Personal Development

At What Age Is It Too Late to Invest in Real Estate?

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Middle aged couple standing on their new apartment terrace and e

Whoever first said, “Youth is wasted on the young,” was a genius!

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I am one of the millions of people who squandered my youth—and my 20s, my 30s, and even into my 40s. But I did not squander them by not having a purpose in life, a career, a family, or even an education. What I squandered was my financial prowess and the chance to become truly self-employed before 50.

In my career as law enforcement, I have attended hundreds of hours of training on human actions such as thought process and deceptive traits, including physical, verbal, written, and psychological cues. All of it prepared me to find the reasons behind others’ actions or to discover their true actions. However, it did not allow me to recognize my own “inaction.”

I am not sure what exactly triggered my thought process to go from letting the chips fall where they may to searching for ways to make my money work for me instead of me working for my money. Whatever it was, I am glad my mind made the switch.

Is ‘What If’ Holding You Back?

“What if” is a powerful phrase and one that has the ability to change lives—for better or for worse. The problem is that “what if” has kept many people from “doing.”

I have done no research on the following statement, but I will theorize that it is true. Successful people rarely, if ever, start a sentence or thought with “what if” (at least in the negative aspect of the phrase). Think about why you did not invest in real estate in your youth or even in your 30s, 40s, or 50s—or why you are still sitting in the stands watching the game instead of playing right now.

I will offer that “what if” in terms of the unknown was—or is—a large part of it.

Now I am playing catch-up. I long to be 25 years younger with the knowledge I have today. Many people believe that because they missed starting to invest in their 20s, there is no reason to start now. They have lost too much time; it won’t pay off now.

This is wrong thinking. Real estate is an accommodating investment if done correctly. Furthermore, it has the capability to allow you to catch up a little, while at the same time not risking your retirement years.

Close up side on portrait of smiling aged male in glasses sitting with cup of coffee in cafe alone

It’s Never Too Late to Start Investing in Real Estate

I am 49 years old and started in real estate when I was 45. Every day that goes by, I get more and more excited about the endless possibilities real estate has to offer me and my family, including my extended family. I am coming to the end of a career in law enforcement with a poor retirement portfolio, and I am focusing on real estate to make up my financial shortfalls.

The beauty of real estate is that you can own actual property. It is not like owning stocks, where ownership doesn’t seem so tangible. Once you own property, there are very few ways it can be taken from you—and really none where you would not be compensated (as long as you pay your taxes). Real estate is something you can point to and something that is beneficial to society. Face it, you are investing in something that is giving someone else a place to live, or to work, or to store property!

I often talk to people who are wary of investing in real estate, as they have only a few years until they reach retirement age. Often, they believe that due to their age, it is too late to invest—that investment will not have the appropriate amount of time to pay for itself. However, there are multiple avenues that can be taken to combat this.

Remember, one advantage to investing later in life is that one often has the ability to invest more and the security to leverage faster.

Related: Retiring on Real Estate—Despite Starting in My 40s!

5 Benefits of Waiting to Invest Until Later in Life

1. You have an established network.

Networking is one of the best assets an investor has. Networking can lead to a multitude of opportunities and/or even private financing. And the best part? Networking is FREE.

One big advantage that older investors have is an established circle of friends, colleagues, and acquaintances with whom they can network.

I have made a deal with my siblings and their spouses, as well as my adult children. I’ve asked them to tell at least three people who we are (my brother and me, that is), what we do, and what we are looking for. I’ve asked them to essentially tell people we are looking for private financing or owner-financed multifamily property. To tell them we have a contract that is beneficial to the note holder, and we pay competitive interest rates.

I am not asking them to seek out three people to ask to invest but to seek out three people to tell them if they know or hear of someone looking to invest in alternative investments, or someone who is looking to sell their property, to put them in touch with me.

In return, if someone they tell finds us private financing or an owner-financed property, my brother and I will give that sibling, in-law, or child, one-third to one-half ownership in the property that is acquired as a result of their actions. We will pay any out-of-pocket expenses (hopefully none), and once it is paid for, they will get that percentage of the rental income (after expenses). Or if it is sold, they will get that percentage of profit. They will essentially have no financial liability yet will gain ownership of some real estate.

This is how important I view networking to be. I am willing to take part of a deal—rather than no deal—in return for contacts. If you do not have the finances to invest, offer to do this for someone you know. You may be surprised by the results.

2. You have the wherewithal to ask what needs to be asked.

Another simple action that prevents many from finding a deal or closing a deal is the simple art of asking. When doing drug interdiction during a traffic stop, law enforcement officers are trained that it is more important how you ask a question than what you ask. For example, if you ask a yes or no question and receive an answer that is not yes or no, it is a sign of deception. If you ask someone if they have anything in the vehicle that you should know about, they likely will say no. In their mind they are thinking, “No, you don’t need to know about the pound of meth hidden in the dash.”

Instead, be specific. Is there any meth in the vehicle? Cocaine? Heroin? Etc.? Once that line of questioning is done, then you ask about drugs on their person.

Asking can result in unexpected answers. When I send out letters to prospective property owners, I always ask if they know of anyone wanting to sell property via owner financing. I have had more than one call or email from someone saying that they are not interested in selling but they do know of someone who is.

Close up of woman reading a book and drinking coffee in the garden.

I know I have heard this on BiggerPockets several times: “You don’t know what you don’t know.”

If I did not ask, I would not know or have been put in contact with those interested in selling. So, I would add to the above: “You don’t know what you don’t ask.”

