What is a Gold IRA Rollover: The Ultimate Gold IRA Rollover Guide


A Gold IRA rollover is the process of transferring money from an existing IRA or retirement account to a gold IRA.

This type of rollover is often used by investors to diversify their current retirement portfolio and guard their assets from inflation, volatility, and other economic struggles and challenges.

Investors typically transfer funds from existing retirement accounts such as traditional IRAs, Roth IRAs, and even a 401(k).

What’s the Difference Between a Regular Rollover and a Gold IRA Rollover?

A regular rollover is the process of transferring your funds from an existing retirement account to a new IRA. Investors can also start rollovers from a 401(k) and transfer funds to a new IRA.

IRAs that are subject to regular rollovers include:

  • Traditional IRA
  • Roth IRA
  • Simple IRA

Conversely, a gold IRA rollover is a rollover dedicated to transferring your funds over to a gold IRA.

Processing a Gold IRA Rollover

Starting a gold IRA rollover typically includes opening a gold IRA through a gold IRA company or custodian before the rollover. Searching for a company to start your gold IRA is the first and most important step.

Once an account has been created, you can either choose to transfer your funds directly (Gold IRA Rollover) or indirectly (Gold IRA Transfer):

  • Direct: In a direct rollover, fund transfers from an existing retirement account to a gold IRA are automated. Once the transfer is completed, a check is sent by the manager of the previous retirement account to the custodian of the new gold IRA.
  • Indirect: In an indirect rollover or Gold IRA Transfer, the fund transfer is processed by the investor alone. The investor takes the money from an existing retirement account and deposits the funds to a new gold IRA.

Once the rollover has been finished, you may begin selecting and purchasing your precious physical metals.

Gold IRA Rollover Eligibility

Having an existing IRA or retirement account does not automatically qualify an individual to perform a gold IRA rollover. Here is a list of retirement account types that are eligible for a rollover to a gold IRA:

  • Traditional IRA
  • Roth IRA
  • Simple IRA, but only after two years
  • 401(k), both self-directed and employer-sponsored
  • 403(b)
  • 457(b)

Gold IRA Rollover Regulations

Gold IRA rollovers are quick and easy.

However, there are rules in place that every investor must know in order to avoid any unnecessary fees. These are:

  • 60-day transfer rule: Once the account has been opened, funds must be transferred within 60 days of opening the account. Failure to complete the fund transfer will lead to a tax penalty.
  • Penalized withdrawals: In accounts launched by a gold IRA rollover, withdrawal of distributions before the age of 59.5 will incur a 10% tax penalty.
  • Transfer limits: Only one rollover is allowed in any one year. Those who wish to perform multiple rollovers within a 12-month period must pay 10% of their previously untaxed investments.

Gold IRA Rollover Allocation

Before processing a gold IRA rollover, it is crucial to have a predetermined allocation that will serve as the fund of the IRA.

Most investors opt to set aside around 10% of their savings for a gold IRA. However, it is important to consider several factors before deciding how much to rollover. Some indicators to keep in mind include:

  • Gold price performance: It is essential to analyze the price of gold to make an informed choice.
  • Diversification strategy: Investing in gold is a good measure for diversifying your portfolio, but deciding how much to invest is critical in guaranteeing success.
  • Motivation for investing in a gold IRA: Investing in gold is a promising venture, especially with the right motivation. Investors seeking short-term gains might find it difficult to maximize profits in a gold IRA.
  • Amount of money: Money will ultimately be the deciding factor in how much an investor can rollover or deposit.

Best Gold IRA Companies

If you decide to rollover your funds to a gold IRA, it is essential to look for a company that will assist you in the fund transfer and every step that needs to be accomplished.

Here are reviews of some of the top gold IRA companies to help you determine the best firm that fits your needs.

Goldco Precious Metals

According to timesunion.com, Goldco is the best gold IRA company of 2022. Goldco has been a leader in the precious metals market since 2006 and has served thousands of clients all around the country.

Starting an account with Goldco includes:

  • Setup fee: $50 (one time)
  • Storage fee: Around $100 to $150
  • Maintenance fee: $80

Goldco provides excellent customer service by supplying a variety of resources for first time investors, including a start-up kit, an audio guide, a handbook, and a video answering FAQs.

They also take care of their clients by guiding them through the process of starting an account, which can be done both online and in person.

American Hartford Gold

American Hartford Gold is a family-owned investment company founded in 2015. It is widely recognized as one of the leading gold IRA firms in the United States.

The company is known for its efficiency and reliability in providing a quick and easy account opening process, as well as seamless transactions and fast precious metal deliveries.

