How to Buy Your First Investment Property

Thinking about investing in the real estate market but don’t have a single clue where to start? There are many criteria to think of when evaluating an investment property. What makes a good property versus a bad one? How do you determine a good location, how do you evaluate building quality, should you buy a one bedroom or a two bedroom apartment, or maybe a house? Should you buy off the plan or buy an existing property? These are just some of the question you might have and I tell you one thing: I have been there. Because I didn’t know better I trialled and error my way through the process; meanwhile learning along the way with each new property. When investing in real estate, just as any other asset class, what to buy truly depends on your strategy. Flipping properties, long-term rentals, short term rentals, or just parking cash without renting the property are just some of the common strategies and each involves inherent risk. Ultimately a combination of your appetite for risk and willingness to actively work for additional gains determines what type of properties you should invest in.

This being an financial independence blog I am happy to share my personal story and preferences. I opted for buying brand new apartments in multifamily homes and fitted them out myself with aim to rent them out long term. It follows a strategy I picked up from my family and friends who have many more years of experience together than I will ever have. This strategy suited me best as my ultimate goals were to a) minimise work involved in managing and maintaining the properties and b) maximise long term rental yield to create a (fairly) passive income flow. This would allow me to focus on what I really love doing: traveling, learning, and working on my many side projects and dreams.

At this point I do want to point out that I spent just over a year fitting out 5 new apartments in new developments and make them ready to be rented out. I had contractor at times over 20 teams doing pieces of work but the supervision took a fair bit of my time. I did this while spending time with my loved ones (another dream of mine since I worked away from Europe for well over a decade). It wasn’t an easy process, but with each apartment renovation and fit out I learnt and developed myself. Today I’m free to travel the World while managing my apartments remotely with minimal support from some trusted local agents and my parents (mostly for viewings and contract signatures in my name). Whilst coming home to Poland frequently this year I did also spend three months in Bali, almost a month in Thailand, three months in Spain and currently I’m fulfilling one of my oldest dreams traveling South America with my girlfriend since November.

Back to the topic of the post: Even with my (still) limited knowledge and experience, I could probably already write a small book about the various criteria that make up a good investment property versus a bad one. Hence this post is quite an extensive one.

Each market (continent, country, region, city) and the specifics of a property will have their own individual attractiveness (or not). Personally I tend to be on the conservative side when looking at macroeconomics. Ultimately you want to have a combination of a well located property, a legally safe investment, which generates a positive return/ cash flow well above inflation (inflation is location dependent, but typically hovers around 2-3%) given your overall income and expenses. How high the “Return on Investment (ROI)” is depends on your risk appetite. Again, for me personally, I couldn’t care less about the exact ROI as long as it is a safe investment and it allows me to generate enough cash flow to enjoy a good and basic life. Of course the geek in me, enjoys quantifying the exact ROI and my desire to develop constantly drives a hunger for ever increasing ROIs with each investment and translated learnings.

When it comes to investing in property the most common thing you hear when it comes to evaluating the attractiveness of a property is “location, location, location”. You might ask what does this actually mean specifically. When evaluating the local market some of the key decision criteria include the following: Market economics and the the local market are key, as are location and type of the property, the local tax framework, and the potential return on investment (ROI).

My main evaluation criteria for investment properties are:

Market Economics

  • Strength of the Economy
  • Demography
  • Demand for Properties and Property Types
  • Business Growth
  • Infrastructure Investments
  • Foreign Direct Business Investment
  • Tourism Growth
  • Higher Education and Student Numbers

Property Location

  • Neighbourhood Safety
  • Neighbourhood Amenities
  • Public Transportation Options
  • Distance to City Center and Major places of Employment

Specific Property

  • Floor Plan
  • Parking Availability
  • Quality and Reputation of the Builder
  • Transaction Costs
  • Maintenance Cost

