Your Complete Gold IRA Rollover Guide

Our gold IRA guide will help you understand your retirement account.

IRAs are a popular way to save for retirement and enjoy tax benefits in the current year. Almost all IRAs are based on mutual funds, stocks, bonds and other financial instruments, which can result in poor performance when the economy is down. By adding a gold IRA to your retirement account, you can weather economic downturns better and still enjoy all of the tax advantages that come with a traditional IRA.

Moving funds between retirement accounts is one of the most difficult aspects of opening a brand new IRA. You'll want to know what a rollover means, how it works and what tax implications there are when you move funds. This gold IRA guide will help you through the process.

What is a Gold IRA rollover?

The gold IRA Rollover occurs when you transfer funds from a 401(k), or other retirement account type that isn't an IRA into your newly-opened gold IRA. It is a simple process, but there are a few rules you need to follow in order to avoid IRS penalties.

You can consult your financial advisor for guidance. Consult your financial advisor for advice on the best way to proceed.

Why do a Gold IRA rollover?

You can do a rollover of your gold IRA to transfer funds to a new gold IRA. These funds will be used to buy gold or other precious materials.

IRS limits the amount you can deposit in an IRA each year ($6,500 for those under 50 and $7,500 older than 50). Tax penalties will be incurred if you deposit more money in your IRA.

Rollovers are not considered contributions, so they do not count towards these limits. You can deposit a lot more money in your newly-opened IRA, and you can start investing more in precious metals.

IRS rules for a gold IRA rollover

The IRS has put in place several rules to stop people from using rollovers as a way to circumvent contribution limits. You have 60 days to fund your new IRA after you withdraw your money from your 401(k). If you fail to comply, the IRS will tax your withdrawal as a premature withdrawal from your retirement plan. This means that in addition to paying income tax, you'll also have to pay a 10% tax penalty.

You can only rollover one IRA in a year. However, the IRS does not consider direct transfers of IRA money — the movement of funds from one IRA to another — as rollovers, meaning that direct transfers are not subject to the one-rollover-per-year rule.

How to avoid penalties when doing a gold IRA rollover

There are generally no tax penalties for a gold IRA transfer as long as the funds are transferred directly from your 401k into your newly-opened IRA. If you don't receive the funds in your IRA after 60 days, then the IRS will tax it as a withdrawal and not a rollover.

Speak to your tax or financial advisor to avoid any surprises or unexpected penalties during a rollover. They can guide you through the entire process, ensuring a smooth transfer of funds.

What Accounts are Eligible to a Gold IRA Rerollover?

You can roll over any retirement account to an IRA, including other IRAs and retirement accounts. You can rollover any portion of the distribution, or the entire existing IRA except for the minimum distribution.

The IRS also allows you to rollover all or part of your retirement plan. You can find the exceptions on their website.

What is the Difference between a Transfer or Rollover?

The IRS does not use the words "transfer" or "rollover". The IRS does not use the terms "transfer" and "rollover". Rollovers are the transfer of funds from a retirement account such as 401(k) to a gold IRA.

How to Transfer Funds From Your 401(k), to a Gold IRA

Open a gold IRA as the first step to rolling over your money. You can open a gold IRA through a registered self-directed IRA or trustee. They will help you set up your new IRA, and register it with IRS.

After you set up your gold IRA you will need to decide whether you would like to make a direct transfer or an indirect one, and what funds you wish to transfer. It is easiest to transfer funds from one IRA into another. This process does not require you to provide any additional input.

In general, the best companies offering gold IRAs will have established procedures to guide their customers through the process of rollover. Direct transfers require very little effort from you, while indirect rollovers can be complex. If you are unsure about an indirect rollover where you receive funds before transferring to your gold IRA you can contact your company.

It is easy to roll over money from a 401 (k) sponsored by an ex-employer, since their contribution ceases when you leave your job. Rollovers can be complicated if your 401(k), sponsored by a former employer, has restrictions or rules about rollovers to self-directed IRAs. In this situation, you should call your employer to learn about the rules for gold IRA rollovers.

