How Many Rental Properties To Retire [2023]

Have you ever asked the question how many rental properties do I need to retire? One of the best ways of earning passive income is through investing in real estate, but if this is done right, this can also act as a steady cash flow that can be bequeathed to your loved ones after you pass away.

How Many Rental Properties To Retire?
How Many Rental Properties To Retire [2023] 11

In the case of rental properties, investing in rental real estate for retirement means that you earn income from the properties, but you won’t need to pay for the expenses, as your tenants pay these instead. 

This begs the question, how many rental properties does one need to retire comfortably?

The answer isn’t straightforward for everybody, as everyone has a different picture of their retirement (Find out the 5 stages of retirement). 

Even so, we’ll cover the answer in this article, including how much passive income you should aim to earn, things to consider when obtaining passive earnings through rental real estate, and any potential expenses you need to bear in mind. 

It’s Not A Straightforward Subject

You can estimate how many rental properties you might need to retire with several formulas, but these will vary with everyone depending on your aims and lifestyle.

There isn’t any single formula that can work out how many rental properties you might need and the ideal portfolio you will need to retire with. 

Remember that all the advice below needs to be considered alongside your present living situation, current market, where you live, and other significant factors.

Despite this, you can still estimate and get a rough idea of how many rental properties you should aim to own.

After you have worked this out, you can begin your journey and work at achieving your retirement objectives. 

The Calculations

Guy doing calculations
How Many Rental Properties To Retire [2023] 12

To figure out how much rental income you’ll need to retire with, you will need to carry out calculations.

These formulas are:

  • Monthly total required for retirement ÷ cash flow for each rental property = how many rental properties are required
  • Cash flow = Revenue – Expenses

In this case, your revenue source will mostly be from the rent that your tenants pay. Expenses are your mortgage, taxes, interest, home maintenance, and several other elements.

For example, say that once you retire, you will need to earn $9,000 every month to maintain your present lifestyle. 

You then buy some rental properties, then work out that your average cash flow for each rental property is $500.

To determine how many properties you need to retire, you would divide $9,000 by $500. 

$9,000 ÷ $500 = 18 assets

You will need to buy 18 properties to be on target for your retirement goals. However, you need to consider other expenses, like surprise events and renovations.

18 properties are also a lot to deal with, so landlord insurance would be another wise expense! 

Fund Your Retirement

Many people choose to invest in rental properties to fund their retirement. 

Renting a property can provide a stable and reliable income stream while avoiding compromising your principal. 

Rental properties can also offer tax advantages, which can significantly help reduce your overall retirement expenses. 

Before starting a new real estate investment career, it’s important to figure out how many rental homes you’ll need before you retire. 

By understanding what type of property you’re looking for, you’ll be able to choose the ideal investment strategy better and select the correct property niche. 

These milestones can help you better understand how close you are to retiring and what needs to be done to make that happen.

Figuring Out Yearly Retirement Costs

To begin working out your yearly retirement expenses, look at your present spending situation.

Some of us have a rough idea of our yearly costs but aren’t sure what the accurate amount is. 

You can track your spending habits through spreadsheets like Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets.

Various apps and websites are also available that can make this easier. 

Tracking your expenses can be tricky, but this will become easier with practice.

You’ll also see how tracking your expenses helps give you a better picture of your financial situation, helping you make smarter financial goals and decisions. 

Goals For Your Retirement Real Estate

row of houses
How Many Rental Properties To Retire [2023] 13

As you approach retirement, it’s crucial to think about your goals for your real estate holdings. 

If you’re hoping to generate rental income, for example, you’ll want to consider the type of property that will appeal to tenants and the potential return on investment. 

It’s also important to consider whether you’ll be able to manage the property yourself or need to hire a property management company. 

By thinking about your goals in advance, you can ensure that your real estate portfolio is well-positioned to meet your needs in retirement.

When it comes to retirement real estate, rental income is often the name of the game. 

By sourcing and investing in quality rental properties, you can provide yourself with a steady stream of income that can help cover your costs in retirement. 

Of course, managing a rental property can be a full-time job in itself. As such, you may want to consider enlisting the help of a property management company. 

Doing so ensures that your rental property is well-maintained and generates the maximum rental income. 

In other words, a property management company can help you turn your retirement real estate goals into reality.

Monthly Income Needed To Maintain A Lifestyle

Remember that different locations will produce different amounts of rental income. The cost of living and the price of properties also varies with each state.

