Golden Coins on Pile

Why Gold IRAs Might be the Best Way to Protect Yourself Financially Into Old Age

Gold IRAs and 401k gold investing very well might be the best choice for you and your family when it comes to protecting your cash and saving it for a rainy day. Few investments are more secure than gold and with interest rates being a shadow of what they once were, this is becoming an increasingly appealing prospect…

In this post, we’ll examine why 401k gold investing is such a good option, how it works and what your options are!

Why You Need to Invest in Your Future

If you're not thinking about your retirement savings, then you might be making a big mistake. Putting away money for your retirement is one of the most important things you can do to ensure you will be financially secure in your older age, able to enjoy your retirement and able to support your family.

Woman Lining Up Coins in Pillars

Likely you have worked hard your entire life, dreaming of the day when you can retire from your stressful job and spend your days travelling the world, reading good books and generally relaxing! If you don’t have any form of investment lined up though, this might be a pipe dream that never comes to pass as you find yourself living on small amounts of money and keeping the heating off into the winter months to save dollars.

So you need to invest your money and thereby invest in your future. And this will at the same time give you the assurance of knowing you’ll never be completely financially destitute. It also means your partner and your family will one day get to benefit from your foresight and planning.

But with investments being less secure than ever, it's easy to get stressed while thinking about this topic – which is why many people would rather just not think about it at all! The economy and the stock market are so volatile that it's almost impossible to guarantee that a financial investment will be secure from hyperinflation and the falling dollar and there are even more complicated and worrying problems on the horizon that threaten to damage it again in future.

If you put your money into a cash ISA or any other form of savings account, then the interest you’ll accrue will likely be very low – lower than ever before in fact and possibly even so low as to be effectively negligible.

Man in Suit Putting Money in Piggy Bank

So you might choose to put your money into a regular pension scheme or similar. Again though, this option isn’t what it once was and there have been many high profile cases of big pension companies going bankrupt and their customers losing all the money they paid in (look up Equitable Life). Some annuities can still be profitable and reliable but you’ll still lose the potential earnings and flexibility you would have gotten from investing your own money.

This gives you the option of creating an investment portfolio by buying stocks and shares. This though is perhaps the least secure option with the economy in its current state. Unless you really know what you’re doing and you’re willing to sink a lot of time and money into it, investing in stocks and shares can be a seriously risky business.

But with gold IRAs it's a different story. Why? Because these are not financial investments, they are physical investments and that means they can go up in value even when the economy is in a recession.

Read this post to learn more about what makes gold such a great investment. Or read on to learn about how to start investing in it yourself with a gold IRA rollover…

What is a Gold IRA Rollover

You will likely either know what a gold IRA is, or at least be able to work it out from the name. This is an IRA (individual retirement account) where you will be investing in gold to keep your money secure. But what about 'rollover'?

Spilled Coins from Jar

The term 'IRA rollover' describes the process of moving – or rolling over – the assets from one IRA account into another or a 401(k). A 401(k) is a retirement savings plan that’s sponsored by your employer. You can find more information about these here and we’ll talk more about 401(k) to gold IRA rollovers later in this piece.

In this case you'll be moving money from a regular IRA to a gold IRA.

Existing IRA -> You -> New IRA

The process here is slightly different from the process of transferring money between other accounts however as the money can't be moved directly via a check seeing as it’s not going to be staying in a cash format. For that reason, it's handy if you can find a gold IRA company that's willing to handle the process of rolling over for you, rather than you seeking out gold to invest in individually. This is what is generally thought of when you refer to the term ‘Gold IRA’.

What are the Advantages of a Gold IRA Rollover

Gold bullion IRAs have numerous advantages over other IRAs that don't have physical assets. Here are just a few of the benefits:

IRA & Floating Cash Illustration
  • Gold IRAs are not dependent on government decisions – such as the decision to print more currency, which can damage the value of the dollar
  • Gold IRAs are safe from hyperinflation
  • They aren't devalued by fluctuations in the value of currency caused by other events (like the recent decision in Britain to leave the EU)
  • They aren't devalued by fluctuations in the value of currency caused by other events (like the recent decision in Britain to leave the EU)
  • They have a significantly greater chance of gaining value rather than losing it
  • Gold doesn’t get put out of business by competition and gold doesn’t go bankrupt or suffer from bad PR

Another advantage is the option to rollover your assets into a gold IRA without triggering tax penalties. The right company can help you to do this so that you don't lose any of your money.