Indirect Rollover Indirect Rollover

Most of the time, your gold IRA custodian or company will transfer funds from your retirement account into your newly opened IRA. Direct rollovers are possible in several different ways.

  • Your IRA custodian initiating a fund transfer with your approval
  • The 401(k), or existing plan administrator, will transfer the funds to your designated IRA.
  • Receive a check in the name the newly opened retirement accounts and send it to the new institution

A direct rollover involves a little more complexity and requires you to take over the funds. In an indirect rollover your current plan administrator will liquidate all assets and send you a cheque or deposit money into your personal account. This money must be deposited into your new IRA in 60 days or you will have to pay early withdrawal penalties as well as income tax.

The biggest downside to an indirect deposit is the fact that the administrator of your retirement account is legally required to withhold 20 percent of the amount as taxes when they issue the check. This amount will need to be added to your new IRA in order to avoid taxes.

Let's say you want to transfer $20,000 into a brand new IRA. Your account administrator will take 20%, or $4,000 and only pay $16,000. You'll be charged tax penalties if you deposit only $16,000 in your new IRA.

It is best to ask the administrator to write a check payable at the plan or IRA that will receive the funds.

Direct rollovers tend to be a better choice for most people as they are quicker and less likely to make mistakes. Also, you won't need to find extra funding to cover the amount that the custodian withheld.

Some people will consider an indirect transfer if they intend to pay the same amount in an IRA but use the money they receive within 60 days. This 60-day period can be viewed as a self-loan, but it can also be risky. If you do not deposit the correct amount in your IRA within the time frame, you will have to pay a penalty of 10%.

Gold IRA Portfolio Allocation

two hundred grams gold bar and stack of dollar bills

Many gold IRA companies are asked what precious metals they should buy with the money in their gold IRA. Asset allocation, while slightly outside the scope of this gold IRA guide, is a very important factor to consider when you are deciding how much money to transfer into your new account.

Your financial advisor is the best person to assist you in deciding on your asset allocation. Your financial advisor will be able to give you the best advice if they understand your current circumstances and future goals.

It can be advantageous to invest a large portion of your retirement funds in physical assets. Gold is said to be better at weathering economic downturns because it's not tied to the stock exchange or economy.

Gold prices tend to rise in economic downturns, as investors seek stable investments that are not tied to fiat currencies. Gold prices also drop when markets improve and investors return to stocks, bonds and mutual funds. This almost inverse relationship means that, no matter how the markets perform, at least part of your portfolio will increase in value.

Your allocation strategy should also include deciding the percentage of your gold IRA that is made up of precious metals. This will help you determine how much money your IRA can be allocated to physical metals. The IRS allows you to invest in gold IRAs in a variety of ways, including precious metals.

  • Exchange-traded Funds (ETFs), related to precious metals
  • Mining companies that mine precious metals
  • Futures on precious metals
  • Precious metals mutual funds

Set up your Gold IRA

Gold IRAs can be intimidating to set up, but there are many companies who can help you with the process.

These companies will help you to open a new IRA, transfer funds from existing retirement accounts and store gold. These companies can be extremely helpful, but they are not financial advisers. There are many companies that offer customer service and helplines to discuss your options. However, these opinions do NOT constitute financial advice. Instead, you should speak with your dedicated advisor for more tailored advice.

The next step is to fund your IRA. This can be done by transferring money from your bank account. However, you must not exceed the IRS annual contribution limits. This limit is based on all contributions made to your IRAs. If you have already contributed to a traditional IRA you may not be able use a contribution to fund your IRA.

Transferring or rolling over funds from existing retirement accounts is the most common way to fund an IRA. These transfers are tax-free, and do not count towards your contribution limits. You can get help from the gold IRA provider. This usually involves a transfer directly from your 401(k), as outlined in our gold IRA guide.

You can purchase gold and other precious metals once you have money in your account. When you use a gold IRA management company to manage your IRA they will take care of the purchasing, transportation, and storage your gold investment.