How Many Rental Properties To Retire?
How Many Rental Properties To Retire [2023] 14

There isn’t going to be a single amount of rentals that you will need to retire with, so you will need to create a plan that’s tailored to your circumstances. 

You will need to work out the following:

  • Your living expenses
  • The monthly amount you will need to maintain these expenses, including savings
  • Rental income required to achieve this

After you’ve worked out how much money you need to earn every month, you can backpedal from this point to determine the number of rental properties needed. 

Rental Income

Rental income is money earned from renting a property to tenants. 

This can be an excellent way to make extra money, but it is vital to consider the associated costs and risks before investing in rental properties.

Rental income can be used to cover the cost of ownership, such as mortgage payments, taxes, and insurance. 

It can also provide a source of passive income, which can be used to supplement other sources of income or (in the case of retired individuals) replace them entirely. 

However, rental properties can also be expensive and time-consuming to manage, and there is always the risk that tenants will damage the property or fail to pay rent. 

As with any investment, rental properties come with both risks and rewards. Careful consideration should be given to both before making a decision.

Rental properties can provide a steady stream of income, which can be a welcome addition to your financial portfolio. 

Rental income can help improve cash flow. Selecting properties that are in demand and well-maintained to maximize rental income is crucial. 

It is also important to price the rental properties competitively. By carefully managing rental properties, you can enjoy the financial benefits of rental income.

Adapting Present Expenses For Retirement

How Many Rental Properties To Retire [2023] 15

Once you’ve worked out your current spending habits, you can start adapting these to work towards your retirement goals.

You will need to factor in inflation when doing this and make allowances for earning cuts or extra expenses that you may incur. 

What might you spend money on before and while in retirement?

This stage is most likely the most challenging part of this process, as you have to try and foresee your financial status in the future, predicting as best as you can.

Make sure that you consider any possible expenses linked with the following:

  • Work(commute, etc.)
  • Holidays
  • Healthcare bills
  • Monthly food costs
  • Insurance
  • Cars and other vehicles
  • Leisure and hobbies

There might be other changes that you may not have control over, including:

  • Interest rate changes (increasing mortgage costs)
  • Tax rate changes
  • Surprise events

These will make it even harder to calculate an estimate. Despite this, do attempt to make on with the information you can gather, including the factors you can control.

Remember to give yourself some wiggle room, though this will depend on your final total. 

Which Rental Properties Should You Purchase

housing subdivision
How Many Rental Properties To Retire [2023] 16

Now you need to consider the rentals you might like to invest in. The following factors are important:

  • Property type
  • Location
  • Price
  • Rental earnings

It’s best to invest in rentals that have the greatest return. 

Compare the rental rates and expenses of properties within the US, then work out where the most profitable location is. 

When you work out your rental income, use the yearly average rent rate of homes with comparable values instead of the present rate.

The rate might be affected by changing demand and the season. 

Multifamily Real Estate Investments

Multi family
How Many Rental Properties To Retire [2023] 17

Multifamily real estate investing refers to purchasing rental properties with more than one housing unit. 

These investments offer many advantages, including a higher rental income, positive cash flow, and potential tax benefits. 

For these reasons, multifamily real estate investing has become increasingly popular in recent years. 

However, it is important to note that these investments can also be riskier than other types of rental properties. 

As such, it is essential to research and consult with a professional before making any decisions.

Multifamily real estate investing can be a great way to generate rental income and build long-term wealth. 

When done right, rental properties can provide a steady cash flow that can help offset ownership costs. 

Additionally, rental properties can appreciate in value over time, providing a nice return on investment. 

For all of these reasons, multifamily real estate investing can be a great way to build wealth over the long term. 

Of course, as with any type of investing, risks are involved. 

The most successful investors are those who do their homework and take the time to carefully evaluate each opportunity before making a commitment. 

By taking a cautious and disciplined approach, however, it is possible to minimize risk and maximize returns in the world of multifamily real estate investing.

Inflation And Multifamily Real Estate

Inflation is one of the most important factors when investing in rental properties. 

Over time, the cost of living will inevitably increase, directly impacting rental rates. As inflation goes up, so too will rental rates. 

This is good news for investors, as it means that their rental income will increase along with the cost of living. 

However, it’s important to remember that not all rental markets are equally affected by inflation. 

In some markets, rental rates may rise more slowly than the overall cost of living, while in others, they may fall. 

