After you have made the decision that a gold or precious metals IRA is the right choice for you, there are several steps you must take in order to open your account and begin the investing process.
Rolling over your IRA into a Gold IRA is easier than you might think. If you do your research, the process is almost as simple as rolling your IRA over into any other assets. The only difference is that your money will now be backed by gold.
Opening a new Gold Backed IRA or rolling over your current retirement account (known as a Gold IRA Rollover), can be a smart option for your retirement savings. Gold and other precious metals serve as a long-term hedge against inflation and provide physical asset security so they are a particularly smart choice when you are looking for your investments to serve you into your retirement.
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Gold IRA Rollover Guide: Contents
Step 1: Choosing a Gold IRA Rollover Company
First, you need to select a third-party Gold IRA company to help you setup your account. The IRS maintains strict standards about the kind of precious metals that can be purchased in a gold IRA rollover, as well as the purity standards (also known as “fineness) of the metals. This means that you must purchase only IRS-approved coins or bullion in order to fund your gold IRA.
We have a researched list of reputable companies you can work with on our gold IRA reviews page.
Step 2: Opening a Self Directed IRA
You will need to open a self directed IRA. This can be done very easily through your Gold IRA company, and will set you up to begin investing in precious metals. Self directed IRAs are used for a gold-backed IRA investment and they allow for a greater amount of control by the account holder. The company you decide to handle your gold IRA rollover will help you with the required paperwork to open your self directed IRA.
Here is the gold IRA rollover or transfer process for opening a new self directed IRA account:
After you open an account, you can choose either a local or national storage plan. In order to adhere to IRS standards, your precious metals must be in the possession of a custodian or a trustee, rather than you, the account holder. However, you have some say in who you select as a custodian or trustee. Your gold or precious metals will be sent to the storage facility, and that facility will take possession as the custodian.
Step 3: Funding Your Gold IRA Rollover
After your IRA has been set up, you will need to fund it. This can be done by transferring contributions or rolling over from your existing retirement plan. Depending on which Gold IRA company you work with, there may be a minimum investment necessary to fund your new gold IRA rollover or transfer.
The I.R.S. rules and requirements for IRA rollovers and distributions can be in our Gold IRA Rules page.
Step 4: Selecting Your Precious Metals
Once the gold IRA rollover or transfer process is started, you will need to decide what kinds of precious metals to purchase. You will need to decide whether you will invest in gold, silver, platinum or palladium, or some combination of the four. Most gold IRA companies will assign you an account specialist who will explain and/or recommend a combination of assets to purchase depending on your specific goals.
However, the final decision is always up to you so be wary of any “aggressive” sales tactics towards any one type of investment option.
Learn more on our gold IRA investing section.
Pros And Cons Of Moving A 401K To A Gold IRA
There are a lot of misconceptions concerning moving your savings from a 401K to a gold IRA. While there are many people who are nervous about the present state of the economy as well as some mistrust of the government in general on many fronts, there are many investors who are misinformed about investing in gold and gold IRAs.
First, many people are nervous… many people are scared about the current state of affairs in the world. The threat of economic collapse is very real and we’ve had several close calls in the past few years. As a matter of fact, you either were affected by the scandals and upheaval that rocked the financial world back in 2008 or you knew someone who lost large sums of their retirement funds. Inflation is set to skyrocket as the treasury prints more and more money and injects it into the economy making your dollars worth less.
Things don’t SEEM to have improved a great deal since then… we have wars continuing in many countries… many parts of the world are still economically and financially unstable and although the media tells us that “all is well”, your gut might be telling you something completely different.
There are two schools of thought as far as what to do.
There are many things that go along with buying physical gold and silver but let’s concentrate on the gold IRA and many of the questions that I get asked concerning the pros and cons of a gold IRA… well, mostly the cons because many investors have concerns.
Tax Implications Of A Gold IRA
There may be several negative tax implications that go along with moving from a 401K to a gold IRA. If the IRS sees the funds used to fund your gold IRA as a disbursement, meaning that you are taking the money from an account rather than rolling it over, then you may be obligated to pay 10% on that disbursement. In the case of a gold IRA rollover, there are no tax ramifications and as the money passes from the old account to the gold IRA.
If you have a 401K, there are a couple of ways around this. One is to liquidate your 401K when you’re 59 1/2. The government gives you a “free ride” and this is the age. 59 1/2 is when you should do a lot of your financial jockeying. Your other option would be to simply take your 10% “penalty” from the tax man and your third option would be to use funds in savings or some other investment that is doing poorly to fund a new precious metals IRA.
