Retirement Funds Help Entrepreneur Invest in a Greener Future

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Miki DeZorzi, an Orangevale, CA stay-at-home mom of two, invested her 401(k) funds into a Low Speed Vehicle business, which sells electric cars and customized golf carts nationwide.

In late 2007, Miki DeZorzi, an Orangevale, Calif., stay-at-home mom of two, invested her 401(k) funds into a better future for her family and, in so doing, hopes to do her part in helping the planet's future as well.

A former sales manager for a telecom company, DeZorzi used more than $50K from her previous employer's retirement plan to purchase Electric Car Living, a golf cart and Neighborhood Electric Vehicle (NEV) business in Lincoln, Calif. "This really is the wave of the future," she says of the more energy efficient alternatives to conventional four-wheeled light-duty vehicles.

Also known as Low Speed Vehicles (LSV), these lighter-weight, eco-friendly modes of transportation are being introduced into a growing number of communities, many of which are accommodating them by widening bicycle lanes. "Many counties and states are creating Low Speed Vehicle initiatives, encouraging people to get out of their cars, off the roads and use LSVs to get around," DeZorzi says. Currently 38 states have LSV laws, and many allow LSVs and NEVs on public roads with posted speed limits below 35 miles per hour.

This growing popularity coupled with environmental need drove DeZorzi to invest her future retirement money into this "green" business. Working with Guidant Financial Group, a financial services company specializing in business-funding solutions utilizing IRA funds, she rolled her retirement dollars into a customized 401(k) that enabled her to buy the business as an investment. "Although I could have gotten an SBA loan, I didn't want to pay interest," she says. "It just makes sense to utilize money you already have. Now I'm getting an even better return on my 401(k) than before."

DeZorzi helped build her business by offering customized and modified golf carts ("streetrods") designed to look like fire engines, model-Ts, etc., which she sells at her shop and across the country through her website (http://www.electriccarliving.com). These carts have been a hit with organizations wanting LSVs/NEVs customized with their company colors and logos for promotional purposes. DeZorzi has also elected to be the only Zap electric vehicle dealer in the area - a move enabling her to provide electric city buses and other kinds of electric vehicles that can reach up to 40 m.p.h. and, potentially, even a freeway-safe electric car that can reach highway speeds.

DeZorzi fully expects the growing trend away from SUVs to LSVs to go from fast to phenomenal. "These kinds of vehicles are right on the verge of universal acceptance," she says. "And the industry is about to explode."

About Guidant Financial Group:
Guidant Financial Group is the premier provider of self-directed IRAs and business-funding solutions through IRAs and 401(k)s. Guidant's services allow investors the freedom to make investments in real estate, franchises, businesses, tax liens and more by accessing their retirement accounts without penalty before retirement age. For more information on Self-directed IRAs or Business Financing please visit http://www.guidantfinancial.com.

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Katie Lawrence


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