Archive for November, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving And Thank You

Thursday, November 27th, 2014
Happy Thanksgiving!! We at Accuplan Benefits Services would like to give our sincere thanks to all of our employees, businesses we work with and most importantly to all of our clients who have put their faith in us to guide them in their non-traditional investments through a self-directed IRA

I will be spending Thanksgiving with my family while we eat some great food. Whether you choose to spend your Thanksgiving with your family chatting, playing games and watching loads of sports and movies on the tube or if you choose to spend it by yourself at home it doesn't matter. What matters is that your Thanksgiving is what you want it to be and we sure hope your Thanksgiving is everything you hope it to be. Here are some great stats for you to chew on for your Thanksgiving day while your sitting on the couch or sitting around the table or wherever it is you choose to read this.

Thanksgiving Statistics

Stats provided by http://www.statisticbrain.com/thanksgiving-statistics/

As my past post stated –> Don't Forget About Your Retirement During The Holiday's, it is getting very close to the end of the year. Because of that, now is the time to make sure you have done all that you can to maximize your retirement. The following posts are to help you figure out what you need to do before the end of the year for the betterment of your retirement.

Contact us with any questions about your self-directed IRA or if you need help setting up a self-directed IRA account. 

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Don’t Forget About Your Retirement During The Holidays

Monday, November 24th, 2014

Do The Holidays Got You Too Busy For Retirement.

While the holidays are in full swing the time can slip away from us and we forget to do some of the things that are important to our well-being. The holidays are a great time to relax and think of the things that we are grateful for but in the midst of this all we shouldn't forget that the end of the year is coming and that means we need to stay up on our retirement plan and remember not to forget the things that will help us get the most out of our retirement.

Since we are right smack dab in middle of the holidays and with this week being Thanksgivings I wanted to give you a quick list of some things you can do and hopefully not overwhelm you or take too much of your time during this busy time of the year. This list isn't detailed and if you have any uestions

  • If you don't have one set up your retirement plan –> Retirement Planning Guide
  • Re-evaluate your Retirement Plan –> End Of The Year Retirement To-Dos
  • Do everything you can to hit your retirement goals for this past year
  • Make sure you have maximized your possible contributions
  • Talk with your tax attorney or accountant and make sure there isn't anything more you should or can do to get the most tax breaks
  • Make sure your retirement plan has goals for next year, if not set them and make sure saving/investing to your retirement acounts is part of those goals!
  • If your retirement account isn't diversified, plan to diversify it so that you can maximize profits while limiting your risk and do it by investing in non-traditional assets like gold and real estate.


Accuplan Benefits Services wants you to get the most out of your retirement and that is why we believe in being able to have a truly self-directed IRA that allows you to invest in alternative investments. We are here to help you take back control of your IRA and invest how you want. If you would like help setting up a self-directed IRA so that you can invest with your IRA in gold and real estate contact us and we will help you get. On a side note remember, even if you are a self-employed business owner you too can benefit from investing through a self-directed 401k in non-traditional investments.

If you would like help with your self-directed IRA retirement account or setting up an account call or email us today.

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Your Self-Directed IRA Will Benefit If You Invest At The Right Time

Friday, November 21st, 2014

Gold Real Estate Investing

When I go to the supermarket I buy many of the same items. I find myself sticking to the same types of foods and products. One thing I love that I find myself buying over and over again is fruits and veggies. I also find myself eating the same ones over and over again but not until recently though have I been more conscious about the actual quality of the fruits and veggies that I buy and it has gotten me thinking of how to buy the best fruits and veggies possible.  While there are many different things that affects the quality and taste of a fruit but there is one factor that intrigues me and one that I want to follow more closely as it is a sure way to get better tasting fruit at a much better price. This factor I am referring to is the seasonality of fruits and veggies. When you buy fruits and veggies that are in season they have higher nutrition content and are better for you because they haven’t lost some of their nutrition. They are also cheaper as well. A great strategy to buying the best fruits and veggies are to buy them when they are in season. If they aren’t in season then move on to another fruit and veggie that is in season. You’ll get the most bang for your buck and your taste buds will be glad you did! As I said before, it is best to choose fruits and veggies when they are in season because they are cheaper, tastier and more nutritious.  All around you get the most for your money and the best quality. Why not put this same theory into our investing strategies? Are there times during the year that are better for investing in certain types of investments? Well let’s take a gander and talk about that.

As I was looking into this a bit more I decided that I wanted to look at a few different types of investments that are very common inside of a self-directed IRA retirement account.

I do want to let everyone know that it can be VERY hard to time the market and the following advice is great and can help you invest with a greater chance of having that investment go right. You need to remember though that there are just too many variables and that past performance doesn’t guarantee certain future performance.

Real Estate

The first investment I looked into to see if there was a best time of the year to buy was real estate.  I scoured the net for numbers and articles to see what I could find and while there is seasonality as to when the most about of buys occur I feel like I have come out of it feeling like it really quite depends on your situation as well as to when the best time to buy is. 

