Individual Retirement Accounts, also known as IRAs, are an investment vehicle that helps you prepare for your retirement. There are many types of IRAs available to investors, and the plan that you choose will be unique to your personal financial situation. All 401ks are government regulated retirement accounts that are offered through your employer. A new form of the 401k is called the Solo 401k plan and was uniquely designed for the small business owner. Self-directed IRA plans put you in control of your finances and your retirement planning instead of a custodian. If you have a 401k plan from your previous employer, you can start a 401k transfer to IRA. Once you have established a self-directed IRA, you have unlimited control.