Did you know that you could use money from a self-directed IRA account to invest in tax lien certificates or tax deeds? I’ve interviewed retirement account specialists from two different self-directed IRA companies; EntrustCAMA and Equity Trust Company, and I’ve learned that it is possible to invest tax free in tax lien certificates and tax deeds with a self-directed IRA.
If you use money from a regular self-directed IRA account to invest in tax lien certificates or tax deeds, than your money grows tax free until you withdraw from your account after retirement. But, if you use money from a Roth self-directed IRA, and you do not take any withdrawals until retirement age – you do not pay any taxes on your profits! So if you are using tax lien or tax deed investing as a way to save for your retirement, you need to look into this.
Although many brokerages will say that they have self-directed IRA accounts, they are not true self-directed accounts. You can only invest in anything that they sell. A true self-directed retirement account will allow you to invest in anything that is not prohibited by law. Allowable investments include real estate, tax lien certificates, tax deeds, and notes, along with other of the more usual investments. True self-directed IRA companies are prohibited to sell you investments. They can recommend types of investments that you can use your self-directed IRA for and show you how to do the paper work for them, but they are not allowed to make a commission on what you buy. There are only a handful of these companies in the country. I personally only know of three of them and I’m familiar with only two. I’ll tell you how to find out more about these two companies later.
You might be wondering if you can transfer or “roll-over” money from your present 401k or IRA into a self-directed IRA with one of these companies. What I’ve been told from retirement account specialists is that you can only roll over money from your 401k if you are no longer working for the company that your retirement account was set up with. I know that you can roll over money from a regular IRA account into a self-directed IRA because I’ve recently done that. I took money from my IRA account with TDAmeritrade and rolled it over into a new self-directed IRA account with EntrustCAMA. It was easy to do. I was able to transfer the money when I opened my new account. I downloaded the forms that I needed from their web site and mailed them in. They took care of the rest.
You also might be wondering if there are any fees associated with opening and maintaining a self-directed IRA. Yes there are some fees, but they are minimal compared to the taxes that you would be paying the government on your investment income or capital gains. Each of these companies handle fees differently and in order to see which company would work better for you, I suggest that you visit their web site or talk to a representative.
You can find out more about EntrustCama at http://www.entrustcama.com/ and you can listen to a free teleseminar/interview with Carl Fischer of EntrustCAMA at http://www.audioacrobat.com/play/WmTmzsXs. You can find out more about Equity Trust Company at http://www.trustetc.com/ and you can listen to a free teleseminar/interview Liz Koos of Equity Trust Company at http://www.audioacrobat.com/play/WvX8Qr1Q.