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Redefining Wealth - From Survive to Thrive Mentality

Sara Rodriguez is the CEO/Owner of Titan Title and a partner at Mendez Rodriguez, PLC. She is Chairperson of the Hispanic Wealth Project and 2020-21 NAHREP National President. Her practice specializes in all matters related to residential and commercial real estate transactions. She is the recipient of the Housing Wire Women of Influence Award for 2019 and 2020.

Since 2005, Mrs. Rodriguez has taught DPOR-approved courses through various state-licensed schools in both English and Spanish. She also teaches Continuing Legal Education (CLE) for the National Business Institute in Virginia. Mrs. Rodriguez has appeared as a speaker at multiple events and conventions, speaking on many real estate issues including contracts, short sales, and foreclosures. She was admitted to the Virginia Bar in 2003 and has practiced immigration, family, and real estate law.

WSN: Hello, Sara. Thank you very much for joining us at Wealth Stream News. We're so happy to have the Chairperson of the Hispanic Wealth Project here to talk to us about wealth.

Sara: Sure. I'm so excited about this project and being able to talk to entrepreneurs and others about such an important topic.

WSN: Please tell our audience about yourself, your business, and how you started your wealth journey.

Sara: I am Sara Rodriguez, Chairperson of the Hispanic Wealth Project and past national president for NAHREP. My day job is CEO and Counsel of Titan Title, a title company, and that's part of my wealth journey. About 15 years ago, I connected with NAHREP and started surrounding myself with people who were having different conversations—not about gossip or drama, but about how to make more money, not by working harder, but smarter.

WSN: That's inspiring. Can you describe some main milestones and opportunities that got you to where you are today?

Sara: The first step was deciding to go into business for myself and creating Titan Title. I became more aware of financial opportunities, like 401(k)s, which I initially thought were like gambling. I realized I was missing out on employer matches and tax deductions. I also hired my first financial advisor, who educated me on smart financial decisions.

WSN: The message here is that it's never too late to start. What are some tips or tools you're using now that you could share?

Sara: My biggest tip is it's never too late or too little to start investing. Surround yourself with people who think bigger and can explain how they got from point A to point B. Ask questions, even if they seem dumb. I also hired a financial planner to fast-track my education and make informed decisions. Use tools available through HWP to leverage your business and think about investments in companies. For example, our Angel investing platform is a great way to start your journey as an angel investor. You can be part of the future Google or Airbnb.

WSN: That's great advice. You mentioned philanthropy earlier. For many Latinos, that's not even on our radar. How would you define wealth, Sara?

Sara: I struggled with this because I came from a background where working just for money was seen negatively. To me, success is financial freedom—the ability to do what I want when I want. It's not about retirement, but about being able to take time off for important moments or to support my family without financial stress. For example, to be there for my son’s graduation for a week in comfort and with peace of mind.

WSN: What do you wish you had known earlier? What are you teaching your children now that you wish you were taught?
Sara: I wish I knew the importance of financial planning earlier. For my kids, every Christmas, we give them money to invest in stocks to learn budgeting and financial responsibility. I also emphasize the importance of maximizing employer 401(k) matches and talking to financial planners. Having open conversations about money and its potential benefits is crucial.

WSN: How would you like your wealth legacy to be remembered?

Sara: I want my legacy to be that I wasn't afraid to ask questions, even the dumb ones, and made people around me brave enough to start their wealth journey. We need to change the narrative around wealth and be brave in making financial decisions. Our ancestors made huge sacrifices for us to be here, and now it's our turn to take the next step from surviving to thriving.

WSN: I love that. Let's move from the survival conversation to the thriving conversation. Thank you so much, Sara, for all you do for the Hispanic Wealth Project, NAHREP, and for the inspiration you provide every day. It was great having you.
Sara: Thank you.

Disclosure: Please note that the information provided in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and should not be construed as financial advice.
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