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What is a Gold IRA rollover?

Investors today are searching the internet looking for answers to the question, “What is a Gold IRA rollover?

This is understandable given all of the financial turmoil happening in the World. Most investors are focused on Inflation but they are also worried about the declining balance of their Retirement accounts. Inflation is increasing their cost of living at the same time their net worth is declining – it’s truly a financial double-whammy.

These market conditions are causing investors to think about Gold because, historically, Gold has been a hedge against Inflation. Gold also acts as a safe haven from market volatility and depreciating currencies.

So, let’s jump right in and see if we can answer the question…

A Gold IRA rollover is the process where an investor takes money from an existing Retirement account and uses that money to purchase physical Gold inside a self-directed IRA.

The IRS allows investors to move money from one Retirement account to another without paying any taxes or incurring any penalties so a Gold IRA rollover is 100% tax and penalty free.

With the exception of active 401(k) accounts, almost all Retirement accounts are eligible for a rollover. If you have an eligible 401(k), IRA, 403b, 457, TSP, Pension plan, Annuity, or other tax-advantaged account, that money can be rolled into a Gold IRA.

An active 401(k) account is any 401(k) that you have at your current place of work. 

The IRS does not allow the money in an active 401(k) to be moved into any other account. Even if you stop contributing to the 401(k) it is still considered active as long as you remain with your current employer. Only 401(k)s from previous employers are eligible for a Gold IRA rollover.

Gold IRA pros and cons

Like most things in life, there are pluses and minuses to a Gold IRA Investment. This list of Gold IRA pros and cons covers the main factors that you need to be aware of.

Pros
  • A Gold IRA (also known as a Precious metals IRA) is the only way you can purchase and hold physical Gold using tax-advantaged money.
  • Gold is considered an alternative Investment that can be used to diversify a traditional retirement Portfolio of Stocks, Bonds, and Mutual funds.
  • Gold acts as a hedge against Inflation over long periods of time. For example, an entry-level sedan in 1920 (the Model T) cost the equivalent of 15 ounces of Gold ($300). Today those same 15 ounces of Gold are worth about $25,000 which is more than enough to purchase a low-end sedan.
  • When you reach retirement age you can take a distribution of the Precious metals in your Gold IRA account or sell the metal and take a cash distribution.
  • The capital gains on Gold held inside an IRA are taxed as regular income instead of being taxed at the 28% tax rate for Collectibles.
Cons
  • The IRS requires that a third-party Custodian holds the assets in an IRA, whether those assets are securities (Stocks, Bonds, and Mutual funds) or physical Precious metals. You cannot use tax-advantaged funds to purchase Gold that you will take personal possession of.
  • Gold that you already own cannot be transferred into your Gold IRA. Because of IRS regulations, the Precious metals in an IRA have to be purchased through the IRA.
  • The maintenance fees for a Gold IRA are higher than the fees on a traditional IRA holding only paper securities. The extra fees cover the cost to securely store and insure the Precious metal.

Benefits of Gold IRA

The primary benefits of a Gold IRA are the same as the Pros listed above:

Being able to purchase physical Precious metals using tax-advantaged funds.

Gold diversifies the typical Investment Portfolio of 60% Stocks and 40% Bonds. Computer models show that the 60/40 Portfolio experiences less volatility and better overall performance when it is has a 3 to 10% allocation towards Gold.

Gold acts as a hedge against Inflation, market volatility, and depreciating currencies.

Besides these important benefits of a Gold IRA, there is an even bigger benefit. Physical Gold has zero counter-party risk. Regardless of what happens to currencies, Financial markets, or Real Estate, the Gold ounces that you own are unaffected.

There are times in the world of investing when it is more important to focus on maintaining Wealth instead of taking on risk in an effort to grow or expand your Wealth. It is likely that we are living through one of those times right now.

Gold has acted as a store of value for at least 2600 years and it is reasonable to assume that it will continue doing so for the foreseeable future. If you are serious about maintaining the Purchasing power of your hard-earned money, physical Gold has historically been the best way to do that.