Legislation

  • Existing Legislation
  • Existing Tax Framework
  • Potential ROI

Market Economics

Strength of the Economy

The first thing I look at (most people never do unfortunately) is how is the economy is fairing and what potential of growth it has. Generally speaking I prefer to invest in fast growing and developing countries. The reason for this is simple: developing countries’ growth by definition outpaces growth of developed countries. So if I want to take advantage of the accelerated growth and compounding over the long term I will do better investing in developing countries. The average growth rate of the EU for example (source: OECD Statistics) has been anything between -0.4% to 2.9% per annum over the past 7 years. Investing in Poland, a growth engine in Europe, the economy faired far better between 1.4% and 5% growth. My investment there will grow twice or thrice as fast over the next decades if history is any indicator of the future. Of course there are inherent currency risks and risks of war. I just made the assumption that if Poland reverts back to a socialist country and gets invaded once more (as history has shown) it will be World War III in which case it really doesn’t matter where I invested on this planet. So I’m not worrying about these extraordinary circumstances too much. Secondly Poland is developing rapidly and the rental market is far less developed than in Western Europe (only 4% of people rent, versus some 50% in developed countries). This is another opportunity for accelerated growth. In my case earning dollars overseas in my previous job, I also took advantage of the currency exchange rate when buying the local currency to prepare for investments in Poland. If you can take 22% on the exchange rate why wouldn’t you, right? That’s exactly what I’ve done which allowed me to buy an additional small apartment generating a few hundred dollars a month of net positive cash flow. If you plan to invest overseas, make sure you observe the exchange rate for a while.

Demography

Most countries continue to urbanise at rapid pace. Cities are becoming more and more important. This trend has been going on for a long time with some countries being more urbanised already than others (the US and Australia lead the way). Most young professionals (the largest group of potential tenants) typically prefers to live within 5km of the city center. Investigate hence if the place of potential investment is attracting young professionals. Sources that might help you are newspaper articles, the country’s national bureau of statistics, property analyst reports, and other relevant resources. It is also important to look at the growth rate of the total population. Whilst Poland would look pretty poor (it is not growing) the urbanisation trend continues, so investing in cities is safe for now. Additionally Poland will open up, attracting more and more foreigners into the country to maintain the population levels. As the country develops it will attract more Poles to return home as differences in wages will equalise over the coming decades and the standard of living will increase to a Western level. Being there early helps you to capitalise on the opportunity at hand. This is true for many other countries, and has been proven over and over again worldwide. So whether you choose to invest in your country or a foreign take note of the demographics and growth rates of cities prior to investing.

Demand for Properties and Property Types

When I looked at Poland I started investing right at the end of a phase of stagnating property prices. That was luck. What wasn’t luck was my research into the slump and stagnation phase prior to investing. I guesstimated that Polish property prices hit the bottom of the phase in 2016 following 7 years of mediocre capital gains. Wages were rising but property didn’t – this was a good sign. Prices at this stage were stagnating for multiple years and I bet on future growth. Further I chose to invest in a second tier city, Katowice, which is in the middle of a transformation from being an industrial town to a services economy city. Other key markets such as Warsaw and Krakow had prices that were double and triple that of Katowice per square meter, but at the same time salaries were only 15-30% higher in those key cities. As it turns out it was a good choice, as when the property market turned to growth in Poland Katowice remains the fastest growing city when it comes to property prices in Poland. In 2017 some estimates vary between 21 to 27% gain in property prices making up for the difference to the other key markets. Look out of these kind of opportunities when selecting the city where you want to invest in. Overall my investments appreciated by 53% since I commenced buying property in Katowice (including some Forex windfall). Of course and again, I couldn’t care less in the short term, as I’m doing this for the long term investment and capital gains are not feeding me on a daily basis – the rental cash flow is plus my side projects.

A word of caution, never get the ‘fear of losing out’ get to you. When everybody is storming into the banks for loans to take out for a new property, ignore everybody. It’s as simple as that. It is never a good idea to buy at that time. You losing out on your negotiation power, you know it is overpriced, and what is overpriced will come back to reality eventually. I waited 15 years for Australia to go into a property bear market and get back to reality when it comes to property prices. In my opinion this year is going to be a tough one for many over leveraged Australian property owners and investors. Many friends and colleagues were telling me to buy as soon as I can and get into the housing market when I lived there but simply found it way too expensive. If I did I would be paying off a mortgage for another 20 years now instead of drinking the metaphorical Pina Colada on a beach in South America. So be wary of following the masses. It is rarely if not ever a great idea. Another good example is BitCoin in 2017… what a boom that was. Rarely have I experienced such craze in my life and I am thankful that I didn’t invest back then either.