However, many people are scared to ask, as they do not know what the answer will be. It’s fear of the unknown. As an investor, you have to learn to get past this. As a mature adult, it’s more likely you already have.

3. You pay attention to details.

Another advantage that the older generation has is attention to detail. Often this is learned over a lifetime of employment.

Attention to detail is more of a learned behavior than instinct. However, this detail orientation can also make older investors wary of investing, as they worry about the minutiae of the deal rather than the whole picture—or to steal a law enforcement term, the totality of the circumstances.

Attention to detail can give one an advantage if it is managed and not allowed to overwhelm your decision. Common sense is a good equalizer. Use it when looking at and analyzing property.

Related: 5 Smart Ways to Start Investing in Rentals Later in Life

4. You have people skills.

People skills are an important aspect of investing. While it may not seem so on the surface, having the ability to talk to potential investors, owners of prospective property, banks, and prospective and active tenants goes a long way in terms of the success of your real estate investing career. People skills are frequently honed throughout years of talking and listening to people.

Listening is an aspect of people skills that few understand. There is a key difference between hearing someone and listening to them. As I have heard many times on BiggerPockets podcasts, you have to listen to the reasons people have for doing or not doing something.

If you can master the art of listening, it can go a long way in enhancing your investment opportunities and in lessening your fears of failing.

5. You have wisdom.

In my opinion, wisdom is one of the greatest psychological factors that prevents people from investing. Wisdom is a great tool when used correctly. But when used incorrectly, it procures a false sense of “doing the right thing.” Wisdom is essentially experience. From a young age, most everyone has heard and is taught (to varying degrees) that debt is bad. Sure, debt to buy a personal residence is okay, but debt in general is frowned upon.

That psychological factor has kept many people on the sidelines. So in this case, the “wisdom” that prevents one from purchasing an investment that will pay for itself is bad.

Make sure when you are contemplating a foray into real estate investing that your “wisdom” is kept in context; do not allow it to overshadow your common sense.

“You must spend money to make money” is true of virtually every investment vehicle in the world.

Smiling happy mature man with white stylish short beard using smartphone gadget serving internet at coffee shop cafe outdoor. Laughing old man using social media network technology feeling excited.

The Psychological Biases of Investing & How to Mitigate Them

It is easy for me to sit at my computer and write about the reasons you should invest or the psychology of why you do not invest. It is far harder to put those ideas into practice when real dollars are on the line—especially if they could negatively impact your life in retirement. As the old saying goes, “The devil you know is better than the devil you don’t know.”

However, as I frequently write and always preach to my peers, education is a great equalizer.

Educate yourself about real estate. Learn about the different ways to invest, the types of investments, what is more risk tolerant for your situation.

Educate yourself on the ways some investors fail, and then educate yourself on the ways to avoid those situations. Network with others who are like-minded.

Remember: youth is wasted on the young. You do not need to reinvent the wheel. Learn from those who made mistakes and avoid those mistakes.

Keep in mind that you are not necessarily looking to fund your retirement but to simply supplement it. You do not need to own dozens of properties when one or two may suffice.

Fear is a good emotion. It keeps us from doing stupid things. However, use that fear of failure to educate yourself and to increase your odds of being successful.

Do not let fear of failure keep you from investing in real estate.

I read a quote years ago, and I wrote it down. It was a Somali proverb cited in a short story by Ernest Hemingway: “A brave man is always frightened three times by a lion: when he first sees his track, when he first hears him roar, when he first confronts him.”

Real estate is like that lion. It may be scary at first, but press on and you will move past that fear and into investing.

Are you in your 30s, 40s, or 50s and want to invest in real estate but haven’t started? Why not? Do you have any questions for me?

Leave a comment below. 

Wayne Connell is a Deputy Sheriff by night and a budding real estate entrepreneur at all other times! In 2015, Wayne and his contractor brother teamed up to purchase and develop a real estate portfolio to supplement their retirement incomes. While Wayne has only been aggressively educating himself and pursuing real estate since 2015, he has owned two successful small businesses over the years and “dabbled” in real estate prior to this by buying and rehabbing the occasional property. Wayne and his brother currently own five duplex properties in small towns in central Nebraska. Wayne’s focus is on multi-family properties in rural areas, which he believes is an often-overlooked niche in the real estate investing world. Although he is far from being an expert, Wayne has more than a little experience locating and obtaining owner financed properties. Furthermore, he has used some creative techniques to maximize potential profits via owner financing. Wayne’s business model is focused on paying off properties quickly instead of utilizing the main stream system of cash flow. When not pursuing his property interests, he can often be found reading or growing his collection of antique books.

