with a nerve agent, executing his uncle by firing squad and presiding see SUMMIT on 11

KING COUNTY NOTICE TO BIDDERS Sealed bids will be received for C01264C18, 2018 Countywide Pavement Preservation; by the King County Procurement and Payables Section, 3rd Floor, 401 Fifth Avenue, Seattle, WA 98104, until 1:30 PM on 6/19/2018. Late bids will not be accepted. Scope of Work: This project provides for the

FOUND

ON SOUND TRANSIT:

improvement of 40.21 miles of roadway in King County by grading gravel shoulders, removal of pavement markings, planing bituminous surfaces, roadway excavation, pavement repair excavation, placing crushed surfacing base course and top course, paving with hot mix asphalt, erosion control, and other adjustments as needed, and other work. Estimated contract price: $9,455,450. There is a 7% minimum Apprentice Utilization Requirement on this contract. There is a 10% minimum requirement for King County Certified Small Contractors and Suppliers (SCS) on this contract. Complete Invitation to Bid Documents, including all

Sound Transit riders have more time to read, text, work, swipe, share, and shop online for new shoes.

project details, specifications, and contact information are available on our web page at: https://procurement. kingcounty.gov/procurement_ovr/default.aspx

Good going, Sound Transit rider.


asianweekly northwest

6

JUNE 16 – JUNE 22, 2018

36 YEARS

■ COMMUNITY CALENDAR JUN 14

SHARPS/NEEDLE PICKUP TRAINING Hing Hay Coworks 4109B Maynard Ave. S., Seattle 3 p.m.

15 VOLUNTEER WITH GOODWILL TO KEEP THE NEIGHBORHOOD CLEAN 700 Dearborn Pl. S., Seattle 1 p.m. signup.com/go/ADxThhP volunteer@seattlegoodwill.org 206-860-5732 TAP SEA: TAPPY HOUR Bar Vacilando 405 15th Ave. E., Seattle 6 p.m.

16 VIETNAM WAR MEMORIAL RIBBON CUTTING CEREMONY Les Gove Park 910 9th St. SE, Auburn 11 a.m. honorvietnamvets.org CAPAA'S PUBLIC BOARD MEETING Deccio Higher Education Center at Yakima Valley

College W. Nob Hill Blvd. and S. 16th Ave., Yakima 9:30 a.m. capaa.wa.gov

FREE LEGAL WORKSHOP FOR COMMUNITY MEMBERS WITH TEMPORARY PROTECTED STATUS Rainier Community Center, 4600 38th Ave. S., Seattle 2 p.m. weareoneamerica.org

19 PINBALL WITH POLICE Seattle Pinball Museum 508 Maynard Ave. S., Seattle 5 p.m. 206-838-8718 SEATTLE STORM VS. LAS VEGAS KeyArena, Seattle 7 p.m. ASIAN AMERICANS & PACIFIC ISLANDERS LIVE STREAMING Live stream at 7 p.m. How to listen: access.live/ AARP-AAPI aarp.org/AAPIfraudsurvey

20 POLICY BRIEFING SERIES, "ASSESSING MEDIA COVERAGE OF US-CHINA TRADE WAR" WITH SPEAKER PHILLIP YIN Washington State China

24

Relations Council 1301 Fifth Ave., Ste. 1500, Seattle 4 p.m. YOGA FOR PEOPLE OF COLOR 8 Limbs Yoga Centers, Seattle 7:15 p.m.

21

PRIDEFEST 2018 Seattle Center 12 p.m.

HAPPY HOUR FOOD WALK Seattle's Chinatown ID 4 p.m.

TAIWANESE AMERICAN FILM FESTIVAL UW, Walker-Ames Room, Kane Hall

SEATTLE HER PRIDE PARTY Hard Rock Cafe, Seattle 9 p.m. TRANS PRIDE SEATTLE 2018 Cal Anderson Park, Seattle 5 p.m.

2018 YUKATA SALE JCCCW 1414 S. Weller St., Seattle 11 a.m.

MINIDOKA PILGRIMAGE Twin Falls, Idaho minidokapilgrimage.org

FRIENDS OF JAPAN GALA Meydenbauer Center 6 p.m. bit.ly/2sm36TR

12

SEATTLE TAIWANESE AMERICAN FILM FESTIVAL 2018 UW Kane Hall, Walker-Ames Room seataff.org

US-CHINA WOMEN’S LEADERSHIP FORUM Davis Wright Tremaine, 1201 Third Ave., Ste. 2200, Seattle 4 p.m. wscrc.org

30

13

THROUGH JULY 1

23

5-8 7

29

22

SEATTLE STORM VS. INDIANA FEVER KeyArena, Seattle 7 p.m.

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TAIWANESE AMERICAN FILM FESTIVAL SIFF Cinema Uptown June 29 at 6 p.m. June 30 at 11:30 a.m. July 1 at 12:55 p.m. siff.net

VOLUNTEER WITH GOODWILL TO KEEP THE NEIGHBORHOOD CLEAN 700 Dearborn Pl. S., Seattle 1 p.m. signup.com/go/ADxThhP volunteer@seattlegoodwill.org 206-860-5732

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JOHN LIU

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HAN BUI

Layout & Web Editor han@nwasianweekly.com

REBECCA IP KELLY LIAO JOHN LIU

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The only weekly English-language newspaper serving Washington’s Asian community. The NW Asian Weekly has one simple goal: “To empower the Asian community.” The Editorial Board reserves the right to reject any advertisement, letter or article. Subscriptions cost $40 for 52 weeks of the NW Asian Weekly and $30 for 52 weeks of the Seattle Chinese Post. The NW Asian Weekly owns the copyright for all its content. All rights reserved. No part of this paper may be reprinted without permission. 412 Maynard Ave. S., Seattle, WA 98104 • t. 206.223.5559 info@nwasianweekly.com • ads@nwasianweekly.com • www.nwasianweekly.com


asianweekly northwest

JUNE 16 – JUNE 22, 2018

■ BUSINESS

7

Getting a new ride

By Ruth Bayang NORTHWEST ASIAN WEEKLY

Who doesn’t love that new car smell? That shiny, unscathed, gleaming new toy in the garage… There is more than one way to get into a new car. But which is better? Some will say cash is the only way to go. Most others need to decide between leasing or financing. The correct answer, said Tim Miller, General Sales Manager of Honda of Seattle and Toyota of Seattle, is “it depends.” “What’s your long-term plan?” Miller asked. “If you plan to keep your car forever, then pay cash for it or finance it.” But if you don’t know, Miller said leasing is a better option.

