With inflation remaining stubbornly high and the odds of a recession seemingly rising all the time, millions of Americans are getting nervous about their financial future. Many of them remember the disastrous 2008 financial crisis, which erased trillions of dollars of wealth that had been earned over decades. And none of them want to see a repeat of 2008.
That’s why more and more people are turning to gold to try to protect their wealth, and especially to a gold IRA. If you’ve heard about a gold IRA and want to know how it can help you, it might help to know that there are five easy steps to start investing in a gold IRA.
1. Learn About a Gold IRA
The first step to investing in a gold IRA is to learn more about what a gold IRA is, what it does, and the many advantages of a gold IRA.
What Is a Gold IRA?
A gold IRA is nothing more than an IRA account that holds physical gold coins or bars. Many people with existing IRA accounts may not realize that IRA accounts can hold physical assets like gold, silver, commodities, and even real estate. That’s because many IRA custodians don’t offer custodial services for those types of assets.
But once you learn about the many assets that self-directed IRA accounts such as a gold IRA can offer, you may never think about IRAs the same way again.
Advantages of Owning Gold
Owning gold has numerous advantages, which is why so many people have trusted it to protect their wealth for centuries. Here are four of the primary advantages of owning gold.
Diversify Your Portfolio
One of the primary advantages gold can offer is to diversify an investment portfolio. Even the most hardcore gold haters may grudgingly admit that gold can play a role in portfolio diversification.
Just think about how many people today may have the majority of their retirement savings invested in stocks and bonds, or in various types of funds that invest in those same financial instruments. In the event of a severe financial crisis, those assets could all lose value at the same time.
Because gold is often considered a counter-cyclical asset, one that tends to rise in value when conventional financial assets fall, gold demand tends to grow when crisis or recession threatens. When a recession or financial crisis is feared, concerns over portfolio diversification tend to take center stage.
Protect Against Inflation
Gold has also traditionally been seen as a hedge against inflation. Whereas the US dollar has lost 97% of its value since 1913, gold has gained over 8,000%.
It is this maintenance of its purchasing power over the long run that gives gold such appeal as an inflation hedge. Now that we live in an era of high inflation, that ability of gold to maintain its value takes on greater importance.
The last time we faced sustained long-term inflation, during the stagflationary 1970s, gold’s average annualized gains over the decade were over 30%. The prospect of potentially repeating that kind of growth if inflation becomes entrenched once again is undoubtedly appealing to investors who have seen their wealth take a beating due to inflation over the past two years.
The ability to hold physical gold in a gold IRA allows you to benefit from gold’s potential price appreciation and protect those gains from taxation until you decide to take a distribution. A Traditional gold IRA will accrue gains tax-free and you only pay taxes at distribution. A Roth gold IRA will accrue gains tax-free and you will pay no taxes at distribution.
Holding gold in a tax-advantaged account also allows you the option of protecting your existing tax-advantaged retirement assets. By transferring or rolling over assets tax-free from a 401(k), 403(b), TSP, IRA, or similar account into a gold IRA, you can protect assets you’ve worked years to accumulate through an investment in physical gold coins or bars.
Wealth Protection and Asset Appreciation
Gold doesn’t just perform well when times get tough. Even when the economy is doing great and markets are booming, gold can gain in value. In fact, since 2001 gold’s average annualized growth rate is 8.8%, versus 5.1% for the S&P 500 and 5.0% for the Dow Jones Industrial Average.
2. Choose a Trusted Gold IRA Partner
The second step to start investing in a gold IRA is to choose a trusted gold IRA partner. If you’re going to be investing a sizable portion of your retirement savings into gold, you want to make sure that the partners with whom you work are trustworthy, dependable, and dedicated to customer service.
Starting a gold IRA in order to protect your wealth is a major financial decision, one which you’ll want to discuss with your financial advisor and tax advisor. And you’ll want to do your homework when choosing a gold IRA company with which to work, such as looking at customer reviews. With thousands of satisfied customers and over $1 billion in precious metals placements, Goldco has established itself as one of the biggest names in the precious metals industry.
Working With an IRA Custodian
As with any other IRA, your gold IRA assets will need to be managed by a custodian. Perhaps you’ve heard of a home storage gold IRA, an arrangement that purports to allow you to store gold IRA assets at home. If this sounds too good to be true, that’s because it is.
Your IRA assets need to be managed by an IRS-approved custodian. While it is technically possible to set up an IRA that allows you to store your gold IRA coins at home, the hurdles are so high that no one has ever done it. Attempting to store your gold IRA assets at home could potentially subject you to taxes and penalties.
Goldco works with established gold IRA custodians who have years of experience managing precious metals, making sure that the process of establishing your gold IRA runs smoothly, and that your gold IRA assets are properly managed.
Storing Your Precious Metals
Your gold IRA custodian will manage your gold IRA assets, and your assets will be stored at a bullion depository. Goldco works with established bullion depositories who have vast experience storing precious metals. And even within these depositories there can be different levels of storage to ensure that your gold IRA assets remain as secure as possible.
