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Do you advise people who do not own, or who wish to explore, owning rental property?

Yes, we do. This is one of our most frequently asked questions. Approximately twenty-five percent of our clients do not own rental property. They come to us for classic planning issues such as retirement, retirement income, investment, insurance, estate, and tax planning strategies. Our experience extends beyond rental property, and we cater to diverse financial needs.

What will I get for the fee I pay?

After the planning process, clients receive an Executive Summary of their plan, a list of Key Recommendations, and the data, assumptions, and financial models used to create the Summary and Recommendations. However, the most valuable aspect of our planning process lies in the collaborative nature of co-creating your plan. We spend our meeting time reviewing the strengths, weaknesses, and areas for improvement in your current situation. During this process, we discuss options and alternatives and can provide hypothetical illustrations. The Summary of Recommendations is not a surprise but rather the culmination of our conversations during the planning period.

Do the advisors of your firm own investment real estate? 1

Yes, our founder, Rich Arzaga, became The Real Estate Whisperer to address his own challenge of finding a real estate-friendly financial planner. Over the years, his family's real estate holdings have fluctuated with market conditions and opportunities. Real estate assets accounted for 85% of their total assets at its peak. While this concentration is not generally advisable, we recognize that some clients have significant real estate wealth and require assistance. Rich's real estate equity was primarily invested in skilled nursing and senior living facilities on the west coast, which was eventually liquidated after a 15+ year hold. He currently maintains a small percentage in real estate trusts that own various property types.

"Will you help us decide which properties to buy?" 1

No, we do not provide direct assistance in selecting specific properties. That responsibility lies between you and your real estate broker or professional advisor. Due diligence in real estate investment involves analyzing numerous properties to find one that aligns with your expectations. Professionals in this field best handle the tactical aspects of buying or selling a rental property. The Real Estate Whisperer offers advice and guidance at the concept and strategic level of real estate planning. Through our Real Estate Income Lab™ process, we can help you assess the potential impact of different options you are considering.


Do you recommend non-traded Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs)? 1

Non-traded REITs are not recommended for many investors. While REITs can be suitable for some, they can also come with disappointments. Congress established REITs in 1960 to provide investors, including individuals, access to income-producing commercial real estate. “Traded REITs,” bought and sold on the stock exchange, have generally kept pace with stocks while offering diversification. However, “non-traded REITs,” typically less liquid, hold fewer properties, may provide greater tax advantages, and carry a wider range of risks and rewards than traded REITs and the stock market. This includes the possibility of a total loss of capital. As a result, traded REITs are generally considered more suitable for a broader range of investors, while non-traded REITs are better suited for "Growth" or "Aggressive" investors who fully understand the potential for capital loss.

Do you recommend that everyone hold real estate as part of their investment portfolio? 1

We do not advocate for a universal approach to including real estate in everyone's investment portfolio. The idea of indiscriminately allocating to real estate, as popularized by the Oprah Winfrey approach, "you get a building, and you get a building, and you get a building," is not advisable, mainly due to the associated risks and suitability of the investor. Real estate investment requires careful consideration of suitability, liquidity, debt levels, and market volatility. Additionally, there are risks related to market conditions, legislation, and tenants. While various information sources may portray real estate as easy, reality differs. It is important to make informed choices in your financial life, and we are here to help guide you through the decision-making process.

Can you refer us to people who can help implement the plan?" 1

We can provide recommendations depending on your geographic area and the specific expertise required. While we have worked with and referred to other professionals nationwide, we cannot guarantee a recommendation for every location. If you are flexible and open to working with professionals who are not local, there is a higher likelihood of finding a suitable referral. We maintain professional affiliations that allow us to connect clients with individuals specializing in commercial or residential real estate, investment advisory services, insurance, legal matters, and tax planning. However, the outcome of these introductions and your experience with these professionals is not within our control. We cannot vouch for or warrant your own experience and outcomes with referrals.

Why don't you manage investments? 1

Our role does not involve direct investment management. However, as part of our service, we review your current account holdings, assess your risk-reward profile, and evaluate the alignment of your allocation with your objectives. We can offer insights on potential tax implications if adjustments to your allocation are considered. We find that many portfolios require fine-tuning and realignment. During the planning process, you will receive a strategic asset allocation recommendation, and it is up to you or your advisor to select the specific investments that align with the recommended allocation.  

Do not rely on this forum for personal real estate, investment, or tax advice. You are urged to work with your advisors on what suits your circumstances best. Do not rely on this forum for personal real estate, investment, or tax advice. You are urged to work with your advisors on what suits your circumstances best.

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