When it comes to the property type I found that smaller properties (one bedroom and studios) are hot items in most markets especially when their are fitted at the upper end of the spectrum. Whereas larger properties not necessarily as less people want to rent when having a family – they rather own or build their house where possible. Personally I also prefer to rent out my properties to single, young, professionals who are busy with their life outside of the apartment mostly. Less usage of the property is extending the life of the investment before a major renovation is due. Overall I prefer having smaller apartments as they are easier to rent, easier to sell (liquidate), and spread my risk across various buildings. If I had all my apartments in one building and this one building would get damaged I would risk loosing my entire income stream at once. Not a scenario I am willing to entertain.

Business Growth

Investigate which businesses have recently invested in the market setting up offices or expanding operations. If business is good, work places are being created, expanding demand for property. This will positively affect property price changes over the long term. The other way around investigate that existing industries are not under threat of disappearing, reducing employment in the region and negatively affecting property price changes. The worst mistakes I have seen unexperienced investors perform in Australia was to invest in remote towns catering for high risk projects. The entire local economy depended on one company doing some large investment but there is no guarantee these business will stay on forever. Many people got stuck after the Mining boom ended in Australia with property mortgages over 30 years. Can you imagine paying back a heavily overvalued house mortgage over 20 more years after a Business shut down? Bleeding thousands of dollars a month and not being able to sell the property as demand simply disappeared. Detroit might ring another bell of a bankrupt city in the US following the demise of the automotive industry. Invest in a well balanced city that is attracting diversified industries.

Infrastructure Investments

You can look up planned infrastructure investments, zoning plans, and other important plans with the local city council (usually). Focusing on infrastructure investments for a moment, these can provide significant value add to your property. Especially if you buy in knowing of these beforehand – Knowledge is Power. For instance a new tram line (or other transport) is planned to connect a suburb, in which I invested heavily in, making commuting to and from the city center much easier for inhabitants. A new shopping center was established across the development complex making life in that suburb easier for my tenants. New city bike stations were build at the entrance of two of the buildings I bought apartments in. Meanwhile streetlights are improved, bike paths are built, roads are improved or built, and new public transportation routes are established. These are just some of the examples of infrastructure investments that increase the value of your property in the future.

Foreign Direct Business Investments

This is one of my favourite statistics and fact checks. Have a look at the amount of Services Industries Growth/ Investment. Key Industries to watch out for are Financial Services, Telecommunications, and Technology. Recently Amazon, IBM, Oracle, SAP, and other major IT giants have invested in my city of principal investment, Katowice, Poland. Tech being the key growth industry globally since the 1990s is a major indicator of where money is flowing. Suffice it to say that property prices increase 41% since Invested a couple years ago. Major international corporations investing is a good sign. I am already looking at Biotech and Healthcare Services providers are these are industries of the future in my opinion and will merge with technology.

Tourism Growth

Personally not a huge fan of short term rentals, and not practicing this at all, it is still wise to investigate the viability of your investment property for short term rental. Often this pays a higher return, but income can fluctuate, being seasonal, and generally it is riskier in my view to rent out to complete strangers while being on the other side of the world. Tourism numbers, growth of annual airport passengers for the property location. Look also at other indicators such as overall conference space, hotel beds growth number, number of international events, etc. Don’t forget to have a look at potentially competing existing or a growing number of booking.com and AirBNB properties.

Higher Education and Student Numbers

I think one of the key drivers for the services sector led business growth and investment is the availability of well skilled young talent at your fingertips. Hence looking at the overall number of students and its development over the years is a key criteria for an investment area. Again whilst I do not practice this, I learnt that converting large and old apartments into multiple dorm like student accommodations is a very lucrative business in a place of high growth student numbers. Returns of 30% are not unheard of in my city, but I’m not in the business to exploit young students and maximising on this opportunity. Ethics play an important role for me in business.

Property Location

Neighbourhood Safety

Nobody wants to live in a dangerous neighbourhood. From an investment perspective I prefer to invest into established neighbourhoods. They come at a premium price but as I mentioned before I prefer to invest safely with lower risk. Statistics are usually available in local newspapers (their websites these days), by checking out local real estate portals who often survey folks, or by simply talking to people and asking them where they would feel the safest. I know of plenty of investor investing in up and coming neighbourhoods to maximise their potential return but this comes at the risk the a neighbourhood will pull an 180 on you and you might experience losses instead of gains longer term.

Neighbourhood Amenities

This is probably one of the most important factors considering in which neighbourhood to invest in. The value of a property may significantly rise when you own a property that has all convenience factors provided walking distance and/ or very near by: Convenience stores, a larger supermarket, doctors, schools, restaurants, a pharmacy, a park or recreational area, and banking facilities are some of the daily amenities you want to have in your neighbourhood. Some people like to think of facilities of worship as well, but personally I think it’s better if they are further away given the masses it attracts and the noise it can produce.

