Dear Monica:  I would like to use some of my retirement funds to invest in real estate and don’t know how to do this.  Can you give me some recommendations?  Sandy D.


Dear Sandy: You can use your Individual Retirement Account funds to invest in assets other than stocks.  This is called a self-directed IRA and there are several asset classes that you may invest in, as well as some you may not, such as property for your personal use and life insurance.  You will need to choose a custodian to help you understand what you can and cannot do.


There are many companies that do this and you should look for one that is reputable, accredited, and experienced in the kind of investing you want to do.  The custodian will handle the paperwork required to comply with IRS rules and generally guide you in the process.  Consult with a custodian company and decide if you are comfortable with a self-directed IRA.