There is no doubt that the most home sales occur between the months of April and July. Looking at this with some common sense makes it quite easy to understand why these months are the most active for home sales. First, a majority of home buyers are families and moving a family is easiest during warmer months and even easier when they are out of school. Trying to move children out of school to a new school during the school year is just a headache that many of us don’t want to deal with if we don’t have to. While being practical the months of April through July may be the smartest times to buy when looking at the overall picture of moving a family when it is easiest and most convenient. Luckily, with a real estate purchase inside of a self-directed IRA retirement account we aren’t concerned about moving our family into the home because buying real estate inside of a self-directed IRA retirement account prohibits you living in the property. So your options are limited but that is a good thing in a way because you can focus at buying a property at the best price.

What months are the best to buy real estate for the best price? The steepest discounts typically come in the winter, when the amount of buyers has slowed considerably. Sadly for buyers, sellers realize that this is a tough time and typically pull their homes that are for sale or wait until spring to list their homes for sale. The amount of homes that are listed for sale drops by roughly 15 percent during the months of November through January. Your pick of the litter may not be what it is during the spring but you as the buyer have the biggest bargaining power because of supply and demand. There just simply aren’t enough buyers out there and the sellers who do decide to weather the strom typically are desperate to sale their place and the sooner the better.

If it was up to me and I was looking to invest in a property inside of my retirement account I would totally be looking to buy during November through January.

If you are looking at buying real estate with a self-directed IRA we can help.

Gold

The next common investment inside of a self-directed IRA is Gold or other precious metals but I am specifically talking about gold here.

When diving into the when the best times to buy gold would be I would assume that I wouldn’t find much on the topic but I was pleasantly surprised that there are plenty of opinions as to when the best time to buy gold is.  I stumbled upon some solid ressearch at caseyresearch.com that looks at the average monthly gain and loss figures for gold since 1975.

Since 1975 March, on average, has by far been the worst performing month which would make it the best month for buying gold.  While that is interesting I found the next tidbit even more interesting. Since investments tend to behave differently depending on the type of market we are in (bull, bear, flat and mania markets) it is a wise decision to see how gold performs during these types of markets as well. Surprisingly, while the results do definitely vary the only month that has been down in every market condition is March.

If you are looking to buy gold, the best time to buy according to the findings is of course March. Of course that doesn’t mean that it is always going to be the case because you can’t expect future performance is always going to mirror past performance but it is one of the best indicators we have to investing smarter.

If you are looking at investing in gold with a self-directed IRA we are here to get you started.

Conclusion

While there are plenty of other types of investments that are allowed in a self-directed IRA retirement account, gold and real estate are two of the most popular choices. Again, as I mentioned earlier past performance isn’t a sure way to predict future performance and you should always do your own due diligence when investing with your self-directed IRA retirement account. That is the great thing about self-directed accounts, you get to choose when and how you invest with that account. You have the control.

If you would like help with your self-directed IRA retirement account or setting up an account call or email us today.

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What Type Of Account Should You Use For Your Retirement?

Monday, November 17th, 2014

Nest Egg Savings

Are you new to the retirement savings game? If so, hopefully we can help best inform you to get the most out of your retirement savings and investments. If you aren’t new to the retirement savings game then this is going to be a good refresher on some things you can do or should be doing now to get the most out of your retirement savings and investments.

Many newbies to the retirement savings game ask themselves, “Where should I save my retirement money?” This is a valid question and one that is very easily answered. You should be saving your retirement money into an IRA or 401k or both if possible.  Why is saving in to an IRA or 401k the best option? Because these are retirement specific accounts. They help you maximize your retirement earnings by limiting the taxes that you will pay on the investments.

Are there different types of IRAs and 401ks? Yes, the two main types of IRAs and 401ks that are offered come as a traditional or Roth. How do they differ? They differ in the way you pay income tax. Traditional IRAs and 401ks tax you on the back end or when you withdraw the money from your retirement account in retirement. Roth IRAs and 401ks are the opposite of a traditional where you pay income tax you when you put the money in. There of course are other differences that you need to be aware. The general rule of thumb though is to use a roth if you have plenty of years to save and your earnings have a long time to accumulate and use a traditional when time is limited and you don’t have that many years to accumulate lots of earnings. Of course, speak with a tax attorney or accountant to get the best suggestion for your situation.

Now that you know a little bit more about a traditional account vs a Roth hopefully that will help you make more decisions as to what will work best for you.

One of the first things you should do to maximize your retirement potential is to check with your employment to see if they offer a 401k. If they do, you should then see if they offer a match. Typically, employers will match a certain percent of your retirement savings and typically they cap it a at a certain percent or dollar amount.  Either way, figure out what the max amount that your employer can contribute to your account and then make sure you save enough into your 401k to obtain that match.  If you fail to get your employer match then you are basically missing out on free money. Missing out on free money is a no-no and not a wise decision.

If a 401k is not offered at your place of business or if you have maxed out your employer contribution and still have money to contribute to your retirement accounts then saving to a IRA is a great option.

