Posts

A Brief Glossary of Self-Directed IRA Commonly Used Terms

If you are new to Self-Directed IRA investing, to include Self-Directed Real Estate IRA and Self-Directed Gold IRA investing, you may hear a number of terms bandied about that you are not yet familiar with. Here is a brief glossary of terms commonly used in the Self-Directed IRA world.

AUM fees: A fee, charged as a percentage of assets a custodian or administrator holds on your behalf, that is generally deducted from your account on a monthly or annual basis. The term AUM stands for assets under management. Many investors can save money by switching from an account with an AUM fee to an administrator such as American IRA, LLC, which charges based on a flat rate menu of common services and procedures. People who buy and hold and do not trade frequently can save hundreds or thousands of dollars each year in fees by switching to a flat rate, menu-based fee structure.

Commingling. In the Self-Directed IRA context, commingling refers to combining assets from your personal account in the same account as an IRA investment or vice versa. Commingling may be construed to be a prohibited transaction and result in your Self-Directed IRA being disqualified. Keep your assets and your retirement assets strictly segregated.

Self-Directed Coverdell Education Savings Account: A special tax advantaged college savings tool, popular among tax sensitive parents. Also called “Education IRAs.” You can self-direct these assets as well.

Fair market value: The estimated value of an asset based on an “arms length” transaction from a disinterested and neutral but informed buyer. Self-Directed IRA owners must provide a year-end fair market value estimate for all assets in their self-directed accounts.

Self-Directed Gold IRA: A Self-Directed IRA that is primarily invested in gold.

Non-recourse loan: A loan secured entirely by the property lent on. Under the terms of a non-recourse loan, if the borrower defaults, the lender must have no recourse to sue the Self-Directed IRA owner or attach any assets besides the property in order to satisfy the debt. All mortgages on property held within a Self-Directed IRA or Self-Directed Real Estate IRA must be non-recourse loans. Self-Directed IRA owners and disqualified persons cannot provide a personal guarantee on the loan, or the transaction may be considered a prohibited investment.

Prohibited investment: An investment into an asset not allowed by law. Self-Directed IRAs cannot be invested in life insurance, art, collectibles, alcoholic beverages, gems and jewelry, and gold coins and bullion of insufficient or inconsistent purity.

Prohibited transaction: A transaction prohibited to Self-Directed IRAs or other retirement accounts by law. For example, a Self-Directed IRA cannot buy or borrow from, nor lend or sell to his or her children or grandchildren, his or her spouse’s children or grandchildren, nor to his parents or grandparents or those of his spouse. Self-Directed IRAs also cannot transact with any entities controlled by any of these individuals, nor with any advisors acting in a fiduciary capacity with respect to the Self-Directed IRA investment, nor any entities he or she controls.

Self-Directed Silver IRA: A Self-Directed IRA primarily invested in silver.

Small business retirement plan: A pension plan designed for entrepreneurs, self-employed individuals and businesses with a small number of employees. Examples include Self-Directed SIMPLE IRA plans, Self-Directed SEP IRAs, and Self-Directed Solo 401(K)s

Self-Directed Solo 401(K): A streamlined type of 401(K) plan designed specifically for businesses with just one owner, or an owner and his or her spouse, and no other full-time employees.

Self-Directed Spousal IRA: A Self-Directed IRA established in the name of a spouse who does not have adequate earned income in his or her own name.

Unrelated business income tax: In the Self-Directed IRA context, income attributable to leverage, rather than to investment from the Self-Directed IRA account holder himself, or herself.  Closely related to unrelated debt-financed income tax.

Interested in learning more about Self-Directed IRAs?  Contact American IRA, LLC at 866-7500-IRA (472) for a free consultation.  Or visit us online at www.AmericanIRA.com.

Five Things Realtors Should Know About the Self-Directed IRA

A Self-Directed IRA is a powerful tool for aspiring retirees to build wealth by focusing on the assets they want to focus on. One such asset class: real estate. That is why it is so vital for realtors who want to know their market to understand that some real estate investors might be looking for the next great real estate opportunity as part of their retirement strategy.

