Retirement investors should do everything they can in today’s market to preserve their assets against volatility, inflation, currency depreciation, and uncertainty. That’s why a percentage of one’s portfolio should be converted to precious metals bullion, according to many of the world’s finest investors. The process of moving portion of one’s IRA holdings into tangible precious metals, known as a Gold IRA rollover, is simpler than you may expect.

In a nutshell, a Gold IRA allows you to invest in real physical precious metals in your retirement account while deferring or avoiding paying taxes. By moving assets or cash from an existing IRA, you can quickly create and finance a Gold IRA rollover account.

We’ve put together a quick guide to Gold IRA rollovers to help you through the process. You may simply convert stocks, bonds, ETFs, and other assets into precious metals using this method, all while keeping your money in a tax-advantaged retirement account like a self-directed Roth or Traditional IRA.

What is the difference between a Gold IRA Rollover and a Traditional IRA Rollover?

When you convert a portion of an existing retirement account or investment portfolio (i.e., 401(k), Roth IRA, SEP IRA) into gold coins or bullion bars as a hedge against economic uncertainty and inflation, you’re doing a Gold IRA rollover. During a rollover, money is taken out of an existing account and stored for no more than 60 days before being redeposited into a new IRA with a different custodian or administrator.

Gold IRA Transfer vs. Gold IRA Rollover

Gold IRA Rollover

When it comes to establishing a Gold IRA, investors have two options: a rollover or a transfer. Simply put, transferring funds between retirement savings accounts is a more secure and risk-managed technique. Investors should be aware of a number of Gold IRA rollover requirements and conditions. If an investor violates these requirements, the account holder could face steep IRS fines. Transfers, on the other hand, have fewer requirements than rollovers.

We’ve outlined some of the significant differences and similarities between Gold IRA transfers and rollovers in the table below.

A Gold IRA transfer is the process of moving monies from one custodian to another. As a result, there is no money removed from the account holder’s account. Instead, monies are transferred directly between third parties without the involvement of the account holder. For the account holder, it’s a simple, no-touch process managed solely by the custodians.

The main distinction between rollovers and transfers is that with IRA transfers, the money is never deposited into the IRA holder’s bank account. Check out this useful IRS-authored guide on general IRA rollovers for more information on how the IRS regulates rollovers and the consequences of breaking them. Alternatively, see Uncle Sam’s thorough Gold IRA FAQ section.

Rollover from a 401(k) to a Gold IRA

It is perfectly possible to transfer or rollover assets from an existing employer-sponsored or self-directed 401(k) to a Gold IRA, contrary to popular belief. This process, however, is governed by slightly different rules.

Transferring funds from a former employer-sponsored 401(k) into a new Gold IRA should be straightforward. Simply select a new Gold IRA custodian and request that they begin the 401(k)-to-IRA rollover on your behalf. A 401(k) sponsored by your current employer, on the other hand, is more difficult to roll over into a self-directed IRA.

Check the conditions of your insurance if you’re rolling over from a 401(k) offered by your present company. Employer-sponsored 401(k) plans can prohibit gold investments while you’re still employed. Inquire with your employer about the regulations of your current 401(k) and whether you may roll it over or transfer it to a Gold IRA.

Rest assured, rolling over a current-employer 401(k) to a new Gold IRA is perfectly possible. Check out our page on Gold IRA rules and regulations for a more complete explanation of the process. A complete guide to sorting out employer-sponsored 401(k) rollovers can be found there.

Making a Gold IRA Rollover Decision

When it comes to investing in a Gold IRA, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. The type of rollover method you choose for funding your account will ultimately be determined by your financial ambitions. For example, our readers frequently ask, “What percentage of my portfolio should be allocated to precious metals?” There is no simple answer to this question.

The amount of money you put into precious metals, such as gold or silver, is mostly determined by your risk tolerance and how close you are to retirement. Investors who don’t want to take on too much risk and are within ten years of their retirement age may benefit from allocating a larger portion of their portfolio (e.g., 15-20%) to precious metals.

