How to Catch up on Your Lack of Retirement Savings

How to Catch up on Your Lack of Retirement Savings

Discover how to catch up on your lack of retirement savings using commercial real estate. You'll learn how Protege Program member Jim was able to purchase his first commercial property and earn $2,400 per month, investing only $60,000 upfront for the investment as well as creating an additional $400,000 in equity! And the very same process and formula that Jim used, can be repeated by anyone who watches this video. Learn how you can invest in commercial real estate and make up for lost time in your quest for a financially secure retirement:


Do you have retirement savings already built up and will it last all the way to the end? Are you getting older and haven't been able to save for retirement? Perhaps life has zoomed by and you were too busy to focus on it. Or maybe you are going through a tough time financially, lost your retirement savings and you're starting over today. Whatever your retirement situation, this article will open your eyes to the possibilities of using commercial real estate to help you catch up on your lack of retirement savings.

Invest in Something Tangible

I recently watched an ESPN episode of 30 for 30, called Broke. It detailed professional athletes who made tens of millions of dollars during their playing careers, and once they retired, they had no money left. They were flat broke. That's unfortunate, and it really doesn't have to be that way.

The mistake these players made was investing in risky investments like restaurants, a relative’s farfetched start up company, or spending their money on jewelry and cars. They should be investing in something safe and secure with growth, and most importantly, in something tangible that you touch, feel and measure. Measure the worth of it in real time and cashflow. You need to have investments that produce the type of cashflow that puts money in your pocket to buy groceries, pay the mortgage and support your family. Of course, they didn't do that.

Catch Up on Your Retirement Savings with Commercial Real Estate

Commercial real estate can be that vehicle for you and help you catch up for a lost time in your retirement savings. When Jim, one of our Protégés approached us, his dilemma was that he was in his sixties and didn’t have adequate retirement savings. He said his goal was to retire in three years, and he didn't even have a retirement plan. In one year, with our help he was able to create a $400,000 nest egg that’s providing him decent cashflow and is still growing. It took twelve months of focus, hard work and coaching, but it was well worth it.

Can you save enough for a comfortable retirement? I was reading a New York Times article that gave me pause to think. It said that if you're in your sixties with $1 million invested in municipal bonds, and begin withdrawing 4% per year when you retire, there's a 72% probability that you'll exhaust your retirement savings before you die. We need a better solution than this.

The Solution is Commercial Real Estate

I believe commercial real estate is the best vehicle for retirement planning because it has six investor controls that other investments do not have. These are investor tools that are necessary in any retirement plan.

Six Investor Controls
      1.  Management: In management of commercial real estate, you have a say of who you put in charge and what they do. You have a say on the day to day operations to ensure that your money is safe and your investment's going to work. No media or controversial CEO is going to take your company down. There's no fake news that's going to smash your property value and affect the investment. You have control over the management.
      2. Insurance: What if there's a fire or major catastrophe that totally levels your commercial property? Using your insurance company, you can fully recover that property and build it up even better than before at someone else's cost.
      3. Predictability: In commercial real estate, because there's a neighborhood and not only a piece of property, there is a market. You can see the volatility happening months in advance. This allows you to be proactive. If you hear of something happening in that neighborhood and market, maybe a company expansion or an upcoming loss of jobs, you can react now and adjust to it before it happens. There's predictability in commercial real estate that you don't have in other investments.
      4. Leverage: You can buy a $1 million property, not for $1 million, but with 25% of that. The investor in that New York Times article who saved up $1 million and was drawing from it, should have taken that $1 million and bought a $4-5 million commercial property. The cashflow is two or three times more than what he's pulling out of his $1 million. That is an example of leverage.
      5. Tax Advantages: How does a company like Amazon get away with paying no income taxes? They plan and they strategize accordingly, and they get to pay little or no income tax. You get the same legal loopholes and tax advantages as Amazon, even though you own something small, like a five-unit apartment building. In fact, the recent tax breaks and incentives from the White House just made real estate investing even better. Tax advantages are an investor control that you get investing in commercial real estate that you would not get in investing in stocks.
      6. Cashflow: It is the lifeblood of business when contemplating retirement; you get to control the cashflow. If you manage your commercial property well you get more cashflow. If you were to invest in stock, no matter how good you are you have no control of the cashflow. It's in the hands of someone else. Cashflow control is of the utmost importance when contemplating a retirement plan.

Jim's Problem

Jim's in his sixties. He has some money saved, but not enough for retirement in three years, and he has no retirement plan.

The Solution

We had Jim focus on commercial properties where the owner was out of state. The reason we did this is because we believe these owners are probably more motivated to sell and easier to deal with. At Commercial Property Advisors, we are good at helping find these properties, although almost anyone can find them if they know where to look. However, what do you do when you find them? A lot of our training goes into how to build rapport, ask the right questions, evaluate and find motivations, and discover what's going on with the seller to structure the best deal. That's how we trained Jim.

