Can I rollover my 401k into Gold

There are several exceptional reasons to purchase Gold:

  • Protection against declining Purchasing Power
  • Security against Rising cost of living
  • Diversity for a conventional Profile of Stocks and Bonds
  • Opportunity for dramatic capital growth as investor participation in the Precious metals bull market increases

If you recognize the benefits of owning physical Precious metals but wish to do so inside a tax-advantage Investment account then rolling an eligible 401(k) into a Gold IRA may be the solution you are seeking.

There is a big caveat, however, on transferring a 401(k) into a Gold IRA. Unfortunately, only ‘eligible’ 401(k) accounts can be moved to another tax-advantaged account. ‘Eligible’ in this case means the 401(k) was provided by a previous employer. The active 401(k) you have with your current employer is not eligible for a rollover or transfer.

Eligible 401(k)

Any 401(k) account from a previous employer is eligible for a rollover or transfer to another IRS-approved Retirement account. Investors are allowed to perform one penalty-free rollover or transfer in any given tax year.

non-Eligible 401(k)

Active 401(k) accounts are a mixed blessing. Using pre-tax money to invest for retirement is great (especially if the company matches your contribution!), but most 401(k) plans offer very few choices for where this retirement money is invested. Unless you have a unique 401(k) Plan Provider your only options in an active 401(k) are Mutual funds which hold some mix of equity (Stocks) and debt (Bonds) instruments.

You only have two choices for accessing the funds in your active 401k account:

  1. 1
    You can change companies and your 401(k) will then be eligible for rollover or transfer without taxes or penalties.
  2. 2
    You can take a loan against your 401(k) account. Your company will have guidelines about when a loan is or isn’t permissible. In general, a 401(k) loan is intended to be used for major purchases like buying a house or responding to a financial emergency. If you tell your Plan Administrator that you intend to purchase Precious metals with the proceeds of the loan they will most likely look at you as if you have three or more heads on your shoulders and then they will disapprove your loan.

Gold Coins for retirement

Gold has played a role in human economics for literally thousands of years.

An interesting fact is that every human civilization in recorded history has used Silver as currency during some point in the civilization’s existence. In most cases, Gold in these societies was used as a store of value while Silver circulated among the people facilitating small transactions like buying groceries or gasoline.

Based on our human history, investing in Gold Coins for retirement makes a lot of sense.

Here's why:

  • Gold tends to increase in price as other financial Investments decline. This diversification provides a stabilizing effect for your overall Portfolio.
  • Gold is considered a hedge against Inflation, although some argue that this is only true in the long-term. If we focus on specific periods of intense Inflation like the 1970s, we can see that Gold definitely acted as an Inflation hedge by rising in price from $35 an ounce to $850.
  • Capital gains taxes on your Precious metals are not due until you sell or take a distribution from your Gold IRA.
  • Ownership of physical Gold (when you hold it in your personal possession) is private. Only you know how much you do or don’t have. This is in sharp contrast to most Investment accounts where your Trustee sends a 1099 form to the IRS every year documenting exactly what you hold in your account.
  • Gold tends to protect against both economic turmoil and geopolitical tension. As investors become nervous about the economic environment for whatever reason many of them seek safety in Precious metals.

Like most Investments, there are some downsides to Gold Coins for retirement:

  • If you are not careful a thief might take your personally-held Gold. Never talk about your Precious metals Investments – it is nobody’s business, not even your drinking buddies. Remember the World War II adage, “Loose lips sink ships”, and keep your business to yourself.
  • Precious metals do not pay dividends or interest. In fact, it costs money to securely store physical Silver and Gold in any tax-advantaged Retirement account.

Convert 401k to physical Gold

Start your Precious metals Portfolio with physical Gold that you have ready access to.

Focus on acquiring Bullion products, not Numismatic or Collectible Coins.

Grab a few 1/10th ounce American Gold Eagle coins and keep them in your 'grab-and-go' bag along with the rest of the survival gear. You will pay a premium on these fractional-ounce Coins but they are more useful if you actually have to use them in a barter situation.

After you have a foundation of physical metal in place you can then look for additional ways to gain exposure to the Precious metals.

For many conservative investors it makes sense to convert at least some portion of their traditional Retirement accounts into a self-directed Precious metals IRA.

They understand that their tax-advantaged retirement savings are essentially stuck inside IRS-approved accounts until they reach age 59 ½.

Moving some of these funds into a Gold IRA lets them gain the diversification and protection that physical Gold Investment offers.

