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At What Age Do Real Estate Agents Retire

Thinking about the day you draw your white flag and declare a cease-fire with the market? If you have retirement on your mind, it makes sense to be wondering at what age do real estate agents retire. In reality, agents can retire at any age.

Real estate agents are self-employed business owners. And as it is with every business owner, there is no law stating their retirement age. Realtors can retire anytime they want to retire.

Below we discuss factors affecting your retirement age and give you a strategy to build a retirement plan that may even see your grandchildren through school.

Factors Affecting Retirement Age

Becoming a real estate agent is an exciting journey. Once you have the pulse of the markets, understand lead generation strategies, and taste the thrill of helping families find homes, quitting becomes virtually impossible.

Though it certainly has its downs, there are countless benefits of becoming an estate agent. But if you want a finish line drawn in the sand, here are factors that will determine the age you can call it quits:

Real Estate Start

Your journey in the real estate industry plays a significant role in determining your retirement age. An agent who enrolled in the industry early on in life has more flexibility in choosing a retirement age than an agent who hopped into real estate as a second career.

Since agents work for themselves, there is no cushion of a retirement plan that could still see agents who join the industry in their 50s retire earlier.

Consider two individuals: one who started their career straight out of high school or in their early 20s and another who took the plunge at 50 or even 60.

The former, having spent more years in the field, would have had ample opportunities to establish themselves, build clientele, and, most importantly, accumulate a substantial retirement fund.

On the other hand, someone starting later may face challenges such as less time for financial growth and limited networking opportunities due to a shorter career span. Therefore they might find themselves working into what is traditionally considered ‘retirement age’.

Monthly Expenses

Monthly expenses also affect your retirement age. This time it is not about the type of lifestyle you live, but the type you want to live, plus inflation.

If your current lifestyle costs $3000 a month, this will probably not be your expense once you retire. The foremost reason is that your money will buy less in the future than it does today.

If we imagine a 3.5% inflation continues for the next 20 years, then your cost of living, if it stays exactly the same, will be $5100. That means your yearly expenditure would be $61200 in the next 20 years.

Additionally, once retired, you may want to travel more or indulge in entertainment, options that weren’t feasible during your working years due to time constraints. These additional activities can significantly increase your expenditure.

The question you will have to answer is: how far are you from saving enough for your desired monthly spend? Your proximity to that number will determine how soon you can retire.

With recent pandemics and wars, agents also find themselves caught up in anxiety about the future. Will agents be replaced by AI? Do they have enough savings to guarantee a comfortable lifestyle?

These fears of the unknown can have agents working well beyond their 70s.

Business Goals

Your business goals as a realtor will also influence your retirement age. If your primary aim is to accumulate wealth, then once you reach that financial threshold, you may consider retiring.

However, if your goal extends beyond just monetary gains, perhaps you’re driven by the desire to make a difference in other agents’ lives by sponsoring them. This could extend your working years.

Achieving such profound and fulfilling impacts takes time, so it might delay when you choose to retire.

How to Retire as a Real Estate Agent

Although the age you can retire depends on several factors, how you retire depends on one thing: a solid plan. Having a good income-generating plan will provide you with an exit plan out of real estate:

Build a Referral Business

Retiring from active duty doesn’t have to mean the end of your real estate business. If you have built a good contact list over the years, then I am happy to announce, you have a gold mine on your hands.

When you decide it is time to close shop, you can refer your clients to other agents. You will receive a share of the commission from every transaction you refer.

So, even while you sip cocktails in the Bahamas, you will be enjoying commission inflow. But, instead of the full cut, you can expect around 27% of the agent’s commission.

Remember to keep your license active to receive referral fees. Most states do not permit unlicensed individuals to be paid referral fees.

Read further on this regulation in the article: Do Real Estate Agents Pay Referral Fees?

Teach Real Estate

One of the most rewarding ways to transition from active real estate practice into retirement is by sharing your wealth of experience with budding agents and investors. As an industry veteran, there’s a treasure trove of knowledge you can offer as a real estate coach or mentor.

Consider designing a program that leverages your unique skill set. This could be anything from navigating tricky negotiations and strategies for identifying lucrative investment properties to mastering the art of open houses.

Essentially, any area where you’ve amassed considerable expertise over your career would serve as valuable teaching material.

Package educational videos to share at a price online on your website or on YouTube. After all, YouTube has over 2.70 billion monthly users.

But why stop at coaching? With new programs appearing every day, the coaching landscape is becoming overcrowded.

The solution? You could also take it one step further by becoming a licensed real estate teacher. Many states offer this opportunity, and it presents another avenue for you to share your insights while still earning income in retirement.

Regardless of whether you choose coaching or teaching (or both!), stay on top of market trends. Even in retirement, continuing education remains crucial, not just for maintaining your license but also for ensuring that what you’re imparting to newcomers remains relevant and up-to-date with current market dynamics.

Invest in Real Estate

As a real estate agent, your expertise extends beyond just selling properties. It also includes understanding the ins and outs of property investment. So why not leverage this knowledge for your retirement plan?

One significant advantage you have as an agent is the potential discount when purchasing homes. This can be particularly beneficial if you decide to delve into buying houses and starting your own rental business or flipping them for a tidy profit.

As I discussed in Do Real Estate Agents Get Discounts on Homes, when an agent represents themselves in a sale, they get to keep the commission as the buyer’s agent.  

They can pour this commission back into the property, either towards the mortgage or flipping expenses.

Apart from investing directly in properties, another route worth exploring is investing in brokerages. Many successful real estate firms are publicly traded companies which means they offer shares that anyone can purchase.

By becoming an investor in such firms, you stand to earn dividends, essentially portions of the company’s profits distributed among shareholders, which provide another stream of passive income post-retirement.

These shares are assets you could gift to your children or even grandchildren down the line.

However, remember that all investments come with risks, so it would be wise to conduct careful research and consult with financial advisors before diving headfirst into these ventures.

Join Exp Realty

Exp Realty is an innovative real estate brokerage operating on a unique revenue-sharing system. This platform gives agents the ability to earn residual income, even beyond their active real estate days.

The benefits of joining this program are manifold. As part of the Exp community, you can tap into a network of other successful agents and brokers who share their insights and experiences, thereby enriching your own understanding of the industry.

Most importantly, however, is the potential for continued revenue generation through Exp’s revenue-sharing model. Once you introduce someone to join Exp as an agent or broker and they become a top-performing agent, you receive part of their commission paid to the company.

Exp has a commission cap of $16,000. If an agent hits this annual cap, you earn 3.5% of that cap paid to the company in splits. This means for every agent you sponsor, you receive 3.5% of the $16,000 each agent pays to the company.

This means that if you’ve built up a solid network during your active years in real estate and have mentored some promising talent along the way, there’s potential for consistent income flow even after retirement. So while you may be stepping back from day-to-day operations in property sales or rentals, your earnings don’t necessarily have to stop coming in!

Closing the Door on Your Career

Choosing to retire as an agent relies heavily on personal circumstances and choices. However, retiring doesn’t mean an end to income from real estate. There are several strategies you can employ to keep enjoying cash influx beyond your real estate days.

Next Steps:
Wondering how to start planning retirement?

1. Evaluate your current position: Consider your career stage and assess your living costs now versus projected future costs.
2. Set clear goals: Understand what you want to achieve with your career before deciding on a retirement plan.
3. Develop a strategy: Choose a continual revenue-generating strategy that suits your skills and preferences

What are some other ways that retired real estate agents can continue generating income? Do share any creative ideas or experiences below!

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