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How to Transfer your IRA or Rollover your 401k Plan to a Self-Directed IRA

Moving your retirement account from one custodian to another is easy and you do not incur taxes or penalties when you do it properly.



Why it Works to Move your Retirement Plan to a Self-Directed IRA

There are numerous reasons people choose to transfer and/or rollover their retirement account to a self-directed IRA. The main reason is to protect their savings from a volatile stock market or unpredictable changes in the economy. By diversifying their investments, they have a greater opportunity to stay on track with their retirement goals.

COVID-19: Due to the Coronavirus crisis some restrictions on 401(k) plans have been lifted. If your plan allows it, you can  rollover funds to a self-directed IRA and invest outside the stock market. Contact your plan administrator to get details.

Here are more reasons why people move funds to a self-directed IRA:

-  They simply want to diversify their retirement savings 
-  They were laid off or fired and have a 401(k) 
-  They want more control of their own investment choices to better protect their savings from a recession
-  Certain investors have specific expertise with a particular asset(s) and believe they can deploy that expertise to make their retirement nest egg more profitable

At IRAR we see a multitude of cases in which IRA owners transfer their self-directed IRA to IRAR because they’ve grown unhappy with their current provider, account fees were too high, or—too often—their provider has unfortunately gone out of business.

Self-directed IRAs are also known to perform much better than the stock market. A recent examination of self-directed investments held at IRAR suggests that investments held for 3 years had an ROI of over 23%. This is why most investors are self-directing their retirement.

Download Guide


What's the Difference Between a Rollover and a Transfer?

Although both transfers and rollovers allow you to move your retirement savings from one institution to another, the process for each is different, and each have different rules and regulations.

A 401(k) rollover is generally done to move retirement funds from a company-sponsored plan to an IRA. This is why it's also called a Rollover IRA. This option is typically chosen when an employee leaves a job and is no longer contributing to the company-sponsored plan. See this  full article on Rollovers.

Transfer is when you move your IRA to a different IRA. In the case of a transfer, funds or assets are sent between institutions, from the previous custodian to the new one. This is not only the quickest, but also the best method of moving your IRA to a self-directed IRA. Learn more about the difference between these accounts in this in-depth article.

Transfers Vs. Rollovers

Transfers and Rollovers: The Essentials of What You Need To Know



IRA-to-IRA transfers are easy and the best way to move your retirement savings from one custodian to another. You can do a transfer when moving an IRA from broker dealers like Fidelity, Schwab, Wells Fargo, etc. 

Transfers are initiated at the company where you want to move the IRA.

For example, if you wish to move your IRA to IRAR:

  1. You would first complete our Transfer Form and send it back to us
  2. We would then send the completed form to your existing provider
  3. Your provider would then send your retirement funds and/or assets to IRAR

Remember, it’s not necessary to transfer all your retirement account. You can of course transfer only the portion of your account you wish to invest in alternative assets; investment options which are typically not available or allowed at your current provider.

Read the step-by-step article here.




There are two types of rollovers:

  1. Direct Rollovers
  2. Indirect Rollover

A Direct Rollover is when the retirement funds in an employer-sponsored plan—such as a 401(k)—are moved directly from one institution to another, and then deposited directly into an IRA. This is the most productive method of moving an old 401(k) to a self-directed IRA because you, never take direct possession of the funds, and therefore the mandatory 20% withholding for taxes is not applied.

The rollover transaction is usually initiated by you—the plan participant—and requires only two steps:

  1. Open an account at IRAR and complete a Rollover Certification Form.
  2. Complete the forms required by your employer to move the funds out of your company-sponsored plan, and provide them with your IRAR new account number. 

Read the step-by-step article here.



In-Direct Rollover

An indirect rollover—also referred to as a 60-day rollover—is when you take possession of your retirement funds and/or assets before depositing them back into a retirement account, and do so within 60 days.

For example:

If you request your funds from your old 401(k)—but have not yet established an IRA in which to deposit those funds—in most cases you’ll receive a distribution check in your name directly from your former provider. 

You’ll then have 60 days from the day the distribution check was issued to deposit those funds in a retirement account. If you fail to complete the transaction in the 60-day window, you will be taxed and penalized. This is reported to the IRS. 

Read the step-by-step article here.


SDIRA supercharge

How To Transfer A Self-Directed IRA To IRAR

Moving your existing self-directed IRA with alternative assets to IRAR is easy. The most convenient method is to do it via Transfer. 

