Achieve Your New Year’s Financial Resolution with Check Book IRA®

I simply cannot believe how fast a year has gone by! And before you know it, the first week of 2017 is becoming history. I hope you have accomplished all the goals you set at the beginning of 2016. As for me, I believe I have met the big goal of learning to sell on Amazon in 2016.  However, the online selling business is by no mean a success. So one of the goals for 2017 is to continue to put more effort into learning and growing the business.

Another goal I set for the new year is to diversify my retirement plan investment. First of all, let’s be clear that I am not a financial planning expert; anything I discuss here is my personal opinion after listening to real estate investing podcasts. With that said, I currently have a 401k plan which I participate at the company I hold a full-time job with. I also have a Roth IRA which I rolled over from a previous employer’s 401k. I would say one of the few reasons you should participate in your company’s 401k is for the benefit of the employer’s match to your contribution which is sort of a guaranteed return. Your maximum 401k contribution should be up to the maximum employer’s match percentage.

The other benefit of your employer sponsor 401k is the ability to get a loan from your 401k plan. You can borrow up to 50% of the plan value up to $50k. You can use the loan toward purchasing your primary home, the loan payback term can be up to 20 years for this purpose. Or you can request a general loan, however, the loan payback term is the maximum of 5 years. You will be charged a loan interest which I believe is reasonable. You can find out more information on your 401k plan from your plan administrator’s website. Other than the benefits stated above there are far better retirement plan options available which I learned recently.

Right now my main concern is with my Roth IRA, which I have with Scottrade and it’s all invested in the stock market.  I want more diversification in investment option and direct control in decision making which I didn’t know possible until I listened to some financial investing podcasts. I actually contacted two companies I learned about from podcasts.  One of them offer what’s called the eQRP – Qualified Retired Plan, the other offers the “Solo 401k” and the “Checkbook IRA”. After reading the downloaded e-books and some discussion over the phone, I believe the Checkbook IRA is suitable for my situation, but I still have some doubts on how the Checkbook IRA works & I emailed that company back, but have not received any response, so I did a Google search and clicked on the first search result, which is from www.checkbookira.com. I found this website is very well organized and explains the Check Book IRA & the Sole 401k retirement plans in an easy to understand fashion. By the way, they actually came up with the name Check Book IRA® and own the Federal trademark which is why that’s name of their company.

What also impressed me the most is how responsive the support they provided and they are from the highest level of the company staff as well. The company president Peter  F. Rizzo is the first to contact me via the chat feature on the website and he called me right away since there are topics can’t be easily explained on chat. Since I really have limited knowledge of retirement investment plans, I asked a lot of questions over the next two days via chat & email.  Jordan Sheppherd, the CEO of the company also stepped in answering my questions when Peter Rizzo is not available.

According to Jordan Sheppherd: “More and more people are beginning to see the advantage of diversifying their retirement money into real estate and other investments outside the stock market.  Considering that this has been possible since retirement accounts came into existence, and given the fact that a number of structures exist which give a person complete control over their retirement funds to invest in what they know, it’s not surprising that this has become more popular as more people learn this is a possibility.”

“The Solo 401(k) is an especially powerful structure.  If retirement structures were cars, the Solo 401(k) would certainly be the Rolls Royce.  It’s so easy for a person to qualify to set up a Solo 401(k), in my opinion, everyone should have one.”

In my situation, since I have a Roth IRA, the best option could be to roll over/transfer to a Check Book IRA. IRAs can’t be rolled over to a 401k plan. I am pretty sure I can’t touch my Work 401k, otherwise I would definitely roll it over to a Checkbook IRA or a Solo 401k.

How the Check Book IRA works is that you register an LLC in your state or other states of your choice, which I later found very intriguing and why I ended up not having the Check Book IRA but still endorse their service. You then make yourself of the LLC manager, open a business checking account in the name of the LLC, which basically giving you the check book control of your IRA investment fund. This will open up a whole lot more choices in what you can invest in, such as real estate, precious metal, tax liens…etc. And you don’t have to go through the custodian like the self-directed IRA to get the approval when making an investment decision and save the fee you have to pay them as well.