You should be aware of the IRS's regulations on precious metal investments. These include the restrictions on what purity gold, silver and platinum you can purchase, as well as where you can keep your gold. You must store your precious metals in a depository approved by the IRS if you plan to use them as part of your IRA. You can't also use your existing precious metals to invest in — you must buy your precious metals using funds from your IRA.

If you are looking for the best company to offer gold IRAs, look for those that have a buyback policy. You can sell your gold to the company in case you want to stop investing in gold or need to liquidate it quickly for any reason.

Find a Gold IRA Custodian

businessman reading documents with magnifying glass

Your IRA custodian will be responsible for the administration of taxation of your gold IRA. This includes tracking purchases and sales, and filing annual reports to the IRS. You may be able handle other aspects of maintaining a Gold IRA but it is mandatory that a self directed IRA custodian maintain your IRA.

Finding a custodian for traditional IRAs is simple. There are many financial institutions that offer custodial service for traditional IRAs.

  • Banks
  • Insurance Companies
  • Mutual Fund Companies
  • Brokerage firms
  • Online investment platforms

Not all financial institutions provide custodial service for gold IRAs. This is because the rules for self-directed IRAs differ from traditional IRAs. The IRS list of non-bank custodians and trustees is a good place to begin your search. It lists more than 50 institutions. Compare options by considering the following:

  • Experience
  • Fees
  • Expertise
  • BBB Rating
  • The Security of Your Own Home

Gold IRA Company vs. Gold IRA Custodian

Gold IRA custodians are institutions or individuals that have been approved by the IRS to hold assets in your IRA. They are not the exact same. The IRS has approved institutions and individuals to hold your IRA assets. They are responsible for the tax aspects of your IRA such as recording and reporting.

IRA companies act as intermediaries between the client and the custodian. They can also handle other aspects of a Gold IRA such as the trading, transportation, and storage of your precious metals. IRA companies typically work with leading custodians, IRS-approved depositories and other industry leaders. This means that the only person you need to contact for setting up and maintaining your IRA is the company.

You won't have to search for a depository or custodian yourself if you choose a gold IRA firm. The company will provide you with a list of its preferred custodians. You can have peace of mind that your assets are being managed by a custodian who is registered with the IRS.

Choosing Precious Metal Products

stack of fine gold and silver coins

IRS regulations are strict on what type of physical gold you can purchase. These regulations include:

  • The purity of the bullion. The minimum fineness requirement for gold is 99.5%, for silver 99.9%, and for palladium, platinum and other metals 99.95%.
  • Bullion can only be purchased from a manufacturer that is accredited by one or more of the major precious-metals exchanges such as NYMEX or COMEX or TOCOM or a government mint.
  • Proof coins must be kept in their original packaging.
  • The condition of the non-proof coin must be brilliant uncirculated.

Coins vs. Bars Coins

Weight is the only factor that determines value when it comes to gold. A 10 oz bullion bar has the same value of a coin that is 10 oz. This can make it difficult to choose between the two.

The size range of bars is greater than that of coins, making them a better investment. A 100 oz gold bar is more affordable than 100 1 oz pieces of bullion because commissions are lower. It's also easier to store.

Coins can gain numismatic worth independent of the gold price.

Taxes in a Gold IRA rollover

You should not be taxed on a rollover of a gold IRA if you do it correctly. Direct transfers are free of tax, and indirect transfers will be tax-free as long as the funds withdrawn from your old IRA are deposited into your new IRA in less than 60 days.

You will only pay tax on a gold IRA transfer if you make an indirect transfer, and do not fund the IRA in full within 60 days. This is considered an early withdrawal by the IRS and they will charge you a 10% withdrawal penalty plus income tax.

Is it a good idea to convert your Gold IRA?

Gold IRAs can be a great way to diversify and protect your retirement portfolio from future market and economic downturns. It's important to consult your financial advisor to determine if you should roll over funds to a self-directed IRA. Contact Learn About Gold if you're interested in working with a pro and receiving a gold IRA guide.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to open a Precious Metal IRA

It is important to decide if you would like an Individual Retirement Account (IRA). To open the account, complete Form 8606. For you to determine the type and eligibility for which IRA, you need Form 5204. This form should be completed within 60 days after opening the account. After this, you are ready to start investing. You might also be able to contribute directly from the paycheck through payroll deduction.