Leasing

Think of leasing like a long-term car rental. The pluses are: you get a brand new car. You can even custom order it with all the features you want. And Honda and Toyota of Seattle took a page out of Amazon’s playbook — they offer home delivery for any vehicle purchased there, not just leased vehicles.

When leasing, you have a residual value which is the guaranteed price you can purchase the vehicle for after the lease. This way you know up front what it will cost to purchase your lease at the end of your lease term. Miller told the Northwest Asian Weekly that 33 percent of his dealership’s customers choose to go with a lease. There is little cash required up front on a lease. But you do have to pay what is known as “drive-offs” — this is your first monthly payment, licensing fee, and a negotiable dealer documentary fee of $150. At the end of a lease, you can choose to walk away, buy the car outright, or extend the lease. Newer model cars come with new technology and safety upgrades, said Miller. So leasing is a good way to always stay in a newer car. At the end of each lease, you can enter into another lease, and another brand new car. Miller said there is more paperwork involved with a lease. Another downside is, you’ll always have a car payment. But typically, leasing has a lower payment than financing.

Financing

Similar to a mortgage, you don’t own the car during the

financing term. The bank does. Honda and Toyota of Seattle have their own financing division, so it’s not necessary to get pre-approved by a bank. You have the option to finance a car for up to 96 months. Like a lease, you can pick and choose the color and trim package you want, and extra features. Like a lease, you will get a brand new car. In any kind of purchase — lease, finance, or cash — you will pay tax, title, licensing, and document fees. The monthly payment when you finance, Miller said, is typically higher than a lease payment. That’s because interest is included.

Young vs old

Miller made an interesting observation about Asian customers. The older generation tends to finance a car, while the younger tends to lease. This seems to be because the younger generation wants more flexible options in their life and leasing provides that.  Ruth can be reached at editor@nwasianweekly.com.

1925 AIRPORT WAY S.  SEATTLE, WA 98134

206.382.4300

TOYOTAOFSEATTLE.COM

Photos provided by Toyota of Seattle

YOUR VOICE


asianweekly northwest

8

36 YEARS

JUNE 16 – JUNE 22, 2018

■ FINANCE Can you afford your dream house in Seattle? It depends… By Jason Cruz NORTHWEST ASIAN WEEKLY

It is a seller’s market in the city of Seattle, meaning that the housing market is great for those wishing to sell their home. If you are buying, the market to purchase a home will be competitive. Overall, bargains in Seattle are scarce, but there are ways to maximize your chances of landing your dream house. The reason for the competitive pricing is the low inventory in the Seattle housing market. “There is less than a month of inventory available in Seattle, based on the data of the latest Multiple Listings Service (MLS),” explained Christopher Cruz, a real estate broker with John L. Scott Real Estate. That means that if no one else in the city of Seattle put their homes up for sale, it would take less than a month for all homes currently on the market to be sold.

“The typical healthy average inventory (homes on sale in the market) is 5 to 6 months,” Cruz said. Despite the belief that Seattle is such a rainy place, Cruz says that people seek to relocate here due to the mild winters and beautiful summers. There is also the booming tech industry with major hubs of business calling Seattle home, Christopher Cruz including Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook, and Nintendo. Cruz also said that foreign investors are interested in purchasing real estate in the Pacific Northwest. Apartment rentals have increased, which has made renters look into buying. “There’s very limited inventory today and because of

that, it affects the rental rates of apartments,” said Michael Jelcz, a loan officer with KeyBank. Rent has dramatically increased in Seattle. Five years ago, rent was 15-20 percent of monthly income. Now, it is about 30 percent, the same as if you were making a mortgage payment. In these types of situations, individuals look to putting their money into a home they own rather than pay rent. Residential property is not only a home, but also an investment as opposed to renting an apartment where there is no return. If you’re thinking of buying, the first question is whether you can afford it. The standard down payment for a singlefamily residence is 20 percent of the purchase price of the home. Seattle area median purchase prices range from $700,000 to $800,000, depending on what neighborhood you target. According to Redfin, the median price for homes as of April 2018 (the most recent data) in metro see DREAM HOUSE on 13

Avoid sticker shock when going overseas

Photo by Han Bui

By Carolyn Bick NORTHWEST ASIAN WEEKLY

List of currency exchange rate at Washington and Vancouver, B.C. border

Upon her return from Vancouver, B.C., Patricia Rials was shocked at how much money she had unintentionally spent. Like so many other travelers before her, Rials found herself facing the unexpected burden of transaction fees. “I was just surprised, because I wasn’t aware what these fees were, and they were being added on,” Rials said. Even though the exchange rate between American dollars and Canadian dollars meant Rials technically paid less for everything than she would have in the United States, the fees for repeatedly using her American credit card meant she ended up spending almost the same amount of money as she would have in the United States. “We would have probably spent differently,” Rials said. “But we didn’t, at the time, and thought we were getting the best exchange for our money.” This isn’t an uncommon problem, KeyBank’s

We’ll help you get there by listening, learning and finding the home loan that lets you achieve your dreams. Apply online at bannerbank.com/home-loans

Conventional

Refinance

Construction

see CURRENCY EXCHANGE on 13 14383_5_BB_HomeLoan_Print_NWAsian_MID.indd 1

3/29/18 8:10 AM


asianweekly northwest

YOUR VOICE

JUNE 16 – JUNE 22, 2018

■ FINANCE

9

BankWork$ unlocking new futures

By Joshua Holland NORTHWEST ASIAN WEEKLY Pulling yourself up by your bootstraps is harder than it used to be. Securing a job without a degree or applicable employment experience requires knowing the ins and outs of specific industries. For many, this can be an overwhelming and defeating experience that leads to being locked out of lucrative careers they might otherwise be good candidates

for. On the employer side of the house, hiring skilled labor takes time and dedicated training resources. These factors slow down the hiring process for everyone involved. Enter YWCA Seattle King Snohomish. In 2011, it brought BankWork$, a nationally recognized training program that started in Los Angeles to help people discover and unlock new careers in the financial sector. What started as a program to train bank tellers has evolved over the years into an intensive eight-week training program designed

to help people discover various banking careers, ranging from customer service focused roles, to personal bankers, and even bank leadership. “BankWork$ gets its graduates in the door of financial institutions,’’ said Derek Pender, KeyBank’s local area retail leader and vice president. “Myself, along with a dozen other banks, participate throughout each class to see BANKWORK$ on 12

Access YOUR Opportunity! The Port of Seattle is committed to expanding opportunities for small and disadvantaged businesses. Learn more about upcoming events and register to receive information about opportunities in construction, consulting, and goods and services.