With that in mind, we have taken some key facts about the Self-Directed IRA that every realtor should know. Here are what realtors should know about this unique retirement arrangement:

  1. The Self-Directed IRA Allows for Real Estate Investing

This may be one of the most basic and fundamental ways to understand the Self-Directed IRA: the IRS does not have many restrictions when it comes to the investment types held in an IRA. A Self-Directed IRA holder can choose from assets as diverse as real estate and precious metals. It is not difficult to see how this might be relevant for a realtor.

Do not discount a potential client because they are using a Self-Directed IRA as a way to build retirement wealth. These investors may actually prove to be more savvy and knowledgeable about real estate than you might have imagined; they are just going about their real estate investing in a way that is not always “traditional.”

  1. Self-Directed IRAs Allow for Non-Recourse Financing

When you think about an ideal client—someone who could potentially invest in real estate now—you might not think of someone who is looking to make a retirement investment. That is because typically, many people do not see loans and leverage as a way to build a retirement nest egg. But it is possible using a Self-Directed IRA—real estate investors can use non-recourse financing to ensure that they utilize leverage to make a real estate investment. That means that even if a client does not necessarily have the current funds to make the investment you might be pointing out to them, they might still be capable of making it using a Self-Directed IRA.

  1. Real Estate Grows Inside a Retirement Account Tax-Free

If you need a way to push the incentives of investing in real estate, a retirement account is the way to go. Rental income and sales proceeds will go into the Self-Directed IRA, not to the individual, which means they can then grow tax-free. This gives you, as a realtor, the ability to save your clients a lot of money simply by broaching the subject of the Self-Directed IRA as an investment option. And those who look at real estate as a pure investment will be excited to know that they can guarantee themselves higher returns simply by going about it the right way.

  1. There are Restrictions, but Investment Real Estate is the Key

No, a client cannot invest in their personal home through a Self-Directed IRA. That means they cannot use real estate they hold within this retirement account for personal needs. However, just about any other type of investment real estate is perfectly acceptable—including single-family homes, commercial property, and even apartment buildings.

  1. Diversification is the Key to Success

Anyone looking to expand their retirement portfolio and build their wealth on solid foundations of diversification are looking for a way out of 100% stocks and bonds. A Self-Directed IRA presents exactly that opportunity. Investing in real estate—or even other options like precious metals—affords individuals the right to build a wide net in their quest for retirement success.

Interested in learning more about how you can help your clients with your knowledge of Self-Directed IRAs? Give us a call at 866-7500-IRA or visit www.AmericanIRA.com

Self-Directed Solo 401(K)

When saving for retirement, many people use a Self-Directed Solo 401(K) plan. This plan is designed particularly for small businesses which employ only themselves and their spouse.

Since passage of the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Act of 2001 (EGTRRA) Solo 401(K) plans became a much better choice for sole proprietorships. This law allows one to reap all of the benefits of Traditional 401(K) plans with a number of significant advantages.

 

The Self-Directed Solo 401(K) allows you to put aside more money for retirement

Under the 2018 rules, a Traditional IRA only allows someone to contribute a maximum of $5,500 annually until the age of 50 or $6,500 50+. However, a Self-Directed Solo 401(K) is more generous. Under the age of 50, the Self-Directed Solo 401K) plan allows you to contribute a maximum of $18,500 annually, and $24,500 each year after then. Perhaps the most significant advantage to a Solo 401(K) is the permitted profit-sharing contribution. Your business can also make a profit-sharing contribution of 20%, until a combined maximum limit of $55,000 is reached. After the age of 50, a $6,000 “catch-up” contribution can be added which increases the combined maximum amount to $61,000. If your spouse also contributes to the business, you can both contribute funds into your own accounts, which effectively doubles all of these limits.

Another benefit of a Self-Directed Solo 401(K) is a Self-Directed Roth IRA Option, which allows you to make after-tax contributions, unlike the Traditional Self-Directed 401(K) which only permits pre-tax contributions.

 

Eligibility Requirement for a Self-Directed Solo 401(K)

In order to qualify for a Self-Directed Solo 401(K), your business may have no other full-time employees besides you and your spouse. The business also must pay you a salary or wage as an individual.  The deadline for establishing a Solo 401(K) plan is the last day of your business’s tax year (December 31, for a calendar tax year). However, if the business is incorporated, you would probably want to form your Self-Directed Solo 401(K) early in the year because you cannot contribute any income which is not earned that year before the Solo 401(K) was formed.

