Can You Be Too Old To Invest In Property & Be A Landlord?

Too Old To Invest In Property

I was recently asked to share my “expert” opinion on the elder generation (50+ years old) investing in property, to a seemingly reputable publication focused on personal financial management for pensioners.

I was eager to oblige [even though I’m not an expert] right up until I was informed that my contribution wouldn’t result in any worthwhile recognition. I wasn’t asking for financial compensation, but at the very least, I expected a link back to my blog from the article. That’s reasonable, right? Apparently not.

Okay, well that’s weird, because then I really have no reason to drop my knowledge bombs on foreign grounds, so I might as well do it on here for myself. So here we are!

I’m not 50 years old, in fact, I still have quite a way to go before I hit that terrific milestone. Not bragging, just saying.

However, my dad is a pensioner, and I recently encouraged and helped him invest in property and become a landlord at the tender age of 65 years old.

Spoiler alert: I believe investing in property at an elder age, whether it be before or after retirement can be an awesome chess move, so I’m going to try and articulate – objectively as possible – the points we [me and my dad] considered!

Even though it should be clear as day, I still feel it’s important to stress the fact that I’m not a financial advisor. So you should always seek expert advice from a qualified professional before making any financial decisions. The purpose of this blog is simply to share my personal experience as a property investor and landlord, and not to exert financial advice.

Can you be too old to invest in property?

I appreciate that everyone’s situation is different, especially in regards to health and personal finances, so that’s why I don’t believe there is a one size fits all solution, regardless of age. I don’t believe there is a hard and fast rule to property investing in relation to age.

Ultimately, investing in property can be perfect or reckless for anyone at any age. That’s my key point, and I’ve believed that for the longest time.

Why it made sense for my 65 year old dad to invest in property

So, allow me to walk through the reasons for why I believe it made sense for my dad to invest in property and become a landlord. Perhaps you’ll be able to relate and tick the same boxes.

  • First and foremost, I personally believe property is the best investment; it trumps everything else because of its reliability in producing a good return.
  • Even after investing in property, he would still have an ample amount of cash remaining in his savings accounts, so he wouldn’t be going “all in”, so to speak.
  • He had enough cash to buy the property outright (i.e. he wouldn’t be exposing himself to mortgage debt).
  • Investing in property has been an excellent hedge against inflation. What I mean by that is, history has shown that his money will work harder being invested in property as opposed to being left in a bank account. In short, fiat currency (e.g. the pound sterling) loses value over time due to inflation, whereas property has always go up in value in the long-term.
  • He doesn’t need access to the money. At least for the foreseeable future.
  • The money he allocates to investing is intended to be distributed to his family in his will eventually, so putting some of it in property seems like a sensible way to preserve and strategically diversify his wealth (again, this ties in with fighting inflation).
  • Last but not least, the regular rental income would help comfortably support his living expenses (in combination with his pension).

Essentially, they were the primary and glaringly obvious reasons for why it made sense for my dad – as a pensioner – to allocate some of his money to invest in property. Of course, there were counter arguments and concerns, the primary being “cash is king”

The potential drawbacks of investing in property at an older age

  • The biggest barrier to investing in property at an old age is the limited access to finance. So unless you have the cash to buy outright, it might be a non-starter.

    Very few mortgage lenders, if any, will consider lending money to anyone over the age of 65. And if they do, the amount would be minimal. This is because lenders want mortgage loans repaid by normal retirement age, which of course makes perfect sense. Even someone at the age of 55 would struggle getting a 25 year mortgage; they would most likely only be able to get a 10year mortgage. Most lenders work around the 65 age bracket.

  • Property is largely considered a long-term investment strategy, so that means investing in property increases in risk with age. My biggest concern is that property prices can fluctuate, so in the short-term your property may be worth less than what you paid for it. For the lack of better words, you may not have enough time to wait for prices to bounce back.

    Arguably, this isn’t much of an issue if:

    • You don’t plan on selling
    • You have no mortgage debt

    However, it’s a factor definitely worth bearing in mind.

  • Not exactly directly related to property investment, but stress is definitely an important factor to consider. Buying property and managing tenants can be stressful at any age. Nightmare tenants can be soul-destroying. Dear lord, I can attest to that.

    So I’d seriously consider whether taking on further responsibility during the times we’re supposed to be enjoying life is something you really want to do.

    Despite popular belief, being a landlord is not a passive past-time. That’s what they want you to believe, but from my experience [of nearly two decades in the trenches], that’s certainly not the case. Yes, using a property management service can alleviate some of the pain, from the day-to-day operations to keeping on top of the ever-changing legislations, but there’s nothing that will stop you from feeling the wrath of a tenant that is adamant on stepping out of line, because that’s going to hit you directly in the pocket.

  • Property isn’t a particularly liquid asset, which means you won’t be able to easily convert your investment into cash if you need to do it quickly. Selling property can take time.

Want to learn more about investing in property and becoming a landlord?

Regardless of your age, if you want to learn more to help understand whether or not investing in property is a path you want to pursue, you may want to download my FREE guide for new landlords. It covers a lot of ground, particularly the management side of things, which can help you better understand what happens after you buy a rental property (which can definitely sway your decision on whether investing in property is right for you).

If you’re currently going through the process or contemplating it, I’d love to hear your story. Drop a comment…

2 Join the Conversation...

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Sam 22nd April, 2014 @ 19:43

Interesting post!

I think one of the things older people need to consider is the Hassle factor. My mum is a sprightly 60-something and I've been trying to convince her to invest in property - her reply: "Not a chance, I've seen the sort of tenants you have to deal with"

Fair play - she's right.

Tenants can be a whole lot of hassle which at a later stage in life may not quite be the picture-perfect-postcard of retirement many had in mind!

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Ebenezer Balfour 15th November, 2019 @ 20:04

I have Googled this and apparently Nationwide offer BTL mortgages for those up to 70 years old and offer terms of up to 35 years..

















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