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DIpping a toe (leg?) into real estate investing

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    DIpping a toe (leg?) into real estate investing

    Hi All,

    I'm looking at getting into real estate investing. For those who are experienced, I'd LOVE some perspective and advice if you are so willing.

    1) I want to confidently maintain my standard of living post-retirement.
    2) While I am currently saving at a pace to accomplish #1, I want to put my non-retirement savings/investments to work so I can increase my current standard of living without impacting my post-retirement living.

    i.e. I want to spend more money now without hurting my retirement, and I believe I can do that by putting my money to work in a way that generates either current (more cash in means more cash out with no net change) or future cash flow (more cash out now, less saved for retirement, but say an apartment building paid off that is generating post-retirement cash in to compensate).

    Financial Summary:
    100k in retirement savings
    6-month emergency fund in cash
    125k invested in stock <--- I'm considering moving this to real-estate

    1) Does it make sense to move some/all of the 125k to real estate, given my purpose?
    2) Would the best real estate move be in a single family home, duplex, or apartment building?
    3) Should the money be focused on one property (more down, less financed) or spread across multiple properties (each property has less down, more financed)?
    4) What should a general expectation be for the cash flow?
    4a) immediate cash flow with delayed pay-off date
    4b) break-even cash flow with moderate pay-off date
    4c) negative cash flow with early pay-off date

    Thanks so much for your time and thoughts!!

    I can give advice for some of these questions based on my own experience since it sounds like we are looking at the same goals.

    I would love to have enough rental income by the time I retire to maintain or exceed my current standard of living. Retirement savings withdrawals are a bonus but I focus on that first. I max my 401k contributions 17500 for 2013 and ROTH 6500 for 2013 for a total of 24k.


    Extra retirement goes into a savings or low risk mutual fund until there is enough saved to buy a rental property including all improvements to the property to get a renter. I pay cash. Better deals, easier closings, carry costs while looking for renter, and no leverage should I lose my job etc.. Currently I have 1 property but it took me a year to find one that met all of my criteria. It is a condo with a excellent association and low fees. I felt it was better to get something neither I or the renter would have to maintain on the outside and also requires little babysitting.

    I am not really looking at the ROI (it will take 62 months to break even) as much as the total rental income @ retirement. For now I dump that rental income into the savings used to purchase another rental property. Once a second one is purchased than both of those rental incomes will snowball etc..

    I only buy in the areas that I know and where the rental income can support the area and price of the property.