You’ll often hear the financial advice that you can save time and money by rolling over your various IRAs and 401(k)s from previous employers into a single self-directed IRA. Doing so can help you better manage your retirement nest egg, potentially save on expenses, and provide you with the opportunity to invest in high-priced assets.
And there’s certainly a great deal of truth to that advice. It can often seem difficult to stay completely on top of a single retirement account, let alone multiple accounts.
But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t circumstances in which you can gain an advantage for yourself by having multiple self-directed IRAs. Let’s take a look at some of those potential advantages.
Better Management of Individual Assets
Because having a self-directed IRA with a custodian such as Quest Trust Company permits you to invest in unique individual assets such as real estate and private equity and debt instruments, there may be instances where you want to hold such assets in a separate account.
For example, if you own a multi-family apartment complex in a self-directed IRA, it might be easier to monitor or evaluate investment performance of that asset if there are no other holdings in the account. After all, consider how the income and expenses for this type of investment, as well as your management obligations, is likely to be significantly more complicated than holding a simple stock investment.
One Roth Self-Directed IRA and One Traditional Self-Directed IRA
Individuals who have variable levels of income from year to year, including those who frequently change jobs, may find themselves able to make deductible contributions to a traditional self-directed IRA in some years, while being ineligible to make such deductible contributions in other years.
These non-deductible contributions could certainly be made to the individual’s traditional self-directed IRA, but a better approach might be to set up a separate Roth self-directed IRA in order to receive those contributions. Because a Roth self-directed IRA has unique advantages over traditional accounts, you may wish to know of these advantages yourself while still having the potential to make deductible contributions to a traditional account.
Further Advantages of a Roth Self-Directed IRA
Having a separate Roth self-directed IRA as well as a traditional account can help you better achieve your various long-term financial goals better than simply having a single IRA. For example, a Roth self-directed IRA is not subject to the IRS rules on required minimum distributions, so if you have two accounts – one Roth account and one traditional cash account – you can use the traditional account to fund your living expenses once you reach retirement, while continuing to let your Roth account grow on a tax-free basis for as long as you choose.
Furthermore, Roth accounts provide a greater level of flexibility when it comes to estate planning, and some individuals use their Roth accounts as a quick and easy way to ensure their loved ones are taken care of after they pass.
Ultimately the decision of whether to have more than one self-directed IRA will depend on your particular financial situation. But many individuals have found that it can be quite valuable.