I am writing this blog post from an undisclosed location in Central America. I am at my vacation/possible future retirement home. I don’t want to give location details because I don’t want to appear to be pushing or advocating a particular country or retirement destination – there is no shortage of people doing that. I include on-location posts occasionally because I am where I am, and also to illustrate the possibilities and potential of a self directed retirement account. The property I purchased is not inside of my retirement account. I did however borrow money from my 401k to make the purchase of a partially complete house outside of my account. In this part of the world a person can buy bare land or even a basic house (or house Project) for less than the $50,000 that a person who has a Longboat Solo 401k can borrow from their account. It will probably take several years to complete the Project. I will have to take many trips down here (poor me) to work on the house before it is built to North American standards. However it is already occupiable (pretty basic) and I don’t need to spend money on hotels or meals unless I feel like it. I enjoy designing and building things and I tend to be a bit of a work-aholic, so even on my vacation I tend to stay busy. So for me, having a Project for my vacation is perfect. I can choose to work on the house or lay in a hammock and read a book every day. I am always encouraging diversification, not having all of your eggs in one basket, and decreasing expenses. A Project like this one checks all of the boxes. Diversification – The house Project is in a small Central American country that has a rapidly growing economy that is attracting American and European retirees. Eggs in more than one basket – This country has connections to the U.S. but has enough to offer the world that it can stand on its own. Reduce Expenses – While the country/location where my Project/investment is located is getting more expensive (increase in the value of my investment), it is still very cheap compared to the U.S. I am not suggesting that everyone should run out and take loans off of their 401k to purchase property in a developing country; Nor am I pushing offshore real estate investment. I am mearly giving an example of what can be done with a self directed retirement account to diversify, and reduce retirement expenses down the road. If I finish the house and decide to keep it, I’ll have a paid for house for my retirement years. If I decide to sell it after completion or even before completion, I will have likely increased the value of the property and I’ll pocket the proceeds of my “labor.” p.s. You could also buy or build a retirement or investment home inside of your self directed retirement account. It’s easier than you think.
Please bare with my errors as I am dealing with a Latin American keyboard.