They are in theory very similar types of accounts except with a 401k your employer is in charge of your account and typically in charge of the types of investments that your 401k is invested in.  With an IRA you work with a custodian and they invest your retirement money according to your liking. With most custodians you are limited with the types of investments you can choose. You can mainly only choose between stocks and bonds and other similar assets that are in the stock market.  One thing that many people don’t realize when investing with their retirement is that you can actually invest in just about whatever you want. You can invest in real estate and gold if you want. You just have to have a custodian that allows you to do those types of investments. Many of these non-traditional investments are done through what is called a self-directed IRA.

A great thing especially for those who have a 401k and are maximizing their employer match but still have extra money that they can invest into retirement is to diversify your retirement investments. It is also a great thing for those who don’t have a 401k because investing with a self-directed IRA allows you to diversify your retirement into some real tangible assets like real estate and gold or if you would rather invest into something like private placements you can do that as well. Either way, investing into non-traditional investments with a self-directed IRA is smart to diversify your retirement account. You hear so many investment professionals talk about diversifying to limit your losses. This is a very smart principle to follow although many people don’t follow it as well as they should. Many times they just diversify through the stock market instead. While that is good to do why not diversify through the stock market and diversify outside of the stock market? It is best to have a truly diversified retirement portfolio!!  Again, with a self-directed IRA this is possible.

If you are new to retirement investing there is a lot to think about but start thinking about it today and start taking action to make the best retirement possible for you.

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Get The Most Out Of Your Retirement Accounts By Planning And Implementing. Do It Now!

Thursday, November 13th, 2014

End Of Year Recap

Let the joyous times begin because in my opinion once Halloween comes we have officially entered the great time of year that many of us call, “the holidays”. The holidays bring out so much cheer and happiness and boy is it ever contagious. Of course the holidays bring along with it different stresses that can at times feel overwhelming but at least there is an overall feeling of giving back and selflessness during this time of year.

While this is one of my favorite times of year it is also a great time to reflect on the past year. I love to reflect on my life and what I have done. Have I accomplished anything? It is a great time to evaluate any goals you may have set for yourself throughout the year. Did you achieve any of your goals? One area in my life that I make sure to prioritize and set goals for is my finances and retirement.  Setting financial goals and retirement goals has really allowed me to feel free as far as my retirement planning and situation goes. I don’t constantly stress about my retirement because I know where I need to be and I know how to get there. This in a way makes me feel free about my retirement.

When I sit and reflect on my past years financial and retirement goals I like to ask myself some questions. Was I able to stick to my retirement plan this past year? If so, is there anything I can improve upon to make it better next year. If I didn’t stick with my retirement plan, why didn’t I? Can I still achieve my goals now before the end of the year? If there is nothing that can be done to achieve those goals this year what can I do to make sure I achieve those goals for next year?

Asking these questions I have found helps keep me stay on track and accountable for my own well-being while in retirement.  

If you do not currently have a retirement plan then now is the great time to figure it out. Time is one of the best things for your retirement. The longer you contribute and execute a retirement plan the more likely you will be to have the retirement you want. If you need help setting up your retirement plan check out –> Set Up Your Retirement Plan

A great thing to do while reflecting on your financial and retirement goals over the past year is to talk with a professional tax attorney or accountant about any things you should do to help you with your taxes for the year or for your taxes on your retirement accounts. It is wise to do everything you can to maximize your tax breaks. It means more money to you in the end and talking with a tax accountant or attorney who knows your situation can greatly increase the amount you have to pay in taxes.

Another wise thing to do while reflecting on your financial and retirement goals is to reflect on your retirement investments. If you don’t know what you are invested in I would suggest you figure it out now! This is your money and your retirement and you should definitely know what you are invested in.

Many people find out they are invested in so many things they don’t even know about and that shouldn’t be the case. You should be invested in things you are ok with and that you want to be invested in. Another thing is that most people tend to be invested heavily in the stock market. While they are diversified in the stock market they are still in the stock market. A wise strategy is to diversify outside of the stock market. Diversifying your retirement account will help to minimize your risk and it can be quite fun to invest in things like gold or even real estate. Heck if you want you can invest in a private placement. The possibilities are endless and up to you. You don’t have to use all of your retirement funds to do it either. In fact it is wise to just use a portion of your retirement funds for investing into non-traditional investments.  How much you decide to invest in the other assets to diversify your account is up to you but regardless it is a very wise idea. If you need more information on investing in non-traditional assets with your retirement account contact us.

Hopefully you can take a minute to reflect on the past year and how things went for you. If you don’t think you have the time I must remind you that you do! You don’t need to watch that another episode on tv nor do you need to spend hours on Facebook or Instagram.  Instead of doing those things just take a minute to reflect and plan because you’ll be surprised at what you can do.

We hope your year has been great and we want next to be even better. This requires your involved effort to make your retirement plan and financial security what you want it to be. Contact us for help investing with your retirement in non-traditional assets. A little effort on your part goes a long way to retire successfully.

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