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Look for Cash Flows

Posted by on 12:57 pm in Self-directed Retirement Accounts | 0 comments

            Currency, transactions, investments, cash flow, trades, deals – these terms are used when talking about our dynamic, vibrant economy in which money is always moving. And where there is movement, there can be opportunity.             Real estate investors and people looking to grow their retirement savings accounts will often say to me, “Jeff, I just don’t know where to find good deals.” My quick answer of “increase your circle of networking opportunities” just doesn’t seem to answer the question, so here’s my suggestion. Look...

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Without a Vision, Dreams Die

Posted by on 2:19 pm in Self-directed Retirement Accounts | 0 comments

            While at lunch with one of my clients (who is one of the best self-directed IRA investors/account holders I know), I listened as he shared his very clear and specific vision of what he wants his retirement to look like. He described the geographic area where he wants to be, the specific type of boat he wants to be sitting on, and how deep he wants the crystal-clear water to be beneath that boat. It’s that type of specific vision which will provide the extra motivation and drive to make his retirement dreams come true.            ...

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Common Retirement Conundrums

Posted by on 5:47 pm in Self-directed Retirement Accounts | 0 comments

           I have a passion regarding self-directed retirement account investing, and the more work I do for clients in that field, the more I run across the same three conundrums vexing many people who want to retire but are afraid they won’t have enough money to do so: I am already too old. I don’t have enough savings. I’m not earning a high enough rate of return. These feelings can quickly lead to frustration, shame and giving up. It doesn’t have to be that way. You can address these conundrums by focusing on the three variables you can...

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A Spoonful of Sugar

Posted by on 4:59 pm in Real Estate Investing | 0 comments

            In the classic movie Mary Poppins, there is a delightful song in which we are told that “a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down.” That can be applied to real life today.             Once I finish writing this article, I have the unpleasant task of advising two clients on two separate matters that a bitter pill must be swallowed. The first one pertains to signing a contract for which my client is now stuck. For the second one, I have to tell a client that his doctor completed a form in such a way as to seriously impair his...

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2017 Tax Tips

Posted by on 2:48 pm in Real Estate Investing | 0 comments

April 17th is rapidly approaching, the day by which people are told they must have filed their individual tax returns with the Internal Revenue Service. I suggest, however, that you read this post carefully and listen to a recently-released podcast from The Real Estate Investing Playbook in which I cover some tax tips. Please do not take this email as the sole source of any tax advice, but rather use this information to engage in a more substantive conversation with your accountant, tax professional or enrolled agent. My first recommendation...

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Mitigating Risk

Posted by on 4:41 pm in Real Estate Investing | 0 comments

            Risk is a fact of life. Whether we are driving a car, using the internet, interacting with other people, or just breathing air, we are all taking some degree of risk that has to be managed.             When it comes to business, there are several ways you can mitigate risk: Make good business decisions. Have good business advisors around you. Have adequate insurance in place. Monitor and control activities. Avoid dangerous situations.             One important thing you need to do is assess the risks in your business as it...

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Avoid This Mistake

Posted by on 6:12 pm in Real Estate Investing | 0 comments

            It has been a long time since I remember being in a real estate market like the one we are currently in. This phase of the cycle has been a long time coming, but I’m seeing something that has me concerned.             Some real estate investors are making serious, long-term, tactical mistakes right now by taking on too much risk or overleveraging. In their zeal to become “transaction engineers,” they are taking on too many different types of deals. My concern comes from not only my own experience, but also from wise advice from...

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Deductions for Business Meals – Good News!

Posted by on 3:20 pm in Uncategorized | 3 comments

            Late last week I began reading information from various credible tax authorities indicating that Congress had collectively slapped their hands to their foreheads when they realized that the Tax Reform Act of 2017 had disallowed deductions for business and client meals when that was not what they intended. We are not exactly sure how the lawmakers can undo what they have done in the tax code, nor do we know when they will be able to do it; but experience says if there is a will, they will definitely find a way to correct this...

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Recordkeeping for the Real Estate Professional – Part 2

Posted by on 5:58 pm in Real Estate Investing | 1 comment

            In a previous post, I told you about Alvin Jones, an insurance agency owner whose recordkeeping (or lack thereof) cost him an important tax deduction for being a real estate professional when his records didn’t allow him to prove that he spent more time involved in his real estate activities than he did in his insurance business.             The purpose of this email is not to list and explain all the requirements of being a real estate professional. Other resources are easily available for that. I want to explain some of the...

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Recordkeeping for the Real Estate Professional – Part 1

Posted by on 5:52 pm in Real Estate Investing | 1 comment

           A recent tax court case involving Alvin Jones, an insurance agency owner, highlights some of the many challenges faced by busy professionals who, for tax purposes, seek to become real estate professionals. Mr. Jones owned and managed ten single-family homes in 2011 and eleven single-family homes in 2012. He spent a considerable amount of time complying with requirements for Section 8 housing to keep these properties full and cash-flowing.             After an audit by the IRS, Mr. Jones’s deduction as a real estate professional was...

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