With economic stability in question across the globe, a growing number of investors are looking for retirement savings options outside of traditional 401(k) plans or IRAs. Many people are turning to gold and silver IRAs because precious metals have always provided foundational security in times of uncertainty. Before you roll existing investments into a Gold IRA, though, make sure you understand your options and duly research each opportunity. Here are four important questions to ask before investing in precious metal IRAs.
What’s the reputation of the company?
Economic uncertainty isn’t something you can do much about, but you can vet the companies you work with for investing. Whether you’re just rolling over an existing IRA or want to build a long-term relationship with a company that handles precious metals, do your homework. Find out:
- How long the company has been in business.
- What customers say about them.
- How long have they provided precious metal IRAs.
- What avenues are available to contact customer service for assistance when needed.
Are the precious metals approved by the IRS?
The Internal Revenue Service allows four types of metals in self-directed IRAs:
To avoid paying unnecessary taxes on your investment, you also have to ensure that the gold is in an IRS-accepted form. The IRS only approves certain gold coins to be held in a Gold IRA. Popular coins include:
- Silver Britannia Lunar Year of the Rooster Privy
- Gold UK Lunar Year of the Rooster
- Gold Australian Saltwater Crocodile
- Silver Australian Saltwater Crocodile
Silver held in an IRA must be 0.999 percent pure. Platinum or palladium must be 0.9995 percent pure.
Will the company stick with you?
Find out what type of policy the company has for providing long-term customer service. Some companies assist you with the roll-over transaction before passing the custodial duties on to another provider; others stick with you for the life of your investment. While the IRS does require self-directed Gold IRAs to be handled with assistance from a custodian, that custodian could be a broker, bank, credit union or savings and loan association, all of which provide different levels of service. Increase your chances at a successful investment by working with a company that sticks with you and is able to meet your unique needs.
What fees are associated with transactions?
It’s critical to understand the fees associated with any type of investment because knowing the total costs associated with an investment lets you plan your savings more appropriately. Ask about all fees associated with IRA transactions. Is there a fee to rollover an existing account? Are you charged maintenance fees, and what is the cost should you want to make any future changes to the investment?
Gold and other precious metals are valuable assets in an IRA. Asking the right questions when you roll existing investments into a Gold IRA helps you maximize the value you get from it.