Archive for March, 2014


Thursday, March 20th, 2014


The most popular self-directed investment is real estate, often called a self directed ira real estate.  Real estate is a great way to not only build a real estate portfolio but also take advantage of profits being tax deferred in the self-directed IRA.  No 1031 exchanges are EVER necessary. Here are answers to the most common questions from people who are using a self-directed IRA to purchase a real estate investment.

The biggest thing to remember is that it’s the IRA involved in the deal, not the account holder; therefore, the buyer or seller on the real estate contracts/documents should be titled in the name of the IRA:  “American Estate and Trust FBO Account Holder’s Name”.  FBO stands for “For the Benefit Of”.

42-15534708As the IRA custodian, American Estate & Trust signs the real estate contracts and documents on behalf of the self-directed IRA real estate.   These documents can be submitted for signature via fax, email, snail mail, overnight service, however you choose.  Once executed, simply provide instructions on how the docs should be returned.

Since it’s the self-directed IRA that owns the property, the IRA must pay for everything pertaining to the property. The IRA provides the earnest money or down payment, the IRA pays to purchase the property, the IRA pays for any inspections, repairs, property taxes, Property Management Company fees, etc.  The self-directed IRA pays for everything!  Some payments are very time sensitive, like earnest money or a deposit.  When this is the case, a check can be overnighted from the self-directed IRA account or a copy can be faxed or emailed.  It’s all up to you!

Not only does the self-directed IRA pay for everything, the IRA receives any money pertaining to the property, like rent and proceeds from the sale.  This is a great way to build a retirement nest egg and potentially earn more money in a shorter amount of time than stock and bonds could possible offer.

There is a basic theme to keep in mind when a self-directed IRA is used to purchase an investment property – the IRA does everything!  It executes docs, pays expenses, receives profits, etc.  It’s just that simple!

If you have any additional questions, feel free to contact me directly (my contact information is below) or you can visit our website ( and chat online with one of our knowledgeable IRA Specialist.


Jaclyn M. Grella


Are You Confident In A Comfortable Retirement?

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

Retirement is a stage of life that is something to look forward too. At the same time it can be quite a stressful time if you haven't prepared properly for your retirement. Planning  your retirement is a big step in creating the best retirement you can imagine. With retirement being such a huge step and stage in life what are your feelings about retirement? Are you confident that you will be able to create the retirement you want?

Between 2009 and 2013 workers confidence in having enough money for a comfortable retirement was a record lows. In 2013 only 13% were very confident but that number increased to 18% in 2014, which is a great sign but there is more to it. While 18% are extremely confident now there are still 24% that are not confident at all (only slightly up from 24% in 2013). What does this mean? Let's dive into this a bit more.

The Employee Benefit Research Institute which released this survey sheds some more light as to why we are seeing this increase. The increase comes mostly from those with higher household income, but not only those with a higher household income but those with retirement plans as well. Almost half of workers without a retirement account were not at all confident about their retirement. If you compare that to those with a retirement plan only 1 in 10 were not at all confident.  

This data says a lot to me about what plays a huge role in our confidence to have a comfortable retirement. It should be obvious that the more money we make at our jobs typically the more confident we are that we can create a comfortable retirement for ourselves. While this is very true there is another great factor to a great retirement and our confidence in being able to have enough money for a comfortable retirement. One key aspect to being confident about having enough money for a comfortable retirement is having a retirement account. More than once in this survey is stated the fact that having a retirement account plays a huge role to having confidence that you can have enough money for a comfortable retirement. To be able to have even more confidence in your retirement contributing to those retirement accounts will only help to instil more confidence.

What Can You Do

Ask yourself the same question I posed earlier. Are you confident that you will have enough money for a comfortable retirement? No matter what your answer to that question is my first bit of advice and question would be do you have a retirement account?

For those of you that already have a retirement account are you contributing to it? Do you know what your invested in? Is your retirement a 401k with your work or an IRA? If it is a 401k are you making sure you are contributing enough to get the max match from your company? If not do whatever you can to do it. It is free money and if you aren't getting the full match from your company you essentially are missing out on free money. The more you start to be involved in your own retirement the more likely you will be to create that comfortable retirement. There are other things you can do that we will discuss later that will help you get to where you want to be with your retirement.

