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Should You Sell Your Investment Before Retirement?

The decision of whether to sell your investment before retirement or not sits at the front of many investors’ minds. For instance, you can earn a massive profit when you sell and let go of the responsibility of managing a rental. But on the other hand, you’re giving up rental income and paying significant capital gains tax. As such, read along as we discuss the pros and cons of selling your investment property before retirement.


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Should You Sell Your Investment Before Retirement?

As some investors approach retirement, they consider selling their rental properties. Whether it takes too much time and effort to manage them or you simply want the extra funds from selling a property, there are several reasons why it can be beneficial. However, remember that property managers in Northern Virginia can help manage your rentals. 


Nevertheless, there are some reasons why selling your investment before retirement could be detrimental. For instance, if you sell an investment property too early, you could miss out on potential profits and get hit with capital gains tax. In fact, capital gains tax liability is one of the most significant factors to consider before selling a rental property. Along with capital gains tax, rental owners must also consider depreciation recapture while selling a property

We’ll talk more about how to minimize tax liability later in this article. But first, let’s go over some primary considerations if you plan to sell your investment before retirement. 

What to Consider Before Selling an Investment

Before you think about selling your investment property, there are a few key factors to consider. Whether you plan to sell your investment before retirement or after, it’s essential to evaluate your housing situation. As such, as yourself the following questions.

  • How Much Is It Worth? If your home isn’t valued at what you’d expect, you might want to wait to sell until the value increases. Then, you can get more for your home and have a large chunk of money for retirement.
  • What’s Your Remaining Mortgage Balance? If you have a remaining mortgage balance, you’ll have to pay that off when you sell your home.considerations-for-selling-an-investment
  • How Is the Market Performing? The real estate market greatly impacts the success of selling your home. It is crucial to pay attention to interest rates and how they may affect the housing market.
  • What’s the Condition of the Property? Your home will likely attract better interest and offers if it’s in good condition and move-in ready. However, if your home needs significant work or you’re selling it as-is, it could take longer to sell.
  • How Fast Do You Want to Sell It? Depending on how fast you want to sell your home, it’s important to be prepared. Whether you want to sell quickly or take your time, it’s crucial to be financially and emotionally ready to put your property on the market.

Pros and Cons of Selling Before Retirement

If you plan to sell your investment before retirement, consider all the pros and cons of doing so. As such, some of the main benefits and disadvantages of selling your investment property before retirement include the following. 

Benefits of Selling Before Retirement

  1. Extra Funds for Retirement- After selling your property, you’re left with a surplus of funds that you can use for your retirement fund. Additionally, you have more free time to do activities you enjoy during your retirement.
  2. Eliminate Maintenance Costs- When you sell your investment property, you no longer have to worry about maintenance and management costs. As a result, you have more money to enjoy for your retirement.pros-and-cons-of-selling-before-retirement
  3. Avoid High Property Taxes- Like maintenance costs, you can avoid paying high property taxes when you sell your investment property.

Disadvantages of Selling Before Retirement

  1. Loss of Rental Income- Owning a rental can provide significant profits and supplement other retirement income. However, when you sell it, you’re missing out on your monthly rental cash flow.
  2. Missing Out on Profits- If you sell your investment property at the wrong time, you could miss out on potential profits. As such, it’s crucial to evaluate the market to determine the best time to sell.
  3. Capital Gains Tax- You’ll have to pay capital gains taxes and depreciation recapture tax when you sell an investment property. Unfortunately, these are two of the largest expenses that investors need to consider.

Minimizing Tax Liability When Selling an Investment

When you sell your investment before retirement, you have to pay capital gains tax, a tax on profits you make from selling your property. Additionally, you must consider the depreciation recapture tax while selling an investment property. For instance, when you sell your property, you may have to pay back the depreciation you’ve claimed on taxes in previous years. However, there are a few ways to minimize your tax liability. Some of the most common methods include the following strategies. 

  • Wait Until Retirement
  • Offset Capital Gains With Losses
  • Move Into the Property
  • Conduct a 1031 Exchange

Wait Until After You Retire

Generally, retirees fall into a lower tax bracket than they would be in their working years. As such, if you wait until after you retire to sell your investment property, you could save on capital gains tax and depreciation recapture. After all, the amount you owe for capital gains tax and depreciation recapture depends on your federal taxable income. 


Offset Capital Gains With Losses

Another option to reduce tax liability is to offset capital gains from selling one asset with the losses of another. For instance, if you have other investments, like stocks, and sell them at a loss, you can reduce the taxable gain on selling your investment property. 


Move Into the Property

If you want to minimize the tax liability of selling an investment property, one option is to make it your primary residence. However, it’s not always the best or most convenient option. After all, your capital gains tax amount is based on how long the property was used as an investment property, not a primary residence. Additionally, you’ll still have to pay back depreciation costs once the property sells. 

Conduct a 1031 Exchange

If you’re not quite ready to retire all your investments, consider looking for a property tax loophole. A 1031 tax-deferred exchange allows you to use one investment property’s profits for another investment property. However, there are strict rules regarding 1031 exchanges. For instance, you must find a replacement property within 45 days, close the sale on the original property within 180 days, and pay funds through a qualified intermediary. 

Manage Your Investment Property With Ease

Some people consider selling their rental properties to eliminate the responsibility of managing them. However, you don’t have to sell your investment before retirement to part with management tasks. Instead, you can hire a comprehensive property management team to do the work for you. 

Need More Advice? contact us today!

Whether you own one rental property or several, Bay Property Management Group can help manage them all. We offer comprehensive services, including tenant screening, maintenance, rent collection, and more. Contact BMG today to learn more about our comprehensive management services and how we can help your business succeed.