There are a couple of requirements however:

  • Once started, rollovers must be completed within 60 days
  • You can only rollover the same assets once every 12 months, otherwise you will lose your tax deferred status

Clearly then, doing a rollover is preferable to transferring money as you won't lose your tax deferred status. A rollover is the best option for converting assets into a gold IRA and a great way to invest your money simply, easily and without incurring too many fees.

How to do a Gold IRA Rollover

So you want to get started with a gold IRA rollover? What's the next step?

Sorting Gold Bars in Gloves

The most important first thing to do is find a company that can handle the process for you and that is reliable and efficient. These companies are known as 'custodians' and they should be able to help you with the following:

  • Purchasing gold approved by the IRS on your behalf
  • Setting up a self-direct IRA for you
  • Storing your gold somewhere secure once purchased
  • Helping you to perform rollovers while avoiding tax penalties

Doing your research first though is highly important as there are many companies out there that use underhand methods and have been accused of fraud. Make sure that you research the company and their track record before making your choice. Just look online to try and find gold IRA reviews and where possible, choose companies that you can trust. You can also check out our book reviews which offer useful advice and tips on how to go about choosing a custodian.

How to Transfer 401k to Gold IRA Rollover

We’ve addressed how you can move your cash assets from a savings account and rollover to a gold IRA. But what about going from a 401k to a gold IRA rollover?

Three Eggs on Dollars Illustrating IRA Rollover

If your savings are in a 401k, then they may not be safe. As with many other forms of investment, this option is no longer what it was.

Unfortunately, 401ks are no longer a secure option for savings and there have been countless cases of hard working Americans losing money invested in this way due to the recession. Many have been forced to work long after their retirement age just to pay the bills.

There are many issues with 401ks that make them unsecure options. Including:

  • Vulnerability - 401ks are highly vulnerable to factors that are outside of your control, such as hyperinflation and the falling US dollar.
  • Administrative Costs - It is very expensive for employers to provide 401ks and often they will pass these costs on to you in the form of various fees.
  • Risky Investment Options - 401ks offer you a variety of investment options but these are typically all somewhat risky. All these options are vulnerable to factors influencing the economy and the dollar as described above.
  • Complex Tax Laws - 401ks come with a number of complicated tax laws and when you combine the taxes you'll pay with fees, they become significantly less viable.
Gambling Dices Next to Pocket Watch

For all these reasons, 401ks are often not the best choice for your investments. Fortunately, there are better and safer options out there: such as gold IRAs.

Why Transfer 401k to Gold IRA

There are lots of advantages to having a gold IRA that make it a far better option compared with 401ks. Once again, these are very similar to the benefits that come from any gold IRA rollover. Here are some examples:

Protection from Hyperinflation - Gold is resistant to hyperinflation and even if the government prints more money, it won't affect your investment.

Increases in Value During Recessions - While financial assets and many physical assets will suffer during harsh economic times, gold actually tends to do the exact opposite and has been proven to increase in value in most cases.

Deferred Taxes - Taxes are much simpler and more affordable with gold IRAs. When you use these accounts you will get a tax deferred status until you decide to withdraw.

Transfer or Rollover

You’ll also once again have the option to rollover your assets or transfer the money the ‘old fashioned’ way.

IRA Transfer or Rollover Illustration

Transfer

When transferring money between savings accounts you will often do so directly using check or similar. Unfortunately, this process also often means you lose your tax deferred status or will be stilted in how much you can transfer.

Rollover

When you move your money into a gold IRA however, the process is different. Here the money will go from your current IRA, to you and then to your new custodian (the company handling your gold IRA). This might sound more complicated but the big advantage is that you don't lose your tax deferred status so there is nothing extra to pay.

This makes a rollover significantly better than a transfer as you don't risk having to pay hefty taxes.

There are some regulations to consider though, such as the 12 month limit discussed earlier.

The best gold custodians will handle this process for you while making sure that you meet all these requirements and avoid any tax penalties. Shop around to find a company that offers rollover services and your life will be made significantly easier!

So how do you find one of those then?

How to Choose a Gold IRA Company

As we’ve seen, gold IRA companies can help you to protect your savings and offer one of the surest ways to keep your hard-won cash safe, while also offering the best returns on your investment.

Looking in the Sky Inside Circled Building

Investing in the wrong financial assets is the surest way to lose your savings and this can be devastating for you and your family. While many financial assets have suffered lately though, precious metals have managed to retain their value and have even risen in value in some instances.

But just as important is choosing the right custodian to avoid large fees or even risk losing your money.

What Does a Custodian do

To be successful investing in gold and other precious metals, you need to first choose the right Gold IRA to manage your accounts. These custodians will perform three critical roles:

Hand Giving Dollars
  • Buying gold that the IRS approves
  • Setting a self-directed IRA for you
  • Physically storing the gold somewhere that it will be safe and secure

Custodians may also offer a range of other services. They might help you to rollover existing IRAs into gold IRAs for instance while helping you to avoid tax penalties.