    Wenda Kennedy JD from Nikiski, Alaska
    Replied 17 days ago
    Excellent ideas and truths. I totally agree. And in your bio, you talked about quickly paying off your investment properties. That's right up my bucket. You're in it for the long haul. I'm with you. I'm a retired senior citizen. The kids around me think that the real estate business is a sprint. It's not. After my 43 years in the business, I know that it's not for the faint of heart, the lazy or a get rich quick scheme. You're on that same track. We, who are successful, just keep plodding along...
    Wayne Connell Rental Property Investor from Hershey, NE
    Replied 17 days ago
    Wenda, Excellent points! Television has made real estate investing seem like a fortune can be made in a the span of 30 minutes. I am sure you have seen a lot of things over your years of investing and have a lot of knowledge that I have yet to understand. Thank you so much for reading and for you comments! Wayne
    Martin Carstens Investor from Edmonds, Washington
    Replied 17 days ago
    Wayne, Bravo! Im with you! I started at the age of 47! Twelve homes and growing! My day job as a sea going captain eight months out of the year, limits many things. However investing in real estate, with a good property manager, has been very good to me. Great points, writing, and good to hear of your own success!
    Wayne Connell Rental Property Investor from Hershey, NE
    Replied 17 days ago
    Martin, It does not take dozens and dozens of properties to make ends meet and as you said, with a good property manager, real estate gives you the time to do other things. I am sure works well with your "day job." I appreciate you taking the time to read my article. Good luck with your rental portfolio and stay safe! Wayne
    Christopher Smith Investor from brentwood, california
    Replied 16 days ago
    I was a late comer to rental real estate. Was a securities investor all my life so I wasn't totally out of the financial game, but the real estate came much later. It actually turned out to be a big advantage as I was able to timely join the game in 2010 when prices of top shelf properties in great locations had been absolutely decimated. As a securities guy with some accumulated capital I was able to exploit a once in a 25 to 50 year event with some real gusto. I'm now well into 7 figure profit territory and hold a solid cash flow generating portfolio, so it can be done and done in a relatively short period of time.
    Wayne Connell Rental Property Investor from Hershey, NE
    Replied 16 days ago
    Christopher, That is an awesome story and a great example that it is never too late to invest! You serve as an example to many people of what can happen if you play your cards right! Thanks for reading and commenting, I do appreciate it! Wayne
    Joe C. Investor from Naples, Florida
    Replied 16 days ago
    Great article Wayne, most everything I've read is about people getting started in their 20's and 30's. And you're right about it not having to fund your retirement but merely supplement it. I started at 48 and 5 years in I have 4 houses and cash flowing close to 3k a month. Not a fortune, but a nice supplement!
    Wayne Connell Rental Property Investor from Hershey, NE
    Replied 16 days ago
    Joe, Yes I agree a lot of information is geared towards younger investors. Congratulations on your success! I love to hear stories such as yours. Thank you so much for reading and taking time to comment. Wayne
    Mike Mosee Investor from Eagle Point, OR
    Replied 16 days ago
    No such thing as too old.
    Wayne Connell Rental Property Investor from Hershey, NE
    Replied 15 days ago
    Mike, My thoughts exactly! Thanks for reading. Wayne
    Jose R Santana Rental Property Investor from Northeast GA
    Replied 16 days ago
    Mr. Wayne, great article. I too am a Deputy Sheriff and supplementing my retirement with rental properties that I own.I started at age 37 part time in 2011 and have slowly accumulated 13 properties.My goal is to be Financially free and dedicate myself to real estate investment by 2021 I am very passionate about this business and learning everyday. Thank you for this article. And YES it can be done!!!!
    Wayne Connell Rental Property Investor from Hershey, NE
    Replied 15 days ago
    Jose, It is a privilege to meet other LEO's who are real estate investors as well! You are a good example that it does not taken scores of doors to retire on but that it can be done with relatively few. I appreciate the comments and that you took the time to read my article! Wayne
    Jose R Santana Rental Property Investor from Northeast GA
    Replied 16 days ago
    Thank you for your service
    Wayne Connell Rental Property Investor from Hershey, NE
    Replied 15 days ago
    Jose, Thank you as well!
    August Olgren Flipper/Rehabber from Colorado Springs, CO
    Replied 15 days ago
    Good to see this article, thank you. I am 50 and just starting out in rei. I hope to have a decent portfolio in the next 10 to 15 years, I do see why not everyone gets into this type of investing though, it can be a lot of work.
    Wayne Connell Rental Property Investor from Hershey, NE
    Replied 15 days ago
    August, You are correct that it is a lot of work, especially if you self manage. I would love to have someone manage my rentals but first and foremost I have not found a deal that I could make that pay, yet. Second, I have not found anyone who would manage them the way I want them managed. Good luck and stick with it. Thanks you for reading! Wayne
    Mark K. from Staunton, Virginia
    Replied 15 days ago
    I'm a retired LEO. I bought my first rental house at age 49. I'm now 51 and I close on my 11th unit soon. Like you, if I could have had the wisdom now in my head back when I was 25, life would be different. However, I'm doing ok so far I believe. My goal is to get up to 20-25 units within the next three years so my wife can completely retire. We shall see how our stories all play out. Stay safe out there.
    Wayne Connell Rental Property Investor from Hershey, NE
    Replied 14 days ago
    Mark, Congratulations on your real estate success! It sounds like we have similar goals regarding size of our portfolio. We currently have five rental properties and are right on with the schedule of growth we laid out in our business plan. However, we are looking at more property that would grow our portfolio by over 20 units if it all comes to fruition. This is all property that family members have found that would all be owner financing and we will make those family members part owners in the property. Good luck, it is great to hear from fellow LEO's. I would love to hear more about how you have grown your portfolio. Thank you for reading! Wayne
