top of page

Using your 401k to fund your inn purchase

While these are uncertain and unprecedented times, there does seem to be a silver lining for those who have the benefit of being able to take this time to reassess their long-term goals. A recent look at Google Analytics suggests that a number of people are doing just that. The past week looks to be not only above last week's numbers but also higher than the same time last year. Clearly some people have a bit more time on their hands and are doing some research, looking specifically at lodging properties in Maine. Further, Dana Moos of the Maine Inn Team had a conversation with a potential buyer who said that she had been "taking this time to really look at what would make her happy" and that she did not want to have her 401(k) totally tied to the market" but to have more control of it herself. All of this led to an interesting conversation of "ROBS."

Rollover for Business Startups, as known as ROBS, is starting to catch on and become much more attractive for those looking to start their dream business. ROBS is an investment vehicle that allows investors with 401(k) plans and Individual Retirement Accounts to use the funds to buy a business and pay for start-up costs. A four-step process allows the account holder to access the cash without paying early withdrawal penalties or taxes. It's becoming increasingly prevalent among retirement account holders who aren't ready to retire, but are looking for that next opportunity to have their own business. Essentially, you are investing in yourself and your ability to succeed.

ROBS "has become a very helpful tool to some buyers who could otherwise not raise the capital needed to purchase, or to purchase what they would really like," says Dana Moos, Director of Lodging and Hospitality Brokerage at The Swan Agency Sotheby's International Realty. "I've had at least three or four buyers use it in recent years."

Perhaps you have been wanting to start a business but are not sure of the funding or how to get started. If the B&B business sounds enticing in meeting great people and working for yourself, check out one the Aspiring Innkeeper Workshops to hear more and learn more about ROBS. Our dates and more information can be found on or you can email

Buying or selling an inn can be a relatively long process. We don't just take part in a quick transaction, we establish relationships. The sale is not our goal. Your success is our goal. And our relationship doesn't end at the closing table.

The Maine Inn Team -Dana & Tori



bottom of page