When planning for your retirement, you can never be too careful with your choices. Sometimes the rules and regulations may make you feel like you have no control over your future. The good news is that you have options – and plenty of them. If you want to take the reins on your personal retirement plan, self-directed investing may be the best choice for you.  SDIRAs can give you the freedom you need to structure a diverse investment portfolio and build a solid nest egg. If you are interested in self-directed IRA services, here are the top 20 things to look for.


20. Flexibility


If it’s flexibility you’re looking for, an SDIRA may be the right choice for you. You can decide how you want to save and choose a plan that fits your needs. There are many options available for any situation, and with a bit of guidance, you can build a plan that works for you.


19. Tax-Advantaged Savings


A huge bonus that comes with self-directed IRAs is tax-advantaged savings. Account holders can make tax-deductible contributions. Additionally, depending on the IRA or savings plan you choose, your investments can grow tax-free (Roth IRA) or tax-deferred (traditional IRA).


18. Account Choices


There are so many choices when it comes to SDIRA services. Account holders can select from many different saving options. It doesn’t matter if you are self-employed, a small business owner looking for a retirement plan, or you just need a plan for you or your spouse. You decide when, where, how much and what you want to do with your retirement savings. Of course, with a bit of research and due diligence, you can build the right plan for your future.

17. Independent Savings


As an SDIRA account holder, you are running your retirement fund. It’s not dependent on company shares or well-being, but there are no company contributions either. Your SDIRA account will be independent of everything, including your personal account. As the account owner, you are responsible for shaping it and helping it grow.


16. Options for Saving


When it comes to selecting an IRA, there are two options: traditional IRAs and Roth IRAs. Traditional IRA contributions grow tax-deferred until you reach retirement. While you do have to pay a tax with your withdrawals, your funds will continue to grow tax-deferred for more long-term gains.  Roth IRAs are taxed upfront, but all withdrawals made upon retirement are tax-free. Both IRAs have specific requirements, so perform your due diligence and pick the one that best fits you!


15. Options for Self-Employed


If you are self-employed, self-directed investing has a few options for you! You can select from the traditional IRA or Roth IRAs, or you can open a self-directed 401K. Additionally, you can explore options with a SEP IRA. These methods allow self-employed individuals to save up for retirement.


14. Options for Small Businesses


Self-directed investing isn’t just for individuals. Small businesses can benefit from them as well. Small business owners can open a retirement plan for themselves and their employees with a Simple IRA, a SEP IRA or a self-employed 401K. Self-directed investing gives small businesses a chance to offer their employees a way to save for the future.


13. Rollover IRAs


Have multiple IRAs from a few different employees and want to consolidate? You can do that with an SDIRA. With Rollover IRAs, clients can roll over all their traditional IRAs from past employers into one account.


12. Alternative investments


One big factor with self-directed investing, regardless of which method you choose, you have the option of branching out past traditional stocks, bonds, and mutual funds. Account holders have way more choices when it comes to investing. Real estate, precious metals, and promissory notes are among some of the many options. There are few limits on what you can invest in.


11. Diversified Portfolio


With so many options, you can build a diverse investment portfolio. You choose which assets will take the lead. The key is to balance out your savings in different assets to promote the best long-term growth. This also provides a little extra security should one of your investments fail.


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10. Trusted IRA Custodian


If you are exploring different self-directed service options, be sure to select the right custodian. The IRS requires that all self-directed accounts be handled by a certified IRA custodian. The one you select should be knowledgeable about your assets, keep you up-to-date on your account, and not drain your pockets with fees,


9. LLCs


It may seem like you don’t have 100% freedom when you must run to your IRA custodian for everything, especially when you invest in real estate. You can opt for “checkbook” control by opening an LLC in your IRA’s name. This will give you more freedom and easier access to your funds. While you still have to report to your custodian, one fee is better than multiple.


8. Fees


The goal of your retirement account is to save money for your future, not spend it all on fees. When it comes to SDIRA services and options, do your research. There are many pitfalls with hidden and custodial fees. Select a service that won’t bleed your account dry.


7. Account Set-up


When opening an account, you want to be sure the process is as smooth as possible. Financial and saving already come with a lot of headaches. This should be an easy process. Self-directed accounts can be a lot of work – unless you find the right service.


6. Account Availability


With alternative investing, time matters. It’s crucial for you to able to reach your funds or your custodian fast. Some markets won’t wait for you – so be sure you select an account that works quickly for you. Also, you should be able to access your account on your time, regardless of speed. Select a service that suits your personal needs.


5. Easy Maintenance


Self-directed investing requires you to be very hands-on with the construction and maintenance of your investment portfolio. It’s important to make changes as needed, and you should have the option to reach out for any questions. Fix what’s not working, whether it’s your investments or your service.


4. Quality Service


Your SDIRA service provider should be knowledgeable, attentive, and responsive. It’s hard enough to plan and save for your own retirement! Running after your provider shouldn’t be an added hassle. A good service will treat you well, be transparent, and offer support.


3. Protection


Building a nest egg is important for securing your future. So, who will secure your nest egg while it grows? You want to protect your assets – no matter what life throws at you. A good SDIRA service provides the protection your retirement account needs.


2. Knowledge


There’s a lot that goes into selecting the right retirement plan. With so much freedom comes many pitfalls. Find a service that will not only provide you with a net but will point out all the problems before they happen. Of course, it is important to perform your due diligence and select a knowledgeable service provider and custodian.


1. Control


Above all else, SDIRAs grant you control, and good service will allow you that freedom. Guidance is welcome, but ultimately, you make the decisions. As always, if you want extra assistance, don’t hesitate to reach out to your financial advisor.


Performing Due Diligence


Planning for retirement doesn’t have to be a hassle. Make it simple with a little research and a great service. Build a retirement plan made by you for your future. Self-directed investing gives you the options, but it is up to you to utilize them. For additional information, contact one of our trusted self-directed IRA custodians.