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asianweekly northwest

10

36 YEARS

JUNE 16 – JUNE 22, 2018

■ PUBLISHER’S BLOG

By Assunta Ng NORTHWEST ASIAN WEEKLY How many of you have been alienated from your father, or even hate him? Many expect our parents to be nononsense, loving, kind, protective, responsible, moral, successful, and present. Think twice about what those descriptions mean in real life. Aren’t we a bit naive? How many of you long for a father you never had? President Obama’s memoir, titled “Dreams from My Father,“ wrote in his introduction that it “is a record of a personal, interior journey — a boy’s search for his father, and through that search a workable meaning for his life as a black American.” The number of unwed mothers, among the college-educated, has increased for a number of years. My friend, who has never married, decided to get an artificial insemination. Her kids are now college students, happy, and have no issues about being fatherless. I was raised fatherless (since my parents divorced when I was 5, and my stepfather was constantly working overseas). My interactions with my two fathers were so limited that I didn’t really miss them during my childhood. Actually, I was uncomfortable when my stepfather was home. It was only after I returned from America as an adult that we became close. Yet, I never pondered the question, “What if?” What if my parents were never divorced and we lived happily ever after? What if I never blamed them for the messy relationships they created, which affected at least five families? It was only in the last 15 years that my step siblings and I were at ease with one another — enough to freely share our feelings. The fact is, our parents are flawed, and they are human. I am not saying the impact of our fathers, on us, is light. It is profound and can be lifelasting. However, being fatherless, I quickly learned to be independent. At the age of 7, it took me more than an hour to ride two different buses to school in Hong Kong. I figured out what bus to take, and how to transfer from one end of town to the other. The first few months, I had a hard time getting on the bus, as my legs were not long enough to climb the steps. I was afraid to go to school by myself. But I never complained to my mom. I solved my

own problem. My mother served both parents’ role, and I didn’t feel deprived. Still, I considered myself fortunate that food was always on the table, and I was in a warm and safe home. Perhaps because I was a girl, I was resilient under the worst circumstances. Studies have found that fatherless sons tend to be aggressive, depressed, and have low self-esteem. And if you have a choice, would you rather have an imperfect (abusive and negligent) father or be fatherless? I choose the latter. A couple of years ago, I was at a roundtable discussion four days before Father’s Day. The topic was about sharing memories about your dad. It was supposed to be full of fun anecdotes, joyful experiences, and the lessons he taught you while growing up. Yet the white man who sat two seats down exhibited zero emotions. He shared with us something he had hidden for years — his resentment towards his old man. When his turn came, his initial whisper suddenly became loud, his voice cracked. “My father’s a bigot...racist.” It must have been painful for him to say, but in some way, I imagine it was also liberating, as he had never shared it before. His courage was felt because he spoke the truth in front of strangers. Afterwards, I chatted with him privately. Instead of condemning your father, I told him, we as children need to place things in perspective. His dad was born in the 1930s, a different era. Most folks who were racist in those days, would be unlikely to recognize their own contribution to society’s ills, or cultivate a conscience for the betterment of society. When I explained his dad’s environment, he seemed to soften. However, my friend could certainly do better than his dad by being a wiser father, and teach his kids to be openminded and inclusive. My relative hates his late father so much, he can’t even talk about him. It’s true his father made a lot of mistakes in his lifetime, including gambling and being too lazy to work. When they were in each other’s company, they were at each other’s throats. But the last straw was more personal — he left my relative nothing in his will, but gave his valuables to his brother. The relationship between a father and son is never one-dimensional. Another friend often complained that his late father was never present. Let’s face it. When did men become aware that they need to be active

my past. Not everyone shares my rationale, though. What saddens me most is, if we let the kids get stuck in hate, and unable to let go, we chain ourselves to be victims of suffering, unable to move on and sometimes become like the person they hate. The cycle will continue unless healing is done. Seek counseling. Get help to rewire your brain so you can be happy and live at peace with your past. On this Father’s Day, it’s a signal for those who have a tough time forgiving or reconnecting with their dad. Perhaps, it’s time to forge a new beginning. May sunshine be with you always. 

fathers and engage with their own kids? If men could provide for their family, it was perceived that they have done their job. Only in the last two decades has society’s perception of a man’s role in the family changed, especially in raising kids. Men are now encouraged to participate in the family and embrace fatherhood. In the 1950s, 60s, 70s, and even to this day, men, especially in Asia, seemed to spend more time working or having affairs. Those were the characteristics of both my biological father and stepfather. Yes, they even gambled. But I loved them both, not for their weaknesses, but for their strengths. They were basically good people. I harbor no bitterness towards my late parents. It is counter-productive to dwell on an ugly past — I am a better human being because of

Assunta can be reached at assunta@nwasianweekly.com.

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asianweekly northwest

YOUR VOICE

JUNE 16 – JUNE 22, 2018

■ FINANCE

11

Do I really need a money expert on call? Six reasons why having a personal banker makes sense

Photo by Joy Geerkens

By Joy Geerkens NORTHWEST ASIAN WEEKLY

Carmen Martilla, vice president and senior relationship manager at Keybank, in her office downtown. Martilla highly recommends that anyone, regardless of how far along on their financial journey they may be, ought to look into developing a relationship with a personal banker to help them achieve their financial goals, attain security, and take preventative measures for the future.

SUMMIT from 5 over a notorious gulag estimated to hold 80,000 to 120,000 political prisoners. In their joint statement, the two leaders promised to “build a lasting and stable peace regime” on the Korean Peninsula. Trump has dangled the prospect of economic investment in the North as a sweetener for giving up its nuclear weapons. The longtime property developer-turned-politician later mused about the potential value of condos on the country’s beachfront real estate. The formal document-signing, which also included an agreement to work to repatriate remains of prisoners of war and those missing in action from the Korean War, followed a series of meetings at a luxury Singapore resort. Ahead of the meeting Trump had predicted the two men might strike a nuclear deal or forge a formal end to the Korean War in the course of a single meeting or over several days. But in the hours before the summit, the White House unexpectedly announced Trump would depart Singapore earlier than expected — the evening of June 12 — raising questions about whether his aspirations for an ambitious outcome had been scaled back.

