Solid Investment and Retirement. Strategies for The Real Estate. Professional

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1 Solid Investment and Retirement Strategies for The Real Estate Professional Chris Bird Seminars, Inc East Oaks Road N. Urbana, IL

2 Tax Acts of Tax Rate Reductions Top Bracket 38.6% 35% Fifth Bracket 35% 33% Fourth Bracket 30% 28% Third Bracket 27% 25% Sec. Bracket 15% 15% Initial Bracket 10% 10% Capital Gain and Dividend Rate Reductions-An Investor s Dream Capital Gains Rate Capital Gains Rate for L/I Dividends Tax Rate Dividend Tax Rate for L/I 20% 15% 10% 5% thru 2007, 0% in As high as 38.6% As high as 38.6% 15% 5% thru 2007, 0% in

3 Why Do Most People End Up In A Hut? Three Top Reasons People are on the Wrong Road? 1. They are too busy 2. They feel intimidated 3. They are confused about their options It s so easy to become wealthy! $3,000 a year saved at 8% a year for 30 years will be worth $339,850 $5,000 a year saved at 8% a year for 30 years will be worth $566,416 $10,000 a year saved at 8% a year for 30 years will be worth $1,132,832 $25,000 a year saved at 8% a year for 30 years will be worth $2,832,080 3

4 Put more of your hard earned money away for later INCREASE IN RETIREMENT PLAN CONTRIBUTION LIMITS The limits on contributions to retirement plans are increased as shown on the following table. Year IRAs SIMPLE 401(k) Defined contribution plan Stock bonus and profit sharing & SEP 2004 $3,000 $9,000 $13,000 $41,000 20/25% 2005 $14,000 $42,000 $4,000 $10,000 20/25% 2006 $15,000 $44,000 Additional catch-up contributions. The Act allows individuals who have attained age 50 to make additional catch-up contributions to retirement plans as follows. CATCH-UP CONTRIBUTION LIMITS: Year IRA SIMPLE 401(k); 403(b); $500 $1,500 $3, $500 $2,000 $4, and after $1,000 $2,500 $5,000 SEP IRA A Simplified Employee Pension, or SEP, is a form of IRA for self-employed persons and their qualified employees. Contributions are made entirely by the employer in a basic SEP. One of the most attractive features of a SEP is the ability to start one retroactively for the past year. SEP s can be adopted by any form of business, and no forms 5500 are required each year. Accountants love SEP s for their flexibility and simplicity and, with the additional levels of contributions starting in 2002, SEP s are now on the same playing field as the old KEOGH plan, which was much more complex, but offered the higher contribution limits previously unavailable to SEP s. 4

5 SIMPLE PLANS In 1996, much legislation was passed with social objectives underlying the provisions. To reverse an unsettling pattern of decreased savings, the new SIMPLE was introduced. Unlike SEP s and KEOGH s, the SIMPLE may be taken dollar for dollar up to the maximum earnings or wages of $10,000 in 2006 ($12,500 for those 50 or older). Above these amounts, 3% of the excess may be salary or wage contributions, up to a maximum of $16,000. In effect, this allows substantial retirement contributions for those with lower salaries or business profits. The comparison chart on the previous page illustrates this last point. Probably the most attractive feature of a SIMPLE plan is the substantially lower employer contributions for the employees when compared to the SEP or the KEOGH. In other words, lower cost for the employer who has several full time employees. MONEY PURCHASE/PROFIT SHARING These two types of plans are the more sophisticated of retirement plans, and will most likely require the services of a retirement specialist to assist in setting up as well as administering. However, many stock brokerage, insurance, financial planning, banking, and mutual fund companies have pre-approved prototype plans which can be used to simplify the process. Annual filing of a form 5500 is required. One of the most unique features of these types of plans is the LOAN feature that is now allowed for the first time starting in This loan feature is not allowable for any retirement plan that is an IRA, meaning that you cannot borrow from a SEP IRA, SIMPLE IRA, or regular IRA. However, you can now borrow from a retirement plan that is not an IRA. I personally believe that many self employed individuals do not contribute to retirement plans because of the implied inaccessibility to the funds if needed. Money Purchase/Profit Sharing Plans are generally used by self-employed persons who are established in their business, making consistent income, and who are disciplined to contribute each year. EZ-K The new kid on the block, and a retirement plan that is getting a lot of attention for businesses with NO EMPLOYEES other than the owner themselves and family members 5

