It's the start of another year and I hope your reading this while still on holiday and enjoying a break.
The start of a new year is an excellent opportunity to reflect on your property investments and identify if you are still on track to reach your goals. I find that the relaxed environment and extra time to contemplate is really helpful for long term planning. Without all the usual hectic activities of daily life, it is wonderful to have the time to think more deeply and actually talk about what you want from life.
It isn't always easy to think about what you want from life and the answer can evolve and change over time. Seeing what others have achieved provides wonderful examples of what you could do yourself and gives you motivation at the same time.
I've been a part of the property investment association for 18 years now and have been inspired at watching members move through their investment career and start to reap the rewards of all their hard work.
Extended travel seems to be the common theme among many, perhaps reliving the Big OE taken earlier in life. How they handle the transition is interesting. Some have paid down debt to be mostly debt free, while others are selling some rentals to pay off debt on others and increase their passive income. Some are selling rentals and diversifying into shares.
The logistics of where to live is also interesting. Some have downsized while others have traded the family home for a home and income, then rented out the "home part" and used the "income" part as somewhere to live when they are back in the country. Some use their holiday home when back in New Zealand and rent it out when they are away, helping to pay for their overseas accommodation. Another is contemplating selling the family home, investing the proceeds and becoming a tenant themselves in furnished accommodation. If they want to move to another city or country, they just give three weeks' notice and off they go.
Motorhomes and house sitting in New Zealand and around the world are other options for retirement accommodation.
Travel isn't the only activity though, with more time with friends and family being another bonus of having done well through property. Some are even giving back through joining groups like habitat for humanity and helping young people build their own homes.
For others, not having to work just means more time to continue investing in property or helping their kids to do so.
When I first met many of these people, the reason they were investing in property was often summed up in one word. Freedom.
They were working towards providing a future where they had the freedom to do whatever they wanted and not being confined to working to pay the bills. By owning property rentals and reducing or eliminating some of their major expenses, such as the mortgage, they have achieved this freedom.
So if you are taking a break over this holiday period, take some time to contemplate what freedom means for you. When your back at work and handling issues with your rentals, perhaps this vision of freedom will make it all that little bit easier to cope with.