Archive for December, 2014

Our Online Direction of Investments Sets Us Apart

Thursday, December 18th, 2014

Online Direction Form Info

A self-directed IRA is such a great offering for those who want to diversify their retirement account with a non-traditional physical asset like real estate or gold. There are plenty of other non-traditional assets available as well like private placements through a self-directed IRA. The possibilities are endless.

There are a handful of companies out there that offer non-traditional retirement investing through a self-directed IRA with IRAs and 401ks. The services offered by these different custodians and their cost is what is going to help you decide which custodian to go with. The custodian you choose should make non-traditional investments much easier and more enjoyable for you.

While there are plenty of different types of services that separate custodians apart there is one in particular that we have implemented that focuses on the client that wishes to invest easier and quicker. One service that sets us apart from other custodians is being able to do your direction of investments all online (for more in-depth info on this check out, Online Direction Of Investments.

The direction of investments form (DOI) is the form that initiates an investment from your self-directed IRA to an investment of your choosing or it could be a initiating paying a certain bill from your account. This form must be filled out in order to direct your IRA to invest in whatever investment you are wanting.

This form has typically been filled out and then faxed to us or sent through snail mail to us. Now you have the ability to fill out this DOI form online and have it directly be sent to us in seconds rather than days.  This is so much easier for you and not to mention much quicker. Because of this your investment will be funded easier and quicker because of it.

While there are plenty of other services that set us apart hopefully this is one that helps solidify why we are the best of the best when it comes to self-directed IRA investing.

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Self-Directed IRA Basics

Monday, December 15th, 2014

How risky is your retirement account (your IRA or 401k)? What is it invested in? Do you know some of these crucial answers? If you do not these answers you need to take charge of your IRA or 401k now and investments today. One thing you may find is that you are only invested in stocks, bonds and the typical investments. You will probably notice that none of your investments are in physical assets. Why aren’t we investing in these physical assets with our retirement accounts? The major reason is that our investment firms do not allow for these types of items inside of our retirement accounts. Why do they not allow for these types of investments? Simply because they make money elsewhere or because it isn’t their expertise. These physical assets can be a great investment to truly diversify our IRA or 401k.

Switching up some of our investments by investing in physcial assets such as gold or real estate to just name a few can be a great addition to your IRA or 401k. How is this done? It is done through a self-directed IRA. A self-directed IRA allows for non-traditional investments like real estate and gold or even private placements. There are so man possibilities and you get to make the decision as to what you are investing in. For self-directed IRA basics check out the following video and feel free to contact us for more information.


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INVESTING IN A BUSINESS IS EASY!

Friday, December 12th, 2014

SELF-DIRECTED IRA

Investing in a Business is Simple!

A self-directed IRA allows an account holder to use retirement to invest in more than just stock and bonds.  One investment option is to invest in a business.  The hardest part is finding a business; the easiest part is using retirement to make the investment!

The Process is Simple!

1)      ACCOUNT: Set-up a self-directed IRA with our 2 minute online application.

2)      FUNDS: Complete the one-page Transfer Request form to transfer funds from the current custodian into the self-directed account.

**The custodian is the company currently holding the funds.

**No taxes or penalties for the transfer.

**Account holder can transfer some or all of the current retirement account.

Or, make a contribution to the account.

3)    AGREEMENT: An agreement is creating between the account holder and the business.   We, as the IRA custodian, sign the paperwork on behalf of the self-directed IRA and send the money as the account holder’s directs.

4)      PAYMENTS: Congratulations! The self-directed IRA is now invested in the business and will start receiving payments TAX-DEFFERED!

Funding the account

Most retirement account can roll into a self-directed IRA.

•   Retirement Plans: 401(k), 403(b), Profit Sharing Plans, Keogh, Qualified Annuities, Money Purchase Plans, Cash Balance Pension Plans, Defined Benefit Pension Plans.

•   IRA Accounts: Traditional IRA, SIMPLE IRA, Roth IRA, SEP-IRA, Inherited IRAs

•   Plus more, like Coverdale Education Savings

What expenses are involved?

