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Retirement Planning > Retirement Investing

Sex Workers Need Financial Advice, Too

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Lady of the evening Alice Little is bringing new value to the world’s oldest profession. It’s all part of the 20-something’s ambitious “Million-Dollar Sex Work Business Plan.”

So far, the legal sex worker is making out ahead: With $1.2 million in bookings last year, she is the top earner at the Moonlite Bunny Ranch, Nevada’s best known legal brothel. In an interview with ThinkAdvisor, the conscientious courtesan reveals the secrets to her success.

Among those secrets is financial planning. Author Allison Schrager visited the Ranch while doing research for a book on risk management. “They have the best financial literacy program I’ve ever seen,” including regular visits from a financial planner, she told ThinkAdvisor in an interview.

Little has been a staffer at the Ranch for only three years; but she already operates her business as an LLC, enjoys a growing investment portfolio and employs assistants to handle a range of non-client admin.

At the Ranch, Little — true to her fictitious name, she’s four feet, eight inches tall and weighs 80 pounds — is in charge of weekly sales and business training workshops to impart her financial knowledge and sex-work price-negotiation strategies to her colleagues.

In the interview, she talks about her earnings and expenses, as well as her investments and retirement planning, about which more than one advisor counsels her.

Little created her business plan with the goal of booking $1 million in a year’s time. To help attain that, she got busy marketing herself on social media, began blogging and launched a “Coffee with Alice Little” podcast.

Further, she expanded her services to couples and straight single women, all of whom receive her candid brand of sex education and communication techniques to help achieve satisfaction in bed and, she says, beyond.

But the diminutive redhead has a broader goal: To lead a movement that will bring legal sex work to every U.S. state; right now, prostitution is legal only in Nevada.

As for her investment portfolio, Little favors real estate for retirement planning and already owns some small properties. At this point, she is not invested in stocks or bonds.

Prior to hooking up with the Ranch, the Dublin native who came to the U.S. at age 5 and grew up in New York City and on Long Island, traveled the country lecturing about sex at conventions. Before that, she was a jockey at Belmont race track and an emergency medical technician (EMT). On a whim, she tried legal sex work at the Bunny Ranch. Bingo.

Commenting on her retirement investing, advisor David Edwards, the founder of Heron Wealth in New York City and who, for the last 15 years, has counted Sydney Biddle Barrows aka “The Mayflower Madam” on his client roster — but not Little — says: “[Little] is taking a lot more risk than she understands. She reminds me of professional athletes who are making a ferocious amount of money now but who don’t understand that their career is shorter than they think and that liquidity is more important than they think.”

He continues. “[She] should have an account with six months’ of emergency money in T-bills or CDs and another account — maybe bonds — for some specific five-year goal. She should also open a SEP IRA or a Roth SEP IRA.”

And “real estate isn’t a safe investment,” Edwards says. “She should get a real estate broker license to know everything a real estate broker knows.”

ThinkAdvisor recently interviewed Little, on the phone from her home near the Ranch. Just like the title character’s self-appraisal in the movie “Working Girl,” Little, it seems, has “a head for business and a bod for sin. Is there anything wrong with that?”

Here are excerpts from our interview:

THINKADVISOR:  You’ve been a sex worker at the Moonlite Bunny Ranch for three years now. What’s your career goal?

ALICE LITTLE: It’s almost an obsession: I want to be the person that expands legalized sex work from Nevada to the rest of the United States. A regulated sex industry is a tremendous benefit to society and not just in terms of fiscal dollars and tax-base benefits.

How else?

Recent studies have shown that America is suffering from a loneliness epidemic. I want to make legalized sex worker companionship available in all 50 states. This would be a multimillion-dollar industry, much the same way that the marijuana industry ended up being a multibillion-dollar benefit.

You’re the Bunny Ranch’s top earning sex worker. What’s the secret to your success?

I’m not motivated by money. I’m motivated by my desire to connect with people and make a change in their life that ends up having a positive impact far beyond the scope of the brief period of time I’m in their life. I’m able to give them amazing communication skills that they can apply to the rest of their life, not just in the bedroom.

Why did you create a “Million-Dollar Sex Work Business Plan” for yourself?

From the beginning, I decided to look at this as a potential career. The Plan was to prove that there was validity to this industry. It was a kind of road map and goal-setting of where I hoped to be at the end of one year and then three years and five years. I identified all the things that weren’t happening in the industry and then started doing them.

Such as?

There was a lack of education about what really goes on inside the brothels. So I created a YouTube channel with quality content. I started to work with couples. No one had ever asked: How can I use this industry to benefit the lives of couples to give them the skills they can take home with them to better their lives?

What did your plan require you to earn monthly?

I had a goal of booking $84,000 a month. But last year I ended up averaging six figures per month. I booked over $1 million: $1.2 million because I didn’t slow down after November.

How much do you save on a regular basis?

I live on less than 10% of my income each month. My monthly expenses are between $5,000 and $7,000. I have a roommate, and we share expenses. So I save the majority of my income.

