What to Know About Real Estate Investments for Retirement Income

Written by William O. Kresge

If retirement is right around the corner for you, it’s important to ensure that you have enough money to last you through your golden years. Would-be retirees often resort to stock trading and other sidelines to help build retirement funds in a relatively short period of time. This can be especially useful for those who may not have as much saved throughout the years. After all, there’s simply no way of knowing how much you really need. That’s why Becky Wilcox recommends establishing a passive source of income to let you continue earning even during retirement.

One type of investment to consider for reaping passive income is real estate. Entrepreneur Magazine lists some key advantages to investing in real estate, such as lower levels of volatility and better tax benefits. However, while it isn’t too complex to comprehend, real estate investments still require a certain level of knowledge, skill, intuition, and confidence. Fortunately, there are many traditional and online resources available, as well as seminars you can attend.

In fact, the real estate sector offers several different investment opportunities that are great for retirees. Consider these options:

Direct Ownership

When it comes to real estate investments, owning actual property is most likely the first thing that comes to mind. You can opt for short-term and long-term rentals on rooms and studio units, or go for something bigger like renting out a whole apartment building or office space. This route can provide you a lucrative business if you are financially prepared.

In this regard, it’s important to be well informed about your options so you can make better investment decisions. To help you with this process, Yoreevo’s James McGrath suggests taking advantage of a real estate agent’s services. Because an agent is tasked to work solely in your best interests, they can give informed opinions on your investment decisions and help you identify potential issues with a property. They can even negotiate the best possible deal on the property for you. Perhaps more importantly, real estate agents are paid through a commission from listing agents, so their services will not cost you any extra cash.

Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs)

A REIT refers to a company that finances income-producing real properties. Many of these companies specialize in specific sectors, like healthcare and corporate real estate. These are made available for investors through initial public offerings (IPOs).

When you buy into REITs, you essentially make money as a shareholder through an IPO. The Street emphasizes REITs’ income-centric approach, noting that 90% of the revenues generated by REITs is regularly distributed to shareholders. The annuity-like income streams from this type of investment makes REITs a good option for retirees.

Tax Lien Certificates

Last but not least, tax lien certificates are a special form of real estate investment.The Balance’s guide to tax lien certificates warns that it can be a little more complicated than owning real estate stocks. However, it can be suited for certain investors, especially those who don’t want to deal with properties directly.

This is how it works: When real estate owners fail to pay their property tax bills, the government can place a tax lien against the property. The lien certificates can then be sold to investors through public auctions. When you successfully win a bid, you pay the tax office the required amount specified on the certificate. With this, you reserve the right to claim the same amount from the homeowner, plus interest. The property owners are given a certain period of time to pay the debt, but if they fail to do so, you then have the rights to the property.

Retirement can be daunting, especially if you haven’t figured out a steady source of income to replace your job. But with enough time and effort to research on real estate options, you can more confidently make investment decisions for your golden years.

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About LoveBeingRetired

Dave Bernard is a California born and raised author and blogger with an extensive 30 year career in Silicon Valley. He has written more than 300 blogs for US News & World On Retirement and his personal blog Retirement – Only the Beginning. He has authored three books: "Are you just existing and calling it a life?"; "I want to retire! Essential Considerations for the Retiree to Be"; and " Navigating the Retirement Jungle". Dave was also a contributing writer for the books 65 Things to do when you Retire (“Positive Aging – Old is the New Young”) as well as 65 Things to do when you Retire – TRAVEL (“Travel to Discover your Family Heritage”). He lives in sunny California with his wife, his Boston Terrier "Frank" and a passion for the San Jose Sharks.