Home » Transferring IRA to Gold: How It Works

Transferring IRA to Gold: How It Works

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Transferring IRA to Gold

Gold IRA investments can appear very attractive to investors who are looking to protect their holdings and have them appreciate for retirement. Goldco is the best of the gold IRA companies I’ve found on the market to help you through this journey.

Why? There’s the focus on educational resources, the way the staff members are dedicated to ensuring that customers are satisfied, and the fact that the company has a gold buyback program that comes in at a great time if you should decide that you no longer want to deal with gold IRAs.

You’ll hear more about Goldco as you proceed through the information below, but keep the company name in the back of your head for now.

Transferring an IRA to gold can be a good idea if you like the idea of how stable gold can be regardless of the moves that a standard Fiat currency will go through. This is a desirable quality to have when you’re trying to put away what you can for the time you’ll no longer be able to work.

Your new gold IRA account, while it bears many of the same properties as your standard IRA, is a special account that is specifically meant for precious metals. That’s why you can’t exactly go to your traditional IRA companies and ask them to set up a self-directed IRA backed by gold.

The best part is you don’t have to have cash on hand to fund precious metals IRAs. Instead, a gold IRA transfer can come in conveniently to get the job done since you can simply move funds from an existing retirement account.

What can you hope to learn from me today? Quite a lot! You’ll get a deeper understanding of why gold is the way to go, the transfer process, why Goldco is recommended, and even some general investment tips to simplify the journey for you.

You and I aren’t the first people to think that investing in physical gold may just be an excellent idea, and you wouldn’t be wrong. If you were to look back centuries ago, you would see precious metals being seen as a lucrative investment option.

While cash is great, there are a ton of external factors that affect its value at any time. One of these is that it isn’t finite. At any time, a government could simply choose to print more bills. This creates a situation where the existing bills lose some level of value in the process of inflation.

Regardless of how much gold is discovered around the world, the reality is that the amount available is finite. Therefore gold coins, bars, and other bullion have an intrinsic value. You’ll even find that historically when there have been concerns about the currency of the time, the value of gold remained unchanged for the most part.

Of course, no one is telling you that you shouldn’t invest in anything else but gold. Even if you find something that appears to be a solid investment option, don’t make the mistake of putting all your eggs in one basket.

Every investment is going to come with a risk margin that you simply can’t escape. The last thing you want is to lose all of your holdings because one investment went in a direction you didn’t expect.

Diversity is the way to go. At least if one investment type doesn’t work out, you have other options that you can fall back on. That’s why I try to keep things as diverse as possible!

Different Ways to Invest in Gold

Different Ways to Invest in Gold

As you consider gold as an option, you may want to know what some of the ways of investing are. Years ago, you wouldn’t really have many options beyond just buying the physical gold. Of course, that’s still something that you can do today.

Gold, silver, platinum, and other precious metals can simply be bought and held. Of course, the responsibility of securing them would rest squarely with you. Of course, you would need to think of how liquid you could make these assets later on.

The current landscape of precious metals allows you a few different options though. ETFs are also a possibility. While you will be investing here, there will be no holding of the asset. This will be akin to a stock market investment, which means that you’ll be buying ETF shares, which have values that correspond to the weight of the gold.

Apart from those, there’s the idea of a gold IRA, which is the focus of what you’ll be learning about today. Some of the other investment options are meant to be more short-term and immediate. If you were to just buy physical gold and hold it, for example, you could choose to capitalize whenever you feel like it.

If you wanted to sell it all tomorrow and cash out, there wouldn’t be a problem. However, an IRA is meant to be an option that comes in at retirement time. While you could do early withdrawals, doing so comes with penalties that make doing so simply not worth it.

Choosing which way to go should not be based on what sounds like it has worked for others. Remember that my financial position and risk profile will be different from yours. I may make a few investment moves that work out excellently based on my circumstances, while the same set of actions ends up blowing up in your face.

Instead, you need to prioritize understanding your unique situation and what it requires. Are you in the frame of mind for a long-term investment? Do you have an existing IRA? Why are you considering adding gold to your portfolio?

