Presented by Land Rover Des Moines
Land Rover Des Moines

A self-directed IRA is often overlooked as another way to help retirement savings grow, utilizing real estate and other investments.

A Little-Known Universe of IRA Investment Options

Individual retirement accounts appear to be straightforward in their investment options, generally stocks and bonds. In fact, you have a wide range of investments available—everything from accounts receivables to commercial real estate—should you slightly alter the structure of this retirement wealth-accumulating tool.

Self-directed IRAs are not well-known, though they have been around since 1975 when the government first allowed standard IRAs. As the name implies, they are controlled by the owners in a fashion that allows them to direct money to a number of opportunities beyond the stock market.

Such as tax liens. Yes, you can buy a tax lien using an SDIRA and enjoy the same freedom from current income taxes as you would with a standard IRA. You also can purchase building bonds, gold bullion and single-family (sorry, not your primary residence) and multifamily residential property.

You even can buy a business outright. Des Moines tax attorney William C. Brown, pictured, of BrownWinick, discovered that when he purchased a day care center. He knew that SDIRAs existed, as a partner had once bought a farm with one. But, he says, "I just hadn’t seen the right thing for it."

Then a friend’s wife presented the day care opportunity, which was structured as a standard business deal save for the source of the funds. Brown is collecting income from the investment, which is meant to be short-term and has an agreement that allows the business operator to buy it back.

Not everything qualifies for an SDIRA, including any S corporation (LLCs are OK as long as they don’t violate IRA rules) or collectibles, such as art, wine, furniture, even baseball cards. There also is a bar on conducting any business meant to produce an immediate financial gain, the theory being that IRAs are intended for the long haul.

There also are disqualified persons to do business with, starting with yourself. Other disqualified persons include your spouse and any beneficiary of your IRA.

Self-directed is not self-managed. As is the case with regular IRAs, you need a custodian, and not every IRA firm will take up that cause. That task is left to self-directed specialist firms, such as Equity Trust Co. (, based in Westlake, Ohio, or Madison Trust (, based in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. They can handle administrative duties and arrange proper titling on any property or business that is purchased.

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Legacy Bridge

Invest in Some New Skills Through Adult-Ed Classes

Ready to learn something new in 2019? Like playing the banjo, or open water scuba diving, or woodcarving (beginners and advanced)? Dozens of classes are available starting as early as tomorrow from the community education program run by Des Moines Public Schools.

The school district offers an impressive lineup of classes meant to improve both your health and your brain. Here’s a partial listing of classes that begin in January: belly dancing, Zumba toning, genealogy, exploring UFOs, beekeeping, photography, tap dance, crocheting, rust-dyeing silk scarves and my personal favorite, welding for all levels. Classes start as late as May 26 (growing beautiful irises, which follows stand-up paddling). Check out their offerings at

DMPS is not alone in its effort to improve your mind and arts and crafts skills. You also can choose from a wide range of courses onlinesign language, conversational Japanese, edible gardens, Des Moines Area Community College,

The Ray Society at Drake University likewise hosts a number of classes this year. Try deciphering U.S. and Iran relations, for instance, or the culture and history of Inuit art. And don’t forget mah-jongg for beginners. They are at
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Denton Homes
801 Chophouse

6 Ways to Keep Bad Weather From Ruining Your Trip

Snowstorms and hurricanes, thunderstorms and fog. Bad weather is by far the biggest source of flight delays in the United States, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. While you can't control Mother Nature, smart planning can reduce your risk of having to sleep in a terminal. Try these six tips the next time a bad forecast is looming over your much-needed getaway.

Sniff Out Delays Before Anyone Else
Don't stayed checked out until it's time to check in. In addition to signing up for your airline's flight alerts, there are several other ways to know if you're in danger of a delay. To get a current snapshot of what's happening at your airports, visit the FAA's Flight Delay Information page. It won't provide the status of your specific flight, but it will tell you if, say, flights from LaGuardia to San Francisco are facing hourslong weather delays.

Use apps such as FlightView or FlightRadar24 to see if your specific plane is running late from its previous assignment. Query Google with your flight number; its machine-learning algorithms have gotten especially good at combining data from multiple sources to predict delays before the airlines get in touch. And keep an eye on the forecast, of course. If any of these modes of recon give you pause, contact your airline immediately to get ahead of the pack. > FULL ARTICLE

How Much Tech Can Your Money Take?

There isn’t a single aspect of our lives that hasn’t been impacted by technology. Largely positive, these changes have made so many tasks easier, from hailing a cab to buying our groceries. > FULL ARTICLE

Predictable Success vs. Predictable Disappointment
Kent Kramer, CFP®, AIF®, Chief Investment Officer

Learn how a systematic approach to long-term, broad diversification can lead to more predictably successful outcomes and how you can avoid short-term, predictive practices that lead to predictable disappointments.

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