For those of you that do not have a retirement account yet what are you waiting for? Do you have too many bills and it seems impossible to actually save? Set up a budget and abide by it! In your budget set aside some money that can go to retirement. Most of us will find that we spend a lot of money on things that aren't needed. Once you have figured out your bills and how to start saving for retirement, set up a retirement account and start contributing. Maybe you don't have a retirement account because you are leery of investing in the stock market or other conventional way with your retirement account. That is ok because with a self directed IRA or self directed 401k you can invest in things you want with your retirement account. Some of the most invested in assets in a self directed IRA and 401k are real estate, gold, private placements and the list goes on.

Don't let retirement come unprepared. You have the ability to plan today for that retirement you have always wanted. If more control of your retirement is what you are looking for while also wanting to be able to invest in alternative investments like gold and real estate then we can help. By setting up a self directed IRA or 401k you will be able to take control of your retirement while also investing in what you want.


Precious Metals IRA and Gold IRA Investing

Monday, March 17th, 2014

Precious Metals IRA and Gold IRA Q & A

A gold IRA or other precious metals IRA can be a great alternative to investing in stocks and bonds.  This can be done by setting up a gold IRA or precious metals IRA, also known as a Self Directed IRA.  A Self Directed IRA is very similar to investing in any other IRA with one exception, a Self Directed IRA allows you to invest in non traditional investments such as real estate, gold and silver, private placements, loans, ect.  Below are some common questions I get asked about investing with a gold ira or precious metals IRA. Remember, this is a regular IRA but allows for investing in alternative investments. A gold IRA or precious metals IRA is the same thing as a Self Directed IRA.  There are countless questions that are asked in regards to investing with a gold IRA / precious metals IRA. In order to not overwhelm with so much information we are making this a two part blog. If at any time you have any questions that you would like further information for call us or email me.

Q.  How does a gold IRA and Precious Metals IRA Work (AKA, Self Directed IRA)?

A.   How the process works

  1.  We setup an IRA account:
    •  – Upon receipt of your application, we will have the account created and the transfer request sent out within 24 hours of receipt.
  2.  We forward the IRA transfer request to your current custodian
  3.  Your custodian sends us the money
    •   – We send wire and mail instructions with the transfer request. Please note that if your custodian sends us a check it will take 5 business days to clear.
  4. We invest your monies into precious metals
    •  – The investment direction form, contained in the application, is used to direct us to place your monies in your investment.

Q.  What kind of assets can I invest in?

A.  A gold IRA or precious metals IRA is really just a Self Directed IRA. Because of that you may think you can only invest in gold with your IRA. In reality your IRA can hold real estate, gold and silver, private placements, loans, trust deeds, tax liens, and other non traditional investments.  The focus is on hard assets that you can feel and tough, not paper assets like stocks and bonds. To learn about what type of gold or other precious metals are allowed in an IRA check out, Gold IRA Investing

Q.  How does Accuplan differ from your typical custodian, like Fidelity?

A.  Accuplan has all the same reporting and filing requirements than any other custodian.  The main difference is the type of investments you can invest in. Traditional custodians only focus on stock and bonds.  They don’t allow for non traditional investments which is Accuplan’s expertise.

Q.  How does the transfer from a traditional custodian occur?

A.  In order to transfer funds from another custodian to Accuplan you need to fill out a Transfer Request form.  This is included in the application when you create an account with Accuplan.

Q.  How long does the process take?

A.  An account can be established online within 5 minutes.  Once the account has been established a transfer request form needs to be sent to the client’s current custodian.  It typically takes 1-3 weeks for the old custodian to send the funds to Accuplan.

Q.  Are there penalties associated with this?

A.  There are not any penalties or taxes when you move your funds from one IRA custodian to another custodian.  The only time that penalties or taxes would be associated with your account is if you took a distribution from your IRA.  This would involve sending your IRA funds directly to you rather than to another custodian.

If you have any more questions or would like more information about investing with a gold IRA or precious metals IRA feel free to call or email me.  Look out for part two about further questions relating to gold IRAs and precious metals IRAs.

Author: , Self Directed IRA Professional
[email protected]

We Aren’t Talking About Our Finances Enough

Friday, March 14th, 2014

Personal Finances

When you are at dinner with your friends what do you talk about? What about when you are home with your family what are some of the main topics you converse about? These days it seems like our conversations consist of the most recent viral video on youtube or about some headline news story that we just heard about. Regardless of what you are talking about in your conversations there is probably one thing you aren't talking about, money!

