PROPERTYmajor’s GUIDE TO RETIRING AT 40
For many of us, the thought of leaving the 9 to 5 someday and spending the rest of our lives doing something else we enjoy is a refreshing but often far-fetched dream. Whether your dream retirement age is 40, 50 or if you’re young enough to want to retire at 30; I can assure you it’s not impossible. Here’s one proven way to do it- Property Investing. The good news is property investing isn’t just for the rich, anyone who earns some money and can afford to make some regular savings can do it. Here I’ll show you a few tips to successful investing in property for your early retirement planning.
There are several reasons why property is such a great investment vehicle for your retirement planning. For one, Property can be a passive investment, meaning you don’t need to leave your current job to invest. Besides, property has, is and will always be in demand. How many decent properties are on your street that no one wants to live in? Pensions are no longer what they used to be. The Guardian reported recently that the average UK pension pot is only £40,000, which can only buy an annual income of £2,123 a year, or under £177 a month (yes!). If anyone is making money from pension, it’s the fund managers. With property, not only do you own the income that comes from rent, you also own the underlying ‘brick and mortar’ asset. With good planning, commitment and following a few tips, you can successfully retire by investing in property.
Here are 4 Steps to doing this.
I know, I know. The last thing on anyone’s mind when they are in their 20s is retirement. However, studies show the best time to start investing for retirement is from the day we earn our first pay check. If you missed the boat, then it’s not too late. Start now, today, yes now.
To illustrate roughly, if two people had the goal of saving £100,000 by the time they’re 40. If Person A starts investing at age 20 and Person B at age 35. Person A would only need to invest about £180 a month to reach his goal, whereas Person B would need nearly eight times more at over £1,400 a month. The importance of starting early cannot be overemphasized. Say it to yourself, to your friends, to your kids- start NOW.
BUY INCOME NOT CAPITAL GROWTH.
With many investment vehicles, you are either investing for income or for capital growth. The good news with property is that it does not have to be one or the other. After all, why have one when you can have both. The slight problem however is, no one can predict whether a property will rise in value in the future. Hence, expectation for capital growth should never be the basis of your retirement property investment. Instead you should focus on the income that you will get on the property by looking at average rent in the area for similar properties. If the rent doesn’t generate enough income to cover your costs and give you a reasonable return on your investment today, then walk away. But what if it ends up producing a good capital growth in future? My rule of thumb- better to walk away from a deal that turns out good than to walk into a deal that turns out bad. Always Buy Income not Capital Growth. If you get capital growth as well, than all the better- perfect bonus.
One other thing to note is that the best rental income yields are often in the city surburbs rather than the centre of cities. For instance, the current rental yield in central London is under 4%. As you move further away from London into Greater London or neighbouring boroughs, then rental yields become better- we have consistently generated an average yield of over 8% in the areas of Kent we invest in. Be open minded, it’s an investment so never forget your objective is to grow cash flow. You might want to request our guides to Investing in South East London and Kent for applicable rental yields in specific locations.
BUY THE WORST PROPERTY ON THE BEST STREET.
We’ve all heard the saying Location, Location, Location. To a large extent, that is very true. Let’s face it, property investment is about understanding the psychology of people. When everyone likes a location, prices rise. When an area falls out of favour, prices go south. So if you understand the popular perception, you’re on the right path. Having said that, to make money from property you need to do a little bit more than just buying in the right location. To retire as a property investor, your goal is to develop a habit of buying properties for a price that is BELOW what they could be worth. Warren Buffet famously said “Price is what you pay, value is what you get” so price and value are not necessarily the same thing. I admit finding discounted properties may be easier said than done. Everyone wants to buy undervalued properties but how do you do it? Over the years, I’ve discovered some common elements present in the ideal undervalued property for a portfolio.
For starters, they are rarely ever the prettiest properties in the area. If anything they’re the worst. Overgrown garden, 1960s wallpapers, tired kitchen or bathroom are some of the first signs. One reason why properties like this can be excellent investments is because they do not appeal to the average home buyer. Most people want to buy a house that looks like a Castle and feels like 5 star Hotel when they walk. Unfortunately, properties that look like this are already priced as such. The key to getting a deal is often to buy something that isn’t so attractive and turn it into something that you want. That’s how you create long term value.
START WITH WHAT YOU ALREADY HAVE
I used to think I couldn’t invest in property until I could save up to finance the 25% deposit to buy the “ideal” investment property. The eye-opener came when I realized that there were areas within an hour’s drive from where I live that I could get really cheap investment properties. Suddenly my meagre savings seemed a lot more valuable in these areas. The Telegraph a while back featured an article on The Best Properties for under £100,000. Do a property portal search around you and you’ll be shocked at what your money can buy. There are many areas within and outside the UK where your cash can go really far. What’s better, the income yields in many of these areas are phenomenal.
Rather than waiting for the perfect savings pot, consider whether there is a location where you can use the funds you already have to invest. If not, there are other alternatives to consider – buy with friends, joint ventures or property investment clubs. PROPERTYmajor started its property joint venture club a few years ago and it’s been growing stronger since.
The point is, it’s not as daunting as you think. You could retire early with property if you start early, focus on what you have not what you don’t and buy right.
PROPERTYmajor provides a friendly, unique residential lettings & property management for landlords looking to invest in South East London and Kent. If you would like to request some of our guides or fancy a no obligation chat, please call us on 01322 518 020 or visit our website www.propertymajor.com