Retirement Won’t Wait for You Forever

By Lorraine Beato

Several months ago, I had a tough conversation with one of my good friends and fellow Realtors. She is nearing 60, and we were having one of the conversations that I think you start to have more and more of as you approach that “magic number” of decades. Unfortunately for my friend, that conversation was not going very well. 

“My back hurts. I have been driving buyers around for weeks, and I’m going to be selling real estate until I’m at least 70!” she moaned. 

I was shocked. My colleague is a top producer in our market and has been for years. She brings in a lot of commissions. She is really, really good. How could this have happened? Was she still suffering fallout from the housing crash? Had she experienced some sort of financial catastrophe and kept it a secret? 

All of these things ran through my head as she continued, describing how she is seeing our mutual friends retire and enjoy what are likely to be decades of active life pursuing their passions and enjoying their families. She miserably concluded, “I just hope the market doesn’t tank. I just need something big to happen.”

I realized then she could not even define for me what that “something big” would be. Then, I realized I had the answer: self-directed retirement investing. It probably sounds simple to a lot of you reading this, but the truth is that the vast majority of small-business owners, entrepreneurs, and even classically employed, successful 9-to-5 employees have no idea that the world of self-directed retirement is out there. They have no idea self-directing could enable them to generate returns and take control of their lives today and in the future. 

No one had ever talked to my friend about how her own experience and expertise should be leveraged to build wealth, create passive income, and invest in herself as well as in her clients and her broker’s bottom line. You had better believe I started talking! We talked about how long she had been in the business. We talked about how she would be perfectly positioned to spot great investment properties. We talked about how her unique expertise created an ideal position for her from which to invest. Then, we got into the details and she started to see some real light at the end of the tunnel. 

It was like someone had flipped a light switch.

If you have not yet actively considered self-directing your retirement investments, I beg you to start that process today. You do not have to be an experienced real estate agent to do this; all you have to do is be willing to seek out the expertise you lack and leverage the expertise that you possess. There are few things more powerful than a strategically positioned retirement account in the hands of a dedicated self-directed investor. It’s time for all of us to flip the switch, see the light, and begin self-directing our own investments and our own futures. 

Lorraine Beato is a self-directed investor, a Realtor with PalmerHouse Properties, and the author of the newly published ebook Flip the Switch. Learn more about how she teaches real estate agents to become real estate investors by emailing Lorraine at