Disclaimer: We are reader supported. We may be compensated from the links in this post, if you use products or services based on our expert recommendations.
If you have a traditional IRA, you can invest in gold with those savings. While traditional stock and fund investments can help you invest indirectly in gold, you won't enjoy every advantage that comes with owning gold. The better alternative is to roll your money over into a self-directed IRA. Once you have your self-directed IRA established, you can begin converting your retirement wealth into gold.
While this process can seem complex to set up, knowing the step-by-step process will make it easier. You'll also have professional help along the way to make sure you complete each step properly. You can follow this guide to familiarize yourself with this process before you get started.
Protect Your Wealth & Get Huge Tax Saving!
Find a Precious Metals IRA Company
Your first step in this process should be to choose one of the gold IRA companies with nationwide service. You'll want to do this before doing anything else because a reputable company will help you complete the rest of this process. From rolling over your retirement funds to setting up your depository vault, they can make the set-up process much easier. Most companies will connect you with a customer service representative who will be available to help you from the start of your relationship with the company.
Getting effective customer service is just one of the perks of choosing a good company. While finding the IRA gold company you want to use can be a lengthy process in itself, refine this search by focusing attention on the most popular companies first. These companies have outstanding reputations among their customers, which can be seen in their consistent A+ Better Business Bureau ratings and the flood of positive investor reviews.
This company tops the list for many investors due to the approach their team takes with new customers or investors. Rather than using high-pressure sales tactics to get new investors to buy their gold and silver, they offer guidance in using precious metals to achieve each investor's goals. Augusta Precious Metals is more focused on building long-lasting relationships with their customers. To achieve that goal, they offer a library gold investing resources that any investor can study. A minimum purchase of $50,000 is required, but this shouldn't be a problem for investors who have spent years building up their traditional IRA accounts.
While Augusta Precious Metals doesn't post their fee schedule online, they will provide that information to account holders. They offer fee waivers that last up to 10 years for qualifying customers. Across 30 years in the industry, they have handled more than $25 billion in gold and silver transactions.
Augusta Precious Metals sells gold and silver coins that comply with the IRS' regulations regarding purity. The coins they sell include gold or silver American Eagle, gold Canadian Maple Leaf, or silver America the Beautiful. They sell gold bullion up to 10 ounces and silver bullion ranging from 10 to 100 ounces.
In addition to their A+ BBB rating, Goldco has also maintained excellent ratings with other consumer and investing websites. Their team of customer service specialists assist new customers in setting up their accounts and they can assist you with the rest of the steps involved in establishing up your self-directed gold IRA.
For investors, they sell silver and gold American Eagle, silver Great Barrier Reef, gold Australian Striped Marlin, silver Military Guinea, and gold Marlin coins. Additionally, they offer gold and silver bars in a wide range of sizes. Goldco stands out for offering one of the best buyback programs in the industry. They guarantee the highest buyback price when it comes time to liquidate your precious metals.
They provide transparent fee schedules and plenty of educational and informative resources. They also provide a free start-up kit that includes a guide to silver and gold investing.
American Hartford Gold has built a strong reputation for providing high-quality service to their customers. They stand out as a family-run business with a Los Angeles, CA main office. Inc. magazine recognized them as the top gold company in their 2021 review of 5,000 companies. While they are known for their IRS-approved gold products, they also sell silver that meets the purity requirement for investors.
For gold investors, they sell 1 ounce gold bars and Valcambi Combibar bars as well as Saint Helena Sovereign and Canadian Gyrfalcon coins. If you're interested in silver, you can buy 10 to 100 ounce bars. Available silver coins include Australian Wildlife and pre-1964 coins. Valcambi Combibar bars are also available in silver.
In starting your new account, they will connect you with your own representative and give you contact information for that representative. This ensures you will have access to skilled and helpful assistance with any issue or concern that affects your account. From meeting your investing goals to completing a new rollover, your representative will give you the help you need.
As a customer, you will have access to market news, charts, and a range of other educational resources. This includes a 25-page start-up guide to help you become more familiar with the company and precious metals investing.
You’ll Need a Custodian For Your Self-Directed IRA
You'll have to find a custodian for your self-directed IRA in addition to working with a gold IRA company. Most companies simplify this step by partnering with specific custodians. For example, Augusta Precious Metals and American Hartford Gold both partner with Equity Trust. Although you're free to use any custodian you prefer, using the custodian recommended by your gold IRA company can make things more convenient.
Some companies partner with more than one custodian, so you should inquire about your options for a custodian. Just as you would research a gold IRA company, you should research each custodian before choosing one. Look at the length of service, the cumulative wealth the custodian has handled, and customer reviews for each custodian. This can give you enough information to help you make a better-informed decision in choosing your custodian. While you're free to change custodians in the future, choosing the right one will prevent a need to jump around from one custodian to another.
