Leveraging Retirement Accounts in Real Estate with Herlean and Pineda

Ever wondered how to make your golden years truly sparkle? Imagine yourself lying on a beach, the grains of sand beneath your body and tranquil ocean waves lapping in the background. But wait! It’s not just any vacation; it’s one funded by savvy investments made using something you already have: retirement accounts.

A little-known secret is that these aren’t limited to stocks or bonds; they can be a stepping stone into real estate investments, too. 

Just like discovering an old treasure map leading straight to buried gold, many Americans are sitting on dormant 401(k)s without even realizing their potential power.

We’re about to take an exciting journey exploring this less-traveled path toward wealth creation and financial security for those twilight years.

Get ready. We’re about to dive deep into self-directed IRAs. We’ll explore ways you can tap into your dormant 401(k) accounts for better financial control and future planning.

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Understanding Retirement Accounts and Their Potential

The potential of retirement accounts extends far beyond traditional savings. These accounts, in fact, serve as potent financial tools that can unlock a world of investment opportunities.

Retirement accounts are widespread across the United States. The Social Security Administration reveals an astonishing statistic: there are over 130 million retirement accounts totaling more than $13 trillion. 

This figure paints a picture not only of prevalence but also of the immense financial weight these funds carry within our economy.

Types of Retirement Accounts

Different types offer different benefits. Two of the most popular retirement accounts are 401(k)s and Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs), both offering distinct benefits. 

A typical 401(k), offered by employers, lets you invest pre-tax dollars, while IRAs allow for both pre and post-tax contributions depending on their type, Traditional or Roth IRA, respectively.

The Power of Self-Directed IRAs

Self-directed Individual Retirement Accounts (SDIRAs) aren’t your typical retirement plans. A Self-Directed IRA is like a hidden ingredient in the kitchen of an expert cook, providing that distinct taste you can’t quite identify but makes everything better.

An SDIRA isn’t much different from traditional or Roth IRAs. But it’s got an edge—think of it as an Olympic sprinter with high-tech shoes. 

It lets you invest not just in stocks and bonds but also in real estate, gold, and even cryptocurrencies. In fact, this flexibility has helped boost its popularity among savvy investors—it’s no surprise there are over 97 million IRAs across the U.S.

Benefits of Self-Directed IRAs

This type of account offers incredible benefits that go beyond conventional investment opportunities. Imagine being able to use tax-advantaged dollars to purchase rental properties or invest in precious metals. It puts control back into your hands—you get to call the shots about where your money goes.

So if diversifying beyond Wall Street sounds good—and let’s face it, who doesn’t want more options?—then maybe a self-directed IRA is just what you need for some serious financial cooking.

Leveraging Dormant 401(k) Accounts for Real Estate Investment

Many of us have dormant 401(k) accounts lying untouched, but did you know they could be a goldmine for real estate investments? With over 30 million inactive accounts in the U.S., there’s immense untapped potential.

Identifying Dormant 401(k) Accounts

Uncovering a dormant 401(k) account is the initial step. It usually happens when we switch jobs and forget to roll over our old account into the new one. Reach out to your previous employers or check your past paperwork; these can help clarify any lingering funds.

The IRS also provides some tools that might assist in this hunt. For instance, their Rollover Chart tells about what types of retirement plans can be rolled into another.

Converting Dormant 401(k)s into Real Estate Investments

Dormant doesn’t mean dead. You can breathe life back by rolling them into a self-directed IRA – it’s like unlocking hidden treasure.

This rollover process lets you invest those funds in non-traditional assets like real estate – which offers potentially higher returns than typical stocks or bonds held by regular IRAs.

Horizon Trust, a custodian specializing in self-directed IRAs, makes this conversion process smooth and compliant with tax laws. They are experts at helping investors make use of such opportunities wisely.

Real-Life Success Stories with Retirement Account Investments

When it comes to using retirement accounts for real estate investments, the stories of successful investors serve as powerful motivators. They prove that these investment strategies are not just theoretical but can lead to tangible results.

Ryan Pineda’s Investment Journey

A prime example is Ryan Pineda, a real estate investor who has effectively leveraged his retirement account into lucrative ventures. His journey started when he decided to tap into his dormant 401(k) and use those funds in the thriving world of real estate investing.

Pineda didn’t simply plunge headlong into this new venture. He first ensured he had all the necessary legal knowledge about using retirement funds for property deals. Then he sought help from Horizon Trust, an established trust company that manages self-directed IRAs.

What’s the takeaway? Pineda’s flourishing career in real estate and various other ventures serves as a shining example. It shows what can be accomplished when you cleverly use your retirement savings to your advantage. “If I managed it,” asserts Pineda, “there’s no doubt that you can too.”

Getting Started with Retirement Account Investments

Beneath the surface of an attractive real estate deal lies a complex web of legalities, requiring careful navigation for successful retirement account investment. But it’s not just about spotting a good deal; you need to understand the game’s rules too.

Understanding the Legalities

Navigating through IRS codes and regulations might seem like deciphering hieroglyphics, but they’re essential to avoid costly penalties. For instance, did you know that using an IRA for personal benefit before reaching 59½ could result in tax liabilities?

Familiarizing yourself with IRS guidelines on self-directed IRAs can save you from potential pitfalls down the line.

Partnering with the Right Trust Company

Your choice of trust company will make or break your journey into real estate investing. A competent custodian doesn’t only help maintain compliance; they provide guidance every step of the way.

The right partner makes all the difference, much like Horizon Trust does by managing over 15,000 accounts and $300 million in assets – quite impressive!

Exploring Investment Opportunities

You don’t have to be a seasoned investor to spot profitable deals. With due diligence and some homework on market trends, even beginners can find hidden gems out there.

For inspiration, look at Ryan Pineda, who turned his baseball career into successful investments leveraging self-directed IRAs for property flips across Nevada.

Leveraging retirement accounts in real estate is no longer a secret. It’s the treasure map you’ve been holding all along.

Remember, self-directed IRAs offer control and tax benefits that can make your golden years shine brighter.

Dormant 401(k)s are not dead ends but untapped opportunities waiting to be explored for wealth creation. Make sure you recognize their potential power!

The success stories we shared underline one key point: With careful planning, investing retirement funds into real estate can yield great rewards.

Take note of legalities and choose a reliable trust company for managing these investments wisely. Explore promising investment avenues as they come along, just like Ryan Pineda did with Iowa properties.

FAQs in Relation to Leveraging Retirement Accounts in Real Estate

Can you use retirement funds to invest in real estate?

Absolutely. With a self-directed IRA or 401(k), you can direct your retirement savings towards real estate investments.

How do you leverage real estate for retirement?

You tap into the power of rental income, property appreciation, and tax advantages by buying properties with your self-directed IRA or 401(k).

Can I leverage my 401k to buy a house?

Yes, but only through specific methods like loan provisions or rollovers into self-directed IRAs that allow investment in real estate.

Can I roll my 401k into real estate?

Sure thing. You’d typically roll over your traditional 401(k) into a Self-Directed IRA, which then allows investing in property.

Adding real estate to your investment mix can give you higher returns

SDIRA Real Estate Investing Guide: Maximize Tax-Advantaged Wealth

Have you ever felt like the secret world of Self-Directed IRA (SDIRA) real estate investing is an exclusive club, and you’re left standing outside?

It’s where people grow their wealth, build financial stability, and enjoy tax advantages. But how can you get past that velvet rope?

You might think it’s all about knowing the right people or having stacks of money. Yet, it’s more than that.

I’ll open those doors to reveal a path for anyone with drive and determination, uncovering how SDIRAs unlock new realms in real estate investing, from buying properties to earning rental income.

This isn’t just theory; these are actionable strategies backed by IRS rules that let you harness your IRA funds for property investments.

Understanding SDIRA Real Estate

Self-directed IRAs are a great way to diversify your retirement savings and get your feet wet with real estate investments.

Unlike traditional IRAs, an SDIRA offers more control and broader investment options—particularly regarding real estate investing.

This means that alongside regular investments like stocks or bonds, you can also use your IRA funds for buying property, including:

  • Single-family homes
  • Multifamily units
  • Raw land
  • Commercial real estate
  • Storage units

You might wonder how this all works. The key is understanding that any property purchased must be held by the IRA rather than personally owned. So, while your name won’t grace the title deed, it’s still part of your overall wealth portfolio.

This arrangement opens up exciting opportunities for potential growth through rental income or appreciation over time–all while tax-free!

Tax Benefits Unleashed: Supercharge Your Investment Returns

One reason I love investing primarily with a Self-Directed IRA is because of the tax benefits I receive from all my earnings. In effect, your SDIRA acts as a tax shield, allowing you to collect earnings in your account without paying a dime on capital gains.

Simply imagine how far your account can grow through compound interest by keeping all of your earnings.

Investors like Peter Thiel have used these benefits to amass billions of dollars, and I have used Self-Directed IRAs and other financial vehicles to manage over $1.3 billion in real estate transactions.

The Benefits of SDIRA Real Estate Investing

Investing in real estate with an SDIRA can offer numerous advantages. Let’s explore some key benefits, starting with the power to diversify your retirement savings.