Are you still undecided? Fortunately, we’ve talked to some of the most knowledgeable people in alternative investments to help you select a Gold IRA funding approach that works for you. Check out our exclusive conversation with ten top financial experts on how to invest in gold and silver IRAs.

Allocation of Gold in a Roth IRA

In brief, some of the world’s most successful investors (e.g., NBC Shark Tank’s Kevin O’Leary, Tony Robbins, and Ray Dalio) swear by the 5-10 percent rule. Many more risk-averse investors, on the other hand, advocate going much further. The following are some questions to consider before making a decision:

  • What is my overall outlook for the economy over the next 5-10 years?
  • Has my portfolio performed as predicted over the last five years or so?
  • What is the genuine aim of my physical precious metals investment (diversification, risk management, profit, etc.)?
  • How close am I to reaching my retirement goal?

The final question is particularly intriguing, since it should encourage you to look within yourself for your genuine intentions. Most of our readers’ replies fall into one of three major categories that define the investor’s motivations for starting a Gold IRA.

Orientation to Diversification

Those who desire to invest in precious metals just to protect their portfolio from overexposure to stocks, bonds, and other traditional assets are said to have a diversification orientation. Many risk-averse investors use gold to diversify their portfolios and prevent potential losses in the case of a stock market collapse or recession.

This strategy is well-suited to a precious metals allocation of 5 to 10%. In other words, investors should allocate around this much of their whole portfolio value to precious metals such as gold, silver, and platinum.

Orientation to Inflation and Debasement

Those worried about currency depreciation or widespread inflation may choose to allocate a larger portion of their portfolio to gold or silver. A gold IRA rollover can help investors preserve their capital against an ever-declining US currency, as gold has long been regarded a strategic hedge against inflation.

The United States is currently facing a significant inflation danger after experiencing its largest year-over-year CPI jump (+4.2 percent) since September 2008 in April 2021. Due to institutional capital fleeing an unstable currency during the renowned inflationary period of the 1970s, the value of gold increased by nearly 600 percent.

Those looking for a safe haven from inflation might consider expanding their holdings in precious metals. For those who are negative on the US dollar, a percentage of gold or silver in the region of 10% to 20% could be a good alternative. Those who own precious metals will certainly do better than those who don’t if the dollar continues to fall.

Orientation of Systemic Collapse

Those who are most concerned about the state of the economy and if it can be sustained in the future should invest more of their money in precious metals. Gold and silver are usually referred to as “disaster hedges” because their value rises when the geopolitical or global situation is unstable.

In other words, gold tends to benefit when the market is panicked. The price of gold, for example, reached a seven-year high during the OPEC+ oil crisis in March 2020. Gold prices increased +1.4 percent overnight after the tragic January 2020 US-Iran airstrike, which resulted in the death of a key Iranian commander.

Those seeking systemic protection from collapse or conflict should consider putting a greater portion of their assets in precious metals. This orientation, at the top of the suggested allocation spectrum, advocates for around 20 to 30 percent in gold assets.

Disclaimer: The information on this page and across this website is offered solely for educational reasons. It is not intended to be used as financial advice and should not be construed as such. Before making an investment decision, always consult with your financial counselor.

Choose IRS-Approved Bullion Bars for Your Gold IRA Rollover

The IRS has rigorous guidelines for what kinds of gold assets can be held in a tax-advantaged retirement account. This guide to IRS-approved precious metals has a comprehensive list of permissible holdings. The following sorts of gold assets are included, but not limited to:

  • Gold Eagle coins from the United States of America
  • Gold bars from Credit Suisse
  • Johnson Gold bars from Matthey
  • CombiBar Valcambi Gold
  • Gold Maple Leaf coins from Canada

According to IRS laws, collectibles are not permitted in any IRA or 401(k). Rare coins, as well as any other precious metal classed as a “collectible” under IRC Section 401(a), are strictly prohibited from being held in any sort of IRA. Gold bullion bars are almost never considered valuables. There are three important exceptions to investing in gold coins via a Gold IRA rollover when it comes to coinage:

  • Section 5112 of the United States Code defines a number of coins.
  • Any sovereign state’s coins made and issued under its laws
  • Trusteeship of coins or bullion held by a bank or a non-bank

Investing in assets that have not been approved may result in penalties or fines. To be on the safe side, it’s best to stick to gold bullion rather than uncommon coinage. If you insist on buying gold coins, be sure to read over our list of the best IRA-approved gold coins.

