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Is Real Estate or the Stock Market a Better Strategy for Retirement?

retirement-investment-strategies

If you’re looking to gain financial independence or save up for retirement, investing is a great way to do so. That said, there are several investment options available today. For example, you can invest in real estate, stocks, and more. But, what’s the best strategy for retirement? Keep reading as we go over how you can invest in stocks or use real estate for retirement.

Real Estate vs. Stocks: Which Is the Better Investment For Retirement?

Most people invest intending to become financially stable or more independent. However, there are several different ways you can invest your money to potentially gain capital later. Whether you invest in real estate, buy stocks, or use another investment strategy, there are advantages and disadvantages to each one. Keep reading to discover which investment is best for retirement. 

Pros and Cons of Real Estate Investing

Real estate investing poses several advantages to those who use real estate for retirement funding. For example, rental property investments give you consistent income each month and provide tax benefits. However, there are some disadvantages since it can take time for your investment to pay off. Here are some of the main pros and cons of real estate investing for retirement

Pros

  • You Can Generate Passive Income- Stocks and real estate can both potentially generate passive income. However, rental properties pay off each month, and returns are often predictable.

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  • Slight Control Over Returns- You can reduce vacancies by upgrading the rental property to attract higher-quality tenants. Additionally, you can hire Northern Virginia property managers to ensure rental business success. 
  • Tax Benefits- Real estate offers unique tax benefits such as rental property deductions and depreciation. In addition, you can deduct several expenses like repairs, travel costs, property management, and more. 
  • Real Estate Offers Stability- While home prices fluctuate, they don’t fluctuate nearly as much as the stock market. That said, rent prices are relatively stable and typically move upward. 

Cons

  • Higher Prices to Pay- People tend to invest in stocks instead of real estate because you need to have the capital to start. Most people don’t have enough cash lying around to pay a down payment, closing costs, and other expenses. 
  • Real Estate Requires Labor- Buying and managing rental properties takes time, work, and patience. You can buy stocks online in seconds and forget about it, but real estate offers no comparison. 
  • It Takes Time to Buy and Sell- Buying and selling rental properties are extensive processes that take time. So if you find yourself in a situation where you need money ASAP, real estate won’t help without requiring time. 

Pros and Cons of Stock Investments

While investing in real estate is a great way to save for retirement, not everyone has the time or money to start. Luckily, there are other options, such as stocks. If you’re interested in exploring that avenue, here are some pros and cons of stock investments. 

Pros

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  • Less Capital Necessary- You don’t need enough money to pay for a down payment to invest in stocks. Instead, if you have an extra $100, you can invest in stocks without worrying too much. 
  • Easy to Diversify Your Investments- It only takes seconds to explore several stock options. With the resources available today, it’s extremely simple to diversify your stock portfolio.
  • Income Is Completely Passive- When you invest in stocks, you don’t have to do anything else besides watching them compound until you’re ready to retire. But on the other hand, it takes labor to manage rental properties. 

Cons

  • No Control Over Returns- When you buy stocks, you can’t control how they perform. All you can do is sell it when you’re ready. That said, you could lose out on profits if the company’s earnings drop. 
  • You Can’t Predict Returns- You also can’t predict stock returns. Investors won’t know if earnings will rise or drop, so some people prefer the predictability of real estate. 
  • The Stock Market is Volatile- Stocks are incredibly volatile and swing in value constantly. So if you buy a higher-risk stock with higher unpredictability, you don’t know if it’ll rise or drop dramatically.

Why Use Real Estate For Retirement?

Based on the pros and cons above, it’s clear to see that real estate investing can provide higher returns and more advantages. However, that doesn’t make stock investments a bad decision. Instead, real estate investors might want to consider both if they’re looking to retire early. 

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Many people use real estate for retirement funding because it offers steady financial growth and more predictability. Additionally, your investment property can appreciate over time, which ultimately increases the value of the property. 

Once you’ve gone over which investment strategy you are most interested in, you’ll want to set financial goals. While your goals may be entirely personal, here are some tips for setting and achieving financial goals. 

Tips For Setting Financial Goals

Whether you want to retire early or gain long-term financial stability, you need to set financial goals. But, if you’re not sure where to start, here are some tips to keep in mind.

  • Make Goals Specific
  • Give Yourself a Deadline
  • Be Realistic
  • Stick to Your Budget
  • Build an Emergency Fund

Make Goals Specific

When you’re setting any type of goal for yourself, especially financial goals, it’s essential to make them specific. For example, don’t have the goal of “spending money wisely.” Instead, give yourself a goal of “putting $300 toward savings each month”.

Give Yourself a Deadline

Depending on your goals, you’ll also want to give yourself a deadline. For example, if you want to pay off $10,000 towards your debt by the end of the year, you’ll have to plan accordingly. If you’re going to hit the goal by the deadline of one year, you’ll have to pay around $835 each month toward your debt. 

Be Realistic

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When setting financial goals and deadlines, make them realistic. You’ll constantly feel defeated if you set goals that are impossible to achieve. Set goals according to your budget, available time, and priorities. 

Stick to Your Budget

Most investors budget each month according to their income and expenses. A budget helps you plan out what you’ll do with your money. However, once you know where your money’s going each month, try not to overextend your budget. 

Build an Emergency Fund

No matter what type of retirement plan you go with, emergencies can happen. When you put extra money toward an emergency savings fund, you have enough money to cover small, unexpected expenses. 

If you invest in real estate, emergency expenses can pop up all the time. For instance, emergency maintenance costs, appliance upgrades, and occasional vacancies. 

Get Help From the Professionals

If you decide to use real estate for retirement funding, you’ll find that you need to set aside a lot of time to be a landlord–unless you choose to hire property management! 

When you hire a trusted property management team to assist with your rental business, you don’t have to worry about the day-to-day tasks. Bay Property Management Group offers complete management services, including tenant screening, maintenance, rent collection, rental registration, eviction services, and more. Contact us today if you’re looking for management services in Baltimore, Philadelphia, Northern Virginia, Washington DC, and surrounding counties.