When times get tough, investors look for safe havens to help protect their assets. And with everything going on in the world today, it’s no wonder that investors are flocking to safe haven assets in a way that they haven’t in years. No one wants to be left holding the bag when inflation skyrockets or stock markets plummet, so more and more investors are taking steps to protect their hard-earned retirement savings.
One of the traditional safe havens that has seen renewed popularity is gold. Gold has a history of protecting investor assets against loss, inflation, and currency devaluation. Through crisis after crisis, gold has remained stable, maintaining its value when other assets fall by the wayside.
But not everyone knows how easy it can be to invest in gold. Even if you understand the many advantages of investing in gold, putting your knowledge into action can seem daunting.
That’s why Goldco has created this guide to help you buy gold for retirement. If you’re looking to safeguard your retirement savings and ensure that they’re there for you when you need them most, this guide has all the information you need to help you get started with buying gold for retirement.
Why Invest in Gold
You may already know that gold can be a solid investment and one that can help you protect your assets. But if you don’t, or if you have a general sense of gold’s abilities but haven’t ever seen gold’s benefits articulated, here are a few reasons you might want to invest in gold.
Diversify Your Portfolio
One benefit of investing in gold is to diversify your investment portfolio. All too often, investors think that by investing in a variety of stocks and bonds they have come up with a well-diversified investment portfolio. But in the event of a major financial crisis, both stocks and bonds could lose value, as we saw in 2008.
Real diversification means holding assets in numerous different asset classes, including investments in alternative assets such as real estate, agricultural commodities, and precious metals.
Hedge Against Inflation
Gold has also acted as a traditional hedge against inflation. While the value of paper currencies such as the US dollar loses value to inflation every year, the value of gold keeps pace with inflation over the long term.
Gold’s performance during times of high inflation can also be quite dramatic. During the 1970s, for instance, gold’s average annualized growth rate was over 30%, at a time when inflation peaked at 11% and stock markets were nearly flat over the decade. If you’re looking for an asset to protect your wealth against high or growing inflation, gold could be what you need.
Protect Against Market Crash
Gold also has a reputation for performing well when stock markets aren’t. That’s why you’ll often hear gold referred to as a countercyclical asset.
In the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, gold nearly tripled in value while stocks were still struggling to regain their pre-2008 levels. Many investors whose stock investments lost big in 2008 saw gold’s performance and vowed that they would be invested in gold the next time such a crisis was on the horizon. Is now the time?
Grow Your Assets
Of course, it isn’t just during times of economic weakness that gold can deliver asset growth. Over the long run, gold tracks well when compared with stock exchanges, and over the past 20 years has outperformed them.
Since 1971, gold has grown at an annualized rate of 7.84%, versus 7.78% for the S&P 500 and 7.48% for the Dow Jones Industrial Average. And since 2001, gold has grown at an annualized rate of 9.80%, versus 5.76% for the S&P 500 and 5.66% for the Dow Jones.
With stock markets showing signs of weakness and potentially on the verge of a major correction, gold’s performance versus stock markets could end up being even greater in the coming years. That’s one reason more and more investors are choosing to invest in gold.
How to Invest in Gold
Now that you know the advantages of gold, you may be wondering how you go about investing in gold. There are two primary options that are available today if you want to invest in physical gold coins or bars. The first is investing in gold through a gold IRA. The second option is to make direct purchases of gold coins or bars, which you then can store at home, at a bank, or at a depository.
What Is a Gold IRA?
A gold IRA is, as it sounds, a tax-advantaged IRA retirement account that allows you to invest in physical gold coins or bars. It offers the same tax advantages as any other IRA account, and can be either a Traditional gold IRA account or a Roth IRA account.
A gold IRA is a popular way for investors to protect assets they already hold in 401(k), 403(b), TSP, IRA, or similar retirement accounts. And a gold IRA is subject to the same rules and regulations as any other IRA account.
Gold IRA Rules
Before opening a gold IRA, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with the rules affecting gold IRA accounts. While a gold IRA is subject to the same rules and regulations as other IRA accounts, there are some special restrictions that you’ll want to be aware of before you invest, so that you don’t inadvertently expose yourself to tax consequences or penalties. Be sure to consult with your tax advisor or financial advisor before making any investment decisions.
Types of Coins
The primary limitation on a gold IRA is the types of coins it can invest in. Like any other IRA, a gold IRA cannot own collectibles. The definition of collectible is clearly defined within the Internal Revenue Code.
This means that some older gold coins, like St. Gaudens $20 gold pieces or South African Krugerrands, are not eligible to be owned in a gold IRA. If your IRA were to purchase a collectible, that would be considered a distribution, and could trigger taxes and penalties. But thankfully there are numerous other options available to you.
The Internal Revenue Code clearly states the types of US Mint coins that are eligible for investment through a gold IRA, including the popular Gold American Eagle. And mints around the world produce numerous gold coins that fulfill IRS requirements for gold IRA investment, including the Canadian Maple Leaf and Australian Saltwater Crocodile.
Contribution limits to a gold IRA are the same as those for other IRA accounts. For 2022, the contribution limit is $6,000 if you’re under age 50 and $7,000 if you’re over age 50. But you can also fund a gold IRA through a rollover or transfer from an existing 401(k), IRA, or similar tax-advantaged retirement account.
