I ’ll always remember one of the most emotional and moving consultations of my career.
I ’ll always remember one of the most emotional and moving consultations of my career. I was still relatively young, and I often felt awkward and inadequate when consulting older clients who clearly had more life experience than I did. However, I have learned time and again that my older clients look to me for advice not because of my age, but because of my education and experience. As Indiana Jones said in Raiders of the Lost Ark, “It’s not the years, honey. It’s the mileage.” In this particular instance, my clients were in their mid-60s, at the end of their W-2 careers with a meager retirement account, and looking down the barrel at Social Security as their primary source of retirement income. They were meeting with me about their retirement savings, desperate to find the best and quickest way to build more retirement income and cash flow. I searched my heart and mind for inspiration after reviewing their affairs, and believed rental real estate was the answer. They had strong credit scores but would need to partner with others for capital. However, if they were wise and careful, they could build a decent real estate portfolio over the next five years. Their reaction shocked me, and I’ll never forget it. With tears in their eyes, they said, “Mark, we knew you were going to say this. We’ve felt we should buy rental property, no matter how small, for years and years, but never found the time or courage to get involved.” They explained that they wished they would have started years earlier, and knew they were in this mess because they hadn’t heeded those promptings earlier. They begged me to tell their story to my other clients and everyone I could, and how it’s important to start by buying just one rental property a year as soon as possible. This chapter is dedicated to them.
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