  • Diversify Your Portfolio Retirement Plan with Real Estate: – Adding real estate to your investment mix can give you higher returns and reduce risk because property values tend not to move directly in line with stock or bond markets. Studies show that owning different types of assets helps create a more balanced portfolio. And who doesn’t want stability when it comes to their nest egg?
  • Acting as a Tax Shield: – Your investments grow on a tax-advantaged basis, which means profits from rental income or capital gains are either deferred or eliminated depending on whether you hold a Traditional IRA or Roth IRA.
  • Several Investment Options Available: – Self-directed IRAs allow for much leeway regarding real estate investments, including dipping your toes in tax liens, wholesaling, house flipping, and more.

Navigating the Rules and Regulations of SDIRAs

Investing in real estate through a Self-Directed IRA is not just about identifying profitable properties. Navigating the guidelines established by the IRS is a key component of SDIRA investing.

Understanding Prohibited Transactions in SDIRAs

The IRS sets certain boundaries, known as prohibited transactions, for your Self-Directed IRA. Unfortunately, your account may face severe penalties if these rules are broken.

An essential part of navigating these waters is understanding who qualifies as a disqualified person according to IRS guidelines. This list includes:

  • You
  • Your spouse
  • Lineal ascendants or descendants and their spouses
  • Anyone providing services to your IRA, like an advisor or manager

A common prohibited transaction is directly buying property for personal use with SDIRA funds.

But did you know that even lending money from your retirement account to a disqualified person can lead to penalties? To prevent any potential mishaps, always consult with your IRA custodian before making any significant moves.

The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act further complicates things when considering debt-financed real estate within an SDIRA structure.

For instance, using a non-recourse loan might subject part of your profit–specifically the debt-financed portion–to tax, which otherwise would be tax-deferred or tax-free until distribution.

Setting Up Your SDIRA for Real Estate Investing

When it comes to investing in real estate through an SDIRA, the setup process is crucial.

With the right steps, you can turn your retirement account into a powerful vehicle for property investments.

The first step is finding a trustworthy SDIRA custodian, such as the Horizon Trust Company, which I built to ease the process.

This professional will handle transactions on behalf of your IRA, so make sure they’re well-versed in dealing with real estate assets.

You’ll need to transfer funds from your existing retirement account or personal savings into this new self-directed one. Luckily, your custodian will be able to make the process simple.

Selecting and Purchasing Property Through Your SDIRA

The next part involves selecting suitable investment properties. The great news? You aren’t limited just to residential units; commercial properties, undeveloped land, and even REITs are viable options for purchase.

To purchase property using your SDIRA funds, you must direct your custodian accordingly. They’ll execute all necessary paperwork—keeping things legal and above board while ensuring no tax penalties along the way.

One way to bypass the custodian role is to open an LLC with your SDIRA, granting you what is known as checkbook control.

Maintaining Compliance Throughout Investment Life Cycle

Your role doesn’t end after purchasing an asset; ongoing compliance is key. Rental income must go straight back into your account.

Also, keep tabs on any potential expenses related directly to maintaining the said property, be it repairs or improvements, as these must also be paid out from your SDIRA funds.

Jumping into real estate investment with a Self-Directed IRA might feel overwhelming. But, armed with the right know-how and advice, you could reap significant rewards.

Read More: How to Use Your SDIRA to Invest in Real Estate in a Hot Market.

Financing Options for SDIRA Real Estate Investments

One reason I love investing with retirement money is because most of it is sitting dormant for someone to invest.

However, if you don’t have a big enough nest egg saved up, there are still plenty of financing options available.

Non-Recourse Loans

In essence, non-recourse loans are unique because they only use the property purchased with the loan as collateral. This form of borrowing stands out due to its compatibility with IRS rules.

If default occurs, lenders can take back only that specific asset and cannot pursue any additional compensation even if they sell it at a loss.

Equity Trusts

Beyond non-recourse loans lies another avenue for funding—equity trusts. These function by pooling together multiple investors’ money into one pot, which then gets used to fund larger-scale projects that would be beyond each individual investor’s reach alone.

An advantage here is diversification. Since your funds are spread across several properties rather than being tied up in just one place, this reduces risk while still offering attractive returns.

Each financing option has different implications on things like contribution limits and IRS regulations regarding prohibited transactions.

Always consult professionals or trusted sources when dealing with complex financial matters to ensure you’re making informed decisions that align with your investment goals and risk tolerance.

Risks and Considerations in SDIRA Real Estate Investing

Real estate investing with a Self-Directed IRA (SDIRA) can be quite rewarding, but it’s not without risks.

Fees and Paperwork: The Devil’s In The Details

A key consideration when venturing into SDIRA real estate investing is the fees associated with maintaining your account and transacting properties. Be prepared for plenty of paperwork, too. You don’t want unexpected costs eating into your profits.

The Need For Capital: It Takes Money To Make Money.

To get started with real estate through an SDIRA, you’ll need substantial initial capital; remember that investment property isn’t cheap. Ensure you have enough funds set aside before diving headfirst into this venture.

Beware of Disqualified Persons

You cannot use your Self-Directed IRA to buy property for personal use or sell property to close relatives. Keep yourself informed about who counts as disqualified persons.

A Financial Path to Generational Wealth

Now that you understand all of the rules and strategies governing Self-Directed IRA real estate investing, it’s up to you to execute what you’ve learned. Real estate is not without its risk, and it takes a very risk-averse person to make money.

Mistakes will be made along the way, and money may be lost. But at the end of this journey, you’ll be thankful you took the leap. There is no better financial vehicle to generational wealth than real estate and no better plan to get you there than a Self-Directed IRA.

FAQs: SDIRA Real Estate Guide

Can I use my existing IRA for real estate investments?

Yes, you can convert your existing Traditional IRA or Roth IRA into a Self-Directed IRA to invest in real estate. However, you’ll need to choose a custodian or trustee specializing in Self-Directed IRAs, as not all IRA providers offer this option.

How do I find a reputable custodian for my Self-Directed IRA?

Finding a reputable custodian is crucial. Start by researching and comparing different Self-Directed IRA custodians or administrators. Look for experienced firms with a solid track record, good customer reviews, and transparent fee structures. It’s also essential to choose a custodian that specializes in real estate investments.

Are there any restrictions on the type of real estate I can invest in?

While Self-Directed IRAs offer many investment options, some restrictions exist. You cannot invest in life insurance contracts or collectibles like art or antiques. However, you can invest in various types of real estate, including residential, commercial, and even raw land.

How to Create Generational Wealth with Tax-Free Gains (Video)

Learning how to create generational wealth can feel like an uphill battle.

The concept seems elusive, almost mythical. But it’s what separates the paycheck-to-paycheck hustler from the financially free individual.

If you’re unsure about building sustainable wealth that lasts generations, you’ll never reach this level of financial freedom.

Making sense of investments, assets, and smart money moves is tough stuff.

Take, for instance, a young professional who recently told me he feels overwhelmed by all the financial advice out there. He didn’t know where to start in his journey toward creating generational wealth.

No surprise there!

In fact, without proper guidance and knowledge, most people won’t.

But Self-Directed IRAs can change that—and quickly. The video below explains it all.

Join Greg Herlean and Justin Colby as they go in-depth about Self-Directed IRAs. They cover everything from how to start self-directing, how to use a self-directed IRA to invest in real estate, and how to create tax-free gains using creative financing.

Learning More About Self-Directed IRAs

The world of self-directed IRAs is vast and filled with numerous rules and regulations.

Understanding these guidelines not only protects your financial assets but also optimizes their growth potential.

The IRS stipulates specific instructions regarding the permissible types of investments within a Self-Directed IRA, how transactions should be conducted, and what qualifies as prohibited transactions. These can seem intricate at first glance, but this is where expert advice comes into play.

Free Consultation – Understanding Your Options

A no-cost consultation with Horizon Trust–a company I founded that’s a leading provider of retirement account services–can offer invaluable insights to navigate through the intricacies of Self-Directed IRAs effectively.

Horizon Trust offers educational resources designed to boost your overall financial literacy in this area. They believe that well-informed investors make better decisions, and they’re committed to empowering you with the knowledge necessary to create generational wealth.

Remember: Building generational wealth isn’t about quick wins—it’s about making strategic decisions now that will pay off for future generations. And part of those strategic decisions involves proper tax planning—a key aspect where many families lose out due to a lack of knowledge or preparation.

Book today for an enlightening free consultation session and take control of your family’s financial future by exploring how a self-directed IRA might fit into your strategy.

Creating generational wealth is not a myth; it’s achievable.

You’ll need strategic planning and smart investments to achieve your financial goals. Self-directed IRAs offer an effective path toward achieving this goal thanks to their tax advantages, flexible investment options, and potential for creative financing.

Ready to begin your journey towards a secure financial future? Visit Horizon Trust today. Learn more about how self-directed IRAs can help create generational wealth while enjoying the tax benefits they provide.

The Five Best Retirement Accounts for Self-Employed

Unlike workers, self-employed business owners and freelancers often need to figure out their retirement plans on their own.

