Retirement Planning

Gold IRA Rollover: A Complete Guide

During times of political and economic uncertainty, people often flock to the safe haven of gold. Gold, unlike most other assets, has stood the test of time, maintaining its value regardless of the goings-on of the world around it.

Many people trust gold as a hedge against difficult economic times and seek to hold a portion of their portfolio in gold. Whether it’s buying a handful of gold coins to use as currency in a natural disaster or survival situation, or buying gold through a gold IRA to diversify a retirement portfolio, gold continues to be one of the top assets investors trust to protect their wealth.

Paper financial assets may rise and fall in value, even becoming worthless when the companies that issue them go bankrupt, but when was the last time you heard of someone going bankrupt owning gold?

As much as central banks love to deride gold as a barbarous relic and as much as they downplay its importance to the world economy (even while they buy tons and tons of gold each year), gold is as close to a risk-free asset as it gets. When you own an ounce of gold, you own an ounce of gold.

That gold is an asset, it isn’t someone else’s debt, or a claim to a partial ownership of a company. That gold is yours exclusively, and no one else’s.

Gold also appreciates in value over time because its supply is relatively limited. Gold mining is capital intensive, so annual mining totals don’t add significantly to the overall gold supply. With an increasing population and growing demand, that leads to each ounce of gold continuing to gain in value.

As one of the assets of first resort for investors in the event of financial crises, gold maintains its value throughout economic turbulence. Many people who understood the importance of gold during the 2008 financial crisis benefited from holding it in their portfolios.

Many who didn’t buy gold back then learned from their mistakes, and are buying gold coins and gold bars today to ensure that their assets remain protected in the coming months. If you are interested in learning more about how to buy gold, continue reading this gold IRA rollover guide.

What Is a Gold IRA?

To begin the gold IRA rollover guide, let’s begin by discussing how a gold IRA differs from other IRAs, and a few reasons you might consider starting a gold IRA. A gold IRA operates differently from other IRAs in that it allows investors to hold their IRA assets in the form of physical gold coins or bullion.

Rather than owning paper assets such as stocks and bonds, or paper claims to gold funds such as shares in a gold ETF, a gold IRA actually holds physical gold that you can touch. That allows you to benefit from the same tax advantages of conventional IRAs while still benefiting from the protective status of gold.

Buying gold through a gold IRA can offer you numerous advantages. These include diversifying your portfolio, providing a hedge against inflationary monetary policy and devaluation of the dollar, and offering the potential for asset growth even during tough market conditions.

Portfolio diversification with a gold IRA can help alter the risk exposure of your retirement accounts. A portfolio heavily weighted with stocks and bonds can leave you subject to the ups and downs of Wall Street. But gold is an asset that often performs well even when stocks and bonds don’t.

Gold can also protect against inflation as it maintains its value over time. While an ounce of gold still buys just as much in terms of real goods as it did at the beginning of the 20th century, the dollar has lost 97% of its value since then.

Someone who had held a $20 gold coin since that time would see that coin worth well over $2,000 today, whereas someone who had held a $20 checking account balance since that time would see it worth just $20 today.

Using a Self-Directed IRA to Buy Gold

Gold IRAs are a form of self-directed IRA, in which investors themselves are fiduciaries and are responsible for choosing their investments. That requires a little bit of knowledge of the IRA process, particularly when funding a gold IRA through a gold IRA rollover.

Setting up a gold IRA will require a new IRA account to be set up that will house your gold assets. In order to fund that new IRA account, you can roll over funds from an existing 401(k), IRA, or similar retirement account into your gold IRA to buy gold.

Those rollovers can be done tax-free by transferring those funds directly between accounts. It isn’t too difficult, but if you have questions or concerns then you may want to consult with your tax advisor to make sure that you don’t accidentally incur any tax liabilities.

Self-directed IRAs allow investors to invest in a wide array of assets, but among the most popular are gold, silver, and other precious metals. You’ll also have to arrange for storage of your gold coins and bullion, as you can’t hold them yourself.