    Susan Maneck Investor from Jackson, Mississippi
    Replied 14 days ago
    I started investing in real estate in 2012 when I was 56. I now own eight houses and two condos. My rental income now exceeds my earned income.
    Wayne Connell Rental Property Investor from Hershey, NE
    Replied 14 days ago
    Susan, I really enjoy hearing stories from investors who started later in life! I would love to see a focus on those type of investors who may not be geared towards 30 year mortgages and have a different set of criteria for investing then those 20 or 30 years younger. Thank you so much for the comments and reading my article! Good luck with your investments. Wayne
    Patrick Harrington Investor from Bridgewater, Ma
    Replied 14 days ago
    Wayne I just wanted to say thank you for writing the article. I am 49 myself and getting in to Realestate investing now that the kids are older. Your article serves as inspiration to us older investors. Thanks again.
    Wayne Connell Rental Property Investor from Hershey, NE
    Replied 14 days ago
    Patrick, Thank you for reading and the kind words! This time of life is a good time to invest and I hope you take the plunge soon! If I can offer any assistance please do not hesitate to contact me. I enjoy seeing the success of others as it serves as motivation for me. Wayne
    Robert Caturano from Paducah, Kentucky
    Replied 14 days ago
    Great article. I bought into a medical office building In my forties and then two fourplexes at age 50. Looking for another fourplex and learning about private lending and BRRRR currently. Lots to learn, but to your point, a solid bump to the retirement plans. We should start a 40+ Club!
    Wayne Connell Rental Property Investor from Hershey, NE
    Replied 14 days ago
    Robert, Congratulations on your success and I am certain it will continue! I have not held any commercial property but we are constantly looking for some, more to diversify than anything else. I love your suggestion for a 40 something club and it is a great idea! I think those of us 40's and up have lots to offer, as well as have a different view on investing than those in their 20's or even 30's. Thank you so much for reading my article and taking time to comment. Wayne
    Erik Perotti from Scotts Valley, CA
    Replied 14 days ago
    Love it. Just getting into the game. All in for the 40+ Club. A mastermind?
    Wayne Connell Rental Property Investor from Hershey, NE
    Replied 14 days ago
    Erik, I agree with the 40+ club! It would be interesting to see how it would grow. Good luck with your real estate investments and if I can be of any assistance please do not hesitate to contact me. Thank you so much for reading! Wayne
    Robert Sayre Real Estate Investor from New Tripoli, Pennsylvania
    Replied 14 days ago
    Our real estate Investing began five years ago with I was 62 and my wife 65. Our retirement was setup, Jr we knew we wanted to continue ro build equity and income. It has been a slow and steady process, but well worth it. We have four SFR and are finishing our first flip next week. Using the BRRR strategy, we were able to cash our and retire debt equal to $1,300/month and add and income and equity that will be valuable if and when we cash out. We have met so many interesting people and learned so much. It is NEVER to late to start!
    Holly Alexander
    Replied 12 days ago
    Thank you for sharing part of your story Robert. I am 61 and just starting down the path. It heartens me to know that it's NOT TOO LATE!
    Wayne Connell Rental Property Investor from Hershey, NE
    Replied 14 days ago
    Robert, That is a great story and great inspiration for those of us investing later in life! You are right that it is never too late, age is just an excuse. I love hearing stories such as yours and I am sure you have a lot to offer to other investors starting out later in life! Thank you so much for the reply and I would love to hear more of your story. I appreciate that you took the time to read the article and comment! Wayne
    Anita Anand
    Replied 14 days ago
    Love this! Early 40s...had one investment property for years and now just seeing the light! Refinanced and pulled out some Money and we are ready to buy our second. Looking forward to keeping on! Great post for us oldies out there!
    Wayne Connell Rental Property Investor from Hershey, NE
    Replied 14 days ago
    Anita, I took lots of time to realize now was the time to exploit my age and situation. You at least recognized it was time to act when many do not, congratulations! Thank you for reading my article as well as commenting! I hope your second purchase launches you into many more. Wayne
    Anita Anand
    Replied 13 days ago
    Thank you, Wayne! We made our share of mistakes too. Namely not saving enough earlier. We look forward to hopefully filling up the pot a bit and maybe have some fun doing it ;)! I look forward to more from you.
    John Wilson Bach
    Replied 14 days ago
    I always appreciate Wayne's writing. He must have a fantastic editor too!
    Wayne Connell Rental Property Investor from Hershey, NE
    Replied 14 days ago
    John, Thank you for the kind words! While BiggerPockets edits my articles prior to them being published (to ensure they meet their format requirements) I do have them peer reviewed prior to submitting them and you are correct, the guy is amazing! He has reviewed all of my writing throughout my undergraduate and graduate years. I could not do it without him for sure!! Wayne
    Holly Alexander
    Replied 14 days ago
    Is anybody out there just beginning to invest in their early 60's? I hope it's not too late!
    Wayne Connell Rental Property Investor from Hershey, NE
    Replied 14 days ago
    Sorry, it is Robert Sayre. I apologize for the spelling error on the name.
    Wayne Connell Rental Property Investor from Hershey, NE
    Replied 14 days ago
    Holly, See the post by Robert Sayer above, he is exactly what you are looking for. It is never too late to invest, age just changes the parameters of what you get out of it. What I always figure is that in 10 years I can be 10 years older and wonder what would have happened if I had invested, or I can invest and still be 10 years older with some type of investment under my belt. I would rather be 10 years older with some type of investment than 10 years older and in the same boat I was 10 years ago! Good luck and if I can help you get started please do not hesitate to contact me. Thank you so much for reading. Wayne
