Investing in Real Estate Using a Self-Directed IRA
Written by: Dmitriy Fomichenko
There are an increasing number of investors who want to get into real estate. Some want to look for an extra source of income, others look toward financial security. Another great goal that real estate investments can help investors achieve is retirement. With the right investments, real estate can provide steady replacement income that helps investors retire from their 9 to 5 jobs. Traditionally, real estate investments are not allowed in qualified retirement plans. However, with the introduction of self-directed retirement plans, such as the Checkbook IRA or self-directed Solo 401k, it is now possible to invest your retirement savings in real estate. Here are a few reasons to consider real estate for your retirement savings
Unlike stocks, real estate is a tangible asset. Real estate investors are less likely to risk all their assets during a market crash. In the worst-case scenario, investors can choose to sell or foreclose the property to recover some of their investment. Even for investors who are not ready to leave the stock market, adding real estate assets to a retirement portfolio is also a great way to diversify and offset the risk. In the past, house price and rental income tended to rise along with inflation. Real estate can safeguard against inflation and investors can count on income from real estate during their retirement.
In many cases, investors can only speculate on their returns on investments. With real estate investments, however, the returns are often more predictable. Rent amounts are locked in with a lease. The interest rate for a mortgage note or trust deed is also specified in the loan terms. Over the years, investors will often find that predictable income helps them plan their finances with ease. The steady income also requires less monitoring. Instead of keeping an eye on market movements and stressing over the number, investors can focus on their core business or finding the next investment opportunities.
Real estate investments within a self-directed retirement plan The secure and predictable nature of real estate investment can work well for cash investors and also for self-directed retirement plans. If only investing with their personal funds, investors may miss out on the tax benefits that they can get with qualified IRA or 401k plans.
Traditionally, most retirement plans are managed by custodians and fund managers, who often focus on the money market. Real estate investments can cause hassles when plan owners have to go through their custodians for every transaction, from funding the purchase to maintaining the property. Many traditional retirement plans, therefore, discourage or even prohibit real estate investments. With self-directed retirement plans such as the Solo 401k with Checkbook Control or the IRA LLC, however, real estate investments are now possible. The plan owners take charge of their retirement account and act as the sole decision-maker. This makes it possible for them to choose a property, fund the purchase, and direct the investments without going through anyone else. With this option, it is now possible to invest in real estate with a tax-deferred or tax-free retirement plan.