We are slowly nearing the sale of my beloved beach house, which I bought with boom real estate profits in 2001. I had wanted an apartment, but my then-Realtor (and now my current boss) convinced me that a two-family house would make much more sense in terms of financial planning flexibility.

"You can live in one half, and you can always rent out the other half," he said. "If you keep the house long enough, that will provide retirement income."

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