The Embassy Wealth Podcast

By Tanya Salseth and Josh Lustig

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On the Embassy Wealth Podcast we interview members of the foreign affairs community to see how they’re building wealth both personally and financially, no matter where they’re posted. The views expressed on this podcast are only those of the individuals featured on the show and do not in any way reflect the official policy of the United States government.

Episode Date
Planning for the Ultimate Foreign Service Retirement with William Carrington

William Carrington is the owner of Carrington Financial Planning, a financial planning and wealth management firm that specializes in working with Foreign Service employees. Since founding his firm more than ten years ago, William has worked with more than 500 clients. He is a Certified Financial Planner, a Retirement Management Advisor, a NAPFA-Registered Advisor, and is a fee-only fiduciary. He was also an Eligible Family Member (EFM) for 24 years until his wife retired from the Department.

In this dynamite show, William covers a lot of retirement ground, debunking myths about how much money members of the Foreign Service actually need to retire well (hint: it’s likely less than you think!) 

Hear William discuss:

  • what amount of money Foreign Service Officers actually need to retire comfortably
  • why many FSOs should “live a little more” pre-retirement
  • why borrowing from your TSP can be a favorable money move
  • when you should hire a financial planner
  • why asset class selection can make or break your investment portfolio
  • why risk determines whether you have a lot of money (or not)
  • how Roth vs non-Roth portfolios compare
  • the “wait 24 hours” rule that takes the emotion out of investing
  • the role of real estate in an investment portfolio
  • succeeding as an EFM business owner overseas

…..and so much more!


Music: “Higher Up” by Shane Ivers

May 06, 2021
From Marine Security Guard to DS Agent with 90 Rental Units with Joe Burkhead

Joe Burkhead grew up in a small farming community in central Kentucky with a population of less than 400 people. In a place where fast food and manual labor jobs were plentiful, Joe knew no one in his hometown that was a serious investor. After joining the Marines Corps and being sent to Paris with the Marine Security Guard (MSG) program, Joe picked up “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” and was inspired to invest in real estate. 

At 23, with savings largely earned from his first year as an MSG, Joe bought a four-unit apartment building. This purchase launched an amazing real estate investment journey spanning two decades, during which Joe built a small multifamily property empire in his hometown.

In this interview, Joe shares his experiences with:

  • investing in all phases of the real estate market, including during periods of high mortgage interest rates (6%+!) and in periods of low inventory 
  • securing bank financing to purchase 90 units
  • what to look for when purchasing a property and what to avoid
  • building his own new construction multifamily
  • using leverage to grow and expand your real estate portfolio

Joe’s incredible story is a testament to what just one person on a government salary can accomplish through sheer determination and persistence over time, no matter where in life you start. Be sure to listen to the end to catch Joe’s best tips for real estate investors!

Music: “Higher Up” by Shane Ivers

Apr 30, 2021
“Conservative” Investing in Turnkey New Construction in Florida with Matt Shedd

Matt Shedd is former military and a retired Foreign Service Officer, now serving as a government contractor overseas.  He and his wife started their real estate investment portfolio by purchasing one new construction single family in Orlando, Florida in 2003, which they bought prior to moving to Sarajevo for their first overseas tour. Eighteen years later, they’ve grown their portfolio to multiple new construction multifamily properties and are looking forward to a retirement that’s “rich without a lot of risk.”

Matt’s real estate investing philosophy focuses on a “measured, conservative approach” -- one which balances risks and prioritizes “being able to sleep at night” over bigger cash flow that riskier properties might offer.

In this interview, Matt talks about:

  • starting out with new construction single family homes and how his average tenant stayed 3-4 years
  • doing due diligence on turnkey companies and real estate markets
  • investing in Orlando, Ocala, and Jacksonville FL
  • why property management is a must when overseas
  • differences between single and multifamily properties

… and much more! Matt is a great example of how taking the first step is perhaps the toughest, but also the most important and empowering.  Take the leap!


Music: “Higher Up” by Shane Ivers

Apr 29, 2021
Building Side Hustle Empires and Investing in Hotels with Acquania Escarne

Acquania Escarne’s passion for personal finance and investing began at a young age when she opened a Roth IRA at 16 years old, and she has been seeking financial independence (FI) ever since!

After the devastating 2010 earthquake in Haiti, Acquania realized how many working professionals -- even high earners and her own colleagues -- were not prepared for an emergency or unexpected life event. This experience inspired her to get licensed to sell life insurance and educate others about the benefits of sound financial habits. 

Today, Acquania is a highly successful financial coach, real estate investor, podcast host, blogger, independent life insurance producer, AND hotel owner. And these are just her side hustles outside of her regular embassy 9 to 5! 

In this episode, Acquania discusses:

  • how saving set the foundation for her path to financial freedom 
  • the importance of life insurance
  • how she became an investor/owner in a Hilton hotel in Oklahoma
  • how investing has the power to positively impact communities 
  • including your family and your children in your investing journey 
  • why you should always be “financially prepared” to take advantage of opportunities 
  • why networking is often the key to accessing insider investment deals

Listen and be inspired by Acquania’s commitment to help as many people as possible achieve financial freedom and learn how she balances her side hustle empires alongside her federal career and commitment to her family. A not-to-be missed episode!


Music: “Higher Up” by Shane Ivers

Apr 29, 2021
1. Introducing the Embassy Wealth Podcast!

Meet your co-hosts Tanya Salseth and Josh Lustig and discover the origins of the Embassy Wealth Podcast (hint: mix one part Rio de Janeiro and one part real estate investing and stir!). Get a sneak preview of some of the many amazing guests who will be featured on the show.


Music: “Higher Up” by Shane Ivers

Apr 29, 2021