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Gold IRA rollover guide

If you are concerned about protecting your hard-earned savings in today's challenging economy, you aren't alone.

Investors are currently dealing with the worst Inflation that America has seen for more than 40 years.

Interest rates are rising sharply and hyper-extended Stock markets are teetering over the edge of a very deep chasm. The NASDAQ is already in bear market territory (down over 20%) and the S&P 500 and Dow appear to be headed that way. Despite the wavering markets, the US Federal Reserve is in a Quantitative Tightening mode that is adding downward pressure.

In addition to these economic headwinds and market risks we have World leaders picking sides for what could be the next global conflict.

With all of this going on at the same time it isn't surprising that you are looking for ways to protect and preserve the Purchasing power of your Investment Portfolio.

Obviously, you are aware that Gold and Silver are the best way to secure your savings or you wouldn't be looking for information about Gold IRA rollovers.

Inflation and Stagflation

During the Inflation and Stagflation of the 1970s Gold rose from $35 an ounce to $850 an ounce. Silver started the decade below $2 an ounce and by 1980 had reached $48 an ounce.

We are currently experiencing an economic environment very similar to the 1970s only this time it is far worse. 

Precious metals are poised for dramatic price increases as investors flee paper Wall Street products (Stocks, Bonds, and Mutual funds) and seek the security of real tangible goods.

The best way to protect your tax-advantage retirement savings is to move them into a self-directed Precious metals IRA. You can make this move without triggering any penalties or tax consequences from the IRS.

Keep reading to find out how or use this table of contents to jump to the information you are looking for.

In this brief Gold IRA rollover guide we’ll explain what a Gold IRA is and how an existing Retirement account can be rolled-over or transferred into a Precious metals IRA.

The information in this article is relevant to eligible 401(k) accounts*, traditional IRA accounts, and other tax-advantaged accounts like 403b, 457, TSP, Roth IRA, SEP IRA, Pensions, Annuities, etc.

*A 401(k) account from a previous employer. The originating account for the 401K to Gold IRA rollover must be from a previous employer. The IRS prohibits rollovers and transfers of currently active 401(k)s.

What is a Gold IRA

The Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 expanded the asset classes that can be held in self-directed IRAs to include physical Gold and Silver. Platinum and Palladium were added in 1998.

This change to the tax laws provided investors with a new way to diversify their retirement savings. They were no longer limited to the traditional Wall Street offerings of Stocks, Bonds, and Mutual funds.

The term "Gold IRA" is used generically to refer to any self-directed IRA holding Gold, Silver, Platinum, Palladium, or any mix of the four metals. There is no difference between a "Gold IRA", a "Silver IRA", or a "Precious metals IRA". 

In a self-directed IRA your physical Precious metals are held in your name by a third-party Custodian in the same manner that the securities in your existing Retirement accounts are held in your name by your Broker-Dealer.

Gold IRA fees

IRA-approved Precious metals fall into two broad categories:

  • Coins from national Government mints
  • Bullion bars and Coins from third-party refiners (99.5% pure, or better)

Numismatic or collectible Coins are not allowed and all metal has to be newly purchased inside the IRA. Investors are not allowed to transfer their personally owned Precious metals into the Gold IRA.

Precious metals IRA company


Fidelity

  • Founded: 1946
  • BBB rating: C-
  • Proof Coins: No
  • Minimum Investment: $1,000


Patriot Gold Group

  • Founded: 1990
  • BBB rating: A+
  • Proof Coins: Yes
  • Minimum Investment: $15,000


Birch Gold

  • Founded: 2003
  • BBB rating: A+
  • Proof Coins: Yes
  • Minimum Investment: $10,000


Goldco

  • Founded: 2006
  • BBB rating: A+
  • Proof Coins: Yes
  • Minimum Investment: $25,000


Regal Assets

  • Founded: 2010
  • BBB rating: unrated
  • Proof Coins: Yes
  • Minimum Investment: $10,000


Noble Gold

  • Founded: 2017
  • BBB rating: A-
  • Proof Coins: Yes
  • Minimum Investment: $2,000

Gold IRA vs physical Gold

When you decide to move your existing tax-advantaged savings into Gold you have two options.

Option 1: Take a distribution from your existing Retirement account, pay the taxes and early-withdrawal penalty, and then purchase Gold to store securely in a location of your choice.

Option 2: Move funds from your Retirement account into a self-directed Precious metals IRA. There are no taxes or penalties for making this change but the IRS requires that the Gold be stored with a third-party Custodian.

Physical Gold


Distribute funds - Pay taxes & penalties

The IRS allows you to distribute funds from your Retirement account at any time you choose but there are tax consequences for doing so.

If you are under age 59 1/2 you will pay a 10% early-withdrawal penalty and then pay income taxes on the distributed funds. 