Public Transportation Options

Investigate what the opportunities are to avoid driving your car to areas of major employment and the city center. The better the public transportation infrastructure available the easier it will be to rent out your property, short or longterm. Whilst acceptable commuting times vary from city to city and country to country, make sure your property lies within the locally acceptable limits.

Distance To City Center and Major areas of Employment

When evaluating the potential investment property it is wise to understand the distance and route to major work clusters. Distance to the city center or major recreational areas is also very important to your potential tenant. Nobody wants to pay big money to live in the sticks or commuting unnecessarily longer than required.

Floor plan

When looking at floor plans I tend to first evaluate the location within the building. What floor is it on, and if it’s not ground floor is there at least one lift available? Typically a lift will increase you maintenance costs significantly but as my strategy is to cater for high end customers this is kind of a non-negotiable for me. Make sure that if there is a lift you don’t buy the ground floor apartment since you pay for the lift anyways in most circumstances, so might as well buy higher  up.

The second thing I look at the natural light entering the apartment. I assess (from the floorplan) the orientation of the windows towards the rising, midday, and setting sun. If you prefer (most people do) as much natural light as possible, a South Eastern orientation is the most desired. Of course if somebody prefers shade the opposite direction is the best. I also evaluate the light that enters the apartment. For me the more the better, it rents out easier when you have bright apartment rather than a dungeon. The higher the floor the more light, the lower the floor the less light.

Next I look for balconies, terraces, and garden space attached to the unit. I found that apartments with terraces (especially large ones) are a) very rare, and b) provide you with a premium uplift for your rentals. All my apartments with a large terraces generate slightly higher than normal return and income for me. Look out for gems like this.

Let’s talk a little about the interior design. For my first apartment I hired a professional to help me with the interior design. A great experience but it also cost me a significant amount of additional expenses. You do not only pay the interior designer, but also take recommendations on building materials, how to fit out, and decorate the apartment. I found that by doing the interior design at about half the price I paid for my first apartment, and it doesn’t look half price but quite similar in terms of quality and design. Often interior designer might recommend a carpenter or builder and I strongly believe they would take a few percentage points of a cut for their recommendation – so you pay for this without really knowing. Ever since I found my own team of builders and my carpenter I significantly reduced the fitting costs. I also got better and hunting or deals on building materials and buying in bulk. So now that we discussed the overall interior design let’s talk about the things I look out for when assessing the floor plan. I typically look at assessing the bedroom(s): is it big enough to fit a large double bed (queen size at least) and a large wardrobe? Is the door opening taking valuable space for a wardrobe? If so maybe look for a better floor plan. Is the corridor taking too much space compared to the overall size of the apartment? Anything more than 15% of the overall space is too much in my view as you pay for space you cannot utilise and nobody is going to pay you for space they can’t really use. How large is the bathroom; watch out for impractical bathrooms (door should open outwards ideally, it should fit a large tub or walk-in shower (>80cm width) and if possible fit a washing machine, sink, small cupboard.

Now, let’s imagine the living room, is there space for a comfortable couch, a coffee table and/or a dining table, and space enough to hang a larger TV? Is the afternoon light going to shine directly onto the TV making it unusable? These are little things I found that complete using and renting out a property. 

Lastly, one of the biggest challenges I found with tenants is the amount of stuff they have. For me completely unimaginable to hoard so many things, I found that many tenants would reconsider renting a place because of the lack of storage space inside and outside of the apartment. When evaluating a property look at the available common storage space (for bikes, prams, etc.) and also storage space you can purchase with the apartment. Even a small chamber/ box will make life so much easier for these renters and they are willing to pay for it. Having the storage space will increase the value of your apartment compared to others that don’t.

Parking availability

Land becomes scarcer in cities, while a growing amount of singles in the West tend to drive empty cars around the city causing massive challenges to city transportation and infrastructure planners. I did the mistake of buying an upper class two bedroom unit with only a single car space. Not considering that a couple, both working might need at least two car spaces, I didn’t anticipate the renting out the flat would be more difficult. Every couple that could afford to rent the unit had at least two cars. Think about your prospective tenants’ requirements for parking when evaluating your investment. In another example I bought a unit from a developer that did there mere minimum as per local legislation. The developers built one car space per unit, it didn’t matter if you bought a 40sqm or 150sqm unit, you were only allowed to purchase one car space. It took me over a year to acquire a second car space – suffice it to say I rented the car space out at a premium and attracted the right tenant for my property.