While some of the rules and regulations surrounding IRAs and 401(k)s can appear a bit confusing, finding the right retirement plan for self-employed people is simple.

What’s more, it’s even possible to create a match plan for employees if you own a small business that employs others.

So, let’s look at the five best retirement accounts for self-employed people to see which is right for you.

What is the Best Retirement Plan for Self-Employed Individuals?

Retirement Plan Contribution Limit Matching Contributions for Employees Investment Types Plan Administrator
Traditional/Roth IRA $6,500 Annually (+$1,000 catch-up for 50 or older) No Stocks, bonds, and mutual funds Brokerage
Self-Directed IRA $6,500 Annually (+$1,000 catch-up for 50 older) No Alternative Assets (ex. Real estate, gold, loans) Custodian
SEP IRA 20% of net income (see: net profit from IRS Schedule C reduced by the deductible self-employment tax) up to $330,000 annually (2023) 25% of net earnings up to $66,000 annually (2023) Stocks, bonds, and mutual funds Brokerage
SIMPLE IRA $15,500 (2023) Dollar-for-dollar up to 3% of employee compensation Stocks, bonds, and mutual funds Brokerage
Solo 401(k) $66,000 ($7,500 catch-up rate) No Alternative Assets (ex. Real estate, gold, loans) Brokerage or Plan Trustee

1. Traditional/Roth IRA

Individual retirement accounts are standard retirement accounts, which are great for self-employed people or not offered a retirement plan by their employer. In general, there are two types of individual retirement accounts: Traditional and Roth IRAs.

A Traditional IRA lets you direct pre-tax income toward investments for tax-deferred growth. Capital gains and dividends taxes aren’t assessed until a withdrawal is made.

Roth IRAs allow you to invest post-tax dollars in your account, meaning you won’t get taxed at withdrawal. In essence, this allows you to avoid capital gains in a tax-sheltered account.

Traditional IRA Benefits

  • No income limit.
  • Allows for some annual tax deductions.
  • Tax-deferred growth. No taxes on earnings and contributions until required distributions begin at age 72—73 if you reach age 72 after 12.31.2022. Money earned in a Traditional IRA can also be deductible for the contribution’s tax year.
  • Traditional IRAs allow you to invest in nearly all stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and exchange-traded funds (ETFs).
  • Unlike 401(k) accounts, IRAs have early withdrawal exceptions that make it possible to take out money to cover expenses for college, adopting a child, buying a first home, and more.

Roth IRA Benefits

  • Qualified withdrawals in retirement are entirely tax-free.
  • Roth IRAs do not have required minimum distributions (RMDs) during your lifetime.
  • Roth IRAs allow you to continue contributing as long as you have earned income, regardless of your age.
  • You can withdraw your contributions (but not earnings) at any time without penalties or taxes.
  • Roth IRAs can be passed on to your heirs without them having to pay taxes on the distributions, provided certain conditions are met. See more information here.

Primary Differences

  • Traditional IRAs allow investment with pre-tax dollars, and Roth IRAs with post-tax dollars.
  • Traditional IRAs don’t have income limits, but they have age limits.
  • Roth IRAs are not tax deductible, but you won’t ever pay taxes on any withdrawals of contributions.

Both retirement accounts are excellent for self-employed individuals. However, they do come with limited investment options, which makes our next pick that much more appealing.

2. Self-Directed IRA

A self-directed individual retirement account (SDIRA) is an IRA that allows you to invest in alternative assets prohibited by other IRAs. As the name implies, a self-directed IRA gives you full control over your investment decisions.

SDIRAs can be structured like a Roth or Traditional IRA, depending on your anticipated tax bracket at retirement.

Like the traditional IRA, the SDIRA allows you to save for retirement on a tax-advantaged basis.

However, SDIRAs offer greater flexibility regarding investments beyond stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and other common investments. For example, SDIRAs permit investments in:

SDIRAs are advantageous because they allow for high returns and greater diversification.

Of course, investing in alternative assets also comes with a bit of risk. SDIRAs also come with higher fees and are administered by a custodian, which differs from your traditional brokerage account.

Almost anyone can open an SDIRA, and rollovers from any tax-advantage account can be completed tax-free.

Be sure to research self-directed IRA investment rules before investing.

Read More: How Do Self-Directed IRAs Work?


Designed for both self-employed workers and small-business owners, Simplified Employee Pension plans (SEP IRA) allow you to set aside income for retirement without the enrollment and operating fees of conventional retirement plans. This is a common option when setting up a simple match plan for employees.

The SEP-IRA rule allows account holders to invest up to 25% of an employee’s compensation (up to $66,000 in 2023), making this a great choice for high-earning individuals. Here’s a rundown on how SEP IRAs work:

  • Eligible participants are employees over age 21 who have worked for an employer for at least three of the past five years.
  • Eligible employees must have earned at least $650 during 2021 and 2022.
  • Employers must match all self-directed distributions for enrolled employees. For instance, an employer who stashes away 10% of their own compensation must contribute 10% to each employee’s compensation.

A SEP IRA can be combined with traditional and Roth IRAs, and all contributions are deductible.

There is no commitment to contribute every year after opening a SEP IRA. Additionally, no catch-up contribution option exists for people aged 50 and over with the SEP.


A Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees (SIMPLE) IRA is a tax-deferred employer-sponsored retirement plan designed for small businesses with less than 100 employees.

A SIMPLE IRA allows an employer to make either non-elective contributions of 2% of each employee’s salary or dollar-for-dollar matching contributions of each employee’s contributions (up to 3% of salary).

While the maximum annual employee contribution for the SIMPLE IRA is $15,500 (2023), employees reaching age 50 and over can make additional catch-up contributions of $3,500.

5. Solo 401 (k)

Finally, the Solo 401(k) offers many of the same features as employer-sponsored retirement plans but with the added benefit of increased contribution ranges.

To contribute to a solo 401 (k), you must be a business owner with no employees. While the maximum contribution on the solo 401 (k) is $61,000 (2022), there’s a $6,500 catch-up contribution option if you’re age 50 or older.

A solo 401 (k) can be opened as either a Traditional or Roth account. With a Traditional solo 401 (k), contributions are made on a pre-tax basis to reduce your tax burden. Roth 401(k) contributions are made with after-tax dollars.

Some solo 401(K)s do allow for a wider range of investments, but this depends on your brokerage and whether you set yourself up as the plan trustee.

Read More: SEP IRA vs. Solo 401(k).

IRA Contribution Limits

IRA contribution limits are routinely adjusted for inflation. Typically, limits are determined using either a capped figure or salary percentage. Here’s a rundown of current IRA contribution limits for self-employed IRA options (2023):

  • Traditional IRA: $6,500 ($7,500 over age 50).
  • SDIRA: $6,500 ($7,500 over age 50).
  • SEP IRA: 25% of compensation/$66,000. Self-employed individuals max out at $330,000 of their net income.
  • SIMPLE IRA: $14,000.
  • Solo 401(k): $66,000 (+$7,500 catch-up rate for people over age 50).

When considering any type of IRA, it’s important to factor in income bracket, expanded contribution allotments for age, and other stipulations that could allow you to invest the maximum amount possible while receiving a tax advantage on your employment income.

Which Self-Employed Retirement Plan Is Right for Me?

The Traditional or Roth IRA is a great starting point for someone who simply wants to start putting money in a retirement account when they don’t have any kind of savings incentive match plan from an employer.

However, self-employed people with high-income levels or employees should consider an SDIRA, SEP IRA, Simple IRA, or Solo 401 (k) to discover which features allow them to save for retirement while enjoying the biggest tax deduction.

Self-employed people catching up with retirement savings should also consider plans that increase maximum contributions after age 50.

Finally, everyone who earns income should open a retirement account. For self-employed people, a retirement plan can allow you to take a tax deduction on your tax return, reducing your taxable income.

For small-business owners, matching contributions can help elevate their status as desirable employers while providing them with a tax advantage.

FAQs: Self-Employed Retirement Plans

Can I contribute to both a Roth IRA and a retirement plan for my self-employed business?

Yes, you can contribute to a Roth IRA alongside your self-employed retirement plan. However, income limits for Roth IRA contributions may apply.

What are the benefits of a Solo 401(k) over other retirement plans?

A Solo 401(k) offers higher contribution limits, catch-up contributions for those aged 50 and above, and the option to make both employee and employer contributions.

Are there any tax benefits to contributing to a retirement plan as a self-employed individual?

Yes, contributions to certain retirement plans are often tax-deductible, which can reduce your taxable income for the year.

What happens if my business experiences fluctuations in income? Can I adjust my contributions accordingly?

Yes, many self-employed retirement plans allow you to adjust your contributions based on your business’s income for the year.

Expanding a real estate business requires strategic partnerships

Insights on Growing a Real Estate Business, Generational Gains Podcast, Ep. 2

Growing a real estate business is no small feat.

The task can seem intimidating, with many uncertainties. 

How do you build an effective team? How do you outsmart competitors in this cutthroat industry?

This hurdle separates those who dabble in property investment from true real estate entrepreneurs. If you don't know how to grow your venture sustainably, reaching this level may remain just a dream.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. This podcast—the second in my Generational Gains series with my son Carson Herlean—shows some insights into how Carson is growing his real estate business at just 20 years old. 

