Pulse is a recurring column where we ask for readers’ takes on varying topics in a weekly survey and report back with our findings.

We’ve all known real estate agents and brokers who continued to work well into their golden years, enjoying the challenge and growing ever more knowledgeable and insightful. We’ve also known real estate pros who were forced to continue working, not out of enthusiasm, but out of necessity and failure to plan ahead adequately for retirement.

This week, we were curious about your retirement plan or exit strategy, and boy did you deliver some great insights. Here’s what you’re doing — and what you’ve been doing — to ensure you have a plan to move out of your business when the time comes:

  • Pension and Social Security from previous employment
  • I have stock in my real estate company and built a group of agents that I’ll earn a small override on and that will continue for at least the next 15 years after I stop selling. I have a bank that pays me really well to park my money. With the tax advantages and the compounding rate of return I expect to have a peaceful, stress-free and predictable retirement income well through my golden years.
  • Keeping my team as long as possible 
  • When the market crashed in 2007 I learned that passive income is the only way I can be assured of a great income and lifestyle before and after retirement. I created a plan of house hacking three different types of properties between 3-5 years with enough cash flow to give me financial security. The experiment went so well that I kept buying properties and I also started teaching my colleagues and my clients how to do the exact same thing. Now I teach a free monthly seminar on how to become a millionaire and become financially free which both teaches the public and fellow agents. 
  •  Sale
  • I have a portfolio of rentals, IRA and pension from previous employment 
  • 401k, real estate investing, alternative assets (paintings, classic car, oil and gas rights) 
  • You’ll probably get a lot of eXp agents responding to this question, as it is one of the few (but definitely first and now largest) brokerages to provide substantial multiple income streams and a means to retire or get off the perpetual treadmill of RE production. I’m of course talking about eXp’s revenue share model which has been life-changing to me and so many fellow eXp agents I know. 
  • Work part-time
  • My plan for retirement is building my passive income to 200 percent of living expenses and selling my team in a few years so I’m out of production. 
  • Buy an income property, one a year for 10 years. Cash flow breaks even at first but as the years go on, Wow! We have taken cash out, and positive cash flow has allowed me to stay active in listing and selling by choice 
  • Rentals
  • Possibly retire at 75
  • Just shut the door
  • Real estate residential sales has been my career for many years. I enjoy the “Job well done” feeling of knowing you’ve made a difference in your clients’ lives. In the last seven years, my husband and I began purchasing residential rental investments. My first rental was a two-bedroom townhome which cleared $90 a month. It has been a slow but steady yearly growth of passive income. I manage the rental properties while working full-time as a Realtor. The equity in the investment properties will be a double benefit when we do decide to shift into retirement. 
  • Sell my COI business for a referral fee to another agent 
  • Own rental property and I have an IRA
  • I have multiple rental properties that bring in cash flow to soon retire 
  • Real estate investment properties and coaching income
  • My wife and I entered the real estate industry in 2003 while we were in significant debt and trying to find a business path that would align with our family culture and our entrepreneurial mindsets. Real estate developed into the perfect career path for both of us and our family as we faced expenses for private school tuitions, college tuitions, weddings, mortgages, exorbitant health insurance costs for the family and more. Now, 19 years later, all children have graduated without any college loan debt, weddings have all been paid for (even destination weddings in New Zealand), our primary residence is mortgage free, and two rental properties are mortgage-free. Real Estate careers at are our ages of 65 and 70 are still very lucrative and we have rental income, self employment pensions, and savings to carry us through our ‘Golden Years’. I really don’t know of any other career where you carry minimum risk with the potential for extraordinary rewards. Today, as part of a team, we have scheduling flexibility, minimal fixed overhead and a past customer base that continues to provide a solid and continual income stream. Can we retire? Anytime we want to … but we don’t want to because our life is pretty sweet working the way we work.
  • Licensed Realtor since 1986. I have bought six rental properties over the last 30 years. These are bought and paid for and now provide over $80,000 per year in income. We have dollar cost averaged a monthly investment into Vanguard Mutual Funds for years, do some hard money lending to several small investors, maximized my SEP contribution throughout my career and are now investing heavily in real estate lending across platforms like FUND that Flip and FundRise. This current market has forced me into what feels like a semi-retirement due to the decrease in inventory and the overall frustration of buyers. I have reduced the hours of my assistant and increased the responsibilities of my virtual transaction coordinator. While I always thought I would bring on a partner to slowly assume my large volume of business I now realize it is impossible to find a replacement. I will continue to take the work as it comes in, stay relevant with advertising and marketing, continue my client appreciation parties while traveling three to four months a year. I will never throw myself a retirement party but just start the slow fade and referral to others as the years go by.
  • Partner half my age
  • Would like to invest
  • Actively saving for retirement
  • I am fortunate in that I came into real estate with sizable retirement savings and three investment properties. Over the past eight years, I purchased two additional properties and my net worth has increased substantially thanks to stock market and real estate appreciation. I could retire today, but I love what I do and I am earning over $250,000 per year. I will continue to work in real estate until I’m no longer having fun or until my income no longer justifies the time I’m putting in. My only regret is not getting my real estate license earlier in life, but I am glad that I had a stable job during the Great Recession. That’s when I purchased the first three investment properties at incredibly low prices using 15-year mortgages. I learned that the time to buy is when everyone else is selling. 
  • Building passive income through revenue sharing at my brokerage, building equity through being a shareholder in my brokerage, buy and hold real estate and other instruments such as 401k and other stock holdings 

What say you? Share your retirement plan or exit strategy in the comments below.

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