Self-Directed IRA & 401K Basics

IRS Form 5500-EZ — One Participant Plans

For those of you with self-directed 401(k) plans, the IRS Form 5500-EZ may or may not apply to you.  Whether or not you have to file the 5500-EZ for your Solo-K plan is based on whether the value of the plan’s assets exceed $250,000.    It is important to note that while many people believe the 5500-EZ is only for…read more →

Employees and Solo(K) Plans — Like Water and Oil

Yes, employees and Solo(K) plans don’t mix.  As much as it is preaching to the choir, one can never talk about this topic enough. Okay, you are self-employed and you have had success with your business.  You believe you have the need to add an employee to assist you with the business, and you give no thought to how this…read more →

2016 IRS Tax Deductions for the Self-Employed

We can always spend a lot of time talking about self-directed 401(k) plans.  It doesn’t matter if  we define it as a one-participant 401(k) plan, a Uni-K, an Individual 401(k), Solo-K, self-directed 401(k), self-administered 401(k)….or any other moniker.  All are acceptable to describe a 401(k) plan for the self-employed individual with no employees. But since many of us are self-employed,…read more →

Beneficiary Mistakes — Self-Directed 401(k) or IRA (Part 2)

In the previous post, we introduced three potential beneficiary designation mistakes.  In this post, we will point out a few more. Don’t Name Your Kid! This is not meant as harsh as it sounds.  As with other considerations, this relates to the issue of age.  There are WAAAAY too many people who identify their minor children as either a primary…read more →

Roth Solo 401(k)

So-called Roth Solo 401(k) plans are becoming more popular.  The reason I say “so-called” is that it really a marketing term that seems to suggest that it is a “different” or “special” type of 401(k) plan.  The promoters often suggest that they “have” this new plan.  Is the plan “different”….well, yes.  “Special”…definitely.  But, it is “different” and “special” because of what they allow you to do, not…read more →

Self-Employed? SEP vs. Solo 401(k) (Part 4)

In today’s post, we are going to try to save you some money…..yay!!  Here are two additional reasons why a qualifying candidate should seriously consider the Solo 401(k) over the SEP-IRA….and, it may just save you some money as well. No IRA Custodian Fees Yes, a great benefit of the Solo 401(k) is that is not required to be held through a…read more →

Self-Employed? SEP vs. Solo 401(k) (Part 3)

In this post, we are going to expand on a couple more advantages of the Solo 401(k) over the SEP-IRA.  However, while we are not spending significant time on these two benefits, don’t be fooled into thinking they are not important.  Depending on your interest in how you make your contributions and your investment strategies, these two benefits are important for you understand….read more →

Self-Employed? SEP vs. Solo 401(k) (Part 2)

Solo 401(k) Participant Loans There are many financial planners who look at 401(k) participant loans with disdain.  They may advise that a participant never take a loan from their 401(k) plan.  In fact, many participants themselves may not want to take out participant loans. But, there is no doubt that the ability to access participant loans from a 401(k) plan…read more →

401(k) Rollovers — This Isn’t Rocket Science!

IRS rollover rules can be complicated and confusing.  Confusing especially when you do not do them all of the time.  But, it is a little bit more disappointing when a very large self-directed IRA custodian hangs someone out for 2 months when they can’t figure out what to do.  What even makes this more laughable is that the large self-directed…read more →

Checkbook Control of Your 401(k) — A Different Option?

As you know, wherever you house your 401(k), you most likely are wanting checkbook control of the plan’s funds as Trustee of the plan.  You already have that, but is there a different approach that may be more attractive to you?   Maybe having a separate “checkbook” for each participant account (e.g., Roth, Pre-Tax Elective Deferral Accounts)?  Is there a reason why…read more →