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What Does IRA Stand for?

Many people ask “what does IRA stand for?”   Today, I’ll spell that out for you as well as talk about the benefits of having an IRA, as well as introduce you to something called the Self Directed IRA.

An IRA simply stands for an Individual Retirement Account and these accounts are held in financial institutions and they are claimed or withdrawal takes place when the investor has retired or come of a certain age. The age is after 60 or 65 and the full amount can be taken out then with the tax payable either then or monthly or yearly while the account still stands. The major advantage of having an IRA is that it is described as basically a large savings account with massive tax breaks. It is the ideal way to save for your retirement. Certain people also have gold or precious metals backed IRAs which basically means that they save gold to retain the value of the money and then withdraw it when the time comes for them to retire. Currency may depreciate but the value of gold remains constant and if anything, actually rises with time. An IRA can also be treated as a container in which you can stockpile your bonds, funds and assets.

what is an IRA?

What Purpose Does an Individual Retirement Account Serve?

IRA’s are not company accounts per se (as the name gives away) they are opened by an individual on their own. The investors can be anyone from business owners to working people. There are quite a few different types of IRAs such as a Roth IRA plan, Simple IRAs, and a Traditional IRA. There are a few prerequisites that need to be taken care of before you can sign up for and create an IRA. There are certain rules of employment and status that you need to fall into and a certain income bracket as well. You also need to settle how much money you will be putting aside every year for the account and how much you can easily afford to pay in tax. There are significant penalties if you end the account holding prematurely and take the money out before you have reached retirement.

IRAs are also called tools of dealing with tax management as most people claim that is their weak point. Since massive tax breaks are obtained in IRA holdings, the overall amount of tax that is applicable is also on the low side which would not be the case with regular investments and accounts. When the IRA is taxed however (depending on the terms you agreed to) it is done so as if it were in the form of income deductible tax.

My Personal IRA Journey

Years ago, when I became self-employed at the age of 23, I decided to start an IRA account under the control of a long time friend who was a financial advisor.  I had already crossed the income threshold to contribute to a Roth IRA, so that was out of the picture at that point in time and I hadn’t yet discovered the backdoor Roth IRA trick that I use now to contribute money to that account.  My friend did a great job managing the account and it’s growth, but he always operated on the principle of “you take risks every day with your business.  My job is to mitigate that risk and therefore, any money you invest with me won’t be put into anything that would risk losing a substantial amount of it.”

While that made a lot of sense to me for many years, there became a point in time where I decided I needed to have some alternative investments in my retirement portfolio.  I had heard of friends and colleagues investing in properties, domain names, and even precious metals like gold and silver.  I wanted in!

After carefully researching this topic, I found out the only way to get into these types of investments were through a self directed IRA.  I talk about that on this page.

With this set-up, you have the ability to invest in all of the aforementioned alternative investments, and much more.

Tim Schmidt

A Florida-based Entrepreneur, Author, and Life Hacker, Tim Schmidt decided to take control of his retirement portfolio several years ago by setting up a self-directed IRA. This website shares his thoughts and opinions on retirement, investing, and managing credit. You can follow his career and travels on his Official Website as well as on his Instagram page.