Gold has been a proven way to protect one’s wealth through the many economic cycles that have occurred throughout history. It is one of the few assets that has stood the test of time, time and time again. Making it a staple for savvy investors to hold, specifically, in tax-advantageous accounts that allow them to keep more of what they ear. If you’re here, you probably already know that.
The question is: how does one get started with gold?
You probably already have a retirement account of some sort, but how do you turn some of those funds into physical gold without making Uncle Sam angry?
Don’t worry I’ve got you covered. Let’s start with the basics…
What Is a Gold IRA Rollover
Educated investors already know how powerful it is to invest in gold and other precious metals. Then again, many investors don’t have enough cash to buy them directly. Even if you did have that much money in cash to get gold, silver, platinum, and palladium from a dealer, you’d be using after-tax money.
After-tax money is the net capital you have remaining after federal, state, and possibly even local taxes take a bite out of your budget. I don’t like it, and I’m guessing you don’t either. This is why precious metals rollovers have grown in popularity.
Many investors have saved up a lot of money in before-tax or tax-deferred shelters. These investment funds might sit in a 401(k), or they might be in another IRA. If you have a 401(k), then you can do a rollover into a gold IRA without paying any taxes.
Retirement accounts are usually filled with stocks and bonds. There might also be money-backed assets, including mortgage-backed securities or U.S. Treasury Bills. Now, you can diversify into physical gold, and you can enjoy its security in a legal IRA account that you fund from another IRA, a 401(k), or even a 403(b) account.
IRA Gold Rollover versus Transfer
Think any of this is complicated enough yet? I’ve got bad news for you. On top of everything else, you need to make sure that you’re doing an IRA rollover instead of a transfer.
What’s the difference between a transfer and a rollover? There are actually two primary differences that you should know about that separate these two things.
First, the starting and receiving accounts matter. In an IRA to gold rollover, the funds are moved from one kind of retirement account to a different kind. In a transfer, both the previous and new accounts are the same kind.
For example, a transfer could happen from an IRA with one financial institution to an IRA at a different one. Moving money from you 401(k) into a gold IRA would be a rollover since they’re different.
Second, you can do as many annual transfers as you want, in most cases. On the other hand, a rollover is something you only get to do once per tax year. That means you need to plan them out carefully and make the most of the opportunity in the limited occasions where you can actually do one per the IRS guidelines without taxes.
Retirement Accounts Eligible for Rollover
Five different kinds of retirement accounts are eligible for rollover into gold IRAs.
- IRAs: Rollover traditional, Roth, SEP, Simple, and Self-Directed IRA accounts to a precious metal IRA.
- 401(k): Inactive 401(k) accounts can be rolled over. If you are past 59.5 years of age and have an active 401(k), you might be able to do a partial rollover via an “in-service” distribution.
- 403(b): These retirement plans are offered to employees of tax-exempt organizations and public schools. Complete your rollover once employment is terminated. In some circumstances, a partial rollover can happen via “in-service” distribution after you are 59.5 years of age.
- 457(b): These retirement accounts are available to many local and state government employees, including first responders, law enforcement, and other civil servants. A rollover into gold is possible once employment is concluded, although exceptions might happen at age 70.5 for those still working.
- TSPs: Thrift Savings Plans are for federal employees, including military personnel and civil servants. Once your employment is finished, you can rollover a TSP plan into gold. Partial rollovers might be possible at age 59.5 via the same “in-service” distribution as 401(k) and 403(b) plans.
Instructions for Performing an IRA Rollover to Gold
Doing a gold rollover of a 401(k) plan, traditional IRA, or even a Roth IRA happens pretty frequently. You can do this if you leave a former employer and want to move your retirement savings. This is a good way not to keep it all in one single place.
It’s also useful for diversification into assets not tied as closely to the economy as stocks, bonds, and real estate. Your gold or precious metals IRA lets you invest in physical gold, silver, palladium, and platinum. Your gold IRA is technically self-directed, but you’ll need both a broker and custodian.
Your broker will sell you IRS-approved gold and precious metals. The brokers listed below are good places to start, but you can also get recommendations from your custodian based on who they have working relationships with. You can select a custodian based on the advice of banks, credit unions, and trust companies.
