In defence of the Military Spouse
Ladies & gentlemen please hold onto your hats....I’m going to ask you to think outside of our community’s collective comfort zone.....what if you didn’t sell your home but instead arranged an equity take-out to purchase at your new posting and kept the previous residence as an revenue property....don’t leave me folks....as a contribution to your spouse’s retirement plan....whew! Hang on we’re almost there....
Listen friends, the truth is that as the member is posted across the country or around the world to serve, the spouse serves too. Often required to leave behind a job or career....never really reaching the upper levels of their chosen path. Frequently, continuing education is never finished, careers are abandoned and the opportunity to contribute to the family income stunted during the union and into retirement. Or in some cases, like mine, as an independent contractor, the spouse doesn’t have the opportunity for pension plan contributions.
What if you began to view real estate as part of your family’s retirement plan? The member has a great pension base (unless this latest budget wreaks havoc with the new members), hopefully, you will have contributed to RRSPs and Spousal plans (income sharing in retirement...speak to your accountant for more details), but do not forget that you are buying & selling a huge asset that can contribute monthly income well into retirement at someone else’s expense (tenants).
Is it a challenge to manage a property at a distance? Yes. Is it impossible? No! If you don’t feel you can do it on your own, hire a professional property manager. Learn all you can, buy good insurance and you are off! I promise...once you’ve purchased one, you’ll want more. Here’s another, out-of-the-box thought...are you leaving an adult child behind to start or finish university? Why not rent the home to him/her & some room-mates (rent covers, PIT, Insurance & repairs fund). Your child becomes the property manager (for a cut in the rent), he/she makes sure all the rents are deposited, any minor repairs are taken care of quickly and any major repairs are brought to your attention immediately. Of course, there’s a little more to it than covered in this blog but really.....you can do it...for your family....for your spouse.