Gold IRA Rollovers Guide

gold ira rollover

With so much talk about inflation in the United States, you may have come across an advertisement that glorified these types of retirement accounts. Perhaps you have been enticed to open an account but don’t know how to, or you may want to gain a deeper understanding of gold IRAs before reaching out to one of these companies.  

I did a gold IRA rollover in early 2023, and I’ll share my personal journey through the process in this gold rollover guide.  

Today I will go over everything you need to know about gold IRA rollovers, including what they are, the various types, the advantages of opting for a rollover, and more.

I will also explore the benefits of investing in gold and other precious metals, helping you determine if a gold IRA caters to your financial needs.  I’m Tim Schmidt, by the way, an Entrepreneur for 23 years and looking at early retirement. If you want to safeguard your retirement, this article sheds light on how many Americans are doing just that.  Take five minutes to read the process and use the links here to get a free guide from companies I vetted.  I also disclose who I chose to work with.

Personal Findings
Free Guide 
#1 Goldco
Best Overall Rating (Where I Invested)
American Hartford Gold
#2 American Hartford Gold
Best Buyback Program
Augusta Precious Metals
#3 Augusta Precious Metals
Most Educational ($50,000 Minimum)
Noble Gold
#4 Noble Gold
Best Metals Selection

What Will I Learn?

What Is a Gold IRA?

gold ira rollovers

An individual retirement account (IRA) serves as a long-term savings account that investors utilize to deposit money with the aim of securing their financial future while enjoying certain tax advantages. 

Unlike a 401(k), which is typically sponsored by an employer, an IRA caters to self-employed individuals who lack access to employer-sponsored retirement accounts.

On the other hand, a gold IRA is similar to a traditional IRA, but instead of depositing funds, investors acquire precious metals that are often overseen by custodians.

In the past, IRA holders were limited to purchasing gold and silver for their accounts. However, with the enactment of the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997, a wider range of IRS-eligible precious metals is now available to investors to choose from, including platinum and palladium.

What Is the Difference Between a Gold and Silver IRA and a Traditional IRA?

There are several differences between a gold and silver IRA and a traditional IRA, including the following:

Type of Investment Asset

A traditional IRA allows the account holders to invest in stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and other financial instruments. On the other hand, a gold and silver IRA primarily focuses on IRS-eligible precious metals, such as gold, silver, platinum, and palladium.

Possession of Assets

In a traditional IRA, the account holders invest in financial assets, which are often represented by account statements. On the other hand, in a gold and silver IRA, investors have physical possession of precious metals, which a custodian holds and manages on their behalf.

Tax Implications

Contributions to traditional IRAs, SEP IRAs, Simple IRAs, or SARSEP IRAs are often tax deductible. The same applies to traditional gold and silver IRAs.

However, if you have money invested in Roth IRAs or Roth gold IRAs, you do not have to pay taxes on your withdrawals once you retire, as taxes are already deducted when you deposit money into these types of accounts.

What Is a Gold IRA Rollover?

There are two options investors have when looking to fund their gold IRA, and they are as follows:

  1. Indirect gold IRA rollover
  2. Direct gold IRA rollover

An indirect gold IRA rollover involves the account holder receiving a part of the distribution from their existing IRA and then depositing the money into the new one. They must deposit the funds within 60 days to avoid the tax penalties if they are 59.5 years old or younger.

It is crucial for you to be aware of all the requirements and restrictions associated with gold IRA rollovers. Failure to comply with IRS regulations can result in penalties and potentially trigger an audit of your account.

Don’t worry, if you use the company I used, you are in good hands and don’t have to worry. (More on that later in this guide.)

Specific requirements exist regarding the types of platinum, palladium, gold, and silver that you can acquire within your gold IRA. I will cover this in the subsequent sections of this informative guide.

Is There a Difference Between an Indirect Gold IRA Rollover and a Direct Gold IRA Rollover?

The key difference between an indirect and a direct gold IRA rollover lies in the method and tax implications of the transaction.

As discussed earlier, an indirect gold IRA rollover refers to withdrawing money from your existing retirement account and then depositing the funds into the new gold IRA.  

On the other hand, a direct gold IRA rollover requires the individual to contact their current custodian and request a transfer of funds from their existing retirement account to the new gold IRA. During this entire process, you won’t have to take any action other than signing some authorization forms, as the custodians from both companies will handle the transaction.