1. It is far more accessible and necessary than you may realize. Anyone, at any age, is eligible to have a personal banker. It’s always wise to begin tracking the trajectory of your spending habits and savings, especially if you have goals in mind for the future, such as buying a house. You can interview different personal bankers within your current bank in order to find one that you believe understands your situation and where you wish to go. If you feel as though you may be ineligible for these services because you are someone with a low or moderate income, you can still receive financial advice and assistance from personal bankers. Many banks are now partnered with nonprofits that offer financial education classes and other resources.

2. It can save you money. Alice Coday of the Financial Empowerment Network explained the importance of people who are unbanked or underbanked having access to mainstream banking. They may not have a bank account or who are underutilizing it. This is important because these individuals “are using alternative financial services that may cost more than what they would need to pay with a bank relationship.” 3. Having someone you know by name and who you’ve established a relationship with, to address any financial issues and emergencies that may arise, may relieve stress and help you and your family by feeling more secure and prepared. This long-term relationship is also beneficial as the banker will know you personally, and can guide you through unexpected financial strains and choices.

Carmen Martilla, vice president and senior relationship manager at KeyBank, said that having a personal banker means that you can avoid “walking in and not knowing who that person is, who you will be sitting with, having them perhaps miss some things just because they don’t have the ability to know your financial picture. If your personal banker stays with you through that journey, they will be able to identify things that you might miss.” 4. Personal bankers can introduce you to other experts within that banking institution who can help you achieve your goals. They can also recognize other products and services that you might benefit from, such as ways to improve and upgrade your current relationship with your bank, to continue to grow and change with your financial situation and lifestyle, which

would help you gain prefered pricing on loans. There are also financial wellness tools to help you keep track of where you are in relation to your goals. 5. They can help identify your spending habits by looking at your expenses, credit card balances and income, and help you with a budget to live within your means. 6. A personal banker decreases your odds of having your identity stolen. In the event it does happen, your personal banker can help you sort through the situation, by requesting a fraud alert, helping you file a police report, and working to gain control of the situation as best as possible.  Joy can be reached at info@nwasianweekly.com.

Aware that the eyes of the world were on a moment many people never expected to see, Kim said many of those watching would think it was a scene from a “science fiction movie.” Critics of the summit leapt at the leaders’ handshake and the moonlight stroll Kim took the night of June 11 along the glittering Singapore waterfront, saying it was further evidence that Trump was helping legitimize Kim on the world stage. “It’s a huge win for Kim Jong Un, who now — if nothing else — has the prestige and propaganda coup of meeting one on one with the president, while armed with a nuclear deterrent,” said Michael Kovrig, a northeast Asia specialist at the International Crisis Group in Washington. Trump responded that he embracing diplomacy with Kim in hopes of saving as many as 30 million lives. The North has faced crippling diplomatic and economic sanctions for years as it has advanced development of its nuclear and ballistic missile programs. Pompeo held firm to Trump’s position that sanctions will remain in place until North Korea denuclearizes — and said they would even increase if diplomatic discussions did not progress positively. 

KING COUNTY REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS ADVERTISEMENT Proposals will be received for E00544E18, Engineering Services for Black River Pump Station Improvements; by the King County Procurement and Payables Section, 3rd Floor, 401 Fifth Avenue, Seattle, WA 98104, until 12:00 PM on June 20, 2018. Total Estimated Price for Phase 1: $565,000 Total Estimated Price for all Phases: $6,400,000 There is a 20% minimum requirement for King County Certified Small

Contractor and Supplier (SCS) firms on this contract. All solicitation documents are published at: https:// procurement.kingcounty.gov/procurement_ovr/login. aspx?ReturnUrl=%2fprocurement_ovr%2fdefault.aspx Contact: Ruth Williamson, 206-263-9333, ruth.williamson@kingcounty. gov


asianweekly northwest

12

JUNE 16 – JUNE 22, 2018

NELSON from 4 time as Agency Director and CEO of the Department of Revenue for the state of Washington, serving as a part of the Executive Cabinet for the Governor. Nelson also chose KeyBank because she felt there was an absence of strong banking leadership in the Seattle market — an absence that Nelson was more than qualified to fill. Leadership is, one might say, key. “That’s how things get done,” Nelson said. “You can be a leader no matter what your role in a company is…you can lead in so many different ways. That’s what I encourage people to do…Be a leader. Just step up. Raise your hand. Take on a challenging assignment. Just dig in.” Nelson is never just about what’s in it for her. Her ambition encompasses community. She understands that banking success rests upon the success of her bank’s clientele. She understands that essentially banking is a service. And she understands that in her role as a female, Asian American executive in a country where there are few in her position, she can be a role model. In her own experience, Nelson has encountered more workplace challenges as a woman than as an Asian or Japanese. Nelson said, “Pushing through to be the first at something is great — but it’s more than just for me. It’s about helping women advance in the workplace. Reaching down to help others climb the ladder along with you.” In Nelson’s mind, everything is a team effort, whether it be helping clients, making sure that KeyBank employees feel invested in the company, or taking an active role in the community. If possible, Nelson will find a way to do all three at the same time. Her proudest moment at KeyBank was taking part in Community Impact Day held in April. It was a day-long philanthropic event for which KeyBank’s

BANKWORK$ from 9 look for talent. Many of the graduates frequently have job offers before they graduate. Typically, out of a graduating class of 40 students, five have secured jobs before the program has completed.’’ Much of the Seattle program’s success can be attributed to Mercedes Rippel, YWCA BankWork$ Program Manager, and her team. Prior to joining BankWork$, Rippel was a banking executive who oversaw major bank operations and trained professionals ranging from tellers to bank leadership. With almost 30 years of bank experience under her belt, Rippel is able to guide students through the ins and outs of the industry, helping them develop a strong understanding of what it expects, and how to set themselves up for success. In addition to Rippel’s guidance, her

