Are you ready to take the first steps towards growing your wealth with gold and other precious metals? If you're reading this article, you've probably already done your research and decided that setting up a Gold IRA is the best way to help you achieve your goals. Congratulations! This is an important decision, and we're glad you're ready to start diversifying your portfolio.
However, deciding to open a Gold IRA, is just the first step. Now, you'll need to look into how to get your new Gold IRA set up so that you can actually start investing in precious metals. Fortunately, the process of opening a Gold IRA isn't as complicated as you may be thinking. Continue reading, and we'll share more about everything you'll have to do to get your IRA set up so you can hold valuable precious metals in your retirement account.
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What is a Gold IRA?
Let's start with a quick review of exactly what Gold IRAs are. As a type of Self-Directed IRA, Gold IRAs provide you with greater flexibility when investing in a retirement account. Rather than being limited to holding stocks in your account, you're able to invest in gold, silver, and other precious metals.
Why Open a Gold IRA?
There are countless benefits associated with opening a Gold IRA. One of the top reasons to consider this type of account is that you're able to diversify your portfolio. When your portfolio is more diversified and not solely comprised of stocks, you'll be less negatively impacted by a stock market crash. The gold and other precious metals in your IRA will serve as a balance to counter some of the loss from the stocks in your portfolio.
Beyond the benefit of diversifying your portfolio—which is a major plus on its own—there are other reasons to consider opening a Gold IRA. Gold has been a desired precious metal for centuries. As the basis of several currencies over the years, it is clear that demand for this metal is going away. If anything, more and more people will be interested in investing in gold to diversify their portfolio and take advantage of everything it has to offer.
The value of gold is not tied to the dollar. This lets it serve as a hedge against inflation, meaning it can help protect your overall wealth if the economy hits a downturn.
There is only a limited supply of gold. If you think about your introductory economics class, you'll probably remember how supply and demand impact the value of an item. With low supply and high demand, it is likely that the price of gold will continue to stay high. Demand for this precious metal may even increase more between the current economic uncertainty and the manufacturing, medical, and technological uses that are being discovered for it. All of this increased demand could mean a higher return on your investment if you add gold to an IRA today.
How to Set Up a Gold IRA
Now that we've taken a few minutes to review what a Gold IRA is and why you should set one up, let's take a look at what you'll need to do to get your new Gold IRA account all set up. The steps below should serve as a general overview, but keep in mind that they may vary slightly depending on which company you choose to work with.
Decide Whether You Want a Traditional or Roth Gold IRA
Before you jump into setting up a Gold IRA, decide whether you wish to open a Traditional Gold IRA or a Roth Gold IRA, As is the case with non-Self-Directed IRAs, the difference between these two account types has to do with how and when the money is taxed. The funds in your Traditional Gold IRA will not be taxed until they are taken out after you retire. With a Roth IRA, the money you invest in your Gold IRA is taxed up front.
Both of these account types have their own benefits, but the right one for you will depend on your current tax rate and where you expect it to be when you retire. If you think you will be in a lower tax rate after retiring, then a traditional IRA is likely the best choice for you. However, if you anticipate being in a higher tax bracket upon retirement, choose a Roth IRA where the money you contribute will be taxed at your current rate.
Select a Precious Metals Provider
Once you've decided between a Traditional Gold IRA and a Roth Gold IRA, you're ready to choose a precious metals provider. Don't rush through this step and just choose the first company that shows up during a Google search. You want to do some research to make sure that the company you choose has a good reputation, offers exceptional customer service, and has a good selection of precious metals for you to choose from.
Some things you can do to learn more about the various companies you may be considering include looking at customer reviews on sites such as Google, Trustpilot, and Facebook. You can also check reviews from the Better Business Bureau and Business Consumer Alliance.
We'd recommend working with Goldco. For over 15 years, Goldco has proven themselves to be a leader in the precious metals industry. They have highly positive reviews from past clients, an AAA rating from the Business Consumer Alliance, and an A+ rating from the Business Consumer Alliance. Goldco's team of experts is knowledgeable and helpful—the perfect mix to help you through the necessary steps of opening your Gold IRA. You can even earn up to $10,000 in free silver when you work with Goldco to open a Gold IRA.
Fund Your New Gold IRA Account
After you've settled on the precious metals provide you want to work with, you will need to fund your account. There are a few different options to choose from when funding a new Gold IRA: cash, IRA rollover, or transfer.
