Using Retirement Plans to Buy Real Estate

By Guest Blogger1 Comments

The following was written by Scott Meyers, owner of Self Storage Investing*

Honestly - how often does America "go on sale?"

We're living in a very exciting time and savvy investors are wasting no time in putting their retirement plans to work to capture attractive double digit returns with commercial real estate. Investors everywhere realize that the real estate opportunities available right now will most likely never be repeated again during our lifetime.

In this country, most people hold their retirement savings in traditional and widely known vehicles such as; company-sponsored 401k plans, and online IRA brokerage accounts. These are the same options that are causing people severe indigestion due to the gut wrenching decline in the stock market. That’s because most traditional retirement plans only offer limited options that are based solely in the equities markets.

The problem is that all of these investments are driven by and subject to whatever impacts Wall Street, and lately, these investments are bouncing around like a pinball machine.  This has caused millions of investors who are sick and tired of the roller coaster ride on Wall Street to explore alternative options for their retirement dollars. 

As a result, these investors have pulled approximately $135 billion from their traditional Wall Street accounts, and they are now looking for a safe, predictable investment vehicle to grow their retirement portfolio.   This has provided an incredible opportunity for the self -storage investor wanting to take advantage of the thousands of distressed self -storage facilities that can be purchased for pennies on the dollar by partnering with investors to acquire these red hot deals.  These are the facilities that are “underwater” when it comes time to refinance, or the assets that never reached their break-even point or a stabilized occupancy before the developer/investor ran out of funds.  They can now be bought at steep discounts from the bank or the developer by the savvy self -storage investor who can pay all cash and close quickly by syndicating their money partners using self-directed plans.

Self-directed retirement plans
Still somewhat unknown yet extremely powerful tools for your retirement, self-directed retirement plans can help investors break free of the restrictions that traditional custodians or employer plans place on us. By implementing a self-directed plan, a whole world of alternative investments opens up. 
While some of these plans require a custodian, it's simple to roll over your assets from your existing plan into a self-directed plan. Your custodian of choice will walk you through the process of transferring assets into your self-directed plan.

What types of real estate investments can you invest in with a self-directed retirement plan?
Here is a just a partial list for starters-
  • Self – Storage Facilities
  • Raw land (for Self-Storage Development)
  • Commercial property (for Conversions)
  • Real estate notes
  • Real estate purchase options
  • Tax liens certificates
  • Tax deeds
All of these investments and more become available when you have a self-directed retirement plan. Not only will these non Wall Street alternatives help you personalize and reach your financial goals, a self-directed plan provides you unheard of privileges that the traditional plans will not.

Depending upon the type of self-directed retirement plan here are some examples of the flexibility and freedom you may enjoy:

Consolidation – you can consolidate multiple retirement plans together (except Roth IRA) into your new self-directed plan. This increases your investment horsepower enabling you to diversify for an even better return on your money.

Retirement Protection – every year frivolous lawsuits erase the hard earned retirement dollars of thousands of people simply because they did not know what type of plan would have kept their retirement accounts out of harm’s way. The correct type of plan may protect your financial security.
I have no doubt this has opened your eyes to the world of opportunity that exists for the self -storage investor looking to take advantage of the biggest “land grab” in our lifetime.  I encourage you to educate yourself on how to work with these eager equity investors to grow your investment and retirement wealth together by syndicating and partnering to buy the real estate asset class that has performed during the recession – Self Self-Storage. 
About the author:
During the last 7 years Scott Meyers has gained recognition throughout the country as one of the foremost real estate experts for hands on self -storage investors.  Scott is also a published author and has taught real estate courses for the University of Indianapolis over a career in real estate investing that began in 1993. For more information please visit his web site:                                                                             

*Scott Meyers, the Self Storage Syndication, and Self Storage Investing are not affiliated with Equity Trust Company or its affiliates.  The information provided in this article is for educational purposes only and should not be construed as tax, legal, or investment advice.  Whenever making an investment decision, please consult with legal, tax, and financial professionals.