Retirement Savings – History & Trends

By Kaaren Hall

“The retirement crisis is the largest and most urgent global crisis we face today.”

The world’s most respected economists and financial analysts believe the pending retirement crisis is of paramount importance. So how did we land here? How have retirement plans evolved over the years? What risks and challenges do individuals face now? What emerging trends and strategies are arising that could save the global economy, and your financial future?

To really get the value, the importance, the right perspective, and the potential of self-directed IRA investing it is critical to understand the history and emerging trends…

A Quick History of Retirement Accounts

  • 13 BC Roman Emperor Augustus began pensions for legionnaires with 20 years of service[1].
  • In the 1st century the New Testament pioneered the idea of tithing to help the poor and widows.
  • 1717 the Presbyterian Church begins a fund for retiring ministers[2].
  • In 1889 century if Plymouth colonists were wounded in combat they received a pension[3] to support their families. However, the tax collection to raise these funds was often carried out by the ‘retired’ veterans themselves.
  • In 1875 the first private pension plan in America was created by the American Express Railroad.
  • 1900 – Life expectancy is 49 years old[4], with retired workers generally being disabled.
  • In 1935 Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act into law. The act provided a fixed income for the disabled and retired workers aged 65+. This was funded by a 1% tax on employees and their employers. By 2006 that tax had risen to 7.65% on employees and employers.
  • 1974 saw the birth of tax deductible IRAs.
  • In 1981 401ks were established.
  • Then Roth IRAs were born in 1997.
  • In 2009 uDirect IRA Services, LLC was launched to assist individuals with self-directed IRA accounts (and Solo 401(k) accounts)
  • August 31, 2016, S&P Dow Jones Indices and MSCI moved stock-exchange listed Equity REITs and other listed real estate companies from the Financials Sector of their Global Industry Classification Standard (GICS®) to a new Real Estate Sector.

Looking back a couple of century’s average people just never lived long enough to retire, nor was simply dropping out to play golf and sip tea all day something people strived for. They simply worked till they dropped.

The ‘golden years’ was a term originally coined to refer to the peak working and earning years of 25 to 40. Now it is commonly used to describe a coveted period of relaxation, golfing, bingo, and travel, with plenty of income, and no work. Of course those are the golden years most of us are craving today; and if we can get there in our 40s we’re even happier (at least until we get bored).

So how well are Americans doing at achieving the finances needed for a retirement, and preferably a comfortable, and timely one? With ten-thousand Baby Boomers reaching age 65 every day for the next decade this is a question in desperate need of an answer. Not only is this large sector of our population aging but the vast majority of pensions are under-funded and Social Security is anything but secure.

The answer may well be found by taking retirement into our own hands and investing in the asset classes we know best. That’s what self-directed IRAs allow us to do. We can move our retirement accounts over to self-directed accounts and invest in “alternative assets” like real estate, private stock, precious metals, notes and more to secure our financial future.






Secure Your Future: Investing in Real Estate Through Self-Directed IRAs

By Kaaren Hall

Do you have a 401(k) with a previous employer or an IRA?

Are these accounts invested in stock market assets? Most retirement accounts are invested in stocks, bonds and mutual funds however the Self-Directed IRA lets you invest outside the stock market.

For over 40 years you have been able to invest your retirement dollars into assets like real estate and most people don’t know about it. In fact there is about $24 Trillion in US retirement accounts. Only 3-4% of that amount is invested in what’s called “alternative assets”.

When you think about building a retirement for yourself consider the Self-Directed IRA.

When it comes to investing in Real Estate, the Self-Directed IRA allows many ways to do this:

  • Residential real estate, including: apartments, single family homes, and duplexes

  • Commercial real estate

  • Undeveloped or raw land

  • REITs (Real Estate Investment Trusts)

  • Real estate notes (mortgages and deeds of trusts)

  • Promissory notes

  • Private limited partnerships, limited liability companies, and C corporations

  • Tax lien certificates

Take Joe for example. Joe retired from his employer at the age of 50. It was a forced retirement because the company was restructuring. He spent 20 years at his previous employer putting aside 15% of his annual earnings. Now that he was “retired” Joe decided to become a real estate agent.

He noticed his own IRA was losing money and putting this money into a self-directed IRA was something that made sense to him. Joe says, “It gave a monthly boost to my IRA account through the rent money. Plus it gave me equity growth. As a self-employed person, it has given me a small glimpse of security into my retirement age. Whenever that will be.”

Right now and for the next decade ten-thousand baby boomers will reach age 65 every day! The average account value for Americans 55 to 64 years old is $103,000. You have to ask yourself is that is going to be enough to sustain you through your retirement years?

Many people, like Joe, are enjoying the tax-deferred or tax-free benefits of using their IRAs and 401(k)s to secure a better financial future.

So how do they do it? Self-Directing your retirement is a 3-step process to 1) Open an account 2) Fund that account and then 3) invest.

We have helped thousands and we can help you accomplish your self-directed retirement goals at uDirect IRA Services.

Kaaren Hall

Kaaren has helped hundreds of people self­direct their retirement savings. A native of California, she has a 17­year background in Real Estate, Property Management and Mortgage Lending. She has worked at such companies as Bank of America, Centex Homes, Pulte Homes and Indymac Bank. She’s held a real estate license in Washington, Texas and California and a Life & Health license in California.

Her company, uDirect IRA Services, LLC, offers self­directed education and services to investors, providing excellent customer service. Kaaren is a public speaker and master networker. A mother of two, she lives in Orange County.

If you have a question about how to use your IRA to self­directed you can contact us here at or at 866.447.6598. Our website address is .