Self-Directed Retirement Guidance - Financial Services from Lundervold Financial
When you change jobs or retire and you have an employer-sponsored retirement plan, such as a 401k,
you have four options:
- Leave your money where it is, with the former employer.
- Cash out and pay income taxes plus possible penalties if you are younger than 59.5.
- Transfer your money into another employer plan, if you’ve taken a new job that offers rollovers.
- Roll the money into a self-directed or traditional retirement account, such as an IRA.
Lundervold Financial can help you determine the most appropriate option for you, depending on your financial situation, your retirement goals, your age, and other considerations.
What is a Self-Directed Retirement Account?
A self-directed retirement account puts the investment decisions into the hands of you, the account holder and, typically, it gives you access to alternative investment options.
With a non-self-directed retirement account, a brokerage firm invests the funds and manages the account for you. Traditional and Roth IRAs are two types of self-directed retirement accounts that allow more flexibility to investors. You make investment decisions and, generally, you might pay lower fees.
What many people do not realize is that just because you have a self-directed retirement account does not mean that you have to make investment decisions yourself. We at Lundervold Financial work with many individuals to help them with their investment decisions, based on their retirement goals.
Self-Directed 401k vs SEP IRA vs Roth IRA — What is the Difference?
Self-directed 401k and IRA plans put investment decisions into the hands of the account holder or their financial advisor, and it gives you the ability to explore other options, such as real estate. However, the IRS governs what you can and cannot invest in, which is why we recommend that you work with a financial advisor. Your financial advisor can help you understand the most up-to-date Internal Revenue Service prohibited transactions.
- A 401k is a type of retirement plan typically sponsored by your employer, and it offers tax-deferred benefits that are governed by the IRS. You invest a portion of your pre-tax income and your employer may or may not match your contributions up to limits defined by the IRS. You can’t withdraw money without paying taxes and penalties until you turn 59.5, although there are some rare exceptions. That’s a 401k in a nutshell. We can discuss pre-retirement rules, rules for withdrawing money, and many other questions when we meet with you.
- A self-directed 401k simply means you, the investor, make your investment decisions for your pre-tax dollars. The custodian of your account, typically a firm that manages your company’s 401k, provides a portfolio of options for you to invest in. Typically, you’ll see a suite of mutual fund options with varying degrees of risk and growth.
- A Roth 401k or IRA is an investment account that you build using after-tax dollars. A traditional or self-directed 401k is ideal for people who know they’ll be in lower tax brackets when they retire — which is most of us. A Roth is for individuals who think they’ll be in higher tax brackets when they retire; they can also be good for younger people who are further from retirement, and for higher income earners.
- An SEP 401k, or a self-employed person or solo 401k is exactly what the name implies. It is designed for workers in the gig economy — solo entrepreneurs, freelancers, and business owners. The plan allows you to make contributions as a business owner and employee.
- A self-directed IRA (SDIRA) gives you more choices over what to invest in, including some nontraditional funds, including real estate. Many of our clients come to us for direction on IRA investments because their self-directed IRA custodian doesn’t offer such advice. An SDIRA custodian is the bank or financial company that issues the IRA.
In 2018, the SEC issued a warning to alert investors about scams that have been tied to self-directed IRAs. The SEC lists several ways to avoid fraud with SDIRAs, including by consulting a professional. The Lundervold Financial team can meet with you by phone, by conference call, or in person in our office in Oakdale, Minn.
How We Help With Your Self-Directed Retirement Account
A self-directed retirement account requires a little bit of work to set up. You’ll need to do some research, understand your options, set up your investment strategy, and monitor your account’s performance. Self-directed does not mean you have to manage your investments alone.
Lundervold Financial works with individuals, small business owners and employer plans to help manage your investment decisions.
The information we provide here is high-level, designed to give you an idea of what you should consider as you plan for your retirement. Schedule a time to meet with us, and we’ll go over self-directed retirement accounts in more detail, tailored to you, your family, and your unique situation.
Call, email or message Lundervold Financial for more information on how we can help you with your self-directed retirement planning. Check out our calendar of events for upcoming financial and retirement planning seminars.
Are you ready to take the next step in planning your financial future?
For more information about any of our products and services, to schedule a meeting or to register for one of our financial and retirement planning seminars, choose one of the options below, or let’s talk the old-fashion way. Call us at 651.209.1906.