If you want to fund your account with cash, you'll need to keep in mind that you can only add the maximum yearly contribution allowed by the IRS. This amount was recently increased from $6,000 to $6,500 each year (or as much as $7,500 for those 50 and over). If you want to fund your account with cash, you'll need to set up a wire transfer to the precious metals company you're working with. However, keep in mind that many providers have account minimums that are greater than $6,500, so you may need to choose one of the other options (instead or in addition to cash) to ensure you have enough money to start a new Gold IRA.
Another choice is to complete a rollover from an existing retirement account. If you choose this option, you'll be moving the funds from the current account and reinvesting them into your Gold IRA. As long as this process is completed according to IRS regulations, you won't face any fees or penalties. However, if you keep the funds in your possession for more than 60 days, you will be subject to a penalty of 10%.
The third option for funding your Gold IRA is to set up a direct transfer between your current retirement account and your new Gold IRA. For this option, you'll work with a Gold IRA custodian, who will work to ensure that the transfer occurs following IRS regulations. The benefit of choosing this option is that you won't need to worry about the possibility of facing any penalties or taxes.
Choose the Coins and Bars You Want to Purchase
After the funds for your account have made their way to the precious metals provider you decided to work with, you're ready to decide which precious metals you want to invest in. Despite the name, you can actually hold gold, silver, platinum, and palladium in a Gold IRA. All precious metals providers should offer gold and silver, but not all will offer platinum or palladium, so you may want to keep this in mind as you shop.
However, you cannot simply add any gold, silver, platinum, or palladium to your new account. There are purity requirements that have been established by the IRA. In order for any coin or bar to be eligible to be held in an IRA, it must meet these purity levels:
Fortunately, even with these restrictions, you'll find that there are still many different eligible coins and bars to choose from. The exact selection will vary from one precious metals provider to another, but some popular options include:
Choose an IRA-Approved Depository for Storage
The next step is to choose an IRA-approved depository. The IRS does not allow individuals to take possession of the precious metals for an IRA until they meet the required retirement age of 59 ½. If you keep your precious metals in your possession before this age, you could be subject to major penalties and taxes. Rather, you must choose an IRA-approved depository for storing your precious metals.
IRA-approved depositories offer additional peace of mind that your precious metals investment will be secure. They all utilize a variety of security measures, such as top-rated vaults, security guards, video monitoring, and more to keep any metals from leaving the depository without permission. A full-coverage insurance policy will also protect your investment, so that if something does somehow happen to your precious metals you won't lose out on your investment.
There are several IRA-approved depositories in the United States. The precious metals provider you work with may offer storage options at one or more of these depositories:
Finalize the Process
Once you've finalized which precious metals you want to invest in and which depository you want to use, your account representative will work with you to finalize your account. They'll take care of carefully packaging and shipping your metals to the depository of your account (likely covered with transit insurance). After that, you should be granted access to the online account monitoring tools provided by the company you choose. These tools and options will vary from one company to the next, so you may want to ask more specific questions to the provider you choose to work with.
Continue Contributing to Your Account Each Year
Keeping up with yearly contributions to your Gold IRA will help its value continue to rise. Right now the maximum contribution limit set by the IRA is $6,500 for individuals under 50 and $7,500 for those 50 and older. However, these maximums could change in the future, as they were recently increased from $6,000 and $7,000.
Do keep in mind that these contribution limits are the maximum you're allowed to add to any of your IRA accounts. If you have more than one IRA, you'll need to split your contributions (in whatever ratio you decide) between your two accounts.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does opening a Gold IRA take?
Opening a new Gold IRA is not a very time-consuming process. In many cases, it may only take you a few minutes to fill out the application to get the process started. The rest of the process can depend on which source of funding you choose. It typically takes between 7 and 10 business days for rollovers and transfers to complete and possibly a bit longer for a wire transfer to fully clear and be available.
How much gold should I hold in my IRA?
There is no 'right' answer to this question. The right amount of gold to add to an IRA can vary from one individual to another. Some factors that can help you decide how much to invest can include your age and how close you are to retiring, how risk averse you are, and your overall financial situation. In general, financial experts recommend investing between 5% and 10% of your portfolio in gold and other precious metals.
When can I withdraw money from a Gold IRA?
Technically, you can withdraw money from your Gold IRA at any time. However, if you make withdrawals before you are at least 59 ½ years old, you'll have to pay more. Not only will what you withdraw count as taxable income, but you'll also likely be required to pay an additional 10% tax.
Can I store the precious metals for a Gold IRA at my home?
No, precious metals for IRAs are not allowed to be kept in the possession of the IRA holder. They must be stored in an IRA-approved depository. You may only take possession of your precious metals without being subject to fees and penalties once you are at least 59 ½ years old.
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