36 YEARS

CEO flew in and she, Nelson, and other KeyBank executives travelled throughout the city to donate to important causes. Their first stop was the University of Washington (UW)’s Foster School of Business and UW Tacoma, to help mentor rising business leaders with a focus on low-to-moderate income and minority students and businesses — they helped to raise several hundred thousand dollars. Next was a luncheon at Fare Start, where organizations involved in promoting STEM and solving homelessness were equally honored, among others. From there, Nelson and her team went to Mary’s Place and finally, they topped off the event with a reception during which KeyBank members were given the opportunity to donate to nonprofits of their choosing through what KeyBank calls KBINGS (pronounced “Keybings”), Key Business Impact and Networking Groups. These are groups of employees that represent different cultures within the company, and help KeyBank uphold its commitment to a diverse workplace. Giving to worthy causes is part of what Nelson calls “being a human being.” She actively participates in United Way of King County and is an enthusiastic proponent of volunteerism. Even on her days off, if she is not celebrating a birthday or graduation with her large extended family, she is pursuing some type of activity to support the community, her professional development, and banking, often all at once. In the beginning, people were suspicious of Nelson’s strong work ethic, as if she had some ulterior motive for wanting to do her best. “That hard work, the willingness to do the job, put in the hours, can be misinterpreted. I know in my early career, I don’t think people really understood — why do you work so hard?” Nelson wonders if being a woman in a predominantly male career field led people to think that there was more to it.

team of instructors and career navigators help students throughout the process to make sure they walk in class with their head straight and ready to learn from day one. This includes helping them manage issues or challenges that might exist outside of the classroom, like securing childcare or finding reliable commute options. Over the years, Rippel and her team have found that this additional life support lays the future groundwork for success in the workplace. “This program, these students, if you were to see them from the first day to the end of the first class, you wouldn’t recognize the students towards the end of the class,” said Rippel. “The way they walk, talk, act, and present themselves is entirely different. You’d think they are the bankers at graduation.” Backgrounds for students entering the program vary. Some come from service

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“We women have had to work really hard to be perceived the same way as some of our male counterparts,” she noted. To avoid misinterpretation, Nelson continually strives to be open and transparent about her goals. “It isn’t about advancing your career. It’s about making sure that the work you’re doing is high quality, and something you can be proud of.” Nelson credits her family for instilling in her an entrepreneurial spirit and a willingness to take risks. Nelson is a third generation Japanese, and she recognizes that this colors who she is. Her family had already relocated twice by the time she was 8, at which time Nelson’s father passed away, and her mother brought the children to eastern Washington, where many of Nelson’s relatives are still involved in farming. Soon after, Nelson’s mother decided to relocate to Seattle, due to increased opportunities. Nelson started working early, in the florist shop that her mother opened in downtown Seattle. But Nelson was inevitably drawn to banking. “I have felt really blessed that I found banking because I do love it,” she enthused. “I find it very interesting. The people that I’ve had a chance to work with have been terrific.” Nelson credits her uncle, who was on the board of the Federal Reserve Bank, for sparking a passion that has lasted to this day. It’s evident that Nelson is clear about her identity and her purpose. To her, these two things are essential to success. “Understand who you are as a person. Understand your core values as a person. Make sure that you are working for a company that mirrors those core values. That’s where the magic happens.”  Jessica Kai can be reached at info@northwestasianweekly.com.

industry jobs, stints as stay-at-home parents, and even as extreme as people experiencing homelessness or recovering from abusive situations. The program is open to anyone regardless of gender, race, or economic standing. “Students come from across the board,” said Pender. “You don’t need a background in banking. We’re looking for someone who has phenomenal customer service skills, a go getter, and can thrive in a team environment.” After completing the program, graduates go on to impact lives of people in their communities by helping them with important financial decisions, such as establishing a savings account or college tuition fund. This newly acquired knowledge strengthens communities and helps graduates disseminate bank literacy throughout their network of family and

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A full list of qualifications and information about how to sign up for the program can be found on the YWCA website. Classes for the next program begin on July 9th. For more information, visit ywcaworks.org/programs/bankwork. Joshua can be reached at info@nwasianweekly.com.

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friends. “It’s often a transformation for students,” said Rippel. “Before the program, many don’t feel like they’re worth anything. But then they get a job from the program that frequently tells them they’re amazing, phenomenal, we’re going to promote you. They go from one extreme to another; feel like they’re worth something. It’s a different feeling.” 

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asianweekly northwest

YOUR VOICE

JUNE 16 – JUNE 22, 2018

■ ASTROLOGY

13

Predictions and advice for the week of June 16–22, 2018 By Sun Lee Chang

Rat — Thinking of ways to expand your horizons? The first step is as simple as trying something new today.

Dragon — Of the many directions that you are able to go, it is more important that you are able to choose, rather than the choice itself.

Monkey — No one else seems ready or willing to get the ball rolling. Show them there is nothing to fear by taking the lead.

Ox — Prevent a small issue or annoyance from getting out of hand by dealing with it as swiftly as it arises.

Snake — After holding back for so long, you may not find it difficult to let go. The resulting freedom will be well worth it.

Rooster — Looking for a reason to start sooner? The quicker you finish, the more time you have for yourself at the end.

Tiger — If you are not making any headway on your current path, perhaps it is time to consider some other options.

Horse — You are not afraid to draw on a blank canvas. What you come up with could surprise those around you, including yourself.

Dog — Fixating on just one part could cause you to miss an important detail in another area. Take a step back to get a better view of the whole picture.

Rabbit — Experience has taught you that patience is a necessary companion when tackling a complicated endeavor.

Goat — There has been quite a lot of discussion and worry, but much of that will be dissipated once the action starts.

Pig — Soaring to great heights can be somewhat dizzying. Find something to keep yourself focused and grounded.

What’s your animal sign? Rat 1912, 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008 Ox 1913, 1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009 Tiger 1914, 1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010 Rabbit 1915, 1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011 Dragon 1916, 1928, 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012 Snake 1917, 1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013 Horse 1918, 1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, 2014 Goat 1919, 1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, 2015 Monkey 1920, 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016 Rooster 1921, 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, 2017 Dog 1922, 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, 2018 Pig 1923, 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007

*The year ends on the first new moon of the following year. For those born in January and February, please take care when determining your sign.

DREAM HOUSE from 8 Seattle is $732,000. Thus, prospective homeowners would need a little over $146,000 up front. This could be hard, especially for those first-time homeowners and those starting families. “Try to get a gift,” said Jelcz, who referenced parents as potential sources. “Some people don’t have parents that gift them the money.” In those instances, prospective buyers could put down as low as 3 percent of the purchase price. However, they would have to purchase mortgage insurance (PMI). This insurance secures lenders in the event that homeowners are unable to make house payments. In most cases, potential buyers will need to seek a mortgage to purchase a home. The latest interest rates for borrowing are at 4.6 percent for a 30-year fixed-rate loan. Although there is a likelihood that mortgage interest rates will increase in the near future, they are still affordable compared to prior decades. “They (mortgage interest rates) are still at a historically all-time low,” said Cruz. In the 1980s, the interest rates hovered in the double-digits. He recalls when he was in the market for a home in 2002, the interest rate was 7.5 percent for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage. Cruz stated that mortgage interest rates should not be a primary concern if you are considering purchasing a home. He indicated that homes typically appreciate in value and that there is a possibility of refinancing the loan if/when rates fall, and you could pay off the original mortgage. Buyers find themselves in a market where sellers are receiving multiple offers for homes. As a result, Jelcz indicated that using an escalation clause may help.