He shares his experiences, failures, and learnings after his first year of getting into Real Estate while working 30-50+ hours weekly on Infinite Banking.

Check out the video podcast below. And read on for some larger takeaways discussed underneath. 

Harnessing the Power of Partnerships in Real Estate

Greg’s journey in real estate investing reveals that strategic partnerships are pivotal, something he learned en route to closing more than $1.5 billion in transactions. Partnerships provide mentorship and are a great source of capital to invest in real estate

These alliances could be with fellow investors, contractors, or even savvy real estate agents well-versed in local market dynamics.

The essence of these partnerships extends beyond pooling resources and splitting profits. It involves capitalizing on each partner's unique skills and industry knowledge to benefit mutually. 

An investor might bring financial muscle, while a contractor lends expertise to property renovations.

In Greg’s experience, nurturing solid relationships with contractors is key to efficient property management and successful deals. 

Clear communication about project timelines, costs involved, and expected quality standards are all critical elements discussed upfront before any work commences.

Beyond clear lines of communication, though, there's another factor at play—respect. Mutual respect forms the foundation of enduring professional ties as it fosters trustworthiness, ultimately leading to more fruitful collaborations.

Diversity within your team not only brings different perspectives but also helps cover various aspects necessary for running a thriving real estate business—from legal matters through marketing strategies right down to customer relationship management systems.

To harness the full potential of your diverse team, however, requires leadership qualities like empathy, active listening, and a willingness to learn new things together. 

With such attributes at the helm, teams become more adaptable and resilient, facing challenges head-on and accelerating growth and overall profitability.

Choosing Your Battleground - Selecting Location for Your Real Estate Business

The significance of location in the real estate industry is a point that both Carson and Greg Herlean consistently underscore. The father-son duo chose California as their base, leveraging its vibrant market conditions to grow their business.

However, they maintain that success isn't tied down to any specific locale; it can be achieved anywhere with determination and strategic planning.

In real estate investing, your chosen battleground significantly influences potential customer demographics, property values, competition level, and local regulations, among other factors. 

To determine the best spot for your firm, it is important to do a thorough exploration and evaluation. This includes studying local housing market trends, demographic data such as population growth rates or income levels, zoning laws, etc.

  • Potential Customer Demographics: Understanding who lives in the area you're considering will help shape marketing strategies aimed at attracting home buyers or renters.
  • Property Values: Knowledge about current house prices can guide investment decisions regarding buying off-market properties or selling existing ones.
  • Competition Level: Knowing how many other real estate agents work within your target region could influence pricing structures when looking to sell a property.
  • Zoning Laws: Familiarizing yourself with these ensures compliance while avoiding legal pitfalls during development projects.

Gaining ground across multiple locations also offers a viable strategy, according to Greg's experience. By doing so, investors can spread risk while capitalizing on various market dynamics, which include vacation rentals, tourist hotspots, commercial properties, and bustling city centers, each offering unique advantages.

Remember, there are no shortcuts to building a strong foundation of knowledge and industry skills vital for navigating through the ups and downs of any given market condition.

Mastering the Art of Outperforming Competitors in Real Estate

In real estate, standing out from your competitors is a feat that demands dedication and strategic planning. Greg’'s approach to this challenge hinges on one fundamental principle: work harder than everyone else.

The idea here isn't just about putting in more hours but also maximizing those hours for productive tasks such as researching potential properties or meticulously analyzing every deal detail.

He offers many ways to outpace the competition, such as forming a real estate LLC or investing in real estate with an SDIRA to avoid capital gains taxes. 

He also emphasizes the use of content marketing strategically. Create informative content marketing materials tailored toward potential customers' needs. A great example comes from the company Greg founded, Horizon Trust. The website is an educational resource for all things about self-directed IRAs; of course, much of the information is focused on investing in real estate. For more, check out the Horizon Trust blog for some inspiration.

Your aim should be delivering useful information while subtly promoting your services—creating an ideal balance between education and promotion.

Maintaining this delicate equilibrium will not only drive traffic towards your site but establish trust among readers, who may then turn into leads, fueling lead generation activities effectively without resorting to hard-sell tactics often employed by less savvy real estate professionals.

FAQs: Growing a Real Estate Business

How can I expand my real estate business?

Expanding a real estate business requires strategic partnerships, market research, and strong organization. Learning from industry veterans like Greg Herlean can also provide valuable insights.

Which real estate business is most profitable?

The profitability of a real estate venture varies greatly. Rental properties, flipping houses, and commercial property investments are potentially lucrative options.

Can you make a million a year in real estate?

Achieving such earnings in real estate is possible, but it depends on factors like location, investment strategy, market conditions, and individual effort.

Is real estate a profitable business?

Certainly. Real Estate can be highly profitable with the right strategies for buying low-cost properties and selling or renting them at higher prices. However, success demands hard work and savvy decision-making.


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procuring capital for real estate projects doesn't have to be a convoluted endeavor.

Raising Capital For Real Estate: 7 Proven Strategies

Real estate has historically been the greatest vehicle for wealth creation, with the potential for future equity, property appreciation, cash flow, and financial freedom

However, embarking on a successful real estate investment journey necessitates a crucial component: capital.

The good news is that procuring capital for real estate projects doesn't have to be a convoluted endeavor. 

Whether you're a novice investor embarking on your initial property acquisition or a seasoned expert aiming to refine your investment strategies, this guide—developed with knowledge of over $1.5 billion in real estate transactions—is packed with diverse solutions tailored to your needs.

Understanding Investment Capital

Investment capital is simply the amount of money required to complete a real estate transaction. This capital will include expenditures related to property acquisition, renovation, and any other associated costs. 

There are several ways to generate capital for investment; you can tap into your savings to fund property purchases or harness the power of "other people's money" (OPM).

Given that real estate development often requires external financing, it's imperative to identify potential investors who share an interest in supporting your ventures. Therefore, securing enough investment capital hinges on demonstrating your value as a reliable investor, property manager, wholesaler, etc.

7 Diverse Strategies to Secure Real Estate Investment Capital

  • Conventional bank loans
  • Hard money lenders
  • Private money lenders
  • FHA investment loans
  • Wholesaling
  • Peer-to-peer loans
  • Crowdfunding

1. Conventional Bank Loans

Opting for a mortgage from a reputable bank remains the easiest avenue for acquiring investment capital in the real estate realm. Traditional financial institutions will evaluate your credit history, debt-to-income ratio, and existing assets to determine your eligibility. 

Document verification might include bank statements, pay stubs, and tax returns. Individuals with a stable income, minimal debt, and a commendable credit score tend to garner favorable interest rates with lenders.

2. Hard Money Lenders

Private hard money lenders, authorized to provide loans, often entail higher interest rates and an initial fee. A key advantage is the quick processing time they offer. Unlike conventional banks, which might take months to disburse funds, hard money lenders ensure swift access to necessary finances. This makes them an attractive choice for short-term loans or quick property flips.

3. Private Money Lenders

Private money lenders represent individuals possessing available capital. In contrast to traditional financial institutions, these lenders directly engage with borrowers. 

Potential lenders may comprise family, friends, acquaintances, or professional contacts seeking to capitalize on interest returns. The advantage of this approach lies in the relatively streamlined and swift approval process, unburdened by rigid banking regulations.

One way to pitch investors is with a real estate syndication deal that allows each investor to pool money together and share the risk. Another method is to reach out to people with a self-directed IRA, which allows them to invest their dormant retirement funds instead of discretionary capital or their savings account. 

Read More: How Do Self-directed IRAs Work?

4. FHA Investment Loans

Federal Housing Administration (FHA) investment loans offer a viable alternative to conventional mortgages, with potentially lower down payment requirements. To qualify, a credit score of 580 or above is typically necessary. 

FHA loans may be restricted to multifamily or owner-occupied properties, necessitating the property to serve as the primary residence.

5. Wholesaling

Wholesaling stands as an intriguing proposition for astute investors. It facilitates rapid income generation without requiring personal capital investment. 

Essentially, wholesalers operate as intermediaries connecting sellers with buyers. By securing a property under contract, locating an interested buyer, and assigning the contract at an elevated price, wholesalers can collect a fee they can reinvest as profit in their business.

For people without the capital for a contract, wholesaling is one of many IRA real estate strategies to start building wealth. 

6. Peer-to-Peer Loans

Peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platforms like Upstart and Peerform enable borrowers to post projects, attracting potential investors. Reliable investors can offer loans that are later repaid with interest. 

Vigilance is paramount, with thorough research into the lender's reputation and loan terms crucial for a secure transaction.

7. Crowdfunding

Much like personal campaigns on platforms like GoFundMe, real estate crowdfunding aggregates investment capital through a collective approach. By pitching projects on platforms like EquityMultiple or CrowdStreet, investors are invited to partake. 

This approach fosters the potential for multiple investors to contribute capital in exchange for a share of property ownership and future returns.