The difference between the two is that in a direct gold IRA rollover, the account holder does not have access to the distributions. It is a seamless transaction and carries less risk, as there are no tax penalties involved.

Why Should You Move Your Funds to a Gold IRA?

gold ira rollover guide

I decided that transferring funds from my existing retirement account to a gold IRA was the best strategic decision for several reasons, including the following:

It Helps Diversify Your Retirement Portfolio

Diversification is crucial to protect the value of your portfolio during economic downturns. By solely relying on the stock market, you expose yourself to significant risk, as market volatility can negatively impact your entire portfolio. Investing in various assets allows you to spread and mitigate the risk effectively.  

I sleep better at night knowing I’m diversified.

The best way to diversify your investment or retirement portfolio is by investing in assets that have low correlation or are not correlated.  I discussed this with my advisor and he agreed.

Historically, gold and other precious metals have shown little correlation to traditional assets such as stocks and bonds. In fact, they often have an inverse relationship, meaning that when the stock market performs poorly, the price of precious metals tends to rise.

During rough economic periods, individuals lose confidence in the stock market and store their money in precious metals. This behavior increases the demand for these assets, subsequently elevating their prices.

Investors Have Greater Control Over Their Investments

A gold IRA is a self-directed individual retirement account, which means that you – the account holder – can decide which precious metals you want to buy and add to your portfolio. 

IRS guidelines specify certain types of precious metals that are eligible for purchase within a gold IRA.  But again, you are safe if you invest with who I used.  (Get a Free Consult Here.)

Investors Can Enjoy Tax Benefits

A gold IRA offers the same tax advantages as a 401(k) or a Roth IRA. Investors can benefit from these tax advantages while simultaneously diversifying their retirement portfolio. 

Depending on the type of account, earnings on investments are tax-deferred until you, the investor withdraws the funds upon retirement.

Step-by-step Process on How to Rollover a 401k to a Gold IRA

If you have decided to open a precious metals IRA but don’t know how to, don’t worry, as I’ve got you covered. Opening a new IRA may seem daunting, but in reality, it’s pretty simple.

Follow these steps to open up a gold IRA and start purchasing precious metals:

Do Your Research

The first step is to find a gold IRA company that meets your needs. I’ve provided links to companies I personally vetted throughout this post.  

Under IRS requirements, it is illegal to hold precious metals without a custodian when purchasing through an IRA.

There are many companies operating in the United States, such as Augusta Precious Metals, Birch Gold Group, Goldco, and American Hartford Gold, among others. Each company offers unique services, so it is crucial to research what it offers before approaching them to set up an account.

Choose the Right Gold IRA Company

Once you have done your research, narrow down your options to two or three IRA companies. Read the reviews I wrote in detail to learn more about the company, develop your own opinion, and study what customers have to say about the IRA custodian.

In addition to reviewing customer feedback on various platforms, evaluate the products and services offered by each company. With numerous gold IRA companies in the country, a few distinguish themselves from the rest, which is why I have made a list of the only ones I recommend on this page. Some may provide educational resources, while others prioritize offering their account holders the best prices on precious metals.

Compile a list outlining the pros and cons of the companies you have shortlisted. Consider your preferences and what you are seeking from a gold IRA company. This evaluation will help you select the company that best aligns with your financial needs.

Start the Paperwork

After selecting a gold IRA company, fill out a form using the links on this page and schedule a face-to-face meeting webinar or phone consult to discuss any queries and concerns before starting the paperwork.

Once you are ready to proceed, the company will set up your gold IRA. The staff will provide you with a few documents to fill out and sign before setting up the account.  

Transfer the Funds from an Existing Retirement Account

After completing and signing the necessary documents, the custodian will reach out to your existing IRA company and request that it commence with the rollover process. The custodians of both companies will work together to ensure a smooth transaction.

Start Purchasing Precious Metals for Your Gold IRA

Once the funds have reached the new gold IRA, you can start purchasing the precious metals yourself or appoint a custodian to do it for you. When I chose Goldco and started this process, I found them extremely helpful in helping me decide exactly what to invest in before they began transferring them to a secure depository for safekeeping.

It is important to note that certain precious metals may not meet the IRA eligibility criteria. You should discuss this with your gold IRA custodian before making any investments.

