You Can Invest in Land with a Self Directed Retirement Account

You can invest in Land, improved or unimproved with a “Self Directed Retirement Plans” since the IRS has allowed them. No one wants to talk about it. “They”, the investment firms do not make money on a Land transaction because “they” are not licensed real estate agents. Only licensed real estate companies can take commissions and are not allowed to pay referrals except to other active real estate firms. The traditional investment community has had control of over 97% percent of the retirement accounts and they have been making a great living off your hard earned money.

Your stock broker or financial advisor will not advise you how to take money away from their pockets and invest in real estate through your IRA, or 401K plan either. The financial magazines run large ads for brokerage firms and mutual funds T.V. and radio investment shows are supported by the same Wall Street advertising dollars…your money. I would be curious to see how many investment magazines will publish this article or if any investment shows will address this topic.

Stated on the IRS website “…..because of “administrative burdens”, many IRA trustees do not allow IRA owners to invest IRA funds in Real Estate. IRA law does not prohibit investing in Real Estate but trustees are not required to offer Real Estate as an option.” No commission for real estate sales may have a say here described as “administrative burdens”.

An Individual Retirement Account is a personal savings plan that allows you to set aside funds for your retirement. Investments made within these plans grow in either a tax-deferred or tax-free environment.

The IRS allows your IRA to earn tax free or tax deferred income with NO limitations on how much you receive—you can earn thousands of dollars with no tax consequences. A “Self-directed IRA” will allow you to choose your own investment strategies to earn significantly more for your retirement.

The term ‘self-directed’ does not actually have any legal connotation. It does not imply a different type of IRA, or a separate set of IRS rules. ‘Self-directed’ is simply an accepted industry term indicating that the IRA custodian is allowing the IRA owner greater control over their investment decisions. When an IRA account is self-directed, the IRA owner makes all of their investment decisions and instructs the custodian to act. You must have a custodian as a third party administrator.

Be careful who you choose as your custodian. Most of these “professionals” are part of the same old 97% controlling crowd previously mentioned. Our recommendation is that you find one that charges an administration fee and believes in Land Investments.

Traditional IRAs, SEP IRAs, Roth IRAs, 401(k)s, 403(b)s, Coverdell Education Savings (ESA) a.k.a. Educational IRAs, Qualified Annuities, Profit Sharing Plans, Money Purchase Plans, Government Eligible Deferred Compensation Plans, Keoghs are qualified plans that can be converted into “Self-directed Retirement Plans”. For more detailed information visit the Internal Revenue Service’s website. Also see Publication 590. On pages 40-41 you will see what investments are not allowed. Land is not included and therefore qualifies as does other types of real estate investments.

Our recommendation is to Stay away from investing your IRA money into an S corporation. S corporations only allow individuals (not entities) and certain permitted trusts to be investors. So if your IRA (an entity) is the investor, the S Corp would lose its status and its tax rate would change to a potentially less favorable one. Roth accounts can be used but take time to accumulate larger funds portfolios.

When purchasing Land with funds coming from an IRA, remember that the IRA itself must purchase the Land and hold the grant deed. All property taxes for that Land must also be paid from the IRA. The self-directed IRA should be opened first with cash or funds rolled over from other IRAs, 401ks, retirement plans, and then the Land should be purchased. Large tax penalties can occur if these transactions are not done properly. Proper care in deciding when to sell or lease the Land is also important. Land, especially pre-developed Land, is a long-term investment and often needs to be held for a minimum of five to seven years to produce the highest returns.

You can leverage a Land purchase with as little at 15% down and amortize 20 years with Farm Credit. They are located throughout the United Sates with different names. In the Land Brokerage business they are called “The Land Bank”. Farm Credit has had the most consistent programs for Land investors. Because of your increased buying power when you use leverage, the profits you make from the ability to use leverage can greatly outweigh the tax associated.

For more information we also recommend you visit, IRAAA™ is a nonprofit education-oriented alliance of financial planning, real estate, legal, banking, investment, and accounting professionals interested in further developing the niche industry of Self-Directed IRA & 401(k) investing. Their Promise is “IRA Association of America aims to provide affordable, unbiased and comprehensive education on the topic of investing with a Self-Directed IRA or Solo 401(k)”.

Make sure that you Google “Self Directed Retirement Accounts” and other associated words. Do your homework. This article’s sole mission is to stimulate your creative juices and reveal part of this untold story. After all you be in control of your own destiny and have the benefits of being a Land Owner. The greatest freedom there is.

In closing I invite you to review the results that the traditional investment community has had control of over 97% percent of this county’s retirement accounts, and “they” have been making a great living off your money. Look at the mess we are in. Ask yourself why would “they” want to let you know about alternatives that “they” would not be able to charge for?

My Land Investors have not lost a single dime and will not in the future. Land is the oldest and most stable investment there is. Contact a Realtors® Land Institute “Accredited Land Consultant” in your market area at. They will help you evaluate the investment potential and the “Highest and Best Use” for future development and utilization. They are ready to help you find that piece of dirt that will provide for you and your family for years to come as it always has and always will.

This post was written by Lou Jewell ALC who has written 6 posts on LandThink.