Planning for your retirement is the key for a comfortable future. While there are many financial institutions and different investment plans, if you are looking to take charge of your own future, the best option would be a self-directed IRA.

Individual accounts give you the freedom to explore different investment options, compile your own portfolio, and watch as your retirement funds grow. If you are considering an individual retirement account, here are some ways to get started.


Types of Self-Directed IRAs


The first thing to consider as you open directed retirement account is the type of IRA you wish to invest in. Account holders can choose either a traditional IRA or a Roth IRA for tax-advantaged growth. Traditional IRA contributions are tax-deductible or made with pre-tax dollars. The account funds accumulate, tax-deferred, until you’ve reached retirement age. All funds withdrawn are subjected to an income-based tax. Alternatively, with a newer Roth IRA, all contributions are made after taxes are taken out. These funds grow, have no effect on your yearly tax claims, and are tax-free on withdrawal after retirement age. Before making any investment decisions, consider which option would work best for your bank account and what you’re willing to invest.


IRA Custodians


As you begin to set up your directed retirement, one of the first steps is to select a certified IRA custodian. Under IRS rules and regulations, a self-directed account must be handled by a custodian with the proper certifications. Be sure when you are researching your options that you pick an actual custodian, not a financial advisor. Most custodians are passive and will remain hands-off about any of your account decisions. Additionally, custodians come in a wide range, including the fees they levee. Be sure to perform your due diligence and choose one based on your retirement vision.


Completely Self-Directed IRAs


If you are looking for near-complete control of your account, you may be interesting in creating a limited liability company using your SDIRA. By creating a limited liability company (LLC) you can have more control of your funds and avoid going through your custodian for every purchase. You can make investments as the “checkbook” holder of the LLC. This added benefit allows you to make purchases as often and quickly as you need to, which can be beneficial depending on what you plan to invest in. While you are still held accountable for any rules and regulations, all changes to your account should be reported to your custodian.


Choosing Your Investments


The key components of any individual retirement account are the assets. As you select your IRA type and your custodian, keep in mind where you want to invest your hard-earned money. While traditional accounts have the option of stocks, bonds, and mutual fund investments, self-directed investors have a wider pool of assets to fill out a diversified portfolio.

Account holders can invest in real estate, private lending, precious metals, cryptocurrency, tax liens and many more. You are not limited to one investment; in fact, the best strategy is to build a diversified portfolio to secure your retirement savings.

After you identify your investment, the next step is submitting the proper documentation to your IRA custodian. Write up the contracts or paperwork according to IRS rules, in your custodian’s name, for the benefit of your IRA. Be sure to have all your paperwork in order before submitting; any error could result in a rejection. If needed, have a financial professional or tax attorney examine your documents before sending them to your custodian. After performing your due diligence, submit your forms to be authorized. Depending on your custodian, the turnaround could take some time, and your investment will be approved or denied.


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Research What’s Right for You


As you select your assets, be sure to explore your options and choose what works for you. While opening a self-directed IRA allows you to invest in alternative assets, it’s important to invest in what you know. Watch the markets; the last thing you want to invest in is a low stock or a crashing real estate market. Perform your due diligence to select the types of investments that could not only build your fund but do so for the life of your retirement account. However, setting up your IRA doesn’t end after managing your assets.


Monitoring Your Account


Account holders are responsible for monitoring the changes of their SDIRA. The market is ever- changing, and so should your portfolio to adapt to the fluctuating economy. While a well-balanced portfolio is key for long-term growth, it should be balanced with passive income and investments that carry higher risk. As your account changes, all alterations should be reported to your custodian.

While your account grows, keep in mind any IRS ruled violations to avoid tax penalties or the complete disqualification of your account. Since the account is self-directed, you are responsible for any mishaps or errors that occur. Account holders should refrain from investing in forbidden assets, such as life insurance or collectibles. In addition, there are several prohibited transactions that could result in bigger account penalties.

Lending money or allowing disqualified individuals to utilize IRA properties is considered a violation. Also, should an account holder use any personal funds to invest in any IRA held assets, the IRS may seize the account. Any kind of self-dealing could mean the cancellation of your fund. Before making any investment choices, perform additional research or consult a financial advisor to be certain that you are following IRS regulations.


Performing Your Due Diligence


Planning for your retirement doesn’t have to be a difficult process. Perform the proper research and consult financial experts, and you could oversee your own finances. Build off what you know, take advantage of alternative investments, and watch your nest egg grow. Be sure to avoid the pitfalls and report your account changes to your IRA custodian. Take control of your retirement plan and invest time in your future. Contact us today.