Here’s how to get your IRA out of the United States

The time of President Trump is approaching quickly. No matter who you voted for, we all see risk in an untested President. 70% of Americans view Trump unfavorably, and the rest of us don’t know what to expect.

Whether you think Trump will blow up the world, or you’re ready to give him a chance, you can take steps to protect your savings should something go wrong. You can get your IRA out of United States and into a foreign currency. You can invest your IRA outside the US and take control of your retirement savings.

We have no idea what’s going to happen. It might be great or it might be a total mess. What we do know is that changes are coming… we don’t know what those changes will be, but we know they’re heading this way like a Trump train.

And we know there is risk in change. We know that things are likely to get worse before they get better. We know there have been and will be protests as ideas and the status quo are challenged.

With painful change (for the better or worse) on the way, you should take steps now to minimize the cost of that pain or change to you and your family. The best and most efficient way to protect your savings is to move your IRA out of the United States and into a foreign currency or high returning investment.

With that said, here’s how to get your IRA out of the United States…

You can move any retirement account from a previous employer, or any portion of a retirement account that has vested into an offshore structure. In practice, very few have vested accounts from a current employer. 99% of the time, IRAs which go offshore are from previous jobs or from recent retirees.

  • If you’re unsure if your IRA has vested, check with human resources.

The first step in moving your IRA out of the United States is to form an offshore IRA LLC. This is a single member Limited Liability Company formed in an offshore jurisdiction that won’t tax your gains and will maximize the privacy and asset protection benefits of going offshore.

Your IRA LLC will be formed in a country such as Belize, Cook Islands, Nevis, and Seychelles. The country chosen will depend on your investment objectives and banking needs. Note that only countries with single member LLC statutes can be used, so your choices are somewhat limited.

Your offshore IRA LLC will be owned by your retirement account(s) and you’ll be the manager of that company. This way, your accounts maintain their tax preferred status (tax exempt for a ROTH and tax deferred in a traditional IRA), and you gain control over your cash.

As the manager of an offshore IRA LLC, you’re in full control. You select the investments, send wires, and manage the day to day activity of your investments. You can chose to hold all of your money in a foreign currency, or invest in real estate, stocks and bonds, or physical gold.

You might also use your IRA to gain residency offshore. For example, here’s how to get residency in Panama using your offshore retirement account.

Remember that the LLC is owned by your retirement account. Your “job” is to manage that account for the benefit of your IRA. As such, you must follow all of the same US rules as a professional investment advisor does. For example, you can’t borrow from the LLC, can’t benefit from the investments, can’t invest or lend money to a business you control, can’t buy a home and live in it (even if you will pay rent), and you may only buy certain types of gold.

Basically, treat the account as a fiduciary should, with all transactions done at arm’s length, and you’ll be fine. Always act as an independent advisor for the benefit of the account.

Once your IRA is formed, and you understand the rules, you’re ready to begin making moves. Most IRA custodians don’t allow you to control your own account. They limit you to investing in what has the highest margins for them, and don’t want you taking your capital out of the United States.

For this reason, you probably need to change custodians before getting your IRA out of the United States. Don’t worry, this is quite easy. You simply fill out a few forms and your new custodian will handle the rest.

We work with a number of US custodians and recommend NuView, Midland, Suntrust and Entrust. Each has many years of experience and thousands of offshore clients. If you have another custodian in mind, we’ll be happy to work with them as well.

Once you’re IRA is with a custodian that allows for offshore IRA LLCs, you send then the wire instructions to the international bank account we established for your LLC. They wire all or some of your cash to the LLC and you’re off to the races.

That’s all it takes to get your IRA out of the United States and into an offshore company under your management. In most cases, this can be completed in about two weeks time.

Your new structure will allow you to hedge against whatever is coming. It will also provide maximum diversification and asset protection. For a pre-Trump article on the risks to your IRA, see: Top 5 Risks to Your IRA.

If things go very wrong, and you decide to move out of the US, your IRA will be there waiting for you. If you then decide to give up your US citizenship, take a read through: What Happens to Your IRA when you give up US Citizenship / Expatriate?

I hope you’ve found this article on how to get your IRA out of the United States to be helpful. For more on taking your retirement account offshore, please send an email to info@premieroffshore.com or call us at (619) 550-2743. All consultations are free and confidential.