July 29, 2022

Physical Gold IRA

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A physical gold IRA lets you invest in gold for your retirement. Read this guide to find out if it is the right choice for you.

Physical gold IRAs let you invest in precious metals for retirement. You can even save money on taxes.

Investors often hold them as a hedge against their stock-based portfolio.

Before investing your hard-earned money, you should know what they're all about.

What are the benefits? Are there any downsides? How high are the fees?

Read on to learn why investing in a physical gold IRA might work for you. What to look for in a good IRA provider. And which physical gold IRA providers are best.

Let's dive in.

What is a Physical Gold IRA?

If you're new to the ways of retirement investing, you may be wondering what a physical gold IRA is.

A gold IRA is a type of self-directed individual retirement account (IRA).

Now IRAs come in many types, but most people use them for investing in assets like stocks and bonds, mutual funds, and ETFs.

But some IRAs allow you to invest in precious metals. The most common options are gold, silver, platinum, and palladium.

How likely are you to invest in precious metals?

Since IRAs can shield you from paying high taxes, many people use gold IRAs to buy precious metals and invest for retirement.

Did you know the average retirement savings for 30-somethings is only $13,000? The number jumps up to $100,000 for those who are 65 years old. But that's far less than the recommended $1 million at that age. How does your current retirement savings compare? Check these retirement statistics.

The best gold IRA providers offer several types of IRAs. They usually include:

  • Traditional IRAs
  • Roth IRAs
  • SEP IRAs

Depending on your needs, you may have to shop around. But below, you'll learn about the most popular physical gold IRA providers.

Now let's move on to why you might be interested in opening a physical gold IRA account.

The Benefits of Investing in Gold IRA

There are several ways to consider the benefits of opening a physical gold IRA.

  1. Should you invest in gold or not?
  2. Should you invest in gold through an IRA or buy it outright?
  3. And what about the downsides?

Some of it just comes down to personal preference. People have valued gold for thousands of years. Perhaps the color, or the tactile experience, is what draws them.

Other people may be drawn to the history of gold, especially when they invest in collectible coins and bullion. But there are pragmatic reasons to do it as well.

At some point or another, most of us have felt the pain of inflation—of knowing our dollars are losing value every day. And when you're saving for retirement, it's impossible to predict how much the dollar will be worth in 10, 20, or 30 years.

Although the issue seems like it should be pretty cut and dry, experts actually disagree on whether gold stands up better to inflation than the dollar. There are voices arguing passionately on either side of that argument.

For your part, it's best to do your research and decide for yourself. Just know that gold is often perceived as a hedge against inflation.

In 2022, inflation is higher than it has been since the 1980's, according to Pew Research. In May, inflation rose to 8.6% and experts aren't sure when those numbers will decline.

Stock Market Volatility
Perhaps one of the most stressful things about retirement investing is worrying about timing. Anyone who's read much about the stock market likely knows that it has consistently trended upward throughout its history.

But that trend has come with extreme highs and extreme lows.

You can't eat stocks, any more than you can eat gold, which means that when it comes time to retire, you'll need to sell some of your assets.

If you do that when the stock market is high, it's wonderful. You get more money than you might have expected. But if you sell when the stock market is low, you lose.

While gold is by no means immune to market forces, its price doesn't correlate to stocks. Meaning while one is low, the other might be high.

By investing in gold and stocks, you can better protect yourself from stock market volatility.

Hoping to retire early? Or maybe you haven't even considered the possibility of retiring before the age of 65? Well, these days many people are striving to achieve financial independence so they can retire as early as possible. Some are in their 30s and others are in their 20s! Is this possible for you? Check out this FIRE calculator to see if how much you'd need to save every month.

Why Choose a Gold IRA?

Given the benefits of investing in gold, why would you want to put it in a gold IRA? Why not just keep it at home?

The answer is taxes. The IRS considers gold a capital asset, meaning that when you sell it, the government will be taking a cut.[1][2]

Investing through a physical gold IRA means you can pay less in taxes.

With a Traditional IRA, you can invest your income untaxed. That means your investment will be larger, and you'll have a better base to earn from. You only pay taxes when you retire and start taking distributions.

With a Roth IRA, the reverse is true. You invest post-tax dollars, but your distributions are tax-free.

Another way to save for retirement and save money on taxes is by investing in a crypto IRA. Cryptocurrency has been one of the biggest investment opportunities of the century and while you shouldn't invest more than you can afford to lose, you may decide it's worth the time to do some research.

Are there any downsides to a Gold IRA?
If you want to invest in physical gold through an IRA, there are a few potential downsides.

The first is that you can't keep the gold yourself. You'll have to keep your gold in a depository, often one chosen by your provider. But it is possible to visit your gold in many cases, as long as you pay for segregated holding.

