Gold IRA: Definitive Guide for Investors

What is a gold IRA

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Are you trying to build your nest egg for retirement, but are worried by instability in the market? Precious metals have long been a popular investment for those who want to buy into a safe, proven way of gaining wealth.

If you’re like many Americans and plan on retiring in the future, you should consider a Gold IRA as one of your savings options. 

Gold is a haven investment that has risen significantly over the years. While it can fluctuate in price, gold has historically maintained its value even during economic turmoil.


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What is a Gold IRA?

Gold IRAs are Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) that use bullion and coins to provide you with investment flexibility and tax advantages.

A Gold IRA offers the same retirement benefits as a standard IRA, but investors can purchase physical gold and precious metals-related investments. The precious metals IRA could be physical, digital bullion, or gold-related exchange-traded funds (ETFs). 

What differentiates these accounts from other IRAs is that they don’t allow you to make contributions in cash, stocks, real estate, or even mutual fund shares.

They also require higher contribution limits than traditional IRAs to take advantage of substantial tax benefits.

How Does A Gold IRA Work?

A Gold IRA is like a standard IRA, but is more flexible and less restrictive. It allows investors to purchase gold and other precious metals-related investments from their IRA.

Account creation requires a one-time account setup fee ranging from $50 to $150. 

You can convert a traditional IRA to a gold-backed IRA or contribute to an existing gold IRA account. The conversion process involves selling your existing traditional IRA assets and contributing the proceeds to your new gold IRA account. 

After you have an account with a reputable custodian that deals in non-USD assets, you can buy physical gold bars or bullion coins.

Types of Gold IRA Accounts

Here are three types of Gold IRA accounts that you can utilize.

Traditional Gold IRA

A traditional IRA lets your investments grow without having to pay taxes. Contributions are made pre-tax, and you may be able to deduct some or all of those contributions on your tax return.

If you invest in a traditional IRA, you can defer taxes on your investment returns, dividends, and interest. Traditional IRAs allow you to buy and sell stocks, bonds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), and mutual funds.

Self-directed conventional IRAs will enable you to invest in cryptocurrencies, gold, and real estate in addition to more traditional retirement investments.

You must pay regular income tax and earnings on those contributions in retirement. Depending on your income and access to a workplace retirement plan, tax deductions for traditional IRA contributions may be available. 

When you withdraw your contributions, the earnings on your investments or interest earned will be taxable if you are not eligible for the tax deduction.

Roth Gold IRA

With a Roth IRA, you receive tax-free income in retirement. You will save with after-tax dollars, and your investment will grow tax-free.

Investments in Roth IRAs offer investors greater flexibility in withdrawal. You can withdraw contributions anytime, but you can withdraw earnings only after a certain age and at a particular time.

Unlike traditional IRAs, which claim an upfront tax break, Roth IRAs contribute income after tax payments, much like the difference between investing in a Roth IRA and a traditional IRA. 

To open a Roth IRA account, you have a few options. One is to do so online. You can also open an account at a bank or a credit union.

If you open the account online, you can invest the money in stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and exchange-traded funds. You can save Roth contributions in a savings account or Certificate of Deposit (CD) with a credit union or a bank.

You can also invest these funds in less traditional asset classes, like cryptocurrencies, gold, and real estate, through a self-directed Roth IRA.


The SEP gold IRA is an individual retirement account for those who own their own business and those who work in their own small business for extended periods.

In some cases, the SEP gold IRA helps invest in precious metals such as gold and silver, collectibles, artwork, and real estate.

If you invest in a SEP IRA, your contributions get deducted from your paycheck before taxation. You will be taxed for withdrawals only when you retire from the IRA.

This benefit is that you get a nice tax break for each contribution to the SEP IRA. SEP IRAs are usually best for self-employed professionals, business owners, or those who expect their retirement tax rate to be lower.

They’re also suitable for people who want to make maximum contributions because SEP IRAs have higher contribution limits than other retirement accounts that are currently available.

You need to find a gold IRA custodian who will help you open an account, find a way to purchase your desired gold, arrange it to be shipped to a secure depository and deal with any necessary IRS paperwork. 

Not only will they create an account for you, but they can also help with funding the account. Funding is done by transferring or rolling over another retirement account in your name.

4 Benefits of a Gold IRA

A gold IRA can provide investors several benefits, including tax-deferred growth, asset diversification, and protection from inflation.

Gold IRAs also offer investors the ability to make penalty-free withdrawals for certain expenses and are not subject to the same contribution limits as traditional IRAs.

Tax benefits

Investors shield income from taxation by holding gold in a gold IRA. However, you still need to pay capital gains taxes on any gains if you decide to sell or withdraw funds early.

Therefore, leaving the money invested in precious metals is always advisable until retirement.

Balance of risk and return

You must diversify your portfolio, spreading your investment dollars across various continually appreciating assets.

Gold offers a way to balance your portfolios against the risk of losing money in more volatile investments. Investing in gold can potentially protect you from market downturns during economic crises.

Hedge against inflation

Over time, inflation erodes the value of your retirement portfolio and decreases your purchasing power which is a real threat to your financial security.

However, gold has a long history of holding its value in uncertain times by increasing in value even when stock markets have plummeted. 

