retirement using adu income

Whether or not you can retire with an ADU (Accessory Dwelling Unit) income depends on various factors, such as the location, the size of the ADU, the rental income generated, your retirement needs and goals, and your overall financial situation.

An ADU is a separate living unit built on the same lot as a single-family home. ADUs can be rented out to generate extra income, and some people may choose to live in the ADU themselves and rent out their main home. ADUs have become increasingly popular in recent years as a way to provide affordable housing options and generate extra income for homeowners.

If you plan to retire with an ADU income, you need to consider the rental income that the unit generates, and whether it will be sufficient to cover your living expenses in retirement. You also need to consider the ongoing expenses associated with maintaining the ADU and managing tenants, such as property taxes, insurance, repairs, and property management fees.

Additionally, you should factor in other sources of retirement income, such as Social Security, pensions, retirement accounts, and any other investments. It's important to have a well-rounded retirement plan that takes into account all sources of income and expenses to ensure that you can comfortably retire.

Overall, retiring with an ADU income is possible, but it depends on various factors. It's important to carefully consider your options and work with a financial advisor to develop a retirement plan that meets your needs and goals. 

house hacking


House Hacking:

House hacking involves buying a property, living in one part of it, and renting out the other parts to generate rental income. With an ADU, you can live in either the main home or the ADU and rent out the other unit to generate income. This strategy can be an effective way to generate income in retirement, as it allows you to minimize housing costs and generate rental income at the same time.

BRRRR Strategy:

The BRRRR strategy (Buy, Rehab, Rent, Refinance, Repeat) involves buying a property that needs renovation, fixing it up, renting it out to generate income, refinancing the property to access equity, and then repeating the process with a new property. With an ADU, you can buy a property with an existing ADU or build one yourself, renovate it if necessary, and then rent it out to generate income. Once you have built equity in the property, you can refinance it to access cash for future investments.

Other strategies that can be implemented with ADU rental include:

  1. Long-term rental strategy: Renting out the ADU on a long-term basis to generate steady rental income.

  2. Short-term rental strategy: Renting out the ADU on a short-term basis through platforms like Airbnb to generate higher rental income but with more work and management.

  3. Vacation rental strategy: Turning the ADU into a vacation rental that can be rented out during peak travel seasons to generate higher rental income.

  4. House flipping strategy: Buying a property with an existing ADU, renovating it, and then selling it for a profit.

Overall, the best strategy for ADU retirement income depends on your individual goals, financial situation, and risk tolerance. It's important to work with a financial advisor to develop a plan that is tailored to your specific needs and goals.


Benefits of Short-Term Rental:

One of the primary benefits of short-term rental is that it can generate significantly higher rental income compared to long-term rental. Short-term rentals are typically rented out on a nightly or weekly basis, which allows homeowners to charge higher rates and generate more income. Additionally, homeowners can take advantage of peak travel seasons to generate even more income.

Another benefit of short-term rental is flexibility. Homeowners can choose when to rent out their ADU and for how long, giving them more control over their rental income.

Drawbacks or Worst-Case Scenario of Short-Term Rental:

However, short-term rental also comes with some drawbacks and risks. For example, short-term rental may require more management and maintenance compared to long-term rental. Homeowners need to ensure that their ADU is cleaned and prepared for each new guest, and they may also need to handle guest inquiries, complaints, and other issues.

Additionally, short-term rental may be subject to more regulations and legal requirements compared to long-term rental. Homeowners need to be aware of local laws and regulations related to short-term rental, including zoning laws, taxes, and permits.

In worst-case scenarios, short-term rental can also lead to property damage, liability issues, and legal disputes with guests or neighbors. Homeowners need to ensure that they have adequate insurance coverage and take steps to minimize risks.

Passive or Active Income:

Short-term rental can be either passive or active income, depending on how much management and maintenance is required. If homeowners hire a property manager or a cleaning service to handle guest management and maintenance, short-term rental can be passive income. However, if homeowners handle guest management and maintenance themselves, short-term rental can be considered active income.

Things Homeowners Need to Know:

If short-term rental is considered active income, homeowners need to be aware of their tax obligations. Short-term rental income is generally subject to federal and state income taxes, as well as local occupancy taxes in some areas. Homeowners may also need to pay self-employment taxes if they are actively managing their short-term rental.

Overall, short-term rental can be a profitable strategy for generating rental income with an ADU. However, homeowners need to weigh the benefits and risks and ensure that they are prepared to manage their short-term rental effectively.


There are a few potential nightmares or challenges associated with hosting on Airbnb that homeowners should be aware of:
  1. Property damage: One of the biggest concerns for Airbnb hosts is property damage caused by guests. Even with security deposits and insurance coverage, hosts may still be on the hook for repair costs or may have to spend significant time dealing with the issue.

  2. Guest behavior: Hosts may also experience issues with guest behavior, such as noise complaints, unruly guests, or illegal activities. These issues can be difficult to manage and may require hosts to take action or involve law enforcement.

  3. Cancellation: Airbnb guests have the ability to cancel their reservation at any time, which can be frustrating for hosts who have already prepared their home for their arrival.

  4. Legal issues: In some cases, Airbnb hosts may face legal issues related to zoning laws, local regulations, or tax compliance. This can result in fines or legal action against the host.

  5. Eviction: Airbnb guests may overstay their reservation or refuse to leave, leading to eviction proceedings. This can be a time-consuming and expensive process for hosts.

In terms of Airbnb host coverage, while Airbnb does offer insurance coverage for hosts, there may be limitations or exclusions in the policy. Hosts should carefully review the terms and conditions of the policy to understand what is covered and what is not.

In the case of damages or accidents, hosts may need to file a claim with Airbnb and provide evidence of the damage or accident. However, the process may be time-consuming and may not cover the full cost of repairs or medical expenses.

Overall, hosting on Airbnb can be a profitable way to generate rental income with an ADU, but hosts should be aware of the potential challenges and risks associated with the platform. Hosts should take steps to protect their property and minimize risks, such as setting clear rules for guests and conducting thorough guest screenings. It is also recommended that hosts consult with a local attorney and tax professional to ensure that they are in compliance with all relevant laws and regulations.


AirCover by Airbnb is a new insurance policy offered by Airbnb that provides hosts with coverage for certain damages and losses related to their hosting activities. The policy includes coverage for property damage, liability claims, and accidental injuries to guests or their property.

AirCover is designed to supplement Airbnb's existing Host Protection Insurance and Host Guarantee programs, which offer limited coverage for certain types of damages and losses. However, AirCover provides more comprehensive coverage for a broader range of incidents.

Some of the features of AirCover include:

  • Coverage for property damage up to $1 million

  • Coverage for liability claims up to $2 million

  • Coverage for accidental injuries to guests or their property up to $1 million

  • No deductible for hosts

  • Access to a 24/7 claims hotline and support from a dedicated claims team

Hosts can purchase AirCover as an add-on to their existing Airbnb hosting account, and the policy is priced based on the length of the reservation and the value of the booking.

The response from hosts to AirCover has been mixed. Some hosts appreciate the additional coverage and peace of mind that AirCover provides, while others feel that the policy is too expensive and that Airbnb should be doing more to protect hosts from losses and damages.

One potential drawback of AirCover is that it may not cover all types of incidents or damages. Hosts should carefully review the terms and conditions of the policy to understand what is covered and what is not.

Overall, AirCover by Airbnb is a new insurance policy that provides hosts with additional coverage for certain types of damages and losses related to their hosting activities. While the policy may not be perfect, it can provide hosts with an additional layer of protection and peace of mind.