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A retirement free of financial worry requires careful planning — and it’s never too early to start, especially if you’re self-employed.
Fortunately, a SEP IRA can help. This unique type of retirement account is primarily utilized by freelancers, contractors, and small business owners (and those who work for them). The account can even be used to invest in gold, silver, and other precious metals.
If adding gold and silver to your retirement plan is something you might be interested in, this guide can help. Read on to learn more about SEP gold IRAs, as well as how to start your own.
In this guide:
- How does a SEP gold IRA work?
- SEP gold IRA guidelines
- Best SEP gold IRA companies
- SEP gold IRA vs. other account types
- Is a SEP gold IRA worth it?
How does a SEP gold IRA work?
A SEP gold IRA (Simplified Employee Pension) is a self-directed Individual Retirement Account designed for small business owners and self-employed professionals, as well as those who work for them for extended periods. SEP gold IRAs can be used to invest in gold and silver (and other precious metals), as well as tangible assets like collectibles, artwork, and real estate in some cases.
When you have a SEP IRA, your contributions are pre-tax, meaning you’ll pay taxes on the money in retirement once you withdraw the funds. The benefit of this is that your contributions are tax-deductible, so it can drastically reduce the amount of income taxes you owe annually.
SEP IRAs are typically best for self-employed professionals or business owners, particularly those who expect their tax bracket to be lower in retirement. They’re also suitable for those looking to maximize their contributions, as SEP IRAs have much higher contribution limits than other retirement accounts currently available.
Your first step in opening an account is to find a gold IRA custodian. They will assist with set-up, purchasing your preferred metals, shipping the product to a secure depository, and handling any IRS-required paperwork. They will also typically help with funding your account, which is often done via a transfer or rollover from another retirement account you have in your name.
SEP gold IRA guidelines
To operate a SEP gold IRA, you’ll need to adhere to a few IRS guidelines regarding these accounts. First, there are the contribution limits.
SEP IRAs have higher limits than both traditional and Roth IRAs, but they’re not unlimited by any means. You can contribute either 25% of your total annual compensation or $58,000, whichever is lower. (If you’re self-employed, “compensation” refers to your net yearly earnings, minus half your self-employment tax and the contributions you make to your personal SEP IRA.)
Contributions on SEP IRAs are tax-deductible up to 25% of your compensation.
Best SEP gold IRA companies
Many companies offer SEP gold IRA services, and each one has its own offerings and fee structure. If you want to be sure you’re getting the best account (and pricing) for your needs, it’s essential to shop around and compare at least a few options.
Not sure where to start? Check out our
Oxford Gold Group: Best overall
Oxford Gold Group is our pick for the best overall SEP gold IRA provider due to its high ratings and reviews. The company currently has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and 4.9 out of 5 stars on Google and Trustpilot.
Oxford offers various services, including account set-up, metal sales, SEP gold IRA rollover/transfer assistance, and more. Investors also get access to an online dashboard, which they can use to monitor their account’s performance over time.
Goldco: Best for customer support
Goldco is another great option if you’re looking for a SEP gold IRA. Again, the company has stellar reviews, including a 4.8 on Trustpilot and a 4.7 on Google.
It’s no wonder, either. Goldco’s customer service is highly accessible, with options for online chat, phone, and email. The company also offers tons of educational resources to help you learn more about your investments.
Patriot Gold Group: Best for limiting fees
If you plan to put more than $100,000 in your SEP gold IRA, then look no further than Patriot Gold Group. The company charges no fees on accounts over $100,000 (those under $100K cost $180 per year).
Like the others on this list, Patriot also has strong customer reviews, boasting a 5-star rating on Google and 4.6 stars on Trustpilot.
Orion Metal Exchange: Best for accounts with a small balance
Orion is one of the best-known names in the business, and there’s a reason for that. The company is a one-stop shop for all things precious metals. They can assist with setting up your account, funding it, buying your gold and silver, and more, and their fees are minimal. On accounts under $200,000, you’ll pay just $150 annually.
Orion also has great reviews, including an A+ with the BBB and 4.9 stars on Trustpilot.
SEP gold IRA vs. other account types
There are technically three types of IRAs you can use to invest in gold, silver, and other precious metals. These include the SEP IRA, the traditional IRA, and the Roth IRA.
Use the below chart to choose the best SEP gold IRA for you:
|SEP IRA||Roth IRA||Traditional IRA|
|Best for||Self-employed people, small business owners You expect your tax bracket to be lower in retirement You want tax-deductible contributions now||You expect your tax bracket to be higher in retirement||You expect your tax bracket to be lower in retirement You want tax-deductible contributions now|
|Contribution limits||$58,000 or 25% of your annual compensation, whichever is smaller||$6,000, if you’re 49 or under $7,000, if you’re 50 or older||$6,000, if you’re 49 or under $7,000, if you’re 50 or older|
|Benefits||High contribution limits Tax-deductible||Not taxed in retirement, when earnings are lower||Tax-deductible|
|Requirements||Must be self-employed or work for a self-employed person Employees must work for the business at least three of the last five years||Must make less than $125,000 if you’re single or $198,000 if you’re married and filing jointly to make the full contribution||Must make less than $66,000 if you’re single or $105,000 if you’re married and filing jointly to deduct your full contributions|
Is a SEP gold IRA worth it?
A SEP gold IRA can be a smart addition to any retirement plan. With its high contribution limits and tax-deductible status, it’s particularly beneficial to freelancers, contractors, and self-employed professionals looking to lower their taxable income.
Investing in a SEP gold IRA is also a smart hedge against inflation, as gold tends to hold its value (or even increase in value over time). It’s a great way to diversify your investment portfolio, too. If the stock market turns or there are fluctuations in other sectors of the market, an investment in gold and silver can ensure your wealth is at least partially protected.
Are you thinking about opening a SEP gold IRA account to build on your existing retirement plan? Shopping around for providers is critical. Use our gold IRA guide to get started today.
Author: Aly Yale