    Holly Alexander
    Replied 12 days ago
    Thank you Wayne! I appreciate your perspective and I will read the recommended article.
    Linda Luo Rental Property Investor from New York, NY
    Replied 14 days ago
    Great article and a different perspective!
    Wayne Connell Rental Property Investor from Hershey, NE
    Replied 14 days ago
    Linda, Thank you for reading and the kind comment! Wayne
    Erika Franklin
    Replied 14 days ago
    Great article!
    Wayne Connell Rental Property Investor from Hershey, NE
    Replied 14 days ago
    Erika, Thank you for reading! Wayne
    Julia Outlaw from Montclair, NJ
    Replied 14 days ago
    @Holly Alexander, it’s never too late as long as you’re in your right mind and good health. I’m 67 and just joined BP in June. I’ve owned my home for 23 years and I’m retired with an income below the property level. My home has 300k in equity which is a good start and I have a very good credit score. It’s scary but I’m learning everyday by watching podcasts and reading books and if I can do it, anyone can.
    Wayne Connell Rental Property Investor from Hershey, NE
    Replied 14 days ago
    Julia, Congratulations on your success! You are an inspiration to those who think they are too old to invest! Keep going on the real estate education. If I can offer any assistance please do not hesitate to contact me and good luck! I do appreciate that you took the time to read my article and comment on it. Wayne
    Jeff Norton from Howell, New Jersey
    Replied 14 days ago
    Wayne, Thank you for your service and thank you for a great article. My wife an I just bought our first rental property this June in which we are self managing. It IS a lot of work but we are learning a ton in the process. We are going to do more. All this starting out at 48 years old. Little by little we will get there and so will all the others just staring out too. Thanks again!
    Wayne Connell Rental Property Investor from Hershey, NE
    Replied 14 days ago
    Jeff, Congratulations on your purchase! You are right that you do learn a lot on that first purchase. Those lessens will benefit you on future purchases. Something new is always a lot of work to begin with, but once you get systems in place some of that work (hopefully a large part), will be mitigated. I appreciate the kind words and for reading. My day job has been interesting and I hope that I have done some good. Please do not hesitate to reach out if you need anything or just want to discuss real estate. We 40+ investors have to stick together! Wayne
    Rhonda Ferguson from Houston, Texas
    Replied 14 days ago
    Great article. I’m 51 and my husband and I are really just getting started. It’s probably the only way we will ever retire. However, our business has been challenging over the last couple of years, so cash is non-existent. I feel like if we could get past that first hurdle of raising the capital (or find private money) to buy the first rental, we could get going. So far it’s been a slow start. Any suggestions??
    Wayne Connell Rental Property Investor from Hershey, NE
    Replied 14 days ago
    Rhonda, Hang in there as it is worth it in the end. Set manageable goals and realistic timelines and just remember, you do not have to hit a home run when a single will work! I utilized equity in my personal residence in the form of a Home Equity Line of Credit loan to fund the down payment on my first purchase and build my second, micro duplex. I was comfortable doing that as I was confident that we were not overpaying for the first property and we built the second ourselves. For my next three I utilized owner financing. I located properties where the owner agreed to sell the property and carry the note. I only pay 5% interest on those properties which is better than I get from the bank. I did 15 year notes on the bank financed properties. You will find funding, it just depends on how creative you want to be, what your risk tolerance is and how much work you want to put into finding a bank, owner or private party to fund you. If I can be of any assistance or just be a sounding board for ideas please do not hesitate to contact me. I do appreciate that you have taken the time to read my article and do not lose heart in the process! Wayne
    Janel York from Minneapolis, MN
    Replied 14 days ago
    Thank you so much for this article, Wayne. It’s right on time! I’ve been in the corporate world for 22 years and am just getting into real estate investing now in my late forties. I’ve been focusing on educating myself and going to local meetups to learn all I can before I jump in (and I know one of the most important things is to DO IT and not get bogged down in analysis paralysis). I haven’t bought my first property yet, but plan to soon. Your article is inspiring! I also find all the replies to your article inspiring! Thank you to all of you. Your perspectives and expertise are invaluable. I think a 40+ club is a great idea!
    Wayne Connell Rental Property Investor from Hershey, NE
    Replied 14 days ago
    Janel, I am happy the article and comments were of some help/motivation! Thank you for reading! It sounds like you are preparing properly for that first purchase and that is excellent. If I can be of any assistance please don't hesitate to reach out. We were all new to real estate investing at one time, and that is something I never forget. I learn every single day. Also, I agree with the 40+ club idea!!! Wayne
    Kim Snyder from California
    Replied 14 days ago
    HI Wayne!! Loved your story and we have similar backgrounds. I live in Los Angeles and I am also in Law Enforcement. I have aobut 10 more years to go. 20 years ago I had my right hand in RE but never got the courage or had the knowledge on how to invest, I even had my RE license. But after joining LAPD I let my license lapse. 20 years later I am finally feeling encouraged and learning on my own how to invest AND getting my RE license again . I am 48 and thought the same..IS it too late in life for me? But now that I have started learning and talking to others about it I am so very excited. Within 2 mos of picking brains, reading about it and talking to other investors I just bought my first rental property in Indianapolis. I would love to keep in touch with you and see how we can help each other. I have a software program that will be an asset to any investor. It will enable you to pay off your 30 year mortgage and debt in 7-10 years. How great is that for an investor. I cant wait to start sharing this with others like yourself. Take care and keep safe!
    Wayne Connell Rental Property Investor from Hershey, NE