Will The Government Confiscate My Gold IRA?
There are many investors that worry that the government is going to confiscate their gold as they did back in 1933. The truth is that this executive order was repealed by Nixon and even so, back in ’33 gold wasn’t TAKEN… people were ASKED to sell their gold back to the government. They were given money for the gold so it wasn’t “snatched up” and there weren’t police roaming the streets kicking down doors of houses of people known to have gold.
All of this is a rumor or emotional hot button that some gold companies use to try to get you to buy collectible gold coins which fall under the category of numismatic coins. Some unscrupulous gold dealers and salesmen will try to push these coins on your citing that they can’t be “confiscated” by the government. If you get a chance and you are feeling pressured into buying numismatic coins by a salesman, ask him or her how much of a markup or commission they make off of these coins. It’s significantly higher than if they were to sell you gold bullion.
If you say “but I read online that they CAN do this and that it’s in the Patriot Act!”… keep in mind that anyone can write anything that they want on the internet. Just because you find it on the internet doesn’t mean that it’s true… let logic prevail… after all, do you really think that the Fed wants to go back to a dollar backed by gold? This would limit their freedom to print money at will to “stimulate the economy”.
How Do I Know That My Gold Is Really There?
There are many investors that worry about their gold from a gold IRA actually being theirs… their actual gold sitting in a vault with their name on it. Many naysayers also preach that all you get is a piece of paper saying that you own “x amount” of gold in the depository.
There are regulations in place that require that gold to be there. In addition, there are some gold companies and custodians that will give you segregated storage at no additional cost. This means that your gold is really, really yours. It’s kept apart from other customer’s gold and it is actually the exact coins, bullion and bars that you purchase when you set up your self-directed gold IRA.
Of course, when it comes time to cash out either some or all of your investment, the easiest way to do that is through the gold company that you bought it through. You have a single point of contact. There’s no need to go to the bank, haul the gold out of there and take it to a shop or ship it to a gold company for the sale to take place.
What About Gold IRA Fees?!
Paying fees for my 401K is one of the reasons why some people liquidate theirs But what’s the sense in moving your money from a 401K that charges huge fees to a gold IRA that charges huge fees? You’d be correct in being ticked off about this and it is my hope that this all changes in the coming years with ALL custodians since there is at least one that I know of that charges a low, flat custodial fee yearly that is pretty close to what you would pay for a safety deposit box.
So… you are correct… there’s no sense in paying huge custodial fees that are contingent upon how much you have invested in your gold IRA or precious metals IRA when some of the recommended companies only charge a flat fee no matter if you’re gold IRA is $5,000 or 5 million dollars. This is one place where you can save huge amounts of money that should be in your own pocket.
Is A Gold IRA Really A Good Investment?
Is a gold IRA a good investment? Well, sure! Gold, in general is an awesome investment. Having some of your savings in a gold IRA that is diversified with silver, platinum and palladium is my recommendation. Gold has been proven to become more valuable as time goes on.
Gold is a great long term investment… it’s an awesome way to hedge inflation… it secures your wealth with a tangible physical asset and if you’re one that believes in following the lead of other wealthy investors then you’re in good company because this is exactly what wealthy investors do to secure their wealth… they buy gold and precious metals.
Should I Just Buy Physical Gold?
Cashing out your 401K or IRA, taking the penalties and tax beating and simply buying physical gold or silver is always an option. Like I said before, this is also a viable option if you want your gold and silver to be handy and you have the means of storing it.
Safe deposit boxes and home safes are an option but you might want to look into insurance, if you believe in such things. Home storage is becoming more and more popular though thanks to ready access as well as the “giddiness factor” that comes from being able to hold the gold you own.
I actually recommend that you buy at least some gold that you can keep close at hand simply for the intrinsic value of being able to actually see your wealth in its truest form.
In short, investing in gold and silver is a great way to secure your wealth. Whether you roll your savings into a gold IRA or buy physical gold, if you’re nervous about the present economic climate, moving some or all of your savings into gold is the right move for you.
Try not to get too anxious about many of the rumors and lies that are told about gold IRA investing. These are simply sales tactics used by some untrustworthy salesmen that are meant to scare you and make you agree to buy something that you don’t want and don’t need. Stick to buying physical gold and silver or doing a gold IRA rollover and you’ll be fine.