Your only requirements are to:

  1. Open an account at IRAR
  2. Complete our Transfer form, check the box "Full Transfer of Assets In-Kind"
  3. Provide a statement for the account you are moving

This simple process ensures that you’re moving all of your account assets "as is", and into your new self-directed IRA.

Read the full article here.

IRAR does not custody precious metals or digital assets.



IRA Compatibility

When moving your retirement funds, it’s crucial to remain aware of your specific account type. Certain accounts have restrictions in regard to which type of account they can be moved to.

Here is an IRA/Transfer rollover chart to help you determine your best options.



Documents Needed For Transfers or Rollovers

In order for you to move funds from one custodian to another via transfer or rollover, you will need a few documents:

  • An ID to establish an account at IRAR
  • A copy of your most recent account statement from your current provider
  • A fully completed and signed Transfer Form or a Rollover Certificate Form 


Download the Transfer/Rollover Guide

This Transfer/Rollover Guide will help you properly prepare your transaction, and includes all the information you’ll need (based on your specific account type) to move into a self-directed IRA.

The guide also includes tips on:

 - How to speed up movement of funds
 - Explanations of important industry terminology
 - What to do if/when you wish to move only limited assets
- Important questions to ask your current provider

Complete the form to have your Transfer/Rollover Guide delivered to your inbox.

FREE Guide

Why Choose IRAR for Your Self-Directed IRA?

IRAR CEO, Liane Bathey

The answer is clear and simple!

Your account will be serviced by an experienced team of certified professionals with specific expertise in the self-directed IRAs. Our team will be there to ensure that self-directing your IRA account is a smooth process. Our knowledge and experience in self-directed IRA rules, regulations, and recent trends, will assist you in making smart educated decisions.

You’ll also be able to save over 50% compared to fees charged by other industry providers. We believe in maintaining lower fees because we’re committed to helping you build long-lasting retirement wealth. 


"At IRAR you will receive excellent service from a knowledgeable team in our commitment to help you make cost-effective, educated decisions."

Liane Bathey, Founder and CEO

Thank you for your timely execution, Liane. I switched to IRAR because my previous self-directed IRA custodian was slow, expensive and difficult to deal with.

You guys are great!

IRAR Client
Michael K.

I would like to take this opportunity to express my appreciation for the support given to me by IRA Resources Inc. when I approached them about setting up a self-directed IRA to purchase a rental property. I had never done this before and it was also a first for my real estate broker. They worked closely with him to ensure that we complied with all IRA rules relating to the purchase of rental property to be placed in a self-directed IRA. It has been over two years now that I have owned the property and the process of submitting rental payments, paying bills and requesting withdrawals has been straight forward. They have been available to answer any questions or concerns I have had and overall have been easy to work with. The retirement investment has worked out extremely well and I couldn't have accomplished this without a partner like IRAR. 

IRAR Client
Clinton F.

I have had a self-directed IRA since 1984. I have gone from one company to the next and they have all been terrible.

You guys are amazing. Very pleased with the service and the fees. Would recommend IRA Resources to anyone.



IRAR Client
Michael S.

Self-Directed IRA accounts work best for my wife and I because we are directly involved in making all investment decisions for the assets in our IRAs. We have used three different companies as custodian and administrator of our IRAs. Our current one, IRA Resources, has had our accounts for six years and we are pleased with their service.

We were attracted to IRA Resources because their fees were lower, and since we self-direct, that was and still is extremely important.

What we also enjoy about IRA Resources is how easy they are to deal with. Whenever we have a question or need something, they are just a phone call or email away and happy to help. It’s nice to not have to wade through a computerized phone system or be put on hold by clericals that don’t know what you’re talking about; experiences we were glad to leave behind with our previous IRA custodians.

IRAR Clients
Doug & Anne N.

For the last 10 years or so, I have been using IRA Resources and your self-directed administration services for several of my retirement accounts and have completed scores of transactions with you. Over that time, I have been very pleased with your service, attention to detail, professionalism, and reasonable rates. Many of my transactions have been real estate note purchases and sales, and quite often very time sensitive in nature, so it has been important for me to have a company who is easy to work with and can execute direction letters quickly and predictably.

Thank You.

IRAR Client
James M.



Ready to Transfer or Rollover Retirement Funds?  Got Questions?

Schedule a FREE consultation with one of our self-directed IRA experts or give us a call 888-322-6534.

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