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401k to Gold IRA Rollover: Which IRA Gold Company Might Be Best For You?

401k to Gold IRA

Introduction 

Job changes for non-retirement reasons such as when moving to a new employer, into entrepreneurship or for retirement, can potentially complicate your employer-sponsored retirement plan. Of such qualified employer-sponsored plans, the 401k is the most common. So what should you do with it? If you are feeling a little nervous, that is a rational reaction. This process is governed by IRS regulations so it is only natural you would want some certainty that you are doing the right thing. 

Typically, you have four options for your 401k when you exit your current employer. 

  1. If permitted, leave part or all the money within your former employer’s plan.
  2. Move the money into your new employer’s retirement plan if available and if rollovers are permitted.
  3. Cash out while paying the applicable penalties and taxes depending on your circumstances and age.
  4. Rollover the funds into an individual retirement account (IRA). I am going to cover IRAs from this point onward with a focus on gold and precious metal IRAs. But while you are here, check out this brief video touching on the difference between the 401k and IRA.

Finance & Investment Tips : 401k & IRA Differences

Why You Might Want to Rollover Your 401k or Equivalent Plan into an IRA

Investing a 401k into gold ira

 

While each of the four propsoective paths listed in the previous section do have their merits and demerits, there are compelling reasons why rolling over your 401k to an IRA is the way to go.

  1. Greater investment choices - Your investment options for a 401k are greatly limited unless you work for a very large company such as a Fortune 500 corporation. Giant corporations can create high-quality plans. With most employer 401k plans though, your choices will be limited to a number of mutual funds.
    With an IRA, there is a much broader array of investment alternatives at your disposal. That includes exchange-traded funds (ETFs), bonds, stocks, mutual funds, REITs, certificate of deposits and precious metals. For a self-directed IRA, you can even venture into alternative investments including commodities, physical property, and oil and gas leases.

  2. Reorganize the portfolio unlimited number of times - You have the liberty to buy and sell your IRA holdings anytime. I find this a crucial advantage given that 401k plans restrict the number of times you can reorganize your portfolio each year.

  3. Better communication - If you leave your 401k with a former employer, prepare to be treated as a second-class stakeholder. Albeit unintentionally. Most news will be disseminated through the company email which you will no longer be a part of. There is a risk of missing out on important developments that could affect your money.

  4. Lower cost and fees – Moving your 401k into an IRA can be a money saver. I’m talking administrative fees, management fees and fund expense ratios. Fees and costs can easily exceed 1% of the fund’s total assets. An IRA is not expense-free but you have greater control over where and how you will invest.

  5. Cash incentives – Brokers are hungry for your business. To entice you into moving your money their way, they may offer cash bonuses when you rollover your 401k into their IRA. The incentive will usually be dependent on how much you invest.

  6. Fewer rules – Understanding how a specific 401k plan works can be difficult since each company has significant room to establish the plan how they choose. On the other hand, IRA regulations are standardized.

  7. Estate planning – In case you die, your 401k will be remitted as a single payment to the beneficiary. Most plan administrators will want to remit this money quickly. This could inadvertently cause tax and income headaches. IRAs have inheritance regulations too but you have more options.
  8. You can have the best of both – You do not have to roll over all your 401k into an IRA. If you are content with the returns on your former employer’s 401k, enjoy the best of both worlds by keeping some of the money in the 401k and rollover the rest into an IRA. Contribute to both as long as you do not exceed your annual limits on contribution.

Why Investing in Precious Metals is a Good Option for Part of Your 401k

 

Roolover 401k to Precious Metal Independant Retirement Account in 2021

 

For many investors, the allure of precious metals–especially gold–is hard to resist. With a 401k, the closest you can come to investing in precious metals is holding mining stocks, precious metal ETFs, precious metal mutual funds and precious metal futures. 

The opportunity to invest in the actual physical metal is one of the main reasons why you should consider rolling over your 401k into a precious metal IRA. Precious metal IRAs are self-directed accounts with a precious metal broker/dealer as the trustee. They tie the benefits of gold bullion with the convenience of a modern IRA.

A precious metal IRA has a number of advantages.

  • Inflation protection – When you buy precious metals, you hedge against inflation. The value of precious metals do not lose value as much as other assets in times of high inflation. In fact, they could rise as investors rush for the relative stability of gold and silver in times of crisis. 
401k to gold protection your returment funds

 

  • Dollar devaluation – The dollar is the world’s reserve currency but even the greenback can suffer devaluation. Gold and silver often demonstrate an inverse correlation to the dollar. When the
gold prices for 401k rollover
  • Diversification – Looking to diversify your portfolio beyond the more traditional asset classes of bonds and stocks? Precious metals help you do just that. They exhibit minimal correlation with bonds or stocks and therefore provide a buffer against the fluctuation of traditional asset classes.

  • Long history – For millennia, gold and silver have been used as a means of settling transactions. This history has demonstrated a clear record of their ability to store value over time. Better yet, gold and silver are transacted worldwide and have the same value in every part of the globe.

  • No counterparty risk – Paper-based investments carry counterparty risk and could be affected by bankruptcy or default. Precious metals like physical gold and silver carry no such risk.

  • Peace – You want to minimize investment anxiety? The stability of a precious metal IRA gives you that peace of mind you need.

 

All Gold and Precious Metal IRA Companies Are Not Equal. Choosing the Right Company is Key

 

 

Your choice of the precious metal IRA company you are going to be working with is one of the most important you will make when rolling over your 401k. Precious metal IRA companies are not the same. 