In a recent study done by Wells Fargo there is some interesting insight that sheds some light on this topic.  Below are some of the hightlights from their study. To see the whole survery check out Wells Fargo, Financial Health Survey.

Survery Findings or 1,004 adults between the ages of 25 and 75:

Nearly half of Americans say that the most difficult topic to discuss with others is personal finances at 44%. What are some of the other hard topics to talk about that actually rank below personal finances? Death (38%), politics (35%), religion (32%), taxes (21%), and personal health (20%) all rank below finance as the most difficult subject to talk about with others. You mean to tell me that we are more scared to talk about our finances than death, religion and our health? I guess it could make sense but I am not sure it should be that way.

Now that we know what people are most scared to talk about lets look at another interesting tid bit. What are the biggest stresses in most of our lives? Money at 39% is the most stress to our lives. Why are we not talking about the biggest stress in our lives more? According to the survey 39% say they are more worried about it than they were a year ago and 33% say that they have lost sleep stressing about money. Lastly, when thinking about the last five years and the regrets that those surveyed have 49% say that they have more regrets about saving and spending than about all other areas of their life like better care of their physical health, diet and fitness at 42%, pursuing different personal relationships at 21%, and working more to improve their career at 16%. 

What does this data say to me? It tells me that one we are most stressed about our financial situation and about money in general and two it tells me that while we are most stressed about this we don't want to talk about more than likely because it will just stress us out more again. Money and our finances is just one of those subjects we don't like to talk about because we don't want to be stressed. I believe this is not the correct way to think about it though. 

We need to start thinking about our personal finances. We need to take a step back and really start talking about our personal finances with those that are involved. If you are married you must start talking about your finances with your partner. The best thing that you can do for your finances is start talking about them and to start planning your finances out. The better planning and saving you do the better you will feel and the less stress you will feel.

One of the best things to start planning for and saving for is your retirement. Time flies by and you don't want retirement knocking at the door and not being prepared for it. There are a few things you can do to start preparing for your retirement.

One thing that can help you with your retirement is reading, Jump Start Your Retirement as it has a lot of good advice t help you on your way. If you don't already have a retirement account set one up as it is very important to have for a great retirement. The type of account you will set up depends on your needs and wants. Also, look into making that account a self directed account as it gives you more freedom to invest in what you want to invest in with your retirement account. It allows you to invest in things like private businesses, gold, real estate and more.  


Contribute To Your Self Directed IRA For 2013 While You Still Can

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014

2013 Self Directed IRA Contribution Can Still Be Done

Did you contribute to your self directed IRA for 2013? If you haven't don't fret because even though we are three months into 2014 you still have time to make tax-deductible contributions to your self directed IRA.

Making A Deductible Contribution

There are plenty of tax benefits that the government offers to help those prioritize saving for retirement. One of the biggest incentives is making IRA contributions tax deductible. 

There is one issue to be aware of when contributing to your retirement accounts. You must be aware that the eligibility of your contribution to be tax deductible depends on your modified adjusted gross income. If you have a high modified adjusted gross income you are less likely to receive any deductions from your contribution. It is very wise to talk to a tax accountant so that you know for sure if your contribution will be tax deductible or not. For more information on what is tax deductible or not check go to

Self Directed IRA Contributions

Self directed IRA contributions work the same way that standard IRAs work. To know more about how much you can actually contribute to your self directed IRA check out, Retirement Contribution Limits As we have mentioned time and time again, the main difference and benefit of a self directed IRA over standard IRAs is the ability to invest in alternative assets. Don't miss out on the tax benefits that can be applied to real estate investments, gold investments and more.

2013 Contributions Still Available

Even though we are three months into 2014 it doesn't mean that you can't contribute to your self directed IRA for 2013.  The IRS allows individuals to make contributions for 2013 up to April 15th, 2014. If you haven't taken advantage of your 2013 contribution do it while you can so that you don't miss out on the tax breaks.

If you need help with your self directed IRA let us help you out. If you would like to transfer or rollover your IRA into a self directed IRA we can help you out with that as well. Take control of your retirement today!