$275 annual IRA account fee + $50 one-time set-up fee

Our fee is a flat rate!  We do not charge asset percentages, per asset transaction fees, or quarterly maintenance fees for assets in the account, like other custodians.

Here is a complete list of our fees.

How does the self-directed IRA make money?

TAX DEFERRED, that’s how!

The self-directed IRA sends money once, then sits back and collects payments.

How much rent is going to be charged each month?  How much profit is the investment going to make?  Are you seeing that type of return when investing in the stock market?

Are you ready to take control of your financial future?

Great!  Take a couple of minutes to complete the one-page IRA Application and Transfer Request form or Contribution Form.

Happy investing!

Questions?

I hope so!  I would love to hear from you!

Jaclyn Grella

IRA Specialist

800-454-2649 x1119

JaclynGrella@Accuplan.net

Being Diversified Is Important For Your Retirement Accounts

Tuesday, December 9th, 2014

Diversify Your Retirement Accounts Depend On It

Financial planners, retirement educators, fund managers and the like love talking about diversification. We at Accuplan are no stranger to the diversification debate and in fact we like to sound our horn just like all the other financial planners who tout that you need to diversify your investments and retirement investments. We thought no perfect time to sound our horn than this holiday season and remind you of why it is important to diversify your retirement investments. Whether your retirement investments are diversified already or not it is super important to realize why you should diversify your account. After I explain why it is important I'll give you a few tips to consider when diversifying your retirement accounts.

No matter what we are invested in when we see that the indexes are on the rise most of us wish that we had a portfolio heavily weighted in equities. On the other hand when we see that the indexes on on their way down we wish that our portfolio was weighted heavily in bonds or other markets that tend to go up when the indexes are on their way down. The point here is that because we cannot time the market the next best scenario is to diversify. Diversifying makes it so that when certain markets drop we have enough eggs in other baskets to be able to weather the storm. While everyone wishes they could honestly time the market, you just never know and that is why diversifying is key and here are a few tips to help you diversify your retirement portfolio.

Put Your Eggs In Multiple Baskets

Of course we all love equities because of their great upside but you shouldn't put all of your investments into one stock or sector. As an old rule of thumb one way to know how much of your portfolio should be in stocks is to have your percent be 100 minus your age. That would give you the percent of stocks for your portfolio. I actually like a bit more aggressive stance on this and look for the 110 minus your age to give you the percent of stocks for your portfolio.

Spreading your eggs around into multiple baskets is the biggest and most important part to diversifying. There are some who would suggest you invest in what you know or companies that you trust and maybe even use in your every day life. This can really benefit you but I think that it is quite risky. I tend to like to stay away from risk. Doing the things that are going to limit the most amount of risk without limiting the upside is what I like to look at. This could mean investing in certain index funds or fixed-income. If you invest in securities that track various indexes then you are set quite well for long-term diversification. The fixed-income will help hedge against market volatility and uncertainty.

It is also very wise to have baskets that are completely outside of "paper" assets (stocks, bonds, etc.) Investing in tangible things with your retirement is also a very good strategy. The perfect example of an investment would be real estate. Investing in a rental property is a great way to further hedge against market volatility.

Many don't know that you can purchase real estate with your retirement accounts. Most people who have retirement accounts only think about the typically stocks and bonds for retirement investing. Don't be pigeon holed into thinking you have to have it all just in stocks and bonds. You can invest with your retirement account into tangible assets like gold and real estate. You can also invest it into private placements. You have so many options and investing in these tangible assets helps to really diversify your retirement account more fully. It is very easy to do, through a self-directed IRA. The issue that most have when trying to buy real estate or another tangible asset with their IRA or 401k is that their investment firm (Fidelity, Merrill Lynch, etc) won't allow them to do this. The main reason they don't allow it is because they make more money by having you invest in other things like mutual funds, etc. If your current investment firm doesn't allow this then you simply need to open a self-directed IRA with a firm who will allow for self-directed IRAs. That way you can invest a portion of your IRA or 401k money into real tangible investments. Yet again, another way to truly diversify your retirement portfolio, thus creating the best portfolio for you.