Once you are satisfied with your broker and custodian, open an account and buy the precious metals you are interested in. Once you are ready to retire, you can either collect your metals or just liquidate them into actual cash. The IRS taxes either of these actions as a distribution.
Once you open an account, contact the company responsible for your 401(k) management to start the rollover process. I usually suggest a direct rollover for its simplicity and safer way to avoid taxes. However, you can do an indirect transfer so long as it finalizes within 60 days.
The Top Rated Gold IRA Rollover Companies
What are the best companies to handle your gold IRA rollover? If you want a way to safeguard your retirement nest egg and accumulated wealth even in the midst of economic instability, rolling over into a gold IRA might help you hedge against inflation and uncertainty. I believe that gold and various other precious metals are a good place to diversify at least some of your portfolio if you know where to do it.
I’ll be happy to tell you about several gold IRA rollover companies you can use. You can learn why they’re good rollover options and then read about their pros and cons. That way, you can decide for yourself which one might work well for you and your situation.
Protect your existing retirement savings with a gold IRA. Do so easily by using Goldco. My time with them has convinced me that they are experts in everything gold related.
The data backs this up. Goldco has a prominent reputation among its clients, and it might be the best name in the business. Goldco’s service is often called “white glove”.
This customer service starts before you even create an account. It’s just as good while you are establishing an account with them. They stay with you after you have gotten started.
A gold IRA rollover can be a tricky thing, but they’re always there to help. You can reach them via an online chat box within just minutes. There are other ways of reaching them, too.
Goldco does charge fees for new account creation and annual insurance and storage at a depository. The first-year cost is $260. The annual fee is $180.
You can choose from three different depositories for your gold and silver. IDS Texas costs $150 per year and only does segregated storage. Brinks Salt Lake City and DDSC both do non-segregated storage for $100.
If you want to do more than a precious metal IRA, then Goldco can help you set up other accounts. A SIMPLE IRA is great for small employers not currently sponsoring retirement plans, and a SEP IRA helps business owners offer retirement benefits to themselves and their employees. Goldco even partners with a sister company for cryptocurrency IRAs.
Start your rollover by letting a Goldco representative finish the documents necessary to create the account with them. Then, you can rollover funds from a previous retirement account into your IRA gold. Just submit the paperwork you need to finish, and Goldco will get to work.
Once the account is active, your Goldco representative walks you through the process. They’ll make sure you do things in a tax-free manner that avoids any penalties for early withdrawal. The process usually takes only two or three weeks, leaving you plenty of breathing room before the 60-day deadline that would cost you money.
Goldco’s reputation is stellar and nearly perfect. They’ve been doing this for years, and they clearly know what they’re doing. If getting treated with care and quality is important to you, then I think you should know that practically no other company in the business will treat you as well as Goldco will.
- Plenty of industry experience
- No hidden penalties or extra fees
- Pricing is very competitive
- White glove service as long as you are there
- High-caliber buyback program
- Excellent reputation
- Multiple options for storage to suit your preferences
- Qualified orders over $50,000 might enjoy first year fees waived and 5% in free metals
- Options for only gold and silver, as they don’t do palladium or platinum
- Minimum investment level of $25,000 out of reach of many investors
2. Augusta Precious Metals
If you want a gold IRA company that truly believes in client education, then Augusta Precious Metals is something to consider. You get plenty of training and resources to learn how to be successful with your money. They even give you a one-on-one virtual conference with Harvard-trained economist Devlyn Steele.
Consider one thing about them. They’ve been in business for a decade. Yet, they have zero complaints via the BBB or BCA in that entire time.
Along the way, they’ve massed thousands of 5-star reviews from many clients. One of those clients is Joe Montana. The football legend asked his financial advisors to find him a great gold IRA company, and they picked this one.
He actually signed up for them anonymously. Yet, he wound up being impressed enough with the educational approach they use that he became a rather public customer. Then, he even turned spokesperson for them.
Augusta Precious Metals actually has four distinct client-focused departments that you wind up working with if you invest through them. They all work together for the duration of your account. You’ll always get great service with understandable steps and actionable information.
A personal agent is assigned to you when you first register. They’ll stay with you throughout the lifetime of your account. The education department is who you meet next, and they’ll keep you up to speed with how precious metals are doing, the broader economy, and the choices you need to make about your financial future.