Starting an account with American Hartford Gold includes tracking & insurance fees of up to $180. However, the company requires investors to hire a third-party gold IRA custodian who will store and manage your gold for you.

American Hartford Gold allows investors to sell their precious metals back to the company, which can be helpful in liquidating assets. There is also no minimum investment requirement, which allows investors to deposit money on their own terms.

Birch Gold Group

Birch Gold Group is a precious metals company that has been serving clients for over 20 years now. It is a company that prides itself in experience and knowledge. The company has built a reputation for helping clients and giving them the proper guidance in starting their gold IRA journey.

Birch Gold also ensures its clients are well-educated on the ins and outs of the gold market by providing clients a variety of resources about gold, such as comprehensive guides and informative articles.

Starting an account with Birch Gold includes:

  • Setup fee: $50 (one time)
  • Storage fee: Around $100
  • Management fee: Around $80

The company’s website contains all the information every investor needs, which provides a lot of accessibility and convenience. They’ve also established a reputation as one of the most successful and reliable IRA firms in the country, which ultimately cultivates a sense of trust in its clients.

Birch Gold also waives fees on investments over $50,000 annually.

Advantage Gold

Advantage Gold was founded in 2014 and has been one of the top gold IRA companies in the industry. The company is dedicated to providing the fastest and most efficient IRA rollover process amongst top IRA firms.

The company has established an image rooted in excellent customer service, integrity, and transparency. From the rollover to looking for a custodian, they have representatives that guide you through the entire IRA process.

The company also provides a variety of resources and tools to keep their clients informed and educated on everything they need to know about Gold IRAs.

Starting an account with Advantage Gold includes:

  • Setup fee: $50 (one time)
  • Storage fee: Around $50 to $100 (annual)
  • Annual account fee: Around $95 to $250

The company has a buy-back program which allows investors to sell their precious metals back to the company at spot price or higher. They also offer low storage and custody fees, as well as a minimum investment purchase that is set at around $10,000, making it easy for first-time investors.

Augusta Precious Metals

Augusta Precious Metals has been serving clients and investors since 2012 and has garnered an image built on integrity.

As a firm that is established on the principles of honesty and truthfulness, the company provides its customers with prices that are affordable and transparent.

Overall, Augusta Precious Metals is a reliable company, dedicated to ensuring that its investors are well-informed and educated before making any investment moves or financial decisions.

Starting an account with Augusta Precious Metal includes:

  • Setup fee: $50
  • Storage fee: Around $100
  • Maintenance fee: Around $100

Augusta Precious Metals has pricing plans that are clear and straight to the point, which allows first time investors to easily compare and review potential costs. They also offer consulting and management services to clients who purchase precious physical metals outside a gold IRA.

The company has also established itself as one of the biggest and most trusted firms in the United States by amassing a multitude of awards from various governing bodies, such as Business Consumer Alliance.

Oxford Gold Group

Oxford Gold Group is a precious metals company operating since 2018, and is owned and managed by industry veterans. Despite the company being relatively new compared to other IRA firms, Oxford Gold Group has already established itself as one of the leading distributors of precious metals in the United States.

The company prides itself in providing affordable investment options to investors all over the country, while ensuring excellent quality and superb customer service.

Starting an account with Oxford Gold Group includes an annual fee of around $175 to $225 that covers setup fees, storage fees, maintenance fees, and other expenses.

The company offers prices that are transparent and unambiguous, which are beneficial for both first-time buyers and seasoned investors. In addition, transactions and deliveries are fast and efficient.

Birch Gold also specializes more in providing precious metals than opening gold IRAs, which can pose a few issues for gold IRA investors.

Other leading gold IRA companies include:

  • Noble Gold Investments
  • Regal Assets
  • Gold Alliance
  • Patriot Gold Group
  • Lear Capital

Clients can also purchase various kinds of American bullion and gold bullion, such as the American Gold Eagle coin, silver coins, gold bars, and other precious metals. 

Does Vanguard offer gold IRAs?

Vanguard does not offer gold IRAs to its investors. The Vanguard Global Capital Cycles Fund, however, contains investments in precious physical metals and mining firms which clients can invest in.

Does Fidelity offer gold IRAs?

Fidelity does not offer investments in actual physical gold. However, clients can invest in paper-based gold assets, such as gold stocks and ETFs.

Here are some of the best bullion providers in the country:

  • JM Bullion
  • SD Bullion

Some top rated IRA custodians include:

  • Delaware Depository
  • Goldstar Trust Company
  • Strata Trust Company

What is an IRA?