The Path to Real Estate Capital Success

Aspiring real estate investors are spoilt for choice regarding capital acquisition. Finding the perfect loan or investor requires identifying the right channels and working on your proposal to investors. In turn, the journey to earning investor trust is catalyzed by experience and credibility.

For newcomers, thorough research is imperative to foster confidence and exuberance that can resonate with potential investors. As your expertise grows, so does the assurance you inspire in lenders, making them more willing to take a calculated risk alongside you on your real estate ventures.

FAQs About Raising Capital for Real Estate

Can I use multiple strategies simultaneously to raise capital? 

Absolutely. Combining strategies can enhance your chances of success. Tailor your approach to your project's needs and target investor preferences.

How can I effectively showcase my past successes to investors? 

Utilize before-and-after photos, case studies, and financial data to illustrate the positive outcomes of your previous real estate projects.

What's the difference between traditional fundraising and real estate crowdfunding? 

Traditional fundraising typically involves private networking and pitching, while real estate crowdfunding uses online platforms to connect you with a larger pool of potential investors.

Is building partnerships essential for raising capital? 

While not mandatory, partnerships can expand your reach, expertise, and investor network, enhancing your credibility and success.

What's the role of due diligence in raising capital for real estate? 

Conduct thorough due diligence on your projects and investment opportunities. Clear and transparent information builds trust and encourages investor confidence.


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Tracking your expenses and creating a budget is an essential step toward financial freedom.

Guiding Your Journey: Essential Steps to Financial Freedom

Achieving steps to financial freedom can often feel like an uphill battle.

Truth be told, many of us are left clueless when it comes to managing our finances effectively. We're unsure about where to start or how to proceed.

The journey toward financial independence is no easy feat. But the good news? It's not impossible, either.

With the right knowledge and guidance, you, too, can navigate your way through these steps to financial freedom, creating a future that's financially secure and stress-free.

Become Financially Literate

To navigate the path to financial freedom, it's crucial to become financially literate. Educate yourself on various financial concepts, such as budgeting, investing, saving, and debt management. 

Stay informed about market trends, investment opportunities, and strategies for wealth accumulation. Utilize resources like books, podcasts, online courses, and financial advisors to expand your knowledge and make informed decisions.

I focus on self-directed IRAs for building serious wealth. A go-to resource for in-depth weekly articles about all things self-directed IRAs can be found at Horizon Trust

Track Spending and Start Budgeting

Tracking your expenses and creating a budget is an essential step toward financial freedom. Understand where your money is going and identify areas where you can cut back on unnecessary spending. 

A budget will help you allocate funds toward your financial goals, prioritize savings, and curb impulsive purchases. Consider utilizing budgeting apps or spreadsheets to streamline the process and gain better control over your finances.

Start Saving as Early as Possible

The power of compound interest makes starting to save early a vital component of financial freedom. Take advantage of the time value of money by making consistent contributions to your savings and investment accounts. 

Whether for retirement, emergencies, or future investments, saving early and regularly will allow your money to grow and work for you over time.

Essentials of Financial Freedom

Build Generational Wealth with Real Estate

Real estate investment offers a proven path for building generational wealth. By investing in income-generating properties, you can enjoy both cash flow and long-term appreciation. 

Real estate investments provide diversification, leverage, and the potential for passive income. Consider exploring opportunities in residential, commercial, or rental properties and utilize the power of self-directed IRAs to maximize your real estate investments via tax-free investing and real estate syndication.

Protect Gains in a Tax-Advantaged Account

One way to safeguard your investment gains and minimize tax liability is by utilizing tax-advantaged accounts such as self-directed IRAs

These accounts offer tax benefits, including tax-deferred or tax-free growth, depending on the type of IRA. By directing your investments within a self-directed IRA, you can protect your gains and optimize your long-term returns. Remember, the rich get rich by learning how to avoid taxes

Use Alternative Means to Raise Money

To accelerate your journey to financial freedom, consider alternative means of raising money. Explore crowdfunding platforms, syndication opportunities, and loans from your self-directed IRA. 

Additionally, the infinite banking method, which involves utilizing cash value life insurance policies, can provide you with access to capital for investments or emergencies while maintaining growth potential.

Pay Off Debt

Paying off debt is a crucial step in achieving financial freedom. High-interest debt, such as credit card debt or student loans, can hinder your progress toward your financial goals. 

Prioritize debt repayment by focusing on high-interest balances first and consider debt consolidation strategies to streamline your payments. Being debt-free allows you to allocate more funds towards savings and investments.

Invest in Compound Interest

Investing in assets that generate compound interest is a key factor in accelerating your journey to financial freedom.

Compound interest investments allow you to grow your wealth exponentially over time. Consider investing in stocks, bonds, mutual funds, or other investment vehicles that offer compounding returns. Regularly contribute to your investment accounts and use compounding to achieve long-term financial growth.

The path to financial freedom requires discipline, knowledge, and strategic planning. By following these steps and leveraging the power of self-directed IRAs, you can accelerate your progress and secure a prosperous future. 

Set clear financial goals, become financially literate, track your spending, save consistently, and explore investment opportunities that align with your objectives. 

Embrace the benefits of real estate investments, tax-advantaged accounts, alternative funding methods, debt management, and compound interest. Take control of your financial destiny and unlock the freedom and security that comes with it.

FAQs: Steps to Financial Freedom

What are the steps to financial freedom?

The steps include setting clear financial goals, budgeting effectively, managing debt, saving money regularly, investing wisely, and working with a professional financial advisor. Being generous once you've achieved independence is also important.

What steps should be taken to overcome financial freedom?

To achieve financial freedom, one needs to set measurable goals, create and stick to a budget plan, pay off debts starting from smallest ones first, and invest in assets yielding compound interest. Seeking advice from professionals can help navigate complex matters.

What is the fastest way to reach financial freedom?

The quickest path involves diligent budgeting, aggressive savings strategy coupled with smart investments that yield good returns over time. Paying off debts early can free up resources for other objectives leading towards faster achievement of your goals.

What leads to financial freedom?

Financial Freedom is led by effective management of income through strategic planning, including goal-setting, budget creation, debt payment, savings accumulation, and wise investment decisions. Professional guidance can further streamline this process.

Can I open a self-directed IRA even if I already have a traditional IRA or employer-sponsored retirement plan? 

Yes, you can open a self-directed IRA in addition to your existing retirement accounts. Self-directed IRAs offer more investment options and flexibility.

Are self-directed IRAs suitable for everyone? 

Self-directed IRAs are ideal for individuals who want more control over their investments and have a good understanding of alternative investment options. It's important to consult with a financial advisor to determine if a self-directed IRA suits your specific circumstances.

What are some examples of alternative investments allowed in self-directed IRAs? 

Alternative investments in self-directed IRAs can include real estate, private equity, precious metals, cryptocurrency, private loans, and more. It's essential to adhere to IRS guidelines when investing in these assets.


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generational gains herlean 1

Building Generational Wealth: A Guide for Investors from Generational Gains Podcast, Episode 1

Building generational wealth can seem like a daunting journey.

In fact, when it comes to financial planning and investment strategies, the #1 challenge for most people is... building generational wealth.

Many are perplexed about how to approach it. But this is what separates those living paycheck-to-paycheck from the financially independent individuals. If you don't know how to build and maintain your oinvestment assets effectively, reaching this level of financial freedom may remain elusive.

The process of accumulating generational wealth isn't easy, though.

But I'm here to help and offer some value from the best source possible - my 20-year-old son. Check out the YouTube video below, which is the first of many in the "Generational Gains" podcast. For those who want to read deeper, the text below the video outlines the concepts in greater detail.

If you have any questions, or want to learn more, contact me in the form at the end of this article.

Building a Successful Platform at 20

The narrative of Carson Herlean, who constructed an impressive real estate platform while barely out of his teens, is compelling and inspiring. Despite initial reservations due to shyness and the inevitable missteps along the way, he built something truly noteworthy.

Overcoming personal barriers for success

Carson's journey began with overcoming personal obstacles that could have easily derailed him. His introverted nature was one such challenge. Rather than viewing his introversion as a hindrance, Carson embraced it and used it to fuel his ambition.

By doing so, he discovered that being introverted can actually be advantageous in business dealings - enabling more focused listening during negotiations and facilitating calculated decisions free from emotional bias or external influences.

Learning from failures and growing stronger

Mistakes were another element Carson had to contend with on his path toward success. At times, the outcomes didn't go as expected for this young businessperson venturing into uncharted areas.

Rather than viewing these instances as setbacks though, Carson saw them instead as learning opportunities - stepping stones leading towards greater understanding. This resilient attitude helped not only foster professional growth but also cultivate personal development. Inc Magazine

To sum up: The story of Carson's early start in real estate investing serves not just as inspirational fodder but rather concrete proof demonstrating age isn't necessarily a barrier if you possess determination coupled with a willingness to learn through experiences.

Defining Success

The definition of success is a subjective concept that varies from one person to another. For Greg and Carson, the meaning isn't necessarily about crossing the finish line on their first attempt but rather persevering through trials until they reach their objectives.

The Role of Perseverance in Achieving Success

In any journey toward achieving goals, perseverance plays an instrumental role. It's not unusual for individuals to encounter obstacles or setbacks along this path.

