Sovereign International Pension Services
1380 Alt. 19
Palm Harbor, FL 34683
(727) 286-6237


Sovereign International Pension Services Newsletter November 2018

You Can Own Real Estate in Your IRA

You can own Real Estate in your IRA contrary to what you may have been told by your advisor.  The IRS permits a great deal of flexibility when it comes to investing the assets of your retirement account, including both foreign and domestic real estate. 

Making these types of investments can be quite challenging if you don't have a "self directed" IRA.  Many IRA custodians impose investment restrictions.  Most of these restrictions have nothing to do with the IRS code governing retirement accounts but are instead designed to make life easier for the custodian or worse yet, they are there to steer clients into investments the custodian is compensated for.

What’s allowed—the real skinny

The truth is the rules are straightforward.  You can own virtually any kind of real estate in your IRA or other retirement account including:

• Raw land

• Condos

• Office buildings

• Single-family homes

• Multi-family homes

• Apartment buildings

Whether you buy your dream retirement home or an interest in a mango producing farm, you don't have to do it all by yourself.  Let us help you through the process with our years of international experience.  Find out the Do's and the Don'ts.

Our clients have invested globally.  Shouldn't you? 

Is Bank Secrecy Dead?

To quote Mark Twain, "The rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated"

I'm including an article regarding bank secrecy written by Mark Nestmann.

I've added something about the best way to hold an offshore bank account after the article.

Earlier this month, a dispatch from the Reuters news agency announced that Switzerland had officially ended bank secrecy. But to paraphrase Mark Twain, the rumors of this death are greatly exaggerated.

It’s true that Switzerland, along with every other major country (with the notable exception of the US) has signed on to implement the “Common Reporting Standard” (CRS). This is a supposedly voluntary standard from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) that sets up legal and technical infrastructure for countries to automatically exchange information from their financial institutions with tax authorities in other countries.

More than 100 countries have already agreed to implement the CRS. And while the CRS doesn’t specifically target low-tax jurisdictions, the new standard overwhelmingly benefits high-tax countries at the expense of low-tax ones.

What Reuters failed to mention, though, is that for virtually every purpose other than tax and serious criminal activity, bank secrecy in Switzerland remains intact. And Switzerland is determined to enforce it.


New Retirement Contribution Limits

  • The contribution limit for employees who participate in 401(k), 403(b), most 457 plans, and the federal government’s Thrift Savings Plan is increased from $18,500 to $19,000.

  • The limit on annual contributions to an IRA, which last increased in 2013, is increased from $5,500 to $6,000. The additional catch-up contribution limit for individuals aged 50 and over is not subject to an annual cost-of-living adjustment and remains $1,000.

Click here to see all of the IRS changes for 2019.


Keep Your IRA LLC Working For You

Click here to view this article on our website.

I've noticed a disturbing trend. Clients are ditching their LLC's. Have they been lulled into a false sense of security? 

I recently had a conversation with a client who had decided to let the LLC within her IRA lapse. She shared with me that she only owned precious metals, which were held inside of the LLC, and she was concerned the metals were an “under-performing asset”. She felt she could no longer afford the annual expenses associated with maintaining the LLC. Completely understandable if your only concern is minimizing expenses. Unfortunately it's only one approach to looking at the situation and loses sight of the bigger picture.

I'm going to share part of what we discussed as well as more news and insight into what I see trending in the retirement plan world.

For decades my mantra has been “Liberate Your IRA”. I even wrote a book that was published called, “The Retirement Plan Protection Program”, and I've given countless presentations on the subject all over the world. My feelings and my passion about the subject hasn't changed. It's time we revisit the subject that seems to have gotten lost in all the noise over the last 2 years.

Most clients choose to use an LLC for a number of very valid reasons.

1. They are concerned about the need for asset protection.

2. They are seeking a much more private way to hold their investments.

3. They have concerns about the unwarranted seizure of their assets.

4. They understand the need to keep some of their assets outside of the U.S. for safety.

5. Investment diversification.

6. They understand our government has greatly increased the reporting requirements surrounding non-US accounts and they know an IRA may be the best way to do so. (The newly released FBAR Form {Foreign Bank Account Reporting} contains the following noteworthy language- "IRA Owners and Beneficiaries. An owner or beneficiary of an IRA is not required to report a foreign financial account held in the IRA.")

7. The U.S. government understood and intended one of the main results of the new reporting requirements would be that less and less Foreign Financial Providers, like banks, brokerage firms and insurance companies, would be willing to open accounts for US citizens. Without question this has come to pass. The list of providers accepting US clients grows dramatically smaller each year.

8. Opening a non-US financial account has grown harder and harder to do. A foreign LLC will open doors that are not open to U.S. Citizens directly.

I think you will find LLC’s are by far still one of the most utilized asset protection structures.

Ultimately it comes down to the need for protection and oftentimes it's hard to recognize the need until it's too late. The best analogy I can use is this. When I walk outside my house every day to pick up the mail, and I look around at my house and my neighbors’, I'm certain everyone of us has fire insurance. It's an expense for certain, yet none of us has ever had a claim and most likely won't. (Certainly I hope not.) Yet, we don't feel like it's an unnecessary expense we should eliminate because the need for fire insurance has been ingrained in us for our entire lives. We understand and embrace the necessary expense required for the protection of our homes. Why should the protection of our life savings be any different?

If you just can't afford a foreign LLC a US-based LLC is a less expensive option you may want to consider, keeping in mind it doesn't provide nearly as much protection as a non-US LLC, but it may be a better option than completely throwing in the towel and forgoing the protection of your assets.

Please don't give up your fire insurance because you don't like paying the premium.

Possible LLC Investment Opportunities

Gold, Silver, Platinum, Palladium...Invest Globally

Rental Property, Condo...It's All Possible

              Teak Farm, Coffee Farm and Much More           


How Do I Get Started?

Go to our website now! 

As always if you have additional questions or concerns please feel free to contact the office.
" Liberate Your IRA"
  Larry C. Grossman                     
1380 Alt. 19
Palm Harbor, FL  34683
727-286-6239 Fax

Give us a call and learn more today!