 

Permitted Investments for a Self-Directed Solo 401(K)

Your Self-Directed Solo 401(K) plan can invest in almost anything. This allows you to both diversify your investments or and maximize returns – whichever is more important to you.

 

Tax Advantages of a Self-Directed Solo 401(K)

If you invest funds from your Self-Directed Solo 401(K) in real estate, there are significant tax advantages. When purchasing real estate, you can use nonrecourse leverage which avoids UDFI rules and is exempt from UBTI taxes. This is a substantial savings, as the UBTI tax is approximately 40% for 2018.

There are also tax deductions which can be claimed when using a Self-Directed Solo 401(K). Because you are paying for the Solo 401(K) with business funds, you could claim the cost of the plan as a tax deduction.

 

You can borrow money from your Self-Directed Solo 401(K)

Unlike many other retirement plans like Self-Directed Traditional IRA plans, which are forbidden from making loans, you can borrow money from your Self-Directed Solo 401(K). This can be up to $50,000 or 50% of your account value. There are no restrictions on the use of these funds. An additional benefit to this type of loan is the interest rate, which is essentially 0%, since you are both the lender and the borrower.

For more information on Self-Directed IRAs or Self-Directed Solo 401(K)s, call us today at 866-7500-IRA (472) or visit us at www.AmericanIRA.com.

Self-Directed IRA Private Lending

What is Self-Directed IRA Private Lending?

One of the many lesser known but lucrative ways to benefit from your Self-Directed IRA is through private lending. Perhaps the best “alternative asset” to is providing others with the capital to make major purchases such as real estate. Instead of a bank collecting the interest, the Self-Directed IRA makes this profit. Many loans made by Self-Directed IRAs are for purchasing real estate. Some people who may be creditworthy but still are unable to secure financing from a bank will look for other sources for loans. They might not really be such bad risks, but since banks have tightened up their guidelines, such individuals will have to find alternative sources for financing. Some examples of these people who may be unable to qualify for traditional loans are the self-employed or those who earn their income from commissions. However, it is vitally important to do your own due diligence into the potential borrower. Once you determine this person is an acceptable risk, you can proceed with the transaction.

The Self-Directed IRA holder can select the borrower, interest rate, security (which may be real estate, businesses or another asset you agree on) as well as all other terms of the loan such as length and frequency of payment. Like all investments, there is a risk to Self-Directed IRA Lending. The borrower may have not been able to arrange for financing due to legitimate reasons such his credit history, and possibly be unable or unwilling to pay. Should the worst happen, and the borrower fail to honor his/her commitment, you will still have the agreed-upon security to fall back on. If you are willing to take a potentially serious chance in exchange for more income, you can provide an unsecured loan. This will usually generate a higher interest rate, but it can also represent a serious risk because it is not backed by any collateral.

Another type of borrower could be more an entity which wants to raise capital while using a promissory note with company stock as the collateral. The risk to you with this type of secured note is that the value of the collateral is directly impacted by the success or the failure of the company that has issued the note

 

Benefits of Self-Directed IRA Private Lending

The benefits of Self-Directed IRA Lending are many and varied. Some of these advantages are another way to diversify your investments and create a pre-established return on your money. The loan’s principal and interest payments provide a steady, secure income stream to your Self-Directed IRA. You are essentially investing in both the borrower and the asset pledged as security, since this is ultimately available in the event of a default on the loan.

Another significant advantage of private lending with a Self-Directed IRA comes at tax time. Profits from this lending still benefit from all of an IRA. All gains from this type of investment are tax-deferred until a distribution is taken from your Self-Directed IRA. An additional advantage of a Self-Directed IRA is the ability to adjust the timing of these distributions if you have more than one retirement account, as long as you remove enough funds in total. The distributions from your retirement accounts are not required until the IRA owner reaches the age of 70 1/2. Even better, if you have a Self-Directed Roth IRA, these profits are tax-free permanently.

 

Regulations of Self-Directed IRA Private Lending

The first essential regulation regarding IRA lending is that it must be a Self-Directed IRA. One of the principal regulations regarding Self-Directed IRA Lending must already be in place. The IRA is a separate legal entity and not your personal finances. All of the necessary paperwork involved with lending money from your Self-Directed IRA will have its own legal name.  It is the IRA itself, and not you, who is making the loan. Therefore, all income produced from this transaction goes directly into the Self-Directed IRA.

