Archive for the ‘retirement’ Category

Security in Retirement with Fixer-Uppers

Monday, February 20th, 2012

Are you like me and never socked much money away for retirement? We are not alone. The Employee Benefit Research Institute’s Annual Retirement Confidence Survey found that pre-retirees (Americans between the ages of 55 and 65) greatly underestimate how long they are likely to live and how much money they will need in retirement.

Experts say that we need to change our mindset from “assets” to “income” in retirement planning. It’s not enough to know how much money we have in savings; we need to know how much income our savings can generate over time.

There is no better way to change our mindset and our portfolio from “assets” to “income” than by investing in real estate. If we invest wisely before we retire, and can have a stable of reliable rental properties that generate steady monthly income. We can look forward to a retirement that provides security instead of uncertainty.

Don’t rely on politicians to provide you with retirement security. If you want it done right, you must do it yourself.

 Related Posts

Remove that Garbarge Disposal Now!

William Nickerson Says “It’s Never Too Late to Start with Rental Houses”

Saturday, February 19th, 2011

You are never too old or too young to start investing in rental properties.

Take it from William Nickerson, author of How I Turned $1,000 into Three Million in Real Estate – In My Spare Time, who said,

“It is never too late to start, although fortune favors early starters. Each day of delay loads the dice against  maximum success. But I know of many successful owners who bought their first income property after retirement at sixty-five. You can always start later in life.”

Age is Relative

To put things into perspective:

Thomas Edison invented the telephone at age 84;

Benjamin Franklin helped in the writing of the United States Constitution when he was 81;

Frank Lloyd Wright designed the Marin County Civic Center in California at age 88, and;

I started buying rental properties as a mere child at age 47.

Too Much Work?

I have a friend who retired when he was 65, but he had to take a job at an Arby’s fast food restaurant to help make ends meet. I asked him, “Why didn’t you just buy a few rental properties before you retired?”

He replied, “It’s too much work.”

Too much work?

Which is more work, being trapped in a restaurant 8 hours a day doing menial labor, or having free time all day, and cashing rental checks once a month? Sure, there is some repair work every once in awhile, but you can hire a handyman to take care of that.

It’s Never Too Early Either

I’ve had young people ask me, “Is it too early to get started?” If you have the motivation and don’t mind learning as you go, there is no better time to build wealth and security than when you are in your 20’s. You don’t have to know everything to start.

I have a friend who got started at age 25. He bought a 4-plex apartment complex. He lived in one unit and rented out the others. He had a sharp learning curve in the beginning, starting off at an Elmer Fudd skill level, but after he had done it a year or so, he had his business operating like a Swiss watch.

Are you too young or too old?

It’s not about age. It’s about just getting started.

Calvin Coolidge said, “We cannot do everything at once, but we can do something at once. “

 Related Posts

Remove that Garbarge Disposal Now!

Getting Started with Fixer Upper & Rental Houses (Video)

Friday, September 10th, 2010

I think that buying fixer upper houses and turning them into rental properties is the easiest way to make money in real estate. You can do it in your spare time and still work your 8:00 to 5:00 job. And, rental houses can create a steady new income stream, that could even allow you to retire from your regular job, as I did.

This video which provides a general overview of the process for starting up a fixer upper and rental house business.

Should You Retire with Stocks or with Real Estate?

Wednesday, May 28th, 2008

Is now a bad time to retire? Probably not if you have been investing in fixer upper rental properties, but that’s the question asked by John, an attendee of  at an investment seminar. In a recent newspaper article by Chuck Jaffe entitled Retiring when the market is down is costly if stocks provide nest egg addresses that question.

To see Chuck Jaffe’s opinion and my “unbiased” take on it, check out my new piece entitled Is This A Bad Time To Retire? Not If You Have Rental Properties.

Along the same lines, we must consider which offers more security, retiring with a pension or retiring with real estate.

Subscribe in a reader

Share this: | Digg | Ma.gnolia | Reddit | Stumble Upon |

Roundup of Favorite Blog Posts from the Past Week

Sunday, January 20th, 2008

Below are the blog posts from the last week that I found most edifying and enjoyable.

