4
  • I'm 43
  • 0 Debt
  • Home Mortgage: PAID OFF
  • Several Cars: PAID OFF
  • Loans on renal property: PAID OFF
  • Credit Cards: PAID OFF
  • Personal Loans: PAID OFF
  • 6mo+ Emergency Fund
  • Credit report clean and rising

I've been self-employed for a while so never had a matching 401K, I consider my rental property as my retirement.

What now? What should my next goals be?

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  • 2
    Do you have a roth IRA? No? Why not start that?
    – JonH
    Jun 19 at 1:04
  • 4
    "What should my next goals be" -- we can't tell you that because we don't know what you value. What do you want to do in life? I'd see it reasonable to sell everything and give away to orphans. Jun 19 at 14:36
  • 7
    I’m voting to close this question because none of "what are my life goals?", "what should my life goals be?", and "how should I decide my life goals?" are personal finance questions
    – AakashM
    Jun 19 at 15:15
  • 8
    You might need dialysis for that renal property. Jun 19 at 19:00
  • 1
    Invest. IRAs, Id suggest. But also self-sufficiency in general... install solar panels, etc. The idea here is two-fold: raise your property value and divorce yourself from any requirement to pay utility bills, which will haunt you through retirement. If you have a large enough home, consider renting out a room for added income. Consider bullion or cryptocurrency as a value store. Jun 19 at 20:52

4 Answers 4

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We cannot answer that for you. Also, products get you to goals, they are not goals. A 401(k) is, essentially, a product.

Sit down and look at what you want to do. Do you want a vacation in 5 years, every five years, every year? Do you want a winter home? Would you like to sing in the Metropolitan Opera?

Write out your goals, which you have to find first, in a form so concrete that anybody could buy it for you.

For example, I want a winter home is not a goal. I want a three-bedroom, two-bath, one-story home with blue siding in Miami Florida's South Beach area that is within walking distance from Starbucks that will be purchased on June 5th, 2024 is a goal.

I want to walk the Appalachian trail from Springer Mountain Georgia to Mount Katahdin in Maine starting on the opening day in 2027 is a goal.

Once you have those, then you can put financial targets on them. We can help you then.

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2

You have some great things going for you. Owning your home and a rental property outright is a strong position at your age. However, real estate alone is not an optimal retirement portfolio, due to its labor-intensiveness and lack of diversification.

You can compare the net income from your rental property with your retirement needs (considering also the risks of vacancies, bad tenants, etc.). Most likely, you will find that you need additional retirement income from an investment portfolio.

Tax-advantaged retirement accounts such as a 401(k) and IRA are the classic way to achieve this. Being self-employed, you have several such options, though without the benefit of "free money" employer matching.

Referring to a popular answer on the order of investing, you have completed the steps through #4 and jumped ahead to #6, but should now focus more on #5.

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Your current position is enviable. I agree with the other answers regarding selecting some form of IRA so that you'll have an additional source of cash when you retire.

One thing you didn't mention is how well insured you are. If you were severely injured or needed an organ transplant, are you sufficiently covered?

Also, laws on landlord liability vary from state to state. Are you covered for some form of tenant-caused issue that your states laws might somehow make you liable for?

Are you covered if your home or rental property is severely damaged or destroyed?

Personally, I'm not fond of the whole insurance industry. I do consider insurance to be a necessary evil if for no other reason than to protect assets you've worked so hard to get.

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I consider my rental property as my retirement.

I wonder if one rental property is enough to fund your retirement. If you are counting on the cash flow to live off of, then one would not seem to be enough.

Even if the plan is to sell the rental property at retirement then you aren't diversified enough.

Don't worry about the inability to get an employer match. When an employer offers that benefit, it is because they are charging enough to afford it. They are using that expected cost when setting their rates and prices.

According to the IRS Retirement Plans for Self-Employed People

401(k) plan

  • Make annual salary deferrals up to $20,500 in 2022, ($19,500 in 2021 and in 2020; $19,000 in 2019), plus an additional $6,500 in 2022, in 2021 and in 2020 ($6,000 in 2015 - 2019) if you're 50 or older either on a pre-tax basis or as designated Roth contributions.
  • Contribute up to an additional 25% of your net earnings from self-employment for total contributions of $61,000 for 2022 ($58,000 for 2021; $57,000 for 2020 and $56,000 for 2019), including salary deferrals.

To boost the contribution from $20,500 up to as much as $61,000 you can use up to 25% of net earnings. You the employee need to talk to you the employer about doing this. This could involve charging more, or working more, or cutting other business expenses.

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