Archive for April, 2015

Forget About A Loan For Your Startup Get A Self-Directed 401k

Wednesday, April 29th, 2015

Doesn’t owning your own business sound great? I sure think it does. Of course owning your own business comes with many of its own stresses and trials but there are plenty of other upsides that can outweigh the negatives of owning your own business. Maybe you have actually thought of the business you would love to start or perhaps you have strongly considered quitting your job to start your own business. Most of us who have thought of starting our own business come across the biggest issue we have with starting our own company. That issue is finding the money to start doing what we want. One of the biggest issues to starting your own business is coming up with the capital to actually be able to do what you want to do.

There is a way to come up capital without having to go out there and get a loan or find someone willing to invest in your company. You can actually come up with this money yourself with the money you have in your 401k.

You are probably wondering how this is possible. It is possible through a self-directed 401k with Mysop plan. So how does a self-directed 401k Mysop actually work? Below is a visual and step by step instructions on of how a self-directed 401k (mysop) actually works as well as how Accuplan Benefits Services will help you thorughout the process. The following example is with a bed and breakfast business.

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.

The following are a few of the benefits to using a Mysop. If you are stil not sold that a Mysop is for you rather than a regular business loan make sure you have thought about the following benefits to a Mysop.

  • Allows for retirement cash to be placed into a company without it being a loan.
  • Provides capital for start ups or other cash strapped businesses.
  • Provides for recourse loans when non-recourse loans are not available or practical.
  • You get to invest your retirement monies into something other than stocks and bonds.

A self-directed 401k Mysop plan can be just what you need to actually start that business you have always wanted to start. If you need help or more information about setting up a self-directed 401k Mysop plan then contact us today.


Why You Need a Self-Directed IRA. Don’t Take Our Word For it

Friday, April 24th, 2015

You need a self directed ira

I was making my usual rounds of retirement and investing news and I stumbled upon a great article by The Motley Fool, “Why You Need a Self-Directed IRA“. I liked it enough that I thought I would summarize it if you don’t want to read the whole article. The following are some of the reasons why a self-directed IRA are a great option according to the article and hopefully most of them you already know. If not, hopefully you can gain some knowledge that will help you move to a better more diverse retirement nest egg.

Motley Fool’s reasons to invest with a self-directed IRA

  • You get to ramp up your retirement savings an extra notch because a whole new universe of potential investments are offered to you.
  • A self-directed IRA opens up the IRA and allows you to invest in all the things that are legally allowed inside of an IRA. Popular belief that an IRA can invest in just stocks and bonds is misguided.
  • While stocks can be a great investment they are by far not the only types of investments out there. There are other things that you can invest in that have a much greater profit potential than a typical stock or fund.

Motley Fool’s Challenges of Self-Directed IRAs

  • Tax rules surrounding self-directed IRAs are complex. A single misstep can have huge consequences.
  • Self dealing is a big issue. You can’t do it and need to be aware of it. For instance, You cannot your IRA assets in a business in which you act as a corporate officer or hold a controlling interest. Also, you cannot own a vacation home that you use for personal use in an IRA.
  • You cannot combine personal assets with your IRA assets in order to purchase an IRA investment.
  • While these are not all the rules you need to know the ones that matter or you face the possibility that you jeopardize the entire tax-exempt status of your IRA. This could potentially make every penny of your retirement account taxable and subject to penalties.
While Motley Fool isn’t exactly an expert in self-directed IRA investing they have has shinned a little light as to why a self-directed IRA is a great option for those out there looking to get more from their current IRA. There are plenty of other reasons why a self-directed IRA is a great option for you but ultimately you will need to find out for yourself a self-directed IRA is for you.
We want to help you take your retirement investing up a notch. A self-directed IRA is that vehicle to help get the full benefits of an IRA. While there are rules to investing inside your IRA with a self-directed IRA it doesn’t have to be that hard. We as experts will help guide you through the process to make investing with your self directed IRA much more enjoyable. 
If you have any questions about self-directed IRAs or the rules to investing in a self-directed IRA then contact us. 


Truly Diversify Your Retirement Account With A Self-Directed IRA

Tuesday, April 21st, 2015

self-directed ira

I have been saying time and time again that it is super important to diversify your retirement portfolio. One of the best ways to diversify your retirement portfolio is with a self-directed IRA. A self-directed IRA gives you the ability to invest in things other than the stock market. What sort of other investments? Investments like real estate, gold, private placements, etc.