Remember that this is an investment at the end of the day. Even with all the advantages, you can lose from this investment, so you need to take all the time you can to think things through before you commit to any strategy.

Why a Precious Metals IRA?

Investors should always be motivated by individually beneficial factors before going in any direction. There’s no difference in the world of gold IRAs. Here’s a look at some of the reasons why gold IRAs are often selected to be a part of investment portfolios:

  1. You get a certain level of control over your investment that isn’t necessarily available with certain other options. It’s one of the perks that come with using a self-directed account type. However, if you don’t have a certain extent of expertise, you could jeopardize your investment, so be careful with the choices you make.

  2. Reputable gold IRA companies such as Goldco will take the time to ensure that their customers have all the information necessary to understand the landscape of gold IRAs. Therefore, you don’t have to worry about choosing precious metals that aren’t approved or having to deal with tax penalties for messing up the transfer process.

  3. Since your gold IRA is so much like a standard IRA option, you still get to enjoy whatever tax benefits you had previously. For example, there’s a Roth IRA and there’s also a Roth gold IRA. While the underlying assets are different, the way taxation works for both is the same.

  4. By making the gold IRA a part of your investment portfolio, you give yourself one more option to fall back on if other investment options don’t work out in the way you had forecasted or intended.

  5. Since gold is so good at maintaining its value, there are certain levels of economic uncertainty that you will have a level of protection against.

Understanding Transfers

As indicated before, you can fund your gold IRA account using either a transfer or a rollover. If you’re going the rollover route, the funds from an existing retirement account will be transferred directly to you and you will bear the responsibility of ensuring that the new gold IRA company gets the said funds.

You have 60 days to complete the process. Should you miss the timeline, there’ll be a 10% penalty that you must deal with. That’s because it will then be seen as a withdrawal. Being under 59 and a half years old means that such a charge would apply.

I like transfers because you don’t have to worry about that responsibility since the funds go directly from the existing retirement account to the new gold IRA custodian. That way, there’s no need for you to worry about the timeline elapsing and your having to deal with a penalty you never intended to.

Transfers, as you can imagine, can come with a lot less hassle. Nevertheless, you’ll be relying on the expertise of the gold IRA company to ensure it all goes off without a hitch. Some documentation forms a part of the process, and just missing one thing could be problematic.

Should You Choose a Gold IRA Rollover or a Transfer?

I will always choose the transfer option. Honestly, I don’t trust myself to deal with the money. It’s not because I think I’m gonna spend it. However, I’m a very busy person. At any time, there’ll be a lot going on with me, and the likelihood of that 60 days for the rollover passing before I get around to completing the process is very high.

It’s just a matter of not wanting to deal with what I see as an unnecessary risk. Of course, you may look at things differently. Perhaps you get some kind of peace of mind from being able to handle the money yourself, which isn’t unreasonable. If that’s the case, then feel free to go with a rollover instead of a transfer.

Choose a Gold IRA Rollover or a Transfer

How Do You Open a Gold IRA?

Do you have an existing IRA? If so, you’re in the right place. Buckle up and get ready because I’m gonna be saying a lot in this section. The idea is to ensure that you have all the information you could need to go from having no gold IRA to a fully functional one.

Bear in mind that even if there are any gaps when you’re finished reading it all, you don’t have to go into a panic. Gold IRA companies such as Goldco make it a part of their duty to ensure that their customers understand the scope of everything being done. Why do you think I recommend them so highly? Anyways, let’s focus on how to transfer your IRA to gold.

Choose Your Gold IRA Company

A reputable gold IRA company is one of the biggest advantages you can get in the world of gold investments. Again, I will say that Goldco is highly recommended. Augusta Precious Metals is a close second in my opinion.

Basically, your choice will dictate the level of expertise you can lean on and how smooth the experience will look. This will apply whether the IRA is backed by gold, silver, or other precious metals.

In most cases, the people who are going to be doing a gold IRA transfer need all the help they can get, so imagine the unfortunate situation you’re in when the company you choose to work with simply doesn’t have the resources or expertise to help you effectively. I know there’s no world in which I’d want to deal with that.

