The first step is to determine if a gold IRA is right for your retirement needs. These IRAs are a type known as “self-directed” and allow the investor to have a company (the custodian) hold actual gold coins or bullion as an investment vehicle.
Gold investments are sound ways to combat inflation and provide a safe haven that is not dependent on stock or bond markets. Once investors decide that a gold IRA is right for their portfolio, they can begin the rollover process. It’s important for investors to understand that rolling over assets to a gold IRA is the same legally and structurally as moving from one mutual fund company to another. The main distinction is the actual investment held in the account is physical gold, not a stock or bond.
Fund the Gold IRA through an Eligible Account
This type of account is ideal for investors with existing retirement accounts such as IRA, 401(k), or 403(b) accounts who want to move assets. Perhaps the investor is leaving a current employer and desires to transition some or all of an employer-sponsored 401(k) balance to a gold IRA.
Here are some of the types of accounts that can be rolled over to a gold IRA:
- Profit sharing, money purchase, or defined benefit plans
- Governmental plans such as TSP, 457(b), etc.
Pick a Trusted Custodian
Investors and employers flock to firms such as TD Ameritrade and Fidelity for their traditional 401(k) and IRA accounts because of their longstanding reputations and stability. Choosing a gold IRA custodian should also be based upon the company’s reputation, specifically its history in securely holding precious metal assets and offering fast liquidations. Pick a gold IRA provider that is fully insured and offers strong safeguards to manage physical assets.
Start the Process
After choosing a trusted custodian, investors should look closer at the investment options provided, and then make a selection. They will need to fill out detailed paperwork about the existing account (e.g. 401(k), 403(b), etc., and forms that allow the custodian to create the new rollover IRA account. The actual process of setting up the new IRA is fairly simple, and again it’s vital to pick a trusted gold IRA partner who will handle the transfer of existing funds into physical gold.
Then a retirement services company, like Goldco, will work directly with the investor to pick the desired metals which will be held in the secure storage facility.
Discuss with Professional Advisors
Investors who make retirement planning decisions should always consider working with a financial advisor and tax professional to discuss any tax and long-term planning implications of their moves. There are no tax implications when performing a direct rollover into a gold IRA from an employer-sponsored plan or a rollover or traditional IRA in a custodian-to-custodian transfer, but it’s wise to seek the counsel of a tax professional with any questions.