There’s no doubt that in the last 20 years the financial industry has changed immensely, and the real estate sector has seen some of the biggest changes across the board. Not only has the finance industry had to contend with things like technological advances and delayed retirement ages (meaning workers are staying in the workforce for much longer, for better or for worse), but it’s also had to rebound from the Dot Com Collapse in the early 2000’s, the 9/11 tragedy in 2001 (which saw stocks plummet), and The Great Recession, as well as all the vast security and regulatory changes that came with those events. All three events left many individuals – whether they were investors or not – unsure of their financial future and what steps to take to either build their net worth back up or make a change for a more secure future. As industries changed and regulations were put into place, other industries emerged or became more fully developed, such as the real estate investment industry.
Rising Retirement Age
In the last 20 years or so, the average age of the working American has continued to increase. Where folks were once retiring at the age of 65 (or younger), employers are now finding that, more often than not, their employees are sticking around longer. The reason for this is two-fold. First, Americans are healthier and living longer – why retire if you’re perfectly fit and able to keep working? Second, because as the cost of living has continued to rise, and as retirement investments have failed to keep up with the ability to provide for basic necessities, continuing to work is the only way for many people to keep living the lifestyle to which they’ve become accustomed.
Unfortunately, this has impacted the younger generations as well, since those who are new to the workforce have found it difficult to find jobs, and those who are already in entry-level or middle-management positions have found it hard to advance since job openings are harder to come by as fewer people leave the job force each year.
The Dot Com Collapse, 9/11, and The Great Recession
An added, unfortunate, twist is that many people actually did have their eye on the prospect of retiring around the age of 65. However, with the triple-whammy of the Dot Com bubble bursting in the late 1990’s, 9/11 striking in 2001, followed by The Great Recession less than a decade later, those dreams were put on hold as investment values plummeted and companies began shutting their doors. Many hardworking Americans saw their net worth take a huge hit rather quickly, and in many cases there simply hasn’t been enough time for them to recoup those losses.
Additionally, thousands of Americans found themselves without a stable source of income as companies began closing their doors. For those who worked in tech before the bubble burst, some of them have found success working in today’s tech market (or were lucky enough to be employed at a company that didn’t go under – like Amazon), but others were forced into career changes that put them a few years behind on their plans.
While many individuals have been left feeling bewildered and perhaps a little bit hopeless at the realization that their retirement investments sunk, or that retirement in the near future simply isn’t on the cards for them anymore, there is – of course – a way that they could be working on helping their savings to rebound. One of those ways is to invest their funds in real estate.
The real estate market has been steadily rebounding since the bubble popped in 2008, and for some people who were able to hold on to their real estate investments they may feel now that they’re secure in their financial future. For others, now is a great time to jump into the investment game. By investing funds with a hard money lender like Walnut Street Finance, they can put their funds into real estate development while having a diverse portfolio of property investments without being on the hook for chasing rent checks or heading up renovation and construction projects. Investing in real estate development isn’t like the days of yore, where lenders could be shady and the return on investment wasn’t guaranteed. Of course, while there may still be some bad apples out there, lenders like Walnut Street fully vet their borrowers prior to lending any funds, and ensure that investors have a diverse portfolio of low-risk investments to increase their returns.