Keep Contributing

Beyond making sure you have the right investments the next best thing you can do is to regularly invest more money into those investment. The best reason to continue to invest over time rather than a lump some at once is because it is very hard to time the market and investing over time will smooth out the peaks and valleys that market volatility creates. This strategy is called dollar-cost-averaging.  For example, if you have 12,000 to invest, invest that 12,000 over the span of a year instead of all at once.

These are two of the biggest and most important things you can do for your retirement accounts, no matter if it be your IRA or 401k. Make sure to truly diversify your retirement accounts with a self-directed IRA as you'll limit your risk and when it comes to your retirement you want to limit your risk while still having a great return.

If you want more information about diversifying your IRA or 401k with a self-directed IRA contact us as we are self-directed IRA professionals.

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Learn From Baby Boomers About Real Estate And Retirement

Friday, December 5th, 2014

Baby Boomer Couple

Retirement is an important stage in our lives. It is also a stage that can last roughly 30 years or even longer. Since it is such a big stage in our lives it is super important that we take control of our retirement and learn from current and past generations. If you belong to a generation younger than the baby boomers you can learn a lot about retirement by learning from what the baby boomers are doing that is good and bad and following or not following certain trends.

The following are some of the trends for baby boomers when arriving at retirement and in retirement:

First, roughly 63% of those surveyed by The Demand Institute plan to stay in their current home once they retire. That is great news! Why is that great news? It is good news because it means that many Baby Boomers realize that it isn't always in their best interest to buy a new home and take on another mortgage when they jump into retirement.

Even those 63% don't plan to move there are still plenty of Baby Boomers buying homes when arriving at retirement? For many of those buying homes they are fulfilling a delayed aspiration of home ownership or possibly pursuing their "dream home." Again, for most the reality is that they need to take on debt in order to do this.

There are so many variables when in retirement, especially during the first 10 years or so of retirement. While you may be fairly certain that you have enough for your needs during retirement and just enough extra to be able to pay for a mortgage you can't be sure. It won't be until each year passes that you will begin to truly know where you lie with being able to provide for everything you need in retirement. Not to mention the variable of another market fall off that can really hurt your nest egg. Because of these variables, it isn't always the wisest decision to jump right into a new mortgage in retirement.

With that in mind there is still a very big portion, 76%, that own homes and of those that own homes, more than half have a mortgage. To make it sound even more daunting the median outstanding mortgage balance for those 50 to 69 years old has grown 142% over the past 20 years. Again, of those buying homes while in retirement, more than half are doing so by taking on debt through mortgage financing.

We can learn from these Baby Boomers! The main thing I want you to learn from this article is that unless you have so much money you don't know what to do with yourself, it is wise to not carry a mortgage while in retirement. Do whatever you can now to payoff your mortgage before you get to retirement. If you are stuck on getting into a different place when you retire there still is a better way if you start early enough.

If you know that you are going to want to downsize then find a home now that you would like for when you retire and use it like a rental property until you get to retirement.

Where are you going to get the money for the down payment for this rental property? From your retirement account!!! You can use the money in your retirement account as the down payment for your rental property which you eventually you'll take the home as a distribution when in retirement. There are things to be aware of when taking the home as a distribution and so when getting ready to take the home as a distribution make sure you talk to a tax attorney or tax accountant so that you can expect everything that will happen.

In order to use your retirement money to invest in real estate you need to work with a custodian that allows self-directed IRAs. A self-directed IRA will allow you to purchase the property and get all the tax benefits that come with an IRA retirement account. There are so many benefits to doing this and honestly if you want to purchase other things with your retirement money like gold or other investments you can do it all through a self-directed IRA.

Also, if you are trying to figure out how this is done or how to set this up please contact us. We are self-directed IRA professionals that have been in the business for a very long time. We are here to help you get the most of your retirement.

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