One evening, while enjoying a delightful dinner with some friends, a dark cloud came over the room. The conversation had shifted to retirement, a topic that should have been exciting! However the sense of anxiety and dread in the room was palpable. Like the majority of adults these days, my friends were anxious that they would have to choose between two outcomes: work for all their living days or retire with the risk and ever-present fear of running out of money.
As I listened to my friends, two sets of feelings stirred inside me. The first was a feeling of deep, but almost guilty, knowing that my wife and I will indeed retire and that we will retire in comfort and with complete financial self-sufficiency. The second feeling was a growing sense of urgency and responsibility to my friends, and to society at large, to share what I've learned so that others can take steps now to protect their late-life financial prospects and retirement dreams.
So I decided to write a book. RETIRE ON REAL ESTATE is not your typical real-estate book. I wrote this book to get the word out about the benefits of owning even one rental property as a strategy for authentic diversification in retirement planning. It is also about our failing retirement system now that the pension is almost extinct. It's about how our 401(k)s may be duping us into believing they will make us wealthy and sustain us till death once we stop working. For instance, did you know that seemingly small fees on your 401(k) or other mutual fund can eat up roughly half of your account balance by the time you retire? My book explains this well-kept industry secret and exposes other truths that your financial planner and mutual fund company don't want you to know.
This book is not about getting rich in real estate and it's not about getting out of the rat race, though real estate can certainly serve those purposes. Truth is, we are not wealthy and I am not out of the rat race, myself. I'm your average, middle class, mid-life mom with a steady job/career that I enjoy most of the time. And we also have a handful of rental properties which will one day provide for our every need. In 10 to 15 years when the mortgages are paid off, our rentals will fund our daughter's college tuition. They will fund our retirement dreams without our having to rely on our other risk-laden retirement savings or Social Security. And they will be there to pass on to our daughter, leaving a legacy of continued financial support and security after we're gone.
Fear is why I wrote this book. And hope too. I am terrified of a future in which the very rich keep getting richer and the rest of us wind up living in desperate poverty. And the way I see it, unless we take action early on (though it's never too late!) by acquiring even just one rental property, this unfortunate outcome is within the realm of possibility. And this is where the hope comes in. With a couple relatively painless steps, which I break down for you in my book, this doom-and-gloom scenario can be replaced with one of financial safety, comfort, and even complete financial self-sufficiency. Whatever your retirement dreams are, they are still possible with a little extra creativity and courage.
There is so much more to say, but I'll leave a little for the book itself . . . Please buy a copy, read it, share your thoughts with me, and . . . GET A CHICKEN!
Education & Training:
Investors United School of Real Estate Investing
Johns Hopkins University, PhD
Johns Hopkins University, MPH
Colorado College, BA
K. Kai Anderson, PhD, Author of: RETIRE ON REAL ESTATE: Building Rental Income for a Safe and Secure Retirement