Another rule for private lending from your Self-Directed IRA is that the loan must be for a real economic transaction. Additionally, funds from a Self-Directed IRA can only be lent to a “non-disqualified person.”  Certain family members are disqualified people. They include you, your spouse, parents, grandparents, children, etc. However, other relatives such as siblings, cousins, nieces and nephews, as well as aunts and uncles are non-disqualified people.

For more information on Self-Directed IRAs, call us today at 866-7500-IRA (472) or visit us at www.AmericanIRA.com.

The 5 Best Suburbs in the SouthEast for Self-Directed Real Estate IRA Owners to Retire To

Real Estate IRA investors and property owners looking to relocate after retirement know the south has some of the best towns in the county to live.  Many Self-Directed IRA owners are interested in keeping their investments close to their retirement destination.

Real Estate IRA owners are looking for homes at a reasonable price, relative to rental yields, stable or improving employment prospects, and the ability to get into a new property without having to commit $1 million or more into an overheated housing market.

Additionally, it is nice to have favorable landlord-tenant laws and a decent state tax environment. State and local income and property taxes can really eat into Real Estate IRA profits if you are not careful.

And lastly, since many of our clients are here in the southeastern United States, we’re also always looking for great spots that are close to family – especially grandchildren.

The editors of USA Today recently published a useful guide to the top ten suburbs for retirees, primarily using the following criteria:

  • Modest cost of living
  • Median home prices
  • Property tax rates

A number of towns here in the Southeast made the cut:

  • Bermuda Run, North Carolina

This charming town in Davie County is one of the most promising suburbs of Winston-Salem. The town was incorporated in 1999 as one of only three gated communities in the state to be designated an official municipality. It recently annexed the nearby Kinderton Village community.

Property taxes are very low at $1,666 per year, on average, based on a median home price of $167,450. Meanwhile, the population is quite affluent, with a mean household income of $108,558. So, there is lots of room for house prices to grow.

  • Plantation, Florida

This bustling Broward County suburb just west of Fort Lauderdale is an easy commute from downtown – just down Broward Boulevard. It is home to a lot of city employees and has homes available at a variety of price points.

Homes in this area are on the pricy side: The median home last year listed for $329,250, with property taxes adding an average of $4,122 to the annual cost of ownership. Incomes are relatively low, here, too, relative to house prices, with a mean household income of $79,797.

Florida has some benefits that could reflect well with investors.  The lack of a state income tax means you can enjoy more of the rental income your properties produce.  Florida is also very friendly to investors, from a bankruptcy protection perspective. This is important for Self-Directed IRA investors, as real estate can generate liability if you are not careful – though assets within Real Estate IRAs are not generally considered personal assets at risk in the event of bankruptcy.

  • Fairfield Harbour, North Carolina

Fairfield Harbour, in Craven County, is a resort community near New Bern in beautiful coastal North Carolina. Among the chief attractions: The beautiful Fairfield Park golf course. Like Bermuda Run, it is a gated community. The median list price for Fairfield Harbour is $189,900 – well within the reach of the area’s mean household income of $65,903. Property tax is quite low at $1,343.

Fairfield Harbour and the nearby town of New Bern are two of the best kept secrets in America when it comes to affordable coastal living.

  • Sunset Beach, North Carolina

This upscale Brunswick County community sports median home listing prices of $324,900, making it one of the pricier areas in North Carolina. The town consists of two mainland neighborhoods and a barrier island, which has about 1,200 homes. The area is home to three golf courses – Oyster Bay, Sandpiper Bay and Sea Trail resort – and the developments around these courses represent the bulk of the residential real estate.

The mean household income in Sunset Beach is $70,992, which means many families are stretching to afford the homes they have now – especially more recent buyers.

Annual taxes of $1,348 make it among the lowest-tax communities on the list.  This is a plus for Real Estate IRA investors looking to relocate.

  • Timber Pines, Florida

This small community in Hernando County, Florida offers some of the best freshwater fishing in the country. The closest major cities are Tampa to the south, and Ocala, to the northeast. It is a popular destination for retirees, including many Real Estate IRA investors attracted by the year-round mild climate and the lack of state income taxes on rental income.

