Julie knows something about handling money. She works as the administrator of a large university hospital. When you’re dealing with a billion plus budget, you have to be on top of the financial situation. She also looks after her own money. When she took a hard look at her retirement fund, she thought that she could do better. But that meant getting up to speed with the stock market. Julie knew that playing the market is not for the faint of heart, nor for the ignorant. She enrolled in a class, figured out how to use leading indicators, and went to work growing her money. She saw some moderate success, but soon grew tired of the Wall Street roller coaster. That’s when Julie heard about self-directed IRAs.
“People thought I was crazy,” she says with a laugh. Her friends couldn’t fathom leaving a traditional platform, and initially that was her view as well. “It was a little scary. You’re jumping into something that sounds good, but that very few people have actually used.”
Julie decided to take the leap. She opened a self-directed IRA with Broad, and then went looking for a new kind of asset. Eventually she decided upon a piece of Florida real estate. It was a duplex that due to the depressed economy was selling for less than half of its original value. Because of the low purchase price, she was able to buy it outright without resorting to a loan. She then found a real estate agent who helped her find a tenant. Now, Julie’s favorite time of the month is right at the beginning: that’s when she finds the rent check in her mailbox.
- Find a real estate agent that you trust, especially if you’re not in the same locale as your property.
- Even though the internet makes it easier to be a landlord from a distance, you will still be fairly busy with the property. For instance, if the refrigerator in the apartment breaks, you will have to get on the phone to manage its repair or purchase a new one.
- Don’t forget that property-related travel is tax deductible.
Mc Lean, VA
Bruce is a computer programmer, serial inventor, and a man with an eye for developing business. His latest business venture is a machine shop in Norman, Oklahoma. However, this time there’s a twist. He’s partners in the business with his brother-in-law and his… Solo 401(k)!
Bruce was approached by his brother-in-law who was the manager in a large machine shop. The owners of the shop had decided to shut it down, and were auctioning off the machines and equipment. It was still a viable business, and the auction provided a way to get into it cheaply. There was just one problem: a significant sum of money would be needed to purchase the machines.
Bruce approached one of the advisers at the firm which handled his 401(k), and asked him if there was any way to put those funds into a different business. The advisor put him in touch with Broad Financial where he was then able to open a self-directed Solo 401(k). Those newly freed funds provided the capital boost needed to secure the machines and get the business off the ground. Today, the shop is rebuilding its client base and is well on its way to profitability.
Now Bruce is looking forward to another title to add to the list: happy retiree.
- Anticipate cost overruns when planning your investment. The given price is almost always higher when you get to the finish line.
- Structure the deal to make sure that your retirement fund is compensated in a timely manner. If possible, write the contract to make sure that your plan is first on the list of reimbursements.
- It pays to be personally involved in your investment. That way you can help guarantee that the venture is going in a good direction.
Jeff and Danise R.
Meet Jeff and Danise
Jeff is a contractor on the West Coast. Danise is an instructor at a local college. When they began to take a closer look at their retirement funds, they realized that the standard platforms weren’t delivering enough of a punch. So they decided to get their own education – in the school of high performing real estate!
Jeff and Danise’s Investment
Jeff and Danise had spent time in Kauai, and were familiar with some of the real estate there. They knew they could make money with an investment property, but they didn’t know how to finance it. That’s when Danise heard about Broad and the self-directed Solo 401(k). By transferring their funds to a self-directed account, they were able to purchase a condo in Kauai. Once that was done, the stage was set for a hassle-free retirement income.
To rent out the condo, Jeff and Danise went with a service that schedules short-term renters according to their vacation plans. This service provides an easy-to-access online format which allows property owners to handle reservations, paperwork, and other aspects of the rental process. Cleaning services are similarly set up to follow the resident schedule. Now all Jeff and Danise have to do to work their retirement funds is take a once-a-month trip to their local bank – and deposit the monthly rent check!
Jeff and Danise’s Pointers
- Starting off with a self-directed plan means getting an intimidating package of papers. Don’t worry. Just work your way through, (and ask your questions as they come up), and you’ll see it’s really not that hard.
- Expect a little bit of a delay if you’re rolling over funds from a previous account. You can deposit them in your new plan right away, but getting them from your previous provider can prove to be something of a drag. Plan your timing accordingly.
- Don’t be afraid to be tenacious as you push forward. Once you get the process worked out, it should work smoothly from there.