Gold IRAs have been around for a while now, but they are still not widely used by individuals. The first use of IRAs was in 1974 when retirement savings plans were introduced. The idea of the IRA was to provide tax-deferred retirement savings accounts as an option for individuals who do not qualify for pension benefits or private pensions. This allowed investors to save for the future without having immediate access to their money and receive tax deductions and tax deferral until retirement.
What is Gold IRA?
A Gold IRA is a type of Individual Retirement Account (IRA) where instead of the standard stocks, bonds, mutual funds, or even cash that is used as retirement savings, gold investment is made in the IRA. It works much like any other IRA, where the account holder can make regular contributions to the account and earn tax breaks over time. The only difference with a Gold IRA is that it offers you similar benefits as taxable accounts but with the added security of having actual gold backing your investment in case the market crashes.
Different Types of Gold IRAs
There are three types of Gold IRAs: Traditional, SEP, and Roth IRAs. They work a little differently and have different tax implications depending on whether you are in a higher or lower tax bracket.
Traditional Gold IRA
The Traditional Gold IRA is the more commonly used of the two, allowing for tax-deferred growth of your account. This allows you to maintain ownership of your gold which will increase with price gains and decrease with any losses incurred by the market. When you open your account, all of your gold is purchased from the U.S. Mint at the current market price and is then sent to a licensed depository in the state of your choice for storage. When you are ready to cash out your account, you can request its release and receive your gold immediately through insured overnight delivery or send payment with an insurance certificate to the bank which holds your gold. They will release it back to you directly.
The Roth IRA is a more flexible option for holding gold and an excellent choice for those who want to own physical gold as a literal form of savings. With taxes already paid on your original contributions, the principle of the Roth IRA is cashed out tax-free at retirement like IRAs usually do. The only condition is that you have to take out all of your money by the age of 59 1/2 and pay a 10% penalty if you don’t.
SEP Gold IRA
There is also another type of Gold IRA called a SEP Gold IRA. This account is for small businesses that don’t meet the requirements of the other IRAs or the small self-employed and those with a company they run as a sole proprietorship. The only difference is that you can contribute up to 25% of your income without worrying about extra taxes or penalties.
Benefits of Gold IRAs
1. Tax Deferral on Dividends and Capital Gains
Dividends on gold investment compounding are tax-deferred, meaning you do not have to pay tax on dividends until you withdraw the money. Similarly, long-term capital gains on gold investment profits held for one year or longer are also taxes-free.
2. Retirement Income Investment Protection
The IRA gives you a more secure method of investing, as your gold investment is not subject to any market crashes and is insured against theft or damage. You can rest assured that your retirement savings are safe if the market drops.
3. Protection Against Inflation
When you invest in a traditional IRA, the money in your account has the potential to grow and increase with price gains over time. However, inflation can also take a toll on your savings, reducing their real value as time goes by. Gold is a hedge against inflation and sometimes can even offset or outweigh its effects.
4. Tax Deductions and Tax Exemptions
The most significant advantage of owning a Gold IRA is the tax deduction and tax exemptions you get when making contributions to your retirement account. You can deduct $5,000 a year as contributions to your traditional gold IRA as long as you meet specific requirements set by the IRS, but it may be increased up to $6,000 due to inflation.
Roth IRAs also come with similar tax exemptions and deductions if you meet specific requirements, which are even higher at $6,000 for single filers and $10,000 for married couples filing jointly.
Disadvantages of Gold IRAs
1. Higher Risk of Loss
Gold IRA account owners are potentially exposed to higher market risks. For example, if gold prices decrease drastically, you can lose money quickly. Even with insurance offered by Gold IRAs, there is no guarantee that your gold will be returned to you in case of theft or other events. However, these risks can be mitigated by learning to manage your portfolio and investing at the right time during specific market conditions.
Although Gold IRA is free from taxes until retirement, you must pay taxes whenever you withdraw your funds. You will have to pay a 10% penalty if you don’t take out the money within the following year. However, certain exceptions apply with IRAs such as this and may extend this period for some individuals.
3. Gold Inventory
Gold IRA owners must have gold available for delivery to their depository accounts. You must keep at least 3,300 ounces of gold annually in your account. This is typically the “minimum burden” and would generally be the only way to obtain a traditional IRA endorsement for gold. However, there are other ways to establish a Gold IRA without having any gold, regardless of this specific requirement.
Why Can I Fund My Gold IRA?
For most people, the best way to set up a Gold IRA account is to purchase gold and transfer it into an account. However, there are specific requirements that you need to meet to do this legally. The IRS stipulates that you must buy at least $5,000 worth of gold each year, known as the “minimum burden.”
How to Open a Gold IRA Account?
Many firms offer gold IRAs, and you can choose the one that suits you best. The process can be done quickly by filling out a form, making a payment, and transferring your gold into your account. You mustn’t use the same account number for multiple accounts in case the IRS catches up to you on this issue.