The median house price is quite modest for Florida, at $159,900, within easy reach for the average household in the area, which logs an income of $56,974 per year.

For more information on Self-Directed Real Estate IRAs, or to schedule a no-obligation consultation, visit our website at www.AmericanIRA.com. Or call us today at 866-7500-IRA (472).

We look forward to serving you.

Self-Directed IRA Investors – Get A Proof of Funds Letter

In today’s smoking hot real estate market, buyers need to move fast. To have the best chance of securing the winning bid and successfully acquiring the asset, Self-Directed IRA investors, like everyone else, need to be fully prepared going into a transaction.  This is particularly important in the hotter, more competitive markets, where sellers are entertaining multiple bids from competing buyers.

Sellers do not want to waste time working with unqualified buyers with barriers to close.  They will quickly weed out weak buyers who cannot even come up with down payment funds.

One thing buyers love to see is a proof-of-funds letter. For most people, this is simply a verification letter from their bank they have enough cash on hand – or access to a ready line of credit – to make the necessary down payment on the property. This is especially valuable if you have not been pre-approved for a mortgage.  It is not uncommon for sellers to request the letter as part of the offer to purchase.  As such, you may need to secure a proof of funds letter from American IRA early in the process.  Ideally, having one on hand even when previewing properties is a good faith component for sellers.  If you have a pre-approval letter from the lender, if any, it is nice to be able to provide that as well.  If you are doing an all cash purchase, in or out of a Real Estate IRA, have a proof-of-funds letter is even more important!

The proof of funds letter should contain your name (or if you are using an Self-Directed IRA, the name of your IRA account), the financial institution’s name and contact information, and language similar to this:

We confirm that John Doe, owner of the John Doe Self-Directed IRA, has available funds in the sum of $_______ as of [date]. If you desire further verification of those funds, please feel free to contact us at [phone number].

Sincerely,

[Authorized financial institution representative]

In the private end buyer market, conventional mortgages could require 10-20 percent down.  They can be as low as 3.5 percent for FHA and zero down for VA loans.  In the Real Estate IRA world, down payments of 35 to 50 percent of the price of the asset are not uncommon. Add in 3-5 percent for miscellaneous closing costs and fees.

To lock the home down in a purchase contract, you may need to secure a proof of funds letter from American IRA, LLC early in the process.

Tips: Consolidate assets within your Real Estate IRA into a single cash or money market account before you go home shopping. Money in stocks or mutual funds usually will not count as funds on hand, because the assets are so volatile, and you cannot write a check on these assets. We can liquidate them for you and move them into a cash account, of course, and then send you a check, but it adds another day or two to the process, and as mentioned earlier in the article, timing is key.

Remember, if you are buying a property for your Real Estate IRA, every dime must come from within that Self-Directed IRA account. You cannot contribute any of your own personal money from outside of your Self-Directed IRA to acquire IRA assets.

For more information about Real Estate IRAs, or to arrange a no-obligation consultation, or if you are a client and need a proof-of-funds letter for a pending real estate transaction, call American IRA today at 866-7500-IRA (472), or visit us online at www.AmericanIRA.com.

We look forward to serving you.

Summer is Hot for Self-Directed Real Estate IRA Investors

Real estate is hot, and Zillow Research is projecting that it is going to get even hotter. That is terrific news for Real Estate IRA enthusiasts, who stand to benefit from several favorable trends as we roll into the peak home buying season of 2018.

First, homes are selling like hotcakes nationwide. 2017 saw the shortest time-on-market for the typical U.S. home on record. The average home sold in just 81 days last year – faster than even the crazy days of 2006-2007, just before the mortgage bubble collapse.

The high demand was not just for homes in San Francisco, Seattle and Miami. Homes sold faster in 2017 than in 2016 in nearly all the country’s 35 biggest metro markets.

July was last year’s hottest home sales month, when the average home closed just 71 days after its listing. But even that is misleading: The closing process is routinely 4 to 6 weeks long, especially for deals involving mortgages. So homes are actually coming off the market and under contract pending financing much faster than that – frequently in 30 days or even less.

On top of the lighting fast sales, the tight supply relative to demand is forcing buyers to bid against each other just to get in a home. One out of four homes sold in 2017 actually sold above their list prices.