3. Fund Your Gold IRA
Once you have chosen to work with a trusted partner like Goldco and established your gold IRA, the third step to start investing in a gold IRA is deciding on how to fund your gold IRA. This is where it is important to know and understand IRA rules and regulations.
IRA Rules and Regulations
Because a gold IRA is just like any other IRA, it is subject to the same rules and regulations as any other IRA. This includes the rules surrounding IRA contribution limits. IRA contribution limits for 2022 are $6,000, or $7,000 if you’re over age 50. It’s important to remember that this limit applies across all your IRA accounts, not to each account. But these limits don’t apply when you’re funding an IRA by transferring or rolling over assets from another tax-advantaged retirement account into an IRA.
401(k) to Gold IRA Rollover
One popular method to fund a gold IRA is through a 401(k) rollover. Very often this involves assets held in a previous employer’s 401(k) plan that are languishing, or assets in a 401(k) plan that doesn’t offer a wide variety of investment options.
A 401(k) to gold IRA rollover can be an effective way of putting existing retirement savings to better use. You can also roll over assets from accounts that are similar to a 401(k), such as a 403(b), 457, or TSP account.
If you have existing IRA accounts, you can transfer assets from those accounts into a gold IRA. With all rollovers and transfers you’ll want to make sure that these transactions occur in a timely manner, otherwise you’ll potentially expose yourself to taxes and penalties.
Before making a rollover or transfer you’ll want to meet with your financial advisor and tax advisor to run over all the rules and regulations, particularly with respect to the timing of these transactions and the depositing of funds into your gold IRA.
You also need to know that you can’t perform an unlimited amount of rollovers and transfers either. This is where the assistance of your financial advisor can be helpful.
4. Choose Your Precious Metals
Once you have decided how to fund your gold IRA, the fourth step to start investing in a gold IRA is to choose which precious metals you want to buy. A gold IRA is a precious metals IRA, and you’re not limited to purchasing gold. You can purchase gold coins or bars, silver coins or bars, and even platinum and palladium coins or bars.
But once again, you’ll need to know the rules regarding IRA assets. Not every gold or silver coin is eligible for purchase by a gold IRA. And if you try to purchase coins that are not IRA-eligible, it could be treated as a distribution and subject you to taxes and potential penalties.
The US tax code prohibits IRA accounts from owning collectibles, including coins. But certain coins are exempt from the prohibition on owning collectibles. These include Gold American Eagle and Silver American Eagle coins, as well as any gold coin with a fineness of at least .995 or silver coin with a fineness of at least .999.
Numerous mints around the world produce these bullion coins specifically so that investors can purchase them through a precious metals IRA. Goldco works with many of these mints to bring you these IRA-eligible coins and ensure a steady supply of gold and silver bullion for you to hold in your gold IRA.
5. Purchasing Precious Metals
The final step to start investing in a gold IRA is to purchase the precious metals of your choosing. This might be the step that makes most people nervous, and it can be fraught with risk if you haven’t done your homework.
One of the top questions any precious metals buyer has is, is the gold and silver I’m buying authentic? That can especially be true if you’re a first-time precious metals buyer.
In general, purchasing precious metals coins through a trusted gold IRA partner won’t carry the same risk as purchasing gold coins yourself. Goldco, for instance, partners with mints around the world to purchase gold and silver coins directly from their producers, ensuring that the gold and silver coins you buy from us are 100% authentic.
If you were to buy coins from online marketplaces or from sellers with unknown reputations, you could be taking a gamble on whether or not you’re getting genuine coins. And if your retirement savings are on the line, why take the chance of buying anything less than guaranteed authentic gold and silver coins?
You’ll also want to make sure that the coins you want are available. Right now the precious metals industry is facing unprecedented demand for gold and silver coins, which is leading to temporary supply issues in getting coins.
Because Goldco has established relationships with mints, we are able to cut out middlemen, thus helping you get your hands on gold and silver quicker. And by working with numerous mints, we are also able to diversify our supply, thus helping alleviate the worst of the supply shortages that have plagued the gold and silver industry in recent months.
With over $1 billion in precious metals placements, and thousands of satisfied customers, Goldco has established itself as one of the biggest gold IRA companies in the country. Our track record and the reviews from our customers speak for themselves when it comes to our commitment to customer service and satisfaction.
We even offer our customers a buyback guarantee if they aren’t happy with their purchase. That’s how certain we are that you’ll be happy with the gold and silver you buy from Goldco.
Learn More About a Gold IRA
Now that you’ve read about the five steps to start investing in a gold IRA, the next step is up to you. You can continue learning more about a gold IRA with Goldco’s numerous online resources. Or you can give one of our precious metals experts a call to learn more about the various gold and silver options Goldco offers.
With inflation continuing to take a bit out of your savings, and the prospect of a recession growing ever nearer, now is the time to start thinking about protecting your hard-earned wealth. Contact Goldco today to take the first step toward safeguarding your savings with precious metals.