Apart from the guidance, this company is also going to be the service provider that will be walking with you down a very long road, considering this is an investment that is meant to come in handy during your retirement years.

The company will also be working with a custodian to help with the brokering of the precious metal transaction and ensuring that the delivery goes off without a hitch. What I love about Goldco here is the fact that it has established custodian relationships, meaning you don’t have to worry about what finding a custodian for your gold IRA will look like.

Let’s not forget the sheer paperwork that comes with investing via a gold IRA. There are no two ways about it. There’s quite a bit to get through and it can be nothing short of confusing. Having the assistance of professionals to get through it is welcome.

Finally, since you’ll be working with the company however long you will, it will be giving you a certain level of financial advice. This is a sensitive responsibility that you can’t give to just any firm.

Can you see yourself dealing with whatever company you choose in the long run? In my opinion, if your choice is Goldco, you’ll be in excellent hands.

The Custodian Element

As indicated before, the gold IRA company will be dealing with a custodian on your behalf. A part of this is the fact that the IRS doesn’t allow gold IRA investors to keep the physical gold associated with the IRA at home.

If you were to try, this would come with a couple of challenges. First, you realistically don’t have the kind of secure storage facility that a depository would. Next, it would be seen as a withdrawal and there would be a penalty for that to deal with. Finally, the fact that you went against an IRS stipulation could have dire consequences in the form of other penalties.

Your custodian will offer several management services. There is the aforementioned transaction brokerage and coordination. Additionally, reporting will be handled here too. The IRS requires certain reports to maintain compliance and the custodian will generate and submit these on your behalf.

There’s also reporting to you, which is essential. You want to keep on top of what’s happening with your account, don’t you? The custodian will keep you updated on all the happenings with your account.

One of the reasons why working with an IRA company with an established custodian relationship is that service verification isn’t something you need to worry about. What do I mean by this?

Well, you’re gonna find that self-directed IRA services aren’t offered by all custodians. The search to find one that’s reputable and offers the service is not something you want to have to worry about. Who doesn’t want an easier experience?

Account Creation

Yes, I know. How are we only just getting to the creation of the account? Listen, I told you that investing is a risky proposition that needs to be thought through. By taking the time to ensure that we’re working with a reputable gold IRA company and custodian, we give ourselves peace of mind and guarantee a beneficial experience from a service perspective.

Now, let’s look at the account setup. While you will be involved at this stage, much of the groundwork will be done by the custodian and the gold IRA company working as a team on your behalf.

The idea, once you’ve done the rollover or transfer, is to start by ensuring that you get the precious metals you’re comfortable with while ensuring that your choices align with IRS-approved options. Bear in mind that if you should decide that you don’t want to have a gold IRA anymore in the future, you’ll also get involved assistance.

I should also say that the gold IRA company you choose will also affect how much you can invest. You should take the time to find out if there are any limits before you commit. Some companies will allow you to invest freely while others will impose a ceiling.

It’s Transfer Time

This is where the actual movement of the funds will happen. Again, a gold IRA rollover is also an option, but as you know, it’s not the way I would go about things. Some IRA companies will have you use one instead of the other. Provided that the company is reputable, there will usually be an explanation or some guidance provided to help you understand why one is being used instead of the other and the extent to which its beneficial to you.

If you are doing gold IRA rollovers, remember the 60-day window that you have to complete the transaction. The whole idea of having an established gold IRA rollover guide is to ensure that you can get the funds from point A to point B without suffering any loss. I would hate to know that you lost 10% of your holdings when you really didn’t need to.

Purchasing the Physical Precious Metals

Now that the funds are where they should be, it’s time to buy the precious metals. These, of course, will be the IRAs backing assets. Depending on your IRA company, gold may not be the only option. Others will include gold, silver, platinum, and palladium, which will all have their individual requirements.

Purity is one of the big ones. The IRS limits the gold coins and bullion that may be used for an IRA. There must be a 99.5% purity rating for eligibility. What does that mean? If you have a piece of gold that hasn’t been altered (meaning it’s pure gold), it would have a 100% purity rating.