Quality and Reputation of the Builder

Probably one of the most overlooked items when people look for their first apartment. Developing a apartment complex on a loan can be a dangerous game. Many developers and builders are stretched in times of economic boom as personal is not easily available to be hired, disappears to hunt the next best offer and material prices are usually going up. Builders and Developers frequently go bust and disappear off the market. When you buy, make sure your developers has as little as possible debt (ideally none), has a perfect track record of investments in the past, and has sold a significant amount of units to fund the development till the end. You can request their financials and court filings to assure yourself on how the development is being funded in many cases. You can visit previous developments and have a look on how the looks 5 years later, 10 years, later, etc. If they have something to hide, you should notice it through your discussion with them and by asking the right questions, and maybe reconsider. Anything you are unsure regarding a future development make sure you have documented in writing by the Developer. They will often tell you anything just to sell you a property and later conveniently forget that they agreed verbally to something. I had this with a property when I was too naive to put a particular point into writing. It is very hard to proof something later if you haven’t documented it in writing.

Transactions costs

Be aware of all costs involving the purchase of a property. There might be agency/ realty fees, legal fees, notary fees, stamp duties and other taxes involved that can increase the property price by several percentage points. In extreme cases you might have to pay additional taxes for being a foreigner. Please make sure you are fully aware of all costs involved to avoid unpleasant surprises. In my case have never paid an agent to do my work for me. I’m a self starter and prefer to get things done quick and directly. I find agent commission fees all around the World way to exaggerated. This is own personal opinion and I do not discourage you from using agency services where they are appropriate and priced at value.

Maintenance Costs

This is probably one of the hidden items most people simply do no care about but it can make a huge difference on the lifetime return on investment for your property. When buying brand new property owners associations are often not established and a maintenance contract is not signed. The developer usually takes care of maintaining the building for a while. It differs from country to country and even within a single country. These costs to pay a cleaner, a gardener, an insurance company, common area water and electricity, window cleaning, technical maintenance of common property etc. vary by building and level of amenities. Generally the more convenient it is to live in an apartment block the more expensive it gets. I have seen a lot of cheating going on in this space and if a particular fraction has the majority of voting rights, you can get scammed badly. I used to loose about 2,000 dollars a year in one particular property because owners are being cheated. The developer who kept the majority of the building for himself (and the associated voting rights) voted himself to be the building manager and administrator setting up astronomical prices for services rendered between his secretary (administrator, employee) and himself (owner, administrator). Most owners didn’t mind paying triple the market rate, but I wouldn’t be the Financial Gladiator if I didn’t uncover this. It took a fair bit of effort and many letters, threats, intimidation attempts. But today I reduced the costs already by 40% with another 20% to go. I hence prefer larger developments these days from reputable developers and builders. The hustle is not worth it, trust me. Do you homework unlike I did when I purchased buy first apartment from an unknown developer. Like a certain famous president he was a brilliant Conman and I did not see the cheating coming at all. He ripped the owners off right, left, and center on every single occasion he could. My ROI for the apartment used to be 4.5% and I increased it through my additional work to 5.7% today. 1.2% net on 220,000US is 2,640USD or an amazing month of travel in Bolivia, Indonesia, Thailand, or similar. So every percent counts regarding your investments. Make sure you clearly understand what maintenance costs might look like or who will the building manager and administrator. If this can’t be told at the time of decision make sure you at least understand the process for selection and appointment.

Legislation

Existing Legislation

This is probably the least understood area of real estate. Knowing your rights and obligations pays out big time and can avoid unnecessary stress and sleepless nights. Before you purchase a property understand what the process looks like. Key points are when the deed transfers and when money transfers. There are no stupid questions so ask your lawyer and the notary as much as you can possibly think of – they take a lot of money, so don’t be shy.

If you plan to renovate, understand what, when, how you can do to a building or not! Being fined is the least of your problems; but not being able to rent out your please because your renovation was not in line with requirements put forward by law might kill you investment for years.

