By: Joan Boykin
As part of the early wave of post-war baby boomers, I’ve pondered the notion of cutting back on work. While I’m not interested in crossing the ‘retirement’ bridge any time soon, I’m interested in a financially secure future like my parents had into their 90s. So that brings me to the topic at hand: how to prepare for retirement, semi-retirement, or a financially secure future if you haven’t already saved a massive amount of money.
According to CNN Money, you’ll need 70% of your pre-retirement yearly salary to live comfortably into a ripe old age. That estimate might be doable if you don’t have a mortgage coupled with ongoing home improvements/repairs, a host of monthly bills (utilities, insurance premiums, taxes, etc.), and importantly, if you do not incur costly medical expenses as you age. However, if you do encounter age-related health problems, plan to travel, contribute to your grandchildren’s college education, or go back to school for the sheer joy of learning, you may need 100% or more of your annual income.
So what are your options short of working till you drop? My husband and I chose to create passive income by investing, slowly but surely, in real estate—specifically, rental properties that generate monthly income and help pave the path toward financial security. In our late 50s, with the help of our son Ryan Boykin, we dipped our toes in the water with one rental property, and the success we experienced gave us confidence (and extra income) to invest in additional properties—all managed by Atlas Real Estate’s experienced property managers. As long as they are rented (not an issue in the Denver metro area!), the rental properties produce generous income every month.
Passive income through real estate is an invaluable tool in the retirement toolbox, yielding higher returns than the majority of traditional investments such as the stock market. I’m a proponent of a diversified investment portfolio, and it so happens that our investments with the highest rate of return happen to be real estate properties!
So, if you want to pave a path to financial security and create generational wealth, why not start investing in real estate before you reach your 60s when most folks begin to seriously consider retirement?