Americans Need to Save More. Here is How Self-Directed IRAs can Help.

Millions of Americans need to do more to prepare for a secure retirement. Those are the results of the newly-released 2018 Planning and Progress Study from Northwestern Mutual. Nearly 8 out of 10 Americans are concerned about their own retirement security, and more than two thirds are concerned about outliving their retirement savings.  Self-Directed IRAs may be the key to securing a nice retirement.

Key Findings:

  • One out of five Americans have no retirement savings whatsoever.
  • 33 percent of Baby Boomers – now nearing or entering their retirement age, have $25,000 or less in retirement savings.
  • Three out of four Americans believe it is only “somewhat likely” or “not at all likely” that Social Security will be there for them in retirement.
  • Almost half of all Americans have not taken any steps to help ensure they will outlive their retirement assets.

More Americans expect to be working longer into their traditional retirement years. Nearly 4 in 10 (38 percent) expect to be working at least to age 70 – well past the traditional retirement ages of 60 to 65 years. Only 33 percent expect to be able to retire during that traditional age range.

Additionally, fully 55 percent of respondents – more than half – expect they will need to work past age 65, with nearly three quarters of them reporting insufficient savings as the primary driver of the decision to keep working. Other contributing factors include the expectation that Social Security will not be around for them in its present form, and concerns over increasing health care and long-term care costs.

You can read more about the study and its methodology here.

What To Do About It

The gap between retirement income needs and the capacity of individuals’ assets to generate retirement income is substantial. Experts recommend increasing savings and investment. Here are some of the things you can do to help maximize the chances of having a secure, successful retirement:

1.)  Start saving early. The sooner you begin saving in earnest, the more compounding can work in your favor, and the less investment risk you will need to take to meet your retirement income needs.

2.)  Maximize tax-advantaged saving and investing opportunities. Save as much as you can in Self-Directed IRAs, Self-Directed Solo 401(K)s, Thrift Savings Plans and other tax-favored account types. If you have self-employment income or own a business, start a retirement plan of your own, and contribute as much as you can.

3.)  Start a Self-Directed IRA. These increasingly popular Self-Directed IRAs are designed to enable investors to expose themselves to a wider variety of asset classes not readily available from traditional investment companies, which focus on stocks, bonds, mutual funds and annuities. Self-Directed IRAs enable you to take direct ownership of hand-selected real estate, gold and precious metals, tax liens and certificates, private placements, venture capital and other assets not normally available from retail brokerages and investment companies.

4.)  Own real estate. Real estate offers a powerful combination of current income, increasing income potential, capital appreciation, leverage and downside risk protection. We recommend owning at least some real estate within a Self-Directed Real Estate IRA, which allows for both income and capital appreciation on a tax-deferred basis, or in the case of Self-Directed Roth IRA accounts, tax-free.

5.)  Reduce the fees you pay. The average actively-managed mutual fund can sap your portfolio of 20 percent or more of its value over a lifetime, thanks to high mutual fund expense ratios and other hidden transactions. Consider migrating some of your assets to index funds and pull assets from accounts with expensive “wrap” fees and assets-under-management fees to firms that charge a much more reasonable flat rate for services rendered. For example, if you are a long-term, buy-and-hold investor, it makes little sense to subsidize other investors’ trading by paying a high expense ratio, which can eat away at your retirement nest egg like termites.

This can cost thousands of dollars per year in a good-sized investment portfolio. A flat rate, menu-based fee schedule may cost a small fraction of the fees and expenses you’re currently paying to a traditional broker or investment company.

6.)  Start taking positive steps today. For example, open a Self-Directed IRA or Real Estate IRA with American IRA, LLC. American IRA is one of America’s leading providers of administrative services for Self-Directed IRAs of all stripes. Once your account is open and funded, it is very easy to purchase assets – including entire houses and apartment buildings – for your retirement portfolio.

To get started, call us today at 866-7500-IRA (472) or visit us on the Web at

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

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!

Self Directed IRA Services: Your Key to Financial Freedom

Self-Directed IRA Services

When you decide to set aside money for retirement using a traditional IRA, it can feel frustrating and frightening to be out of the loop when it comes to investing. You may worry about your retirement fund being managed poorly or unskilled and incompetent investing services flushing all of your hard earned money down the toilet. However, when you decide to trust your money with a company who offers self directed IRA services, such as American IRA, you are in the driver’s seat.