Also, the distribution may push you into a higher tax bracket where the overall cost of accessing your retirement savings will increase.

After satisfying the IRS you can then use the distributed funds to purchase physical Precious metals for storage in a location of your choosing.

The tax consequences of this option significantly increase the cost of diversifying your Investment Portfolio.

Gold IRA


Move funds into Gold IRA

The IRS allows you to move tax-advantaged funds from one account to another without triggering any tax consequences. You are allowed to make one move per tax year.

This ability to move funds, in combination with the Taxpayer Relief Act, makes it possible for you to purchase physical Precious metals using your tax-advantaged retirement savings.

That means you can add physical Gold to your Investment Portfolio without adding any new money or suffering any tax consequences.

The drawback to this option is the IRS requirement that the metals are stored with a third-party Custodian.

For Investments of $50,000 or more, Augusta Precious Metals is the best overall Gold IRA company. They have the strongest commitment to customer education and their reviews are consistently positive. The company also has zero customer complaints at the Better Business Bureau. If you have between $25,000 and $50,000 to invest, go with Goldco. They are one of the oldest Gold IRA companies and more than 1000 of their customers have given the company 5-star reviews. Birch Gold Group is the best company for Investments of $10,000 to $25,000. Birch has been satisfying customers for 19 years and they provide extensive educational resources on their website.

Benefits of Gold IRA

The most important benefit of a Gold IRA is that it allows you to own physical Precious metals inside your tax-advantaged Retirement accounts. There are no alternative ways to accomplish this objective.

With a Gold IRA you get to save your hard-earned money in time-tested assets while enjoying the same tax benefits you get from traditional Retirement accounts that hold Stocks, Bonds, and Mutual funds.

Vanguard Gold IRA

When it is time to distribute funds from the Gold IRA you can convert the metal back to cash or distribute the physical metal and take personal possession of it.

This benefit gives you a large amount of flexibility during your retirement years.

If you distribute the physical metal you can then sell it at a local Coin or pawn shop as needed, give it to the grandchildren, bury it in the garden, or 'lose it in a boat accident' (while following all IRS rules, of course).

Preserving wealth is what Gold is all about. Human beings inherently recognize the yellow metal as something of value.

Its price per ounce varies over the years when measured in fiat currency, but Gold is never worth zero in any currency – ever.

Gold IRAs combine the wealth preservation aspects of physical Precious metals with all of the tax benefits of a traditional IRA.  

How to invest in a Gold IRA

The 'How To' part of investing in a Gold IRA involves just a few simple steps shown below.

People tend to use the term "Gold IRA rollover" generically but you actually have two choices for funding a Precious metals IRA.

Rollover


In a rollover you never take personal possession of your retirement funds.

The money is wired directly from your existing Retirement account into the Gold IRA.

Because you aren't directly touching the retirement funds there is no risk of triggering the IRS penalty for early withdrawal.

Transfer


In a transfer you take physical possession of your funds and have 60 days to deposit those funds in a new Retirement account.

If the funds aren't re-invested within 60 days the IRS treats the un-invested money as regular income.

You will pay income taxes on the un-invested funds and you will be charged a 10% early withdrawal penalty if you are under age 59 1/2.

These are the steps you will perform to convert your existing Retirement account to physical Precious metals:

  • Pick a Gold IRA company
  • Open an account
  • Initiate a distribution from your existing Retirement account
  • Specify whether the distribution is a rollover or transfer
  • Fund the Gold IRA account
  • Pick the Precious metals products to hold in the Gold IRA

The rollover option is best since it eliminates the risk of an early-withdrawal penalty. If you need to access part of your retirement savings for some purpose other than purchasing Precious metals, you will need to perform a transfer.

All of the Gold IRA companies have specialists on-hand who can guide you through these steps and answer any questions you have.

Gold IRA reviews

To select the companies that offer the best Gold IRAs we have to decide on the factors we will use to judge them.

Because we are talking about storing physical Precious metals one of our primary considerations is obviously the trustworthiness of the Trustee and Custodian.

There are several resources we can use to evaluate Gold IRA companies and their Custodians.

  • Better Business Bureau (BBB)
  • Consumer Affairs 
  • TrustLink 
  • Trustpilot

The BBB is our starting point. If a company offering Gold IRAs hasn't joined the BBB we have to wonder why since most of their competitors have not only joined, they have A+ ratings.

The BBB rating is only one data point for evaluating a Gold IRA company but ideally we want them to be current BBB members with an A+ rating.

 If there have been any complaints registered with the BBB against the company, we want to see that those complaints have been resolved or that the company has at least tried to resolve the issue.

After a Gold IRA company passes the BBB test we can use the list above to look for other reviews on the internet. We want to see what kind of experience other people have had in their interactions with the company.

Marketing vs legitimate reviews


Most of the results from an internet search like "Birch Gold IRA reviews" will be from affiliate marketers just trying to make a buck.