“Paper Gold” IRA Rollover vs. Physical Gold IRA Rollover

There are two basic types of gold exposure. There’s literal gold bullion, for starters. Cold, hard metal bars maintained in safe vaults by trusted third-party custodians are referred to as this. The second is “paper” gold, which refers to any gold-based security, such as a gold mining stock or an exchange-traded fund (ETF).

Aside from probably convenience, it’s difficult to argue that paper gold has any advantages over genuine gold bullion. Although some investors commend gold stocks for their greater liquidity, this is a two-edged sword because increased liquidity makes it simpler to quickly acquire and sell the asset. As a result, paper gold is thought to be more volatile than genuine gold.

If you want actual exposure to the benefits of gold investing, you should consider a physical Gold IRA rollover. Your gold equities may be worth less than the paper they’re printed on if there’s a rapid inflation or complete economic collapse.

Are you still undecided? We’ve outlined some of the most significant advantages of physical gold investing over securities-based gold exposure below.

Physical gold investors are not exposed to the same counterparty risks as paper gold investors because, unlike a publicly listed stock, a gold bar cannot go bankrupt or fail to meet its contractual commitments.

Physical gold bullion serves as a last resort store of value in the event that cash and paper assets become worthless during a financial crisis.

Physical Ownership: Unlike electronic assets, you own precious metal bars, which are significantly more difficult to take or seize.

Gold bars are transferable and movable, and they can be taken out of your IRA and placed in your own hands or vault.

How to Choose the Best Gold IRA Custodian

Gold IRA Rollover

You can start a typical Traditional or Roth IRA by driving to your local Vanguard or Fidelity Investments branch and applying for a new IRA on the spot. Gold IRA rollovers, on the other hand, are a little more tricky.

Gold IRAs are not supported by traditional brokerages such as Fidelity and Charles Shwab. To start a Gold IRA, you must first study and choose a custodian. This is the firm that will start and manage your Gold IRA rollover with your current IRA or 401(k) provider.

From start to finish, reputable Gold IRA businesses assist with the rollover procedure. These businesses are completely honest, providing you with all of the paperwork and documents you’ll need to complete the rollover up front, with no hidden fees or conditions.

Check out our list of the world’s most respected Gold IRA rollover firms if you’re looking for a place to start. Aside from that, there are a few basic ground principles to keep in mind when looking for a Gold IRA custodian, including:

1. Prestige and Reputation

When looking for a Gold IRA provider, it goes without saying that a company with a solid reputation and track record of client satisfaction is essential. Unfortunately, some businesses prey on unwary clients with malevolent intent.

Any precious metals company with a poor web reputation should be avoided. Customer testimonies and reviews may be found on YouTube, Google My Business, Trustpilot, Reddit, and the Better Business Bureau (BBB).

A precious metals vault can only be operated by IRS-approved nonbank trustees. If your custodian does not state that they are IRS-approved, look for another choice. Other sellers will try to offer you low-purity gold or numismatic coins that aren’t allowed in an IRA. Review our list of IRA-approved precious metals to avoid bad actors.

2. Limitations on Rollover

Keep in mind that each 365-day period is limited to one penalty-free rollover by the IRS. As a result, if you complete a rollover on July 1, 2021, you won’t be able to do it tax-free again until July 1, 2022. As a result, it’s critical that you select a caretaker with caution. If you switch custodians before the 12-month period expires, you’ll be charged an early distribution penalty if you roll the funds over again.

3. List of the Best Gold IRA Providers

It can be difficult to choose the best precious metals IRA company for your needs because there are so many on the market. That’s why we’ve compiled a fast list of the industry’s best-selling and most dependable businesses, each of which has been in operation for at least a decade:

Regal Assets is a company that specializes in real estate

  • GoldCo
  • Alliance of Gold
  • Gold of Nobility
  • Gold is an advantage.

