First of all, What is a 401(k) I will try and give you a shortened version. A 401(k) is an employer sponsored retirement plan run under section 401(k) of the Internal Revenue Code. A 401(k) lets an employee save for retirement, and at the same time defers taxes on his savings and the earnings associated with them, until he retires. One thing worth mentioning is the capability to have a self directed 401(k). Though this sounds quite like a self directed IRA it is not. There is still limits to what you can invest in with a 401(k). Some companies put limits on what portions you can put into the self directed part of the plan.
For instance the company might allow a quarter of the account to go into the self directed part of the plan, and the remainder has to go into the standard 401(k). This cuts down on your control of your own money, and makes things more complex than they need to be. As well all 401(k) plans are tied to your employers corporation, the corporation may make changes unfavorable to the 401(k) holders, they, the corporation may change plans etc.
I will tell you a little story about a lady who was about forty, and her money was in a 401(k). She asked her employer about investing 401(k) money in real estate, but her boss told her she could only invest 25% of her savings in a self directed 401(k). She never bothered after that, as her employer had her money invested mainly in the companies stock. Well one year, her 401(k) lost 10% and that was that, she spat the dummy. She rolled over her 401(k) into a self directed IRA, and started investing in real estate, she hasn’t looked back. She told me, she wished she had changed over a lot sooner.
If you are thinking of investing 401(k) money in real estate, rolling your 401(k) over to a self directed IRA is preferable, because then you can choose who is to be the custodian of your account. You can invest your money in real estate. or whatever else you desire, as long as you follow the IRA rules, you can invest in almost anything you like. You can buy houses, apartments, you can lease equipment out, you can invest in Tax liens from the county, you can invest in so much more with a self directed IRA. Self directed IRAs are better as they allow you to retain full control of the money in your account.
A mistake commonly made by first time real estate investors, is buying property in the wrong location. Given the huge amount of property on the market, it is not hard to understand why some people end up buying in the wrong location. A first time investor can hardly be expected to know where all the choice locations are. Another mistake first time investors are likely to make, is simply paying too much for a property. Inexperience and a volatile market place have oft made many a strong man cry.
If this sounds too complicated or just too much trouble there is a simpler more TURNKEY approach to investing in real estate or rolling a 401(k) over, go to the url at the bottom of this article and thenceforth to my website, there you will find more information.