An allocation of a portion of your retirement portfolio to gold and other precious metals is a smart way to diversify your holdings while guarding against economic crises.

Greater control

When you convert to a gold IRA, you control how you invest. You can take advantage of ways to make money from your investment without waiting until retirement age and begin taking withdrawals. 

You can use gold coins for barter exchange transactions or even use them for jewelry, artwork, or other valuable possessions.

You get greater returns than if you had put that same gold in a mutual fund, CD, or treasury bill for all those years.

Gold IRA Pros & Cons

Here are the advantages and disadvantages of investing in a Gold IRA.


  • Investment diversification
  • Hedge against inflation
  • High liquidity
  • Gold universal usage


  • Future interest rates uncertainty
  • Unexpected losses due to market volatility

IRA Approved Precious Metals

Here are different types of gold coins and bars that are eligible to be held in a gold IRA.

American Gold Eagle Coins

The American Gold Eagle coin is the most popular in the gold market. The coins have a U.S. Minted finish of 24 karats and weigh slightly under one troy ounce

The United States Mint has released five different versions of the coin, although only one type per year is available for purchase to investors.

American Gold Buffalo Coins

The American Gold Buffalo coin is the smallest and most affordable gold coin available in precious metal IRA accounts. The United States Mint mints the coins, which weigh 30.16 grams and have a size of 32 millimeters.

The American Gold Buffalo coin has been produced since 1986 by the United States Mint.

Australian Gold Kangaroo/Nugget Coins

The Perth Mint produces the Australian Kangaroo gold coins, which contain high purity gold. The coins have a U.S. Minted finish of 23-24 karats and weigh slightly under one troy ounce. 

The Australian Gold Kangaroo/Nugget coin was released in 2007 by the Perth Mint. The currency has since become one of the most popular gold coins available to investors who hold self-directed certified precious metals IRA accounts.

Austrian Gold Philharmonic Coins

The Austrian Gold Philharmonic coin is an elegant way for investors to add gold to their portfolio. The Austrian Mint produces the Philharmonic coins, which are a good choice for investors that want to diversify their portfolios with high-quality gold coins. 

The Austrian Gold Philharmonic coin has been produced since 1989 and contains high purity gold. The coins have a fineness of .9999 and weigh one-tenth of a troy ounce.

Canadian Gold Maple Leaf Coins

The Canadian Gold Maple Leaf coins, produced by The Royal Canadian Mint, have a U.S. Minted finish of 24 karats and weigh slightly under one troy ounce.

They are perfect for investors who want to add a distinctively Canadian style to their portfolio.

3 Best Gold IRA Custodians

Gold IRA custodians trust companies that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) licenses to store gold. These enterprises follow strict compliance guidelines, which include only purchasing gold following IRS guidelines. 

When selecting a provider to set up your Gold IRA, consider fees, storage options, and the company’s reputation. We did some research to find you the three best IRA custodians available.


Goldco helps protect your tax-advantaged retirement account. The platform’s experts help you create anIRA account.

Goldco can directly sell you gold, thus helping you diversify your money using the precious metal. The platform offers the highest comfort and security levels in gold investment. 

Goldco has an A+ rating by the Better Business Bureau and a Triple-A rating by the Business Consumer Alliance. Thus, the platform provides excellent customer service, recognizable through great reviews.

Click here to read my full review of Goldco.

Augusta Precious Metals

Augusta Precious Metals is one of the best-rated gold IRA companies that sell gold and other precious metals. The company is based in Los Angeles and is one of the largest online precious metals dealers in the United States. 

Augusta Precious Metals also provides investors with education or guidance in the gold IRA rollover process. Their sales and customer service teams interact with clients to provide knowledge about gold IRA investing.

The company’s successful track record with the BBB sets the platform apart from most competitors. Augusta is an excellent option for owning gold within a retirement account at a reasonable and competitive price.

Click here to read my full review of Augusta Precious Metals.

Noble Gold Investments

Noble Gold Investments ensures clients’ wealth preservation. The custodian educates clients on what precious metals are and how they can benefit from them now and for many years.

The company has been in the industry for 20 years dealing with precious metal transactions that provide much-needed security for clients.

The firm is based in Pasadena, California, and views a balanced portfolio as the key to long-term investing and retirement.

It takes five minutes to get you started with an IRA. Noble Gold serves customers and consults financial agents regarding various aspects of precious metals.

The company has an excellent rapport with all its professional contacts and often puts clients in touch with other experts.

Click here to read my full review of Noble Gold.

Are Gold IRAs a Good Idea?

Gold IRA investments are a good idea. They offer a solid long-term investment, especially if you expect the economy to grow and increase the value of precious metals.

Additionally, precious metals have value for generations, so investing in gold can appreciate over time.

Gold IRA FAQ’s

Here are some of the frequently asked questions regarding the gold IRA.

No. You cannot purchase physical gold with a regular IRA account.

No. You can convert a traditional IRA into a gold IRA or contribute to an existing gold IRA account.

You need a one-time account setup fee ranging from $50 to $150.

Yes. The precious metals IRA account allows you to invest in gold or any other precious metals of your choice, such as silver.

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When it comes to customer service, fees, safety, and overall customer satisfaction, Goldco checks all of the boxes.