As such, it’s important to do your homework before investing in rental properties. 

By carefully analyzing the local market, you can better understand how inflation will likely affect rental rates in the future.

As an asset class, multifamily real estate tends to be relatively resilient to inflationary pressures. 

This is because rental properties generate income that can offset the impact of rising prices. 

In addition, cash flow from rental properties can provide a hedge against inflation, as it can be used to cover increases in operating expenses. 

As a result, multifamily real estate can be a valuable investment in an inflationary environment.

What Is Cash On Cash Return In Real Estate

return on investment
How Many Rental Properties To Retire [2023] 18

Cash on cash return is a key metric for real estate investors. 

It measures the annual pre-tax return on a rental property based on the net income that the property generates. 

To calculate cash on cash return, you simply divide the property’s annual net income by its total investment costs.

For example, let’s say you purchase a rental property for $200,000, and it generates $20,000 in net income each year. Your cash-on-cash return would be 10% ($20,000/$200,000).

While cash on cash return is a helpful metric, it’s important to remember that it doesn’t consider the property’s appreciation. 

In other words, it doesn’t give you the complete picture of your potential return on investment. 

Nevertheless, it’s still a valuable metric for real estate investors to track.

The cash-on-cash metric allows investors to compare the expected returns of different properties. 

As such, it should be used as one piece of information when making investment decisions.

Benefits Of Using Rental Property To Generate Retirement Income

For many, a rental property can be a great way to generate retirement income. 

By owning and renting out one or more properties, you can create a regular income stream that can help cover your living expenses in retirement. 

The key to success is choosing your properties and managing them carefully. Look for properties that are located in desirable areas and that are well-maintained. 

You’ll also want to ensure you charge enough rent to cover your costs and generate a positive cash flow. 

If you can do this, a rental property can be a great way to secure your financial future.

Tax Benefits Of Rental Property Income

real estate tax
How Many Rental Properties To Retire [2023] 19

As a real estate investor, it’s important to know the tax benefits of rental property income. 

Rental income is considered taxable, but you can take a few deductions to reduce your tax liability. 

For example, you can deduct repairs, maintenance, and insurance expenses. 

You can also deduct depreciation, which is a reduction in the value of your property due to wear and tear. 

These deductions can significantly reduce the taxes you owe on your rental income. 

So if you’re looking to invest in rental property, be sure to keep these tax benefits in mind.

Passive Income Investment Properties

For many people, retirement income is a top financial priority. 

Unfortunately, traditional retirement vehicles like pensions and 401(k)s often fall short, leaving retirees struggling to make ends meet. 

One way to supplement retirement income is to invest in passive income properties. 

Passive income properties generate rental income without requiring the owner to be actively involved in day-to-day management. 

This hands-off approach makes passive income investments an ideal retirement strategy for real estate investors. 

Investing in a few well-chosen properties can create a steady stream of retirement income that can last for years.

Grow Your Equity Over Time

suitcase cash
How Many Rental Properties To Retire [2023] 20

As a real estate investor, it’s important to know how your equity can grow over time. 

Equity is the portion of your investment that you own outright. It grows as the value of your property increases and as you make payments on your mortgage. 

You can also grow your equity by improving your property to increase its value. The more properties you own, the greater your equity will be. And, as your equity grows, so does your net worth. 

That’s why real estate investing is such a powerful wealth-building tool. 

When done correctly, it can help you achieve financial freedom and build a better future for yourself and your family.

The Bottom Line

Remember that the numbers calculated with the formulas above won’t be completely accurate.

Your retirement expenses might be more or less than expected, market conditions can change, or your calculated returns might vary. 

Despite this, the advice above can act as a good starting point to help you with your retirement goals.
At the very least, you will know the least amount of rental properties you might need to retire comfortably, so you will know what to aim for.

Andre Flowers
Andre Flowers

Hello, my name is Andre Flowers and I have been a Licensed Real Estate Professional for over 24 years. I also carry several certifications, including: Certified Distressed Property Expert, Certified Global Business Professional, Certified Credit Repair Specialist.

As a current Mortgage Underwriter with 15 years of experience, I have seen my fair share of money-related issues. Whether that be high levels of debt, not enough credit, or simply a lack of funds - I’ve had clients who fit into these categories.

Here I will share tips, tricks, and experiences on how you can get yourself back in control of your finances.

Articles: 179