    Replied 14 days ago
    Kim, The new Chief for the PD in North Platte, which is in my jurisdiction, was hired from LAPD about a year ago! Thank you so much for reading and your comments. I am happy to hear you have made your first purchase, hopefully there are many more in your future. I know a lot of people who struggle with the concept that you can invest at any age in life, it is not just a young man/woman's game. I would love to keep in touch, please feel free to contact me on my BiggerPockets profile and we can go from there. Stay safe out there! Wayne
    Michael Sokoloff
    Replied 14 days ago
    I'm a 50 year old physician. Getting close to FI. Have toyed with the idea of owning my own property. Paid off my home mortgage last year (took 5-years). I loathed every moment of those 5-years of being in debt and don't want to go back. It's my sense that leverage is how real estate investing gives such high returns. Purchasing an investment property for cash seems to greatly temper returns to the point where I've looked for other ways to get invested in real estate. Have gone the direction of syndications as my vehicle into real estate. Working well so far but always keeping eyes open for cash deals.
    Wayne Connell Rental Property Investor from Hershey, NE
    Replied 14 days ago
    Michael, First and foremost thank you for reading and commenting. I would not be scared of a cash purchase and I do understand your feelings on debt. Being debt free is not a wrong path to follow. Note investing may be an interesting investment option for you or even partnering with someone on real estate. I do have my real estate license and the broker my license is under is partnered up with another investor and they are looking into syndication for some deals, and I know they have some property in Florida. If you are interested in exploring this I can put you in touch with him. Please do not hesitate to reach out if I can be of any assistance. Wayne
    Fred Cannon
    Replied 14 days ago
    I was 59 went I bought my first investment property. I am 69 now and still buying. Over 10 years I have bought 6 properties. 5 are mortgage free. To me the key to being a successful landlord is know your location, get as much background information on the new tenant as you can, and keep your properties updated. As a 59 year old rookie I did not screen my first tenant. I learned fast that is a big mistake. My second mistake was buying ( 3rd purchase ) property that had a tenant. Don't think I will do that again either. I require lawn service for my SFH's. I pay and the money is recovered in the rent. Nothing worse that a rental house with an unkept lawn, and the only way not to have that is pay for lawn service. I own condo's and SFH's, the condos are very easy to maintain and to rent out, but the HOA fees reduce your cash flow. However, the HOA fees when compared to single family home expenses can also be an advantage if the condo has great amenities and a strong Board of Directors. Don't overlook a great deal just because it is a condo.
    Wayne Connell Rental Property Investor from Hershey, NE
    Replied 14 days ago
    Fred, Great comments and ideas. We also work the cost of lawn service into the rent (although we mow ourselves). We want the yard looking nice and many tenants do not care for the yard like I want it done. I agree with everything you have said on screening tenants, it is cheaper in our estimation, to let a property set empty for an extra month or two than to put a bad renter in it. While we have not had to do that yet it is still part of our business plan. I love hearing stories about those who invested later in life and it has worked out well. It is a great example for others. Thank you so much for reading may article and good luck in your future endeavors! Wayne
    Mark Rogers
    Replied 14 days ago
    Wayne, This article came at a perfect time. I was contemplating a post in the forums on Biggerpockets for those who have started investing later in life. I am 60 and ready to go! We have owned one property for the last seven years. The home was ours originally, but we have moved around with my career and we didn't want to sell the home. I have become even more interested and would like to use this type of investing to supplement my retirement. Thanks for generating the conversation. Mark
    Wayne Connell Rental Property Investor from Hershey, NE
    Replied 14 days ago
    Mark, I am happy my article encouraged you on your real estate journey. Good luck with all you are doing and plan to do. Thank you for reading! Wayne
    Chris Desarro Investor from East Liverpool, Ohio
    Replied 14 days ago
    Great article, great to hear experience of someone starting a little later in life as I did too, ALWAYS wanted to get involved but just kept reading and trying to decide in what way to get in, I’m 58 and got int REI 5 years ago, just finishing rehabbing my 6th Single family home. I LOVE this, hope to keep moving forward
    Wayne Connell Rental Property Investor from Hershey, NE
    Replied 14 days ago
    Chris, It is awesome you got in and are going strong. Your story and others like it are ones I love hearing about. Thank you for reading and if you every need anything in Nebraska please don't hesitate to reach out! Wayne
    Tareq Abughamja
    Replied 13 days ago
    Thank u for the article.... I’m 44 planning to start real estate investment, I live in a small country, real estate so limited, I have to pay it in cash, bank access not easy ..... I may afford to buy one property in cash, the 2nd I may borrow cash from family...... I think I need 3 or 4 properties to be financially secure...... any advise?
    Wayne Connell Rental Property Investor from Hershey, NE
    Replied 13 days ago
    Tareq, Congratulations on making the decision to invest! My advice would be to learn all you can about real estate investing, not only what to do but what not to do. Don't try to reinvent the wheel, learn from others mistakes and take it slow. Put a plan in writing and follow it. If you believe you only need three or four properties then tailor you plan to accommodate that. I think you have a good idea to buy your first property yourself and then borrow from family for the second. Just make sure you have the repayment terms written down so everyone understands what you will pay, when and for how long. Good luck, thank you so much for reading my article and if I can be of any further assistance please do not hesitate to contact me! Wayne
    Michael Picher from Vassalboro, ME
    Replied 13 days ago