Gold IRA vs physical Gold

Making the comparison of a Gold IRA vs physical Gold is really a question of what kind of money you use to purchase your Gold.

If you are using tax-advantaged money from a Retirement account you will purchase physical Gold inside a Precious metals IRA and the Gold will be held by a third-party Custodian until you reach retirement age. To purchase physical Gold that you can immediately take possession of, you have to use non-tax-advantaged money.

The absolute best way to purchase Gold is with non-tax-advantaged money. This method allows you to store the Gold where it is readily accessible to you at any time, but you obviously give up the tax benefits available with an IRA.

"Gold is money.

Everything else is credit."

~J.P. Morgan

Gold IRA reviews

The best Gold IRA reviews are available on the Better Business Bureau’s website. People who have invested in Precious metal IRAs provide their feedback, good or bad, about the Gold IRA companies they have dealt with.

The BBB makes an effort to ensure that only legitimate customers post reviews. If we look for Gold IRA reviews elsewhere on the internet, we will usually find reviews posted by affiliate marketers and “customers” who are paid by shady companies to post online reviews.

In order to maintain an A+ rating with the BBB, companies have to respond to any customer complaints. We can gain valuable insight into a company’s business practices by focusing on the negative feedback they receive and how they respond to it.

A few negative reviews aren’t necessarily a reason to avoid a Gold IRA company. Most negative reviews and complaints involve two situations that can be easily avoided with a little knowledge:

Customers who purchase special edition or proof Coins and then lose money when they sell those Coins.

Customers who feel pressured to purchase Precious metals and then later regret the purchase.

We can easily avoid these issues by following this Investment strategy:

Never purchase proof or special edition Coins.

If a Gold IRA representative tries to pressure you into making a purchase, walk away and never do business with that company.

The best Gold IRA companies do everything they can to educate their customers before they make an Investment. When you are looking at customer reviews pay attention to reviews that talk about how the Gold IRA company answered their questions, helped them understand Precious metals, etc.

There are other rating agencies besides the BBB and they all gather customer reviews that you can read. At Gold Well Live we prefer the BBB because it has been in business since 1912 and they make an attempt to validate that reviewers are real people.

According to the BBB only 62% of the reviews they receive get posted online. That’s an indication of how many fake reviews are floating around the internet. 

If you don’t find enough customer reviews on BBB you can check these sites:

  • TrustPilot
  • TrustLink
  • Business Customer Alliance
  • Consumer Affairs

Gold IRA companies

There are a lot of Gold IRA companies and they all claim to be the best. Sorting the wheat from the chaff can be challenging but there are several factors we can use in the process.

BBB rating

The BBB provides two ratings for companies. The first is a letter rating from A to F and the second is a star rating from 0 to 5. The letter rating is based on the company’s behavior in the marketplace and it includes factors such as truthfulness in advertising, transparency, and responsiveness to customer complaints. The star rating is an average of the star ratings provided by reviewers.

Years in business

Unscrupulous businesses don’t last for long in the marketplace. Dissatisfied customers take legal action against them and post negative reviews with rating agencies like the BBB. Eventually the bad businesses give up for lack of customers or get driven out of business via legal action. To avoid dealing with questionable businesses we can choose Gold IRA companies with at least 10 years of business history.

Minimum Investment

All of the Gold IRA companies specify a minimum Investment. This minimum ranges from $2,500 to $50,000. Depending on the amount of money you want to invest, you can use this factor when selecting a Gold IRA company to invest with.

Fees

Gold IRA fees range from $180 per year on the low end to as much as $400 per year at the high end. Fees may also depend on the size of your account. There is at least one Gold IRA company that waives all fees on accounts over $250,000.

Depository

Some investors want to have their Gold stored close to where they live so the location of the Gold IRA Depository becomes a selection factor. For example, an investor living in Los Angeles might want to have their IRA Gold stored in California instead of Delaware. All of the Gold IRA companies have preferred Depositories that they will recommend but they will also work with any Depository you specify.

