How Much Can You Put in a Gold IRA?

contributing to an IRA

More and more people today are looking for ways to preserve their wealth, especially as the clouds of recession seem to be growing larger every day. With the ghost of 2008 still looming large in many people’s minds, it’s likely that more people today will try to prepare for the next recession than did in 2008. But how will they protect themselves?

Last year was a bad year for markets overall. If you look through the fund options in your 401(k) account, you’ll likely find only a handful that made money, very likely ones you may never have thought to invest in. But what do you do if 2023 ends up like 2022? And what happens if this malaise extends into 2024 and beyond?

Many Americans have turned to gold to help protect their wealth. Gold was one of the few bright spots in the aftermath of the 2008 crisis, and undoubtedly many people are banking on gold performing well during the next crisis as well.

One popular method of buying gold is through a gold IRA, which allows you to hold gold in a tax-advantaged retirement account. But for those looking to start a gold IRA, one question they want to know is just how much they can put into a gold IRA.

For those who have never held an IRA account before, or who don’t know anything about the rollover process, there can be a lot to learn. But if you want to learn more about how much money you can put in a gold IRA, keep reading.

What Is a Gold IRA?

A gold IRA is, as the name suggests, an individual retirement account (IRA) that holds physical gold coins or bars. Whereas most IRA holdings are held in common financial assets like stocks, bonds, or shares in funds, a gold IRA actually owns and controls physical gold. This tangible physical asset, and the ability to take possession of it when you take a distribution from your gold IRA, is one of the major draws of a gold IRA.

Benefits of a Gold IRA

There are numerous potential benefits to having a gold IRA. Here are three of the most important ones.


Gold can play an important role in diversifying your portfolio. Because of its traditional role as a safe haven asset and store of value during times of economic and financial uncertainty, gold has always been a popular investment during troubled times. But it doesn’t just have to be an asset that you choose during tough times.

Portfolio diversification is always important, as it can help reduce your exposure to any one type of asset, any one geographic area, or any one industry. If you’ve ever heard the phrase “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket,” this is diversification in a nutshell.

Because a gold IRA can be funded using existing assets from your 401(k), 403(b), TSP, IRA, or other retirement accounts, it can help you diversify your retirement savings. Odds are that your current accounts don’t offer you the ability to own physical precious metals. Many plans may not even offer any exposure to precious metals through exchange-traded funds or precious metals-focused investment funds. A gold IRA, then, can be one option to allow you to diversify your investments and gain exposure to precious metals.

Inflation Hedge

Gold has long been viewed as a hedge against inflation because its purchasing power tends to rise with inflation. While the US dollar has lost 97% of its purchasing power since 1913, gold has gained nearly 9,000% in value.

During the stagflation of the 1970s, gold’s annualized rate of growth was over 30% over the course of the decade. A 30% growth rate in any year is phenomenal, but to keep up that kind of average over the course of a decade is amazing. While we all hope that inflation won’t become entrenched today, if gold were to repeat that kind of performance over the next decade, it would certainly take some of the sting out of high inflation, at least for gold owners.

Store of Value

When you think of gold, you think of wealth and riches. You think of Scrooge McDuck’s money bin, buried pirate treasure, or pots of gold at the end of a rainbow.

Gold has been synonymous with wealth for centuries, and for good reason. When all other assets disintegrate or fade away into nothingness, gold remains. Nearly all the gold that has ever been mined in human history remains in existence above ground. You can’t say that for just about any other asset.

That stability has helped gold establish its reputation as a store of value. And gold’s ability to weather inflation, financial crises, and economic turmoil while maintaining its value has made it a continuing popular investment.

IRA Rules and Regulations

A gold IRA is subject to all the same rules and regulations as any other IRA account. And familiarizing yourself with those rules can save you some time and frustration.

Among the most important IRA rules to know is that IRAs are not allowed to own collectibles. Collectibles as defined in the tax code includes coins and metals, with some very important exceptions.

Exempt from the definition of collectible are Gold American Eagles, Silver American Eagles, and any coin or bullion meeting minimum fineness requirements for futures contracts, which for gold is .995 fineness (99.5% pure gold). Mints around the world manufacture coins specifically for the gold IRA market, and Goldco works with those mints to bring you those coins.

A gold IRA is also subject to the same distribution requirements as other IRA accounts. If you have a Traditional IRA, any distributions you take before age 59½ are subject both to taxes and a 10% penalty. After age 73 you’ll have to take required minimum distributions (RMDs). If your gold IRA is a Roth IRA, you can withdraw contributions at any time, earnings only after age 59½ if the account has been open for at least 5 years, and there are no required minimum distributions.

