CNBC make it 2024-07-07 07:25:26


28-year-old left the U.S., relocated to Thailand, and pays $544/month for his 1-bedroom apartment

In April 2021, Paul Lee took a vacation to Thailand. Five months later, he decided to leave the United States behind and make a permanent move to the Asian country.

Lee, originally from Georgia, had been living in New York City and grossing around $1 million a year thanks to his e-commerce business. Despite doing well enough to pay for his parent’s retirement, the 28-year-old tells CNBC Make It he found himself without purpose, feeling depressed, and needing to make a change.

“When I first arrived to Thailand, I just felt rejuvenated. Everything was completely new to me, and I felt like it was a fresh new start,” Lee says. “The more and more I live here, the more and more I fall in love with the city.”

Since moving to Bangkok, Lee has been making around US $150,000 a year as a content creator and real estate agent, according to documents reviewed.

Working in real estate helped Lee find several living arrangements in Bangkok, including luxury condos. The apartment he’s in now is a one-bedroom in the Thonglor neighborhood which Lee says is “the Soho of Bangkok.”

It’s a 650-square-feet unit that costs 20,000 baht — around USD $544 — in monthly rent. Lee also pays $20 for Wi-Fi, $80 for electricity, and $3 for water each month. The apartment came furnished, and Lee has access to amenities, including a pool and a gym.

To move in, Lee had to pay a security deposit of two months’ rent or about $1,088.

Despite lower grocery costs in Bangkok, Lee eats out for every meal and spends $500 a month on food. “I’m not gonna lie, the food in New York City was very good as well, but I think in Thailand, it’s just a lot more homey, a lot more local, and a lot spicier,” Lee says.

His other expenses include a $93 monthly gym membership which is a bit of a splurge considering Lee has free access to a gym in his building. But the cost is worth it for Lee, because he can take advantage of the co-working space, coffee, and numerous networking opportunities in the space.

Also his current gym’s price is nothing compared to luxury gyms in New York, like Equinox, where memberships can start at $240 a month.

Lee has only returned to the U.S. one time since his big move to Thailand — for his sister’s wedding. He tells CNBC Make It he chose to leave New York City because he found himself being too materialistic and living in an “environment that was just very individualistic, very doggish, and very hyper-aggressive.”

“Bangkok stood out to me because it seemed very metropolis. It seemed very fun. It seemed very affordable and it just had a very good culture and didn’t really have any major compromises to me,” Lee says.

Lee has made a new life for himself in Thailand, he says, and returning to the U.S. doesn’t feel likely.

“I had to go through this journey of being poor and becoming quite wealthy to realize all this wealth that I had accumulated didn’t really give me what I wanted and didn’t give me the satisfaction I was looking for,” Lee says.

His parents were initially shocked he’d moved so far but ended up following in his footsteps when they moved to South Korea. They visit him in Bangkok from time to time, and Lee travels to see them, too. He says it’s one of the best perks of his new life in Thailand.

“At the end of the day, even though I don’t make nearly as much money as I made in New York City, I am far… wealthier in terms of my happiness, in terms of my well-being, my peace,” he added. “These are things I never was able to achieve back home in the States.”

Conversions from Thai baht to USD were done using the OANDA conversion rate of 1 baht to 0.02 USD on July 1, 2024. All amounts are rounded to the nearest dollar.

Want to be a successful, confident communicator? Take CNBC’s new online course Become an Effective Communicator: Master Public Speaking. We’ll teach you how to speak clearly and confidently, calm your nerves, what to say and not say, and body language techniques to make a great first impression. Sign up today and use code EARLYBIRD for an introductory discount of 30% off through July 10, 2024.

Plus, sign up for CNBC Make It’s newsletter to get tips and tricks for success at work, with money and in life.

The 10 most expensive places to buy a home in the U.S.—the top 5 are in California

Half of the 10 most expensive places to buy a home in the U.S. in 2024 are in California, according to a recent study by SmartAsset.

San Jose, which sits in the middle of Silicon Valley, topped the list with a median home sale price exceeding $1.5 million in 2024 — and prices in the area went up by 12% from last year.

The study, which analyzed Zillow’s housing data of the 100 largest metro areas in 2019, 2023 and 2024 found that median home sale prices have increased this year in all of the most expensive metro areas.