In general, prices for gold storage from a reliable service should be between $100 and $325. Some organizations, such as Regal Assets, waive all administrative and storage fees for the first year and charge no rollover or transfer fees.

Read our assessments of the top 10 Gold IRA providers now for a more in-depth look at the best custodians on the market. There, you’ll discover a detailed overview of the best-reviewed Gold IRA rollover firms in the country, as well as a list of five key factors to consider when shopping for a gold rollover.

Types of Accounts Eligible for a Gold IRA Rollover

You can transfer funds from any current tax-advantaged retirement account, including the following, to execute a Gold IRA rollover:

  • IRA (Traditional or Roth)
  • 401(k) plan with self-direction (k)
  • 401(k) plan sponsored by an employer (k)
  • SEP IRA (Self-Employed Individual Retirement Account
  • 403(b)
  • 457(b)
  • TSP

When it comes to employer-sponsored plans like a 401(k) or 457(b), you may need to help organize the rollover after you’ve left the company. After you’ve reached the age of 59.5, you may be able to execute a partial rollover while still working.

It’s as simple as opening a new self-directed IRA with a Gold IRA provider and transferring assets from an existing account to a new Gold IRA. Then, to begin the process of rolling over the funds, fill out a transfer request form. It generally takes no more than 14 working days for monies to appear in the new IRA.

Gold IRA Rollover FAQs

How does a Gold IRA Rollover Work?

A “rollover” is a term used to describe any transfer of funds from one retirement account to another. It’s crucial to remember, however, that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) distinguishes between a rollover and a “transfer.” The money being moved is paid to you in a rollover, and you then deposit the monies in the other account. When you make a transfer, the IRA’s original custodian sends the assets immediately to the new IRA custodian you specified. In essence, you will never see the money.

Custodian-to-custodian transfers are the most popular way to fund self-directed IRAs like a Gold IRA using qualifying assets that have already been invested. A new account is opened with an IRS-approved IRA custodian, who requests the transfer of IRA assets from your old retirement account with your permission. The custodian will then be allowed to receive the funds and invest the assets as directed by you.

Furthermore, if you opt to rollover, it is highly advised that you choose a “direct rollover” rather than a “indirect rollover.” Withholding rules apply to indirect rollovers, and early distribution penalties may apply.

What are the IRS Rules for a Gold IRA?

Gold IRA accounts are subject to strict IRS laws and regulations. The most important criterion to remember about self-directed IRAs, such as Gold IRAs, is that by federal law, you must open this sort of retirement account with an approved IRA custodian.

It’s crucial to remember that you should never buy gold or other precious metals with money from your IRA account. The IRS requires that your IRA account administrator handle all of your transactions. You’ll simply provide your custodian instructions on how to begin purchasing precious metals. When the purchase is completed, they will take care of all shipping and insurance preparations.

Gold IRA accounts are subject to strict IRS laws and regulations. The most important criterion to remember about self-directed IRAs, such as Gold IRAs, is that by federal law, you must open this sort of retirement account with an approved IRA custodian.

It’s crucial to remember that you should never buy gold or other precious metals with money from your IRA account. The IRS requires that your IRA account administrator handle all of your transactions. You’ll simply provide your custodian instructions on how to begin purchasing precious metals. When the purchase is completed, they will take care of all shipping and insurance preparations.

Once you’ve purchased gold, you’ll need to store it according to IRS standards for precious metals IRAs, such as a Gold IRA. Your precious metals will be received by the custodian of your new Gold IRA, who will subsequently deliver them to an IRS-approved third-party, off-site depository. You have the option of choosing the depository, or you can use the one with whom the account administrator already has a pre-existing relationship. They will inventory and secure your gold holdings until you give your account administrator express orders to sell or disperse your gold. At this moment, distributions would be sent to your home address via insured delivery.

What are the IRS Rules for a Gold IRA Rollover?