Their processing department handles 95% of any paperwork involved with your account. They’ll also guide you through the process in ways that help you avoid tax penalties and compliance pitfalls. That makes rollovers to gold safe and simple through them.
The order desk is who works with you about the kinds of gold and silver that you can invest in. They’ll also help you learn the most popular options you can invest in. That simplifies the buying process.
It is just gold and silver, however. Augusta Precious Metals doesn’t do platinum or palladium. Whether or not that matters is really up to you.
Gold and silver usually have plentiful options for purchases. Also, many investors only deal in gold anyway. That’s enough to diversify a broader portfolio.
Having said that, some investors like dabbling in all four. The values of precious metals tend to track together, but it’s not always the case. There is some value to the idea of diversification even within the precious metals sector.
- Sales tactics involve no pressure
- Lifetime account support has won awards
- Fees might be waived for up to 10 years
- Thousands of clients have given 5-star ratings
- The only gold IRA company to have no complaints from BBB or BCA since they started a decade ago
- Minimum for self-directed IRA is $50,000, possibly out of reach of some investors
- Gold and silver only, as they don’t deal with palladium or platinum
3. Birch Gold Group
I like Birch Gold Group because of how they don’t just work with their clients. They actually empower them. They want their clients to create and then achieve specific individual investing goals.
Their minimum startup investment is among the lowest in the industry. They offer lots of educational resources you can learn from as well. They’re also very transparent with how they do things, as you’ll always know everything going on with your gold investment through them.
The minimum startup investment of only $10,000 can be useful to you if you want to rollover just enough to diversify your portfolio without going all in. Depending on how much you have invested, you might not meet the minimum thresholds of other companies. You’ll still be in good hands with Birch Gold Group, however.
They’ve got great reviews through Consumer Affairs, Google, and the BBB. A lot of that has to do with their customer service personnel. They’ll not only keep you up to date on market matters but how they will impact your investment here.
- Minimum investment is $10,000
- Market updates provided
- Broad variety of choices
- Very focused individual communication
- Setup costs are higher than other options
4. Regal Assets
Regal Assets is based in the California city of Burbank. They’ve been long thought of as a top vendor for precious metal IRAs. I like the fact that they got an A+ rating from the BBB in 2010 and never let that go.
If you’re looking for an IRA in precious metals that is as simple as it is safe, then Regal Assets is worthy of your consideration. The investment products here are very straightforward. The customer support is there for you from start to finish.
Invest with confidence here. They don’t deal in products ineligible for gold IRAs, such as novelty products or collectible coins. You won’t wind up facing any accidental taxes with your precious metal holdings with Regal Assets.
- Brand has been around for over a decade
- They only sell bullion which is easy to liquidate
- No extra fees if you sell back
- Low minimums of $5,000 to $10,000
- Member of the Forbes Finance Council
- More than 1,600 5-star reviews on the BirdEye platform
- Lack of transparency surrounding the management team
5. American Hartford Gold
This company works with its investors in accomplishing two things. First, they help them diversify their portfolios. Second, they help them protect assets against inflation and stock market volatility.
American Hartford Group enjoys a 5-star rating from the Better Business Bureau, and that’s been their status for several years. They are very invested in the success of their clients and provide many educational options. They also offer frequent updates and market news, along with free consultations featuring a senior portfolio manager.
One feature you might want to take advantage of is their price match guarantee. They will meet or beat any competitor’s pricing when you start with them. Between that and their educational resources, I don’t think you can go wrong with American Hartford Group if you’re just getting started with investing in gold for the first time.
Qualified purchases might enjoy up to $1,500 in free silver.
- Free consultations
- Free education
- Precious metal storage at no cost
- Buyback program for every metal
- Customer support for life
- Prices for gold aren’t readily available
Avoiding Tax Penalties
While doing a rollover can be done completely free of taxes, there are certain things that have to happen for this to take place. I would strongly encourage you to make sure your rollover happens this way. You want to preserve all of your wealth without taxation if you can possibly do it.
The trick is to keep the rollover event what the IRS considers a nontaxable event. In the case of a direct rollover, the trustee or custodian of the previous account must send the funds to the next custodian or your gold broker within 60 days. Even in an indirect rollover, where you are a temporary stop for the funds, you must still get them to the next custodian within 60 days.