They recommend registering the LLC in New Mexico which does not charge an annual LLC tax like other states. Since I live in California, I have to pay the annual $800 LLC tax and I first thought that I can avoid the tax by registering the LLC in New Mexico, but it turns out that California still charges the $800 LLC tax even if the LLC is registered with another state. However, if you don’t live in California, your state may not charge the tax, you need to check with your state, but even if your state charges the LLC tax, I am sure it will be a lot lower than that of California. I decided to cancel the Check Book IRA application after they confirmed with me about the California LLC tax. The cancellation went very smooth and with no hassle, the support staffs from Check Book IRA and their IRA custodian company Kingdom Trust are very friendly and efficient.

For the amount of fund I have in my Roth IRA, I don’t see paying California the hefty LLC tax is worth it at this point.  And since I only have one specific real estate investment in mind, the self-directed IRA is sufficient for the purpose. But keep in mind that you don’t have the check book control with the self-directed IRA, every transaction needs to go through the self-directed IRA custodian instead and get charged a fee on every transaction.

What I will do is to sell some stocks from my Roth IRA, transfer that fund to the new self-directed IRA. One advantage of the self-directed IRA is it has a lot more investment choice than the regular IRA, the Roth IRA I have can only invest in the stock market.

When comparing with all the retirement plan options available, I believe the Solo 401k is the best choice for control, flexibility and cost effectiveness. I will certainly consider opening a Solo 401k plan with “Check Book IRA” later on.

I strongly encourage you to check out www.checkbookira.com and find out their Check Book IRA and Solo 401(k) services. By the way, I found out their plan fee is actually lower than the other company I contacted prior to them. Also, I do not get any compensation from Check Book IRA by endorsing them here. I recommend them solely by being impressed with their offers and services.

As mentioned earlier, I am not a financial planning expert, please consult with your CPA or financial planner before making any investment decisions.

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SOS EDC™ Carbon Fiber Leather RFID Blocking Anti-theft Passport Wallet w/ Removable Chain Amazon Reviews

Product reviews are very important to any online seller and it’s a vital part of the e-commerce business success and I certainly realized that. That why I encourage existing customers to leave a product review after they ordered & received the product. I could have done like many other sellers to offer a deep discount or giving out the product for free to solicit favorable reviews from friends and family members. There are quite a few paid services out there to get reviews as well, however, I have not opted for doing any of these tactics, but I did ask existing customers to leave an honest review if they have a chance.

So far there are two not so great reviews posted on the Amazon website by existing customers, one of them even only has one star. Even though the bad reviews are not what I am hoping for, but they are very helpful in improving the product design & quality. In this case, the most complained issue is the eyelet on the Carbon Fiber Leather RFID Blocking Passport Wallet with the Removable Chain. Both reviews complained about the eyelet on the wallet came off after only a short period of usage. Fortunately, of the many sold wallets, there are only two complaints but don’t think I will take this lightly. I will do whatever it takes to remedy the issue to the customer’s satisfaction. First of all, I will be glad to issue you a refund or exchange if you encounter the same issue or simply are not satisfied with the wallet’s overall appeal & quality. Secondly, I will take note on the complained issues and report them to the manufacturer to improve the product which I have already done so in this case.

The second complaint in one of the reviews is that the leather on the wallet is too thin. However, I don’t totally agree with this. The outer part of the wallet is mostly made of carbon fiber material which is very durable. Yes, when you open the wallet, the leather which the credit card & passport compartments are made of is kind of thin, but I believe that’s a good thing. Since the leather is also lined with RFID-blocking material, any additional thickness will make the wallet too bulky and heavier. The RFID-blocking material also provides the added durability to the leather. So far I have not heard from any customer about the leather not being strong enough or has been ripped. I will definitely report this to the manufacturer as well if that becomes an issue.