An IRA Rollover is subject to strict IRS regulations. If you conduct a Gold IRA rollover, you have 60 days from the date you receive the cash to deposit the monies in the Gold IRA firm or Custodian of your choice, according to IRS requirements. If you do not complete the transaction within this time frame, the money becomes taxable, and if you are under the age of 59 1/2, you will be subject to a 10% early withdrawal penalty. There is no tax withholding when you withdraw from a personal IRA for the purpose of rolling it over to another IRA. However, you are only allowed to execute one rollover per year.

What are the IRS Rules for a Gold IRA Transfer?

Because you never get the money in a direct custodian-to-custodian IRA transfer, you don’t have to worry about the 60-day transfer restriction. The transfer is normally made directly between the individual IRA custodians via wire transfer. The original IRA custodian can also complete the transfer by writing a cheque payable to the receiving IRA custodian and mailing it to them. Because everything is handled in the background by your existing and new custodians, this is the simplest way to invest in gold through your IRA.

What are the Fees Involved in a Gold IRA Rollover?

There are no government-mandated rollover or transfer fees when switching from a traditional IRA to a precious metals IRA, such as a Gold IRA. Having stated that, there may be account application fees associated. A processing fee is frequently charged by sanctioned custodians and administrators of precious metals IRAs in order to begin the account opening procedure for these self-directed IRAs like a Gold IRA. Varying administrators will charge different sums, but the average for this category of cost is around $50.

How does a 401k to Gold IRA Rollover Work?

You can roll your 401(k) into an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) or another eligible plan without penalty if you have one. Here’s a rundown of some 401(k) rollover guidelines:

You have 60 days from the time you receive funds from your 401(k) for a rollover to complete the process. If you don’t, the IRS will consider your money to be a taxable distribution. In addition, if you are under the age of 59 12, the IRS will apply a 10% penalty on the withdrawal in addition to the standard income taxation.

A 401(k) rollover into an IRA is limited to one per year. This one-year period starts when you receive your 401(k) distribution. This is true for each and every IRA you possess.

You cannot use the cash from your distribution to purchase investments in the period in between receiving your 401(k) distribution and establishing your IRA.

It is recommended that you choose the “direct rollover” option with your 401(k) money. In a direct rollover, you never receive a check for your distribution; rather, your 401(k) plan provider will transfer the money directly into your new IRA plan.

What Physical Gold is allowed in a Gold IRA Rollover?

The IRS has strict regulations pertaining to the types of gold and other precious metals allowed in an IRA. An investor can hold gold bullion, gold coins and bars as long as they meet two basic standards. The gold must be the official currency of a recognized public entity and it must meet a certain purity standard. In the United States, the purity must be 0.995. This standard is different for different countries, so research is necessary to determine the exact purity level that is necessary. The types of physical gold you can hold in a self-directed IRA like a Gold IRA include:

  • The American Gold Eagle coin
  • The Canadian Gold Maple Leaf coin
  • The Austrian Philharmonic gold coin
  • The American Gold Buffalo coin
  • Gold Kilo Bars
  • Certain Gold Bullion Bars
  • Credit Suisse Gold Bars
  • Swiss PAMP Gold Bars

What is the Best Gold IRA Rollover Company?

A Gold IRA company is a firm that specializes in the process of setting up Gold IRAs from beginning to end – including an IRA rollover/transfer. Other components that these companies deal with include IRA account setup, the purchase of IRS-approved precious metals, and storing them with an accredited IRS-approved depository. Reputable Gold IRA companies should be able to handle the entire process for you and answer any questions you may have at any point in the process. Gold IRA Companies typically form strategic alliances with traditional IRA custodians, accredited depositories, and wholesale metal dealers.

Choosing the best Gold IRA company completely depends on what factors are most important to you. Be it ratings, customer support, availability of other alternative asset options, physical location, storage options? Once you decide which factors are most important to you, make a shortlist of a few companies that meet your criteria, and either give them a call, or request their free gold kits to learn more about the specific company and products. Below are our reviews of some of the top Gold IRA companies to give you an idea of your options available.

Note: It is highly recommended that do your due diligence and call a few different companies before making an investment decision. Also, speak to your financial advisor before investing in any asset class.