Archive for January, 2014


Friday, January 31st, 2014

Are you helping clients use their retirement funds to build their real estate portfolio?

Are you helping your clients purchase property with their retirement funds?  We are the nation’s premier provider of Self-Directed IRA and help clients purchase real estate with their retirement funds everyday.  Our process it simple, easy and we have one of the fastest processing times in the industry.

Highlights of how to use the IRA

family in front of home

  • The IRA may only purchase an investment property, not a primary residence.
  • The tenants should not have any connection with the account holder.
  • Since the IRA owns the property, the IRA pays for everything related to the property: taxes, repairs, expenses etc.  Our self-directed ICO account gives the account holder checkbook control making these expenses easy to pay.
  • The self-directed IRA receives all revenue generated from the property.  Rent payments go back into the IRA.  When the property is sold, the profit goes back to the IRA – TAX DEFFERRED – no 1031 exchanges.

What is an ICO account?

A Self Directed IRA’s ownership of a LLC, referred to after this as “ICO”, is a special purpose limited liability company, which is either fully or partially owned by an IRA. Since the self-directed IRA owns the ICO, IRA funds can be legally transferred to the ICO in exchange for member units (shares) of the ICO. After this funding, both traditional and non-traditional investments may be purchased by the ICO instead of directly in the IRA.

ICO Benefits:

  • An ICO allows the account holder to hold real estate or other non-traditional investments in an IRA with checkbook control.
  • When the ICO sells real estate or other investments, the capital gains are deferred through the IRA, like any other IRA investment. The headaches of 1031 exchanges are never necessary.
  • Ownership of the property in an ICO allows the account holder, as manager of the LLC, to have direct, hands-on control of and investment decisions over ICO assets, including control of the checkbook. Custodian involvement and hassles are eliminated, regardless of whether the investments are in securities, real estate or other assets.
  • An ICO can use its IRA funding as a down payment for a real estate purchase, with the ICO financing or borrowing the balance. But an IRA cannot directly participate in such a financing arrangement.
  • Since the account holder controls and handles all ICO transactions, the custodian for the IRA can be paid an inexpensive, flat fee.
  • Litigation threats which accompany investments such as real estate are substantially reduced. This is done by isolating the investment inside the ICO, and away from the rest of your IRA funds and estate.
  • Continues to provide deferral of income and gains inside the Checkbook Controlled IRA.

Set-Up an Account:

  1. The client completes the new account applications either by paper or online.
  2. We create the IRA-LLC, set up the new account, and request a rollover of retirement funds from the client’s current custodian into the new self-directed IRA.
  3. The client opens a bank account for the IRA-LLC giving them checkbook control of their funds.
  4. We move the retirement funds that rolled over into the IRA-LLC by purchasing membership units of the IRA-LLC.
  5. The funds come over….let the self-directed, investment fun begin!

What type of accounts can roll into a self-directed IRA account

  • Most type of retirement accounts: 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

After the account is set-up we need:

**  Direction of Investmnet form (DOI) – This one-page form is like a check request.  It tells us the dollar amount needed from the IRA, the property address, how you want the funds sent, etc.  You and your client have 24-hour access to this form by visiting our website and clicking on FORMS.  Send this form to me with your real estate docs and we can start the approval & funding process.

** Titling – Remember, it’s the IRA making the purchase so the buyer should be listed as “American Estate & Trust FBO Account Holder’s Name” (FBO = For the Benefit Of).  This is also how rent should be made payable.  We sign all real estate docs on behalf of the IRA. 

42-15534708** Document and Funding Instructions – Include a piece of paper telling us where to sign or initial.  This page also tells us where to email/fax/overnight/snail mail the documents once executed and where/how you want the funds sent when ready.

We do not need the originals of our forms, so you can fax or email everything for processing.  


$1,995 set up fee

What’s included:

Your plan comes with:

–  Set-up of IRA-LLC

–  Filing of State articles

–  IRS filing of LLC EIN

–  Self-directed IRA Compliant Operating Agreement

–  Banking authorizations for checking account

– Assistance and guidance in rolling over the IRA account from the current custodian

–  Membership certificates

– Membership ledger

Annual Costs:

State filing fee – The account holder will receive an annual notice from the State to renew.  This fee varies by State, typically around $50-$150 each year.

Annual IRA Fee – Our annual fee of $275 can be automatically deducted from the IRA, paid by credit card on our website, or we can mail out an invoice.

Form 1065 annual filing – This fee varies by State, usually a minimum of $350.  This fee and filing does not apply to single member LLCs.

Are you ready?

