Investing IRAs Overseas

by | Jan 30, 2008 | Archives

Investing IRAs overseas makes sense in these days of economic turmoil. What’s more you can even invest your IRA in real estate abroad.

I have been investing my US pension plan in overseas investments for decades and am about to buy condos on Ecuador ’s coast that you read about in yesterday’s message. Here is the Palmazul Spa which is also the club house for the condos.

This is the beach.

So when one of our friends asked if he could buy some of these condos through his IRA, I was immediately able to put him in touch with a friend who has been helping people invest their IRAs abroad for years.

I have worked with this advisor for more than two decades and our friend was so happy, I asked Larry if he could write up an article on this. To my joy he sent an entire report.

Here we share a brief portion of the information contained.

Use your IRA Dollars to Own International Real Estate.

Contrary to what you probably have been told by your broker or banker, you can own real estate in your IRA, including non-U.S. real estate. Over the years, advisors have wrongly convinced many people they cannot own real estate, as well as a number of other alternative investments, inside their IRA’s or other retirement plans. Nothing could be further from the truth. In actuality, the IRS allows a great deal of flexibility when it comes to investing the assets of your retirement account.

The trouble comes if you don’t have a “self directed” IRA or if you work with a custodian who imposes his own investment restrictions. Most of these restrictions have nothing to do with the code governing retirement accounts but are instead employed to make life easier for the custodian.

What’s allowed—the real skinny

The truth is, the rules governing the ownership of real estate are simple…and you can own virtually any kind of real estate you could name in your IRA or other retirement account, including:

• Raw land

• Condos

• Office buildings

• Single-family homes

• Multi-family homes

• Apartment buildings

• Improved land

Prohibited transactions and self-dealing.

The IRS has some simple and straightforward rules that define what you cannot do. A simple rule of thumb is your retirement plan is meant to benefit you at retirement and not before. You may not, therefore, directly or indirectly, deal with yourself or a disqualified person.

What does this mean? In short, that you cannot lend money, extend credit, or furnish goods, services, or facilities to yourself or a disqualified individual. In other words, you can invest in any type of real estate you want as long as it is an investment and not for your own use currently.

“Currently” is an important part of this puzzle. Let’s assume you have found your dream retirement home or the piece of property you would like to build it on. And, remember, as I’ve explained, the property can be in the United States or it can be anywhere else in the world that you’d like it to be. Someday, when you retire, you would like to own the property personally or have it for your own use. No problem. You can take possession of the property at that time, in effect taking it as a distribution of your plan.

You can read a full pdf report on how to do this as a subscriber to our Multi Currency course or Ecuador Living service.

Details on how to subscribe are at: Multi Currency Course

and Ecuador Living

If you subscribe to either premium service this report has already been sent.

One key to good investing is to invest in that which you like and know. Using your IRA to buy property you’ll eventually want to live in is one great way to do that!


Join Merri and me in Sunny Ecuador this winter.

Enjoy the beauty of the countryside.

Feb. 18-23 Ecuador Import Export Course

Enjoy the wonderful crafts markets.

Mar. 7-9 International Investing and Business Made EZ Ecuador 

Mar. 10-11 Imbabura Real Estate tour

See beautiful property in our area for sale.

Mar. 12-14 Coastal Real Estate tour

Enjoy Ecuador ’s beach resorts. Here is the spa where will stay on the beach.

View from the spa.

Mar. 7-9 IBEZ and Mar 10-11 Imbabura Real Estate tour

Mar. 7-9 IBEZ and both real estate tour

Most delegates in March will join us for two or three courses as there is a sizable savings.

If you attend all three courses separately the fees are $1,847. Sign up for all three at only $1,499 here. Save $348. Three course savings.

Three courses for two separately are $2,597. Two on our three course adventure is only $1,999. Save $598. Three courses savings for two.

Mar. 7-9 IBEZ and Mar 10-11 Imbabura Real Estate tour

April 10 – 14 Super Thinking + Spanish

June 19- 21 Ecuador Shaman Tour

Here is a group at a previous shamanic tour arriving for a ceremony on Lake Cuicocha