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By now, it's common knowledge that saving enough wealth for retirement is a problem many seniors have faced in the past. This has pushed more people to start saving for retirement earlier in life and more aggressively. If this sounds like your situation, you're probably concerned with protecting the wealth you do grow.
Open a Gold IRA Account With One of the Top Comapanies:
Augusta is praised for its transparency in regard to the fees they charge as well as for the vast supply of educational resources they offer. Customers find their online webinars especially helpful. The company maintains a staff of professional economists to help their customers evaluate their investments and retirement goals.
There are several reasons that Goldco has earned a strong and positive reputation among investors. To begin, their prices are very competitive and they provide enough information to help their customers feel confident with their purchases. The staff is knowledgeable and customers find them to be patient and communicative.
The thing that sets American Hartford Gold apart from other companies is that they don't require a minimum initial investment. Even though they forgo that minimum, they don't let that interfere with the high quality of customer service they offer. The company has built a strong reputation by ensuring their customers have positive experiences with them.
Why You Should Open a Self-Directed Gold IRA
One option to consider is to invest in precious metals, such as gold or silver. While you can convert some or all of your retirement savings to gold, this is a complex process that requires complying with IRS regulations. This means you can only use your retirement wealth to buy bullion or coins, and those products must meet the government's standards for purity.
Even after you buy precious metals, the IRS will regulate how you can store them. Since you can't keep them in your own home, you will need an authorized custodian. The custodian will monitor and secure your precious metals, and they will ensure the proper paperwork is filed with the IRS.
Before you can start this process, you'll have to open a self-directed IRA and roll your retirement funds over into that account. This is a necessary first step because a traditional IRA cannot hold physical assets, such as precious metals or real estate. Once you set up your self-directed IRA, you will need to find a custodian who is authorized and experienced in managing these types of retirement assets.
What Happens When You Don't Work With an Established Gold IRA Company
While you're not required to work with a gold IRA company, doing so can simplify the process of setting up your account. Before looking at how this type of service can make things easier for you, it's important to look at what's involved in setting up a gold IRA on your own.
Here is a brief look at this multi-step process:
As you can see, this process is complex and time-consuming. A lull in communication or a minor mistake can derail this entire process and subject you to IRS penalties. Since the average person knows very little about tax laws, they assume this process is too complicated for them, and that concern can lead to a reluctance to invest in precious metals.
Fortunately, you don't have to do this all by yourself. Anyone who takes the time to learn more about this process will find that a gold IRA company can eliminate most of those steps. Additionally, an established company will make sure their clients are compliant with IRA regulations.
How a Gold IRA Company Simplifies Opening an Account
While there are many companies that offer gold IRA services, you will have to look into what each company offers. Even though a company might offer gold IRA services, that might not be their primary or only service. Some companies will assist in selling a variety of physical assets in addition to gold, such as collectible coins.
Other companies will assist in combining assets under one account. This is a good service to use if you want to include bitcoin or other physical assets in your self-directed IRA.
Some companies may only offer gold IRA services on a minimal basis. This means you might not get the level of assistance or service you require.
Choose Your Company
Since there are gold IRA companies ranging from excellent to extremely poor in terms of the service they offer, it's important to do adequate research. To help you get started, there are a few recommendations in a later section of this article.
When you do select the gold IRA company you want to use, contact that company's customer service department. They will help you set up your account and submit the required documents to the IRS. While you can fill out most of the application on your own, you might come across sections that you feel uncertain about answering. Leave those parts of the application blank until you can get the help you need to complete the form.
Your search for a custodian and depository will also be simplified when you work with a gold IRA company. Most gold IRA companies have their own partnerships with authorized depositories and custodians. While this will shorten your search, you should still research any custodian or depository you plan to use. Make sure they can provide you with a comprehensive fee schedule. Look up customer reviews for each service as well. A large number of negative reviews should be taken as a cue that the service won't provide you with a satisfactory experience.
In terms of selecting a depository, talk to your gold IRA company about the storage facilities in your region. Depending on where you live, there might be a few different depositories. Choose the one that you believe will provide the best service.
A depository that adheres to IRS regulations will provide state-of-the-art security and issue frequent audit reports for your account. Your vault will be fully insured as well. These services make it more desirable to store your gold in a depository rather than keeping it at home. Additionally, the IRS prohibits retirement investors from storing their gold in a residential home.
You should know that you're not required to store your gold in a depository that's geographically close to you. Due to varying tax laws from state to state, it might make more sense to have your gold shipped to a different region. For example, neither Delaware nor Texas charges sales tax on gold bullion that's stored in their state. This includes gold shipped to one of their depositories from a different state.
There is a processing fee that most gold IRA companies will charge for your initial account setup. Typically, the fee is $50, but some companies may charge more. Ask about this fee before committing to a gold IRA company.
Fund Your Account
Once your account is set up, you will need to fund it before you can start buying gold. There are a few different ways to transfer money into your gold IRA account. The easiest method is to use money from your personal savings account to make a cash deposit. If you don't want to physically hand over the cash, you can set up a wire transfer or write a check for the amount you want to deposit.
If you do plan to schedule a wire transfer, talk to a representative at your bank about the potential fees. Depending on the type of savings account you have with your bank, there may not be any fees. It's always better to ask in advance so you're aware of the potential costs of the transfer.
