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More Options to a Self Directed IRA

Joshua Geary

If you want to have more control over your retirement accounts than what is typically found with ROTH, and Traditional IRA's: then consider the acquisition of a self-directed individual retirement account.

If you want to enhance a self-directed IRA with even more options for managing the funds in your retirement accounts: you should consider upgrading to an IRA-LLC. What is an IRA-LLC? It is a limited-liability company in which the account designee has part or complete ownership. This is a self-directed IRA at its finest because it allows the account designee complete control over how the funds in this account shall be invested. You won't be limited in your investments as you would be in traditional IRA's.

There are several advantages to an IRA-LLC over other IRA's:

As the manager of your IRA-LLC Account, you in effect become the custodian of that account. As the custodian of the account you can forego having to pay transaction fees every time you make an investment with your IRA-LLC, self-directed account.

And because you are the custodian of your self-directed, IRA-LLC plan, you can legally take advantage of the lowest of all of the IRA custodial fees assessed to retirement accounts. This benefits both the investor who only has a small fund of money, to those with million's of dollars in their retirement accounts. Once your IRA-LLC is open and funded, the custodial fee is "frozen" at a fixed-rate. Therefore your fees will not rise even with significant earnings.

You are king and ruler over your IRA-LLC account and have the power to make whatever investment decisions you choose without having to await the approval any other party.

The funds from an IRA-LLC, unlike those locked within the constraints of traditional IRA's: can be used to make initial-down payments on real estate purchases, even non-traditional purchases.

IRA-LLC's are given a protective shield against the risks that 'unprotected' IRA's face to their fund assets from litigator's and creditors.

A variety of investment opportunities and benefits are possible through an IRA-LLC account. Whether you're investment goals are traditional, nontraditional or a mixture of the two.

Traditional Investments Options

* Stocks
* Bonds
* Mutual Funds
* Security Notes

Non-Traditional Investment Options:

* Deeded Properties
* Real Estate
* Foreclosed Properties
* Commercial Properties

Most non-traditional investments can be made with an IRA-LLC account without breaking any IRS laws, and incurring a tax-penalty for doing so.

With so many investment options available to you through an IRA-LLC account, you can diversify your financial portfolio which reduces huge risks to any one investment.

International investing is made possible with an IRA-LLC. You don't need the approval of another custodian as you are the manager of your IRA.

To conclude with the benefits of an IRA-LLC, consider that an IRA-LLC is an affordable option for most everyone. It has been estimated that the price of an IRA-LLC is actually half that paid to an IRA Facilitator.

All the above mentioned investment options and benefits and you also have the power to decide where your investment dollars will go and when. In your self-directed, limited-liability IRA you will no longer have to contend with the constraints found in other IRA's.

Just as there are advantages to owning an IRA-LLC, there are also some disadvantages that you should consider first before moving your retirement funds to a self-directed, IRA-LLC.

When considering an IRA-LLC it is vital that you make contact with a reputable advisor who has extensive experience working with self-directed IRA's and IRA-LLC's. Keep in mind that financial advisors who generally concentrate on working with Traditional IRA's will have very little experience (if any) with IRA-LLC's from which to draw upon in order to properly advise you on opening such a retirement account.

A financial advisor who specializes in non-traditional IRA's is a much better choice if you're considering an IRA-LLC. Self-directed IRA advisors are quite efficient in navigating the complex structures of IRA-LLC and other non-traditional IRA's. They are knowledgeable about the rules regulating the self-directed IRA's and can research investment options to make sure they are compliant with these regulations. This could save you from making a costly mistake with your investment monies.

Trying to set-up an IRA-LLC on your own if you're not savvy about the regulations: could warrant an "unwanted" visit and tax + penalties form the IRS. The last thing you want is for the Internal revenue service to take the funds from your retirement account: leaving you with nothing to support you in your retirement years.

Purchasing your own home or a single piece of property is not difficult with an IRA-LLC. However, it becomes more difficult when you seek to fund the purchases of vacant land, properties still under development, condominium and other "community" living properties, and larger real estate purchases. If you're an investor in these types of investments, it is recommended that you employ the aid of an IRA-LLC advisor who can make sure you remain compliant with the rules that regulate your IRA-LLC.

Investing in a property that is undergoing renovations is when things can go terribly wrong. Those who aren't savvy about these kinds of investments could invest more than they should and open themselves to huge losses should the venture fail.

Being naïve about investing and especially business investing could end up costing you're your retirement savings plus the taxes and penalties imposed by the IRS should you mistakenly violate one of the rules regulating IRA-LLC's.

As long as your IRA-LLC is set up properly and you exercise due caution before making any investments: you should never have to worry about "sparking" the interest of the IRS Research every investment opportunity as thoroughly as possible, and seek the advice of a competent IRA-LLC advisor when in doubt. Better to shell out a few dollars for the advice of an expert than to relinquish thousands to the "greedy" hands of the IRS.

Another downfall of using the funds from an IRA-LLC for the purchase of a home is that as an owner of the IRA-LLC, you aren't permitted to reside in an investment property owned by the IRA-LLC.

You may not "knowingly" or "unknowingly" buy, sell, or lease property betwixt an IRA and an "unqualified" party unless they have met exemption rules

You may not conduct business transactions with your spouse, your children and their spouses, or with grandparents and grandchildren with an IRA-LLC The only exception to this rule allows for you to conduct business transactions between your siblings, your sibling's -offspring, and your parent's -siblings.

Real estate that you already own cannot be used to fill your IRA-LLC, even if you were to sell the property to your IRA-LLC at fair market value.

In order to remain compliant with the IRS's rules about beginning to assess one's retirement accounts by age 70 and a half to avoid penalty, you can do so in equal increment payments and these will be considered distribution payments.

You cannot lend any personal credit to your IRA-LLC. If you need to utilize funds from your IRA-LLC in order to pay for an initial payment on an investment property, you cannot take out a personal loan in your name or gain title to property in your name due to the regulations that don't permit IRA-LLC, designees to own real estate purchased by an IRA-LLC. There are legal avenues for safely navigating around these regulations without incurring a tax and penalty from the IRS. You should consult with an expert IRA-LLC advisor to help you learn how to do this while remaining within the limits of the law.

Investing in collectibles is a no-no. You cannot invest in artwork, antiques, rugs or a purchase a 10 carat marquise diamond ring for your spouse or your fiancé and pass it of as an investment.

The Financing of Real Estate and your IRA

Where you use an "unsecured" loan to help in the purchasing of your investment because your IRA-LLC isn't enough to cover the purchase price: you may incur a penalty-tax known as: "Unrelated debt Financing" or UBIT. Such a penalty-tax could result from the holding of properties for an extended period of time, such as is the case with rental properties, and the debt on the property decreases. Joining with another IRA-LLC owner is a way to avoid this penalty-tax for the both of you.

There are options for deferring an UBIT. You can choose an exchange 1031 and forward the UBIT part of the transaction to another investment property. Doing so not only gives you deferment on the UBI, but the indebted portion of the transaction will result in tax-deferred benefits for your IRA-LLC, on the gains from sales, when you decide tore-exchange that property.

Because an IRA-LLC offers you the lowest possible taxing rate, you are not permitted to receive any further deductions or depreciations on real estate the same as you would if it were your own

Joshua Geary is a writer, business strategiest and online marketer. To find out more information about Self Directed IRA LLCs visit

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