Rollovers and Transfers
Rolling over or transferring funds from a 401(k) or an IRA can be a popular method of funding a gold IRA. In some cases this is because those with existing retirement savings want to protect those savings that they’ve worked so hard to build up. In other cases, people have orphaned accounts at previous employers that are sitting not making gains.
Regardless of the type of rollover or transfer you want to make, most of those are able to occur tax-free. Goldco’s experts specialize in helping people like you perform rollovers or transfers so that you can protect your existing retirement savings and put your funds to good use.
A gold IRA offers the same tax advantages as any other IRA. If you choose to open a Traditional gold IRA, you would invest with pre-tax dollars and pay taxes only when you take a distribution. If your gold IRA is a Roth IRA, you would invest with post-tax dollars and pay no taxes when you take a distribution. Or you could roll over or transfer assets from a pre-tax account into a Roth gold IRA and do a Roth conversion.
Required Minimum Distributions
The regulations with regard to required minimum distributions are the same for a gold IRA as they are for other IRA accounts. If your gold IRA is a Traditional IRA, you will be required to take RMDs once you reach age 72. And if you take a distribution before age 59½, you’ll pay taxes and penalties.
Gold IRA Custodian and Depository
IRA assets in a gold IRA are required to be managed by a custodian, just like assets in any other IRA account. Goldco partners with gold IRA custodians who have years of experience in the precious metals industry.
Your gold IRA coins and bars will also be stored at a precious metals depository. Goldco partners with depositories who offer decades of experience helping to keep our customers’ gold assets safe and secure.
Buying Gold Coins
If you want to buy gold coins outside a gold IRA, your options can begin to grow, both in terms of the types of coins you can buy and the ways you can fund your purchase. While you don’t gain the tax advantages of a gold IRA, you still gain the many advantages of investing in gold, and can protect assets you may have in cash or cash-equivalent assets.
Advantages of Investing in Gold
A gold IRA has numerous advantages over other types of investments.
A gold IRA can help you to diversify your existing tax-advantaged investments. It’s one more tool in your investment toolbox, and can help you adjust your desired portfolio diversification without exposing you to the tax liabilities that you might incur if you decided to sell assets from your tax-advantaged retirement accounts.
Adjusting Risk Profile
As you get closer to retirement, you’ll probably become more risk averse. You’ll want to save what you have and you probably won’t be too concerned about making new gains. In other words, wealth preservation becomes more important than wealth accumulation.
Gold is often considered a less risky asset, as it isn’t subject to the same wild swings as stocks can be subject to. That means that gold can play an important role in your plans if you are trying to lower the risk profile of your investment portfolio.
Protecting Tax-Advantaged Retirement Savings
With the stock market’s performance over the past several years, there are now more 401(k) millionaires than ever before. And many of those new millionaires want to remain millionaires.
That could be difficult if stock markets crash, especially if the crash is like 2008 or worse. Many investors probably think that their only options are to cash out of their 401(k) and take a big tax hit, or to ride out the crash and hope for a quick recovery.
But a gold IRA can help you protect your assets since you can move your 401(k) assets into a gold IRA, allowing you to take advantage of gold’s protective abilities and protect your wealth even when markets are weak.
3 Easy Steps to Start Investing in Gold
Investing in gold shouldn’t have to be difficult. In fact, you can invest in gold in three easy steps.
1. Open an IRA or Sign an Agreement
If you’re choosing to open a gold IRA, you would first sign an agreement choosing to do business with Goldco. Or if you prefer to make direct purchases of gold coins, you would sign a standard customer agreement.
2. Fund Your Gold IRA or Your Goldco Account
Once you have opened a gold IRA or started an account with Goldco, you’ll have to decide how to fund your account. Many customers choose to fund a gold IRA through a rollover or transfer from an existing tax-advantaged account. Be sure to consult with your tax advisor or financial advisor to make sure that you don’t incur any tax liabilities.
If you’re just buying gold coins directly, you can fund them in numerous different ways, including by check or bank wire.
3. Select and Purchase Your Precious Metals
Once your account or gold IRA is funded, it’s time for you to select which gold coins or bars you would like to purchase and use your account assets to purchase them. Goldco offers gold coins and bars from numerous mints around the world, and your Goldco representative can work with you to choose the coins and bars you want.
If you purchase your gold coins for a gold IRA, your coins will be shipped to the depository you choose, which will then take care of keeping your gold safe and secure. If you are making a direct purchase of gold coins, you can have your coins shipped to a depository if you would like, or you can store them at home.
Is Gold the Right Choice for You?
Ultimately the choice of whether or not to buy gold is up to you. But if you’re looking to protect your wealth against inflation, dollar devaluation, and the effects of a weakening economy and potential international conflict, why not look into gold?
After all, you’ve probably been saving for years or decades to build up your retirement nest egg and the last thing you want is to see it all evaporate into nothing. Too many investors had that happen to them in 2008, so why let that happen to your assets today?
Every day your assets remain unprotected is another day they’re at risk of loss. And if your retirement savings suffer 2008-style losses today, there’s no telling how long it might take you to make that money back, if ever.
Don’t leave your wealth vulnerable any longer. Call the experts at Goldco today to learn more about how to protect your savings with gold.