Picking a qualified and competent gold IRA company is absolutely crucial and will make a huge difference to your investment's security and returns. Look for a company that has great reviews, customer service and rates and you can be sure that you're in safe hands.

Finding a Trustworthy Gold IRA Company

When you're looking for the best Gold IRA Company, it's critical that you look for an organization that is honest, transparent and committed. Reading gold IRA rollover reviews is a good way to ensure that the company you're thinking of dealing with has a good track record.

Finger Showing on Charts on Tablet

Beware of the 'bad apples' that occasionally crop up. Some Gold IRA companies have a history of fraud, scams and general bad business.

If you mistakenly go with one of these companies, you will risk losing thousands of dollars.

Take time and care in researching these organizations and their history. This site will help you to do just that through in-depth reviews that look at each company's customer ratings, policies and reputation. Arm yourself with information and you will be in the best position to make the right decision.

There are also a few more steps you can take to ensure that a company has a clean record:

  • Look for BBB (Better Business Bureau) accreditation
  • Check the BBB score
  • Check their BCA (Business Consumer Alliance) rating
  • Check their TrustLink rating

Services, Fees and Security

Of course different companies will offer different services and different fees. Once you have selected a few companies that seem trustworthy, you should then compare precisely what they're offering.

Stored Gold and Silver Bars

Here are some things to ask:

  • Do they handle Gold IRA rollovers? (Only relevant if you have an IRA)
  • Do they allow investments in precious metals other than gold? Which ones?
  • How are they storing the metals? Is it secure?
  • What are their buy back, guarantee and delivery policies like?
  • Do they use flat rates or scaling fees? (Flat rates being the preference in most cases)

Some companies might allow you to buy gold but won't necessarily handle the set-up and management of your account, so ensure that they definitely offer all the services you're looking for.

Security is particularly important here because you really don’t want to find out that your gold was stolen! You should be able to find details about how the gold is stored and how security is maintained. Ideally, the vaults should be regularly checked and you also want to make sure that any gold shipments are handled by armored vehicles and preferably with armed escorts.

Another thing to consider very highly is the delivery policy. Some custodians will allow you to order your own gold and should deliver it within 7 days. This isn’t always the case however – some take a lot longer and some won’t deliver it at all. While it’s not likely that most of us will ever want to store our gold bullion under our beds, it’s worth looking into this as it is your gold after all and you should have the option at least to do that should you ever choose to!

Shop around for the price of gold in order to get the best deals. A good gold IRA should be constantly keeping up to date with market conditions and offering up-to-date information. You can check the price of gold yourself by looking at sites like GoldPrice.org. Comparing a few custodians is often a good tip generally though. You also need to look at what the markup is and how transparent the companies you’re dealing with are about that.

Holding Gold Coins with White Gloves

Fees of course refer to the amount you’ll be charged for storing the gold and the fees associated with things like buying the gold and cashing it out. Ideally, you want a flat rate rather than an increasing rate – meaning you’ll pay the same for smaller orders and bigger orders. Again, shop around and make sure you aren’t paying over the odds. Gold IRA reviews will help you here too.

Finally, the buy back guarantee is very important. This is because the buy back guarantee tells you how much the company will pay you to buy the gold back off of you – and whether it will buy off you at all.

Of course having a lot of gold is only useful if you can eventually liquidize that asset and you’re not going to want to do that by flogging your wares on a street corner! Looking for a buy back guarantee will ensure you can easily and conveniently sell your gold back to the custodian for a fair price.

Other Ways to Invest in Gold and Precious Metals

When shopping around for the best gold IRA, it’s also worth looking at precisely what it will let you invest in. The most common option here is gold bullion but it’s also actually possible to invest in gold coins with a gold IRA and even other precious metals like silver!

Gold Bullion on Scale

Of course there are also many other ways you can invest in gold. Read our detailed guide to investing in gold to learn more about buying gold bullion, gold coins and paper gold. 

Sometimes, this will literally entail going to pawnbrokers and finding gold jewelry or collectible coins you can buy and then store – you need to be careful here though to make sure that the items you buy will retain their value. Some IRAs and even 401(k)s will even let you add gold to those accounts.

However you go about it, investing in gold is a great way to make sure your investment portfolio is that little bit more stable and to invest in something tangible and easy to understand. A gold IRA rollover is a particularly good way to go about this and is a great choice for many people who want to safeguard their futures.

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