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How To Use Your Retirement Funds For A Real Estate Investment

Article writer - Emme  image

If Retirement Funds are used to purchase properties then multiple benefits including both tax and financial benefits can be offered to the account holders. Tax-deferred or tax-free incomes or gains. Let's read about it.

Worried about what shall happen when you stop working? Where will the money come from to buy food, clothing, and basic day to day requirements?? Retirement funds are the solution to the problem. Retirement income funds are the sources which enables us to be able to pay the regular retirement income. Before investing in any plan an individual must carefully study the plan and the related details properly. A wise and good decision of investment for the retirement always falls in your court. It is a common belief that if retirement funds are invested in investments related to traditional financials such as stocks, mutual funds etc. then the investment made will be secured. But practically it is not so. Only a few investors may perceive that the Internal Revenue Services (IRS) allows retirement accounts like the IRA plan or the 401(K) plan), to invest in different types of investment. Now what can make us think is, is investing in real estate really a good decision?? Well, it certainly can be. Many people by building a portfolio in real estate are seen living a secure and comfortable lifestyle. Though investing in property doesn’t mean that you will be in profit only. If the property in which the retirement funds are invested are not properly inquired then gaining profit on such property shall be difficult .According to us property investments is a great idea. If retirement funds are used to purchase properties then multiple benefits including both tax and financial benefits can be offered to the account holders. They will be able to get tax-deferred or tax-free incomes or gains. Real estate investments requires a lot of knowledge, skills, intuition and courage.


Like we know in any profession, to be good at it , you must know what you are doing. You should have a complete and detailed idea of your work. Mere being aware of the work will not benefit you.


One can invest in landed estate in numerous ways. Some individuals consistently look for income-generating properties like commercial office space or residential apartments which they can rent out and earn money, while others like to speculate. One has to assess their skill s to determine how they should go about the process.


One should have an intuition as to which area of the city/town might become popular and which areas one need to stay away from. One should never confuse their intuition with enthusiasm. Intuition when combined with skill gives more benefits than ever.


Buying a property doesn’t just ends the expenses. The huge property tax is followed immediately. Moreover if it’s a rental property than one should be prepared for the fact that the property can’t bring rent on all 365 days of the year. Maybe there will be days or even months when the property is vacant but the owner still has to pay the mortgage to the property. Repairs are other expenses that might keep occurring. Guts have to be combined with knowledge, skill and intuition to be effective.

One of the major advantages of buying a real property with retirement fund is the tax benefits that come along. Until the income is distributed all the gains are tax- deferred or tax- free in case of after-tax account. To give an example, if someone purchased an estate with funds for $ 200000 and after holding it for some time sold the same for $ 600000 then $ 300000 of gain would be tax-adjourned. However, if the property was purchased using personal non-retirement funds then t would have been subjected to Income tax.

The IRS restricted transaction rules are the most challenging task of using retirement funds for investing in real estate properties. The sole aim of the rules are to focus on encouraging the retirement account to be used for the collection of savings that can be used in retirement. Such rules restrict people to take the tax benefit advantages in their personal accounts.

Beside the IRS prohibited rules, below mentioned are a few tips which may be helpful for making property investment using the retirement funds:

• Retirement account savings can be used for making any kind of deposits or purchase for the land estate.

• Any taxes or repair expenses incurred on property needs to be paid using the retirement funds only. Funds from disqualified persons or from personal account of self cannot be sued.

• If the owned real estate property demands any funds for improvisation or other work then such funds should be gathered from the retirement savings account or from any other non-disqualified person.

• Making a disqualified person your partner or being a partner with such person in connection to the savings retirement account shall attract the IRS restricted transaction rules.

• If the property transaction involves any financing then only nonrecourse financing method should be used. The retirement account holder or any disqualified person doesn’t personally guarantee such loans . And where it should be clear that the help from the lender is only for the property and not the borrower.

• If however a without recourse loan is used for purchasing the real estate then such loan would attract the tax penalties under the UBTI rules.

• A retirement savings account holder or a disqualified person should not perform any services in relation with the real estate investment.

• The title of the property bought should be in the name of the holder of the retirement account. If explained via an example, if Aman Paul establishes a self-directed IRA Limited Liability Company and he named the LLC as “AP, LLC”, then the heading to the real estate purchased by Aman’s self-directed LLC would be AP LLC.

• Records of all Profits or losses incurred by the property owned by the savings retirement account holder should be maintained and kept properly.

• All earnings, profits, incomes or expenses from the invested property should be allocated and given to the owner of the retirement account .