CURRENCY EXCHANGE from 8 Key@Work’s Program Manager Tommy SisaAt said. Sisa-At’s role at the bank revolves around educating the community, and part of that education is helping people understand exactly what transaction fees are, and how travelers can best prepare themselves. Transaction fees are a certain percentage of the amount of a purchase using one’s debit or credit card in a foreign country or at an ATM that isn’t associated with one’s bank. Some cards don’t charge transaction fees, but most do. In this vein, Sisa-At said that he recommends that travelers talk to their bank before leaving the country. Bankers can help when it comes to mitigating the number of times a person faces fees, by giving them a few tips or creating a rough plan for how a person will pay for various things, such as food, entertainment, and souvenirs. For instance, KeyBank has a financial wellbeing program, which means bankers and clients are “holistically looking at how you can better manage your fees,” Sisa-At said. “To internationalize, we want to learn more about our customer. If our customer is traveling overseas, we want to tell them, ‘Okay, this

Escalation clauses are included in written offers, which specify how much a buyer is willing to raise their initial offer in the event that the first offer is less than subsequent offers. These types of clauses work in instances where a seller has a deadline for all offers to be submitted. But there are some pitfalls in these Kim Sandher clauses. “Escalation clauses can be dangerous,” said Cruz. “I give the option, but I approach what is best for the seller. But that’s where working with the right agent will help you minimize the risk. I have used them, but for me, it’s best to get to know both sides (buyer and seller).” There may be other considerations, including closing quicker or extending the close. Cruz suggested that sometimes sellers want to rent back the home so that they have more time to move and/or find another home. He suggests that prospective buyers should be ready to make an offer if they find a home they like. Also, a personal touch may help you land your dream home. Cruz says writing a letter to the seller may help you stand out in a field of offers. “The more they know about you and what you love about the home, the more that will reassure them that you are the perfect new owners.” In addition, seeking out legal assistance might protect the potential buyer and seller from unseen pitfalls.

“What I’ve been noticing is that people are going with what the market tells them,” said real estate attorney Kim Sandher, an attorney at Pivotal Law Group in Seattle. “They (buyers) are willing to waive everything.” Sellers, desperate to find a home are waiving portions of the contract that may slow the transaction from going through, and to make the deal more attractive to a seller. However, this could prove to be a problem down the road. Sandher, whose practice includes representing buyers and sellers in real estate, advised to never waive provisions in the real estate contract, such as financing contingencies, home inspection, and appraisal. “If they (prospective home buyers) come to me early enough, I can draft a real estate contract with its own terms.” In general, the contract used is a standard form issued by the MLS. However, according to Sandher, the MLS form favors the seller. For instance, the standard form contract does not address any contingencies in the event that the seller backs out of the sale. Prospective homeowners looking for their dream home within the city of Seattle will likely compete with other buyers eyeing the same properties. With prices continuing to rise, it is helpful to find professionals in the real estate industry who can help guide you through the process.  You can reach Christopher at christophercruz.johnlscott.com, and Kim Sandher at PivotalLawGroup.com. Jason can be reached at info@nwasianweekly.com.

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is what it’s going to look like, if you travel,’” Sisa-At said. “Or we look at other options, like, THANK YOU FOR ‘What’s the benefit of using cash? What’s the benefit of using a traveler’s check?’” RECYCLING THIS Sisa-At said he personally recommends using NEWSPAPER! a credit card, rather than a debit card. Using a credit card is much safer than using a debit card, he said, because if someone gets ahold of his 自1872年起服務西北岸社區 debit card, they have direct access to his money. 非營利獨立協會 “The money that’s coming out is from … your checking account, which is tied to your International District savings account,” Sisa-At said. “The reason I corner of 6th & Jackson use a credit card when I travel is because it’s 2nd Floor connected to my credit — and my credit is important — but my savings or my checking Quality Dentistry you can afford! is not getting involved. … And let’s say there’s • Most insurances • Cleaning fraud on my credit card. I can put a claim into it, accepted • Fillings and close my credit card out. I can file a dispute • Root canals • Extractions on an unauthorized transaction.” • Crowns & bridges Sisa-At said travelers can also use a blend of cash and a credit card, but cautioned that cash — FAMILY DENTISTRY — can easily be lost or stolen, too. ‧陵墓地下室 ‧骨灰靈位 For her part, Rials said she would likely just DR. TOM P. MAR, D.D.S. ‧墓碑、紀念碑 ‧土葬福地 use cash the next time she travels.  318 6th Ave. S., Ste. 108 Seattle, WA 98104 Carolyn can be reached at info@ nwasianweekly.com.

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EMPLOYMENT

JUNE 16 – JUNE 22, 2018

EMPLOYMENT

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METROPOLITAN KING COUNTY COUNCIL DIRECTOR OF LEGISLATIVE ANALYSIS Closes: June 20, 2018 at 11:59 p.m. Salary Range: $153,814.75 - $194,969.01 (DOQ) The Metropolitan King County Council is seeking a dynamic leader to manage the King County Council’s policy staff team and ensure staffing and policy endeavors are consistent with the Council’s vision for Equity and Social Justice. The Director of Legislative Analysis will develop and administer analytical standards for staff, as well as assign staff to policy and budget topics. Policy staff support the Council in fulfilling its mission to set policies, enacts laws and adopt budgets that guide an array of regional services for the residents of King County. The ideal candidate will be a practiced manager, adept at policy, providing and presenting impartial analysis, politics and relationships. To apply online, go to www.kingcounty.gov/jobs A King County application is required to be considered for this opportunity. Interested applicants must complete the supplemental questions and submit a resume and letter of interest with your application. Snoqualmie Casino Dealer Trainee School Snoqualmie Casino is offering a FREE on site Dealer School. The school is for new first time dealers. Learn to deal, pass the class, audition, and begin making $27.00/HR (Base wage + Tips/Tokes)! Apply via our website: http://www. snocasino.com/about/careers/

