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Are You Sabotaging Your Own Retirement? Let Us Count The Ways

Jeff Brown
2 min read

At some point, everyone stops to contemplate their retirement. I don’t mean they begin to contribute or invest in some plan, real estate or otherwise. I mean they begin to wonder if their plan is destined to provide the retirement for which it was designed in the first place. For some, this happens early on, before 45 or so. For others it happens after 50, frequently way after, which is cause for consternation with a capital C.

Then there are those without any discernible plan in place.

Given the last five years, one might be tempted to ask how that’s been workin’ out for ’em. Below are some reasons folks retire badly or not at all.

1. You have no real plan. For Heaven’s sake, when it was your turn to have the whole family at your place this Thanksgiving, you planned for that! Guess ensuring there’s enough pie and ice cream to go around is pretty important.

2. The last time you took advantage of an expert’s knowledge and experience was last summer while fishing, when you were gettin’ shutout. Contrary to what many have convinced themselves, that library of books they’ve read does not equal decades of boots on the ground, battle hardened experience. For the sake of your retirement, grab a steamin’ cup of GetReal — then go for a refill.

3. For thousand of people, their situation is far more promising than they know. For once in their lives they should hike to the top of that nearby hill and see what’s on the other side. Frequently it’s the answer to their dilemma.

4. You’re a flipper? Before ya completely separate your shoulder from all that pattin’ yourself on the back, let me give you a glimpse of Flippin’ — The Sequel. You get an A+ in Lifestyle improvement and an F for retirement planning. The Good News? You’re makin’ six figures a year. The Bad News? You’re gonna hafta do it till ya drop. Flippin’ at 60 years old is flippin’ irritating as hell.

5. Attention all you DIY fans. We’re all so proud of what you’ve accomplished. Meanwhile the only folks you’ve outperformed are those who couldn’t do it themselves as well as you did. Those who lean on bona fide experts in the required/related fields are gonna retire light years better than you will. I see it all the time.

6. Insisting on strategies that maximize income now over capital growth when you’re 10-30 years from retirement is just ignorant. Investing for retirement has as it’s primary goal, maximum cash flow AT RETIREMENT. The more capital you’ve built, the more income it’ll generate — IN RETIREMENT.

7. Strategies reliant upon appreciation and/or increases in the NOI are beyond risky. Any capital growth should be CREATED without any dependence on either one ever happening. Paradoxically, both capital growth AND massive increases in income are GIVENS as long as the correct strategies are in place. The rest is Happy Talk.

The list, of course, is much longer. I learned #’s 2, 3, and 7 the hard way. There’s no reason for you to go through all that turmoil.

In a nutshell, BiggerPockets has been blessed by the recent efforts of Joshua Dorkin in bringing to this site incredible expertise and knowledge in the form of new contributors.  Don’t merely read them, nod your head in wise agreement, then continue down the same path on which you’ve been trodding. Talk to some of these contributors. I have, some belly to belly, in person. I added some real nuggets to my knowledge vault.

Joshua has done his part. You’ve been led, one way or the other to the well of knowledge he’s providing. There’s one thing he can’t make you do.


Stop sabotaging your own retirement. Tick tock.

Note By BiggerPockets: These are opinions written by the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions of BiggerPockets.