But half of what you book goes to the Bunny Ranch, right?

That’s part of the agreement to be a legal sex worker in Nevada: I also pay my own room and board at the Ranch. And every lady is responsible for her own expenses, like for accounting help and financial planning.

Do you have a retirement plan in place?

Absolutely. Everyone needs to build their own retirement plan. In my industry, that looks a bit different than the traditional financial plan. You figure a 401(k) plan and a SEP IRA are retirement plans for when you’re in your 50s and 60s. But we in the industry have the ability to do far more short-term financial planning and make strides toward full freedom.

“Full freedom”?

The ultimate goal of retirement needs to be passive income. At a certain point, your money starts to work for you. You’re no longer working hours for dollars. You now own an asset that’s generating income.

So I assume you don’t have a 401(k) Plan or a SEP IRA?

I don’t. I’ve chosen to invest in assets that will generate that passive income stream. That’s my primary type of retirement investment. From the research I’ve done, it looks like investing in real estate is going to bring the most successful form of retirement income for me.

Do you own any properties yet?

Some single-family properties, but I hope to move into triplexes, even small apartment complexes as my assets continue to grow. I bought a bed-and-breakfast but then flipped it for liquidity. I plan to diversify my portfolio by investing in small single-family properties across the Midwest in several different marketplaces.

Why those?

You can’t get that kind of five-year return on investment anywhere [else] these days unless you manage to start a unicorn indie company like Uber.

Do you own stocks and bonds too?

I haven’t started to play with them yet because I don’t have the financial knowledge. But I’ve been doing a lot of research and preparing for the inevitability of investing in them as part of my five- and 10-year plans rather than my initial getting-money-started plan.

But wouldn’t it make sense to put a little money into stocks earlier than that?

Right now I’m still focusing on building out my real estate portfolio. And so far, the returns I’ve been seeing can’t even compare to stocks and bonds.

Have you considered relying on the stock-and-bond recommendations of a trustworthy financial advisor?

I like to have a good understanding of anything I get involved in because I want to know whether I’m getting good advice or bad advice.

Do you have one financial planner that oversees all your investments and retirement plan?

I think it’s a mistake to put 100% of your financial trust in a single individual. So I’m constantly seeking the outside opinion of experts. Anytime I come across a professional that I believe could add something to my financial plan, I’ll happily hire them to counsel me and then potentially rework the plan.

Do you get help from the financial planner that attends staff meetings at the Bunny Ranch?

Absolutely. We’ve talked about a couple of different tax strategies that I can use moving forward and which way to file — LLC versus an S-Corp.

You conduct weekly sales and business training workshops for the other sex workers at the Ranch. What do you discuss?

I’m in charge of our education and sales training department. I share information with the ladies about how to manage their businesses because when you become a legal sex worker, you very much become the CEO of your own company.

How so?

You have to plan out your insurance and manage financial planning and set up when you can retire — maybe in 10 years. This is a tremendous opportunity. My goal is to make sure the ladies use that opportunity the right way.

What do you tell them, for example?

If you save your money and invest early, you get more return on investment because the sooner you invest, the more opportunity that money has to multiply and be reinvested.

Any other types of investments that you plan to make near-term?

I’m keeping an eye on Bitcoin and am keenly aware of what’s happening in that market. I think we may soon be able to use it through The second that happens, the valuation of Bitcoin is going to completely change, which will make it a far more viable investment.

Your minimum charge is reportedly $2,000. Correct?

Legally we’re not able to discuss rates outside the Ranch. But the way we communicate that information is by asking our guests to leave a 10% [deposit] of what their intended budget is, which gives me an idea of how much time I should set aside for a particular date [to help determine the price].

You don’t fit the physical stereotype of a courtesan.

Most people probably think of the over-exaggerated implants, lip fillers and bleached blonde hair. No, I’m — I just have this gigantic urge to use my spare time to play Dungeons and Dragons, read psychology textbooks and get all excited about the new “Star Wars” movies. But I’m a person that also happens to be a legal sex worker, and I’m really successful at it.

You previously worked as a jockey at Belmont race track. How was that?

Such an exhilarating job. I had a blast; but at the same time, it was definitely the right choice to retire from it. It was very physically demanding. You have to be so strong to be a jockey.

After that, you became an EMT — emergency medical technician. That takes strength too!

Absolutely. I was working in New York City, one of the most dangerous environments. There were scenarios that required me to put on a bulletproof vest before getting out of the EMT truck: Sometimes we’d arrive at a call before the cops got there to clear the area, where, say, three children had just been caught in the crosshairs of gang violence. I couldn’t emotionally process the life and death of minors on a consistent basis. So I chose to bow out of the medical field.

What’s your major goal for next year?

To continue to make people aware of the benefit of having a legal sex worker option in society. Doctors take care of our physical needs; religious leaders, our spiritual needs; psychotherapists, our mental health needs. But who takes care of our sexual needs? Sex workers!

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