The Property

Jim ended up finding an eight-unit property with the asking price of $500,000. We found out the owner was in distress and the property was horribly mismanaged. Remember, the owner is out of state and the property manager was taking advantage of her. We made an offer for $500,000. The offer was accepted, however we found out that the property was in worse shape than we initially thought, reducing the price to $450,000. At that point, we had contractors come in, and finding out there were some structural issues and with more detailed quotes, we decided we couldn't pay more than $385,000. We went back to the seller thinking that she would say no way. She disappeared for a few months, so we figured she's wasn’t interested, but we kept at her. Eventually, she agreed to $385,000.


We went ahead and Jim found financing for the deal. He found an 80% loan, which means the lender is going to loan him 80% of the acquisition costs, the $385,000 plus 80% of the renovation costs, which we thought was great. The renovation costs came up to be $65,000.

Unexpectedly, the appraisal came in at $350,000, so it was $35,000 short from the agreed upon sales price. What did we do? We went back to the seller and said, " The appraisal came in at $350,000 not $385,000. We are not going to come to the table with when an extra $35,000. It's just not worth it for us." We drew a line in the sand, and thought the deal was dead. To our surprise she agreed to the new price. She had already psychologically closed this deal with Jim and moved on to the next deal. When we gave her this news, that kind of blew her paradigm out the water and she agreed to $350,000.

Upside Potential

During our due diligence, we discovered that the property had some good upside potential. We found a sales comparable apartment complex for $1 million. That means if we can buy this for $350,000 and put in the $65,000, we have a pretty good deal. We also did a market rent survey and found out that because of the poor management and the condition of the property, the rents for all the units were way under market.

The Execution

This is when the real work begins. We did three things: evictions, renovations, and increased the rents after the renovations.

  • Jim started off with a net operating income of $26,000 per year. After a little more than six months, he more than doubled the NOI to $57,000 per year. As you know, for commercial property, as the NOI goes up so does the property value. Jim was able to get a substantial increase in property value.
  • His all in was $415, 000; the $350,000 plus the $65,000 of renovations. How do we calculate the new value? If you recall from my videos, we can figure out the value of a commercial property by dividing the NOI by the market cap rate.
  • The NOI is $57,000 a year, divided by the market cap rate in this case of 7%, is $814,000. His new property value is $814,000, which is an increase of close to $400,000 in equity.
  • The cashflow starting off was about $700 a month, but today is at $2,600 a month.
Exit Strategy

Every good deal has an exit strategy and is repeatable. Jim found another deal that he wanted to do, but he doesn’t have the money. What do we do? He is waiting for his NOI to season a bit and then when the lender revalues the property, he will do a cash out refinance and pull out some of the equity. In this case he will be able to pull out his entire down payment and put that into another property.

Watch my video Secrets to Refinancing Commercial Real Estate to learn more

Jim closed a great deal with all the investor controls in place. He accomplished his goal of retiring in three years by creating a $400,000 nest egg and increasing his cashflow.

3 Questions to Ask Yourself

1. Do you have money working towards your retirement? Not just saved up, but at work for you creating cashflow?
2. Are you playing catch up? Many people out there are playing catch up and that's okay, because that leads me to the third question
3. Are you willing to play a bigger game of commercial real estate? Hopefully, the answer is yes. All it may take is one good commercial deal to financially impact the rest of your life.


  1. Greetings Peter,

    I’m a minimal B, and definitely a C!
    Although I originally passed both the New York State Real Estate Salesperson AND Broker’s Exams just a month apart from each other back in 2002, I was unable to do anything with those Licenses because I was Disabled & out of work for so long, that I became Homeless BEFORE I could actually sell a Property and earn that Commission so I could bring my Mortgage & Prop Taxes back to Current Status!

    It’s a long story, but after 19-years of living in ill-run Apt buildings, I’m now in the process of “Permanently Vacating” this final NASTY & IMPROPERLY-Managed 8-Unit
    Apt Building! Despite this dump being pitched to my Grown-Son & me 2.5-years ago as a “Smoke-Free Environment” with Eviction-Penalties if you Violate this Addendum of the Lease—from the start, my cat Marty & I have suffered immensely from constant Second-Hand Drug-&-Cigarette Smoke Poisonings constantly flowing through the building’s Ventilation System & windows! Until it finally killed Marty due to Sinus-Cancer on Mother’s Day-2020!
    Likewise, we ALSO lost his brother to a similar Aggressive-Cancer in Sept-2017, at a PREVIOUS 2-Family dwelling that we were also MISLED into believing was inhabited by Non-Smokers as well! Slumlords.

    As a matter of fact, EVERY Rental Property I have lived-in for the last nineteen (19)-years has had these NASTY Toxic-Second-Hand-Smoke-Issues! 🤢 Only now it’s gotten so bad here that it finally impacted and caused the death of my other cat too, plus affected my own health as well!

    So due to all this horrible “Life-Experience” in dealing with Slumlords and nasty Tenants, I’m permanently Vacating Apt-living in June-2020 to stay in the out-of-state home of a good Friend.