The fastest-selling market in the U.S. was San Jose, home of the famed Silicon Valley, where buyers snapped up homes in an average of just 41 days. New York was the slowest market, with sales closing an average of 134 days after listing.

Here in the Southeast, Self-Directed IRA investments in real estate have been hopping.  Many of our clients have had great success with their accounts, the Atlanta metro market averaged 71 days. June was Atlanta’s fastest selling month when the average home closed in 63 days. Charlotte averaged 67 days, Tampa averaged 81 days, Austin averaged 61 days, Orlando averaged 86 and Baltimore averaged 94.

What lessons can we glean for Self-Directed IRAs with real estate investors?

According to Zillow’s market research, summer is the time to list homes for sale. People want to move when children are out of school, and summer is the traditional time for businesses to transfer employees for that reason.  You want to have the sale wrapped up by the time the kids go back to school in September.

The higher the demand, the more bids you can consider in a short amount of time. To maximize Real Estate IRA profits, bunch your bids to drive buyer competition. The time to do that is when the market (and the weather is hottest.)

Conversely, the time for your Self-Directed IRA to buy real estate is in the fall or winter.  Buyers are less competitive, and you may be able to snag a bargain for your Self-Directed Real Estate IRA investment portfolio.

You can get concessions in many markets. Another Zillow report found 76 percent of sellers had to give something up in the negotiation process.  Price, of course, was the most common.

For more information about Real Estate IRAs, or to schedule a no-obligation consultation on how you can take more direct control of your retirement finances and benefit from direct real estate ownership within an Self-Directed IRA or other retirement account, contact us today at 866-7500-IRA (472).  Or visit our extensive library of articles and blog posts and other educational materials at www.AmericanIRA.com.

We look forward to working with you.

Be a Better Self-Directed IRA Investor: Be Aware of Cognitive Biases and Emotional Traps

Are you as ‘squared away’ for retirement as you hope you are? Maybe not.  The Center for Retirement Security at Boston College has launched a new tool to help taxpayers determine whether they are on track for retirement – and to help Americans identify and address common psychological and behavioral traps that can short-circuit your retirement decision-making.  We recommend it for all Self-Directed IRA investors and conventional investors alike.

Curious Behaviors That Can Ruin Your Retirement is an interactive program on behavioral impediments to retirement planning. A host leads users through a series of exercises designed to create an “Aha!” moment as they relate to the behaviors. The host then explains how the behavior can hinder retirement planning and, coaches users through strategies that can help minimize the effects of these subconscious biases and help them develop a more rational decision-making process.

Users can then go to a “Learn More” page, which presents more information in multiple media formats. It is a terrific tool for all ages.

The tool is a fun and lighthearted look at a serious issue: Millions of Americans fall victim to irrational thought processes, emotionalism, wishful thinking, denial and a series of other misconceptions and cognitive weaknesses that cost real money.

A recent research report from Deloitte lists the following behavioral biases that can impact your ability to manage your Self-Directed IRAs:

  • Inertia: When you are used to doing things a certain way, the tendency is to take no action.
  • Present bias: The tendency to prioritize current wants over long-term needs
  • Passive decision making: The tendency to follow the path of least resistance, or to choose from the most obvious, readily-apparent options rather than investigate possible options more deeply.
  • Anchoring: The tendency to base decisions on a set value that may be irrelevant.
  • Partitioning: A tendency to make commitments piecemeal when you would be better served by bolder action. For example, the tendency to “dollar cost average” into a rising market when you may be better off investing a larger lump sum.
  • Peer pressure: Irrationally allowing other equally irrational actors to influence your decision-making.
  • Overconfidence: Excessive belief in your own abilities.
  • Effort aversion: The tendency to embrace the easy wrong option over the difficult right one.
  • Loss aversion: Allowing the fear of possible loss to prevent you from taking reasonable risks in the prospect of greater gains.
  • Endowment effect: The tendency to avoid giving up what one already has, even when a clearly better option is available.

As a group, Self-Directed IRA investors tend to be a rational bunch. Many of our clients are veteran investors and business people who have achieved significant success over the years. But all of us are human, and none of us are immune to any of these cognitive biases.

But forewarned is forearmed: Being aware of these biases and emotional traps can help you prevent falling victim to them. And that is going to make you a better Self-Directed IRA investor.