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NYC SCHOOLS from 4 City Councilwoman Margaret Chin, a Bronx Science alumna and a Democrat whose district includes Manhattan’s Chinatown, wrote in a letter to de Blasio that Asian Americans have “a unique relationship” with the specialized high schools. “For many families, particularly low-income immigrant families, the specialized high schools are the only pathway to a world-class education,” Chin asserted. Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza, who recently appointed after serving as superintendent in Houston, hit back in TV appearances, telling Fox 5 New York, “I just don’t buy into the narrative that any one ethnic group owns admission to these schools.” Overhauling the specialized high school admissions process entirely would require action by the state legislature, which won’t vote on the plan until 2019 at the earliest. As a stopgap measure, the mayor said he would expand a program to offer seats at the schools to low-income students who score just below the cutoff. Under the expanded version of what’s

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known as the Discovery program, 20 percent of specialized high school seats will be reserved for low-income students from high-poverty schools who just missed the cutoff. Defining the plan’s beneficiaries by income skirts the legal issues that would be raised if the city tried to favor any particular ethnic group. Some students at Stuyvesant, the school that requires the highest score on the admissions test, expressed doubts about even that modest adjustment. Senior Jessica Sun, a Chinese American student, said students who missed the test cutoff might struggle at a high-pressure school like Stuyvesant. “I don’t think they would do too well since it’s very hard and you need a lot of support from your family,” she said. Sun added that the specialized high school test is “very fair.” “You study for it. You make the cutoff. You get in,” she said. The three-hour, multiple-choice test is offered to eighth-graders every fall. Many parents spend thousands of dollars on tutors to prepare their children for the exam. The city has sought to diversify the specialized high schools by offering

NOTICE

NOTICE

INVITATION FOR BID Mechanical and Electrical Upgrades at Parkway Apartments King County Housing Authority is soliciting bids from qualified firms to: replace forty-one (41) existing bath fans with Energy Star bathroom fan rated for continuous use and vent out twenty-seven (27) between floor fans with new ducting and cap, replace forty-one (41) existing fan controls with humidistat switches with integrated automatic run programing and replace the light switches and face plates to match, install forty-one (41) split-system ductless heat pumps (DHPs) with a 1 ton capacity (one system per unit) with wall mounted indoor head unit, remove existing baseboard/cove heater and thermostats in living room and drywall patched and painted in these locations, and install seventy-seven (41) wireless wall mounted ductless heat pump thermostats; at Parkway Apartments located at 3970 West Lake Sammamish Pkwy NE, WA 98052, a property with 41 units owned by King County Housing Authority. It has been determined that asbestos containing materials have been found at Parkway apartments of more than 1% in the “Popcorn” type ceiling texture and in the “Orange peel” or “Knockdown” type surface texture. Asbestos abatement must be done by a Washington State Certified Asbestos abatement firm. Sealed bids are due at 2:00 pm, July 3, 2018. A pre-bid meeting will be held on Thursday, June 21, 2018 at 10:00 am at Parkway Apartments located at 3970 West Lake Sammamish Pkwy NE, WA 98052. Failure to attend the pre-bid meeting will not relieve the firm of any responsibility for information provided during the pre-bid meeting. Bid documents may be downloaded from the KCHA website, (https://www.kcha. org/business/weatherization/), mailed or picked up at KCHA’s office, 700 Andover Park West, Suite D, Seattle, WA. For documents contact Carly Dykes at carlyd@kcha.org. Any questions or requests for further information or clarification must be directed to John Riccie, Multifamily Weatherization Construction Coordinator, at (206) 574-1134 or johnr@kcha.org.

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free test-prep classes to disadvantaged youngsters but those efforts have not yielded measurable results. De Blasio’s proposed overhaul would eliminate the test entirely and offer specialized high school slots to the top students at every middle school in the city. City officials estimate that under the plan, similar to the University of Texas system, 45 percent of offers to specialized schools would go to Black and Hispanic students. “We have so many talented kids who are Black and Latino who will never, under the current system, see the inside of a specialized high school, but actually bring a ton of talent that if it was measured properly,” de Blasio said. The use of a single test for admissions has also been assailed by critics like Shael Polakow-Suransky, who oversaw the city’s contract with the test maker as deputy schools chancellor under former mayor Michael Bloomberg. “We’re missing a lot of talent by using such a limited instrument,” said Polakow-Suransky, the president of the Bank Street College of Education. “It’s a relic in many ways.” 

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JUNE 16 – JUNE 22, 2018

RETIRE BY 40 from 3

I don’t make Microsoft/Amazon/tech money

Naoko Huffman

asianweekly northwest

YOUR VOICE

Naoko Huffman, a senior financial planner at KeyBank, has worked with high net worth individuals for the past 20 years. She said her clients who retire at 40 typically received windfall having worked for a company like Microsoft in the early stages and then exercised stock options, received an inheritance or gifts from

parents, or won the lottery. For the rest of us, Huffman said, “It takes a lot of discipline and planning.” The first thing Huffman does with clients is to define and prioritize their goals and objectives, then comes up with a plan to meet their goals. Typically, she starts with a capital needs analysis. They sit down and determine capital needs, risk tolerance level and expected return from investment, and life expectancy. The assumptions also include an inflation rate, future tax rates, potential sources of retirement income and other capital from sale of a business, inheritance, a gift, downsizing the house and so on. Huffman said that many financial institutions offer a tool to do a capital needs analysis. At KeyBank, clients can access a tool called HelloWallet. Once you create a plan, it is important to review the plan periodically and revisit the initial assumptions you made in the plan. Sometimes life takes an unexpected turn and your plan needs to reflect the changes. Huffman said that you also need to take into account healthcare expenses. Generally, the cost of healthcare rises faster than the rate of inflation. “You don’t qualify for Medicare until you’re 65,” said Huffman. “You’ll need to find an affordable health insurance coverage that fits your needs until then.” Her advice to those starting out in life is “enroll in a qualified retirement plan your employer offers. If your employer offers a company matching, make sure to take advantage of it. Also start contributing to an IRA. If eligible, consider maximizing contributions to a Roth IRA and Health Savings Account.” Min Qiu was a personal trainer for 10 years. With a bachelor’s in exercise science and kinesthesiology, he made $30,000 a year when he first started and topped out at $70,000. He would wake up Min Qiu with wife, Puttery Cher in Kawai between 4:45 and 5:15 a.m. every day, drive in traffic to be at work at 6:30 or 7 a.m. He would work until 10 or 11 a.m., then work another shift from 3 and 4 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. — basically around his clients’ work schedules. “I didn’t know what was possible,” Qiu said. It was his father-in-law who planted a seed — suggesting that Qiu could leverage his ability to speak Chinese fluently, and be a go-to real estate agent for Chinese nationals looking to invest in the United States. He did some research on the real estate industry and started networking with local real estate investors. That’s when he learned about house flipping — where investors buy distressed homes for pennies on the dollar, renovate it, and sell it at a profit. Qiu was 30 when he did his first flip. He took a home equity loan against his personal residence to buy and renovate it. Qiu quit his job as a personal trainer three months ago. He is now 33 years old and has completed 10 flips. “I made sure there’s enough savings to last us (him and his wife) a couple of years, and enough marketing costs to operate my business for a year,” Qiu said. Of his lifestyle, Qiu said, “Now, I wake up whenever I want to.” This may not last long since he and his wife are expecting their first child in the fall.