Acknowledging these challenges as part and parcel of life's course is essential; resilience can transform failures into stepping stones leading up to ultimate victories.

This philosophy mirrors Greg's personal belief system, too - he emphasizes maintaining determination and tenacity even when faced with adversity.

Why Quitting Is Considered Failure

Frequently misunderstood by many people, failure doesn't always mean falling short of your targets; instead, it signifies giving up before you've exhausted all possibilities. This sentiment strongly resonates with both father-son duo who believe quitting equates to admitting defeat prematurely.

An alternate perspective suggests successful entrepreneurs often view failure as more than just an endpoint - it's seen as a learning opportunity that provides valuable lessons each time there are setbacks encountered during their entrepreneurial ventures.

To encapsulate: true success lies not in never failing but rising every time we fall - this principle forms the bedrock upon which both father and son Herlean build themselves professionally.

Future Aspirations

The world of entrepreneurship is a vast one, and Carson has set his sights high. Having already achieved notable success in the real estate industry at a young age, Carson aims to broaden his ambitions.

Setting Ambitious Business Goals

In the business realm, it all starts with setting ambitious goals. And for Carson, these extend beyond real estate; they encompass running multiple companies across various sectors. Finance, an area that plays an integral role in every aspect of life - personal or professional - also features prominently on his list.

This isn't about chasing after different interests randomly but rather diversifying intelligently. He broadens his understanding and expands his potential for development and edification by diversifying in this manner.

Real Estate as an Investment Goal

Besides aiming high in terms of businesses and finance ventures, there's another goal that stands out: owning beachfront property. But this isn't simply about enjoying luxury living - far from it.

Investing wisely in real estate, especially properties like those along beaches can be incredibly profitable over time due to appreciation rates and rental income potential.

And let's not forget tax benefits. Things like depreciation deductions which could offset taxable income derived from them make these investments even more attractive.

Balancing Lifestyle Changes with Parenthood

As we transition into the role of parents, there's a significant shift in our lifestyle. The freedoms that were once taken for granted, such as traveling or maintaining specific schedules, now need to be reconsidered and adjusted according to the new family dynamics.

In essence, parenthood doesn't spell an end to one's personal interests or hobbies; instead, it requires some strategic planning and flexibility.

Adjusting Life Routines After Becoming Parents

The arrival of a child brings joy and responsibility, which necessitates adjustments in daily routines. It might initially feel overwhelming, but remember - adaptability is key during this period.

  1. Finding ways to incorporate baby-friendly activities into travel plans can help maintain interest while catering to the needs of little ones.
  2. If the work schedule seems challenging post-baby, consider discussing flexible hours options with the employer. Consider discussing the possibility of adjusting your start time, either earlier or later than usual, to better suit both you and your partner's needs. Remember, open communication always helps.

Maintaining Work-Life Balance During Parenthood

  • Prioritizing tasks effectively aids in setting boundaries between work time and family time.Note: Prioritize based on importance rather than urgency whenever possible - long-term goals require attention too.

The Importance Of Active Engagement In Retirement

Retirement is often viewed as a time of relaxation and leisure. Though retirement may be seen as a period of rest, keeping an active mind during this stage can have substantial advantages for overall wellness.

In essence, staying mentally engaged post-retirement goes beyond passing the time - it's a key aspect of living a healthy and fulfilling life after work.

Staying Mentally Engaged Post Retirement

Mental stimulation plays an important role in delaying cognitive decline among older adults, according to research studies. But that's not all.

  1. An intellectually engaging lifestyle contributes positively towards emotional health by providing retirees with purpose and fulfillment.
  2. Pursuing hobbies or interests you didn't have enough time for while working full-time keeps your brain actively challenged.
  3. Lifelong learning provides mental stimulation at one's own pace from home.

Besides these activities, many seniors find joy in mentoring younger generations using their years of experience - which promotes intergenerational bonding while keeping them cognitively occupied.

All things considered, retirement doesn't necessarily mean slowing down but rather shifting gears into activities that provide intellectual challenge and personal satisfaction. Greg believes: "The key lies not in retiring FROM something but TO something." So let us retire TO engaging activities that keep our minds sharp.

Influences And Learnings From Family Members

Our family is often our first classroom, shaping us in ways we may not even realize. For Carson, the lessons he learned from his loved ones have had a profound impact on both his personal and professional life.

Lessons learned from family shaping personal growth

The faith-based teachings passed down through generations were more than just words; they became an ethical compass guiding all aspects of Carson's life. This moral framework has been instrumental in navigating complex interpersonal relationships within the world of finance.

  1. Treating everyone with kindness irrespective of their status or position fosters mutual respect - essential for any successful relationship, whether it be business or personal.
  2. Acknowledging when you're wrong and expressing gratitude regularly promotes open communication channels between colleagues and clients alike.

Helping Others Understand Finance And Investment

The realm of finance and investment, particularly in self-directed IRAs and real estate investing, can often seem like a labyrinth for the uninitiated. Yet Greg has dedicated his career to helping others navigate this maze with confidence.

Fear is a natural response when faced with the unknown or complex - such as financial matters. The key lies in not allowing these fears to prevent you from exploring potentially lucrative opportunities that could lead to achieving your financial goals.

To dispel these anxieties, education plays an essential role. Gaining knowledge about various investment options can aid in allowing individuals to create decisions based on their level of risk acceptance and long-term objectives. This understanding empowers them to take control of their finances rather than feeling overwhelmed by complexity.

Apart from sharing valuable insights through his personal website and his team's work at Horizon Trust, Greg also encourages people to ask questions whenever they feel uncertain regarding any aspect of their money management - no question is too trivial.

An effective way that Greg helps people conquer apprehensions associated with investing involves encouraging them to step out of comfort zones gradually. Starting off with small-scale investments first before venturing into larger ones enables beginners to gain practical experience while minimizing potential losses due to inherent risks involved within any type of investment ventures. As one's confidence grows over time, so does the ability to handle more sophisticated forms of asset allocation, including but not limited to self-directed Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) which offer significant tax advantages compared to traditional retirement savings plans.

Importance Of Regular Family Time

In a world that often seems too fast-paced, finding the time to come together as a family can be difficult. But it's these moments of connection and shared experiences that truly enrich our lives.

Let's delve into how we can make quality family time a regular part of our routine.

Encouraging regular family dinners

Dinner times are more than just meals; they're opportunities for families to bond. Research shows children who regularly dine with their families exhibit improved academic performance and lower-risk behaviors. It isn't about gourmet cooking or lavish spreads - it's about creating space for meaningful conversations.

The dinner table becomes a platform where everyone shares their day, and discusses challenges faced or triumphs celebrated - even complex topics such as finance and investment strategies become approachable in this setting.

Making mealtime interactions habitual is key here: consistency breeds familiarity, which eventually leads to open communication amongst all members.

Making service projects part of your routine

Beyond sharing meals together, another way to foster unity within the household is through acts of service. Participating in community activities not only benefits those you help but also instills values like empathy and gratitude among participants. This kind of act has been shown to boost self-esteem while reducing stress levels significantly too.

Families engaging younger generations early on helps them understand societal roles better, appreciate what they have at hand, and develop compassion towards others leading to positive character development overall. So next weekend, when planning your schedule consider adding some form of communal activity into the mix - because nothing bonds people closer than working together toward a common goal.

Building generational wealth is a journey, not a sprint. It starts with setting the right foundation at an early age.

Maintaining a resilient attitude and striving to reach objectives is key for achieving success.

Dream big and aim high. The sky's the limit regarding your future aspirations in business and real estate investment.

Balancing lifestyle changes, like parenthood, while maintaining financial growth can be challenging yet rewarding.

Mental engagement post-retirement is crucial for overall well-being and prosperity. Don't let retirement slow you down!

Your family plays a significant role in shaping who you are professionally and personally. Embrace their teachings!

Fear of investing? Overcome that by learning more about finance and stepping out of your comfort zone.

Spend quality time with family because those precious moments count towards building solid relationships, which indirectly contribute to generational wealth.

If this seems overwhelming or if you're ready to take control of your finances now rather than later...Greg Herlean has got just what you need! His personal website provides valuable insights into

FAQs in Relation to Generational Wealth

What is the truth about generational wealth?

Generational wealth refers to assets passed down from one generation to another. It's a powerful tool for financial stability and can significantly impact a family's economic future.

How impactful is generational wealth?

The impact of generational wealth is profound. It provides financial security, creates opportunities for education and entrepreneurship, and helps families weather economic downturns.

What are examples of generational wealth?

Homes, stocks, businesses, or land ownership are common forms of generational wealth. These assets increase in value over time, providing long-term financial benefits.

Which generation owns the most wealth?

Baby Boomers currently hold the majority of household net worth in America, according to Federal Reserve data.


How to Pay No Taxes on Rental Income

Owning rental property can be a lucrative investment, but maximizing your profits by minimizing taxes on rental income is essential. 

In this guide, we will explore various strategies to help you legally reduce or eliminate taxes on your rental income. From utilizing a 1031 exchange to protecting gains in a self-directed IRA, we'll cover everything you need to know to optimize your tax benefits.