If you opt for a Roth IRA, you must complete Form 8903. Otherwise, it will be the same process as an ordinary IRA.

To be eligible to have a precious metals IRA you must meet certain criteria. The IRS stipulates that you must have earned income and be at least 18-years old. You can't earn more than $110,000 per annum ($220,000 in married filing jointly) for any given tax year. Contributions must be made regularly. These rules apply whether you're contributing through an employer or directly from your paychecks.

You can use a precious-metals IRA to purchase gold, silver and palladium. However, physical bullion will not be available for purchase. This means that you will not be allowed to trade shares or bonds.

To invest directly in precious metals companies, you can also use precious metals IRA. This option may be offered by some IRA providers.

However, investing in precious metals via an IRA has two serious drawbacks. First, they don't have the same liquidity as stocks or bonds. It's also more difficult to sell them when they are needed. Second, they don’t produce dividends like stocks or bonds. Also, they don't generate dividends like stocks and bonds. You will eventually lose money rather than make it.

What are the advantages of a gold IRA

It is best to put your retirement money in an Individual Retirement Account (IRA). You can withdraw it at any time, but it is tax-deferred. You have total control over how much each year you take out. There are many types available. Some are better suited for college students. Others are made for investors seeking higher returns. Roth IRAs are a way for individuals to make contributions after the age of 59 1/2, and then pay taxes on any earnings upon retirement. Once they start withdrawing money, however, the earnings aren’t subject to tax again. This type account may make sense if it is your intention to retire early.

Because it allows you money to be invested in multiple asset classes, a ‘gold IRA' is similar to any other IRAs. Unlike a regular IRA which requires taxes to be paid on gains as you wait to withdraw them, a IRA with gold allows you to invest in multiple asset classes. For people who would rather invest than spend their money, gold IRA accounts are a good option.

You can also enjoy automatic withdrawals, which is another benefit of owning your gold through an IRA. This eliminates the need to constantly make deposits. You could also set up direct debits to never miss a payment.

Finally, gold is one of the safest investment choices available today. Its value is stable because it's not tied with any one country. Even in economic turmoil, gold prices tends to remain relatively stable. Therefore, gold is often considered a good investment to protect your savings against inflation.

What are the benefits of a gold IRA

The benefits of a gold IRA are many. It's an investment vehicle that lets you diversify your portfolio. You can control how much money is deposited into each account as well as when it's withdrawn.

You can also rollover funds from other retirement accounts to a gold IRA. This makes for an easy transition if you decide to retire early.

The best thing about investing in gold IRAs is that you don’t need any special skills. These IRAs are available at all banks and brokerage houses. Withdrawals can be made instantly without the need to pay fees or penalties.

That said, there are drawbacks too. Gold is known for being volatile in the past. So it's essential to understand why you're investing in gold. Are you seeking safety or growth? Is it for security or long-term planning? Only when you are clear about the facts will you be able take an informed decision.

If you are planning to keep your Gold IRA indefinitely you will want to purchase more than one ounce. A single ounce isn't enough to cover all of your needs. Depending upon what you plan to do, you could need several ounces.

A small amount is sufficient if you plan to sell your gold. You can even live with just one ounce. You won't be capable of buying anything else with these funds.


  • Contribution limits$6,000 (49 and under) $7,000 (50 and up)$6,000 (49 and under) $7,000 (50 and up)$58,000 or 25% of your annual compensation (whichever is smaller) (
  • You can only purchase gold bars at least 99.5% purity. (
  • If you take distributions before hitting 59.5, you'll owe a 10% penalty on the amount withdrawn. (
  • If you accidentally make an improper transaction, the IRS will disallow it and count it as a withdrawal, so you would owe income tax on the item's value and, if you are younger than 59 ½, an additional 10% early withdrawal penalty. (
  • (Basically, if your GDP grows by 2%, you need miners to dig 2% more gold out of the ground every year to keep prices steady.) (

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