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If you’re planning for retirement, you may have considered opening or already have an individual retirement account (IRA). A conventional IRA can provide excellent retirement investment opportunities, but stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and ETF investments aren’t your only IRA options. Many people searching for strategic retirement planning invest in physical assets like gold and other precious metals through self-directed precious metals IRAs.
This guide from the experts at The Oxford Gold Group will answer your questions about gold and precious metals IRAs. We’ll explain how to open a gold IRA account, the critical considerations to make beforehand, the benefits of a gold IRA, and more.
What Is a Gold IRA?
A gold IRA is a self-directed IRA funded by physical gold or gold-related investments. Account holders enjoy the same tax benefits as other retirement accounts, such as 401(k)s and conventional IRAs.
Physical gold as a retirement investment helps hedge against inflation and economic volatility. Gold tends to hold its value over time, so you may choose a gold IRA as a less risky retirement planning option.
People with a gold IRA aren’t limited to purchasing physical gold products. They can also invest in gold stocks, such as stocks in gold companies and gold ETFs.
What To Consider Before Opening a Gold IRA Account
It’s essential to understand how a precious metals IRA works before opening a new retirement account. Let’s review the types of gold IRA accounts, how investors store their gold coins and bars, and the costs and fees of opening a gold IRA.
Types of Gold IRAs
Gold IRA companies like Oxford Gold Group can help clients open three types of self-directed IRA accounts:
- Traditional Gold IRA accounts: Traditional IRAs allow funding from pre-tax dollars for tax-deferred contributions and earnings growth. Account holders pay taxes on withdrawals upon retirement.
- Roth Gold IRA accounts: Roth IRAs require post-tax contributions, but account holders don’t pay taxes on post-retirement distributions.
- SEP Gold IRA accounts: SEP IRAs provide employee pension plans for self-employed people and small business employees. Account holders pay taxes on retirement withdrawals but not on contributions.
All three types of Gold IRAs have contribution limits, which means account holders can only contribute money up to a specific amount per year.
People with these self-directed IRAs must store their gold and silver in approved third-party depositories, not at home or in personal storage. IRS-approved banks and depository companies provide safe storage and insurance for gold and other precious metals, so there’s no need to worry about the security of these physical investments.
If you let a precious metals IRA account manager from Oxford Gold Group help you set up your gold IRA, we’ll store your gold in one of two approved facilities: the Delaware Depository Service Company (DDSC) or Brinks Global Services, both of which provide climate-controlled secure facilities.
Gold IRA Costs and Fees
Opening a precious metals IRA includes several fees you won’t encounter with a conventional IRA due to the government-mandated requirements of purchasing and owning physical gold in an IRA account. In addition to the cost of buying gold products, a gold IRA includes the following costs and fees:
- Account setup cost of around $250 to $350
- Annual account management fees of about $150 to $250
- Precious metals storage fees of around $175 to $225 per year
- Precious metals selling and buying commission fees of about $50 for each transaction
- Termination fee (without a rollover) of around $150
Consider these costs before you open your precious metals IRA.
How To Open a Gold or Silver IRA Account
Let’s go over the basics of how to open a gold IRA account. Opening a self-directed IRA account involves the same steps, whether you want a gold IRA, a silver IRA, or an IRA with other precious metals like platinum or palladium. Many expect a lengthy and complicated process, but it’s quite simple.
Choosing a Gold IRA Company
The IRS only allows approved custodians to open and manage self-directed IRAs. You will not be permitted to personally complete account transactions. Instead, a custodian gold IRA company will do it for you.
Your first step when opening a Gold IRA is researching gold IRA companies to find the right custodian for your account. Conventional IRA custodians may not offer gold IRAs, but companies like Oxford Gold Group exist that specialize in precious metals IRAs.
Opening an IRA account with a gold IRA company typically requires filling out paperwork and providing details if you want to transfer funds from an existing account, such as a 401(k) or traditional IRA.
Funding the IRA Account
Next, you’ll need IRA funds to purchase gold, silver, or other precious metals. You can fund a gold IRA with a direct cash contribution, transfer funds from an existing retirement account, or roll over a distribution from another account into your new IRA. The first option may involve a bank fee, but you can transfer or roll over funds from an existing IRA with no tax penalties.
Selecting Gold Products
Next, you will work with a precious metals dealer to purchase your gold, silver, or other metals.
If you work with Oxford Gold Group, you can buy gold and other precious metals products directly from us.
Monitoring Your Investment
Some gold IRA companies offer convenient online dashboards to allow clients to monitor their gold investments easily. When setting up your new IRA account, ask your chosen custodian about the monitoring tools available.
Benefits of Investing in a Gold IRA
Many investors buy physical gold, silver, platinum, and palladium for highly liquid assets that hold their value during times of market volatility. It’s relatively simple and easy to buy and sell gold. Gold purchases can expand any investment portfolio, but many people invest in gold and precious metals IRAs for retirement portfolio diversification.
Retirement accounts with paper assets like stocks, ETFs, and mutual funds can be powerful investment vehicles, but they present risks during stock market volatility. Because gold is a tangible asset, gold prices are not entirely tied to the dollar’s value or stock market performance, making it a more stable investment.
