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In times of financial uncertainty, we all need to take stock of our financial security. Our industry offers exceptional opportunities to build wealth, but we also face extraordinary personal responsibility to manage our resources when faced with income fluctuations.

NAR has an online resource that helps REALTORS® maximize their wealth and achieve their retirement goals. The Center for REALTOR® Financial Wellness is not a substitute for professional financial consulting services, but it does provide powerful tools and convenient access to financial planning resources tailored to real estate professionals.

The Center for REALTOR® Financial Wellness includes a “Wellness Checkup” for a quick, initial snapshot of your current situation. The “Financial Journey” provides an engaging and risk-free way to explore the consequences of various decisions.

The Center for REALTOR® Financial Wellness helps establish highly personalized goals and navigate an individualized path toward financial security, with information and tools for:

Retirement Planning
Planning for retirement is a complicated endeavor that involves researching and selecting the best account options (deciding among IRAs, 401(k)s, etc.), determining how to fund your account, diversifying your assets, maximizing contributions, and more.

In the Center for REALTOR® Financial Wellness, you can tackle each component of retirement planning, selecting among specific goals, then utilizing powerful tools for completing each step and scratching them off your list.

Real Estate Investing
The Center for REALTOR® Financial Wellness also includes goal-setting resources to learn about real estate investing, such as exploring REITs as an investment, understanding 1031 exchanges, down payment options and acquiring an investment property.

Before proceeding with a real estate investment, however, you may want to take REBAC’s one-day course, “Real Estate Investing: Build Wealth Representing Investors and Becoming One Yourself.” It’s an easy way to get up to speed on the essentials. For current dates, visit training4re.com.

Succession Planning
If you’ve spent years building a successful brokerage, it may be time to plan for the next chapter of your life. When mapping out an exit strategy, your goals may include finding a successor, completing a business valuation, preparing your book of business for sale, or putting a business exit plan in place—topics you’ll find in the Center for REALTOR® Financial Wellness.

Coaching Your Agents
As a broker, your financial success is integrally linked with your agents’ financial success. Encourage them to visit the Center for REALTOR® Financial Wellness, since it includes many tools that can help agents navigate their financial freedom. For example, new agents may want to explore questions like:

  • How much money can I expect to make as a real estate agent?
  • What tax deductions should a real estate agent know about?
  • How much of my commissions should I set aside?

It’s important to note that while the site provides many helpful resources, it is not an investment site. You’ll want to consult with financial planning experts for additional insights and to execute your plan, just as consumers use REALTORS® to purchase and sell real estate.

Financial wellness doesn’t need to be complicated and overwhelming. Turn to the Center for REALTOR® Financial Wellness to inform and empower your financial goals in 2019 and beyond. Visit www.FinancialWellness.realtor.

Marc D. Gould is senior vice president of Member Development for NAR, overseeing a wide range of professional development programs for REALTORS®, including the Real Estate Buyer’s Agent Council (REBAC). REBAC is the world’s largest association of real estate professionals focusing specifically on representing the real estate buyer. With more than 30,000 active members, REBAC awards the Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR®) designation to REALTORS® who have completed the specialized education and documented experience in working with consumers purchasing a home. To learn more, visit REBAC.net.

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