Just how costly are we talking? To be able to afford a typical home in the San Jose area, you would need to make $468,252, according to the National Association of Realtors.

While the Golden State is home to some of the country’s wealthiest zip codes, it is also currently experiencing a housing shortage. What’s happening in California is a snapshot of a larger national trend, with home prices now 47% higher than they were at the beginning of 2020.

Here are the top 10 most expensive places to buy a home in the United States.

1. San Jose, California

  • Median home sale price: $1,502,362
  • Increase since 2023: 12.9%
  • Increase since 2019: 41%

2. San Francisco

  • Median home sale price: $1,132,315
  • Increase since 2023: 10.8%
  • Increase since 2019: 30.5%

3. Los Angeles

  • Median home sale price: $925,783
  • Increase since 2023: 10.6%
  • Increase since 2019: 47.9%

4. San Diego

  • Median home sale price: $876,056
  • Increase since 2023: 9.4%
  • Increase since 2019: 55.1%

5. Oxnard, California

  • Median home sale price: $844,806
  • Increase since 2023: 8.2%
  • Increase since 2019: 43%

6. Honolulu

  • Median home sale price: $696,729
  • Increase since 2023: 6.6%
  • Increase since 2019: 23.4%

7. Seattle

  • Median home sale price: $692,195
  • Increase since 2023: 10.5%
  • Increase since 2019: 53%

8. Boston

  • Median home sale price: $648,108
  • Increase since 2023: 8.1%
  • Increase since 2019: 47.9%

9. New York

  • Median home sale price: $579,117
  • Increase since 2023: 10.7%
  • Increase since 2019: 49.2%

10. Denver

  • Median home sale price: $573,090
  • Increase since 2023: 3.0%
  • Increase since 2019: 45.3%

Want to be a successful, confident communicator? Take CNBC’s new online course Become an Effective Communicator: Master Public Speaking. We’ll teach you how to speak clearly and confidently, calm your nerves, what to say and not say, and body language techniques to make a great first impression. Sign up today and use code EARLYBIRD for an introductory discount of 30% off through July 10, 2024.

Plus, sign up for CNBC Make It’s newsletter to get tips and tricks for success at work, with money and in life.

Neuroscientist: The unique exercise I do for optimal brain health

To keep your brain health in good shape, you should engage in physical activity as often as you can. 

“Physical activity is so powerful for our brain,” Dr. Wendy Suzuki, neuroscientist and dean of NYU College of Arts and Science, said in an episode of a recent MasterClass series that features neuroscientists and psychiatrists sharing advice for optimal brain health.

Suzuki mentioned how walking 10 minutes a day can do wonders for your mood and that strategic sports like soccer and basketball engage your prefrontal cortex more than other exercises. But the workout in Suzuki’s weekly routine is much different than most others.

“I got pulled back into exercise from couch potato land with this amazing form of workout,” Suzuki said. “It’s called intenSati.”

The front half of the name “inten” stems from the word “intention,” Suzuki said. “Sati is a Pali word that means mindfulness or awareness.”

Cardio plus mantras is this neuroscientist’s preferred exercise for brain health

IntenSati involves moving your body while speaking affirmations out loud, Suzuki said. It was created by Patricia Moreno in 2002.

“This workout pairs high-energy cardio moves with high-emotion mantras that will leave you uplifted, connected, and strong,” according to the official website for intenSati.

Speaking positive affirmations out loud can strongly impact your outlook on life and your overall mood, Suzuki said.

“If you shout out that you believe you will succeed, you are inspired, you are strong, for a whole hour with a whole bunch of other sweaty, affirmations-shouting people, you come out of that class feeling amazing.”

A recent study done at the University of California Berkeley encouraged 135 undergraduate students to say compassionate things to themselves for 20 seconds a day, coupled with compassionate touch like placing a hand on their heart. After one month of consistently doing this practice, students reported feeling less stress and seeing improvements in their mental health.

“But whatever the form of workout that you do, any time of day you can work out is the best time of day to workout because our lives are so busy,” Suzuki said.

A 2022 study that examined the health information of more than 500,000 people found that those who regularly engaged in vigorous physical activity like exercise and sports decreased their risk of developing dementia by 35%.

But even doing household chores regularly lowered an individual’s risk by 21%.

“Every single drop of sweat counts for your brain,” she said, “And that’s good news.”