When expanding your retirement portfolio, you may choose a precious metals IRA to hedge against economic factors like inflation and global factors like geopolitical uncertainty.
Frequently Asked Questions About Gold IRAs
Can I buy gold for an existing IRA or 401(k) account?
Conventional retirement accounts aren’t eligible for precious metal investments. Precious metals fall under the collectibles category, and the IRS doesn’t allow collectibles except for self-directed IRAs. Other collectibles people purchase for self-directed IRAs include antiques, artworks, gemstones, and stamps.
Is there a Minimum Investment in Gold IRA?
The answer to this question is not very satisfying: it depends on who you work with. Different gold IRA providers will require different minimum investments for you to get started. To discover these, it would be helpful to look at all of the providers you can and inquire directly to each of them. If you are curious about Oxford Gold Group’s minimum investment, feel free to contact us here.
Which type of gold IRA is best for you?
When choosing the best type of individual retirement account for your retirement investment portfolio, it’s essential to understand the differences between traditional IRAs, Roth IRAs, and SEP IRAs. Traditional gold IRAs suit some people better than Roth gold IRAs, but not always. Choosing the best self-directed IRA option for you will depend on your situation.
Talk to your financial advisor for a clear answer on which type of precious metals IRA will work best for you.
How much gold is allowed in a gold IRA?
Like conventional IRAs, gold IRAs have contribution limits that set a maximum amount of yearly contributions. According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the current IRA contribution limits (2023) for a traditional or Roth IRA are $6,500 or $7,500 for people 50 years old and older.
Can you roll over an existing IRA to a gold IRA?
Rollovers allow the movement of funds from existing retirement accounts into new precious metals IRAs. You’ll need to roll over or transfer the funds if you want to fund your gold IRA with money from another retirement account. While a transfer moves money from one custodian to another, a rollover moves funds to the account holder, who is responsible for depositing the money into the new account.
Account holders have 60 days to deposit the distributed funds into their gold IRAs, or the money becomes taxable. You may prefer a transfer over a rollover to avoid possible tax penalties.
Visit this link for a complete guide on Gold IRA rollovers.
How long does a rollover take?
Although you have 60 days to complete a rollover without incurring any tax penalties, the entire process should take less than a month. On average, you can expect a rollover to take about two weeks to complete, but actual times depend on many factors.
What if my current employer doesn’t allow rollovers?
If you intend to roll over funds from an existing retirement account, review its policy before opening your new gold IRA to ensure it allows rollovers or transfers. If the policy does not allow rollovers or transfers, you will have to wait until you no longer work for that employer before using the account to fund a gold IRA.
When can you withdraw funds from gold IRA accounts?
Gold IRAs work the same as conventional IRAs when it comes to distribution limitations. Account holders may only withdraw penalty-free funds once they are 59.5 years old. If an account holder withdraws money from the account before that age, they must pay a 10% penalty on the withdrawal.
Although you cannot withdraw funds from an IRA until you reach a certain age, you will be required to do so once you turn 72. Once account holders reach this age, they must make annual withdrawals of the minimum amount.
What physical precious metals should you put in a gold IRA?
The IRS only approves precious metals bullion for IRA investment if the precious metals meet specific purity requirements. You must choose IRA-approved gold coins and gold bars for your gold IRA to remain compliant with the IRS.
Purity requirements for IRA-approved products differ depending on the type of metal you want to purchase. Reference the following criteria to ensure your gold and silver products meet IRS guidelines:
- Gold must have a purity of .995 or higher
- Silver must have a purity of .999 or higher
- Platinum and palladium must have a purity of .9995 or higher
Working with a gold IRA company that sells precious metals like Oxford Gold Group can help ensure you get IRA-eligible gold products for your gold, platinum, palladium, or silver IRA.
What are the most popular gold products for gold IRAs?
Not all gold coins and bars provide the purity required for gold IRAs. Some popular coins that boast high purity levels include the following:
- American Gold Eagle
- American Gold Buffalo
- Australian Gold Kangaroo
- Austrian Philharmonic
- Canadian Gold Maple Leaf
- Chinese Gold Panda
Click a few of these links to learn some fascinating facts about some of the most popular gold coins for gold IRAs and general investment. The Austrian Philharmonic, for example, has been minted since 1989 and boasts an excellent purity of .9999.
Invest in a Precious Metals IRA With The Oxford Gold Group
The Oxford Gold Group aims to make investing in precious metals accessible for anyone who wants to diversify their portfolios. Our team can help you set up your new IRA account, purchase precious metals, and store your physical investments in approved facilities. We offer a wide variety of precious metals products, including gold coins, gold bars, and coins and bars in silver, platinum, and palladium.
Now that you understand how to open a gold IRA account, we hope you choose to work with us at The Oxford Gold Group. Call us at 833-600-GOLD, or get in touch online to schedule a call time that works best for you. We’ll guide you through the gold IRA process with honest, efficient, and friendly service.
If you’re not ready to open a gold IRA yet and want to learn more about precious metals investing, request our free guide. You can also read our latest articles for guides and news regarding precious metal investment.