The other issue is the same for all retirement accounts: you can't withdraw without penalty until the age of 59 1/2. [3]

Finally, the minimum investment required for a gold IRA tends to be higher than a traditional IRA. This may mean you want to start by checking out Traditional or Roth IRAs.

What to Look for in a Physical Gold IRA?

While many physical gold IRAs have a lot in common, there are some factors to keep in mind that will help you choose between them.

Supported Metals
In addition to gold, precious metals IRAs may include silver, platinum, and palladium.

Minimum Investment
Minimum investments vary by provider but most tend to start at $10,000 with many requiring at least $20,000. But some are over $50,000.

Gold IRAs have various fees associated with the service. Common fees include:

  1. Paying a percentage when you purchase your precious metals.
  2. One-time setup fees with your IRA custodian.
  3. Annual maintenance fees with your IRA custodian.
  4. Annual storage fees with your depository.

Many Gold IRA providers don't list their fees on their website, so you'll need to call a rep.

Years in Business
More years in business generally means more experience and a better reputation. Some Gold IRA providers are decades old, others only a few years.

User Reviews
Resources such as the Better Business Bureau, Trustpilot, and the Business Consumer Alliance can help you find out what people are saying about an IRA provider.

You can't store IRA gold at home, so you'll need a depository.[4] Many Gold IRA providers have relationships with depositories for you to choose from.

Precious Metals Dealer
IRA providers who directly sell metals make funding your account easier, and ensure you buy metals that meet the government's purity requirements.

Buyback Program
If your IRA provider has a buyback program, it ensures you won't have to find a buyer to sell your gold when the time comes to take distributions.

Best Physical Gold IRAs

Now that you know more about how physical gold IRAs work, let's look at some of the best providers.

Augusta Precious Metals
Augusta Precious Metals is a reputable gold and silver IRA provider with a fairly high minimum investment of $50,000.[5] They have a strong reputation, with a majority of 5-star reviews, and offer excellent customer service.

A cost-effective option if you can afford the minimum buy-in, they have low fees and fair pricing. And for those who meet the account requirements, they'll waive their fees for the first 10 years.

You might consider another provider due to their high initial investment requirement.

Patriot Gold Group
Choosing Patriot Gold Group for your gold IRA is an excellent choice if you have only a little money to invest. With one of the lowest minimum investments at $15,000, they also offer an impressive No Fee for Life IRA if you deposit $250,000 or more.

In addition to gold and silver, Patriot users can also invest in platinum and palladium. They have a reputation for quality customer service and offer a range of educational materials.

One reason you might consider another provider is Patriot's lack of transparency. Many details about their pricing and services are not available without contacting one of their representatives.

Goldco is another highly rated gold IRA provider, with a minimum investment that falls between the other two, at $25,000. Goldco offers SEP and SIMPLE IRAs in addition to traditional and Roth IRAs.

Goldco is also fairly unclear about their pricing unless you talk to a representative but has a reputation for quality customer service and support.

You may want to consider another provider if you want to invest in metals besides gold and silver.

Other Gold IRA Providers?

This isn't an exhaustive list, and it's worth shopping around if none of these options suit your needs. Other popular gold IRA providers worth considering include:

Bottom Line

A physical gold IRA is a cost-effective way to invest in gold, silver, and other metals for retirement. You can save on taxes and get access to high-quality, secure storage options as part of your package.

The potential downside of a gold IRA is that you can't keep the metals yourself, and you can't access your investments without penalty until you reach retirement age.


  1. ^ Internal Revenue Service. Topic No. 409 Capital Gains and Losses, Retrieved 7/21/2022
  2. ^ Internal Revenue Service. Investments in Collectibles in Individually-Directed Qualified Plan Accounts, Retrieved 7/21/2022
  3. ^ Internal Revenue Service. IRA FAQs - Distributions (Withdrawals), Retrieved 7/21/2022
  4. ^ Internal Revenue Service. IRA FAQs: Investments "If my IRA invests in gold or other bullion, can I store the bullion in my home?", Retrieved 7/21/2022
  5. ^ Augusta Precious Metals. Are there minimum and maximum orders?, Retrieved 7/21/2022

Jeremy Harshman is a creative assistant at CreditDonkey, a personal finance comparison and reviews website. Write to Jeremy Harshman at jeremy.harshman@creditdonkey.com. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for our latest posts.

Note: This website is made possible through financial relationships with some of the products and services mentioned on this site. We may receive compensation if you shop through links in our content. You do not have to use our links, but you help support CreditDonkey if you do.

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How likely are you to invest in precious metals?
67% Highly likely
11% Less likely
22% Unsure
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