A company with self directed IRA services allows you to decide where your money goes and gives you total control over which investments you want to make, and it doesn’t just stop there. Do you want to invest your money in real estate or precious metals? Having IRA services that are self directed enable you to put your money wherever you feel the most confident. Traditional investing services will not allow you this type of  independence and flexibility.

Building trust in a company is important, especially when it comes to your finances, and you do not want to be left in the dark about where your money is being invested. In order to give you this type of financial freedom, companies who offer self directed IRA services will work for you as your personal trustee company. At American IRA, you will have the power to make all of the financial decisions, while benefiting from the security of having a trustee watch over your IRA.

American IRA  is a leader in self-directed IRA services, and can help you feel secure and confident in your investments. Don’t waste any more time and money with companies who do not have your specific interests in mind. Click here for more information on self-directed IRA services, or call 1-866-7500-IRA(472).

If you have any questions about opening a new account, contact us at 1-866-7500-IRA(472) or If you’d like to transfer your existing portfolio, contact us at 1-866-7500-IRA(472) or


Jim on Google+

Self-Directed IRA Services

Self-Directed IRA Services

American IRA provides self-directed IRA Services across the United States, and we’re always excited to tell potential clients what makes our company different. For over 30 years, CEO Jim Hitt has committed himself to the investing world in all of its various aspects. Since 1982, Jim has made the most of self-directed IRAs for his own investments, and he’s continues to devote himself to helping others maximize their self-directed IRA retirement funds.

Jim has a knack for purchasing multiple asset types, including financing and acquiring real estate, private offerings, mortgage lending, joint ventures, and more. His creative techniques have allowed him to develop, own, and manage everything from single family homes to million dollar businesses. American IRA’s self-directed IRA services also include educational materials and presentations that teach you how to use your self-directed IRA or 401k to earn tax-free income.

Sean McKay is another valuable member of the team, and he greatly enhances our self-directed IRA services as well. Sean has been investing in real estate for the past 10 years, and he even serves on the Board of Directors for Metrolina REIA, a non-profit organization that provides an avenue for real estate investors to learn and network amongst themselves. Sean especially enjoys the educational component of his work with our clients.

American IRA aims to simplify the processes associated with our self-directed IRA services as much as possible. Setting up or transferring IRA accounts has now been reduced to six simple steps, and we’ll gladly assist you every step of the way. From walking you through account funding to requesting payment authorization forms and depositing income generated from your assets into your self-directed IRA, we aim to make the self-directed experience as investor-friendly as possible!

Click Here for a Full List of all 6 Steps

If you have any questions about opening a new account, contact us at 1-866-7500-IRA(472) or If you’d like to transfer your existing portfolio, contact us at 1-866-7500-IRA(472) or


Jim on Google+

What to Look for in a Self-Directed IRA Administrator

If you’re interested in the power and flexibility of a self-directed IRA, American IRA recommends that you perform due diligence as early as possible. For example, when looking for a self-directed IRA administrator, there are a number of aspects to consider; after all, this can greatly affect your IRA account and thus your future retirement!

When looking for a self-directed IRA administrator, you should first consider the company’s total experience level. Are they simply a new startup or do they have decades of relevant investing experience? What quantity of funds have they administered?  For example, American IRA’s CEO Jim Hitt and his team bring over 40 years of self-directed experience to the table, having administered over $250 million. These are crucial elements that help determine reliability levels along with their degree of expertise.

Next, does the firm in question have a solid BBB rating? Also, is their customer service very accommodating? It’s best if they have an A+ rating and don’t lead you down a long chain of phone calls, call routing, etc. For example, we emphasize the fact that you can talk to a live representatives rather than digging through menu after automated menu, contributing to our A+ BBB rating.

American IRA charges a low set fee for unlimited assets and unlimited account values. Other companies charge variable IRA account fees – for example, if you have a large account or high number of assets you may be charged more by other self-directed IRA administrators. Yet again, others administrators assign you a new representative for every call; at American IRA we know who our clients are and you can rest assured that you’re always speaking with an experienced IRA administrator.

These items should help you establish a reliability and service level baseline for IRA administrators so you can make the most informed decision possible.