    Now despite this nightmare, Peter, I have enough Real Estate background to know that you CAN own & operate a strictly-controlled, SMOKE-FREE Investment Property. I know it because I’ve worked in TWO of them (office buildings) over the years; and I visited TWO Senior Citizen Apt buildings where smoking wasn’t allowed in there either—so I know Smoke-Free Investment Properties DO exist.

    Therefore, I am willing to give this Protégé Mentoring Program a serious shot. My only question is—can you ALSO own a string of Non-Smoker Single-Family Homes with separate yards, as a “Commercial Rental-Property Investment Business” too?

    I look forward to hearing from you soon.

    Ms. AseemaNuha

  2. C. applies to me

  3. KENNETH C RHONE says:


  4. I love this approach.

  5. Currently, I have four homes and they’re all rented out to other people who pay me monthly (in total, about $14,400 in rent) and my goal is to continue to aggressively pay-down the mortgages and to buy more homes as soon as I am able. Last house was a brand new one I closed on, Decemeber 15, 2017 and the next purchase should be this year, maybe in Novemeber, 2019. My goal is to continue to have happy renters and to clear $20,000.00 per month after the loans are paid off. I will still have to pay the property taxes, insurance, and maintenace expenses. But that’s okay as there will be enough coming in to do it all and, to save as well.
    I find my approach to be sound as I own each property and each one has ‘gone up in value’. I sell nothing but the appraised valuations are important are I can borrow if needed. Refi. (getting $300K from one soon)
    These properties are one part of the retirement payout overall. There are other sources of income that is supposed to be coming, eg., a pension from a major US university. But, in my mind, all of that can and may go bust, hence the houses. We all need a place to live. I am open to learn from anyone who can show me what they’re doing. I do not own any commerical real estate although I do think an apartment syndicator will get my attention. Thanks, W.

  6. Tyrone Wright says:

    Ready to play a bigger game, I have some retirement money coming to me when the time comes and I’d like to invest in commercial real estate. I would love to work with a mentor like you thank you for helping others.

  7. Dale Harmon says:

    Your tutorials are excellent and very understandable in the way you explain everything.

  8. Gayle Barlow says:

    A No
    B YES
    C YES

  9. Yes, Yes, and Yes!! I’m ready and learning everyday. At 4?, my retirement is nowhere near where it should be.

  10. Dania Larsen says:

    I will get out of running the rat race, as well as provide a better life for my family. My focus is on commercial real estate.

  11. Ross Rogers says:

    I want to play a bigger game

  12. Glodean Davis says:

    I just turned 57 and am facing a future that does not include retirement. I am employed but have no money saved. I have been reading books and listening to videos regarding investing in commercial real estate. I have no money to attempt to join your protege program at the moment so I am looking to wholesale in order to generate some finances first. I also am looking to purchase a triplex or quad in order to live in one of the units and rent out the others in the next year after generating some funds. Right now in answer to your last question I am A-no, B-yes, C-yes.

  13. cedric m williams says:

    Working on catching up on retirement as well as having to start over in life all together, pension and annuities were drastically effected in the past years and want to create a much better life for my family all together.

  14. Bigger game

  15. Mary Stead says:

    Excellent video, I am on SS and have no retirement. I have been trying to do real estate investing, but have not done a deal yet. Thank you

  16. Hello, Sir,
    I am “B’ and “C” really. My savings were wiped out due to family and medical bills. I’m 45, broke and in need of passive income to boost my disability. I signed up for the Udemy course so hopefully I can do a few deals to eventually apply for your mentorship. Thank you for doing this video for folks like me who have to start ovcr from zero at an age north of 40.

  17. Yep, this is me. I need to do this. I gotta wholesale before I can pay for your mentor program. I have your “…Dummies” book but I want a hard copy of the other one. I cannot find hard or soft copy online. Is it ONLY available as an ebook?

  18. I would like to get into this but I have no liquid start up money how and what can i do to start without a liquid initial investment.
    Answers to questions
    a. yes
    b. yes
    c. yes

  19. Vaden Haynes says:

    A – n0
    B – yes
    C – yes

  20. Jimmie L Drake says:

    Who can talk to get a chance to catch up my retirement. To be mentoring me on how to find a commercial 8 unit commercial property. Thanks.

  21. c

  22. Felicia Richardson says:

    Hello Mr. Harris – I truly would like to do some investing in Commercial Real Estate. I am willing to play the bigger game of doing commercial investing. I would like to know what it would take for you to coach me. I do not have much money for my income was decreased due to illness in the family. I need to find something to make more income and prepare for the future. I always enjoy your videos, but was focusing on wholesaling, but these are just keeping me barely above water. Thank you for helping others.

    • Peter Harris says:

      Apply to my Protege Program Here.

      • Ralph Miller says:

        Hi Mr. Harris. I am a 54 year old teacher who is going through a divorce after 17 years of marriage. I have little to nothing and need help. I am afraid that the rest of my life will be spent playing catch up financially (even without this divorce) and that I will never realize any dreams that I have (had.) I need help and I need the encouragement, I cannot do this alone.

  23. Vern & Randaleen Franklin ( brother and sister) says:

    Working on catching up and would to set up a plan around purchasing some units for retirement.

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