Feel free to email or call me and I will send the forms to you, or directly to your client. Or, your client can get the process started by visiting and completing this IRA account application

Jaclyn M. Grella


Take Control of Your Retirement Investments with a Checkbook IRA

Thursday, January 30th, 2014

Checkbook IRA

Do you know what your retirement accounts are currently invested in? The likelihood is that you probably don't. You are not alone because many people have no idea what their IRA or 401k are invested in. This may or may not bother you. If it does bother you and you would like to take control of your retirement and investments there is a great option available to you. A checkbook IRA will allow you to take control of your retirement so that you can invest in the things you wish. You may want to purchase real estate, gold or some other type of investment that suits you. You can do it all with a checkbook IRA.

What is a Checkbook IRA?

A checkbook IRA is the same thing as a regular IRA except that the custodian allows you to take control of the checkbook for the IRA. What does that exactly mean? With a regular IRA you have to go through your custodian when making any investments for your IRA. If you wanted to purchase gold with your IRA you would have to contact your custodian and let them know what you are wanting to do. Then you would have to work with them to finalize the investment. If you have a checkbook IRA, instead of going to the custodian to make the investment happen, you do it yourself.   It means that you will not have to seek the consent of a custodian to make an investment. Typically you won't be subjected to excessive fees because of different transactions that were made.

Time is Money

Many times when investing time is curcial. If you know of a real estate investment that is going up for auction you may not have the time to consult your custodian in order to make the purchase happen. With you the checkbook IRA you skip the custodian step and can make things happen very fast.

How Are Checkbook IRAs Set Up?

Another popular name for a checkbook IRA is a self directed IRA LLC with checkbook control. It is called this because to establish a checkbook IRA you must establish a liimited liability company (LLC) that is owned by the IRA and managed by you the account owner (you). Then the IRA owner's funds can be transferred by the custodian to the new IRA LLC bank account. Because you are the manager of the IRA LLC, you will have the authority to make investment decisions on behalf of the IRA. With this authority you then have the ability to write checks from the IRA LLC bank account for your investments.

If you haven't heard of a checkbook IRA then hopefully you have learened a thing or two. If you still have questions or are interested in a checkbook IRA feel free to contact us for account set up or questions.


Fund your Business with a Self Directed 401k

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

Fund Your Business with Self Directed 401k

Have you ever wanted to start your own business but don’t have the funds available to start the business? Maybe you have been laid off and have funds sitting around in your 401k. Now could be the perfect time to start that business you always wanted to start. Why not use the funds in your 401k to start the business? We will be discussing how it is possible to use your retirment account to fund that business you want to start.

How can this be done? The answer is with a Self Directed 401k that we refer to at Accuplan Benefits Services as a Mysop.  With a Mysop you can utilize IRA or 401k funds to help start and fund your new business.  It is a great way to infuse cash into your business rather than trying to get financing.  It can also help in the event that you still need to get financing but the lender is requiring that you have a certain amount of cash in the business in order to do the loan.

How does a Self Directed 401k (Mysop) Work?

  1. Create Entity.  The entity must be a C Corp.  Accuplan Benefits Services will create the entity with the appropriate state.
  2. Create the Plan (Trust with Plan documents). Accuplan Benefits Services will create the Plan and file with the IRS.
  3. Rollover monies from IRA or 401K to your one.K plan.
  4. Setup Checking Accounts for the Company.
  5. Direct Investments by purchasing stock in the C Corp

What are Some of the Benefits of a Self Directed 401k (Mysop)?

  • Allows for retirement cash to be placed into a company without it being a loan.
  • Eliminates many of the prohibited transaction problems when conducting business.   For more information about this see previous blogs about prohibited transactions inside of an IRA.
  • Provides capital for start ups or other cash strapped businesses.
  • Provides for recourse loans when non-recourse loans are not available or practical.
  • You control your retirement plans rather than relying on another person.  You are much more concerned with how your retirement plan performs than any investment advisor.

Below is an Example of How a Self Directed 401k (Mysop) Could Apply to You

Mysop Bed and Breakfast Example

  1. Accuplan creates a C-Corporation.
  2. Accuplan creates your personalized mySOP plan and your C-Corp adopts the plan.  A 401(k)  is also established for later contributions.
  3. Bob and Carol roll over some of their IRA monies into the mySOP.
  4. Bob and Carol, acting as Manager and Trustee, set up bank accounts for the C-Corp and the 401(k).
  5. Bob and Carol, acting as Trustee of the mySOP (Self Directed 401k), purchase shares of the C-Corp which will be the bed & breakfast.
  6. The C-Corp now purchases the bed & breakfast from the current owners for $500K.

If you have any questions or would like more information about how you can use your retirement funds to start a business please contact us at Accuplan Benefits Services. You can contact me with my information below.

