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"Between my investments in the stock market geared toward retirement and my retirement pension from the US Army (I retire in 3 years), my retirement needs will be met. Therefore, I am exploring investment options which generate income on a monthly basis. Any feedback on buying and subsequently renting property or any other investment vehicle that will generate monthly income would be appreciated."
Having done both, I would say why maintain rental property when you can buy a diversified portfolio of REITs, and further diversify with various utilities or other investments. You can own rental property of various types all over the U.S. with REITs, which Value Line considers about as safe as bonds. We only netted about 6% on the house we owned, but get around 8% on REITs. Go to your local library and take a look at Value Line's latest Summary and Index. Look for their tables on stocks paying the highest dividends, non-utilities paying the highest dividends, etc. You will see several REITs paying excellant dividends of 8, 9 and even 10% with Safety Ratings of 2, which is quite good, and Timeliness Ratings of 3 or lower. (One a scale of 1 to 5.) Then get the VL reports on REITs and see what they say about REITs. You will find that there are still a lot of high dividend stocks and investment companies. As for capital appreciation, you will find that the DOW itself, which you can get by buying DIA stock ("Diamonds") on the Amex, pays quarterly dividends of 1.5%--which gives you some income even there. REITs can go up and down like everything else, but they tend of behave somewhat independently of the stock market itself, which gives you further diversification.
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