Gold IRAs are a special type of self-directed IRA that allows you to invest in physical gold and other precious metals, such as silver, platinum, and palladium. Investing in a gold IRA requires the services of a custodian bank, a broker to purchase gold, and an approved depositary to store gold. Like other self-directed IRAs, Gold IRAs can be Traditional or Roth. The gold in a gold IRA must be stored in an IRS-approved depot. You can’t store it in a safe, a house safe, or under your mattress.
Still, a gold IRA can be a good option for investors who want to diversify their retirement accounts and also take advantage of the hedging benefits that the yellow metal offers over other financial assets, such as fiat currency and stocks. By setting strict parameters for defining IRA gold, the IRS can ensure that people hold investment-grade assets in their self-managed gold IRA, as opposed to collectibles, which are not eligible for any preferential tax treatment. To set up a Gold IRA, you’ll need to work with a Gold IRA company to set up an account and buy the precious metals of your choice to fund it. You want to choose a Gold IRA company that is transparent, easy to set fees, and has a good reputation.
As with other retirement accounts, if you withdraw gold from your IRA before you turn 59½, you must pay income tax on the value of the gold, plus a 10% upfront withdrawal penalty. Your chosen Gold IRA company will help you get started by reaching out to your plan administrator with a request to transfer funds to your new Gold IRA. Many people who open gold IRAs use funds from another IRA to do so, but it’s not a good idea to convert your entire nest egg into a gold IRA. A gold IRA company will help you set up your account and sell you the gold (or silver) coins or bars that fund it.
Making a mistake, even if it happens accidentally, can be very costly. So it’s worth knowing what the IRS will and won’t let the IRS do with your Gold IRA. Remember that not every self-governing IRA custodian bank offers the same investment options. So make sure that physical gold is among their offerings before you open an account. During his tenure as Director of the Mint, there was little demand for gold IRAs, according to Moy, as it is a very complicated transaction that only the most stubborn investor was willing to make. Some IRA companies guarantee that they’ll buy back the gold from you at current wholesale prices, but you could still lose money if you close the account, which is not usually the case when opening and closing regular IRAs.
For a gold IRA, you need a broker to buy the gold and a custodian to create and manage the account. Record gold sales combined with the appearance of many more companies processing and simplifying transactions have made investing in a gold IRA a one-stop shop. Most gold IRA companies recommend or require that you work with a specific custodian and custodian, although some give you a choice of two or more.