Failing to do so might not stop the rollover, but it could make it a taxable event. That usually starts with a 10% penalty. Normal taxes might be applied at the federal level, and your state might tax the early distribution as income, too.
Another advantage of a direct rollover applies to employer-sponsored retirement plans. Indirect rollovers might be required to have 20% of the sum subject to withholding for a stretch of time.
Self-Directed IRA Eligible Physical Gold
The IRS permits certain kinds of bullion and coins from gold, silver, platinum, and palladium for a precious metals IRA. Some foreign coins are acceptable, as are U.S. Treasury Department 1-oz. silver coins. You can also get U.S. gold coins in the sizes of 1, 0.5, 0.25, and 0.1 ounces.
Each precious metal must meet a minimum fineness requirement, which is 99.5% purity for gold. Silver needs to be 99.9% pure. Both palladium and platinum must be 99.5% pure.
Coins, rounds, and bars have to be produced by a manufacture, assayer, or refiner with certain certifications or accreditations. A federal government mint usually qualifies. You can also look for anyone listed as meeting the requirements of ISO 9000, TOCOM, LPPM, LBMA, LME, NYSE/Liffe, COMEX, or NYMEX.
Commonly acceptable gold products include American Eagle bullion or proof coins and U.S. Buffalo bullion coins. Acceptable silver products might include American the Beautiful coins or Mexican Libertad bullion coins. Canadian Maple Leaf coins are acceptable examples of both palladium and platinum.
Some precious metal products are not acceptable, even if they meet the fineness minimum requirements. Rare and collectible coins do not qualify by law. Also, many foreign currencies don’t make the cut.
Best Company to Rollover IRA to Gold
The value of precious metals, including gold, historically rises steadily throughout all kinds of economic cycles. A well-diversified portfolio should have some exposure to gold to capitalize on this. Gold and precious metals can also provide a hedge against inflation and economic turbulence.
Doing a rollover lets you put tax-advantaged retirement funds into a gold IRA. You minimize your tax obligations in doing so, and you preserve more of your wealth in a physical format that won’t go bankrupt or lose value over time as fiat currency does. It will also be stored safely in a secure vault.
Choosing your IRA gold rollover company is a big decision you need to make early. Choose one based on their customer service, fees, and educational assistance. When you pick the right one, you’ll have peace of mind and support at levels that you truly deserve and might not have thought possible.
Frequently Asked Questions
Hopefully, you’ve had lots of questions answered by now, but you might still have a few. Some of them might be questions others have had, so I’ve provided brief answers you should know.
How Does a Gold IRA Rollover Work?
You can do a IRA rollover to gold by ‘rolling’ an existing retirement plan into an IRA. You can move funds into any kind of IRA, including gold and precious metals. Qualifying accounts might include 401(k) and 403(b) plans. This might be an option when a triggering event occurs.
- You leave your job.
- The employer-sponsored retirement plan changes.
- The employer-sponsored retirement plan has a change in custodian.
Can I Buy Gold With My Rollover IRA?
That’s the entire point of a precious metals IRA. You create a self-directed IRA. Then, you choose a broker, or IRA gold business, who will buy the gold and precious metals for you. You would also need a custodian who administrates the account and stores your physical bullion. The IRS lists appropriate depositories who store the precious metals. You shouldn’t keep them at home, and in some cases, you simply can’t.
Can I Convert My IRA to Gold?
You can convert conventional or traditional IRAs into self-directed gold-backed IRAs via transfer or rollover.
Where can I rollover my IRA into gold?
I have gone over some of the most trusted gold brokers that handle rollovers above. At the top of that list right now is Goldco due to their sheer expertise handling these transactions. But any of the picks in this article will be able to easily, and efficiently walk you through the rollover process.
How to rollover an IRA from one institution to another and hold the gold?
If you already have a self-directed IRA with precious metals like gold in it and want to transfer it to another institution, then you will follow much of the same process as if you were rolling over from a traditional retirement account. Open the new account with the desired broker and have them contact your old broker to start the process. From there, just follow the instructions of your broker and you’ll be ready to go in no time.