But I don’t have money or assets

Geoffrey Yro Auza arrived in the United States from the Philippines in 2009. He was in his junior year in nursing school and chose to veer from that path for an opportunity to come to the United States, and start all over.

Within two weeks, Auza landed a job. He also went to college while working parttime as a geriatric nursing assistant. Just before his student visa expired on June 1, 2013, Auza was shipped out to basic training for the U.S. Army. “I wanted to become a citizen,” Auza Geoffrey Yro Auza with wife, Thalia said of his decision to enter military service. With that decision came perks like the Veterans Administration (VA) loan. From a very young age, Auza understood that financial freedom was possible through passive income. His grandmother, who raised him, retired at age 40. Auza said, “In school, when the teachers asked what your mom and dad do (for work), I told them my grandmother stays home, cooks, cleans, and once a month, people gave her rent money. She didn’t have to work for anyone.” Auza started investing in real estate in 2015, while he was on active duty in the Army. He bought a fourplex in Lakewood, Wash. with a VA loan — one of the very few “zero down payment” home loan products around, offered only to eligible service members. “I paid $1,100 for an inspection (prior to purchase),” said Auza. That was his only out-of-pocket expense. “The property had been on the market for 300 days, so the seller was motivated. We even requested that they put in a new roof, new insulation, and other improvements.” Auza said he inherited bad tenants, whom he had to evict. “But in the military, they have free attorneys, so I didn’t have to spend any money on evictions.”

15

college majors. A college education might seem out-of-reach financially for some. But joining the military could be one way to pay for college. There are also tons of scholarships out there that very few people ever apply for, Auza said. “The amounts are small — $1,000, $5,000 — but it adds up.” Elisabeth Embry had her college education paid for by the Army. She also said to consider trades like carpentry, or becoming an electrician or plumber.

Never too young, or old

Shirllin Ching at Everest Base Camp in Nepal

Auza and his wife, also in the Army, lived in one of the units in the fourplex. The rent received from tenants in the three other units was more than enough to pay the mortgage and monthly expenses. When analyzing properties to buy, Auza aims to net a minimum of $100 per unit. Auza bought two more fourplexes with VA loans — all of the units generate enough income to cover monthly expenses while he enjoys the market appreciation and debt paydown, courtesy of his tenants. Auza is 27 years old now and in the reserves. He just got his real estate license and recently completed his first flip — a house in Tacoma which he bought at an auction. “I earned more than my year’s worth of Army pay in just about six months of doing real estate full-time.”

Shirllin Ching, 29, hasn’t had to work since she was 23. Growing up, she witnessed her parents arguing over money and she swore that that would never be her life. After graduating from high school, she helped her father with his business and learned the ins and outs of running it. Once she had built up enough capital, she started buying up student housing properties. She now travels the world and pursues her other life passions, which bring her more fulfillment. Embry, 50, just left the corporate world. But she saw the writing on the wall at age 36, when she was working at the now-defunct Washington Mutual (WaMu). “I knew that I needed a way to replace my income and it needed to be passive.” From WaMu, Embry also worked at Amazon and T-Mobile. Her husband works in tech. The couple lives on half of their take-home pay and bought their first investment property when she was 45. “For me, it’s about quality of life,” said Embry. “I made a substantial six figure income at T-Mobile and drove a Honda Fit. I’d rather spend $10,000-$15,000 three times a year on travel, than drive a Tesla and live in Clyde Hill.” When she was reminded that not everybody makes “Microsoft money,” Embry said, “My dad never made more than $27,000 in his life and he owned rental property.” “If you have little or no money, look for a mentor and someone with knowledge,” said Kwon. She is helping a firsttime investor, 26, acquire his first rental property through creative financing and less money up front. “It takes time, money, and knowledge,” said Qiu. “If you have no money, what else can you bring to the table to add value?” “I’d be willing to pay more (money) if someone else puts in the sweat and time,” said Embry. She also states that skills like carpentry and plumbing are incredibly valuable if you want to invest in real estate. And those trades can command a very high hourly rate. Embry said, “At some point, you can prove yourself and you could gain equity share — a piece of a pie of something.”

The million dollar difference

Passive income ideas

Auza apartments

Elisabeth Embry in Dubai with husband, Neil

“Do you know what the difference is in lifetime earnings between someone with a college degree and another person with a high school degree? $1 million,” said Chen, citing a Georgetown University study. “By the time you retire, you would have already been a millionaire, except it came to you in little drifts,” said Chen. The Georgetown study said the choice of a college major is critical as well. The difference could be upwards of $3 million in lifetime earnings between the highest and lowest paying

Most of the people interviewed for this article built their wealth through real estate. But there are other ways to generate passive income — defined as getting paid over and over for something you did once. Create something: write a book, song, create YouTube videos or an online course — you will receive residual income for the rest of your life. If you have a website, you could do affiliate marketing and there are courses online on how to do this. Somewhat related to real estate, you could rent out a spare room in your home via Airbnb. You could even rent out your car when you are not using it through a company like Turo. “A lot of entrepreneurs fail because they don’t give themselves enough time, and time equals money,” said Chen. “I had a friend who started a business and he had all these government contracts. Well, those contracts can sometimes take years to close and he needed revenue in one to three months… that’s a problem. Every business takes time to ramp up.” “But you’ll never find out until you try it,” said Chen. “If you really want to retire and stay retired — it’s not about the money. It’s about the mindset.”  Ruth can be reached at editor@nwasianweekly.com.


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