Proof Coins

Proof Coins and special edition Coins are a poor Investment choice for most people. The high premiums charged for these Coins make little sense in a Gold IRA. When you interact with a Gold IRA company ask them if they recommend proof Coins. How they answer this question may help you select which company to work with. An honest answer to the question will cover both the pros and cons of investing in these high-priced Coins. If they don’t present the downside to proof Coins they are looking out for their own interests, not yours (they make higher commissions on proof Coins).

Incentives

Most of the Gold IRA companies offer incentives for first-time investors. Some companies will waive fees or offer free Silver for qualified accounts. Ask a company representative what kind of incentives they can offer you.

The companies below meet the Gold Well Live criteria for being a top-rated Gold IRA company. These companies are a good starting point when you are building your list of candidates.

Augusta Precious Metals

Year founded

BBB rating

Minimum Investment

2012

A+

$50,000

Augusta Precious Metals is committed to educating their customers. The company provides extensive educational materials on its website and investors with $100,000 or more to invest can schedule a 1-on-1 teleconference with Devlyn Steele, the company's Harvard-trained director of education. Many of Augusta's customers state that the company worked with them patiently until they were comfortable making an Investment in Precious metals. Augusta minimizes the fees you will pay for a Gold IRA and they never charge an IRA maintenance fee.

Birch Gold

Year founded

BBB rating

Minimum Investment

2003

A+

$10,000

Conservative politician Ron Paul chose Birch Gold Group as his Gold IRA company. Dr. Paul has been an advocate of real money and sensible economic principles for decades so his endorsement of Birch Gold is significant. Birch offers extensive educational resources on its website including a calculator that shows how performance on a 60/40 Portfolio of Stocks and Bonds improves when it is diversified with a small amount of Gold. First year fees are waived with an Investment of $50,000 or more.

Goldco

Year founded

BBB rating

Minimum Investment

2006

A+

$25,000

Goldco has a 16-year track record of helping investors protect their tax-advantaged savings with the security of Precious metals. Goldco is highly rated by the BBB, TrustPilot, and the Business Consumer Alliance. Based on more than 1,000 5-star reviews, Goldco is also well liked by its customers. Goldco publishes educational materials on their website and has additional resources available via email after you speak with one of their Precious metals specialists. Investors with $100,000 or more to invest receive $10,000 or more in free Silver.

Regal Assets

Year founded

BBB rating

Minimum Investment

2010

B+

$10,000

With a self-directed IRA at Regal Assets you can invest in Precious metals, Crypto currencies, and Stablecoins all in the same account. This unique Investment vehicle lets you trade that major digital assets and then park your profits in physical Precious metals. Regal provides basic educational material on their website then mails you an in-depth investor kit and DVD after you speak with one of their IRA specialists.

Best Gold IRA

At Gold Well Live we believe that the best Gold IRA company is the one that is willing to educate you and answer all your questions. Through this education process you will be able to determine if the company is trustworthy or not.

The best Gold IRA companies will spend months gaining your trust and answering your questions as they arise. During this process they will provide you with educational materials and make occasional follow-up calls. They are hoping to have you as a customer for life so spending this time up front makes sense.

If a company tries to push you into a quick purchase decision or fails to follow-up with you, simply pick another company and move on. There are lots of Gold IRA companies to choose from.

To determine if a company is serious about education, start with their website. What kind of educational resources do they offer? At a minimum they should have some kind of Gold IRA Guide that explains the basics of investing in a Precious metals IRA. Hopefully they will also have a video library and a blog where they post timely articles about economic topics.

Protect your retirement savings and do it 100% tax & penalty free

About Me.

After the dot com bubble popped I started researching Financial bubbles - how they evolve, how they pop, etc. I quickly realized that Gold is the only real money on planet Earth and in 2002 I bought my first Gold Coin. I've been investing in the shiny stuff ever since - both physical Precious metals and the Mining stocks. I've also studied the Financial markets, trading, Technical analysis, and the endless games that central banks play with fiat currencies. I do my best to share what I've learned with others - that's what you'll find here on Gold Well Live.

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I'm just a good ol' boy from Texas, but I love to talk about the Precious metals. I share my ramblings with subscribers on a regular basis.