The percentage is the proportion of gold in the mix. However, gold isn’t the easiest thing to mold and form on its own. Therefore, there will be other precious metals and elements brought into the mix to make things easier. Copper is an excellent example. By the time the coins are made, they are comprised of mostly gold and a couple of other elements.

For your IRA, these coins must come from an approved mint and must meet the 99.5% requirement. So, while your favorite collectible coins are fine if you’re just buying them to hold, for IRA purposes, you must follow the rules.

The good thing about a reputable gold IRA company is that it will take the initiative to help you understand its limitations.

Transferring Existing Retirement Funds to a Gold IRA Company

Let’s dive a little more into the transfer process to ensure you know what it looks like. As I said, it’s super straightforward, and you’ll see why:

  1. You’ll need to reach out to your existing custodian. The idea here is to make it known that you’re interested in having a transfer done.

  2. There will be some paperwork that you’ll need to fill out. This will include the information associated with the new account and the amount that you’re looking to transfer.

  3. Next, you’ll have to wait for the funds to be wired from your existing IRA to the gold one. You’ll know when it’s been completed, which means that you can then start buying the gold.

Why Your Gold IRA Account Should Be at Goldco?


If you’ve been following along with me, you’ve heard the name Goldco quite a bit, and you probably really want to know why I’ve been recommending the company so passionately. Even outside of what you read here though, if you research different gold IRA companies, it would be almost impossible for Goldco’s name to not cross your path at one time or the other.

First, there is the way the company’s processes work. Just about anything you can think of doing comes with an unbelievable level of ease. You can see the level of structure that goes into every task.

Next, I have to talk about the customer service team. As I said, education is a big part of the way Goldco operates, and so, the team will take the time to ensure that you understand the implications of everything. The level of expertise on display is out of this world and it’s only complimented by how friendly everyone is towards you.

I think it’s also interesting that this kind of treatment starts even before you put pen to paper. Some companies, while their staff members aren’t mean, extend the best to people after they become customers. Even as a stranger asking questions, the same kind of warmth is on display with Goldco.

Reputation verification is important. Sure, I’m not here to steer you in the wrong direction, but I’m sure it helps if you can verify everything I’m saying about Goldco for yourself. Thankfully, you have bodies such as the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and the Business Consumer Alliance (BCA), that help you quickly get an idea of the legitimacy and service delivery that different companies bring to the table.

Goldco has an A+ BBB rating and an AAA rating from the BCA. Additionally, you’ll find some great reviews on independent review sites to confirm the kind of customer experience that I and others allude to.

I also briefly mentioned the buyback program before. Gold isn’t the most liquid thing in the world. While you can find buyers, trying to find one that will agree to the price you want to sell for is often a pain.

Goldco has a buyback program that helps in this regard. According to the company, the rates offered are the best. Of course, there would need to be some level of cross-verification to confirm that, but at least you know you won’t be stuck with the gold if you don’t want it.

As far as the IRA account options go, they look like this:

  • Gold IRA Account: 3.5% interest rate

  • Silver IRA Account: 2.75% interest rate

  • Platinum IRA Account: 4% interest rate

  • Palladium IRA Account: 3.25% interest rate

  • Gold and Silver IRA Account: 3% interest rate

  • Gold and Platinum IRA Account: 3.75% interest rate

  • Silver and Platinum IRA Account: 3.5% interest rate

  • Gold, Silver, and Platinum IRA Account: 4.25% interest rate

  • Gold and Palladium IRA Account: 3.25% interest rate

  • Silver and Palladium IRA Account: 3% interest rate


Gold IRA Transfer Fees

You don’t need to worry about fees as a part of the gold IRA transfer process. There is no government body, including the IRS, that requires you to do any payments. Bear in mind though that I don’t know who your existing IRA custodian is.

Companies are all unique in the policies that they have. The existing company can have some kind of fee structure for the service. Your best bet is just to ask so you know what you’re walking into.

Do You Have to Worry About Taxes After a Gold IRA Transfer?

