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Sounds of live music are commonplace near Nashville, TN. Twenty minutes northeast, in Hendersonville, the tunes of one local jazz and R&B band are used to benefit local charities.
Don, an Equity Trust client since 2002, founded the band more than a decade ago. Today, at over 70 years old, Don recalls the path that allowed him to dust off his saxophone and use it to help children’s charities in the Hendersonville area.
He credits the freedom gained from a blossoming self-directed IRA portfolio for the ability to pursue his passions and make a meaningful impact in retirement.
Experience in Insurance and Real Estate Sets the Stage for Future Self-Directed Investing
Don’s many years of work in the insurance industry provided an introduction to the investment flexibility of self-directed IRAs.
Although he knew it was possible to invest in real estate, promissory notes, and other alternative assets with retirement funds, it was not an approach he would pursue until decades later.
“I read the laws (pertaining to IRAs) when they first came out in 1974, so I knew you could do some of these things,” Don recalls. “But I was too busy working on my business to really get into it.”
In the early 2000s, after he retired and sold his business, Don began research into the topic.
“I spent about a year studying self-directed IRAs,” Don says. “I would go to my office five days per week and block off time to research.”
After completing his research, Don felt ready and opened a self-directed IRA at Equity Trust in 2002. A few years later, his wife opened a SEP IRA because she qualified for a small business retirement account as a Realtor.
Building Retirement Wealth through Private Loans and Real Estate
Over the 15 years that followed, Don actively invested with his self-directed IRA. He used his background and experience to issue numerous loans to smaller insurance agencies over the years.
He also uses his IRA to invest in single-family real estate and condominiums through rental, lease and buy-and-sell transactions.
“I already had real estate investing experience, so it made sense to me,” Don says.