6 The 401(k) series A good way to increase retirement plan contributions on lower levels of profit. Must be started by end of first year, you can t wait until the following year to set up like a SEP IRA Only problem is that if a self employed person is not maximizing contributions to their current retirement plan, they won t do it to the 401(k) either The 401(k) series Solo (k) or Safe Harbor 401(k) Profit $50,000 $80,000 $200,000 Cont: $15,000 $15,000 $15, % 12,500 20,000 28,000* =401(k) $27,500 $35,000 $43,000 Vs SEP $12,500 $20,000 $43,000 The ROTH 401(k) Do not forget this one. Brand new for 2006 IRS Regulations just came out on this Taxpayers will be able to put in elective deferrals up to $15,000, plus catchup provisions, into an after-tax ROTH 401(k) 6

7 DEFINED BENEFIT This is the big daddy of retirement plans, and is a plan which most self-employed individuals will not participate in. Why? Because these plans are very complex, definitely require the assistance of a retirement plan specialist to set up, AND, require the services annually of an actuary (average cost $1,000 per year) to compute the current years contribution. A defined benefit plan determines the annual contribution (and tax deduction) by a formula based on a lump sum in the plan at retirement that will be able to pay the retiree a defined benefit each year. 529 COLLEGE SAVINGS PLANS What is a 529 Plan? It is an education savings plan operated by a state or educational institution designed to help families set aside funds for college costs 529 Plans are usually categorized as either prepaid or savings, or some element of both Every state now has at least one 529 plan available 7

8 What is so great about 529 Plans? 1. Unsurpassed income tax breaks 2. You (the donor) stay in control of the account 3. Hands off easy way to save for college 4. Everyone is eligible to take advantage of a 529 Plan 5. Amounts donor can contribute are substantial Tax Deferred/Free Exchanges Section 1031 No gain or loss shall be recognized in the exchange of likekind property, resulting in a deferral of taxes. Select a competent Qualified Intermediary Turn to the experts and engage a QI with a track record and strong financial backing OREXCO-Old Republic Exchange Company Starker Services Inc. IPX (Internet) The basics Many real estate investors are locked into ownership of property with large, unrealized capital gains. If sold, the federal tax liability of 15% / 25% would severely reduce the investor s equity available for reinvestment in other real estate. For many, Internal Revenue Code 1031 and the related IRS regulations are a solution to this dilemma. It permits the investor to 8

9 exchange certain real estate for certain real estate with little or no recognition of gain. The result is all the equity is available as consideration toward the purchase of the replacement property. The underlying philosophy behind the exchange is that income tax should not apply as long as the investment remains intact in the form of real estate. REAL ESTATE EXCHANGING IS A POWERFUL SALES TOOL AND CAN SAVE CLIENTS VALUABLE TAX DOLLARS. KNOWING HOW TO RECOGNIZE AN EXCHANGE SITUATION AND THE BASIC ELEMENTS OF STRUCTURING AN EXCHANGE IS A MUST FOR ALL REAL ESTATE LICENSEES WHO OFFER THEIR PROFESSIONAL SERVICES TO THE PUBLIC Section 1031 provides for non-recognition of gain or loss only if four conditions are met: The property exchanged by you and the property received by you must be property held for productive use in trade or business or for investment. Rental properties and farms are good examples of property held for use in business. Your personal residence and dealer property never qualifies for 1031 treatment. The properties exchanged must be of like-kind. 9