Understanding Gold IRA: Accounts and Custodial Options for Secure Storage

Most gold IRA companies collaborate with secure depositories throughout the United States, where they deliver your purchased precious metals for safekeeping. However, certain companies may allow their account holders to select their preferred storage facility for the safekeeping of their gold and other precious metals.

One prevailing misconception regarding opening a gold IRA is that account holders can retain possession of the precious metals within their homes. 

According to IRS regulations, you cannot store these precious metals at your home, and doing so may result in fines or penalties, as it would be considered an early distribution.

Although there are companies that advertise the option of holding precious metals at home if you establish an IRA with them, it is essential to recognize that such companies leverage legal loopholes to provide this option to their account holders.

Nonetheless, it is crucial to understand that in 2016, the IRS issued a warning to IRA holders. It advised them to refrain from storing precious metals at home, as doing so could lead to penalties and an audit of their accounts.

What Should You Look for in a Gold IRA Company?

The first step to opening up a gold IRA is to research the company, and there are certain characteristics you should look out for, including the following:

Easy Setup Process

The process of setting up a gold IRA should be simple and hassle-free. In most cases, the custodian will handle the paperwork while you request the existing IRA company to initiate the rollover.

Stellar Reputation

With the surge in gold IRA investments in the country, many companies now offer IRA services. It is crucial to check the reputation of the company by reviewing customer feedback, researching the backgrounds of key personnel, and consulting with industry experts.

A gold IRA company with a stellar reputation ensures that you can trust them in matters regarding compliance with IRS requirements. They can help you avoid potential issues and provide regular updates on your precious metals portfolio.

Exceptional Customer Service

You need a company that offers accessible customer service to address your queries and concerns 24/7. Some gold IRA companies have representatives who are difficult to reach once they set up a customer’s account. 

Given that investing in precious metals is a significant financial decision, having reliable experts available for guidance is essential.

Educational Resources and Guides

While most of us are familiar with traditional financial assets like stocks and bonds, many may have limited knowledge about gold investments or how a gold IRA works. 

Some gold IRA companies prioritize educating their account holders by offering free educational resources and guides. These resources can be invaluable for those seeking to learn more about precious metals investing before making a purchase.

Extensive Precious Metals Inventory

Choose a gold IRA company that offers an extensive selection of precious metals, allowing you to choose from a wide range of options.

Competitive Pricing and Transparent Fees

While researching the different gold IRA companies, you may notice that some have not disclosed their fees on their websites. It is important to work with a custodian that maintains a transparent fee policy, ensuring that you are aware of the costs involved before receiving an invoice for your purchase.

Another crucial consideration is competitive pricing. While some companies charge a premium, others focus on providing their account holders with competitive prices. 

However, it’s important to note that companies offering unusually low prices for precious metals may compromise in other areas, such as customer service. Therefore, bargain prices should not be the sole determining factor.

Types of Gold Investments for Precious Metals IRAs

how to execute a gold ira rollover

When it comes to purchasing physical gold for your IRA, there are several types of investments to consider. Each of them has unique characteristics that can affect your liquidity and portfolio performance.

Gold Coins

One of the most popular options for gold investments in an IRA is gold coins. Minted by government authorities, these gold coins are also legal tender with a face value much lower than the value of their metal content.

Some gold coins are rare and may have numismatic value based on the coin’s quality, rarity, and demand, which can exceed the value of their metal content. 

Depending on certain factors, the price of these coins may gradually increase, contributing to the long-term growth of your investment portfolio.

Another key aspect of gold coins is their high liquidity. If you have gold coins in your portfolio and need cash to purchase other precious metals, you can easily sell them without any hassle.

However, it’s important to note that gold coins come at a premium due to their collectible nature, manufacturing costs, and other factors. Additionally, under IRS guidelines, you cannot purchase rare or collectible coins in an IRA.

Gold Bars

Also referred to as ingots, gold bars are rectangular blocks of pure gold that come in various sizes and weights, ranging from 1 ounce to 1 kilogram. 

Gold bars have a lower premium than coins, making them an attractive purchase for your retirement portfolio.

However, gold bars are less liquid compared to gold coins due to their lack of divisibility. If you need immediate cash for purchasing other precious metals, you cannot sell a portion of your gold bar and would need to sell all of it, which may impact your investment portfolio.

Gold Rounds

These are similar to gold coins, but they lack the numismatic value that comes with certain gold coins. Private mints produce gold rounds, which means they do not have a face value and are not legal tender. Gold rounds also cannot have the same specifications as government-issued coins.