These people don't care what they sell you, they only care that you buy.

In most cases their knowledge of Precious metals is slim to non-existent.

They are simply playing a numbers game on the internet and they will be happy to separate you from your money.

Read a few reviews and you will see the difference between marketing hype and legitimate customer experiences. Or simply stick with reviews on BBB since marketers are less likely to place false reviews on BBB.

Once a Gold IRA company passes your initial checks it is time to make contact.

Contact Gold IRA companies


Reading reviews is useful while doing research but what really matters is your personal experience with the company.

Call and talk with a few representatives. Let them know you are shopping for a Gold IRA and plan on comparing their company against their peers. Ask them what sets their company apart.

There are lots of companies offering Gold IRAs. If you don’t get a warm-fuzzy feeling when you interact with a company’s representatives, cross that company off the list.

If a representative becomes pushy or uses fear tactics during the phone call, cross that company off the list.

Again, there are lots of companies offering Gold IRAs and the reputable ones don’t have to use high-pressure sales tactics.

Ask a loaded question


A loaded question to ask a Gold IRA representative is whether they recommend holding Gold Bullion bars and Coins or if 'Investment grade' Coins make more sense.

‘Investment grade’ Coins in the context of a Gold IRA refers to 'proof Coins', 'first strike Coins', 'boxed Coins with certificates of authenticity', etc.

These Coins carry a premium for Numismatic value even though the IRS prohibits Numismatic Coins in IRAs.

The sales pitch for these Coins is likely to focus on a ‘lack of liquidity’ when you decide to cash out your Gold IRA.

Shady representatives will claim that the ‘Investment grade’ Coins have greater demand from Investors and are therefore more liquid. This is pure BS, don’t fall for it.

It never makes sense to pay a premium for collectible Coins unless you personally want to appreciate them as timeless works of fine art.

Gold is Gold


Gold is Gold.

It is one of the most liquid Investments on the planet. It doesn’t matter whether a chunk of Gold is pretty or has a certificate of authenticity. Gold is Gold whether we are talking about a certified first-strike Coin or a beat-up Krugerrand from the scratch-and-dent bin.

If a Gold IRA rep tries to sell you anything besides Gold Bullion bars and Coins they are probably looking out for their own interests and not yours.

Cross these aggressive salespeople and their companies off the list.

Most weight of metal, least amount of money

As Investors and consumers we always want to get the most metal for the least amount of money. This is true whether we are talking about a Precious metals IRA or Gold Coins to bury in the garden.

Based on customer reviews, Augusta Precious Metals is the best Gold IRA company. Read the reviews on BBB and you will see that Augusta customers consistently remark on how the company educated them and worked with them until they were comfortable making an informed decision about investing in a Gold IRA. The fact that Augusta Precious Metals has zero BBB complaints is another factor that sets the company apart.

Goldco is another Gold IRA company with excellent customer reviews. Goldco customers talk about how easy the rollover process was and how Goldco representatives kept them informed throughout the process. There are a few BBB customer complaints against Goldco but they are mostly about special edition Coins. If you stick with my advice to purchase the most metal for the least amount of money you won't be buying these overpriced Coins so this issue won't affect you. Recognize also that this issue isn't unique to Goldco. Regardless of which Gold IRA company you invest with, if you purchase proof or special edition Coins you are asking for trouble.

Best Gold IRA

There are several factors we can look for to find the best Gold IRA companies to work with:

  • The company is a member of the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and has an A+ rating.
  • Metal is stored in allocated (segregated) accounts. Never invest in unallocated (pooled) Precious metals accounts.
  • 10 or more years in business. Shady companies rarely last for 10 years.
  • Minimal transaction fees to buy and sell metal.
  • Minimal fees for metal storage and IRA maintenance.

Ultimately, the best Gold IRA is the one that you feel comfortable with based on your unique Investment objectives and tolerance for risk. The criteria listed above can help you quickly select a few candidate companies to further research.

In the mini-reviews below we have listed the major Gold IRA companies as a starting point for you to work with.

Precious metals IRA company


Fidelity

  • Founded: 1946
  • BBB rating: C-
  • Proof Coins: No
  • Minimum Investment: $1,000


Patriot Gold Group

  • Founded: 1990
  • BBB rating: A+
  • Proof Coins: Yes
  • Minimum Investment: $15,000


Birch Gold

  • Founded: 2003
  • BBB rating: A+
  • Proof Coins: Yes
  • Minimum Investment: $10,000


Goldco

  • Founded: 2006
  • BBB rating: A+
  • Proof Coins: Yes
  • Minimum Investment: $25,000


Regal Assets

  • Founded: 2010
  • BBB rating: unrated
  • Proof Coins: Yes
  • Minimum Investment: $10,000


Noble Gold

  • Founded: 2017
  • BBB rating: A-
  • Proof Coins: Yes
  • Minimum Investment: $2,000

Fidelity

No proof or special edition Coins offered

BBB rating:

Years in business: 

Minimum Investment:

C-

76

$1,000

Although Fidelity has a low BBB rating, the company has a very low minimum Investment level which makes it easy to start and add to a Gold IRA. Fidelity is also very conservative in its approach to Precious metals, warning investors about the volatility and risk of this asset class. What we like best about Fidelity is that the company does not sell proof or special edition Coins so there is zero risk of investors purchasing these overpriced products.

