The following comes from a BAM x Formations webinar on investment strategies for retirement. To receive the full webinar recording, sign up for the BAM newsletter. 

There are two things real estate professionals don’t discuss enough: investments and retirement.

Too often, agents are thinking about their next commission check and ignoring plans for the future. 

Retirement for real estate agents is different from those who work a more typical 9-5. As an independent contractor with no 401K set up for you, it’s up to you to start thinking about smart investments and planning for retirement. And the sooner you start, the better. 

That’s why Formations Founder Shahar Plinner and Head of Fulfillment Brian Weir joined Byron Lazine for a BAM webinar to discuss both. We want to make sure you have what you need to be successful in today’s market AND for a worry-free retirement. 

Today, we’re breaking down three non-negotiables discussed during the webinar, so you can get started planning for retirement today. 


Discipline and goal setting is critical when it comes to planning for retirement. 

Shahar shared a story of an agent who makes between $70,000-$80,000 per year. When it comes to yearly commissions earned, this isn’t a lot. But for the last 25 years, she has remained consistent with her retirement planning. And now, she has $50 million of real estate to show for it. 

Don’t tell me stories that you’re not making enough. Just by being disciplined and taking care of retirement first, (this agent) built an empire of real estate. She’s sitting on $50 million of real estate here in Seattle.

Shahar Plinner

Founder, Formations

To start building that discipline, make it part of your plan to put money away on a consistent basis. Set a goal to put a set amount into an investment strategy every month or after each sale. Along with setting up financial systems to make the most of your money, create a retirement plan—and do not stray from it. 


When it comes to investing for retirement, diversification is another non-negotiable. 

You should have your rental properties, you should have your regular stock portfolio, and you should have an aggressive retirement plan.

Brian Weir

Head of Fulfillment, Formations

As a real estate agent, you know the market best and should focus on building a portfolio of properties. But don’t ignore the other opportunities that are out there. 

During the webinar, Byron asked whether diversification can get out of hand. There are so many options when it comes to investing today. Should you invest in Bitcoin, stocks, a self-directed 401(k), real estate—or all of the above? In other words, how much is too much?

You don’t need 20 different investment strategies to create a diversified portfolio. Shahar recommended sticking with what you are already comfortable with. 

If you’re a real estate agent and feel comfortable investing your money in real estate, diversify between long-term strategies and short-term strategies. Make sure some are Airbnb style…to have an immediate cash flow…but also buy some real estate that will park there for the next 5, 10, 15 years and appreciate in value.

Shahar Plinner

Founder, Formations

You can also diversify within the stock market between pre-tax plans (such as a $401(k) or IRA) and short-term investments that can be a bit more risky. As you learn more about short-term cash flow and long-term holding, you will be comfortable doing more. 

To me, diversification is a language of comfort. But, what I’m telling agents, is you must continue to increase your comfort zone. When you increase the comfort zone, you get into the learning zone. And the learning zone is really amazing.

Shahar Plinner

Founder, Formations

#3—Use an Expert

When it comes to setting yourself up for success in retirement, you can only get so far on your own. 

Think about it—in your line of work, you surround yourself (and your clients) with industry experts: mortgage lenders, attorneys, and other agents. So why wouldn’t you do the same for your money?

An expert will help you when you are ready to expand that comfort zone, whether you want to learn how to minimize taxes in order to save more, advanced investment strategies, or crafting a retirement plan that fits your lifestyle. 

Find an advisor you trust to guide you through the process of planning for retirement, and be sure to stay in contact with them on a regular basis.