In a regular IRA, you can’t own physical gold, although you can invest in a wide variety of assets that are invested in gold, such as gold stocks or gold ETFs. By opening a self-directed IRA, you can invest in alternative assets such as real estate, physical precious metals, and cryptocurrencies. You can store coins or gold bars in a precious metal IRA. Despite the colloquial term “gold IRA,” you can hold silver, platinum, and palladium in this account.
If you’ve considered investing in gold and other precious metals, such as silver, platinum, and palladium, you may have seen ads for so-called “home storage gold” IRAs. IRS rules allow funding a Gold IRA with funds from another IRA, 401 (k), 403 (b), 457 (b), or Thrift Savings Plan. A self-directed IRA is often referred to as a gold IRA or gold-backed IRA when it is specifically set up to store physical metals in the form of gold bars, coins, or polishing coins. Given the many scams and misleading advertising, it’s important to do your research before opening a Gold IRA account.
Over the centuries, gold has proven to be one of the most stable assets, making it a fantastic candidate for your IRA. A gold IRA can give you the tax benefits of a traditional retirement account, but you must comply with IRS regulations or risk fines and penalties. Whether you’re planning to start a Gold IRA from scratch or extend your current retirement account, the process starts with creating a self-directed IRA. If you really think it’s a good idea, at least check out the IRS rules and custodian fees before you deposit gold into your IRA.
One important rule to know about storing physical gold in an IRA is that your precious metals MUST be stored at an approved depository institution such as the Delaware Depository Service Company or Brink’s Global Services, not in your home or in a safe. Required minimum distributions Once you reach the age of 70½, your Gold IRA is subject to a required minimum payout (RMD), just like any other non-Roth IRA account. Costs of buying and storing gold Once you’ve chosen a specialized, independent gold IRA custodian, you need to remember that there are fees for all aspects of buying, storing, and selling gold. Alternatively, you can handle all of the paperwork yourself or find a Gold IRA company that specializes in this process.
Or, if you have a traditional retirement savings account and want to increase your exposure to gold, read here how you can buy a gold ETF, an exchange-traded fund that tracks the performance of gold. So if you want to keep gold in your IRA, you’ll need to set up a self-directed IRA first and then you’ll need to find a custodian that specializes in self-directed gold IRAs. The ETF is also able to buy, store, and insure gold at a much lower price than you or an IRA custodian bank. Self-directed IRAs, of which gold IRAs are one type, have the same contribution and distribution limits, which depend on your age, as traditional IRAs.