10 For purposes of 1031, all real estate is of like-kind. Like-kind refers to the nature or the character of the property not to its grade or quality. Improved property and city property for country property are considered of like-kind. Property located outside the United States (the fifty states) is not treated as property of like-kind if exchanged for U.S. real estate. Section 1031 requires an actual exchange of the properties. You will not get 1031 treatment merely if you intend to exchange you must actually exchange your property. An exchange is a reciprocal transfer of property. It is not a transfer of property for a money consideration only. A sale of your property and a purchase of the property you are acquiring do not qualify for 1031 treatment. The exchange must meet two time restriction requirements. First, the property you are to receive must be identified no later than 45 days after the date you transfer the property that you are giving up. Second, the property you are receiving must be transferred to you before the earlier of: 180 days after the date of transfer of the property you are giving up, or The due date of your tax return for the tax year of the exchange. 10

11 THE REAL ESTATE IRA A. Introduction This opportunity is legal although few professionals really understand the details. This opportunity is very complex, although after you have done it once, the process does not seem that difficult. This opportunity is like a ladder, at the first rung, everyone can quickly grasp the details, but as you climb the ladder, the higher rungs become much more difficult to both understand and to implement. I have used the phrase, Many are called but few are chosen to emphasize that while many, many, many real estate agents get very excited about the possibilities of this investment, if 10% of them actually follow up and make the investment I would be surprised. B. A letter from a friend and client I received the following letter from a friend and client several summers ago. I keep this letter as affirmation that thinking outside the box can pay big dividends. I listened to you in Vail, Colorado over 10 years ago when you first spoke of the Real Estate IRA. Many of Howard s (Brinton) stars did not think you knew what you were talking about, but I followed up with you and you assisted me in purchasing a commercial lot with my IRA for $350,000. As you know, 13 months later, my IRA sold that lot for over $1,200,000. Since then, I have purchased 6 different properties with that money, and the current value of this real estate IRA is approximately $6,500,000. I want to personally thank you for your insight into this innovative investment alternative. C. Terminology Signed xxxxxxx 1. The ability to purchase real estate in a retirement plan includes ALL retirement plans. This means that the following retirement plans can own real estate properties. a. IRA b. ROTH IRA c. SEP (Simplified Employee Pension) 11

12 d. 401(k) e. Profit sharing plan f. Money purchase plan g. Defined benefit plan Custodian or Trustee-A custodian or trustee is required for all individual account arrangements. These two terms are synonymous. A custodian or trustee must be a bank, federally insured credit union, savings and loan institution, or other entity approved by the IRS to act as trustee or custodian. An individual cannot qualify as trustee or custodian. The trustee or custodian is the entity which is responsible for receiving and holding contributions and plan assets; maintaining accurate records of contributions, earnings, distributions, and other relevant records; making distributions to beneficiaries, and providing annual statements to account holders. The most commonly used name for these custodians or trustees is SPECIAL ASSET TRUSTEE, and the 5 better known SAT s are: a. Equity Trust, Elyria, OH b. Entrust, Oakland, CA c. Lincoln Trust, Denver, CO d. Pensco e. Sterling Trust, Waco, TX D. Advantages Among the most obvious advantages of investing retirement plan assets in real estate properties are: 1. Income tax (Federal and State) deferral. Keeping the money that would otherwise be paid in taxes in the investment 2. Investing in what you know as opposed to conventional investment vehicles such as stocks, bonds, and mutual funds that you may not understand as well 12

13 3. Investing in what you can control 4. If a ROTH IRA is used to own the real estate properties, the opportunity for tax-free profits, as opposed to tax deferred profits is available E. Disadvantages Not all is a bed of roses with this investment alternative. The following list provides reasons why you should not consider the Real Estate IRA. 1. The federal income tax rates, both marginal and capital gains rates, have never been lower. So paying your taxes now, (owning the property outside of your retirement plan) may be a wise decision. 2. Any tax write-offs attributable to the rental property owned by the retirement plan are not deductible 3. Some consideration should be given to the timing of the current market, the fact that many investors consider the real estate market in the high point of the bubble that is ready to burst 4. Complexity, complexity, complexity!!!!! 5. Finding professional advisors that know what they are doing 6. Avoid Prohibited Transactions!!!! These are: a. Personally borrowing money from your retirement plan b. Selling property to your retirement plan c. Receiving unreasonable compensation for managing the property d. Using the retirement plan as a security for a loan e. Purchasing property for personal use with your retirement plan funds 13

