If you had a real retirement calculator, what would it say? Whether you are just starting to put away funds for your retirement, or you’re a seasoned saver, placing a focus on what age you can retire is a big part of every working person’s life.
I had a feeling that the best person to teach me about real estate investment and retirement savings was someone who lived it, themselves. So, I sat down with an investment adviser who also happened to be an area property manager (for anonymity sake, I will refer to him as Darren). He was kind enough to answer my questions, so here’s the scoop.
A Coffee Q&A with an Expert on Real Estate Investment for Retirement.
“When is the best time to start saving for retirement?”
Darren: It’s extremely beneficial to start investing or saving for your retirement as early as possible. If someone starts saving as soon as they start earning an income, compounding interest will increase the impact of their savings and generate earnings with no effort. The passing of time will do the hard work for you when it comes to interest, and a 20-year-old could see three or four decades of interest. Younger people also have the option to set aside smaller amounts of money at a time because of this, which is nice.
“So, is it bad news to start your retirement savings at a later age?”
Darren: Not at all, and this is actually a concern for a lot of folks. Some people think they are too late to save enough to retire, and sometimes start to panic. But, really, they should know that it’s never too late– or too early, for that matter– to save for retirement. You might have started saving when you were in your 40’s, but it doesn’t necessarily mean this is an impossible task. I work with plenty of people who worry they waited too long to invest or save. But, really, if they’re smart about their approach, they should end up just fine.
“What lesson regaring retirement savings do you wish more people would learn?”
Darren: Any time you get a raise or come across some extra money, put at least half of it away immediately. So many people just blow through bonuses and tax refunds, and you’d be surprised how many of those people come to me and express their regret for not saving it straightaway. It’s easy to splurge and spend, but the benefits of saving or investing that extra money far outweigh those new shoes or luxury vacation.
“Why did you start investing in real estate?”
Darren: I’ve been fortunate in my career, but, just like millions of other people out there, I realize real estate investment is a great way to supplement income. I don’t want to work forever, and many retirement-age investors, myself included, become landlords to increase their nest egg. Investing in a rental property is a form of passive income, and it works great for people who don’t want to deal with property maintenance. They can hire a property manager to do the on-site work for them, and as long as there are tenants to pay rent, a monthly check can provide significant cash flow to set aside.
“What is your best advice for someone who wants to invest in real estate?”
Darren: Do your homework. A rental property will likely be a solid investment, but that’s only if you do your due diligence when it comes to researching key points. If you don’t want to hire a personal adviser, there’s other resources out there that can help with this. I suggest starting with a retirement calculator that will show the amount of savings you need to reach your retirement goals, then compare these numbers with a calculation of your cash flow.
It’s also important to take your time with your decision. Don’t rush or settle for a property that might be iffy to you. Research the neighborhood, and pull some comps (CMA reports) on other homes in the area. This should help make sure you’ll get the most out of your time and money. A well-planned start and a solid investment property that’s priced right will work wonders for your ROI.
“In your opinion, is house flipping and rental investment a good idea?”
Darren: Just like with any other business, there are good years and bad years for real estate investors. If purchased properly and maintained correctly, rental properties can bring in a steady cash flow no matter what condition the economy is in. Real estate doesn’t have a lot to do with fluctuations in the stock market, and a rental property is a good way to balance someone’s investment portfolio. I think real estate is a good idea for someone who wants to give a boost to their retirement savings, or if that person is older and doesn’t have a solid source of income or pensions.
What would you like to know about real estate investing for retirement?
I’d like to thank Darren for taking the time to share his words of wisdom. I learned a lot during this lunchtime interview, but I feel like that was just the tip of the iceberg! If you, the readers, have any questions you would like answered by Darren, feel free to leave them in a comment. I will pass along your inquiries when I attend my follow-up interview, and will publish your questions alongside Darren’s answers in part two of this article.
On that note, if you’d like more information regarding investments that increase retirement savings, or if you’re curious what type of rate, term, or point structure you’ll get for a hard money loan, we have the answers. Whether you are just now getting started, or you want to boost your current savings, you can be on your way to your financial future in just 30-seconds.