I just went to a workshop on investing in real estate with your IRA, and talked with quite a few people who are doing it. One couple is lending IRA money to a person who buys foreclosures, fixes them up, and sells them. A couple guys were buying tax liens, using funds from others’ IRAs. Another was partnering on long term rentals. And others, all kinds of interesting alternatives to the stock market for retirement money, and to institutional loans for the entrepreneurs.
It seems to be a pretty neat way for people to put that retirement money to work, and it’s not too difficult to do things like making loans or splitting ownership with a friend who is more experienced at property management or renovations. Also, because IRA money is usually invested for the long term, it’s great for buying in a down market and holding the investment for a while. Let me know if you’d like to know more.