As a retired person, I have to say that I have enjoyed using my self-directed IRA as a tool and a hobby to make money. Now is a good time for you to experiment -- carefully -- and perhaps learn the ropes of investing and even trading!In my 50's, I learned about the advantages of making profits on stocks within an IRA: no capital gains taxes whatsoever. However, there are drawbacks: If you take a LOSS, you cannot take any deduction on your income tax -- ouch! If you want to withdraw the money before age 59-1/2, you'll pay dearly in extra fees -- and probably in taxes, too, since you may be in a higher bracket.When I retired, I rolled my 401k over into a self-directed IRA (within the required 60 days). Today, at age 62, I enjoy using maybe half of my IRA to dabble in various stocks, and have seen that part of my portfolio rise about 40 percent year to date, some on long term buys and some on quick trades. The rest of my portfolio is in mutual funds, and they are up only about 23 percent, but I also shepherd them pretty carefully, too.Be careful. Do NOT put all your eggs in one basket, and learn the ropes first, using smaller sums you can honestly afford to lose, because you WILL sometimes lose! However, you CAN direct your own IRA and enjoy doing so.Retired Vermonter
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