Your gold IRA assets will be managed by an IRA custodian and stored at a bullion depository. Your custodian and bullion depository will help you monitor your assets and keep them stored safely and securely against theft.

If you want to learn more about how to start a gold IRA and execute a gold IRA rollover, the experts at Goldco can help answer your questions about the gold IRA rollover process. We have helped thousands of our customers go through the process of setting up a gold IRA, selecting a gold IRA custodian, and making their first gold IRA purchases.

Transferring Funds Into a Self-Directed IRA Account

The process of funding a gold IRA is made much easier if you already have retirement assets ready to roll over. The gold IRA rollover process can be quick and simple. Funds from a 401(k), 403(b), TSP, or other retirement account can be rolled over into a gold IRA tax-free.

The Process of Buying Gold With a Gold IRA

Once you have a gold IRA set up and have secured your source of funding and funded your gold IRA, you’re ready to start buying gold. But your gold IRA can’t just purchase any gold.

Jewelry, collectible coins, and gold below a minimum fineness is ineligible. The experts at Goldco can help you choose the right gold coins or bullion to buy so that your gold IRA acquisitions don’t run afoul of IRS regulations.

Many people think that the process of buying gold through an IRA is long and complicated, but that couldn’t be any further from the truth. In fact, the process of gold delivery is probably the longest step of the process, but that would be the same whether you buy gold through an IRA or just buy coins from an online metal broker.

With an experienced custodian and a reliable gold dealer, your gold IRA can be up and running very quickly. To conclude our gold IRA guide, here are four easy steps to follow when starting a gold IRA.

1. Open a Self-Directed IRA

self-directed IRA account

The first step is to open a self-directed gold IRA. Self-directed IRAs allow you to make alternative investments for retirement, including investing in real estate, precious metals, and cryptocurrency. Once you have made the decision to open your gold IRA, contact Goldco to apply to open a gold IRA and, if approved, your account will be active within a few business days.

2. Fund Your New Gold IRA

funding a gold IRA

Once your gold IRA account has been activated, you need to fund it. If you’re doing a gold IRA rollover, you should contact your existing IRA custodian to initiate the process.

This can be one of the largest variables in the process of funding a gold IRA, as your current custodian may have a convoluted and lengthy process before a rollover can take place. The lengthy process is meant to protect you, to ensure that it is really you requesting your money, and not a fraudster.

Once you’ve informed your current custodian of your decision to engage in a gold IRA rollover, and they are ready to release the funds, they then can transfer the funds to your new gold IRA custodian. Because this process can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks on your current custodian’s end, you’ll want to plan ahead.

3. Select a Gold IRA Custodian

meeting with IRA custodian

Once you’ve selected a custodian for your new gold IRA, that custodian can receive funds from your current custodian. Part of the custodian selection process includes selecting a depository for your funds.

There are numerous depositories around the country that are experienced in storing gold, silver, and precious metals for both commercial and individual investors. Talk with your Goldco representative to discover your gold storage options.

4. Start Buying Gold

IRA-eligible Gold American Eagle coins

Once your gold IRA custodian receives funds from your current custodian, you can start deciding which gold coins, gold bars, or other gold bullion you want to buy. You can choose from solid stalwarts like Gold American Eagles, limited edition mintages from Canada and Australia, or gold bars and rounds from mints around the world. With dozens of options for you to choose from, there’s something out there for everyone.

Buying gold through a gold IRA can seem daunting at first if you’re unfamiliar with the process. But with the right partner the process can be quick and simple.

If you want to take advantage of the many benefits of a gold IRA, don’t waste any more time. Call the experts at Goldco today to start the process of setting up your gold IRA.

Goldco’s experts can help make the gold IRA rollover process a smooth and easy one, allowing you to diversify your portfolio, hedge against inflation, and keep growing your retirement assets into retirement.

Don’t let a market crash decimate your retirement savings – start safeguarding your savings with gold today.

This article was originally published in August 2019 and was updated in April 2024.


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