I had very mixed emotions after my retirement party at the office where I had spent most of my career. Part of me was relieved to move on from being tied down to one job for so many years, but I have to admit that I was a little worried about whether my retirement fund would pull me through at the same standard of living that my wife and I were accustomed to. I had worked many years to build a nest egg for us. Unfortunately, our retirement accounts took a big hit about a decade ago. And, if I may be frank, what if we outlived the funds? I needed to find something else to supplement our savings—and that’s when I discovered real estate investing as a second career.
With the Great Recession, retirement savings for many older American workers were significantly impacted and, for many, have yet to fully recover. As a result, this generation will experience downward mobility when they retire in the next couple of years.
As long as your retirement accounts are exposed to financial fluctuations, the uncertainty will remain. Real estate investing, however, does not respond to the same ebbs and flows of the market, making it a potentially more reliable source of retirement income. With years of work experience already under your belt, beginning a new career in real estate investing can be a solid way to continue earning and even build more lifetime equity.
Why Real Estate Investing Makes Sense
You’ve worked long and hard at building your career and, when you retire, those skills don’t go missing. It feels good to discover an outlet to keep them finely tuned and even continue to grow new competencies. Real estate investing, I’ve discovered, can be just that. In fact, I don’t consider it merely a second career; it’s my encore. Let me explain some of the reasons that I began investing after retirement:
- Basics are covered. I spent years in the business world and, not to boast, but I developed a pretty good business sense. Even in my personal life, I had bought and sold a handful of homes over the years and felt familiar with the process.
- Low barrier to entry. I was ready to take on new challenges but I didn’t want to spend too much time or money getting another degree or license. To begin investing, I decided to become a HomeVestors® franchisee and when I completed their short, comprehensive initial training program, I felt confident that I was prepared to make prudent investment decisions.
- Low upfront costs. Let me be up front. Most of the money I had saved was locked in various retirement accounts. I didn’t have the liquidity to build a business from scratch. But, I could get into real estate investing with my retirement funds by using a self-directed IRA to purchase property. Yes, there was some footwork involved to set it all up, but the potential returns on real estate outweighed what I would get from the stocks and bonds. Of course, you might have more options than I did at the time.
- Tax advantages. According to my financial advisor, buying and selling real estate provides tax deductions that would otherwise not apply to me. In fact, the available tax deductions associated with real estate investing far exceed the standard deduction on my federal returns and significantly reduced my tax liability.
- Work from home. I retired for a reason—I didn’t want to be locked up in an office all day anymore. With a real estate investing career, I can spend my mornings sipping coffee in my slippers while still moving the business forward.
- Flexible schedule. This is a business that I can choose to do part-time or full-time and I manage my own schedule. That means I don’t have to miss my grandkids’ birthday parties or weekend golfing with the guys. I also have time to tinker in my garage—finally I am restoring that old classic I bought years ago!
- Build community connections. One of the things I worried about when retiring was that I would feel socially isolated. I was used to interacting with people all day long at the office—it was largely where my social life took place. And, I didn’t want to become a third wheel to my wife and her friends. Real estate investing allows me to meet and engage with lots of different types of people while feeling good about contributing to my community.
All these reasons and more contributed to my decision to begin an independently owned and operated real estate investment business. And I haven’t looked back since. It fits my personal goals and retirement lifestyle quite nicely—while allowing me to reach for even more financial security in the years ahead.
Starting Your Own Real Estate Investing Business
There are plenty of late-night infomercials and best-selling books lining the shelves of your local bookstore, but they won’t provide you with all the tools and resources that you need to reach your goals. That’s why I became a HomeVestors® franchisee. You see, being a franchisee provides me with a national brand name, We Buy Ugly Houses®, which helps me access quality investment leads and proprietary business software to help me make favorable investment decisions. From property valuations to assessing repair costs and even mentoring—HomeVestors helps you succeed in your second act. If you are interested in finding out more, I’d be happy to tell you. Get in touch today!
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HomeVestors of America® is the nation’s only real estate investing franchise, providing wonderful business opportunities to real estate and investment professionals across the nation.