Author: , Self Directed IRA Professional
[email protected]

Jump Start Your Retirement in 2014

Tuesday, January 28th, 2014

Jump Start Your Retirement

Making your retirement should be a priority when the economic future is so unstable. Will Social Security still be available in 20 years, and even then Social Security is only designed to be a retirement aid and not the majority of your retirement. Pensions are a thing of the past and should not be relied upon. Frankly, most young adults who are new to the workforce probably don't even know what a pension is. Because of fading retirement options most people must turn to IRAs and 401ks to secure a solid nest egg for retirement.

The following are a few tips to help you jump start your retirement nest egg in 2014 regardless whether you have an IRA, 401k or a self directed IRA or 401k.

Plan Your Retirement

Many experts would agree that planning your retirement is vital to make sure you have enough money to last you through your  retirement. It is far more likely that you will save for retirement if you actually make a plan. Those who do not make a plan tend to never think of their retirement until age catches up with them and they realize that they may never be able to retire. Make sure to start today if you haven't already created a plan for your retirement. It is also a great idea to re-evaluate your retirement and to see if you are on track or if any numbers need to be recalculated. For more tips on planning your retirement read, Is Your Retirement Plan Ready?

Increase Contributions to Your Retirement Accounts

The best way to jump start your retirement is to contribute to your retirement accounts. If possible max out your contributions each year. The contribution limits are different for IRAs and 401ks so make sure you know your limit, but if you can max it out. If maxing out your contributions isn't possible then any contribution can have a great impact. Start out by saving a little bit whether it be $50 a month or even just $5 a month. More than likely you won't feel a huge hit on the cash you need each month but in the long run your retirement will see a great boost. Contribution limits for 2013

Diversify Your Portfolio

There are plenty of great investment professionals that suggest diversifying your portfolio. Making sure you are diversified among your investments is crucial to minimize a down economy. One solid way to minimize your risk is to invest in non-traditional investments. Some of these investments can be real estate, precious metals and even private equity. One thing to note is that many investments professionals do not know that you can invest in these non-traditional investments with an IRA. While many do not know about it, it can be done with your IRA through what is called a self directed IRA or a self directed 401k.

Get Your Head in the Game

If you have the time and/or patience it can be a great option to manage your retirement investments yourself. For most people it is wise to start out slow and setting up a self directed IRA can be just right for those wanting to start the process of managing their own investments. Maybe you want to start out buy purchasing some precious metals in your IRA or maybe you have always wanted a real estate investment inside your retirement account. Whatever it may be, a self directed IRA is a great option for taking control of your retirement accounts and what they are invested in. Make sure you know these Self Directed IRA Rules to help maxamize your potential.


Benefits of a Gold-Backed IRA

Friday, January 24th, 2014

Gold Backed IRA

Investing in physical gold and silver inside of a Self Directed IRA is a great way to diversify your retirement portfolio.  Most IRA brokerage companies allow you to invest in ETF (paper that says you own gold) but few IRA custodians allow you to invest in the physical metals.  Many people have concerns about ETF’s. Does the ETF actually have the metals stored that they are selling through their ETF? It is a valid concern and points to why many people choose a gold-backed IRA.

I found an interesting video by Glenn Beck in which he talks about his concerns that the US government has been tampering with metals it is storing for other various countries. While this video is interesting I cannot speak to the validity of his claims. When choosing to have a gold backed IRA through Accuplan Benefits Services you can be assured that when you buy physical gold and silver through your gold IRA all of the metals are physical bought and stored on your behalf at a vault at Brinks. It is also verified and insured by Brinks.

Below are some of the benefits of a gold-backed IRA (owning gold and silver in your IRA):

  • Gold and silver have tremendous upside pricing potential, due to inflation risks, with little downside risk.
  • Gold and silver are both an inflation and a deflation hedge.
  • Gold and silver are highly liquid, it can be either exchanged directly for other property or cashed in easily.
  • Gold and silver are universally recognized as money everywhere in the world, there are no exchange rate issues.
  • Physical gold and silver holdings are not subject to IRS reporting or taxes (with some exceptions in an IRA).
  • Gold and silver is a great way to diversify in a balanced investment portfolio.
  • Gold is highly portable – $100,000 of gold coins weighs only 6.25 pounds (at $1,000 per ounce).
  • Gold is easy to store.
  • Gold and silver, unlike paper money, cannot be devalued by government action and any government intervention in gold markets would soon lose its effect.
  • Gold and silver held in a private or secret stash is highly secure and protected from government.

Feel free to call, email or chat below if you are interested in learning more about gold-backed IRA and silver backed IRA.

Author: , Self Directed IRA Professional
[email protected]