Set Up Your Vault With an Approved Depository
Next, you'll need to set up a vault with a depository, which is a secure facility that stores precious metals in individual customer vaults. They operate much like the security deposit boxes in banks in that you'll have sole access to your own private vault. As a collector, you don't necessarily have to use a vault, but it does provide a more secure place to store your coins. However, investors who are buying precious metals with their retirement wealth don't have the option of storing them on their residential property. This is prohibited by the IRS. If you have a self-directed gold IRA, all of your bars and coins must be stored in an IRS-approved depository.
There are fees associated with using a depository, so it's important to be aware of these costs. Some depositories charge flat fees while others charge fees based on a percentage of the value of your precious metals. You should inquire about which method a depository uses before choosing to work with them. Primarily, the fees are minimal and are used to maintain the environmental conditions and security of the vaults in the depository.
Most gold IRA companies make it more convenient to choose a depository by maintaining partnerships with specific facilities. For example, both Goldco and Augusta Precious Metals partner with Delaware Depository. If you become a customer with American Hartford Gold, you'll have several options for choosing a depository. In addition to partnering with Delaware Depository, they also work with a couple of other depositories in the United States.
Initiate Your Rollover
Once you have set up accounts with a gold IRA company, custodian, and depository, you'll be ready to fund your account. While you can make contributions to your self-directed gold IRA account just as you would make contributions to any retirement account, you still must stay under the limits outlined by the IRS. This makes it inconvenient to initially fund your self-directed gold IRA with a standard contribution. Instead, you can avoid this situation by processing a rollover.
A rollover allows you to transfer funds from one retirement account to another without affecting your contribution limits. Since it is a direct rollover, you won't face income taxes or early withdrawal penalties on the transferred amount. To complete a successful rollover, it must be received and processed by the Internal Revenue Service within a 60-day window. Your gold IRA company can help you complete and submit the rollover paperwork within the allotted time.
There are two ways to transfer your funds when conducting a rollover. One method involves requesting a payment for the amount and to physically deposit that amount with your self-directed IRA custodian. While this method can give you the added comfort that comes with hand-delivering the check, it also increases the chances of an error. If the check gets lost or there's a delay in depositing it that prevents you from meeting the 60-day deadline, the IRS will view that check as an early withdrawal. In that case, you will have to pay those income taxes and penalties.
The preferred option is to request a wire transfer from your traditional IRA to your new self-directed IRA. The transfer is processed more efficiently and it provides a record that shows you didn't physically receive the funds. A wire transfer helps fund your account faster, limiting the time your money sits idle. As soon as the rollover is processed, you can begin buying gold and silver.
Most reputable gold IRA companies will help you process the rollover. Augusta Precious Metals, Goldco, and American Hartford Gold all provide this type of assistance. Since the rollover process can be complex, this type of help is invaluable to first-time customers.
Start Buying Gold
At this point, you can buy gold or silver with your self-directed IRA funds. As previously stated, precious metals companies sell products to collectors and investors who don't necessarily have to abide by investment purity requirements. To avoid this type of confusion, be sure any gold or silver you do buy through your self-directed gold IRA complies with fineness requirements.
For gold, the IRS requires a purity of 99.5%. They require 99.9% fineness for silver. Investors who want to add platinum or palladium to their vaults must also meet fineness requirements. For these metals, a purity of 99.95% is required.
Before you buy gold for your self-directed IRA, you should consult an account representative at your gold IRA company. The better companies will offer you insight into how gold and silver can used to ensure you have enough wealth at retirement. They can recommend specific products and quantities to help you achieve the goals you have for your retirement. Even if your goal is only to preserve your existing wealth, a customer service representative can help you choose the best range of products for that purpose.
It's important to use the assistance your gold IRA company makes available to you since they can help you use gold to protect your wealth. The gold you purchase today will grow in value as time passes and inflation increases. If the time comes when you need to use your gold to meet changing financial needs, you might want to liquidate a portion of your holdings. In that situation, having a wide range of bars and coins can make it easier to liquidate a percentage of your wealth. To meet this possibility, be sure to inquire about each gold IRA company's buyback policies.
Even after you set up your self-directed gold IRA, you should continue to make use of the educational materials provided by your gold IRA company. Those resources will help you learn how to use gold to increase your retirement nest egg. You'll also learn how to evaluate the market to ensure you'll sell your gold at the best time. Taking advantage of the full range of services provided by your gold IRA company will ensure you'll enjoy the best benefits from your retirement savings.