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Should You Consider A Self Directed IRA?

Aug 17, 2007
There are plenty of people who do not take advantage of an IRA, but could. An IRA is a tool used for retirement investing. An IRA could mean two things, it could be an Individual Retirement Account or it could also be an Individual Retirement Annuity. It's great if you have the opportunity to take advantage of an IRA because it can help you retire, but should you have a self-directed system?

1. IRA Types

There are numerous different types of IRA's you could get. There is a traditional IRA, where this type of retirement is set by taxpayers individually and are allowed to put in one hundred percent of their compensation.

A simple IRA is where the plans for retirement are set up by the employers themselves. Any withdrawal made eventually is then taxed as a form of income, this include capital gains. Of course, since after retirement, ones income decreases, the tax put on a simple IRA is considerably at a lesser rate.

There is also a self-directed IRA. This type of IRA is a retirement account that is put up with the help of a broker and not a bank or a mutual fund. In this type of retirement, one is able to buy as well as sell stocks individually. This therefore makes it a lot easier for anyone to make decisions related to investments conveniently on ones own instead of a mutual fund manager.

So what if you have about twenty thousand dollars in your IRA account, and the money are all invested currently in a type of mutual fund, and you want to manage it on your own and so you think of converting it to a self-directed IRA, just how do you do it?

Some people usually contact their account executives and notify them of their need to cash the account and send the cashed out check to a brokerage and establish a self-directed IRA. Simple, right? Fortunately it is that simple, with a few little details that need to be modified.

2. Fund Transfers

Transferring funds is indeed as easy as a-b-c. All you have to do is to call that broker and tell him that you want to convert your current IRA to a self-directed one. The broker will then have to send to you two different forms. One form is an IRA basic application. The other form is an instruction of sorts relating to your current IRA mutual fund. This basically allows the agency you are dealing with in liquidating your current IRA and then transfer its proceeds to the IRA that is new.

After doing these activities, all you have to do is to simply return the forms once completed and just sit back, relax and wait. In as short as 45 days to as little as 30 days, the time actually depends much on how slow or fast the custodian of the IRA is, the money will then be in your self-directed IRA.

After checking if the money is indeed there, you now have the freedom to simply trade at your own choice and your own will. Via through direct transfer, there are no taxes to worry about as well as IRS hassles.

3. The Self Directed IRA

It is that superbly simple. See how you need not have to go anywhere to make those transfers. All you had to do was pick up the phone and talk to people. The best thing out of this very simple process was that your integrity and dignity is still intact. Observe how there was no need for unnecessary drama or hysterics of having to make up a story with the manager of your mutual fund and think of excuses on why your dear old Uncle Isidore badly need the money for surgery, and the like.

Another good thing to think about when having self-directed IRAs is that, besides the usual bonds, stocks or mutual funds that could be stored in it, stocking up on real estate is also a good investment. IRAs could eventually help you in broadening your own portfolio.

Basically, a self-directed IRA allows you to buy good real estate. It would be best if you avail the services of an independent administrator who could serve as your very own custodian or trustee. All in all, it really depends on how much you are willing to know and learn and do with your self-directed IRA that spells the difference. Ultimately, you know what is best for you, so go with what your heart, mind and real estate custodian is telling you.
About the Author
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