Using a 1031 Exchange for Real Estate Deals

A 1031 exchange is a powerful tax-deferral strategy that allows you to defer capital gains taxes on the sale of investment property by reinvesting the proceeds into another like-kind property. 

Under US tax code, you will avoid all taxes on proceeds from the sale of an investment property if invested into a property of like kind or equal value within 180 days from the close of the previous property. 

By utilizing a 1031 exchange, you can postpone taxes and reinvest your gains into more valuable properties, compounding your gains over time. This strategy is especially beneficial for real estate investors looking to expand their portfolios while minimizing tax liability.

However, one key obstacle of 1031 exchanges is that you will have to pay taxes eventually. For this reason, there is only one true way to avoid capital gains taxes entirely on the sale of a property, and that’s by using a special retirement account. 

Protecting Gains in a Self-Directed IRA

Another method to minimize taxes on rental income is by investing in real estate within a self-directed Individual Retirement Account (SDIRA). 

Self-directed IRAs offer the tax benefits of a Roth or Traditional IRA, with the flexibility of being able to invest in assets typically limited by retirement accounts. Examples include rental property investment, wholesaling, private lending, investing in private equity, and more. 

Self-directed IRAs offer several benefits for real estate investors, including:

  • Tax-deferred or tax-free growth of investment
  • Diversification of your portfolio
  • Control over investments

The big positive is tax savings. By using a self-directed IRA to invest in real estate with a Roth structure, you will never pay a cent in taxes ever again on your investments. 

SDIRAs do come with more stringent rules, but this is a powerful bonus that no other financial vehicle can match. 

Avoiding taxes allows you to compound long-term gains for retirement. Plus, you can withdraw contributions from an IRA tax-free and just play around with the earnings. 

How to Set Up a Self-Directed IRA

One unique qualification of setting up a self-directed IRA is finding a custodian. Unlike traditional depositories, custodians guide you on prohibited transactions to avoid penalties and properly manage your IRA. To set up an SDIRA with your custodian, follow the steps below. 

  1. Step 1: Contact a trusted self-directed IRA custodian. Look for a custodian that offers affordable fees and has good reviews with other customers. 
  2. Step 2: Open An Account And Fund It: You'll need cash deposits or rollovers/transfers from existing retirement accounts.
  3. Step 3: Select Investments: Your choice should align with IRS-approved assets, including real estate properties.
  4. Step 4: Direct the Investment: Instruct your custodian where to direct funds.

Remember, always consult financial advisors before making any decisions regarding complex investment strategies like using self-directed IRAs.

Using Depreciation to Deduct Taxes

Depreciation is another valuable tax deduction tool for rental property owners. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) allows you to deduct a portion of the property's value each year as a depreciation expense. 

This deduction can offset your rental income, significantly reducing your tax liability. However, it's essential to understand the IRS rules and guidelines regarding depreciation, as they may vary depending on the property type and your specific circumstances.

"Every Landlord's Tax Deduction Guide" by Stephen Fishman is an essential resource for landlords looking to maximize their rental property deductions through depreciation. The book includes info on filling out Schedule E of your tax returns. 

Schedule E Treatment Explained

  • Mortgage interest, insurance costs, and repairs are all expenses that you incur when managing rental properties.
  • Include them on Schedule E during tax return filing season to lower your net ordinary income.

Borrowing Against Equity

One lesser-known strategy to reduce taxes on rental income is by borrowing against the equity in your rental property. 

By taking out a loan or line of credit using your property as collateral, you can access funds without incurring immediate tax liabilities. This method allows you to leverage your property's equity while keeping your taxable rental income to a minimum.

Using Mortgage Interest to Lower Taxes

Deducting mortgage interest is a common tax-saving technique for rental property owners. The interest paid on your rental property's mortgage is generally tax-deductible, reducing your overall taxable rental income. 

By maximizing your mortgage interest deductions, you can effectively lower your tax liability and increase your rental income's after-tax profitability.

Deferring Sales

If you are considering selling a rental property, it may be worth it to explore strategies for deferring the capital gains tax. One such strategy is installment sales, where you receive the sale proceeds in installments over a period of time, spreading the tax burden over multiple years. 

Additionally, you may consider a tax-deferred exchange, similar to a 1031 exchange, which allows you to defer taxes by reinvesting the proceeds into another property.

Becoming a Real Estate Agent

Becoming a licensed real estate agent can offer several tax benefits for rental property owners. As a real estate agent, you can deduct a range of business-related expenses, such as marketing costs, office expenses, and professional fees. 

Furthermore, being a real estate agent may provide opportunities to earn commissions on property transactions, adding another income stream to offset your rental income. While many may shy away from this approach, getting licensed to be an agent in your state is very affordable and typically requires the completion of a course and test to pass. 

Hiring a CPA

Navigating the complex tax landscape of rental property ownership can be challenging. Therefore, hiring a certified public accountant (CPA) with expertise in real estate taxation can provide invaluable guidance and ensure you maximize your tax savings. 

A knowledgeable CPA can help you identify all eligible deductions, structure your investments for optimal tax benefits, and ensure compliance with the ever-changing tax laws.

Minimizing taxes on rental income is a vital aspect of maximizing your real estate investment returns. By utilizing strategies such as a 1031 exchange, protecting gains in a self-directed IRA, leveraging depreciation deductions, borrowing against equity, utilizing mortgage interest deductions, deferring sales, becoming a real estate agent, and seeking professional tax advice, you can significantly reduce your tax liability and enhance your rental income's profitability. 

Remember, it's crucial to consult with qualified professionals and stay updated on tax regulations to ensure compliance and make informed decisions.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Can I eliminate taxes on rental income entirely? 

While it may be challenging to eliminate taxes entirely, employing tax-saving strategies can significantly reduce your tax liability on rental income. Truly, the only way to stop paying taxes on rental property gains is to finance your investment using a self-directed IRA. 

Do I need to hire a CPA to manage my rental property taxes? 

While it's not mandatory, hiring a CPA with real estate expertise can provide valuable insights and help optimize your tax savings.

Can I deduct property management fees as expenses? 

Yes, property management fees are generally deductible as business expenses for rental property owners.

What are the advantages of a self-directed IRA for real estate investments? 

A self-directed IRA allows you to invest in real estate and enjoy tax-deferred or tax-free growth within the account, providing long-term financial benefits.

Are there specific rules for claiming depreciation on rental property? 

Yes, the IRS has specific rules and guidelines for claiming depreciation deductions on rental properties. Understanding and complying with these rules is crucial to maximizing your tax benefits.

How do I pay no taxes on rental income in the US?

You can minimize or eliminate taxes on rental income by utilizing strategies such as 1031 exchanges, investing through a self-directed IRA, claiming depreciation and other deductions, borrowing against equity, deferring sales, and becoming a real estate agent.

How can I reduce my taxable income on a rental property?

To reduce your taxable income from a rental property, you can claim eligible expenses like mortgage interest and repairs. Additionally, you may depreciate the cost of the property over time or use methods like 1031 exchange to defer capital gains tax.

How does the IRS know if I have rental income?

The IRS is aware of your rental income when it's reported on Schedule E of your federal tax return. In addition to this mandatory reporting requirement for landlords, tenants may also report rent payments which could alert the IRS.

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When you leave a job, your 401(k) account will still belong to you

Here's How to Maximize Your 401(k) When You Leave a Job

Most employees are content to leave their retirement plans alone when they feel comfortable at a job.

However, when you eventually leave your job, you’ll be confronted with the right decision of what to do with your 401(k). Without matching contributions, is it smarter to cash out your earnings or roll it over to an individual retirement account? What if you are offered a new employer's plan?

The earlier you start planning for this transition, the more you can maximize your retirement savings and secure your financial future.

What Happens to Your 401(k) When You Leave a Job?

When you leave a job, your 401(k) account will still belong to you, but you will miss out on matching contributions from your employer. Generally, there are several options available to maximize your 401(k) savings, including:

  • Rolling over to an individual retirement account (IRA).
  • Entering a new employer plan.
  • Leaving funds in the current plan and contributing to them.

Deciding which distribution option to choose depends on several factors, such as your employer's vesting schedule, tax implications (e.g., withdrawing funds before retirement age), and long-term retirement goals.

My preferred distribution option is to roll it over to an IRA, especially if you won’t enjoy matching contributions from your new employer, and here is why.

The Benefits of Rolling Over to an IRA

There are numerous benefits to rolling over your old 401(k) to an IRA:

  • Broader Range of Investment Options. By rolling over your 401(k) to an IRA, you will gain access to a wider pool of investments compared to the limited selection offered by your employer. For example, self-directed IRAs allow you to invest in stocks, bonds, and even lesser-known options like precious metals or real estate investment trusts (REITs). The growth potential of these investments is far superior to the stock market your 401(k) limits you to.
  • Competitive Expense Ratios. Employer-sponsored 401(k) plans often charge administrative and investment fees ranging from 0.50% to 2% on all assets managed without employer subsidies for these fees. In contrast, IRAs provide lower-cost investment options with expense ratios typically ranging from 0.12% to 0.75% (excluding self-directed IRAs, which may have higher custodial and transaction fees).
  • Improved Tax Liability. You can effectively reduce your tax liability by converting a pre-tax 401(k) to an IRA. Future qualified withdrawals from a Roth IRA can be tax-free, which is particularly beneficial if you anticipate earning more income shortly before retirement. You will have the option to choose a traditional Roth-structured SDIRA, depending on your investment objectives.