Right after I saw the total of two-star review score on the wallet I would expect no one will buy the wallet again but to my surprise, a few orders were placed right after the reviews, so I am very grateful to those customers who are still willing to give a vote of confidence to the product and made the purchases.

Also, please don’t forget the SOS EDC™ Compact RFID Blocking Anti-Theft Travel Passport Neck Pouch / Belt Wallet which I believe is a very versatile wallet to have. And I personally carry this one every day. And the great news is that the price has been dropped,  and believe me, you are really getting a bargain on this wallet, so please give it try or send one to someone as a gift and I am sure they will like it.

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Touch their hearts with an Original Message in a Bottle

It’s that time of the year, time for giving gifts to our love-ones.  But are you running out of unique gift ideas? Fear not, I recently learned about this unique gift idea which I believe you will love: Build your own Message in a Bottle Gift!

As stated on their website: “Create a one of a kind gift, invitation or promotional product that becomes a focal point of the recipient’s day.  Reminding them of the person that sent them their special message in a bottle… Each bottle arrives resting on a sea of white foam as if it washed ashore in from the sea.”

“Explore the site, take your time, relax and enjoy building your own message in a bottle, as a birthday gift, Get well, I’m Sorry, Proposal, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Christmas, Valentine’s Day….really don’t need a reason to send a message in a bottle.”

One of the great features of the MIB is that you can customize the messages and the bottle contents. So you will have a lot of ways to express your feeling & love! :-).  For example, it’s Christmas Time – Send them, Christmas in a Bottle, an instant forever keepsake – Christmas.

Merry Christmas To You!

Happy Thanksgiving & Stay Safe!!

turkey-eat-beefJust want to say a quick Happy Thanksgiving to everyone as I am heading to work soon. Yes, I still need to work on Thanksgiving’s Day. Although I would rather stay home celebrating the holiday, but the extra OT pay helps in making me feel a bit better.

Anyway, on the way to work yesterday, the traffic report from the radio has an unusual increase of auto accidents which is not surprising because many people are traveling to visit family members to celebrate Thanksgiving. So having an auto accident at this particular time of the year is especially unfortunate. So, all I want to say here today is to remind you to pay extra attention when driving, buckle up and stay safe because someone you love is expecting your arrival. Happy holidays & be safe!!

Happy SOS EDC™ Holiday Discount!

Carbon fiber RFID blocking passport travel wallet To appreciate your patronage & celebrate the upcoming holidays, we are lowering the price on the best selling Carbon Fiber RFID Blocking Travel Passport Wallet (effective on 11/22/16).  The new price will be $39.95. Not only that, on top of the lower price, existing customers will received an exclusive discount code for the purchase of any of our wallets available on Amazon, including the Compact RFID Blocking Anti-Theft Travel Passport Neck Pouch / Belt Wallet. You can search “sos edc” on Amazon.com to find both wallets. Happy Holidays!! 🙂

 

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The Scenic California Highway 1

Recently several friends and I visited the scenic California Highway 1 since it’s only a one-day trip, so we only visited one of the most beautiful stretch of the highway ocean front view which includes the vicinity of Monterey & the 17-mile drive, as well as the charming little town Carmel. I have been living in California for more than twenty years and it’s my first visit, which is a shame. Two of the friends have visited the area several times, but they still find it very exciting and find something new to explore each time. Anyway, I put together a little slide show here and hope you will enjoy it!  🙂

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And of course, I have not forgotten my shameless self-promotion here. During the trip, I carried my trusty SOS EDC™ Compact RFID Blocking Anti-Theft Travel Passport Neck Pouch / Belt Wallet with me. So when I was jumping on the rocks at the beach with joy, I didn’t have the slightest of worry that my wallet will fall off the cliff and got washed into the abyss of the ocean. I would have carried the Carbon Fiber Leather RFID Blocking Anti-theft Passport Wallet w/ Removable Chain if I was not wearing jeans, however, I have other use of the Survival Wallet as well if you now what I mean. 😉

