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From Peru to Virginia

At the age of 14, Nuñez says he left Lima, Peru, with his mother and traveled north to cross into the U.S. via Mexico.

“Our life was very difficult back in Peru,” he said. “My mom really struggled. She saw the assassination of her parents right in front of her. She suffered domestic violence.”

For a while, Nuñez and his mom lived as undocumented immigrants in Ashburn, Virginia. He eventually enrolled in a nursing college, where he met his wife, Stefani Nicole Penaranda. But when Penaranda’s parents, who didn’t approve of Nuñez, threatened to have him deported if he didn’t annul the marriage, he tried to cross into Canada to seek asylum in 2010. Unable to lawfully gain asylum north of the border, Nuñez was sent back to America, where he says he was detained for two months before he was able to argue his case in court and convince a judge to grant him asylum in the U.S.

This allowed him to return to his wife in Virginia in 2011. In the years that followed, Nuñez and Penaranda set up multiple businesses, acquired assets for passive income and gave birth to two sons. Nuñez also became a U.S. citizen.

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Multiple income streams

Nuñez ditched nursing school, citing the high cost, and instead obtained a degree in cybersecurity. This allowed him to get a job as a government IT contractor, which brings in $113,000 annually. He supplements this income by working as a freelance consultant, last year earning over $3,500 from this side gig.

Penaranda operates a daycare center from the couple’s home, looking after 12 kids. That adds another $168,000 a year to the family income.

The couple also own a snow-plowing business, which has a contract with the Virginia Department of Transportation. They recently downsized this business, selling eight of their 10 trucks and deploying the proceeds into a portfolio of eight properties, which collectively generated over $107,000 last year.

Altogether, the couple raked in $419,582 in 2022.

The success isn’t slowing them down. Nuñez and Penaranda added a coffee shop to their portfolio this year, which is expected to add another stream of income.

Motivated by family

Nuñez credits his wife and mother for supporting him while building these businesses. He says his greatest motivation is giving his kids a better life than he had.

“My idea to get to my goals faster was to have different streams of income and revenue,” he said.

This allows him to spend more time with his kids and “to provide them with the lifestyle I didn’t have as a child.”

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Vishesh Raisinghani Freelance Writer

Vishesh Raisinghani is a freelance contributor at MoneyWise. He has been writing about financial markets and economics since 2014 - having covered family offices, private equity, real estate, cryptocurrencies, and tech stocks over that period. His work has appeared in Seeking Alpha, Motley Fool Canada, Motley Fool UK, Mergers & Acquisitions, National Post, Financial Post, and Yahoo Canada.

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