Want to be a successful, confident communicator? Take CNBC’s new online course Become an Effective Communicator: Master Public Speaking. We’ll teach you how to speak clearly and confidently, calm your nerves, what to say and not say, and body language techniques to make a great first impression. Sign up today and use code EARLYBIRD for an introductory discount of 30% off through July 10, 2024.

Plus, sign up for CNBC Make It’s newsletter to get tips and tricks for success at work, with money and in life.

If you always use 12 phrases, you’re more emotionally intelligent than most

Do you think and speak in ways that mark you as being emotionally intelligent

After spending more than 25 years researching and writing books about emotional intelligence, I know that you should hope the answer is yes.

As I discuss in my most recent book “Optimal,” being emotionally intelligent means you’re more likely to be a high performer, be engaged in what you do, feel satisfied with your work, and be in a good mood on the job. 

What this looks and sounds like in practice breaks down along four domains of emotional intelligence: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management.

Within these domains, there are a dozen specific abilities, or “competencies,” that distinguish star performers at work, both on teams and as leaders. Those include emotional self awareness, emotional self control, adaptability, achievement orientation, positive outlook, empathy, organizational awareness, influence, conflict management, inspirational leadership, coaching and mentoring, and teamwork.

Here are 12 phrases that emotionally intelligent people tend to think or say on a regular basis — each reflects a strength in one of the 12 competencies. 

1. ‘I can handle this’ 

Emotional intelligence competency: Self management (self control)

No matter how stressful or upsetting your life, excellence in self-management — and in emotional self-control in particular — means you can keep disruptive emotions like anger or anxiety from getting in the way of what you have to do in the moment. And if you do get upset, you recover quickly.

2. ‘I can get better and so can you’ 

Emotional intelligence competency: Self management (positive outlook)

Rather than assuming you or someone else is only as good at a particular skill or task as they seem at the moment, you realize everyone — you included — can get better with guidance and practice. 

This positive outlook lets you roll with the punches in life and lets you see the opportunities even in setbacks.

DON’T MISS: The ultimate guide to becoming a master communicator and public speaker

3. ‘I’m excited about this change’ 

Emotional intelligence competency: Self management (adaptability)

You’re able to navigate uncertainty and adapt to changes instead of being rigid in how you respond. You’re eager to learn new ways of doing and being.

4. ‘This is what really matters’ 

Emotional intelligence competency: Self management (achievement orientation)

Keeping your eye on your big-picture goal, despite the distractions of the day, helps you achieve it.

5. ‘I have these thoughts because … ’ 

Emotional intelligence competency: Self awareness

Having self-awareness means you understand what triggers your moods and how they make you think, feel, and want to act. You can recognize, for example, when your thoughts stem from feelings of anger, anxiety, or sadness.  

Self-awareness is a prerequisite for better emotional self-control and self-management more broadly. 

6. ‘I get it—and I care about you’ 

Emotional intelligence competency: Social awareness (empathy)

There are three kinds of empathy: 

  • Knowing how someone thinks about what’s going on
  • Sensing their feelings
  • Having concern for that person

Together, these three aspects of empathy build closeness and trust in any relationship.

7. ‘So that’s how things work around here’ 

Emotional intelligence competency: Social awareness (organizational awareness)

Knowing who makes the decisions you care about offers you a key to the crucial dynamics of your organization. If you understand who’s involved and how things work, you’re often able to have influence. 

8. ‘What if you tried doing it this way?’ 

Emotional intelligence competency: Relationship management (influence)

You know how to convince someone to see things your way. You don’t command, but rather suggest, how a person might do something better. 

9. ‘That means so much because … ’ 

Emotional intelligence competency: Relationship management (inspirational leadership)

Outstanding leaders get the best efforts out of others by speaking about a shared purpose from the heart to the heart, in a way that resonates.

10. ‘We can work this out’ 

Emotional intelligence competency: Relationship management (conflict management)

Talent at handling conflict means you don’t ignore it, can listen to all perspectives, and come up with win-win solutions.

11. ‘We have each other’s backs’ 

Emotional intelligence competency: Relationship management (teamwork)

Feeling like we belong and having a sense of psychological safety on our team means we can give our best efforts and take risks to be innovative without fear of being ostracized or put down.

No matter what your role on the team, you know how to pitch in and collaborate, sharing both responsibilities and rewards. 