    Thanks for the great article Wayne. Started this year at 53 and have 2 duplexes now in addition to my personal property. Being Maine, most of our towns and cities are fairly small but have some great opportunities. I'm starting to explore owner financing / private investors to keep things rolling.
    Janel York from Minneapolis, MN
    Replied 3 days ago
    Michael, you’re an inspiration! Thank you.
    Wayne Connell Rental Property Investor from Hershey, NE
    Replied 13 days ago
    Michael, Thank you for taking the time to read the article. I look forward to conversing with you further via PM. Wayne
    Al Bigonia Investor from Farmington, New Hampshire
    Replied 13 days ago
    You go, old-timer! (I'm 70) You're youth sounds a lot like mine. It took an accident just after my 50th Birthday to get me going. I bought my first property the next Spring. I still work full-time, but I don't HAVE to, thanks to investing in Real Estate. I work a job because I like it,, I'm good at it, and I need the social interaction.
    Wayne Connell Rental Property Investor from Hershey, NE
    Replied 13 days ago
    Al, I appreciate the comments and I enjoy hearing stories such as yours! It is refreshing to hear from people who started later in life and made a go of it. I am always trying to convince family that it is never too late to invest, that a lot of good things can happen in a relatively short amount of time if you play your cards right. Keep it up and thank you so much for the inspiration! Thanks for reading. Wayne
    Steve Hartkopf
    Replied 13 days ago
    Great article, Wayne. I dabbled in real estate for decades owning a rental property here and there as we moved around the country following my career opportunities. The financial crisis hit when I was in my late 50's. Thanks to a lifetime of learning I knew prices were rock-bottom and money was, essentially, on sale. It took about a year but at 58 I'd bought 5 properties and retired from corporate life a few months later at 59. In January I'll have been retired 7-years and it's been great. Who doesn't wish for "endless Saturdays." It's never too late to conduct good business. If the right deal comes along I'll but another property. When I pass I'll leave them all to my kids who will, with careful planning, be able to withdraw the equity (100's of thousands) tax free.
    Wayne Connell Rental Property Investor from Hershey, NE
    Replied 13 days ago
    Steve, Thank you for your comments and I appreciate that you took time to read the article. I have the same intentions as you, the property will be used to help my kids and extended family and supplement my retirement. Once I die our intention is to leave our kids (and hopefully grand-kids) something to build from so that our grand-kids do not have to face the same financial hardships our kids have. Good luck and keep with it! Wayne
    Kelly Farley Real Estate Broker from Aurora, IL
    Replied 13 days ago
    Great article. I've worked a desk job as an engineer for 25 years and I am to the point that I just don't want to do it anymore. I bought by first buy and hold property (18 unit multi-family w/ 50/50 partner) last year at 49. I have always had side businesses as a real estate broker and author/speaker. The "What if?" held me back for a long time. I lost about ten years (2005-2015) due to the loss of my two children. It sent to places I didn't think I was capable of going and it brought fears into my life that I never had before. I have since pulled out of that despair and am excited to live a life of "What if?" in a positive mindset. My goal is to acquire at total of 100 doors w/ partner. It will happen. It doesn't matter your age. I haven't left my job YET. But its coming. Soon.
    Wayne Connell Rental Property Investor from Hershey, NE
    Replied 13 days ago
    Kelly, I am so sorry for the loss of your children. I have seen the devastation that can cause numerous times over the years in my day job. i am happy you were able to pull through and are looking forward towards new possibilities. Good luck and keep it rolling, you have an attainable goal for sure. Thank you so much for reading my article and if I can be of any assistance at all please do not hesitate to reach out. Wayne
    Eppy Flores
    Replied 13 days ago
    My fear is in not failing but in finding the right peoples to dip their toes or fingers in the water to see if is cold or hot.
    Wayne Connell Rental Property Investor from Hershey, NE
    Replied 13 days ago
    Eppy, I understand your concern completely. Fortunately finding the right people is a process that is attainable, it just may take a little time and patience. Keep moving forward and I appreciate you took the time to read the article and comment. Good luck! Wayne
    Joe Alcaro
    Replied 13 days ago
    Hello, I have a rather specific question...
    Wayne Connell Rental Property Investor from Hershey, NE
    Replied 13 days ago
    Joe, Feel free to private message me on my BiggerPockets account or post your question here and I will be happy to try to answer it or point you to someone who can. Thank you for reading the article! Wayne
    Bryan Drury Investor from Owensboro, Kentucky
    Replied 13 days ago
    Wayne, great topic for discussion. I’m 58 currently. Been investing in RE since my early 20’s. Much more aggressively in last 10 years. My thinking is age doesn’t matter except in special circumstances. If the project is a great investment with solid numbers then age of investor doesn’t matter. I want to leave my heirs some assets, and since the basis will step up at my death their tax liability will be minimal. So what does age matter?? Everyone’s circumstances are different so no right or wrong answer. I just enjoy the challenge and activity. Thanks
    Wayne Connell Rental Property Investor from Hershey, NE
    Replied 13 days ago
    Bryan, Excellent points! I agree wholeheartedly that age matters in only special circumstances. For the most part in real estate, age only changes your timelines for what you want to do. It doesn't or should not prevent one from investing. Thank you for reading and for the very good comments! Wayne
    Wayne Connell Rental Property Investor from Hershey, NE
    Replied 13 days ago
    Bryan, Excellent points! I agree wholeheartedly that age matters in only special circumstances. For the most part in real estate, age only changes your timelines for what you want to do. It doesn't or should not prevent one from investing. Thank you for reading and for the very good comments! Wayne
    Susan Ghormley
    Replied 13 days ago