IRA stands for Individual Retirement Account. It is an account used by individuals who are preparing for retirement, usually through stocks, bonds, and other paper assets. There are several types of IRA:

  • Traditional IRA: A traditional IRA is a regular IRA that charges contributions on a tax-deferred basis, which means you pay taxes only when you withdraw your distributions during retirement.
  • Roth IRA: A Roth IRA is the opposite of a traditional IRA. Contributions are made with after-tax money, which means you don’t have to pay taxes when you withdraw your distributions at the start of your retirement.
  • SEP IRA: A SEP IRA is an IRA that can be opened by small business owners for their employees. However, only business owners can make contributions.
  • Simple IRA: A Simple IRA works essentially in the same way as a SEP IRA, but both the business owner and employees can make contributions.
  • Gold IRA: A gold IRA is an IRA that allows an individual to invest in physical precious metals such as gold and silver. Unlike traditional IRAs and Roth IRAs, gold IRAs are completely tax free, meaning you won’t get taxed for any contributions you make, nor will you be charged for any distributions you withdraw.

How do you open a gold IRA and how long does it take?

Opening a gold IRA is a simple process. Applying typically takes around 10-15 minutes, while processing and setting everything up can be finished in one business day. Funding the account usually takes up to 5 days. However, if you’re planning to do a rollover, it may take around ten business days to complete.

Starting a gold IRA investment requires:

  • Choosing the right company
  • Funding your account
  • Purchasing physical precious metals
  • Hiring a custodian to store your gold

When selecting a financial institution for your gold IRA, it is essential to look for a company that will meet your needs, will help you set up your account, will guide you in purchasing physical precious metals of your choice, and will handle your gold storage concerns.

On some occasions, a gold company already provides custodian services, which minimizes the hassle of looking for an external custodian.

How much money can I invest in a gold IRA?

Investors under the age of 50 may deposit up to $6,000 annually. For investors 50 and above, the limit is set at $7,000 per year.

Are there IRAs for other precious metals?

Fun fact: Another term for gold IRA is precious metals IRA. As the name suggests, opening a precious metals IRA allows you to purchase other physical precious metals such as silver IRA, platinum, and palladium.

If I open a gold IRA, will I physically own gold coins or bullion?

Opening a gold IRA requires hiring an IRA custodian to store and manage your gold investments for you. While some companies allow investors to store their own gold, the legalities around this are questionable. 

In order to avoid any issues or penalties, be sure to contact a custodian or a depository and have them take care of your gold for you. Delaware Depository is a leading provider of custodian and storage services.

If you absolutely want to get a hold of your assets, you can either wait until you reach 59.5 years of age before taking possession of them, or pay a 10% tax penalty to get them immediately.

How much gold can a person legally own?

There are no regulations or guidelines on how much gold a person can own. You can purchase and own as much gold as you want to, as long as you don’t violate any laws on gold ownership and storage.

However, physically owning gold and storing them in your own home might raise some legal concerns, so be sure to clarify that with your gold IRA company or custodian.

If I withdraw my gold IRA, can I have it in gold instead of cash?

When you decide to withdraw your gold IRA, you have the option of liquidating your investments and converting them to cash, or you can have them delivered to you as physical gold.

Does the government track my gold transactions?

As long as your gold assets are not liquidated, you are not required to report anything. The government only monitors liquidated assets, such as cash, bonds, stocks, and other paper assets.

Can I still invest in gold but not through a gold IRA?

If you want to invest in gold, but not through a gold IRA, here are a few alternatives to choose from.

  • Gold stocks: Gold stocks are mutual funds which allow you to invest in gold reserves or mining corporations, either through a broker or by yourself. They can also be added to any kind of IRA, including gold IRAs.
  • Investing in other physical precious metals: As mentioned earlier, a gold IRA can also be called a precious metal IRA, which means you can invest in other precious metals such as silver, platinum, and palladium. However, keep in mind that the value of these precious metals is still outperformed by physical gold.
  • Trading: Contrary to popular belief, you can actually trade in gold. A few gold assets that can be traded include spot gold and gold futures.

Final Thoughts: Should you rollover your funds to a gold IRA?

A Gold IRA rollover is the easiest part of opening a gold IRA. Making the right investment choices and decisions, however, is a completely different ball game.

Investing in a gold IRA, just like any other investment, involves a certain level of risk. Studying, doing your research, and analyzing the pros and cons is extremely crucial before making any moves.

Good investors maximize profits. Great investors maximize profits while minimizing risk.

About the author 

Jonathan Uy

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