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Personal Finance Gold

How to Transfer Your IRA to a Gold IRA

Updated Oct 20, 2023   |   6-min read

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Gold IRAs can be a good option if you want to leverage the stability of gold and other precious metals while diversifying your investment portfolio and saving for retirement. These specialized Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) are designed for non-traditional investments — like gold, silver, real estate, and more.

Don’t have the extra cash to make new investments at the moment? You can easily fund a new gold IRA with money from other retirement accounts, including existing 401ks, Roth IRAs, and more. This guide will walk you through how this process works.

In this guide:

What is a transfer?

You can use existing retirement accounts to fund a gold IRA in two ways:

  1. A rollover
  2. A transfer

In a rollover, your existing IRA custodian will give you the money you wish to withdraw, and then you’ll have 60 days to deposit the funds into your new gold IRA account. If you don’t meet this deadline, you’ll owe a 10% penalty on the withdrawal if you’re under 59.5 years of age.

With a transfer, your current IRA custodian sends the money directly to your gold IRA custodian, and no cash is taken out of the account. This is generally preferred, as it’s less hassle (no dealing with the money yourself), and there’s no chance of missing that 60-day window.

How to open a gold IRA?

To open a gold IRA — technically called a self-directed IRA — you’ll need to find a company that specializes in these types of accounts. We’ve rounded up a list of the top gold IRA firms to get you started.

Once you’ve filled out the required paperwork and opened your account, you’ll need to fund the account (details on that below), choose which gold and other metals you want to invest in (only certain ones are eligible, per IRS rules), and then direct your account custodian to purchase the metals on your behalf. After the purchase has been made, your investments will be transferred to a secure storage facility.

>> Read More: How does a gold IRA work?

How to transfer your IRA into a gold IRA

After you’ve opened your account, transferring funds from an existing IRA account is pretty straightforward.

Here’s what the process looks like:

  1. Contact the administrator of your existing IRA account. Tell them you want to initiate a transfer.
  2. Fill out the required paperwork. You’ll have to provide the information for your new account, as well as how much you want to transfer.
  3. Wait for your account administrator to wire the funds to your gold IRA. Once those funds are in, you can begin purchasing gold and other eligible precious metals.
  4. Choose what gold you want to buy. Only certain coins and metals are eligible.
  5. Direct your gold IRA account custodian to make the purchases. They’ll use the funds in your account to buy your chosen metals.
  6. Your metals will be shipped to a secure depository for safekeeping. Though some companies may claim you can keep your gold at home, this usually isn’t a smart move. Be wary of anyone that claims this, as it could put you at high risk for IRS penalties.

From there, it’s just a matter of watching for account statements and monitoring your investments’ performance. Your gold IRA company may have tools to help you do this.

Are there any gold IRA transfer fees?

There aren’t any IRS or other government fees that come with a gold IRA transfer. There could be a fee from your account administrator, though that depends on the company and their unique policies. If you’re considering transferring funds into a gold IRA, contact your existing IRA custodian for details on any fees or charges you might incur.

Are there any tax implications from a gold IRA transfer?

A gold IRA protects you from the potential IRA penalties that come with a rollover. With rollovers, you’re subject to a 10% penalty if you fail to deposit the funds within 60 days (if you’re not of retirement age). Additionally, you’re limited to just one rollover per year.

If you opt for a transfer instead, the funds are sent directly to your gold IRA custodian, so there’s no chance of an added fee or penalty. Additionally, because no money is withdrawn and given to you, the funds are not taxed by the IRS.

Why transfer an IRA to a gold IRA?

Transferring your existing IRA funds into a new gold IRA can come with several benefits.

Some of these benefits include:

  • A more diverse portfolio: It’s risky to put all your funds in a single investment or asset. Gold and silver offer an excellent way to diversify from other investments you might have, ultimately reducing your portfolio’s risk level.
  • Protection from inflation: When the value of the U.S. dollar drops, your purchasing power does, too. Gold investments protect against this loss because its value generally outpaces the dollar.
  • Economic security: If the economy (or stock market where you currently have funds invested) takes a turn, having your money in gold can potentially reduce your losses.
  • An opportunity for growth: Gold could grow in value (prices of gold have climbed in the last ten years). If the trend continues, that means your portfolio will be worth more, too.

If you’re on the fence about whether transferring funds to a gold IRA is the right move, talk to your account or financial planner. They’ll help you make the right decision for your unique goals and financial situation.

Where can I open a gold IRA account?

You’ll need to choose a gold IRA company to open your account. Keep in mind, though: Experience, service, and costs vary with each one, so it’s important to shop around and compare options before making your decision. Our guide to the best gold IRA companies can help you get started.