Retire richer and sooner

by Kit Kadlec16 Nov 2011

When property investor Murray Wood turned 60 last year, he realized his goals had changed. He'd reached a new life chapter where personal status and the number of properties he owned no longer mattered so much.

Wood was confronted by the fact he was well into middle age and yet hadn't retired immensely rich. Instead, he was asking himself, "What am I doing all this for?" "It's not about owning the world now, but just having enough assets that you can manage your time well," the owner of Buy B.C. Homes says of his new outlook. Goals change.

And thus retirement strategies need to as well. Now he's cut back on his spending with his wife and paving the way for a comfortable retirement. "If you'd asked me that question (about personal goals) even five years ago, it would be really different," says Wood. "I wanted a lot of stuff and a lot of prestige, and all those things you want as a young man. What I found now is I'd still like to be comfortable and have nice things, but I'm much more interested in free time than I was before."

Now his concerns are about playing golf with friends, traveling with his wife to see family, and just doing inspiring things. As a portfolio and strategic planner for retirement based in British Columbia, Wood says he regularly finds investors similarly lost in mid-life transition, planning for a retired lifestyle and their estate.

"You don't want to work harder, you want to enjoy what life you have left," Wood says. On another end of the perspective is Chris Biasutti who, at the age of 25, already owns five properties (although he was selling one at the time of publication of this article).

He started real estate investment at the age of 19 when he bought a condo in Abbotsford with $40,000 down. "The biggest catalyst for me was I didn't want a job," recalls Biasutti, a Vancouver resident who now owns a business called Bluewater Investment Services which specializes in financing private businesses. He had been reading investment strategy books as a teenager such as the Wealthy Barber and Rich Dad, Poor Dad, and wanted to get an early start with the knowledge he had gained.

As a younger investor, he has a different strategy to Wood. "I have a higher risk tolerance," Biasutti says. He readily admits to having made some mistakes already, but he's learned from them and is confident he won't fall into the same traps again. "One of my mentors early on told me one of the ways you really learn from things is by doing them and then screwing up," Biasutti says.

"Being at the age that I am, I've been able to learn from those past mistakes, and I can still apply that knowledge going forward." Mistakes aside, his initial investment of $40,000 on that first condo is now worth $400,000 to him, and he has invested in properties that make up a portfolio valued at a total of $1.2 million.

Biasutti already considers himself retired in the sense that he has the flexibility and financial ability to do whatever he enjoys most in life. As these two above examples show, there can be a wide range of retirement goals, but that comes down to personal preference. The fundamentals of retirement planning remain the same for all investors, however.  

To learn about goal-setting, where, when and what to buy and how you can leverage your investments to provide the retirement you want with passive income generated right from your real estate portfolio, pick up a copy of our December issue, on newsstands until Dec. 5.

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