If you are funding the account with your 401k or traditional IRA, you'll need to file the request for a rollover with the IRS. This must be done within 60 days of transferring the funds to avoid having to pay income tax and penalties on the money. Your 401k or IRA manager will help you wire the funds into your gold IRA account.
Your gold IRA company may assist with the rollover process. They can help you fill out and submit the rollover request since they're more experienced in dealing with these types of tax issues. They can also communicate with your 401k or IRA custodian to ensure the transaction will be processed more efficiently.
The advantage of rolling your funds over from another retirement account is that you'll sidestep the annual contribution limits established by the IRS. When rolling funds over between two retirement accounts, the limit doesn't apply. Once this process is complete and your account is funded, you can begin investing in gold, silver, or other precious metals.
Start Buying Precious Metals
You're probably unfamiliar with precious metals and how they perform in the market. If that's the case, you can get the help you need from a representative at the gold IRA company you're using. They can advise you on buying precious metals depending on the level of performance you want from them.
There are more options than you might realize. Your gold IRA representative can help you buy as much gold as possible for the lowest price. Alternatively, they can help you buy specific coins that are minted and approved by the IRS. They will assist you in building a diverse collection of coins and bullion if that's your interest.
The advantage of working with a gold IRA company is that you'll eliminate the guesswork. You don't want to waste money buying forms of precious metals that aren't approved by the IRS. Your representative will help you buy the types and forms of precious metals that meet the government's purity standards. Otherwise, you might face penalties and hefty taxes for buying precious metals that don't comply with IRS standards.
Monitor Your Investment
Once your purchase is finalized, the precious metals will be shipped to the depository where the custodian will receive and inspect the metals. Once the order has been verified, the custodian will store your products in your secure vault.
From there, you don't really have to do anything. You can review the performance of your investment through your routine audit reports or by monitoring your vault via an online portal. Even your storage fees will be deducted from your account, saving you from having to keep up with payments.
You still own the contents of your vault. You can add more precious metals to it or change custodians if you're dissatisfied.
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4 Things to Consider
Maintaining a self-directed gold IRA is an important matter since its performance will affect your future. This means you'll want to avoid doing business with one of the few bad gold IRA companies out there. These tips can help you evaluate companies and find the best ones for your investments.
Research the Company's Reputation
In any industry, a company or brand earns its reputation through customer experiences. This is just as true for gold IRA companies. You can gather a strong understanding of any gold IRA company's reputation by reading customer reviews online. Some online resources to use for this purpose include TrustPilot, the Better Business Bureau, TrustLink, and Consumer Affairs. You can also check each company's social media pages to see what types of comments their followers leave.
While it's normal for any company to have some negative reviews, the majority of reviews should be positive. Additionally, look at the company's responses to negative reviews. If they seem eager to correct their mistakes, this can be a good sign.
Look for Service-Oriented Companies
You'll find two types of gold IRA companies. The first kind is one that operates by paying its staff in commissions. As a result, their customers will be pressured into buying products rashly or without the appropriate information. Employees will use aggressive sales tactics to get more sales. In this type of company, you'll usually find only basic information and very few helpful services.
The second type of gold IRA company is service-oriented. Their goal is to help their customers have positive investing experiences. In a service-oriented company, there will be plenty of educational resources. As a customer, you'll have access to training videos, webinars, and videos that will help you learn more about investing in precious metals. In this type of company, the staff will be eager to build lasting relationships, and that means they will be more honest and more helpful.
Ask About the Extent of Customer Service
When it comes to maintaining a precious metals investing account, you'll want extensive customer service. In evaluating any company, be assertive in asking questions about the level of customer service they offer.
Some questions to ask might include:
You should expect a higher level of customer service. Since you're probably inexperienced with self-directed gold IRAs, you'll need to rely on their professional assistance.
Inquire About Fees and Minimums
Before signing on with any company, you should have a thorough understanding of the fees they will charge. You should also know about the minimum amount you'll be required to initially invest. Be wary of a company that charges hidden commission fees or adds markups on the purchase of precious metals. You'll have better luck if you look for companies that will provide you with the equation they use to set their prices.
There's also a difference in how companies charge their fees. While some charge flat fees, others will charge fees based on the value of the holdings in your vault. A company that charges a flat fee is better since you'll always know what you'll be expected to pay.
There are companies that require minimum investment accounts. Be aware of those requirements in advance. Make sure you're prepared to invest the minimum amount required by the gold IRA company you want to use.
3 Top Choices for Gold IRAs
There are many choices when it comes to choosing a gold IRA company, and it can be difficult to know where to start. Here are a few of the most popular companies in today's market. You can choose one of them or use this information to help you learn what to expect from other gold IRA companies.
All three of the following companies have popular buyback programs that their customers find favorable. They also offer free guides and plenty of resources for customer education. The depositories and custodians they use all have highly-praised reputations, and each company services customers in all 50 states.
Even though starting a self-directed gold IRA can be complex, the benefits it yields will be worthwhile. Especially in an uncertain economy, holding onto precious metals can provide real financial security. Getting the help you need from a reputable gold IRA company can help you simplify this process and allow you to start investing in gold that much sooner.