That's great by itself but the feds are giving us another perk here. When you convert pre-tax to after-tax retirement money you have to pay the tax on the conversion. Because of TIPRA, you can split that tax consequence over 2 years. Basically it works like this. in 2010 you convert your Traditional IRA to a Roth. You declare half that conversion in your 2011 taxes and you don't have to write a check to the IRS for half of that conversion until April 15, 2012! The second half would be due April 15, 2013. Conventional wisdom would say pay taxes now while they're low. You & your CPA can determine what's right for you.
You can self-direct most retirement accounts and use these dollars to buy real estate (or basically anything except life insurance or collectibles) according to IRS Pub 590. Self-directed IRA investing is for "investment purposes only" and therefore if you're buying real estate the SDIRA can be used for non-owner-occupied, investment properties only. Have questions? Please ask! uDirect IRA Services provides self-directed IRAs so people can take control of their retirement dollars and invest where they like. www.uDirectIRA.com