A growing number of retirement savers are becoming aware that they can choose investments other than the traditional offerings of stocks, bonds, mutual funds, ETFs and CDs within an Individual Retirement Account (IRA). Self-Directed IRAs offering non-traditional investments have increased in popularity in recent years and are somewhat more accessible for investors compared to 1974 when the IRA was first introduced. These Self-Directed IRAs allow you to invest in real estate, precious metals, notes, tax lien certificates, private placements and many more investment options.
Investing in real estate through a Self-Directed IRA can be a great way to diversify your retirement account. Traditional and Roth IRAs can be converted into Self-Directed IRAs, where the individual has more control over what to do with the cash and still has the tax deferred benefits that an IRA offers. 401(k) plans work a little differently; if the individual is still employed by the company that sponsors the 401(k) plan, he or she can't move the money around. If it's an old 401(k), a rollover is completely possible. In fact, that's what I did for my first two multifamily investments, having rolled over a traditional IRA to a Self-Directed IRA. The process was fairly easy and straightforward and allowed me the opportunity to begin investing in multifamily syndication deals as a limited partner.
One of the biggest differences when converting over your IRA to a Self-Directed IRA is that it requires you to hire someone to act as the trustee or custodian of the account while you act as the director, deciding what to invest the account funds in. The are many custodians to choose from so I've listed a few companies below that I'm familiar with. It's always best to do your own due diligence so find a custodian you feel most comfortable with.
Real Estate Self-Directed IRA Advantages
Self-Directed IRAs can seem intimidating, but they don't have to be. These powerful tax-advantaged accounts can offer needed diversification and big profits for your retirement portfolio. See what steps are necessary to set up and begin investing in a Self-Directed IRA. The video below from Equity Trust provides a hi-level overview on how to get started.