Archive for March, 2015

The Best Thing You Can Do To Increase Your Retirement Nest Egg

Monday, March 30th, 2015

Retirement Contribution

While there are plenty of things that you can do to increase your retirement nest egg there is one thing that can make one of the biggest impacts to your nest egg. That one thing that you can do is to consistently contribute to your retirement year after year. The more you can contribute the better. Maxing out your retirement account each year can have one of the biggest impacts to your total nest egg.

How much can you contribute to your retirement account each year and even more specifically to your self-directed IRA? The following are the contribution limits for 2014:

Traditional and Roth IRA Contribution Limits for 2014
Age 49 and under – 100% of compensation, up to $5,500
Age 50 and over – 100% of compensation, up to $6,500

To be able to make this contribution to a Roth IRA in 2014, an individual’s MAGI (modified adjusted gross income) must be less than the below numbers:

Individual – $114,000 – $129,000
Married and filing jointly – $181,000 – $191,000

For a Traditional IRA the MAGI limit to for a partial deduction are as follows:

Single- $60,000 – $70,000
Married and filing jointly – $96,000 – $116,000
married and filing separately – $0 – $10,000
Those with spouses who don’t earn income – $181,000 – $191,000

If you have the ability to take advantage of contributing to your IRA or self-directed IRA then do it now before it is too late. You don’t want to miss out on contributing to 2014 and you have already missed another year to contribute. If you let this pass you by then you are ultimately letting potentially the best thing you could do for your retirement to pass you by.

If you just don’t have the capability to save for your retirement yet then get yourself in a position to be able to invest yearly in your retirement account. One way you can get yourself into a position to be able to contribute year after year into your retirement account is to watch your spending. For more help on your spending check out, “Millenials Learned From The 2008 Recession“.

If you would like to contribute to your already open self-directed IRA account then contribute here.
Contact us for more information about contributing to your self-directed IRA today.


A Gold IRA May Be Your Way To Retirement Investing Diversification

Thursday, March 26th, 2015

Gold IRA

We talk frequently how diversifying your portfolio is one of the smartest things you can do for your retirement account. This is because if done right you can lower your risk by diversifying at the same time as not lowering our potential return. Having your retirement portfolio invested in only a few items is more risky than having it invested in a lot of different items. What that really means is that your dependency on a single one investment is lower because you are spreading the risk around.

With diversification key to a solid retirement portfolio a self-directed IRA becomes one of the best additions to your retirement accounts. One of the more popular types of investments inside of a self-directed IRA is gold and it is often referred to as a gold IRA because the self-directed IRA is invested in gold. Hopefully that is fairly obvious.

Having some of your retirement invested in gold can be a great way to help diversify your retirement accounts. If you aren’t up to investing in gold with your retirement you can invest in many other things like real estate which is referred to as a real estate IRA or even private placements. The possibilities are practically endless.

For those of you who are interested in a gold IRA I want you to be informed with the right information. There are things you can and can’t do with a gold IRA. to some of the things you can and can’t do and how to set one up so that you can invest in gold with your IRA today.

While self-directed IRAs have their fair share of rules to be aware of a gold IRA has a few extra that you’ll need to know so that you get the most out of your gold IRA. For some of the most important rules to be aware of when investing in gold with your IRA check out, Facts About A Gold-Backed IRA.

How do you set up an account to start investing in gold with your retirement account? It is much easier than you would imagine. The main thing you need to do is to set up an account. You can set up an account and once your account is set up we will help you through the actual process of getting your gold or silver purchased and in your IRA. There is minimal paperwork to be done and we will guide you through the process.

WIth Accuplan Benefits Services you can rest assured that you are getting the best service all while diversifying your retirment portfolio. For more information about a gold IRA feel free to contact us at any time.


Help Your Parents Retire

Thursday, March 19th, 2015

Help parents retire

For many of us retirement is a daunting thing to think about.  Sometimes it is even more daunting to think about our parents retirement then our own. We feel like we can control our own retirement while we don’t have much control over our parents’ retirement. Often times we worry more about our parents and their retirement situation simply because we have no control over it or because we have no idea how secure their retirement is. Here are a few tips to help you stress less about your parents retirement situation. 

Get In The Know

You must start out figuring where your parents are at with their retirement nest egg and how long that will be able to last them. It means you will need to figure out what their expenses are and incomes. Figure out the big picture so you know if they are ok or if they are going to need help in some way.
Part of this means you will want to find what type of retirement accounts your parents own. If they do not have any accounts I would strongly suggest that they open up an IRA or 401k or if they want more control of their investments you can get a self-directed account. A self-directed account can be in the form of an IRA or 401k.
This also includes making sure they are going to have all the necessities of life secured while in retirement. The main goal here is to make sure you know if they will be staying in their current home or moving to a new location. The follow up would be to make sure they are going to be able to pay for the mortgage on the place they will be living at in retirement. 

Talk With An Expert

Experts are a great way to bridge the gap. There are many of us who just don’t know enough about retirement that we don’t know where to start. If you fall into this category an expert can really help spell everything out nicely (where your parents are at, where they should be at and what this means). While not all experts are created equal one way to help find a higher quality expert is simply by word of mouth from those you trust.

Focus On Your Retirement

For most of us it isn’t likely that you can take on complete responsibility for your parents financial support while in retirement. So what should you do? The worst thing you can do is to try to help your parents out at the detriment to your own retirement. You don’t want to put your children in the same position that your parents put you in. If you stop the cycle your children will be better able to support themselves while in retirement..It can be hard to say no sometimes to parents but sometimes that’s what it comes down too. Remember, you can help your parents financially while they are in retirement but there are probably only a few select circumstances where you would actually want to help them at the detriment to your own retirement.

