When Investing In Real Estate – There’s Planning and There’s PLANNING

by | BiggerPockets.com

The concept of planning is used and abused, especially when it comes to real estate investing for retirement. I know, cuz I’ve seen me do it. The hardest, most expensive lessons I’ve learned came from planning instead of PLANNING. Investors whose end game is retirement income, simply can’t afford to rely on planning. It’s not that they won’t accomplish their goal(s), as many will. It’s just that their goals were originally set using the limited options menu provided by planning vs the much thicker menu available to those who PLAN.

The Analogy

Knew a guy in high school who was gonna become a big time bodybuilder if it killed him. He was 15 and worked out at home in a room next to the furnace room, which was adjacent to the garage. His dad had bought him a used bodybuilding set. It had everything including the rickety bench press setup.  He worked his butt off for the entire summer. The results were fairly impressive. All the appropriate muscles had grown in size and strength. In fact, when he visited family at Thanksgiving, everyone made a big deal of his ‘new muscles’.  He was proud of what his months of hard work had wrought.

Then one day a buddy told him about the gym that was close to his home. Bike close. His friend added that the gym’s owner was also a world champ. Boom! The next day after school, he was there, talking with the owner. Long story short, he went home, talked his dad into paying the $10 monthly fee, and began working out under the one on one coaching of the owner.

‘Bout 3½ years later he was a finalist in Mr. Teenage Southern California.

The difference? He trained with a pro. A real world champ, who’d shown him the menu he’d never even known existed. See, he’d been bodybuilding, when all along he shoulda been BODYBUILDING.

He never would of gotten himself within sniffin’ distance of being on stage at that competition in a million years if he’d continued his home workouts. It simply wasn’t possible, for multiple reasons.

That analogy works well for real estate investors who’re grimly determined to retire WELL vs retiring well.

Those who PLAN are working from a much larger options menu, and therefore have the potential for retiring WELL. The smaller menus don’t allow for Strategic Synergism, and without that option, the investor is anchored to the lone strategy of buying the best property(s) they can find in the best regions their comfort zones will allow. Furthermore, their ability to benefit from capital growth will be limited to the vagaries of the market. That’s code for,

How’d you like your retirement to be largely reliant on appreciation and the long term increase in rents?

You can lift weights in your basement for the next 30 years, but you’ll never come close to the body worthy of competing on stage. Yet, by puttin’ yourself in a professionally equipped gym with a trainer who’s been there and lived that, you’ll create the body able to just exactly that — if it’s what you want.

Retiring WELL is no different, so let’s summarize.

 If You PLAN you’ll be using the OPTIONS MENU most real estate investors never see.

Choosing to execute that PLAN will result in retiring WELL.

PLANNING beats planning every time out. Only the PLANNING MENU has the option of Strategic Synergism.

BODYBUILDING is no more about ‘lifting weights’ than real estate investing for RETIREMENT is about ‘buying low and selling high’.

The investors with the most OPTIONS won’t just win.

They’ll WIN.

Photo: nerissa’s ring

About Author

Jeff Brown

Licensed since 1969, broker/owner since 1977. Extensively trained and experienced in tax deferred exchanges, and long term retirement planning.


  1. Yup, failing to plan is planning to fail or, at least, not to succeed BIG.

    Find someone who’s really successful, the kind of success you’re striving for, and follow them. Don’t find some guru you don’t know or who isn’t where you want to be. Find the best and hook up to their wagon.

    Thanks for the post!

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