Ask Paul: Are we too old to buy our first investment property?


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Hi Paul, we are mid-to-late 60s, have our mortgage down to zero balance (but kept the loan account open).

We are adding the maximum salary sacrifice to our super (up to $25,000), but I am reluctant to add more to super (eggs in one basket).

We have considered an investment property, but are we too old to be taking on an investment loan? -Trevor

ask paul clitheroe negatively gear

With interest rates so low, an investment property can be cash-flow positive even with high levels of gearing, so a loan at your current age is possible, but "is it sensible" is indeed the question.

The answer has a lot to do with information I do not have. Things like your income, amount in super, other assets, size of your deposit and so on.

You own your own home, so you have exposure to property, but depending upon the answers to my questions above, I am not totally against you buying an investment property, but do you really need the management issues with owning an investment property?

The returns from a good, low-cost super fund have been solid for decades. A well-managed fund also provides excellent diversification across many asset classes, globally. Investment is not just about technical factors, it is also highly personal.

I turn 65 this year and for me, super is far preferable to property. It is highly tax advantaged, well diversified and, in my opinion, by far and away our best retirement funding option.

Others do prefer property and the returns can be good. So do your research, discuss what works best for you and make a choice that passes your personal "sleep at night" test.

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Paul Clitheroe AM is founder and editorial adviser of Money magazine. He is one of Australia's leading financial voices, responsible for bringing financial insight to Australians through personal finance books, the Money TV show, and this publication, which he established in 1999. Paul is the chair of the Australian Government Financial Literacy Board and is chairman of InvestSMART Financial Services. He is the chair of Financial Literacy at Macquarie University where he is also a Professor with the School of Business and Economics. Click here to ask Paul your money question. Unfortunately Paul cannot respond to questions posted in the comments section. Please view our disclaimer here.
Raymond Van
January 8, 2020 7.16pm

I have posted few questions to Paul bit still reply

Money magazine
February 10, 2020 1.22pm

Hi Raymond,

Unfortunately Paul can't respond to questions posted in the comment section. If you would like advice on your situation, you can email [email protected] and it may be selected to appear in the magazine and online.

- Money team

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