Stay Involved

Time has a way of changing things. Sometimes for the good and sometimes for the bad. Because of this you will want to do regular checkups on your parents financial situation so that you aren’t blindsided by any changes to their retirement security. One thing to remember is that health is a huge factor to financial security so beyond checking in to see how their finances are doing it is important to make sure you check out how they are doing mentally and physically as that can really change the security of their retirement.
Hopefully by following some of these rules you can sleep without the worry of your parents retirement financial situation.
If you would like more information on self-directed accounts contact us today


I Hope You Don’t Feel Like An Outsider With Your Own IRA or 401k

Monday, March 16th, 2015


Whether you have a 401k, IRA or both how are they doing? Are the accounts going in the direction you want them to go? Are you investing in the types of investments that you want your 401k or IRA to invest in? Do you even know? Regardless, you may not need to know what is currently going on with your account or how it is performing if it is set up wisely and in the manner that you want. The great thing about a very well set up retirement portfolio is that you don’t have to worry about it on a day to day basis.

Most of you probably don’t know the answers to the above questions. Hopefully, it is because you have already set up a great retirement portfolio and don’t worry about it from day to day.

A good portion of you who do not know the above questions is simply because you have no idea what is going on with your retirement accounts. All you know is that you continue to contribute to your 401k or IRA because you have always been told that it is a great hing to do.

In fact, many of us feel like an outsider in our own accounts. We have no idea what we are investing in nor if the way our accounts are currently set up are aligned with our current goals and values.

If you feel like an outsider with your account then now is the time to get your retirement accounts back on track. It is your retirement account so you should be in-charge of your account. Your adviser is there to support you and listen to you and take your direction. Again, remember this is your account and ultimately you should do what you want with it.

One thing to know about advisers is that they can only do so much. They are limited by the investment company that they are associated with.

For instance, if you would like to invest in real estate with your retirement account most only allow for a few options, namely REIT investments. If you want to invest in a physical real estate property it can be done but you have to find an investment company that will allow for a self-directed IRA.

Self-directed IRAs allow you to invest in things other than stocks and bonds. You can invest in real physical assets like gold and real estate. Again, the issue with doing this type of investing is that you have to find an investment company that allows for these types of investments. They are perfectly legal inside of an IRA or 401k but most investment companies don’t typically offer them because they make more money elsewhere.

Whether or not you want to diversify your retirement accounts outside of the stock markets with a self-directed IRA there is one thing that you should make sure that you do as soon as possible. What is that one thing you should do now with your retirement accounts? Make sure you stop feeling like an outsider with your own retirement accounts. Do that by getting in the know with your retirement accounts and make sure your adviser and you are on the same page with your retirement account.

If you realize you still want to do more and invest in other things then contact us about a self-directed IRA and learn how to invest in some great physical assets with your retirement account.


The Biggest Mistakes Made With Self-Directed IRAs and 401ks

Friday, March 13th, 2015

Avoidable Mistakes

Investing with a self-directed IRA or 401k doesn’t have to be hard. It just takes a little bit of effort to learn some of the rules. Once you know some of the rules you can then get to investing without much worry. Even after you have learned about the rules there will be times when you aren’t sure what to do. That is where we come in. We are here to help make sure you are on track and not doing anything that may negatively impact your retirement account. If you have any self-directed IRA or 401k questions contact us.  In the mean time enjoy learning about some of the more popular mistakes made inside of a self-directed IRA and 401k.

Mistakes Made Inside of Self-Directed IRAs and 401ks

Disqualified Persons

I have explained what a disqualified persons is enough times that instead of explaining it again, check out, “Disqualifed Persons in Regards to Self Directed IRAs and 401ks.” A retirement account (IRA or 401k) is an investment tool to benefit retirement! The keyword there is retirement. Because there are already some great benefits to retirement accounts (namekly tax benefits) there are rules put into place that say you can’t do things that would unfairly benefit your retirement account. That is one of the reasons why you can’t do any dealings with disqualified persons because there are chances that a disqualified person would give you a better deal or would unfairly benefit your IRA. An example would be if a disqualified person you knew wanted to sell you real estate at a much lower price than they could generally get elsewhere. 

Making a personal guarantee

Because disqualified persons are such a big deal no matter what the type of transaction you can’t deal with disqualified persons. This also rings true with trying to guarantee a loan for your IRA from a disqualified person. For example, if you are going to buy a real estate property with your IRA but don’t have enough money to purchase the property then you would need to get a loan. You cannot however go to a person who is considered a disqualified person to get a loan for your IRA. Typically, if you don’t have enough money in an IRA or 401k the type of loan that some banks will offer is a non-guaranteed loan. A non-guaranteed loan is riskier for a bank than a regular guranteed loan. Because of the risk they are offered at significantly higher interest rates.

Sweat equity

How does sweat equity pertain to self-directed IRAs and 401ks? Sweat equity is when the self directed IRA owner (or as the IRA LLC manager) were to use their personal tools and equipment to improve the property (e.g. use your saws, materials, truck, employees, to add a new roof). Another potential mistake is the self directed IRA owner provides all of the labor for making the improvements.
This is one of those rules that is quite frustrating to self-directed IRA owners because it is simply doesn’t make sense unless you remember that you are dealing with a retirement account. The other way to look at it more specifically think of the self-directed IRA or 401k as the owner of the property. If you truly look at it that way then there is no way that you would for free provide services like repairing the roof because you aren’t the owner. Whether this completely makes sense to you this is the rule and there isn’t really any way of getting around it. 
These are just a few of the more popular mistakes made inside of self-directed IRAs and 401ks. If you have any specific questions about your situation feel free to reach out to us as we are self-directed IRA and 401k professionals.