By An Anonymous Appraiser
Excerpt: …retired 2 months ago, and I am SO GLAD I did. I’ve had enough. I decided on an appraisal career because I found real estate, and especially the valuation of homes to be extremely fascinating and challenging, and although I had heard that the appraisal profession was making changes back 30+ years ago, I “assumed” it was becoming a more upstanding, professional occupation, in the eyes of the lenders, politicians and general public, similar in stature to doctors, lawyers and accountants. In other words, they would would hold the appraiser’s opinion via “trust in the professionals opinion”.
What we got, was 30+ years of complaints from the lenders and politicians who blamed appraisers for all of the lenders and political wrong doings. And the public believed them! Why? Because appraisers NEVER got together as an organization to support other residential appraisers! Oh yes, there was the Appraisal Society and the Appraisal Institute, of which I became a candidate, but when I realized that they catered to commercial appraisers, and recently to their own needs, I decided there was no reason for me to join. Besides when licensing came along, the license was the main criteria for selecting the appraiser.
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My comments: Many appraisers are getting older and retiring now for various reasons.
I am 78 years old and have been appraising for 45 years. I love appraising!! (I have not done any lender res appraisals since 2005.) I have friends near my age who are still appraising and like it. They work for direct lenders mostly and do little AMC work.
What is “retirement” for fee appraisers? One of the great reasons to be a fee appraiser is choosing when, where, what you appraise, and whom you work for. In the past, I worked long hours 7 days a week on properties in a wide geographic area. It has been many years since I worked that hard. Many of us just fade away gradually ;>
I recently spoke with two 55-year-old female appraisers. They had both invested in real estate and were retiring early. I have known appraisers over the years who did this. Why aren’t there more? Risk avoidance, I guess. I invested in a duplex in 1986 ($120,000 purchase price). I am living there now after selling my large home. My tenants pay mortgage, insurance, and taxes. I shoulda bought more when the prices were way down here!
I have written about appraiser retirement in my monthly newsletter many times over the years. Be sure you have “tail” insurance to cover any e&O claims after you retire. Mine is free from my E&O company. My most recent article is from May 2021, “Retirement: To Stay or Not to Stay. That is the question!!” Lots of issues to consider. Tip: don’t start taking Social Security until you are 70. I get $3,235 per month now, before the cost of living coming increases. The maximum is $3,985 per month.
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