Alberto Uranga, Creator of our Proprietary Program: A Tale of Hard Work, Taking Risks, and Entrepreneurship

Alberto in 1969 while sheepherding in the mountains of Idaho.

Alberto in 1969 while sheepherding in the mountains of Idaho.

First Job

Alberto was born in a small fishing town on the coast of the Basque Country (Spain) in 1945 as World War II was ending. At the time, Spain was ruled by Francisco Franco, a dictator who focused much of his oppression on the area where Alberto grew up.

He was one of four children with both parents working hard, despite not always being able to put food on the table. Alberto joined the labor force early to help his family as his father would often be gone for long periods of time working on the fishing boat as a skipper. He was eleven years old when he started work in a factory cutting the heads off of anchovies, standing on a wooden box in order to reach the counter. He attended schooling at the Colegio de Merced, a Catholic college in his hometown.

In Pursuit of the “American Dream”

Alberto was drafted by Franco to serve in the Spanish Navy at age nineteen. Showing his mind for business early again as the crew's manager in charge of one hundred and fifty men, taking in account their schedule and making sure the schedule was fair so that everyone received a much needed night off. After two years in the navy, he returned to his job with Conservas Dentici of opening the market for canned fish to be distributed to restaurants and mom and pop businesses throughout the wine country of La Rioja. These were very fond times for Alberto. His family and friends thought that he already made it: he had a successful and stable job, a good looking girlfriend, and drove a Mercedes.

But for Alberto, the adventure was not over. He knew that Spain could not offer as many opportunities down the road. So, he left his stable job to travel west into the unknown in pursuit of the "American Dream," a belief that success in the U.S. could be achieved through sacrifice, risk-taking, and hard work.

Too Many Western Movies Growing Up

Alberto arrived in Idaho at the age of 22, not speaking a word of English. He had taken a job as a sheepherder, like many Basque's before him. He was put on a horse for the first time, given a gun for the first time, and then ordered to spend months at a time alone in the woods surrounded by sheep for the first time. In other words, completely uncharted territory for Alberto. He survived through cold nights and a deathly case of double pneumonia, bear attacks, and loneliness. Alberto thought about packing it in and returning home, but the promise of the "American Dream" was still whispering softly in his ear, and he knew that he couldn't give up.

American Life as an American Citizen

After three strenuous years in the mountains and in the United States of America, Alberto accomplished one of his proudest moments and became a United States Citizen in 1974. From there he worked in a meat packing factory in Gooding, ID, was an employee of Kmart, and was certified to work as a postal man for the United States Post Office.

He found himself pretty content once again, but knew that there were still many opportunities out there. Plus, Alberto was just married and had dreams of having a family one day. So, he took a risk again and started going door to door to sell insurance as an agent for Life of the Northwest, a company out of Spokane, WA.

Alberto with daughter Xole, now 30, at Redfish Lake, ID

Alberto with daughter Xole, now 30, at Redfish Lake, ID

Alberto holding son Xebi’s hand, now 32, at Redfish Lake, ID

Alberto holding son Xebi’s hand, now 32, at Redfish Lake, ID

The Road to Entrepreneurship

From there he created his first business, Uranga and Associates, and was a successful Series 7 Financial Advisor for seventeen years.

Beginning of Lasaii Benefits and our IRA Real Estate to Occupy Proprietary Program

It wasn't until 1992 when Alberto knew exactly what the wanted to do with his business. A client had a financial issue and asked him for a solution. Alberto got creative, did some out of the box thinking, and came up with a way to structure his client's large KEOGH Plan (IRA) to be used to help build rental properties that his client and his client's family could occupy! He was so excited because he knew the potential and the value of this proprietary structure. With the big misconception that an IRA could not be used to purchase real estate that could be occupied, Alberto set out to share the truth and educate as many people as possible teaching classes about the subject at the College of Southern Idaho from 1994-2004.

In 2005, he dedicated his business to be solely an IRA Real Estate to Occupy company and help people purchase and occupy real estate with their IRA funds. Fourteen years later, he has helped hundreds of clients across thirty six states and four countries use their IRA to help purchase real estate to occupy and/or create income, to build real estate, and to qualify for a loan to purchase real estate with the SAFE HARBOR-Directed IRA.

Hard work never stops for Lasaii Benefits, and we wouldn’t have it any other way!

Today, Alberto lives in Ketchum, ID and still enjoys helping people be more financially successful and knowledgable. IRA real estate to occupy is still his passion and still makes him just as excited as it did when he discovered his proprietary structure in 1992.

In anticipation for retirement down the road, Alberto is teaching his two children, Xebi and Xole, the business so they can run the company one day and carry on his legacy. He continues to instill in them the belief that anything is possible with hard work.

He spends his free time serving on the Board of Directors for the Trailing of the Sheep Festival, hiking in the mountains of Idaho, watching soccer, and visiting his family and friends in the Basque Country as much as possible.

It has been my pleasure to have known Alberto for more than 10 years. Originally it was just a friendship, but later after mentioning a business challenge I faced, it became a valued business relationship as well. Alberto came up with an original concept which beautifully solved the business challenge I was facing. Since that time, I have regularly reached out to Alberto for new ideas and solutions and I have found him to always be well informed and eager to respond in a most prompt, meaningful way.
— H.D. McNee Jr., ID, Client
Alberto with son and daughter on Father’s Day in 2014.

Alberto with son and daughter on Father’s Day in 2014.

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