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Date: May 25, 2010
Subject: Going beyond the traditional IRA

This is
G&G Associates Tax & Financial Consulting

Going beyond the traditional IRA

Hotep (Blessings) G&G Readers,

So you've got your IRA. Or, several of them—all at different companies. And you've been wanting to roll them over, but don’t know how.

But maybe you haven't been motivated to do so. All IRAs seem to be the same, so what's the hurry? First, you might not have heard about self-directed IRAs and the unique benefits they offer. And second, you may be able to convert and consolidate your traditional IRAs to Roth IRAs this year.

What exactly are self-directed IRAs? Most have the same contribution limits and distribution requirements as IRAs with conventional investments. But self-directed IRAs allow you to save for retirement with unconventional assets such as foreign currencies, real estate, precious metals and many more investment options.

Foreign Currency Accounts

If you want to diversify, a self-directed IRA with a Currency Account might be for you. It helps diversify your retirement portfolio in the global markets, which may minimize your market risk. And because it's a foreign currency account, you could see capital appreciation if currencies in your account gain on the U.S. dollar. You can choose CDs with a single currency or multiple currencies. Or, select a money market account in the currency of your choice or even open a Spot FOREX trading account where you could reap the benefits of double and triple digit returns tax free within the realms of your IRA.

Specialty Accounts

Intrigued by the opportunities of gold and silver? You can make American Eagle gold and silver coins a part of your retirement portfolio as well. Now, with the price of Gold & Silver both increasing over the past two years by over 50% and the future outlook of the two being even greater, this surely is a great way to diversify your portfolio to hedge the paper currency and stock market fiasco’s which exist.

While we're on the topic of IRAs, here are some new Roth IRA conversion rules for 2010 that you'll want to keep in mind—and some helpful reminders:

Roth IRA conversions

Thinking about converting your traditional IRA to a Roth IRA? Now might be the time. Income restrictions have been removed for people who want to convert to a Roth IRA from another IRA. Remember to consult with your own tax and financial consultant about any ramifications that might exist with the conversion.

Traditional IRA deduction eligibility

If you're eligible to take part in your employer's qualified retirement plan (e.g. 401(k) or pension plan), you can generally deduct your full traditional IRA contribution if your income is $56,000 or less. If you're married and only one spouse is eligible to participate in an employer qualified retirement plan, the other spouse can deduct the full traditional IRA contribution if your combined income is $167,000 or less.

FDIC insurance for IRAs

Back in April 2006, the U.S. Congress permanently increased the Standard Minimum Insurance Amount for Certain Retirement Accounts—including traditional, Roth, SEP and SIMPLE IRAs—to $250,000 per depositor, per insured bank. But the FDIC insurance limits for other deposit accounts were only temporarily raised to $250,000—through December 31, 2013.

On January 1, 2014, those $250,000 limits will go back to $100,000 (per depositor, per insured bank). Just remember that Certain Retirement Accounts are insured separately from these other types of accounts you may have at a bank.

And while some IRAs let you name one or more beneficiaries, the FDIC will not take beneficiary designations into account when calculating insurance coverage. That means the existence of beneficiaries will not increase insurance coverage available for Certain Retirement Accounts. The FDIC adds together all qualified retirement accounts owned by the same person at the same insured bank, and then insures the total amount up to $250,000.

For more information visit the FDIC’s home page at or setup an appointment with G&G Associates.

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Until the next time!
Asante Sana (Thanks)
Gary Gray
Tax & Financial Consultant, RFC
G&G Associates
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