Can I Buy Foreign Real Estate with my IRA or 401(k)?

By Steve Sheppherd

Foreign Real Estate

A lot of people would like to buy a property in other countries with their retirement fund.  It is just next to impossible using a regular self directed custodian. Each country has their own rules. Some countries, you have to be a member of a corporation in that country.  You, or maybe your attorney will have to be part-owner. There’s all kinds of rules and regulations, and the custodians just don’t want to be involved in that.

With an IRA LLC, a checkbook IRA, or the Solo 401(k) with an LLC attached to it, you are the manager.

Now, if you’re flying down to Belize,  for example, and you want to buy that condo on the beach, then it is the LLC doing that’s doing the purchasing. The LLC can be the member in the foreign corporation, or whatever you need to do to meet the requirements in that country. You have all the authority with you in the Operating Agreement.

You, as the manager, can wire the funds there. You can open up a foreign bank account while you’re there. Buy precious metals while you’re there. All these options are available because with the LLC, you have that authority, which was given to you by the custodian.

As long as you stay within the operating agreement guidelines, these investment moves are perfectly acceptable. The IRA LLC, the check book IRA, or our Solo 401(k) are really the only two ways that you can own foreign real estate in your retirement plan without a lot of red tape.


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