The term Self-Directed IRA is commonly used to refer to an IRA that can be invested in non-traditional investments, such as real estate, rather than being limited to traditional investments such as stocks, bonds or mutual funds. Click here for more information on self direction and alternative investments.
If your investment philosophy includes alternative investments, doesn't it make sense to invest your retirement plan money accordingly?
Yes, but there are only a few. Your IRA cannot invest in life insurance contracts or collectibles, such as art, rugs, coins, stamps, etc. Although an IRA may invest in entities, such as corporations, limited partnership and limited liability companies, an IRA cannot invest in an S-Corporation.
- Why don't more people know about this? Even my CPA and other advisors thought IRAs could only invest in traditional things like stocks, bonds and mutual funds.
The retirement industry is a highly specialized area, so even professionals like CPAs or attorneys are often unaware of the options available to IRA account holders. Because the vast majority of IRAs are held by large transaction-driven custodians that allow only "traditional" assets, most people conclude that these are the only assets that are allowed in an IRA. The IRS has never published a list of legal investments; however, they do state explicitly that real estate is a permissible investment in an IRA (click here to view site).
Simply click on the "Open an Account" link on the left side of the page. We have fillable kits for opening both Traditional and Roth IRAs. The kits are pretty self-explanatory, but feel free to call us if you have any questions.
We will mail you a statement once a year. But you can view your account anytime if you utilize our online access.
All the profits from your investments will be paid to your IRA.
· 2011 - $5,000 plus $1,000 catch-up if you are age 50 or over. (See Internal Revenue Service Publication 590 for more information.)
· 2012 - $5,000 plus $1,000 catch-up if you are age 50 or over. (See Internal Revenue Service Publication 590 for more information.)
No. The limits are the same as for Traditional IRAs; however, not everyone is eligible to make a Roth contribution. Click on the "Contribution Limits" on the left side of the page for more information or see Internal Revenue Service Publication 590.
- What is the contribution limit if I have two Traditional IRAs or if I have both a Traditional IRA and a Roth IRA?
The contribution limit is the total amount that an individual may contribute to all IRAs, whether Traditional or Roth. For example, if you are under age 50 and have both a Traditional IRA and a Roth IRA and are eligible to contribute to your Roth, the maximum you can contribute overall is $5,000 for 2012. You can contribute the full $5,000 to either your Traditional IRA or your Roth IRA; or, you can split the $5,000 contribution between the two, perhaps $2,500 to the Traditional and $2,500 to the Roth.
Yes. I if you are opening a new account, our application kits contain forms that will assist you in transferring or rolling over your funds to us.
A Transfer occurs when money is moved directly from one IRA Custodian to another without distribution to the IRA accountholder. No tax forms are generated by the sending custodian or by the receiving custodian. In a transfer, checks from the sending custodian will be made payable to the new custodian.
A Rollover occurs when an individual receives a distribution from an eligible retirement plan and makes a contribution to an IRA (or company sponsored retirement plan) within sixty days of receiving the distribution. The individual may roll over all or any part of the actual amount received and, if the distribution was from an employer sponsored retirement plan or 403(a) or (b) annuity (thus subject to the 20% federal income tax withholding), he/she may roll over up to 100% of the distribution by making up the 20% difference that was previously withheld.
- I have a 401(k) account with my former employer. Can I transfer the funds to a Self-Directed IRA with Liberty Trust Company?
Yes. You should first open an account with us and then contact the administrator of your former employer's plan. They will probably require you to complete some distribution election forms. There will be an option on the forms to elect to do a direct rollover of your account to an IRA.
A Direct Rollover occurs when an individual elects to have the plan administrator of an employer sponsored retirement plan (such as profit sharing, money purchase, defined benefit, etc.) move part or all of his/her account in directly to an IRA. A Direct Rollover can also be made from a 403(a) or (b) annuity.
No. Once your account has been transferred to an IRA, it becomes an IRA.
It is possible, but self-direction that includes the ability to invest in alternative investments is not common in employer sponsored plans, such as 401(k) plans. You should contact the plan administrator for the answer.
No. The investment options in 403(b) plans are limited to annuities and mutual funds.
No. 529 plans are sponsored by states and the investments are made by fund managers chosen by them.
No. You may not borrow funds from your IRA under any circumstances.
This would be considered a distribution from your IRA.
Prohibited Transactions are commonly referred to as self dealing. An IRA cannot engage in transactions with disqualified persons. The most obvious disqualified persons include, but are not limited to, the account holder, his/her ancestors, and his/her descendants and their spouses. The rules regarding prohibited transactions are quite complicated. You should seek legal advice if you are considering a transaction that could be prohibited.
The consequences are very severe if the account holder or beneficiary causes the IRA to enter into a prohibited transaction. The IRA is no longer considered an IRA and the entire IRA is deemed distributed as of January 1 of the year that the IRA entered into the prohibited transaction.
- Can my IRA borrow money to make an investment? For example, can my IRA make a down payment on some rental property and obtain a mortgage for the balance of the purchase price?
Yes. However, the loan must be a non-recourse loan. You cannot guarantee the loan and you cannot secure the loan with other IRA assets. Non-recourse lenders generally will only make loans for income producing property and also require a substantial down payment.
- Can I receive commissions if I am the broker involved in the sale of an investment to my IRA? How about my wife or other family members?
No. Neither you nor your family members (spouse, ancestors, descendants and their spouses) may benefit personally from a transaction involving your IRA.
No, since the options were granted to you not to your IRA.