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The Survival Wallet – SOS EDC™ Compact RFID Blocking Anti-Theft Travel Passport Neck Pouch / Belt Wallet

CCW ammo magazine pouch walletAs you might have learned, the SOS EDC™ Compact RFID Blocking Anti-Theft Travel Passport Neck Pouch / Belt Wallet has many carry options, and my favorite one is for carrying two spare pistol magazines for concealed carry purpose. I truly believe what makes America great is the freedom and rights the U.S. constitution provides, of which one of them is the right to bear arms as stated in the 2nd Amendment. And to fully exercise this right, I applied & received the CCW (Concealed Carry Weapon) license. While there are many concealed carry options for the firearms, but not that many choices I like for carrying the spare magazines truly concealed.

While the wallet/pouch’s original design is not intended for carrying spare handgun magazines, but I quickly found out it’s very well suited for such purpose, especially for the single stack magazine with 10 rounds or less capacity. Carrying two double stack magazines is fine but just a bit bulky.

I don’t know if you have heard, recently there are a rash of home invasion/burglaries targeting the Chinese-American homes in the sosedc-RFID-muli-tool-pouch-walletGreater LA area. And the now banned YouTube rap song “Meet the Flockers” by YG encouraged criminals to go after the Chinese-American homes because they are perceived to have a lot of cash & jewelry  stashed at home. If you happened to be visiting one of the gun shops in the LA area, you will see it’s most likely jam packed with Chinese-American customers. Even one of my female friends whom I never thought of considering owning a gun before is now getting one to protect herself. However, getting a CCW in LA is nearly impossible due to the stricter gun laws which I believe is very unfortunate, this will only hurt the law-abiding citizens like my friend to defend herself against the bad guys while such gun law has no effect on the criminals.

Hey, but even if you don’t believe in the 2nd Amendment, you can still find great use of the SOS EDC™ Compact RFID Blocking Anti-Theft Travel Passport Neck Pouch / Belt Wallet. You can use it to carry multi-functional/survival tools. 🙂

– Kenny Lee

 

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Confirming the RFID Blocking Feature with The Manufacturer

SOSEDC-RFID-Wallet One of the great features of the SOS EDC™ Compact RFID Blocking Anti-Theft Travel Passport Neck Pouch / Belt Wallet is definitely the RFID blocking capability. However, I have noticed a layer inside the wallet is cut, so I have been wondering if the RFID blocking layer was cut, but since the manufacturer provided me with a copy of the certification report on the RFID blocking material used on the wallet, so I put this in the back of my head for a little bit. But as more and more units of the wallet being sold, I want to make sure the customers are actually getting what they paid for so I decided to contact the Manufacturer’s representative I have been dealing with last night. His name is Randy, a young and energetic guy in China. By the way, we communicated in English via email or texting, but in Mandarin when speaking over Skype.

At first I sent him an email with the picture of the wallet showing the issue I am concern about. I know there is time zone different between the United States and China, so I waited until it’s about noon time in China to see if he has responded. I also noticed he just signed on to Skype, so I decided to message him over Skype and he quickly responded, turned out that he has not received the email yet. After explaining the issue, he initiated the video call over Skype. He assured me the wallet is made of the RFID blocking materials, in fact there are three FRID blocking layers, including one in the front pocket, so in case you keep any chip enabled credit cards in the front pocket, they will be protected. The piece of cloth showing as cut in the wallet is actually the extension of one of the layer sticking out. He even ripped open one of the same wallets to show me the inner RFID blocking layer of the wallet. It was such a relief for me on this issue. I understand the cut is not very neat, but consider the affordability of the wallet, I believe it’s a minor issue and hopefully improvement will be made on the next production.

Anyway, I really appreciate Randy’s help in making this wallet from concept to reality for me. I am really hoping to get some feedback from the current customers or even potential customers for improving the wallet for even better utility.

On the side note, Randy said he still has not received the email I sent him, even though I can received the test email he sent me, but Skype is totally made up for the email misbehave. It’s amazing how technology can enable global communications these days.