For more information about Self-Directed IRA investing, or to get started on your Self-Directed IRA investing journey, call us today at 866-7500-IRA (472). Or visit us at www.AmericanIRA.com.

We look forward to serving you.

Self-Directed IRA Administrators vs. Custodians

More and more people are coming to understand the power behind Self-Directed IRA strategies.  Further, they are embracing the wisdom of diverse and unconventional asset classes while liberating their retirement portfolios from the narrow outlooks frequently characterizing the big Wall Street investment firms.

As such, with that knowledge comes the increased openings of Self-Directed IRA accounts.  Many of these new investors are not yet clear on the role of custodians and third-party administrators in the Self-Directed IRA industry – and the important distinctions between the two.

Let’s take a closer look.

IRA rules prohibit investors from taking personal, direct possession of assets within their Self-Directed IRAs. Yes, you can own the house down the block within your Self-Directed IRA, but you cannot personally reside there. What is more, you cannot keep the gold coins your IRA owns in a safe in your living room.  To use a more traditional example, it is no different than not being able to personally hold your stock certificates residing in a Schwab IRA account.

Custodians hold your Self-Directed IRA assets on your behalf.  Administrators process the paperwork on behalf of the custodian.  American IRA is an administrator and New Vision Trust Company, a South Dakota chartered Trust Company, holds the assets.  New Vision Trust Company and American IRA, LLC are an integrated financial company providing both custodial and administrative oversight for your Self-Directed IRA transactions.

A custodian handles transactions and holds Self-Directed IRAs and other retirement assets on your IRA’s behalf. The IRS has stringent requirements for Self-Directed IRA custodians. These businesses are subject to regular inspections and audits by federal regulators. They can hold titles, cash, investments and other types of property on investors’ IRAs’ behalf, and handle a lot of transactions.

If you own gold or other precious metals, or physical assets within an Self-Directed IRA, chances are there will be a custodian in the mix, holding the gold or other assets in a secure, insured facility somewhere – or at least physically holding certificates.

An IRA third party administrator, such as American IRA, LLC, has a more tapered scope of engagement. Administrators are the account record-keepers responsible for generating statements and documents. We do not hold assets directly, but work with New Vision Trust Company, a South Dakota chartered Trust Company on your behalf.  New Vision Trust Company and American IRA, LLC are an integrated financial company providing custodial and administrative oversight for your IRA transactions.  We simplify the process, document your transactions, generate statements and 1099s, and work with your advisors to help you stay in compliance with IRS rules and regulations.

We do not advise on the suitability or non-suitability of any particular investment for your individual portfolio. That is up to you and your own financial advisors. We focus on quickly and accurately executing and recording the transaction on your behalf, in accordance with IRS regulations.

Moving down the Self-Directed IRA industry hierarchy, there are other professionals and salespeople known in the industry as “promoters” and “facilitators.”

These individuals do not handle transactions and do not hold assets on your behalf, but they support the Self-Directed IRA process in other ways.

One type of promoter might be a real estate agent who focuses on helping investors find properties for their Real Estate IRAs, and who becomes very knowledgeable in that niche. Others are financial advisors, RIAs, IARs, accountants and attorneys who also promote the Self-Directed IRA approach and help facilitate your Self-Directed IRA strategy.

For example, an attorney may help create entities within your Self-Directed IRA such as C corporations and LLCs which may help insulate other properties and IRA assets against the claims of creditors.

Every Self-Directed IRA investor needs a custodian or administrator affiliated with one or more custodians to create and maintain a functional Self-Directed IRA account. Few are totally go-it-alone beyond that. Most investors require a knowledgeable and experienced, multi-disciplinary team of professionals to get the most out of their self-directed retirement accounts.

Fortunately, getting started in Self-Directed IRA investing is very easy, and our team of professionals at American IRA, LLC is available to help you throughout the process.

To learn more about our services as one of the leading Self-Directed IRA administrators in the country, or to set up an account and get started investing, call us today at 866-7500-IRA (472), or visit us at www.AmericanIRA.com.

You can also read more on this subject at our blog, here.

Do not delay! Give us a call today! We look forward to working with you!

Events

Nothing Found

Sorry, no posts matched your criteria