14 F. The basics 1. Types of property your IRA or qualified plan can own a. Single family and multi-unit homes, apartment buildings, coops, condominiums, commercial property, improved or unimproved land, whether it's leveraged or un-leveraged, may be purchased by your retirement plan b. Vacation property or your ultimate retirement home in anotherstate can be purchased by your retirement plan c. However, you cannot purchase collectibles such as artwork, rugs, antiques, gems, and stamps. An exception to this rule is the investment in one, half, quarter, or one tenth US gold coins, or one ounce silver coins minted by the Treasury Department. 2. Financing the purchase a. You may finance or leverage any property you purchase for your retirement plan i. The property is the collateral for the loan ii. As the property is an asset of the retirement plan, repayment of the underlying debt must come from contributions to or income from the property or other assets in the retirement plan b. Caution!!!!!!! i. As indicated above, the loan on any property within a retirement plan must be non-recourse. That means that the only the property can be the collateral for the loan. ii. The retirement plan can in no way be at risk to repay the loan, nor can the retirement plan owner (you) guarantee the loan 14

15 c. If your retirement plan purchases real estate requiring a loan, another problem is created i. That problem is referred to as UBIT (Unrelated business income tax), which results in the portion of the purchase represented by the non-recourse loan to be a taxable event when the property is sold ii. While the monthly rental income IS NOT subject to UBIT, the amount of the gain on the sale attributable to the debt financed property is taxable if the property is subject to debt at any time during the year of sale G. Real life examples A young Minnesota couple owned a beautiful unimproved lake lot in Northern Minnesota. The wife had just left an employer where she had approximately $60,000 in a 401(k) plan. The lake lot contiguous to theirs became available for sale at a price of $55,000. I assisted them in setting up an IRA account with Mid- Ohio Securities (now Equity Trust), and the 401(k) was rolled into the IRA. The wife then directed her IRA to write an offer to purchase the lake lot, which was accepted by the seller. The IRA owned this lot for three years, after which time the IRA sold the lot for over $95,000. The $40,000 profit was entirely tax deferred. Had this lot been purchased by a ROTH IRA, the $40,000 would have been TAX FREE! Two partners in a commercial real estate firm had the opportunity to buy a small tract of land for $160,000. In order to bring 2 top notch employees into more investment activities, the 4 individuals each had their respective IRA s purchase ¼ interests for $40,000. A partnership or LLC will be used to reflect the ownership in the tract of land, and each partner will be an IRA. The tract of land has the potential of more than doubling in value in the next 3 years. c. A Wyoming individual has approximately $60,000 in a ROTH IRA, a previous rollover from a 401(k). She is seriously considering the purchase of a commercial building for a total cost of $610,000. She has arranged a NON-RECOURSE loan in the amount of $550,000. The real estate agent she is working with will be managing the building for her. She is estimating that the rents that the building will generate will amortize the $550,000 over the 15

16 next 15 years, at which time her ROTH IRA will owe nothing on the property. At the time of the sale, in years, the entire proceeds and gain from the sale of this building will be TAX FREE. An Illinois individual (me), purchases a ½ interest in 3 duplexes for a total cost of $150,000 (my ½). This purchase was made by the Chris Bird Seminars, Inc Profit Sharing Plan. The purchase requires a down payment of $31,500 with the owner carrying back a contract for deed at 8%, 20 year amortization, 2 year balloon. 4 months and 8 days later these duplexes were sold, and the profit was $28,500. In other words, $31,500 invested, and a $28,500 profit on that $31,500, a margin of 81% in a little over 4 months. All tax deferred! 16

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