Although the global economy can at times appear to be on the mend, it can still be extremely unpredictable. If you have investments in a variety of traditional retirement accounts, including both an IRA and 401k, you already know how a volatile economy can wreak havoc with your savings.
Fortunately, there is a way to avoid many of the ups and downs that are characteristic of bonds, stocks, and other paper-based investments. Opening a precious metals IRA account is a great way to insure your investments are safer so you will actually have money to live on when you retire.
All investments are a gamble. That’s just the way it is. However, precious metals tend to be more stable than other types of investments. Considered by industry experts as a “defensive asset,” investing in gold, silver, and other precious metals can give you more peace of mind when it comes to planning your golden years.
What Can Be Included in a Precious Metals IRA Account?
If you decide to open an IRA in precious metals, you will have to know what kinds of metals are approved for investment. Gold, silver, platinum, and palladium are the main metals approved for IRA accounts. However, there are some restrictions on what types of gold, silver, platinum, and palladium that can be invested. This protects the integrity of the investment.
Currently, the only gold coins and gold bars accepted in an IRA are those that have a purity of 24 karats. The only exception to this rule is the 22-karat US Gold Eagle. Gold coins must originate from the United States, Australia, Canada, or Austria. In addition, gold bars must be hallmarked by a COMEX- or NYMEX-approved refiner to guarantee their authenticity. You will find gold bars in various sizes, ranging from one ounce to 400 ounces.
Silver is another popular precious metals investment and can be in the form of bars or coins. The only silver allowed to be invested though, are bars and coins with 0.9999+ fineness. Some examples of the coins that are allowed in precious metals accounts include the one-ounce US Silver Eagle, the Mexican Silver Libertad, and the Canadian Silver Maple Leaf. Silver bars are available in 100 ounces and 1,000 ounces. US silver coins that were minted prior to 1965 are not allowed to be invested in IRAs.
While gold and silver represent the bulk of investments in IRAs, you can also choose to invest in platinum and palladium. Coins of these metals must be 0.9995+ fineness and include one-ounce coins minted in the United States, Canada, Great Britain, and Australia. You can also find platinum and palladium bars that range in size from one ounce to 100 ounces. These bars, like gold bars, must be marked by a COMEX- or NYMEX-approved refiner.
Rolling over a Traditional IRA:
If you’re interested in converting your traditional or Roth IRA into a precious metals IRA, you can do so without much trouble at all. Since IRAs are not linked to employment, you can make the decision to roll your current investments over to a precious metals account at any time. To make this happen, simply contact a company that handles rollovers and request the transfer. You will likely have to pay some custodial fees to the company maintaining your account.
After you establish your IRA account, the physical metal is taken to the company’s vaults, where it will be stored until the account is closed or distributions are taken. At that time, you can choose to have your savings dispersed to you in actual gold, silver, platinum, or palladium, depending on your actual investment or you can ask the company to send you a check for the equivalent value. You will be required to pay taxes on the amount you withdraw at that time.
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