If you have any questions about opening a new account, contact us at 1-866-7500-IRA(472) or If you’d like to transfer your existing portfolio, contact us at 1-866-7500-IRA(472) or

Jim on Google+

Self-Directed IRA Services: Your Key to a Brand New Nest Egg

Self-Directed IRA ServicesIs your retirement fund feeling a little stale with the same limited portfolio diversification you’ve come to expect over the years? Are stocks and bonds getting old? Are you looking for something a little different?

Self-directed IRA services with American IRA offer a different approach; an alternative way to invest in what you know best! There are many different investment possibilities out there beyond your traditional options. In fact, self-directed IRAs are a fantastic way to put your hard-earned savings to work in various tax-reduced or even tax-free accounts!

Whether you’re interested in real estate investing, starting up an LLC, or mastering tax liens and deeds, self-directed IRA services with American IRA facilitate your investing imagination. There is one “caveat” however: once you start with self-directed IRAs, it’s hard to go back to traditional accounts!

Fortunately, a self-directed IRA is more about the possibilities than the restrictions. For example, you can invest in gold, act as a private lender, or rent out a property by implementing a buy and hold real estate strategy to name just a few more options at your fingertips. While the IRS does specify certain rules on what you can’t invest in, this is a very limited list.

Have you ever wondered if you could somehow tie an education savings account to your IRA? Self-directed IRA services once again unlock even this capability. If you want to embrace the future of IRA investing, contact us and we’ll be happy to provide you with more information!

If you have any questions about opening a new account, contact us at 1-866-7500-IRA(472) or If you’d like to transfer your existing portfolio, contact us at 1-866-7500-IRA(472) or transactions@americanira.comClick here for more information on both topics.


Jim on Google+

New Suits Over Do-It-Yourself IRAs, As Reported By The Wall Street Journal, Prompts American IRA, LLC To Remind Self-Directed IRA Holders About Important ‘Due Diligence’

New Suits Over Do-It-Yourself IRAs, as reported by the Wall Street Journal, prompts American IRA, LLC to remind self-directed IRA holders about the importance of ‘Due Diligence’. Regardless of what you invest in…it is critical that investors perform ‘due diligence’ and that they hire professionals to perform ‘due diligence’ for them when they are working in an area that they are not an expert in.

The Wall Street Journal reports that a wave of blowups in self-directed IRAs has prompted some investors to go after firms that handle the paperwork. The article goes on to report that self-directed IRAs have been around for years and have increased in popularity as investors sought after investments that brought higher returns than the stock market.

This recent lawsuit has brought suit in the U.S. District Court in Los Angeles by investors who allege that the companies administering their accounts knew the investors money had been stolen by scam artists yet sent them reports showing the value of their account remained the same. Jim Hitt, CEO of American IRA explains, “There is a common misunderstanding of how the retirement accounts are valued. When an investor takes money out of their retirement account and purchases an asset, the value of that asset is included in the value of the retirement account. The difference is between “cash value” which is the actual “cash” in the account and “asset value” which is the combined value of all the assets in the account. The value of the asset is established at the time of purchase and is then required to be re-evaluated by a professional each year. The professional deems the value of the asset and then that asset’s value is updated accordingly on an annual basis. In the event that an asset loses value prior to the annual evaluation, the account holder must get a professional to evaluate the value and only then can the asset’s value be updated in their account. It is very likely in this case, that the asset values were never formerly re-evaluated which left the value of the account the same even though the investment had gone flat.”

American IRA always emphasis’ the importance of ‘due diligence’ and the importance of working with an administrator who is willing to explain the self-directed IRA process.

The Wall Street Journal article goes on to explain that the outcome of this lawsuit is unclear since administrators do not choose the investments or take fees based on investment success. Jim Hitt, offers a reminder “Administrators do not assign the value to assets.”

Retirement at 23?!? Bain Capital offered their employees a chance to co-invest in take over deals averaging 50% to 80% returns in their self-directed retirement accounts.

Retirement at 23?!? According to a Wall Street Journal article, Bain Capital offered their employees a chance to co-invest in take over deals averaging 50% to 80% returns in their self-directed retirement accounts. American IRA, LLC CEO, Jim Hitt, says “This is one outstanding example of how tax-deferred and tax-free accounts can be used to build wealth.”

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