“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second-best time is now.” —Chinese Proverb
Think you missed the boat on real estate investing? That it’s somehow “too late” because you’ve reached your 40s, 50s, 60s, or even 70s?
Real estate investing is not the exclusive domain of the young, hip, and unattached. In fact, middle-aged and senior investors bring some unique experiences and advantages to the table.
Sure, you might have kids. A spouse. A demanding job. So what? You think you’re the first parent who works full-time to buy a rental property?
You probably have a lot more savings than the 23-year-old who’s trying to buy their first property. For that matter, you probably have experience buying real estate—in the form of a home. You’ve been through the mortgage financing process before and know some of the pitfalls to watch out for.
Here are a few pointers for older adults, to buy their first rental property in middle age or later.
5 Smart Ways to Start Investing in Rentals Later in Life
1. Leverage (and build!) your network.
Take advantage of your superior network and double down on building an even stronger one. Start assembling your dream team. After all, real estate investing is a team sport, and you have several more decades’ worth of contacts to draw on to fill out your roster!
2. Capitalize on your existing capital.
After being employed for several decades, you should have far more money set aside.
That extra capital is a competitive advantage!
3. Take another look at house hacking.
Don’t discount them just because your experiences with smaller properties have been less than thrilling. Even if you are committed to living in a single-family home, there are many ways to creatively house hack and create income out of it.
4. Keep your eyes on the prize: income for retirement.
People invest in real estate for many reasons and in many ways. As an older adult, consider putting “passive income” at the top of your priority list.
One of the things I love the most about rental investing is you can forecast your returns incredibly accurately, before ever putting a single dollar down as a deposit. You know the market rent, the neighborhood vacancy rate, the local property management costs, property taxes, insurance. You can accurately forecast CapEx and repair costs.
5. Snowball your extra income.
Re-invest all the extra income generated from the cash flow.
Set it aside and put it in the stock market. Or in private notes. Or best of all, in more rental properties. Because ultimately, you’re on a mission. Your mission, whether you choose to accept it or not, is to retire with more wealth, because more wealth brings more options. As you build streams of rental income, you can retire young, or keep working and building more wealth.
It’s never too late to start buying rental properties. If you invest strategically, you can accelerate your retirement saving and build a stable and permanent base of passive income.