We met Len and Dana in 2008 where they had been working towards a strategy of acquiring multiple properties for a cash flow positive investment outcome from these assets in retirement. At age 50, they were feeling unsure of their next step and whether they could sustain the expense and risk of additional properties and associated liabilities.

We initially looked to identify what sort of retirement they envisaged for themselves and what that journey would look like along the way. It became apparent that the multiple property strategy was becoming overwhelming, consuming significant personal time to manage the associated “paperwork” and there was a lack of confidence over their net cash flow position. In addition, retirement was looming in 8 years – this placed considerable pressure on those assets to deliver returns to both cover the associated liabilities and provide a retirement income.

One of the issues identified early was that there was an emotional connection associated with some of the property holdings as family members were renting the properties. This required assistance in taking out the emotional aspect, determining whether these assets were actually performing and assessing the best strategy as to the retention or sale of the property(ies) as they neared retirement.

As the properties were a significant driver in delivering the resources necessary for their retirement plans, changes in property valuations and their personal plans have resulted in the need for ongoing revision so as to fit in with their goals. This has included bringing forward their retirement date and reconsidering the timing of property sales.

Due to the complexity that comes with managing multiple properties we have been instrumental in deriving a tax and cash flow management plan that allows them to continue to function on a regular basis, yet still be able to direct surplus cash to those areas which optimise their position the most.

There have also been opportunities accessed which are associated with various superannuation strategies as well as the management of investment loan repayments, so as to minimise the capital gains impact as a result of potential property sales.

Ensuring that that their retirement plan unfolds as they would like has required careful consideration of their insurance requirements, these needs have been reviewed multiple times as their circumstances changed over time.

Len and Dana are now 56 and enjoying the goal of semi-retirement and embarking on their caravan expedition around Australia. They will return to their dream home, recently built in the metro coastal suburbs.