Your Gold IRA Options And Opportunities

Owning an IRA is not as simple as it once was. The investment landscape has changed dramatically in the last decade. A lot of investors are looking for something with a little more certainty and solidity when they think about the contents of their portfolios. Fortunately, the rules regarding gold investment with an IRA have been relaxed. It is now very easy to open a gold IRA with a new custodian or transform the account that you already have into one that contains gold.

Why the Movement Into Physical Gold?

us dollar purchasing power graph

The recent rush to buy physical gold, either for personal possession or as an element in a retirement savings, has perplexed some investors. If they were to look closely at the market and its performance lately, as well as look at the condition of the dollar, they might understand a little more clearly.

While the market appears to be up in comparison to past years, this apparent fact hides the weakening state of the US dollar. The federal government, via the Federal Reserve, has pumped trillions of these dollars into the economy since 2008 in one way or another. While the inflationary effect of this money printing has been held in check to some extent, the eventual result is inevitable.

There are several types of investment that can act as hedges against inflation. The most reliable of these is gold. An increasing number of investors want to own gold bullion because they can easily depend on it to retain and even increase value in terms of inflated dollars for a long period of time.

Misconceptions About Gold IRAs

Originally, you were not able to put much gold in an IRA. Beyond the American Gold Eagle coin, an investor could not place any additional types of gold in a retirement account that was exempt from taxation. Over the years, however, the government has relaxed the rules regarding these accounts and a wider range of gold products may now be included among other investments.

Unfortunately, a large number of people also operate their IRAs under the impression that they have very little control and cannot change their custodian without a great deal of inconvenience. Actually, there are many custodians who are willing to give their clients a great deal of decision-making power in terms of investments. They also help clients of more restrictive custodians to manage transfers and rollovers from one IRA to another.

Eligible IRAs

  • ira typesThe self-directed IRA is a popular choice for investors seeking to put more gold in their retirement savings. This kind of retirement account generally leaves the direction of investments to the investor with little input from the custodian. However, the more conventional IRAs are also open to gold investment with the right custodian.
  • Traditional IRAs exempt contributions from taxation. Instead, only withdrawals are taxed after the account holder officially retires. If your custodian permits, you can invest contributions in gold. You can even arrange trades and buy physical gold with the earnings. However, you cannot handle the gold that you buy. Nor can your custodian handle it. Instead, your gold will have to be held by a third party. This service will cost money. When you officially retire, the gold is shipped directly to you.
  • A Roth IRA can also invest in gold if the custodian allows this type of trade. However, you should remember that a Roth IRA is taxed up front. You will have to buy the gold with money that has already been taxed as income.
  • An SEP IRA is mainly for the self-employed. There is very little oversight and it is easy to invest this kind of an IRA in anything that you want.
  • The SIMPLE IRA is an advantageous IRA that includes employer contributions. The funds can be directed to gold as well as other unconventional investments.

You may also be eligible if you have a 401(k), 403(b) retirement plan for employees of public or tax-exempt organizations, 457 Deferred Compensation Plan, TIAA CREF, Pension Plan or Thrift Savings Plan. Contact your preferred gold IRA firm to verify further.

Eligible Gold Coins and Bars

When many people think of gold, they imagine big gold bars. The good news is that gold bullion actually comes in many complex forms because those imagined bars would weigh a kilogram or more. Each would cost tens of thousands of dollars today and be essentially impossible to liquidate in portions. Eligible gold products for your IRA include coins both foreign and domestic and gold bars made by various companies that come in a range of sizes.

  • american gold eagleThe American Gold Eagle

This coin comes in sizes that will range from a tenth of an ounce to a full ounce. Its fineness, or purity is less than many other foreign legal tender coins but it makes up for this with integrity and design.

  • Canadian Gold Maple LeafThe Canadian Gold Maple Leaf

This coin, like all Canadian coins, is minted every year in only the highest fineness.

  • American Gold BuffaloThe American Gold Buffalo

Not to be outdone by the Canadians, the US recently started to offer these gold coins that have extremely high fineness ratings.

  • Austrian Gold PhilharmonicAustrian Gold Philharmonic

If you want some serious diversity in your portfolio, buy these gold Euros minted in Austria.

  • Credit Suisse Gold Bars

This Swiss company is well-known for minting gold bars, ranging in size from one gram to several kilograms, in the highest purity.

  • Johnson Matthey

This company also makes IRA-eligible bars in various sizes.

What If Your Custodian Does Not Offer What You Need?

You may discover, after inquiry, that your present custodian is not willing to offer you many opportunities to invest in gold with your IRA. In that case, you will need to make a gold IRA rollover.

Making a Gold IRA Rollover

This does not have to be an intimidating task. After finding a custodian willing to take on your account, have this company manage the paperwork. They will make sure that a check for the full amount is sent directly from the old custodian to the new one. This will help you avoid taxation and begin choosing gold assets.

Starting a gold IRA is the best way to prepare for an uncertain financial future. This precious metal will hold its own during times of economic turbulence and help you retain your wealth for retirement more effectively than any other asset.