Since the value of gold rounds comes from their intrinsic metal content, just like bars, they have a lower premium over spot prices.

Of course, you also have both options available in Silver, and even other metals.

Suggested Reading:  Why is Gold a Good Investment Right Now?

IRS Eligibility Requirements for Purchasing Precious Metals for Your IRA

You can purchase gold coins, bars, and rounds for your precious metals IRA as long as it meets the IRS eligibility requirements. There are countless options in the platinum, palladium, gold, and silver markets, but it is important to understand that the IRS only allows investment in certain types of precious metals.

The following are the fineness standards the precious metals must meet before they’re eligible for purchase for an IRA:

  • Gold must be 99.5% pure
  • Silver must be 99.9% pure
  • Platinum must be 99.95% pure
  • Palladium must be 99.95% pure

The IRS guidelines also prohibit account holders from purchasing rare or collectible coins for their IRA and Swiss Francs, British Sovereigns, and German Marks.

Monitoring and Managing Gold IRAs

To maximize the potential benefits of your gold investments, it is crucial to monitor and manage your gold IRA. By ensuring that you are proactive, you can change your retirement portfolio according to the changing market dynamics.

Regularly monitoring the growth of your gold investments is an essential part of the long-term strategy. It helps you understand the value of your portfolio, assess its performance, and make necessary adjustments. Monitor the price of precious metals to help you make informed decisions when it comes to buying or selling opportunities.

Another critical aspect of managing your gold IRA is rebalancing your portfolio. With time, the value of different assets may shift, which can affect your desired allocation.

In such situations, it is important to rebalance the portfolio to maintain the risk and return profile according to your needs. Periodic rebalancing can ensure that your retirement portfolio aligns with your long-term financial goals and risk tolerance.

If you’ve opened up an account with the best gold IRA company, it will ensure that you are always updated about your portfolio. However, despite that, it is important to note that in most cases, the company representatives are not financial advisors.

You need to work with an experienced financial consultant to help you understand the market trends, assess the performance of your retirement portfolio, and provide recommendations based on your financial goals. A financial advisor can bring a fresh perspective that can help enhance your overall strategy.

Keep yourself updated on the prices of precious metals and the news on the global economy. Remember that factors such as inflation, geopolitical events, and central bank policies can affect the price of gold and other precious metals.

Staying informed about the latest political and economic development in the United States can give you insights and diverse perspectives, which is key in making decisions about your retirement portfolio.

Depending on the market situation, you may want to rollover more funds from your existing retirement accounts to the precious metals IRA to purchase more precious metals.

Besides managing your gold IRA, it is important that you also remain cautious of the risks associated with investing in precious metals. Although they are more stable compared to traditional assets, such as stocks and bonds, they are still susceptible to volatility due to economic conditions.

How Do You Make a Withdrawal from a Gold IRA?

Account holders have two options when it comes to withdrawals, and these include the following:

  • Depository purchase: Upon reaching your retirement, you can ask the custodian or the depository to purchase all the precious metals in your IRA while you withdraw the distributions.
  • In-kind distributions: These involve having the physical precious metals shipped to your address after the distribution.

Whichever option you decide to choose, you need to contact your IRA custodian to initiate the transaction. It is important to note that once you take out the precious metals or distributions, you may have to pay taxes. There is also a penalty for taking distributions before the retirement age.

gold 401k rollover process

Why Should You Invest in Gold?

There are several reasons why investing in gold can be beneficial, including the following:

It Is a Great Store of Value

Gold is an excellent store of value, historically maintaining its purchasing power. Unlike fiat currencies, such as the United States Dollar, which are subject to fluctuations due to economic factors, gold remains stable. It is not directly influenced by geopolitical or economic events. With its limited supply, gold is also an asset that investors trust to hold its value over the long term.

Investing in Gold Can Diversify Your Investment Portfolio

Due to its inverse relationship with traditional assets, investors often allocate a portion of their investment portfolio to gold. Gold can serve as a counterbalance to other investments and even mitigate the losses incurred during poor market conditions.

By incorporating gold, investors can reduce portfolio risk and potentially increase the value of their assets over the long term.

Gold Is a Safe Haven Asset

During economic downturns, investors seek refuge in gold. Its limited supply and tangible nature make it highly sought after in times of poor market performance.