Why is this such a great way invest for your retirement portfolio? Ultimately it is a great way to invest because you can spread your risk across the field while not having to sacrifice much if any potential return. Why else is it a great idea to diversify with a self-directed IRA? The market currently keeps sending red flags that this year is going to be a rough one and diversification in the right areas is going to help you immensely.

We have already seen a lot of volatility this year in the stock markets. While the S&P 500 is up 1.86% year-to-date it hasn’t been without its wild swings. The following is the performance month to month for the S&P 500 and you will see the volatility that I am talking about.

January: -3.10%
February: 5.49%
March: -1.74%
April: 1.43% so far.

The current outlook on the stock market is still quite shaky. There are multiple things playing into the current outlook like the value of the dollar but the biggest thing right now is earnings. Since we have recently ended the quarter we are smack dab in the middle of when companies show the earnings that they have made for the previous quarter. Right now we are seeing many blue chip companies that are showing a drop in earnings.

While earnings are a huge play right now they aren’t the only thing on the horizon that is making investors skeptical of the market. The idea that the feds are going to be raising interest rates is another hit to the market. There is a correlation that when interest rates go up the market goes down.

These are really just a few of the issues hitting the stock markets today but you don’t have to worry about them if you have sufficiently diversified your retirement account inside the stock markets and outside the stock markets.

To sufficiently diversify outside the stock markets with a retirement account you will need to have a self-directed IRA or 401k.

At Accuplan Benefits Services we are here to help you set up a self-directed IRA so that you can invest diversify your account into things like real estate or gold.


Top Real Estate Markets To Watch For Your Real Estate IRA

Thursday, April 16th, 2015

Real Estate IRA

Have you been looking at different investments for your self-directed IRA? If so, a great option is real estate, often called a real estate IRA. While most of us know many of the great advantages of owning real estate as an investment we often don’t do enough due diligence that can really take our real estate investment to the next level. One thing that can potentially take your real estate investment to the next level is investing in a real estate market that is hot. According to research done by Trulia, the following are a few of the hot markets to watch in 2015. In no particular order.

Fresno, CA

According to The Fresno Bee Fresno’s population has climbed roughly 15.7%. Because fresno is one of the more affordable inland parts of California probably has something to do with it.

San Diego, CA

While San Diego is a very popular town, it is also on the rise. With new condos under construction for those who want to live by the action of the trendy Gaslamp Quarter. While it continues to grow, it is also the second most expensive city to buy in. It is a great sellers market.

Salt Lake City, UT

Home values have increased the past 24 months. Utah’s economy and growing population are on track to keep the housing demand healthy and sustainable. Part of this is due to the arrival of big company offices like Microsoft, Adobe, Oracle and Xerox in SLC.

Dallas, TX

With a 3.4% increase in in jobs since last year in the manufacturing, retail, and energy industries it is in a great spot. Over the past 10 years, Dallas-Fort Worth has grown to become the fourth largest metropolitan are in the country.

Nashville, TN

Ranking sevent in growth among young professionals with college degrees is a great sign for the future. The city has also shown a 48% population hike in the past 12 years.

While these are just a few of the hot real estate markets to watch this year it doesn’t mean that you can’t find a great place outside of these markets for your real estate IRA. Great deals are everywhere you just have to do your due diligence and work a little harder to find them.

Real estate is an diversifying investment that can really benefit your retirement account. If you need help setting up a real estate IRA we are here to help.

Contact us today for help turning your IRA into something much more than just stocks and bonds.


Follow These Tips Or You Might Not Get That Retirement You Hoped For

Monday, April 13th, 2015

Retirement tips

While the flu and cold season is rapidly coming to a close I am reminded of a few things that help me get through a flu and cold season with more confidence that I won’t have to deal with it. What are my trusted barriers to lowering my chance of getting the flu? They are simply what most doctors have been telling us to do time and time again. Here is my fav four flu and cold fighting formula.