401(k) vs. IRA: Pros and Cons

Two of the most popular investment choices for retirees are 401(k)s and IRAs. Both hold unique benefits that you can leverage, depending on your financial circumstances. Let's explore the pros and cons of each:



  • Employer Matching Contributions. Many employers offer matching contributions (e.g., 3%), allowing you to boost compound interest even further.
  • Higher Contribution Limits. Up to $22,500 annually (as of 2023) if you are under 50 years old. If you are 50 or older, your contribution limit increases to $30,000.
  • Borrowing Against Your Account Balance. Borrowing against your account balance in case of emergencies is possible. However, we do not recommend it.


  • Limited control over investment choices
  • Early withdrawal penalties (before the age of 59½) of 10% of the amount withdrawn, which is added to your taxable income for greater tax liability



  • Greater Control. IRAs allow for greater control over your investments and the selection of providers, such as banks and brokerage firms, enabling you to align your investment choices with your risk tolerance and financial goals.
  • Tax-Deductible Contributions. Contributions made to traditional IRAs can be tax-deductible in the year they are made. This can reduce your overall taxable income, providing potential tax advantages. However, it's important to note that Roth IRAs use after-tax contributions, which can lead to tax-free qualified withdrawals upon retirement.
  • Alternative Investments: Self-directed IRAs allow you to invest in non-traditional assets, such as gold, Bitcoin, rental properties, promissory notes, private equity, and more.


  • No Employer Contributions. Unlike 401(k) plans, IRAs do not offer employer contributions. Individuals are solely responsible for funding their accounts, limiting the potential for additional retirement savings through employer matching.
  • Lower Contribution Limits Than 401(k)s. IRAs have lower contribution limits compared to 401(k)s. As of 2023, the maximum annual contribution to an IRA is $6,500, with an additional catch-up contribution limit of $1,000 for individuals aged 50 or over. In contrast, 401(k) plans allow for higher annual contributions, with a maximum of $22,500 (as of 2023), including catch-up contributions.


IRAs offer greater tax benefits and flexibility if you choose a self-directed account. Rollovers are also easy and won’t cost you much.

However, 401(k)s offer higher contribution limits and matching contributions. If you don’t have access to matching contributions or plan to invest more than $6,500 annually, an IRA is the preferred choice. Besides, you can always build more money by putting your IRA to work rather than taking from your discretionary income.

Maximizing Investment Options with a Self-Directed IRA

One powerful tool for retirement planning I mentioned is the Self-Directed Individual Retirement Account (SDIRA), which offers several advantages over IRAs, including access to a wider range of investments beyond traditional stocks and bonds.

What Is a Self-Directed IRA?

SDIRAs provide access to a wider range of investments beyond traditional stocks and bonds. This allows individuals to explore alternative assets such as real estate, private equity, precious metals, and more, enabling greater diversification and potentially higher returns.

What Are the Benefits of a Self-Directed IRA?

One benefit of an SDIRA is greater control and flexibility over your investment choices. Unlike traditional IRAs that rely on a limited number of options, SDIRAs allow you to tap into alternative investment opportunities like mortgage notes, commodities, natural resources, real estate, and cryptocurrency. This enables you to create a more balanced, customized investment portfolio that aligns with your financial goals.

Another benefit of self-directed IRAs is the potential for tax advantages. Contributions to SDIRAs can help reduce your taxable income, while Roth SDIRAs offer the advantage of tax-free qualified withdrawals upon retirement. It is highly recommended to consult a professional tax advisor to understand all tax implications and make fully informed decisions.

Lastly, self-directed IRAs often come with lower fees. You can expect not to pay any custodial transaction or account valuation fees, which can easily accumulate to thousands of dollars over ten or twenty years. This can lead to significant savings and allow your investments to grow more efficiently.

How to Open an SDIRA

Opening an SDIRA is easy and straightforward. Here are five steps to open an SDIRA:

Scout Custodians.

Select a custodian that specializes in SDIRAs. Custodians are required to manage an SDIRA account. Pay close attention to custodial fees, third-party reviews, and their expertise in managing portfolios aligned with your investment goals.

Set Up An Account.

Once you've identified a custodian, gather all necessary supporting documentation, open an account, and pay any required fees. The required documentation may vary among custodians but generally includes government-issued photo IDs and proof of employment.

Fund Your SDIRA.

The next step is to fund your SDIRA. This can be done by transferring cash or moving funds from an existing 401(k) or traditional IRA through a rollover. You can set up automatic withdrawals to transfer funds to your newly established account regularly, such as bi-weekly or monthly.

Choose Your Investment Strategy.

With SDIRAs, you have unlimited potential with your investment strategy. You can select from diverse options, including stocks, bonds, real estate, precious metals, and more. If you have any questions about your investment strategy, it's advisable to consult a financial advisor for guidance.

Active SDIRA Management.

Once you've funded your SDIRA and selected your investments, monitoring their performance is important. Regularly check on the performance of your assets at your preferred interval, maintain communication with your custodian to ensure compliance with IRS regulations, and complete all necessary paperwork for tax purposes.

Opening and maintaining an SDIRA is relatively straightforward. However, adhering to all applicable tax laws and continuously monitoring your portfolio is essential. Implementing an effective asset allocation strategy that aligns with your investment goals will help you maximize the potential of your SDIRA.

Tips to Leverage Funds in an SDIRA

Whether you're considering investing in real estate, startups, or using your life insurance policy to fund investment opportunities within your SDIRA, there are so many creative ways to earn money in your retirement account using an SDIRA.

Invest in Rental Properties.

Investing in rental properties like condos and single-family homes allows you to generate passive cash flow, which is an excellent complement to your retirement income. Similar to stocks and bonds earning compound interest, your rental properties have the opportunity to appreciate, further expediting growth.

Syndicate a Real Estate Flip.

One of our favorite short-term profit opportunities, flipping real estate allows you to achieve high returns from property renovations and resale. Real estate syndication allows you to borrow other people’s money and earn a fee for executing a deal that can help build your SDIRA. SDIRA funds are a great source of wealth to syndicate a deal with, which you might not normally have access to. I’ve personally managed over $1.4 billion in real estate transactions. However, it wasn’t until I started using self-directed retirement accounts that I was able to help my clients and myself take home from each transaction by avoiding taxes.

Invest in Startups.

Investing in startups gives you exposure to emerging technologies. Everyone wishes they could have invested in Facebook but probably wouldn’t have the money anyways. Use your retirement accounts to secure your financial future with this high-risk, high-reward type of investment.

Use Life Insurance to Get Funds for Investments.

If you have a life insurance policy with a cash value component, it is possible to execute a strategy called premium financing, which allows you to access the cash value and death benefit. This can be used to invest in SDIRA assets. For premium finance, please consult your life insurance company to learn about eligibility criteria and financial requirements. Premium financing does come with higher fees, but you’ll never have to borrow through a bank again.

Why You Shouldn't Cash Out a 401(k)

Although it may be tempting to withdraw 401(k) funds for emergency expenses or larger purchases, there are several reasons why you should not cash out a 401(k).

Firstly, if you withdraw funds from your 401(k) before retirement, it will be subject to penalties and treated as ordinary income, potentially pushing you into a higher tax bracket. Secondly, early withdrawal penalties will deduct 10% of the amount withdrawn, further diminishing your returns. Additionally, it's important not to overlook the lost opportunity for compounding interest. Even small contributions to your retirement account can build up significantly through the power of compounding over time.

Of course, if you cash out your 401(k), you could miss out on the opportunity to double or triple your money using an SDIRA account.

Remember, your retirement plan should be viewed as a long-term investment vehicle. Early cashouts will only diminish your returns.


What happens to a 401(k) when you quit?

When you leave a job, you have several options with your 401(k) plan. You can leave it in your previous employer's plan, roll it over to a new employer's plan, roll it over to an IRA, or cash it out entirely. However, we do not recommend the last option as it will subject your distribution to additional taxes and penalties if you're under 59½ years of age.

How long can you keep a 401(k) after leaving a job?

After leaving a job, you can keep money in your old 401(k) indefinitely. However, you should expect your employer and brokerage to provide options to roll over funds or cash out the balance, especially if your account balance is below a certain amount. Be sure to familiarize yourself with your employer's rules regarding company departures.

Can an employer take back their 401(k) match?

Once a 401(k) contribution is made, employers cannot take back the contribution. However, they can implement a vesting schedule that matches contributions after a certain period (e.g., three years). They can also amend 401(k) terms to cut or eliminate future matching contributions, but contributions already made to your account would not be affected.

Can I cash out my 401(k) from a previous employer?

Yes, it is possible to cash out your 401(k) from a previous employer. Just be aware of the tax consequences, early withdrawal penalties, and the potential loss of investment growth by cashing out early.