Real Estate and Retirement Can Complement One Another

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), November 3, 2017 | Go to article overview

Real Estate and Retirement Can Complement One Another


Kai Anderson is just 47, but she's already amassed enough income-producing real estate to retire from her government job as early as age 60. Rents collected on the six townhouses she owns -- coupled with retirement savings -- will give her the freedom to pursue any interests she fancies in her post-work years.

Anderson is one of many Americans who count on real estate to play a major role in their future. Decisions on the purchase and sale of property can have a huge impact on quality of life in retirement.

"Don't take your real estate planning lightly. Making the right choices is crucially important to your financial future," says Sid Davis, a veteran real estate broker and the author of multiple books on buying, selling and investing in property.

One real estate decision with especially momentous implications for retirees involves buying property abroad or in a faraway U.S. city. Financial planners caution that such a long-distance move can entail many unforeseen consequences.

"You have to look behind the curtain before making any big life decision or move," says Keith Weber, a certified financial planner and author of "Rethinking Retirement."

What's the best way to play your real estate cards as you head into retirement? Davis says there are multiple good answers to that question. Some homeowners tighten their budgets and pay off a mortgage early. Others refinance any mortgage debt they have in order to lengthen the term and thereby cut their monthly living expenses in advance of retirement.

Of course, some homeowners must tap equity just to survive after they've ended their careers. That could mean they may have to sell their property to afford such basics as food, clothing and medicine. Alternatively, some income-short retirees take on a "reverse mortgage." This has the potential to liberate them from principal and interest payments in their senior years.

Although many are uncomfortable with the idea of becoming landlords, Anderson is an exception to that rule. She recommends taking a systematic approach to acquiring and maintaining rental properties, and offers advice on her tactics in a new book titled: "Retire on Real Estate: Building Rental Income for a Safe and Secure Retirement. …

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