Taking the plunge: investing at 60 - Ironfish

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investing at age 60

Taking the plunge: investing at 60


Christine Ricketts

Cellar Director, Cellarmasters

“I had a poor experience with a previous investment property/property company, so I was extremely cautious about investing again with a new company. I had my cynical hat on and checked and double checked everything Ironfish told me. Ironfish was so patient and really good with finding answers and solutions to reassure me.”


  • Wine educator working for major national company
  • Close to retirement age
  • Extremely nervous and cautious about investing
  • Keen to add to her portfolio to supplement retirement income

investing at age 60

When a property investment goes wrong

Buying an investment property is a big decision and serious commitment. So, it makes sense to want to do your due diligence and make sure you feel 100% confident before making a decision to invest. But for Ironfish North Sydney customer, Christine Ricketts, it was even more difficult to invest again due to a bad past experience.

Before investing with Ironfish, I already had two other investment properties. The first was really good, not brilliant but steadily growing and performing. The second went very poorly. I was rushed in to it by a dodgy financial advisor. My gut said not to do it; but I allowed myself to be rushed into it. This experience really put me off investing in property again.”

5 years from retirement

Christine is lucky enough to have possibly one of the most fun jobs in the world. As Cellar Director of Cellarmasters, she gets to travel around Australia, tasting good food and wine for a living. As much as she loves her work, she is now at a point where she is thinking about retirement, and investing in property has always been part of her retirement plan.

“I’m 60 now, and I’m not retiring for another 5 years – although I doubt I’ll retire completely. But I want to retire comfortably. I don’t want to be living on the pension; I want to make sure I have enough to retire on.

“But I was very nervous about investing again after the last property. I’d also heard from the bank that at my age I wouldn’t be able to get a loan.”

investing at 60

A better mortgage structure

Christine knew one of our new North Sydney strategists Tony, from his former career at Woolworths, working in finance. After joining Ironfish, Tony reached out to Christine, because he knew she was an investor, to see what her plans were next and if she needed any help.

“When Tony approached me, I said no, initially. But he’s quite persistent! I trusted him, as we already knew each other previously. I knew he’s trying to make good in his career change to property, and he wouldn’t recommend a bad investment to me – especially if he wants me to recommend him to others!

“He invited me to a seminar run by [Ironfish CEO] Joseph Chou. This is where I asked the question about finance – how I had spoken to the bank and told I’m too old to borrow money, since I’m turning 60 and mortgages are 30-year mortgages. I was a bit miffed with the bank, because I own my own home outright, and had a very healthy deposit ready for a third investment property. Joseph explained how that is not necessarily the case. It could be that you can borrow money for an investment, but not for a personal mortgage and it’s worth talking to a good broker to find out.

“Tony then introduced me to a mortgage broker, Jordan. Jordan isn’t a financial advisor, so I was happy about that, especially after my last experience! He explained that I would only get a five-year mortgage for a personal  property but could get a loan for an investment property as long as I had collateral.

Once I had a property in mind, he could show me a lot of financial scenarios, for example, if interest rates went up, strata fees went up, if it went un-rented for a long period of time etc. He also suggested that to sell my second property now would lose me a lot of money, so it would be worth trying to hold it for longer. He also showed me what would have to happen for me to lose everything – but I don’t think that’s happening. It made me more relaxed – although I’ll never be completely relaxed!

“The broker was separate to Tony and Ironfish, so that helped me have more confidence in him, though I still had my cynicism out, since he’d been recommended by them. But Jordan worked very, very hard for me. Both Tony and Jordan knew I’d been burned in the past, and I wouldn’t be quiet if they weren’t good! They’re both starting out in building up their business/careers and don’t want any bad press; they both worked very hard to ensure I was happy!

“Ultimately, when I decided to go ahead with an investment, my broker restructured all my loans; he’s made my deposit into an offset and developed a structure for all my loans in a way that’s beneficial for each one, and I can afford them.”

Docklands apartment

Christine eventually settled on an apartment in Docklands, Melbourne, which settled a couple of weeks ago, and Ironfish Real Estate (our Melbourne property management team) found a tenant for her the same week. Her yield on the apartment is a healthy 6.2%.

“I stay in Docklands often when I travel to Melbourne for work. So I know the area pretty well. I can walk to the CBD, and if I didn’t want to walk, there’s a tram. I just thought it’s a good area in that way – for professionals who want to live close to town. It made a lot of sense. There’s restaurants and bars there too now. It’s not hip like Brunswick and Fitzroy but it’s an upcoming area. I checked everything I was told by Ironfish or my broker with a friend of mine who works at CoreLogic – which helped me feel better as well.

“The other factor was stamp duty, which was really low. Also, the rent is good. My other properties don’t have such a good rental yield! Everything is so far so good with Ironfish property managers – I checked their rates too against the market before I signed on with them. I’d had a bad experience with the managers who the other company had recommended to me on my other investment property, so I wanted to make sure.”


Patience, service, peace of mind

When asked what Christine appreciated most about her experience investing with Ironfish, she laughed.

“I think looking after somebody like me takes a lot of patience! I was so very nervous, and cynical and very vocal: ‘No I’m not doing it!’ ‘What’s going on with this?’ For example, I told Tony I’d find my own insurance, and he said: ‘Sure. But compare it to this insurance, which I’ve found for you, I think will be better coverage’. So, I did compare it and turned out he was right. I compared and checked pretty much everything, and it was all right!

“I really appreciated Tony’s absolute patience with me: changing my mind, finding solutions, finding answers that could reassure me. I also met his aunt, Priscilla [one of our most experienced strategists at Ironfish]. She explained a lot of things to me and completely understood my nervousness as well. Throughout the process, while I was considering properties, Tony would reassure me that if it wasn’t going to happen with one particular property, he could always find me something else. With Ironfish and with Tony, the service was just very, very good and so patient with someone like me.”

Christine’s property investment tips

  1. Do your due diligence – feel free to check with someone independent from Ironfish about the property or what’s happening in the market
  2. Make sure you can afford it – find a good mortgage broker to work it out for you. Tony introduced me to my broker as well as my solicitor (before taking up her services I checked her against my usual solicitor. He said she’s fine, very experienced.)
  3. Look at what’s changing with legislation – for example, in Victoria there are specific legalities around inclusions – e.g. blinds are not included. Know exactly every part that you’re in for to avoid surprises.
  4. Make sure you’re investing in a growth area – you can maybe pay for a data report. I had a friend in the industry, so I was able to double-check that way.
  5. If you’re young, just do it! I wish I’d started younger. Try to diversify across different cities if you can afford it and have other investments too!

Read more Ironfish reviews from our customers

Are you thinking about investing; unsure about how much you need to retire; or just feeling uncertain about taking the plunge? Have a read of some more Ironfish reviews from our customers, to learn how others are investing.