Posts Tagged ‘401k’

Biggest Retirement Mistakes That Can be Easily Avoided

Thursday, October 1st, 2015

Retirement mistakes 2

You’ve probably heard it all over the news lately, that people nowadays, of all ages, are simply not saving enough — if any — for retirement. Earlier this week, we talked about President Obama’s retirement plan called “myRA” and with tools such as a myRA, there’s hardly a reason not to get your head on straight and getting to planning.
What we’re going over today corresponds with last week’s blog, and we’re going to talk about today is retirement mistakes that are easily avoided.

Passing up money on the table

If you’re lucky enough to work for a company that offers a 401k program with a matching contribution, we cannot say this with enough enthusiasm, take FULL advantage. The main reason most people don’t take full advantage of a match is they either don’t know how it works, or don’t know how much they can get out of it. The problem is that every company does it differently, some match dollar for dollar up to a certain limit, and others match up to 50% of contributions.
Missing out on those dollars really adds up fast. It can be up to $1000 that you’re missing out on yearly (again, depending on what your employer offers), and that in turn can boost your nest egg by tens of thousands over several decades of saving, plus compounding interest.
The solution is that you need to talk to your human resources department. Write them out a detailed email, have all your questions up front, get all your bases covered, and then sign up, and start saving.

Not fully participating in your planning

The biggest issue with this is that you don’t know where your money is going, or how it’s doing. Don’t give someone else the reigns to your financial future. You may right now have an advisor, and that’s wonderful, but think about how much better two heads are over just one. If you’re watching out for yourself, and your financial advisor is as well, then I’d say that you’re in for a pretty stellar retirement.
Though, getting yourself to that point is where some hard work comes in. You have to choose yourself, pay yourself, and be kind to yourself. It’s all about self-education and responsibility.

Ignoring the obvious

As the song by Dusty Springfield goes, you’re wishin’ and hopin’ and thinkin’ and prayin’. And as we all know, that is no way to get anything done. Ignoring the fact that you will have to retire, or even putting off retirement planning is a surefire way to get you into some deep water. We at Accuplan challenge everyone to either schedule a meeting with a financial advisor, or just a serious sit down by yourself, and really start planning today, because wishful thinking can be dangerous.

Author: Tanya

Self-Directed IRA Rules – Self-Dealing

Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

There are many benefits that come with self-directed IRA accounts. Namely tax advantages and the ability to invest in non-traditional investments with your retirement accounts. In order to fully maximize the benefits that come from self-directed retirement accounts, you must follow the self-directed IRA rules and 401k rules.

One rule to remember that can be detrimental to your retirement accounts and investing is the rule of self-dealing.

Self-dealing can easily be looked over if you don’t know enough of the rules to investing with your self-directed IRA or 401k. In order to understand what self-dealing is first let’s talk about how a retirement account works. Stripping it down to very basic terms retirement accounts are designed to benefit the owner of the account upon retirement and no other time before then.

Understanding that makes it much easier to understand what self-dealing is.

Self-dealing is when an IRA transaction is done that brings personal gain to the account owner. Remember, the account owner cannot receive any personal gain with retirement accounts until retirement. If so, you could be subject to taxes and other penalties.

Examples of Self-Dealing In A Self-Directed IRA

  • Living in the house you purchased with your IRA
  • Allowing family to live in the house you purchased with your IRA
  • Taking out a personal loan from your IRA
  • Paying yourself a salary from your IRA
  • Sweat equity
  • And lastly, buying precious metals from yourself

A similar rule to self-dealing is disqualified persons. Because you cannot do transactions with certain persons with your self-directed IRA or 401k. Who are these disqualified persons? Find out more at Self-Directed IRA & 401k Disqualified Persons

If you need to know more about your self-directed IRA rules specific situation please contact us today. We are here to help you know the rules to investing with your IRA or 401k


Now is a Good Time to Check Your Retirement

Tuesday, January 7th, 2014

Retirement infographic

We have talked about retirement extensively but now that it is the beginning of another year it is a wise decisions to step back and evaluate your retirement to make sure you are on track to be retirement ready.

Looking over this infographic is a good start. Some of the numbers on the infographic are out of date like the contribution limits, etc. Make sure you check ages and contributions to make sure you know the limits for 2014.

Even if you have already started saving for your retirement and have even set up your retirement accounts you can still benefit by reading this infographic. It might remind you why you chose the accounts that you chose. It could possibly even get you to think about setting up a new account. If you haven't started your retirement this is a must read to start the fire within that gets you thinking about retirement and what you need to do today to have a great retirement down the road. It is a wise decision to make sure you have the amount of money saved up needed for a solid retirement. Read Is Your Retirement Plan Ready and check out the link to the calculators towards the end of the article to calculate how much you are going to need.  