There Is Potential for Capital Appreciation

The price of gold reflects its intrinsic value and demand, and over the long term, there is potential for capital appreciation. Geopolitical tensions, economic instability, currency fluctuations, and other factors can drive the price of gold.

It Is a Great Hedge Against Inflation

In times of high inflation in the United States, the purchasing power of the US dollar can drop while the value of gold remains stable or even increases.

As the value of the currency drops, the price of gold may rise, providing investors with a means to protect their savings by investing in the precious metal.

How Much of Your Investment Portfolio Should You Allocate to Precious Metals?

If you want to invest in precious metals to diversify your investment or retirement portfolio, it is recommended to do so conservatively. Depending on your financial situation, many experts do not recommend allocating more than 10% of your portfolio to precious metals. This is because investing a significant portion of your assets in precious metals would entail unnecessary risks.

Another reason why experts advise allocating no more than 10% of your portfolio to precious metals is that they are “slow” performers compared to other asset classes, such as stocks and mutual funds. While gold and other precious metals historically maintain their value, holding too much of them can impact the growth of a retirement portfolio.

It is also essential to understand that while precious metals are considered “safe haven” assets during times of economic instability, their prices tend to decline as the stock market recovers.

Bottom Line: Should You Do a Gold IRA Rollover?

gold ira funding

As you can see in the image above, I believe investing in gold ira rollovers is a great idea.  That image is proof of my recent purchase for full transparency.  You won’t find this level of information on other articles “guiding” you in this process.


If you’re seeking to diversify your retirement savings and explore investment options that are less volatile than paper currency or stocks, you may want to consider a gold IRA rollover.

Given that the price of gold moves in the opposite direction of the stock market, it can be an appealing asset to invest in, helping to offset losses during challenging economic periods.

However, it is important to remember that investing your entire portfolio in gold or other precious metals is not recommended. As I touched on earlier, experts advise against allocating more than 10% of your assets to precious metals.

Gold IRA companies often emphasize the concept of gold being a safe haven that can help mitigate the losses experienced in the stock market. However, it’s crucial to recognize that gold is not a risk-free investment, as there are certain factors, such as demand and supply, economic conditions, and geopolitical situations, that indirectly affect its value.

For me, I simply looked at the correlated gold prices in tandem with the stock market as well as historical values, and it was obvious I needed to allocate money into precious metals.

Drew Feutz, a certified financial planner with the Market Street Wealth Management Advisors, highlights that precious metals IRAs are costly and carry more risk compared to traditional IRAs. They are typically suited for individuals with a robust portfolio seeking to diversify their investments.  I found the latter to be my personal scenario, which is why I moved forward.

—> Get a Free Investing Guide.


Frequently Asked Questions

What Should You Look for in an IRA Custodian?

The following are some favorable qualities that you should look for in an IRA custodian:

  • Stellar reputation
  • Extensive product range
  • Educational resources and guides
  • Proactive staff
  • Exceptional customer service
  • A buyback program

Is Gold and Other Precious Metals a Risk-free Investment?

Although gold and other precious metals are relatively safe compared to stocks, there is no such thing as a risk-free investment. While gold has shown long-term value appreciation, it also experiences short-term price fluctuations due to demand and supply factors.

Gold is also subject to market risk. If the stock market is performing well, gold and other precious metals may drop in value as investors take their money out of these and invest in stocks.

What Are the Top Gold IRA Companies in the United States?

There are many gold IRA companies in the United States, but according to my own investment and research, I found Goldco the best for gold IRA rollover investments.

However, it is important to conduct your own research and choose a reputable gold IRA company that caters to your needs. Learn more about its features, past customer experiences, product inventory, pricing, fees, and customer service before setting up a gold IRA with them.  Below are links to reviews as well as access to free investing guides.  

Please contact me if you would like to speak with me about my experience.  

Personal Findings
Free Guide 
#1 Goldco
Best Overall Rating (Where I Invested)
American Hartford Gold
#2 American Hartford Gold
Best Buyback Program
Augusta Precious Metals
#3 Augusta Precious Metals
Most Educational ($50,000 Minimum)
Noble Gold
#4 Noble Gold
Best Metals Selection
Tim Schmidt


Tim Schmidt is a Florida-based Entrepreneur and alternative investments expert. He's been sharing his insight on investing for retirement since 2012 and personally owns real estate, precious metals, and real estate in his Self Directed IRA.