Having owned a few investment properties for more than a decade I can assure you that when managed correctly, the investments can yield a profit, provide greater net worth and open financial possibilities that many W2 workers do not enjoy. That being said, there are great advantages to staying in the work force in at least a part time or contract capacity. In my first few years of juggling both a full time job and my rental properties, it became obvious that there was simply not enough time in a week to accomplish both successfully.
Most of the issues that will pop up in the first few years of owning rental property can be attributed to a learning curve that needs to be undertaken, before a level of comfort exists in managing the properties effectively. Add this to a full time job and the stress level can build rather quickly! I found my comfort zone for property management time allotment balanced by employment hours by accident; I was laid off. To most people this event would rank as one of the worst things that can happen in their lives, but I was secretly relieved in a way. The layoff was company wide and was not a performance issue on my part. I tried very hard to not let my investment property management interfere with my job, but I can recall a few ’emergency issues’ that required just that.
Luckily for me I was soon rehired by the company but having had time to ponder and reflect on my ever increasing investment property responsibilities I accepted a part time role. This new arrangement allowed me to manage my time more effectively and I almost never had a conflict between the job and property management. There may come a time when I can simply afford to walk away from the w2 job, but I would advise against it unless you are contemplating a semi retirement. There are simply to many benefits beyond a pay check that a ‘real job’ can provide.
I could rattle off at least a dozen good reasons to hold onto some amount of a day job besides the monetary benefits, but for me the number one reason to stay in the job loop is: the job atmosphere reminds me why I own and manage real estate in the first place. In deciding to become a real estate investment owner, I realize that I am the boss of what I manage, I make the decisions that will make the investments a success or not and I have a more flexible income model than purely relying on a w2 job. I think of myself more as a small business owner, rather than merely the owner of investment property. One added benefit of having a flexible schedule is having more face time than most parents with my kids, although many a dad might find this benefit dubious at best:-)