IRAs and Land

IRAs and Land

Individual Retirement Accounts are an extremely popular means of investing. Millions of Americans have them. Unfortunately, far too many are unsatisfied with their accounts’ returns. The fact is that most Americans’ IRAs will not usher them into retirement in anything close to the style that they envision. Regardless of whether it’s a Traditional- or Roth IRA, many people’s retirement plans simply aren’t building much of a retirement nestegg. And with the beating that Wall Street and the Dollar have been taking in recent months, it isn’t any wonder.

But all is not lost. After all, land is still available. Yes, land! Raw, undeveloped, pristine land. And although you can’t buy and hold real estate in your regular IRA, you can utilize a Self-Directed IRA to do the job. What’s that, you ask? Put simply, it’s just what its name implies. ‘Self-directed’ means that you have much more control over how the money in your account is invested (you can even have checkbook control over the funds without custodial slowdowns). As a matter of fact, self-directed IRA funds can be used for virtually any of the IRS-permitted investment types, including raw land – only life insurance and collectibles are excluded.

When you think about it, self-directed IRAs and real estate match up very well together. IRA funds are generally expected to be held for a number of years in order to grow. And real estate – especially undeveloped land – is considered to be a rather illiquid investment. So it makes perfect sense to use those funds that are earmarked for long-term growth for an inherently long-term investment. A well-chosen piece of land (one that’s located in a known path of economic growth and progress) can return far more than an 8 to 12% Dow Jones investment. Good undeveloped land can absolutely skyrocket in value; and what’s more, if purchased through a self directed Roth IRA, the distribution of any earnings and appreciated equity realized from the property’s eventual sale is tax-free!

Of course, there are a number of rules to be aware of when setting up and operating a self-directed IRA, so it’s wise to seek the advice of a good financial advisor. Even though there are numerous successful techniques to buying investment acreage for short term profit, don’t forget to look ahead to the future. “It is better to look ahead and prepare, than to look back and regret”.


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