    Wayne - you are so wonderfully encouraging! I also started to invest in real estate when I was 62 and now own 4 SFR with a net cash flow of about $3,000. Would you be willing to share info about your "contract beneficial to the note holder"?
    Wayne Connell Rental Property Investor from Hershey, NE
    Replied 13 days ago
    Susan, Congratulations on your investments! Also, thank you so much for reading and your kind comments. I would be happy to show you what we use if you would send me a message through my BiggerPockets account with your email. Essentially, the main thing in the contract we use is that if we default the property reverts back to the seller with no foreclosure process. We generally state that if we are delinquent by 90 days or more that the property automatically reverts back to the seller. This has been reviewed by an attorney in our state and the sellers like it as they do not need to utilize the foreclosure process which saves them time and money. Wayne
    Aritza Perrine
    Replied 13 days ago
    Wayne, thank you for your article and your service. I love the encouragement and support for mature investors. I always had an interest in real estate, but a demanding career as a single parent kept me too time-challenged to pursue RE. But when I retired at 64 I took the opportunity to learn about real estate investment options. After 6 months of learning/evaluating, I decided to invest in short-term syndications (2-5 years) that return 15-25% a year. That amped up the 7.5% returns that I was earning on my stock portfolio, while also diversifying a portion of it into a safer investment vehicle, given stocks' volatility. I went that route because I didn't think banks would loan money to retired people to buy SFR investments. But I had never considered owner financing, so thanks for the continuing education. Also, for the last 2 years I have met the nicest people in real estate! People that are excited about success in real estate, and enthusiastically sharing it with others, such as you do.
    Wayne Connell Rental Property Investor from Hershey, NE
    Replied 13 days ago
    Aritza, I sincerely appreciate the kind comments and I thank you for taking the time to read my article. I love owner financing as it is way cheaper to close on a property (probably by at least 75% cheaper here) than bank financing and really no hoops to jump through. I have soured on banks as there are so many stipulations and requirements the process seems designed to discourage one from borrowing money. I hope owner financing can work for you. I am always looking for owner financed properties and am continually asking property owners about them. I started out strong getting three properties on my first four or five letters but since have hit a dry spell! Let me know if I can be of any assistance. Wayne
    Joe Alcaro
    Replied 13 days ago
    Wayne, thank you so very much for responding to my quick message earlier today. I sent you a private message a few minutes ago. Thanks again for taking the time to reply.
    Wayne Connell Rental Property Investor from Hershey, NE
    Replied 13 days ago
    Hi Joe, I did send you a reply. Wayne
    Elizabeth Terreros
    Replied 12 days ago
    Wayne, This is a great article. I’m 55 years old and trying to get started in investing. If I knew years ago what I know now I would have dived into investing in my younger years. But like you said it’s never too late. Fear and uncertainty is slowing me down trying to take the first step. My biggest obstacle is coming up with the down payment to purchase me first single family home.
    Wayne Connell Rental Property Investor from Hershey, NE
    Replied 12 days ago
    Elizabeth, It is awesome that you are taking steps to move forward with your investments! You may check into owner financing and attempting to locate a property that way. As long as you have a clear contract in place and understand the parameters, it can be a good option for you. Thank you so much for reading my article. Good luck and if I can assist with anything please let me know. Wayne
    Jonathan Wild
    Replied 12 days ago
    Very encouraging Wayne, thanks so much. I'm 58 and my corporate sales job may not want me for long. Like you, I've got years of experience of dealing with people, and am keen to apply those skills in a new business. I have a strong desire to start a property business, and your wisdom is very timely. I love your willingness to include your family in the adventure. Thanks again ps. I've spent 6 years reversing multiple chronic diseases using food and lifestyle, and now that I'm in the best health that I have ever been, and have more energy than I have had for decades, I'm ready for a new challenge. I'm busy applying for pre-approval on a bank loan right now:)
    Janel York from Minneapolis, MN
    Replied 3 days ago
    Jonathan, your story is very inspiring. Thank you for sharing it. And congratulations on your health improvement. Health really is wealth!
    Wayne Connell Rental Property Investor from Hershey, NE
    Replied 12 days ago
    Jonathan, Thank you for the comments and for reading the article. Good luck with your investment ideas and it sounds like you have the self discipline to make a successful go at it! I definitely could use some lifestyle adjustments on my eating habits, but I am making small amounts of progress in that area! Please don't hesitate to reach out if I can be of any assistance to you regarding real estate. Wayne
    Kevin Glapion from New Orleans, Louisiana
    Replied 12 days ago
    Wayne, thanks for a very encouraging article. I'm 63 and I'm looking to buy my first rental property. In ten years, I could be 73 and just making it financially or 73 with a number of rental properties. It's up to me. Thanks again.
    Wayne Connell Rental Property Investor from Hershey, NE
    Replied 11 days ago
    Kevin, Congratulations on making the decision to invest. And you are completely correct, you can be 10 years older and a property owner or just 10 years older. Thank you for reading and commenting! Wayne
    Ernest Chungu Real Estate Professional from El Paso, Texas
    Replied 11 days ago
    Excellent writing. Am turning 50 this year and your message is loud and clear and am starting to invest in real estate now. I will continue to read your postings.
    Wayne Connell Rental Property Investor from Hershey, NE
    Replied 10 days ago
    Ernest, I do appreciate your comments and the fact you took time to read my article, thank you. Good luck with your real estate investments and please let me know if I can be of any assistance. Wayne
    Ernest Chungu Real Estate Professional from El Paso, Texas
    Replied 9 days ago
    I will definitely let you know. Thank you.