And the most important IRA regulation to know about is the annual IRA contribution limit, as that determines how much you can put in a gold IRA.

IRA Contribution Limits

Annual contribution limits to IRA accounts are $6,500 in 2023, or $7,500 if you’re over age 50 due to the additional $1,000 “catch-up” contribution. It’s important to note that this is across all your IRA accounts, not for each IRA account.

So if you have a Roth IRA and a Traditional IRA, you can’t contribute $5,000 to each of those accounts this year, because that would put you at $10,000 in contributions, or $3,500 in excess of the contribution limit. You would only be able to contribute a total of $6,500 combined to these two accounts.

These contribution limits are generally adjusted for inflation, although if inflation is low the amounts may not change much in any given year. They’re also generally increased in $500 increments, so annual increases to IRA contribution limits aren’t guaranteed.

The $1,000 catch-up contribution has remained constant for years, but it too will now be linked to inflation going forward, so expect that $1,000 amount to increase in the coming years.

With such a low contribution limit, particularly in comparison with 401(k) accounts, you may wonder how anyone could use an IRA to save up enough money for retirement. That’s because IRAs can be funded in other methods than just annual contributions.

One popular method of funding IRAs, including a gold IRA, is through a 401(k) rollover. A rollover can be performed from a 401(k), 403(b), TSP, or similar retirement account, and the funds rolled over from these accounts into an IRA aren’t subject to the annual IRA contribution limits.

A rollover from a 401(k) to an IRA is often done once you’ve retired or once you’ve left an employer. Some 401(k) plans allow what are known as in-service rollovers, allowing you to roll over funds from your employer’s 401(k) plan into an IRA. You’ll want to check with your 401(k) plan administrator to determine whether the funds you hold are eligible for rollover.

Starting a Rollover Gold IRA

If you’re looking to start a rollover gold IRA by moving funds from a 401(k) or existing retirement account into a gold IRA, the process can be done relatively simply. Even better, it can be done tax-free, just like a rollover into any other IRA. Here’s how to do it.

Initiating the Rollover Process

To start the rollover process you’ll have to first establish a gold IRA, which you can do by working with a trusted partner like Goldco. You have to have a gold IRA account established first in order to instruct your current retirement plan administrator or custodian on where to send your funds.

Some plan administrators and custodians are easier to work with than others, as no custodian wants to see a decrease in its assets under management. The more assets they have under management, the more fees they receive, so don’t be surprised if you encounter some resistance.

If you’re trying to roll over funds from a TSP account, for instance, you’ll need to have your gold IRA account established and on file with TSP for at least 7 days before initiating the rollover process. Other retirement plans may have their own rules.

Funding Your Gold IRA

Once you have initiated the rollover process, your existing retirement plan administrator will liquidate your holdings and send those funds to the custodian you selected to administer your new gold IRA. Expect the process of sending funds and fund settlement to take a few days until everything is confirmed on both ends. Once your gold IRA custodian has received your funds, your gold IRA is funded and you’re ready to start buying gold.

Buying Your Gold

Once your gold IRA is funded and you start buying gold, you’ll need to remember the IRA rules surrounding gold coins and bars. That means that you can’t transfer any gold you already own into a gold IRA. And any gold coins and bars you buy have to meet the minimum .995 fineness requirements.

Goldco partners with mints around the world to bring you IRA-eligible gold coins. This guarantees that the gold you buy is 100% authentic, and helps get your gold to you quicker.

It’s important to note that Goldco also won’t let you spend more than 50% of your retirement savings on gold. Even if we believe that gold is a great hedge against inflation and a wonderful store of value, we also believe that portfolios should be properly diversified, and a portfolio that’s 100% invested in gold isn’t diversified.

Learning More About a Gold IRA

If you’re interested in learning more about a gold IRA, give the precious metals experts at Goldco a call today. They’ve helped thousands of customers learn more about gold IRAs and the gold IRA rollover process.

The ability to protect their existing retirement savings with a tax-free rollover or transfer into a gold IRA has helped Goldco’s customers protect their financial well-being with gold. And we’d like to do the same for you.

If you have savings that you’ve worked hard to build up, you don’t want to see them evaporate in a financial meltdown. Call the experts at Goldco to learn more about how a gold IRA can help you.

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