Terry Sprouse’s book: Fix ‘em Up, Rent ‘em Out at (What can I say? I liked it.)
An easy way to reduce vacancies and rental property turnovers at twowiseacres
Landlord Profitability: Distance + Knowledge = Time and Money at Landlord Business Insider
Buy Now or Pay Later? by FSBO Jane
Down She Goes at Rentals R Us
Rehab Pros: DIY or Hire it Out? at BiggerPockets
Live and Learn at My REI
10 Ways to Completely Ruin Your Credit at Moolanomy
Don’t save it all up for retirement by ChristianPF
Money talk at the barber shop by getrichslowly

Info on Terry’s Book

Add to Technorati Favorites

Subscribe in a reader

Share this: | Digg | Ma.gnolia | Reddit | Stumble Upon |

How to Learn the Skills to Repair Houses, part 1

Tuesday, September 25th, 2007

I recently received a question asking, “My background is not in the building trades. How do I learn the required skills to start a business in repairing houses and renting them out?”

In terms of how to learn to repair houses, I will answer that question in two parts. The first part today, and the second half of my answer will be in a subsequent blog article.

How to learn the appropriate skills:

1. Learn by doing. When Orson Wells directed his first movie, “Citizen Kane,” he said that he felt “like a kid with a giant train set.” One nice thing about buying a fix-up house is that it’s like having giant practice house, where you can practice learning to do repairs. Since the house is already pretty well beat up, its OK if you make a few mistakes along the way. You can always go back and correct them later.

My philosophy is that the best way to learn is by doing. Granted, you have to gradually work your way up, if your are beginning near the bottom. At first you will have to hire out for most of the moderate or difficult repairs. Make sure you watch, or assist in doing, the repair when you pay someone to do it. That way you can do it, or at least do part of it, the next time you encounter the same situation.

Just last week, I had to hire someone to repair my air conditioner in a house that I am living in and fixing up at the same time. I took time off my 9-5:00 job to be on the roof with the repairman and observe what he was doing. I saw all of the tests that he performed with the multi-tester to identify what was wrong. The problem turned out to be two capacitors that were blown. If a similar problem arises in the future, I will know how to check and replace the capacitors myself.

If you have to pay someone to make a repair for you, make sure that you get your money’s worth by watching the repairman, and learning how to do it yourself.

2. Take community college classes. Most community colleges offer courses in the building trades – plumbing, electrical wiring, air conditioning and furnace repair, and woodworking. For a fairly low price, you can learn how to make repairs like a pro by taking these classes. I have taken several classes and they have been well worth the investment of time and money. Besides leaning the skills in a supervised environment, you also learn how to use the correct tools in the proper manner. As part of the program, students are required to take an 8-hour OSHA course in how to be aware of work site dangers, to do work in a safe way, and to avoid accidents. I highly recommend that anyone who does repair work take the OSHA class.

Add to Technorati Favorites

Subscribe in a reader

Share this: | Digg | Ma.gnolia | Reddit | Stumble Upon |

Sell Your House and Move into a Smaller One in Retirement?

Thursday, September 6th, 2007

Author Glenn Ruffenach, in his Wall Street Journal Article Don’t Count on Your House for Retirement warns us to “think twice about how big a role your home will play in subsidizing your future.” Studies show that 68% of 60-year-olds count their personal residence as a retirement asset, and to one-quarter of those, their home represents half or more of their retirement income. The author feels that because of lowering home values and higher interest rates, selling your home and buying another may not be so easy.

But how about us real estate investors? If we are buying and holding properties for the long term, our houses are assets that produce spendable rental income every month. Lowering property values and higher interest rates don’t affect us much. Higher interest rates means that fewer people can afford to buy houses and must rent (from us). As house prices go lower, we can get ready to purchase more houses at bargain basement prices. Economic conditions that may affect the majority of the population adversely are opportunities for the prepared investor.

Share this: | Digg | Ma.gnolia | Reddit | Stumble Upon | Technorati

My List of Top Books on Fix Up House and Real Estate Investing

Tuesday, August 7th, 2007

Learning about real estate investing, just like life itself, is a never ending process. You should be gathering information about house repairs and investing everywhere you go. Never let an opportunity pass to learn. I encourage you to buy books and videos on house repair and real estate investing.

Your books are invaluable guides when you are starting a project you haven’t done before, or in the middle of making a repair, and need reliable input on how to do it. I like to scour the fix-up book and real estate book areas at used book stores for good buys. I buy a book as soon as I see it, if I know that it has valuable information. In the past, I have waited to purchase the book only to return later and find that the book I had wanted was gone. The price you pay will literally be a drop in the bucket compared to the money you will save in the long run.

Click to view my Top Books About Fix Up Houses and Real Estate Investing located at
Share this: | Digg | Ma.gnolia | Reddit | Stumble Upon | Technorati