Do not take a company’s word for it. To improve your odds of making the right choice, compare different companies across a number of factors. That includes length of operation, customer reviews, fees and any insurance they provide. 

There is no scarcity of precious metal IRA reviews online as well as lists of the top precious metal IRA companies. You cannot trust everything you read online but it is unlikely that a business is falsifying thousands of reviews. The prevailing sentiment whether positive or negative is probably fairly representative of the actual customer experience.

My Top 3 Gold Broker Recommendations

Depending on what your investment objectives are, I consider Goldco, Augusta Precious Metals and Birch Gold as three of the best choices you have out there. Of the three companies, Goldco is our prime recommendation when you are looking to rollover $25,000 or more.

Goldco

Goldco is our prime recommendation if you are looking to rollover $25,000 or more. The company recently received an emphatic endorsement from former presidential candidate Dr. Ron Paul. 

Goldco has built a reputation for personalizing products to meet customer needs. It is known for professionalism, customer service and a collaborative approach with customers to realize retirement goals. With a new ultra-modern storage facility and a capacity to keep your precious metals separated from those of other investors, Goldco strives to provide an accessible and accountable service. 

While the minimum $175 annual fee is higher than many other brokers, you have the benefit of accessing your assets whenever you want to. Goldco will reimburse your storage fees. This reimbursement is shipped to you in the form of like-value silver. Note that this is not part of the IRA and you must pay the storage fees in advance. 

The minimum purchase is $25,000 so that could lock out investors looking to roll over a smaller amount.

Ratings

BBB: A+

Business Consumer Alliance: AAA

TrustLink: 4.8 out of 5 stars based on 253 reviews

Birch Gold Group

For about two decades, Birch Gold Group has been selling precious metals to be placed in an IRA. A leading company in precious metals IRAs, Birch stands out for going out of their way to educate investors on how they can transform their interest in gold, silver, platinum and palladium, into a long-term investment. 

So if you are new to precious metals IRAs and need a broker who will hold your hand, Birch will probably be your best option. 

There are no fees during the first year on transfers exceeding $50,000. Birch has an annual fee of $75 as well as a $1 billion insurance policy that reimburses the unlikely theft of your investment. The broker has a promotion that offers $10,000 in free precious metals depending on how much gold you purchase.

Ratings

BBB: A+

Businecc Consumer Alliance: AAA

TrustLink: 4.9 out of 5 stars based on 126 reviews

Augusta Precious Metals

With Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Montana as its corporate ambassador, Augusta Precious Metals is one of the more prominent gold IRA companies. It partners with the Royal Canadian Mint to bring purer coins to the American public. 

From the start, the broker dedicates a specialist to your account. You enjoy lifetime customer support. One of the key drawbacks with Augusta Precious Metals is that you cannot place an online order. 

The broker may not be as big on consumer education as the Birch Gold Group but it does offer an impressive array of informational material covering effective diversification, inflation protection and the benefits of owning precious metals.

You need to invest a minimum of $5,000 to buy gold or silver from the broker. It costs $50 to establish a gold IRA with August Precious Metals. Annual fees comprise a $100 storage fee and $80 custodian maintenance fee. 

Ratings:

BBB: A+

Business Consumer Alliance: AAA

TrustLink: 4.9 out of 5 Stars based on 256 reviews

How to Start Your 401k to Gold IRA Rollover

Now, to the most exciting part. The process of rolling over your 401k into an IRA is actually simple and can be completed within a short time frame. Here goes.

  • Select a self-directed IRA custodian.
  • Move fast to complete the requisite paperwork to authorize the transfer from the 401k to the self-directed precious metals IRA account. 
  • Contact your 401k plan administrator and notify them of your intention to roll over the money into a self-directed IRA. Once the money has been released, it must be deposited in your IRA account within 60 days for the IRS to deem it a tax-free rollover.
  • Once the self-directed IRA custodian receives the paperwork and money, you could shop around for gold and silver dealers/brokers in line with the type of products you are most interested in.
  • If you agree on and lock a price with a precious metals dealer, the dealer will subsequently invoice the self-directed IRA custodian for the funds.
  • Federal regulations require the precious metal be maintained by a third party such as a depository. The custodian and dealer will organize the transportation of the precious metals to an authorized depository.
  • The custodian will thereafter oversee the precious metal’s storage and regularly issue statements on your holdings.

Some Important Final Notes

Gold in a retirement account must fulfil the requirements set out in Chapter 26, Section 408(m) of the tax code. You can hold gold as slabs or coins in your retirement account as long as it satisfies the requisite parameters for size and purity as defined in 51 US code 5112(a).

That said, whereas you may hold gold in physical bars, these are harder to liquidate when compared to coins. It may therefore be prudent to hold your investment in coins as much as possible. Not all precious metal coins are permitted by the IRS. Approved coins for a gold IRA include American Eagle Gold coin and Canadian Gold Maple Leaf coin.

Many retirement experts recommend that you can have anywhere from 5-20% of your portfolio in precious metals. You may opt to have that entire precious metals allocation in gold only or you could decide to mix it with silver, platinum and palladium.

 

401k to gold IRA review Summary

Looking to diversify your retirement savings? Do you want a retirement plan that is not exposed to the volatility of the stock market or paper currency? Rollover your 401k to a gold IRA. 

This guide is a brief introduction into the process of rolling over a 401k account from a former employer into a precious metal IRA. Nevertheless, you must adhere to specific guidelines. It is important that you discuss your intention for physical gold and silver ownership with the plan’s sponsor to explore what options are available to you. 

Consult your tax professional to ensure you comply with all relevant tax regulations. 

This guide is for informational purposes. No investment advice is being implied or given.

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