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It is very common for people to roll over their 401k plan into an IRA account when they leave an employer. The average person changes jobs several times before retirement, and having multiple open accounts makes it too hard to track your retirement savings.
For some, rolling over their 401k account is a way to diversify their retirement savings so they are better protected from fluctuations in the market. When you have a 401k plan, you are very limited in the options you have for investment choices.
If you are considering a rollover of your 401k, you will most likely think of a Roth IRA. This is one of the more common IRA plans. However, if you want to have the most control over your investments and be able to invest in other stable investments like precious metals, your best choice will be a gold IRA.
Sometimes called a self-directed IRA, this type of account allows you to hold precious metals as part of your investments. Many gold IRAs will allow you to hold other non-traditional investments like cryptocurrency.
Definition of a 401k Retirement Account
In 1978, as part of the Revenue Act, Congress enacted a law allowing individuals to hold a retirement account outside their employment. These accounts are listed under Section 401k in the Internal Revenue Code. This was the first time employees could save for retirement outside of a pension plan.
Many employers encourage their employees to invest in a 401k plan and will offer matching contributions. Most of the time, the matching amount is a percentage of the employee's contribution.
Contributions to a 401k account are pre-tax contributions that help you save more for retirement. Taxes are paid when you begin to make withdrawals in retirement.
There are limits to how much you can contribute to your 401k each year. Each year Congress sets a new limit, so it is important to check yearly.
Definition Of A Gold IRA
A gold IRA is a type of retirement account that falls under the self-directed IRA category. In 1997 Congress passed a law that allowed individuals to hold approved precious metals as part of their retirement savings.
Although these accounts are referred to as "gold" IRAs, they allow you to hold four types of precious metals that are approved by the IRS for your retirement.
With a gold IRA, you can own the following:
Purchases of precious metals for your gold IRA must meet IRS standards. All precious metals purchased for retirement accounts must come from IRS-approved mints and must meet purity standards.
You cannot collect gold objects, non-approved coins, or jewelry and add them to your retirement account.
Definition of a Self Directed IRA
Self-directed IRAs are very similar to your standard IRA. Both accounts are designed to help you save for retirement. Both accounts have tax benefits. Both accounts have restrictions on when you can begin making withdrawals for retirement.
It is the differences between these two accounts that you should be given a closer look.
A standard IRA is an account that is designed for easy investing. These accounts are managed by financial firms and are designed for automatic savings. These IRAs have a few mutual funds that you can choose from for your investments, and the firm "manages" these accounts for a fee.
Most financial advisors will not even talk about a self-directed IRA because it gives too much power to the investor. A standard IRA is made for people who want to save for retirement without having any real involvement in their accounts.
A self-direct IRA is an account where the investor can broaden their investments and be more aggressive about their retirement savings. You are not limited to just choosing from a set of mutual funds offered by a financial service. With a self-directed IRA, you can have stocks, bonds, and mutual funds as part of your account. More importantly, you can also add the following types of investments to your portfolio:
Of course, these investments have restrictions and limitations, just like any other IRA account. If you are going to invest in a self-directed IRA, working with a company that understands the regulations regarding these accounts is essential.
Understanding Gold IRA Rollovers
If you currently hold a retirement account or several retirement accounts, you can roll them over into a single retirement account. For many people, this is an opportunity to roll over their accounts into a gold IRA.
It will be essential to work with an IRA custodian that manages gold IRA accounts so that the transfers are made in compliance with the law and that you will not suffer any penalties for early withdrawal.
It will also be very important that the custodian you choose is a gold or precious metals broker so that you can purchase approved gold and precious metals to hold in your account. The internal Revenue Service is very specific about the types of precious metals you can hold in your account. Failure to follow these guidelines can result in high penalties.
Types of Accounts You Can Rollover Into a Gold IRA
To establish a gold IRA, you can rollover funds from the following types of retirement accounts:
You cannot roll over a 401k account that you have with your current employer. These accounts are considered employee benefits and fall under different regulations. Only accounts from previous employers are eligible for rollovers.
If you're over 59.5, you are held to different guidelines for rolling over an account. This is because, at this age, you can begin to take withdrawals from your account as part of retirement. If you are older than 59.5, you will need to speak with a financial specialist to see how you can roll over your account.
How To Set Up A Gold IRA
Establishing a gold IRA is an easy process. It all starts with finding the right custodian for your account. Later in this article, we discuss the top three companies for establishing a gold IRA.
You will look for a custodian that manages gold IRAs and works with a precious metals broker. Using a company that offers both services reduces the chance of violating IRA regulations and the fees associated with purchasing precious metals and managing your account.
Once you have chosen your custodian, creating a gold IRA account is as simple as filling out their forms and transferring the money to fund your account. Many of these firms can have your account set up within a day, and then they have to wait for your previous account holder to release the funds. Most gold IRAs are funded within a two-week period.
Once your account is funded, you will begin selecting the gold pieces you wish to have as part of your retirement fund. It is that easy to establish a gold IRA. Purchasing your precious metals from an approved broker will ensure that you comply with gold IRA regulations, making the process even easier.
