In a regular IRA, you can’t own physical gold, although you can invest in a wide variety of assets that are invested in gold, such as gold stocks or gold ETFs. By opening a self-directed IRA, you can invest in alternative assets such as real estate, physical precious metals, and cryptocurrencies. Not all gold investments can belong to an IRA. The basic rule is that an IRA cannot own a collectible, and precious metals are defined as collectibles, regardless of whether the investment is in gold bars or coins. Luckily, there are exceptions to the general rule for gold, silver, platinum, and palladium, which are held in specific forms.
Second, you can’t hold the gold in your possession. Even though you own it, the gold must be stored off-site in an IRS-approved depot. Your Gold IRA custodian can help you recommend a suitable depositary for your investments. A gold IRA must be kept separate from a traditional retirement account, although the rules surrounding things like contribution limits and distributions remain the same.
If you really think it’s a good idea, at least check out the IRS rules and custodian fees before you deposit gold into your IRA. Because precious metal prices are volatile, using an IRA to invest in precious metal investments becomes more problematic as retirement age approaches and is reached. The IRS has issued private letter rules to major gold ETFs, which state that IRAs may own the ETFs. However, the coins or gold bars must be held by the IRA trustee or custodian and not by you as the IRA owner.
Investors with gold IRAs can hold physical metals such as gold bars or coins as well as securities related to precious metals in their portfolio. Costs of buying and storing gold Once you’ve chosen a specialized, independent gold IRA custodian, you need to remember that there are fees for all aspects of buying, storing, and selling gold. If you’re interested in setting up such an account, you’ll need to look for a specialized custodian or firm that is able to manage all documentation and reporting for tax purposes that are required to maintain a Gold IRA. Examples include American Gold Eagle coins, Canadian Maple Leaf gold coins, American Silver Eagle coins, American Platinum Eagle coins, and gold, silver, platinum and palladium bars (bullion) that meet applicable purity standards.
Required minimum distributions Once you reach the age of 70½, your Gold IRA is subject to a required minimum payout (RMD), just like any other non-Roth IRA account. The ETF is also able to buy, store, and insure gold at a much lower price than you or an IRA custodian bank. Once a traditional IRA owner reaches 72 years of age, the minimum distributions (RMDs) required by the IRA must also be completed. Presumably, a reputable brokerage firm that acts as an IRA trustee will not allow an IRA to buy shares in an unapproved ETF in the first place.
I believe the idea behind storing gold or silver in a Roth IRA is to create a tax haven against such an egregious move by the government. If you suddenly need gold to trade in groceries, you’d need to call your custodian manager first and fill out the necessary paperwork to get access to your own gold.