How to get your spouse to support real estate investing

Today I discuss the story of how I got my spouse to support real estate investing, and how this has helped the growth of our real estate empire. 

In 2018, I began the slow transition from a traditional equities investor to a real estate investor.  I was a couple of years into my job as an employed surgeon. I felt stagnant and financially handcuffed to my job. The slow transformation really started on my daily commute, and was fueled by hundreds of hours of podcasts on financial independence and investing.  

I started out like many others before me, and mapped out a plan to save like crazy using index funds and pay back my student debt. I was marching slowly down the path to financial freedom.  

Then I realized that for a number of reasons, the fastest path to morbidly obese FIRE was to build a rental real estate empire.  

The dubious Dr-ess

When I shared my realizations with the Dr-ess, she initially was skeptical.  While she’d been investing using mutual and index funds for years, the thought of starting a rental portfolio was quite a foreign concept.  For about a year, we diverged on this matter.

We argued over my real estate trips to Indianapolis and Memphis.  “It’s not a hobby,” I’d mutter as I booked the flights, feeling guilty at abandoning the Dr-ess to a weekend alone with the kids.  

Those early first steps into the world of real estate investing were all harder without the support of my spouse.

The turning point

I think the first chink in the Dr-ess’ anti-real estate armor came in the form of a spreadsheet.  In her job, she deals with budgets and spreadsheets all day long.  It’s a language she understands.  

So when I used spreadsheets to map out expected returns from the rental properties, we started to align.  She could finally see the discrete elements that combine to create the outsized returns in real estate.

We had another big breakthrough when I expanded on a popular Passive Income MD post.  I compared investing $225,000 into index funds versus a conservative rental real estate portfolio.  When I projected this out to 25 years, the real estate portfolio came out comfortably ahead.  When I showed her the source data behind my conclusions, she started to come fully on board.

My spouse became my business partner 

The final step came after I made the decision to take the Semi-Retired MD’s real estate investing course.  From this excellent course, I got access to a large volume of educational videos and a community of like-minded investors.  

Learn more and sign up for the Semi-Retired MD’s real estate investing course here (affiliate link).

One of the first modules stressed the importance of the “Why.”  I came up with my own Why, and shared it with the Dr-ess.  Slowly, we started to envision a life of freedom and adventure, built on a foundation of cash flowing real estate. 

We went through the videos and modules together before bed.  Date nights were spent talking about our career and life goals. We did cash flow projections and rent analyses together.

Now, the Dr-ess sends me a few Redfin links every morning about interesting properties on the market. We send texts back and forth discussing neighborhood characteristics, number of bathrooms, and sales comps.  

It’s taken our relationship to a whole new level, and it’s certainly made us better real estate investors as well.  


So how do you get your spouse on board with real estate investing?  

Start by educating yourself.  Then translate real estate into language your spouse can understand.  And most importantly, find a shared vision of the future where you are enjoying the freedom that can only be achieved with the cash flow from your real estate empire.

Talk about that vision.  Set it as a goal.  Then make it a reality.  Together.


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[…] in some way or another. But what about getting your spouse on board with your investing ambitions? The Darwinian Doctor shares their own experience getting their spouse to support real estate investing and how their […]

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