When you begin to make withdrawals from your account, you can sell your precious metals. At that time, you will be held responsible for any taxes on your account.
Why Investing In Gold Makes Sense
Investing in gold as part of your retirement savings is a way to diversify your investments without significantly increasing risk. Investors often use gold as a base for their investments because:
Type of Precious Metals Allowed By the IRS
The IRS has very strict guidelines for investing in precious metals for your retirement. These guidelines actually protect the investor because it ensures that you have the purest form of these metals, which means they have the highest value.
All gold, silver, platinum, and palladium must be 99.5 percent pure or higher to be held in a retirement account. Silver must be 99.9 percent pure. The only exception to the rule is the American Gold Eagle Coin. This coin is approved for retirement accounts, although it falls just a little under the 99.5 percent pure mark.
All precious metal coins and bars must come from an approved mint. Several mints fall under this category, including American, Canadian, United Kingdom, and Australian. A few other bars and coins from other countries are included.
It is essential to work with a gold or precious metals broker that knows these regulations and will help you select the right coins and bars for your retirement account.
Owning Precious Metals - The Rules
Although you are purchasing gold coins, bars, or other precious metals for your account, the IRS will not allow you to physically hold these items until you cash out your retirement account.
While these items are part of your retirement savings, they must be held in an IRS-approved storage facility. These facilities are located throughout the United States and require a small yearly storage fee.
The IRS views anyone physically holding gold or other precious metals as a collector, not an investor, and different ta rates apply. This is why you must find a storage facility to hold these assets while they are part of your retirement savings.
Most gold brokers work with storage facilities across the country to help their clients meet the demands of the IRS. When you purchase the gold or precious metals, they will ship your purchases directly to the depository on your behalf, so that you never have physical possession of the items. This prevents you from being penalized for "holding" precious metals that are part of your retirement account.
Is It A Good Idea To Rollover Your Accounts Into A Gold IRA?
If you speak with any mega investor, they will tell you that diversification is the key to investing success. The old saying "never put all your eggs in one basket" really does apply to retirement savings.
If all of your investments are strictly in the stock market, when the inevitable market fluctuations happen, you could loose a large portion of your savings. This could mean delayed retirements or even retiring with less of a lifestyle than you planned.
Investing in gold is a great way to diversify your retirement savings without having to take large risks Gold has performed well historically and even with slight fluctuations in its value, has never seen losses like the many stocks have in the past.
Gold is a physical item that will retain value regardless of how the paper stock market performs. You do not have to worry about rouge CEOs crashing a stock, world turmoil or government policies affecting gold like these things do to the stock market.
Protecting your investments is a great way to protect your future. Rolling over your current accounts or establishing a brand new gold IRA is a safe and easy way to protect your investments.
If you have any questions about gold IRA investments, you are encouraged to speak with financial reps that specialize in these accounts They can help you make a deciosn on if this type of investment is right for you.
Top Three Gold Investment Companies
#1. Augusta Precious Metals
Augusta Precious Metals is a gold brokerage company that has been serving clients for over a decade. Its headquarters are in Casper, Wyoming and they conduct business throughout the country. Augusta Precious Metals works with a gold IRA company that will manage your account for a very reasonable fee. The company also has different depositories for you to select from to hold your gold.
Augusta specializes in gold and silver coins and bullion. The company has been rated as the best in the United States for customer satisfaction and services. Several review sites, including Trustpilot and Google my Business has given Ayugusta a five-star rating.
Augusta has made the rollover process very simple and you can fill out a short form on their site to get the process started. You will be pleased with their exceptional customer service and expansive educational materials.
Goldco was founded in 2010 and is headquartered in California. It is one of the leading companies to provide gold IRAs and has been featured by many media outlets as the top company for establishing a gold IRA. Golco has been promoted by several media and entertainment stars as their choice for gold IRAs.
Goldco specializes in gold and silver coins. They have a very large selection of these coins from around the world. One of their benefits is that they carry rare coins, making them an even more attractive investment because of the collectors value attached to these coins.
Goldco works with a few management companies and a few storage facilities. They can ensure that you get the right account for your needs. Goldco has ranked very high with customer service and carries a five-star rating with all of the rating sites.
#3. American Hartford Gold
American Hartford Gold is also a top-rated gold brokerage. THis company offers gold IRA accounts that let you expand what you invest in past precious metals. They have continually ranked high as a preferred gold broker because of their outstanding commitment to customer satisfaction.
American Hartford Gold is headquartered in California and has been offering its services for over a decade. They offer a large variety of gold, silver, platinum and palladium coins and bars. They work with several companies to establish and manage your gold IRA and have access to a few storage facilities around the country.
American Hartford Gold continues to rank high in customer reviews and is recommended by many financial companies as the "go-to" company for gold investments. They have an exceptional amount of educational materials available, and their customer service is great.
If you are considering rolling over your IRa into a gold IRA, you are encouraged to look at these three top-performing companies to see which one best fits your needs as an investor.