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Ambiguity is the Enemy of Your Ability to Retire

Define Your Goals and Set Them in Stone

“Ambiguity is the enemy. Any successful change requires a translation of ambiguous goals into concrete behavior.” -Dan Heath

In the past few years, we have seen a trend of more and more people becoming disillusioned with the stock market and searching for another way to invest their retirement money. Inevitably, they come across self directed IRAs and they see a way out. No more pushy stockbrokers working for a commission and no more of the volatility that comes along with the stock market. Seems great, right? Well, unfortunately, it’s not that simple…

Self Directed IRAs Are Not For Everyone

The people who do the best with them are the people who already have a plan for what they want to invest in and are willing do a little bit of work to make it happen. If you want to invest your IRA money in real estate, don’t make your goals ambiguous. Instead of just putting all of your IRA money into a self-directed IRA with the plan of eventually investing in real estate, have a concrete plan. Think of something more along the lines of putting a small portion of your retirement money into a self-directed IRA to pay cash for a moderately priced, single-family home in an area that you are familiar with. Also, plan on leaving some cash in the IRA to pay for unexpected repairs, taxes & insurance, HOA fees, etc. (Note: this is just an example, Sunwest Trust does not endorse or recommend any particular investments) By thinking of these things ahead of time and having a concrete plan, you’re setting yourself up for success rather than failure.

Make sure the goal you are working for is something you really want, not just something that sounds good…A goal can not contradict any of your other goals. by Gene Donohue – Goal Setting – Powerful Written Goals In 7 Easy Steps!

Do you prefer precious metals over real estate investing?

If real estate investing isn’t your cup of tea, there is no need to worry. There are numerous other alternative assets you can invest through your IRA. For example, you can set up your IRA to invest in precious metals, promissory notes, private placements, and tax liens are just a few of the many other things that you can invest in through your IRA. Make sure to pick something you are already familiar with and make a solid plan.

Also, make sure to do your due diligence. There are a lot of scams out in the marketplace and you don’t want to risk your retirement money on one. Always make sure to speak with your CPA or a tax attorney before making any investment decisions.

Terry White

About Terry White

I started my business career after getting my degree in Accounting from the University of New Mexico in 1983. My first job was as a controller for a local title company, and in 1987 I started First Financial Escrow, Inc. Over the years I played a part in several startup companies including First Financial Equities, Inc., First Financial Trust, Inc., First Financial Marketing, Inc. and Asset Ventures, Inc. In 1997 First Financial Escrow, Inc. was able to purchase the escrow accounts from Sunwest Bank and changed its name to Sunwest Escrow. As the market changes, Sunwest has grown and changed along with it. Besides my wife, Sheila, we have three boys, two daughters-in-law, one grandson, another grandson on the way and a future daughter-in-law. Sunwest is my passion, and I enjoy coming to work every day to see what will happen next. I enjoy fly fishing, spending time in Colorado, biking and watching my boys play soccer.