• You should thoroughly know about the property you are planning to purchase. Adequate interrogation on the property is required to be performed especially when you are not living in the city in which you plan to purchase the property.

• If purchasing the land estate property from a promotor one should be really careful that the person is genuine and no fraud. You should always know not only know about the property properly but also about the person from whom they are buying. Mere faith on a person is not encouraged here.

• If any self-direct LLC is used for purchasing the property then it is always better than the LLC is formed in the location where you plan to buy the property.

This would help is lowering the filing and other fees for the holder of the account. Let us have a look on the different types of Retirement account plans:

1. 401(K) Plan

A 401 (K) plan is a retirement plan that allows an employer to legally offer to its employee. When money is invested in the employee’s 401(K) plan then the employee and the employer both can avail the tax benefits from it. To offer this plan the employer has to follow specific rules laid by the Department of Labour.

Tax benefits

(Pre-tax 401 (K) contributions) normally, whatever we earn we need to pay income tax on the earned amount. Amount invested in this 401(K) plan is exempted from income tax up to a certain limit. The amount invested by the employee is called the salary deferral contribution. It is so called as on the present day you are selecting to defer your salary earned today, invest it in a plan and save so that it can be utilized in your later retirement years. The tax-deferred growth of money is seen in this plan. This means that tax need not be paid on the gains from investments each year. However, in retirement, when amount is withdrawn one has to pay to tax on each withdrawal. There is a 10% penalty and taxes are to pay if you withdraw too early from the plan depending on the retirement age and the plan 401 (K) rules.

Roth 401(K) contributions (After Tax)

Many employers offer Roth contribution plan to its employees. In this plan, your earned income is not reduced by the amount contributed by you. In fact all funds have tax-free growth and when you make withdrawals in retirement, they are tax-free.

Employers contribution

The employers may contribute in an employee’s plan majorly in three ways: Matching method, Non-elective method and profit sharing method. Employer’s contribution is usually pre-tax, which means on retirement when withdrawn it is taxable.


2. Self-directed solo 401k retirement plan

A self-directed Solo 401(K) plan is one of the most popular qualified retirement plan. This plan is most popular amongst the full time real estate investors. This strategy permits you to add real estate to your retirement portfolio. This retirement plan targets business owners and self-employed individuals. The main clause is to have a part or full time employment. Business owners who are working with their spouse and having similar contribution options are also eligible to open Solo 401k account. An individual can open a self- directed solo 401k account, fund the account with regular contributions. Choosing a proper and suitable property for their retirement fund is a wise decision. You should always title your property correctly and should make sure that the income generated from the property should flow back to the solo 401k account and the expenses that are incurred should be made from the same account. Usage of personal account is not accepted at all for income or expenses. If personal funds are used then it would attract several penalties. Retirement savings should be used for every little work that needs to be done on the property.


3. IRA plan

An account with tax features that help individuals to reserve for retirement expenses is an Individual Retirement Account (IRA). These accounts are also called Individual Retirement arrangements and can hold the retirement savings from different sources. They include the contributions that the individuals make to the accounts and also the savings that come from an employer-sponsored plan. An IRA may look like any other type of account but the tax features make the retirement accounts different from other accounts. These accounts have been designed by the lawmakers to promote retirement savings. There are enough benefit of using these accounts with restrictions to discourage early withdrawals.

 Types of IRA’s :

i. Traditional IRAs

ii. Roth IRAs

iii. Rollover IRAs

iv. Employers plan

Tax features:

These accounts help one save enough money for retirement. IRS rules limit the tax benefits provided by these plans.

Real estate is something we have often come across as an excellent return on investment. Many wealthy folk’s fortunes were made by investing in the right real estate. If one has the knowledge and control over the real estate then this is definitely his field. But however real estates too like any other investment result in the loss. Although many Realtors are available in the market to sell you estates the truth is real estates are for advanced investors who have spent years in this field.

We must be sure that the property that we are buying must be a business related real estate property and not just a personal residence. Commercial properties can give you rental income which can help you to pay off the loan if taken any or recover the expenses incurred in repairs or improvisation of the property. Investing your retirement funds in real estate property is a long-term benefit plan. If someone expects to get the results in a year or two then investing In this field is not advisable, as we know the rent or vale of a property doesn't shoot up immediately. It’s a slow process but with a long-term benefit. Planning and proper usage of retirement funds in an adequate manner is always a wise and beneficial decision.

We hope that our article has helped you find out how you can utilize your savings after retirement. A feedback from your side will be appreciated.

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