Choosing the type of retirement account that is right for you doesn't have to be that hard. If your employer offers a 401k and will match you should always take advantage, it is free money. There are other options that could be right for you. If you want more control over your investments in retirement then the best option is a self directed IRA. Read more about Self Directed IRA Rules

If you need more motivation to start figuring out your retirement check out Retirement Stats and Tips.

Contact us or comment below with any questions or to learn more about self directed IRAs.


Self Directed IRA Real Estate Trends

Monday, May 28th, 2012

Real estate has and continues to be a key holding in a large percentage of self directed IRAs. We saw the activity level high in pre-2008 and now, we see that level coming back, but for different reasons. Below we will look at a couple of key metrics to give you an idea as to what is happening with investment and rental properties.

Apartment Absorption Rates

One of the key trends to watch and follow Apartment Absorption vs. Home ownership. The trend has been and is away from home ownership to apartment living. The following chart from Marcus & Millichap clearly shows this trend.

What we see is that there is a strong trend away from home ownership and into the apartment life. The importance of this trend is that as a current or potential real estate investor with your self directed IRA, the need for rental property is increasing. The psychology of people is shifting from home ownership to being a renter. The financial and economic drivers are pushing people to become renters. The bottom line is holding real estate in your self directed IRA could be profitable and wise.

Vacancy Rates

Vacancy rates across the country were at 5.2% at the end of 2011. That is a 40 basis point (0.40% – 5.6% to 5.2%) decline. That is very significant. Below is another graphic from Marcus & Millichap. Without diving into specifics, what you see are steep declines in vacancy rates across most of the major US Cities. This is just further support for increasing rental demands.

So, what does this tell you about holding rental or investment real estate in your self directed IRA? Our analysis says that the demand for rental property has been increasing and will continue to increase as more foreclosures are disposed. This will be compounded by the fact that the economy is and will continue to grow very slow which puts pressures on wages. This motivates and maintains renters.

Given the predicted slow economy, potential global recession, your portfolio needs to have a good compliment of tangible assets such as real estate and precious metals. This is why we continue to believe that now is still a good time to hold real estate in your self directed IRA.

The information provided is for educational purposes only and are not a solicitation or offering of an investment, investment advice, or tax advice. You should consult with your tax, legal or financial advisor to determine the suitability of any investments made with a self directed IRA account.

False Government numbers and Your Self Directed IRA

Saturday, April 21st, 2012

This week the US Census Bureau put out their monthly numbers for retail sales. Their figures show that March 2012 sales rose by 0.8%.

The non-thinking, media picked up these numbers and put their own spin as to why the numbers were up. The AP reported that the numbers were up because of increased employment. The Wall Street Journal reported that much of this increase was the result of increased auto sales.

However, when you dig down to see how the Census Bureau actually gets their data it raises a big question. In this day and age of technology and readily available data, we find out that the Census Bureau gets their data by sending out hard copy, surveys, via the US Mail, to a sample size of 5000 companies. Now these respondents are suppose to send back their best guess and input on how their retail sales will change. Also keep in mind that a small percentage of these mailers will actually come back.

So, from these relatively small sample that basically has no actual hard numbers, the Government is able to calculate a 0.8% net change in retail sales across all retailers in the US. Really? As noted on the Trim Tabs Money Blog, only 10% of all transactions involve currency. Why would the government not just pay the credit card companies for their transaction data to get a good read on 90% of the retail transactions in the US economy? Seems accurate and logical.

In addition to this, if you look at auto sales over the same period, you actually find that the annualized rate of sales was actually down 6% as reported by industry analysts, but the Census Bureau states that they were up 1.1%. How can this be?

Bottom line is that the Government has and does provide grossly inaccurate data on the economy as evidenced by the employment numbers. So, how can the markets and investors be claiming that we are turning a corner economically, when we know the underlying data is inaccurate.

Its because of these bad facts, bad data, that we know that we have not recovered, yet we are already hearing the market pundits proclaim that precious metals are dead, and people that invest in them are misguided, etc. This sure sounds like a good case for why your continued investing in precious metals with your self directed IRA is a sound and safe bet.

So, you have to ask yourself: Would I rather place my faith in a system of printing money and a government that uses bad data, or go against the Wall Street geniuses and hold metals in my self directed IRA?