How to move 401k without penalty

The process for establishing a physical Gold Individual Retirement Account (IRA) is fairly simple.

You begin by opening up a self-directed IRA account with an IRS-approved Broker-Dealer.

When the IRA account is open you perform a transfer or rollover from your eligible 401(k) to the new self-directed Gold IRA.

Funds inside the Gold IRA may be used to acquire permitted types of Gold and various other Precious metals.

Benefits of Gold IRA

There are several primary advantages of Gold IRAs:

  • They provide a way for investors to purchase physical Gold with their tax-advantaged funds.
  • They provide diversification for a conventional Portfolio of Stocks and Bonds.
  • They hedge against the rising cost of living as Inflation takes its toll.
  • Distributions from the account can be taken as cash or the physical metal in the IRA can be securely delivered to the investor.

Can I buy Silver with my 401K

To acquire physical Silver with 401(k) funds you have to first move that money into a Precious metals IRA account.

The Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 clearly specified that investors could hold physical Silver and Gold in their Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs). Platinum and Palladium were added in 1998.

Like Gold, the Silver in an IRA has to be of Bullion quality (99.95% pure, or better) and originate from an IRS-approved source like a government mint or third-party refinery.

Best Gold 401k

The best Gold 401(k) is a Solo 401(k) but that Investment vehicle is only available to small business owners with no employees.

In fact, a Solo 401(k) is the only type of 401(k) that allows investors to hold physical Precious metals.

Solo 401(k) plans were created in 2001 by the Tax Relief Reconciliation Act and they provide more flexibility than even self-directed IRAs (SDIRA). In addition to the alternative asset classes permitted in an SDIRA, Solo 401(k) investors are allowed to hold insurance products in their accounts.

Unless you are a small business owner with no employees there is no “best Gold 401k” – it simply doesn’t exist.

Gold IRA rollover guide

The most straightforward way to gain tax-advantaged ownership of Precious metals is to perform a Gold IRA rollover.

As a reminder, Precious metal IRAs are the only way (other than a Solo 401k) for investors to purchase physical Precious metals using tax-advantaged funds. It isn’t a matter of whether a Gold IRA is the best way to purchase physical metal or not, the question at hand is how to invest in Gold using our retirement savings without paying taxes or penalties.

The only way to do that is with a Gold IRA or Solo 401(k).

In general, funds can be rolled into a Precious metals IRA from these types of Retirement accounts: eligible 401(k), 403b, 457, Traditional IRA, SEP IRA, TSP, Annuities, Pension plans.

Best way to buy Gold in IRA

The best way to buy Gold in an IRA is to focus on Bullion products over proof Coins or special edition Coins.

If you spend some time reading customer reviews for Gold IRA companies you will notice that most of the complaints involve customers who purchased proof or special edition Coins and then lost money when they liquidated their account.

It is super-simple to avoid this potential problem by NOT buying proof Coins!

One ounce of Gold is worth exactly one ounce of Gold.

Being shiny (proof) or limited in quantity (special edition) or having a certificate of authenticity (who cares?) does NOT increase the value of the Gold Coin. Regardless of how fancy the Coin is, it is worth one ounce of Gold, period. Don’t waste your Investment Dollars on over-priced proof and limited edition Coins.

Another factor to consider when looking for the best Gold to buy in an IRA is the premium that mints and refineries charge for fractional-ounce Gold Coins. In general, the smaller the Coin, the larger the premium will be on a percentage basis.

For example, if we look at APMEX today (05/03/2022) we find that a one-ounce American Gold Eagle will cost us $1988.29. With spot Gold currently at $1870 the premium on the one-ounce Coin is about 6.3%. If we drop down to the 1/10th ounce version of the same Coin we have to pay $281.75 which represents a premium of 50% over spot.

As you can see, these fractional ounce Coins are quite expensive. In a Gold IRA it probably makes sense to avoid these small Gold Coins and stick with one ounce bars and Coins.


Relocating your eligible 401k to Gold without paying taxes or penalties is easy. Simply pick a Gold IRA company and they will walk you through the process.

With all of the economic headwinds currently blowing there has never been a better time to implement the protection that Precious metals have always represented.

Shield your retirement savings today by moving your eligible 401(k) to Gold without penalty.

About Satori Traders

Hi, my name is Bryan Post and I love the shiny stuff - Silver and Gold.

I've been investing in the Precious metals and mining stocks since 2002 when I realized that Gold is the only real money on the planet.

Here on I share everything I've learned about the metals, Financials markets, trading, Technical analysis, and the numerous games that central banks play with fiat currencies.

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