After you become the owner and any renovations are completed, trust me when I say, that simply downloading a lease agreement off the internet is not good enough. I spent a good few hours with a lawyer going through constructing the now ‘standard’ lease agreement. Having said that I’m constantly learning and modifying it to incorporate learning from other landlords from all around the world. I am part of several Facebook groups and Reddit groups to read and learn from other likeminded spirits. Legislation can change so be aware of the upcoming changes that might affect you. Every country has their own legislative framework so understanding it is part of running your passive income business. A good lease agreement protects your rights and the ones of the tenant. Be aware.

Existing Tax Framework

Tax can have a great impact on your return on investment. Land Tax, Property Tax, Income Tax, and or other taxes become a cost of renting out your investment property. Unless you understand what your doing exactly, make sure you invest in the services of a trusted accountant who can help you through the jungle of potential applicable taxes for a given property. There is nothing wrong with going to an accountant to simulate the tax impact of investing into a real estate property. In fact unless you are well versed in the tax legislation of the country you want to invest in (or your home country) spend the handful of dollars to understand it precisely. When I first invested in Poland I understood I had to pay 8.5% rental income tax (what a bargain in global comparison). Legislation since has changed a few time (the perks of investing in a developing country) but I keep taps on the changes and understand the impact on my cash flow.

Return on Investment (ROI)

Ultimately you want to understand the return on investment. If you are as conservative as me and don’t subscribe to gambling investing in equities you need to assess if the investment is worth the money. My general rule of thumb is: If I get significantly more out of my investment in property than if you were leave the money in a high interest savings account (this sounds paradoxical even today) then do not invest your hard earned cash. Counting on property appreciation, negatively gearing, and other crazy constructs, are idiotic in times of central banks flooding the market with freshly printed notes. The ROI needs to be positive after all maintenance fees and taxes taken out; in addition it needs to be more positive than leaving the money in a savings account (which usually is slightly above inflation if you are shopping around). So in my example if my savings account is generating 2% on average in Poland and taxes are 19% on capital gains, I need to have a return of from the rental income after taxes and all fees of at least 1.62% to break even. With a +6% net average return on rental income I am in save territory; very safe. An almost 400% higher return than leaving my money in the bank is a gold mine these days. I couldn’t live of 1.62% of my capital investment easily, but I can do so almost like a king on more than 6%.

So how can you you estimate the potential net return on investment on your capital put into property? Well, first of all be conservative. Have a look on property websites (they differ from region to region or country to country) to ascertain how much similar properties to the one you are eyeing are being rented out for. Rent per square meter or square foot are the most common denominator which you will need to ascertain and compare. For example if a property costs 200,000US including transaction costs and any renovations you have to do to it, your associated costs to maintain the property as well as pay taxes are $7000 a year and you can generate (a conservative!) $20,000 a year you divide your net income (20,000-7,000) by the investment: so 13,000/200,000=6.5%. If you can achieve this return you can consider yourself happy in my book. Of course this excludes any potential capital gains (or losses). Of course there are better returns available, but it depends on your risk appetite and willingness to work additional hours (i.e. short term rentals). So when you assess your property investment return, I beg you to be conservative. Looking at rental units take 10% of the expected rental price at least, and assume 15%-25% vacancy, expected 20% higher maintenance costs and if you leverage via a banking loan (which I absolutely don’t subscribe to), please estimate what your ROI would look like with an 100% increase in mortgage payments. If the numbers still stack up, go for it. I believe you will be able to manage if you need to. Otherwise do not touch the property.

So that’s the time, after a long 6,000 words almost, that I would love to hear from you. Do you plan to buy your first investment property, or are you already a savvy property investor and are willing to share your opinion and advice. Love to hear it.

For Freedom and to Live Your Dreams,
Your Financial Gladiator


Listen to the Podcast here:


About: This Financial Gladiator retired early at age 34 by investing most of his savings in a small real estate portfolio in Eastern Europe. Today he saves approximately 75% of his income while roaming the world and occasionally teaching as a Scuba Instructor on tropical islands. It helps him to keep fit while doing what he loves – teaching, traveling, and scuba diving. He called quits following a successful 13 year career in Information Technology throughout which he saved between 30-40% of his net income annually. Before he quit he positioned himself in a role he suspected was going to be made redundant eventually. The day arrived quickly and he ensured not to leave without a retrenchment package reducing the need to work and save 3 more years. His real estate portfolio draws a return high enough to pay him twice his annual expenses, allowing him to continue to build up his retirement portfolio while enjoying 100% freedom today.

Disclaimer: All information provided on this site is for informational purposes only and does not constitute professional financial advice.

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