By the way, don’t forget to participate the FREE SOS EDC™ Neck Pouch / Belt Wallet Give Away contest.

– Kenny

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What Are American’s Biggest Fears?

I have not watched TV for a long long time, I am talking about years, discounting the occasional accidental tune-in while flipping through the TV input options trying to connect my iPad Mini to the Apple TV to listen to music while working out. For great sound quality, I have my TV connected to the 5.1 home theater system. Anyway, when I was flipping through the TV inputs yesterday, the TV option stayed long enough and it’s the news hours, so I just decided to watch it in part to learn more about the propositions I will vote on in the coming election. Anyway, as usual, I found most of the news items boring but find this one rather interesting: American’s Biggest Fear.

According to the source from Chapman University, here are the top 10 American’s Biggest Fears:

  • 60.6% – Corrupt Government Officials
  • 41% – Terrorist Attack
  • 39.9% – Not Having Enough Money for the Future
  • 38.5% – Terrorism
  • 38.5% – Government Restrictions on Firearms/Ammunition
  • 38.1% – People I Love Dying
  • 37.5% – Economic/Financial Collapse
  • 35.9% – Identity Theft
  • 35.9% – People I Love Becoming Seriously Ill
  • 35.5% – The Affordable Health Care Act/Obamacare

There you have it. These are all legitimate fears we all face today and with such high percentage, I totally agree with the #1 fear. But I am a little suprised that Identity Theft made it to top 10 list. But judging from the horor stories of the identity theft victims of what they have to go through, I guess I shouldn’t be suprised. While sometimes, the occurrence of identity theft event is out of our control, such as the security breach on major banks, health insurance companies, retail stores…etc., or the latest Yahoo account compromise, but on the personal level there is something we can do to protect our identity and privacy. The one thing you can do is starting with changing your wallet to a one that’s capable of RFID blocking. I am sure you have found out already that most credit cards now come with a chip. Identity thieves equipped with special high-tech device can steal your credit card information when they get near you and scan your wallet or purse without you knowing what’s going on. You can do a search on Youtube and will find videos such as this one:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=49o91DvqQ7k.

And you guess it right on the money, our SOS EDC™ RFID blocking wallets will do the job of stopping the scanning if used properly. Our wallets are not only designed to stop electronic pickpocketing but also the physical pickpocketing. I have replaced my old leather wallet with the Compact RFID Blocking Anti-Theft Travel Passport Neck Pouch / Belt Wallet when I am wearing jeans or the Carbon Fiber Leather RFID Blocking Anti-theft Passport Wallet w/ Removable Chain when I am wearing dress pants. Now I don’t need to worry about my credit card information and the wallet itself got stolen.  The protection these wallets provide is well worth the small investment you put in, this could be one of your smartest investment you will ever made. Trust me, you really don’t want to go through the ordeal of loseing your wallet or your identity got stolen and used in fraudulent / criminal activities.

So please CHECK THEM OUT and recommend to your friends. 🙂

sos edc RFID Blocking Anti-theft Passport Wallet

SOS EDC™ RFID Blocking Anti-Theft Travel Passport Wallets – Carry Daily or on Vacation with Peace of Mind!

 

 

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Free Giveaway Contest For A SOS EDC™ Compact RFID Blocking Anti-Theft Travel Passport Neck Pouch/Belt Wallet

RFID blocking wallet

To celebrate the SOS EDC™ brand launch, we are giving away a Compact RFID Blocking Anti-Theft Travel Passport Neck Pouch / Belt Wallets to a lucky winner this month. But even if you don’t win, you will receive a  discount code if you opted into our email list.

To increase your chance of winning, please refer your friends to the contest. Watch out for future contests which will certainly including the Carbon Fiber Leather RFID Blocking Anti-theft Travel Passport Wallet With Removable Belt Loop Chain .

Thank you for participating! Please click on this link to Enter: http://sohosos.com/giveaways/sos-edc-neck-pouch-belt-wallet-give-away/.

 

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