Birch Gold Group

Extensive educational resources

BBB rating:

Years in business: 

Minimum Investment:

A+

19

$10,000

Birch Gold Group has extensive educational resources on their website which indicates that the company is serious about educating Precious metals investors, not just pushing them into a Gold IRA. One of the unique resources is a Portfolio calculator that shows you how the traditional 60/40 Portfolio of Stocks and Bonds performs when it has a small allocation towards Gold. Birch waives first year fees for investors depositing $50,000 or more.

Goldco

Excellent Customer Support

BBB rating:

Years in business: 

Minimum Investment:

A+

16

$25,000

Goldco has been helping investors move their tax-advantaged retirement savings into the security of Precious metals for 16 years. More than 1,000 of those customers have given the company 5-star reviews and Goldco is also highly rated by BBB, Business Consumer Alliance, and TrustPilot. Goldco provides educational resources on their website and has more in-depth materials available via email after you speak with one of their Precious metals specialists. When new clients invest $100,000 or more with Goldco they will receive $10,00 or more in free Silver.

Regal Assets

Precious metals & Crypto in the same IRA

BBB rating:

Years in business: 

Minimum Investment:

B+

12

$10,000

With a Regal Assets IRA investors can hold both Precious metals and Crypto in the same IRA. Active Crypto investors can trade the most popular Digital currencies and Stablecoins using tax-advantaged savings and then park their profits in physical Precious metals. Regal has basic educational resources on their website and provides an in-depth investor kit and DVD after you contact them.

Augusta Precious Metals

Exceptional focus on education

BBB rating:

Years in business: 

Minimum Investment:

A+

10

$50,000

Augusta Precious Metals offers more educational resources on their website than any other Gold IRA company. Current topics affecting your retirement savings are covered in the regularly updated video library and you will also find a series of videos on basic economics. Augusta's blog regularly publishes articles addressing current economic matters. The Inflation and Retirement calculator shows you how Inflation will affect your retirement lifestyle. Investors with $100,000 or more to invest can schedule a 15-minute 1-on-1 teleconference with Devlyn Steele, Augusta's director of education. Augusta Precious Metals is clearly committed to helping you understand Precious metals and how you can benefit from a Gold IRA Investment.

Patriot Gold Group

Fast IRA setup

BBB rating:

Years in business: 

Minimum Investment:

A+

6

$15,000

Patriot Gold Group is one of the newer Gold IRA companies but they are highly rated by BBB and TrustPilot. Patriot Gold differentiates itself from other Gold IRA companies in two ways. First, they will setup your Gold IRA within 24 hours so you can quickly initiate the rollover or transfer process with your existing Retirement account. Second, they offer a 'no fees for life'  IRA for investors with $250,000 or more to invest.

Noble Gold

Excellent educational materials

BBB rating:

Years in business: 

Minimum Investment:

A+

5

$2,000

Noble Gold is a relatively new Gold IRA company but they offer a wealth of educational material on their website and they are highly rated by BBB, Business Consumer Alliance, and Trustlink. With a low minimum Investment level Noble Gold makes it easy for anyone to add Precious metals to their retirement savings plan. Texans will appreciate the Noble Gold IRA because they can store their Precious metals in either Dallas or Delaware.

Conclusions

In this short Gold IRA guide we have focused on how to transfer existing retirement funds into physical Precious metals while avoiding any tax consequences.

Purchasing physical Precious metals with your tax-advantaged retirement savings lets you protect your hard-earned money from Inflation, Market downturns, and economic turmoil that may occur if current geopolitics spin out of control.

Secure your retirement savings today by moving existing funds into a Precious metals IRA.

If you have questions about Precious metals or self-directed IRAs, use the Contact form to reach me or send me an email at bryan@satoritraders.com. I can't give you financial advice but I will do my best to answer your questions. You can also reach out to the Gold IRA companies. They have specialists who should be able to answer any of your questions.

About Satori Traders

Satori Traders LLC is a California-registered Investment Advisor specializing in the Precious metals.

Bryan V Post is a California-registered Investment Advisor Representative and the founder of Satori Traders.

Bryan has worn numerous hats during his life: Engineer, Portfolio manager, Precious metals Investor, Technical analyst, Proprietary trader, Swing trader.

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