12. ‘This could help you’ 

Emotional intelligence competency: Relationship management (coaching and mentoring)

Coaching or mentoring is a key part of helping develop leaders for the future, strengthening your team and organization in the long run. You do it by giving feedback, offering support, and motivating people to learn and grow. 

Keep honing your emotional intelligence 

The more these phrases come up in your mind, the more emotionally intelligent you already are and the better your performance is likely to be. 

Each of us has strengths and limits across these 12 must-have EI competencies. To find out yours I recommend a “360” assessment — where people you know and trust rate you anonymously. It’s the best way to see your own EI profile. You can try the Emotional and Social Competence Inventory.

You might not be a natural in every competency that makes up emotional intelligence. But understanding EI as a broad set of skills and abilities and getting a snapshot of where you stand on each one will help you see what you can build on and where you have room to grow.

Daniel Goleman is a psychologist who shares his insights into the strengths of outstanding performers in the online learning program he designed to strengthen your emotional and social competencies. Daniel received his PhD in psychology and personality development from Harvard University. He is also the author of several books, including “Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ” and most recently ”Optimal: How to Sustain Personal and Organizational Excellence Every Day.”

Want to be a successful, confident communicator? Take CNBC’s new online course Become an Effective Communicator: Master Public Speaking. We’ll teach you how to speak clearly and confidently, calm your nerves, what to say and not say, and body language techniques to make a great first impression. Sign up today and use code EARLYBIRD for an introductory discount of 30% off through July 10, 2024.

25-year-old pays $1,472 in rent to live in a car-free neighborhood in Arizona—take a look inside

In early 2024, Jada Stratman, 25, was searching for retail space for her candle business, Brite Candle Co. That’s when she found Culdesac.

″[It’s] the first car-free neighborhood built from scratch in the U.S.,” Culdesac CEO Ryan Johnson tells CNBC Make It.

Cars are not allowed on the Culdesac’s streets, and residents can’t park their own vehicles on site. Residents are offered discounts on transportation services like Waymo, a self-driving taxi.

“Our communities prioritize biking, walking, and transit over cars and parking,” the website says.

The community, located in Tempe, Arizona, has 180 residents with plans to grow to over 1,000. Apartments there range from studios to three-bedroom units, and prices start at around $1,400 a month.

“Since moving to this walkable community, I feel like I’ve definitely gotten a lot more out of my comfort zone,” Stratman tells CNBC Make It. “They’re not against cars; they’re just against car dependency.”

Stratman moved into one of Culdesac’s live-work spaces in February. The Brite Candle Co. shop is housed up front and Stratman’s bedroom and other living spaces are in the back. The unit features a walk-in closet and a washer and dryer.

“I’m able to actually have a retail front-facing shop to the public and also make money out of my apartment,” she says.

“At first, it was a bit uncomfortable just having so many people in my living space, but over time, I’ve gotten really used to it. I’m actually really excited for people to come and make candles.”

Stratman pays $1,472 in monthly rent and an additional $140 for utilities and Internet. Stratman’s upfront costs included a $1,000 security deposit.

Culdesac offers Stratman and other residents access to a pool, a fully equipped gym, rental cars, and light rails. Each resident is also given a free e-bike. The community has several shops and a supermarket on the grounds.

Though car-free, Culdesac still has parking spaces for visitors and the residents who need them.

Stratman does own a car and keeps it off property, as required, but says she has “actually become less dependent on my vehicle, although I use it for business purposes.”

Stratman doesn’t see herself leaving the neighborhood any time soon. “I’ve always grown up so introverted and just to myself,” she says. “So coming here and meeting all the friendly people that I have met and the connections that I’ve made is why I chose Culdesac.”

“Having a live-work space has actually saved me a lot of money,” she says.

Since moving in, Stratman has seen her business grow and wants to eventually move into a larger retail space there.

“Having [my work and home] integrated into one has been so helpful, especially for a small business owner who’s not making thousands of dollars.”

Want to be a successful, confident communicator? Take CNBC’s new online course Become an Effective Communicator: Master Public Speaking. We’ll teach you how to speak clearly and confidently, calm your nerves, what to say and not say, and body language techniques to make a great first impression. Sign up today and use code EARLYBIRD for an introductory discount of 30% off through July 10, 2024.

Plus, sign up for CNBC Make It’s newsletter to get tips and tricks for success at work, with money and in life.

Leave a Reply