Gold IRA rollover investments come with a potential penalty. As we’ve covered, there could be any number of reasons why you miss the 60-day deadline, and if you do, you’re looking at a 10% withdrawal penalty being imposed on you. I should also point out that you can only do a single gold IRA rollover annually.

With a transfer, that penalty isn’t even possible. You don’t have that one-per-year rule looming over you, and there’s no taxation to worry about.  I created a full guide on gold IRA tax rules to clear any confusion.

Should You Transfer Your IRA to a Gold IRA?

Earlier, you got some information about the benefits of transferring funds from an existing IRA to a gold IRA. Now, you know some more about the process, which means you may want a recommendation on if you should pull the trigger or not.

This is one of the decisions that I don’t necessarily want to influence. Do I think it’s a good idea? Absolutely! However, I’d want you to be confident in the decision. My recommendation is to speak with a financial advisor on the matter, then decide.

When Is a Good Time to Have Gold IRA Rollovers or Transfers Done?

I would say that there are a few questions you need to ask yourself and have the answers to. If you do choose to speak with a financial advisor and you can answer these comfortably, then you’re likely on the right track:

  1. What does my risk profile look like?

  2. Do I understand the tax benefits that I get?

  3. Can I afford to do this and maintain my existing IRA if I want to?

  4. Do I understand the transfer process?

  5. Can I trust the gold IRA company?

Types of Gold IRAs

Types of Gold IRA

There are a few types of gold IRAs, and you’ll notice that they bear striking similarities to the types of standard IRAs:

  • Your traditional gold IRA will be the most common option. When it’s tax filing time, contribution amounts are deducted from your income. This means that you’ll see a reduction in whatever tax year is applicable. Taxes are then incurred on full withdrawal amounts.

  • Roth gold IRAs are next and are somewhat of the reverse version of the traditional gold IRA. Contribution time is when you’ll be paying taxes. People who want to grow their holdings tax-free prefer this option. When it’s time to withdraw, no tax worries are present. Note also that contribution withdrawals have no restrictions.

  • SEP Gold IRAs are also an option and come from the self-employed and small business side of the fence. The owners of these businesses can optionally make contributions for themselves and on behalf of employees.

Pros and Cons of a Gold IRA

Here’s a quick look at the upsides of going with a gold IRA:

  • Gold makes an excellent hedge against inflation since it retains its value so well

  • You can use it as a diversification tool to allow yourself a measure of protection against a collapse of your entire portfolio

  • You get the same tax benefits that you would with the standard version of the gold IRA types

There are also a few disadvantages that you want to keep in mind too, which are as follows:

  • Gold isn’t the most liquid asset, meaning that when you want to opt out, you may have to settle for a loss

  • All IRAs come with fees that the company will charge, but the fee structure for gold IRA companies tends to be higher

Final Remarks

A gold IRA can be an excellent option to secure your retirement funds for several reasons. If you have an existing IRA, you can use it to fund your gold IRA via a rollover or a transfer. Earlier, you got a look at the IRA gold transfer process and why it can be beneficial.

Just remember what I said about the investment journey being an individual thing. Don’t make any moves that aren’t in your best interest because it sounds good. Take time to think before you act and speak with a financial advisor if you need some assistance with where to go next.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a Gold IRA the Best Way to Invest?

There isn’t technically a best way to invest as it’s very subjective. Goals, risk profiles, and capital available all matter. However, if you’re looking to protect some of your retirement holdings, a gold IRA can be very beneficial in doing so.

What if I Want to Keep My Gold and Other Precious Metals at Home?

Nothing stops you from doing this if you’re just buying precious metals. If they’re associated with an IRA, however, they must be kept in a secure depository based on IRS policy.

Do I Need to Wait Until Retirement Age to Withdraw from My Gold IRA?

You don’t have to, but if you withdraw before you are 59 and a half years old, there will be a 10% penalty you have to deal with.

What Should Be on My Mind When I’m Choosing a Gold IRA Company?

Think about the reputation, customer service, process, and if it offers the services that you want.

What Percentage of Your Portfolio Should Be a Gold IRA?

This is up to you. You want to select a reasonable percentage that allows you to fall back on other investment types if it were to not work out.

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