  1. Washing hands. Flu is often spread through touch and our hands are the main culprit. While it can sometimes be hard to wash your hands often one thing you can do to help is to keep your hand and fingers away from your eyes, nose and mouth and much as possible. Either way, wash your hands with soap and water as often as reasonably possible for you, especially before eating.
  2. Sleep. Sleeping is huge for our immune system. A 2009 Carnegie Mellon study found that anything short of seven hours of sleep nearly triples your odds of catching a cold. That is seven hours of straight sleep. While everyone has different sleeping needs I would do your best to try at least seven hours of sleep. Your body will thank you with a strengthened immune system.
  3. Good Diet. Good nutrition goes a long way. We replenish our body with the proper nutrients it needs to fight off potential sicknesses. The more balanced our diet the better. One question I like to ask people is how many veggies they ate for the day. I have found that most of us answer without almost zero! If you want to have a better chance of not getting the flu or a cold then eating your fair share of whole grains, veggies and fruits will help.
  4. Exercise. In order to have a better chance of not getting the flu or cold it is all about giving your body the best chance to push away any potential sickness. Exercise is just another step in that fight. Being active boots so many different levels in our bodies that help to fight sickness.

While these are my fav four steps to fighting the cold and flu we should parallel this strategy to our finances and more specifically our retirement. The simple phrase “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is the perfect way to think about our finances as well.

Just as the flu season will eventually come upon us again and we’ll do everything we can to fight getting sick so will our time to retire eventually come upon us. When that time comes we want to be ready for it and able to fight back. If not, we might find ourselves in a dire situation looking for a “cure” to our retirement sickness.

The following steps our my fav four steps to being prepared and ready for anything that comes our way during retirement.

  1. Get In The Know. It is important to figure out what your retirement situation is if you don’t know it. If you do know what it is then it is wise to do a yearly check to make sure you are still on target. If you aren’t sure where to start or what to do then check out, “Retirement Guide“. During this process it is important that you figure out a rough estimate of how big your nest egg will need to be by the time you retire. This is a rough estimate but the closer you get to retirement the more you should know exactly what you will need and if you will have enough for your needs and wants.
  2. Saving. This is one of should be applied to everyone regardless of your financial situation but for most of us who have to stretch in order to pay our bills will find it hard to think about saving for retirement. I feel like most of the time we live pay check to pay check simply because we don’t control our spending. If we truly knew what we were spending our money on we would probably be shocked. That is why you must analyze your spending because more than likely you will find a way to save some money that you can then put towards your retirement. If you truly want the best retirement that you can have you must analyze your spending and find ways to put more towards your retirement. For help analyzing your spending I suggest using mint.
  3. Invest Now. Once you have figured out where you are at and what roughly you will need while in retirement and are starting to save you should invest that extra money as soon as possible. Time is one of the biggest things you can do for your retirement. The earlier you start the better chances you have to get that nest egg you need. For instance, If you began investing $10.00 a week at 8% starting at 30 years old. By the time you reach 65 you would have invested $18,200 and it would have grown to $99,402. Now what if you were even smarter and started investing $10.00 a week at 20 until 65 then you would have invested a total of $23,400 and it would have grown to $228,563. While you you would have only invested $5,200 you would have made $1291,61 more dollars. That is significant and all because you started 10 years earlier. The earlier you can start the better and depending on how many years earlier it can be very significant. Start today!
  4. Diversify. Most investment professionals really push the idea of diversification. Why? Because the truth of the matter is, nobody knows what the future holds for any one type of investment or area of investments. Because of that it is really important to invest in a wide range of assets. It is also wise because when one asset is dropping in value another can be gaining in value. So diversification helps to keep you less risky but it can also help to increase your profits. One way to truly diversify is through a self-directed IRA or 401k. These accounts give you the ability to also diversify outside of stocks and bonds. You can invest in things like gold, real estate and more. It is important to remember that while the stock market can be a great way to invest for the distant future there are also plenty of other investments that can be great investments for the distant future, like real estate. A self-directed IRA that is invested in real estate is often referred to as a real estate IRA. This allows you to have the regular benefits of an IRA but the ability to invest in actual real estate.

These are just four steps to help you prepare so that when the time comes to retire you are prepared and are able to withstand any issues that may come when in retirement. What type of issues can come while in retirement? Issues like a market crash, or even unexpected medical bills. If you applied the concent, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” to your retirement plan then you will better be able to roll with any retirement issues and still be able to have enough of a nest egg to cover you while in retirement. While there are other things that you can do now in order to secure a more secure retirement these are a good start. No matter what you do I would suggest trying your best to secure a strong and healthy retirement and that mainly consists of doing things right now to better your retirement future.

If you would like help setting up a self-directed IRA or real estate IRA contact us today as we are professionals in self-directed IRA investing and real estate IRA investing.