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Gold Roth IRA Guide: What You Need to Know

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Investors who want to have an ampler range of choices when it comes to the financial assets that they can incorporate into their retirement portfolios typically resort to self-directed IRAs (SDIRAs).

This type of account lets investors buy alternative assets such as real estate, private businesses, precious metals, and even cryptocurrencies. Gold IRAs are among the most popular vehicles to buy gold, silver, and other similar physical metals to diversify their holdings further.

In this article, we tell you everything you need to know about one type of SDIRA — the Gold Roth IRA.


What Is a Gold Roth IRA? 

With a self-directed IRA, investors have more control over the assets they can incorporate into their investment portfolios, and there are three types of accounts that they can choose from: Traditional, Roth, and SEP.

With a Gold Roth IRA, an investor can buy gold and other precious metals. They can choose among multiple different products such as coins, rounds, and bars to add them to the portfolio as long as they comply with the requirements set forth by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

Gold Roth IRAs allow contributions to grow tax-free, and earnings can be withdrawn five years after the account has been set up with no tax implications or penalties. Meanwhile, unlike Traditional Gold IRAs, investors don’t have to pay any taxes if they decide to withdraw some or all of their contributions.

The value of the holdings within a Gold Roth IRA varies based on how the price of gold fluctuates periodically. Despite being administered and stored at a private depository to comply with regulatory requirements, the gold held in these accounts is 100% owned by the investor.


How Does a Gold Roth IRA Work?

Gold Roth IRAs can be easily opened by contacting a company that offers this type of product. Once the investor has chosen a provider, the necessary paperwork has to be filled out to appoint a custodian, open an account with an IRS-approved depository, and deposit the funds.

Once the deposit is cleared, investors can proceed to purchase the precious metals they would like to incorporate into the account. These assets will be safely stored, and the gold IRA company will provide updated reports on how the value of the precious metals held in the account fluctuates over time.

Traditional IRARoth IRASEP IRA
Tax breakOn pre-tax incomeWhen withdrawnOn pre-tax income
Tax-deferred growthYesYesYes
RMD requiredYesNoYes
Contribution limits$6,000 (49 and under) $7,000 (50 and up)$6,000 (49 and under) $7,000 (50 and up)$58,000 or 25% of your annual compensation (whichever is smaller)
DeductibleYesNoYes
TaxationWithdrawals taxed as ordinary incomeTaxed as ordinary income before contributedWithdrawals taxed as ordinary income
Used ByIndividuals with taxable compensationIndividuals with taxable compensationSelf-employed people, small business owners
AdvantagesContributions are fully taxed deductible if you are not covered by another retirement planYou can take out your contributions and gains tax freeAllows you to save more than a Traditional or Roth IRA

Gold Roth IRA Rules & Guidelines 

There are cases in which Gold Roth IRAs can hold more than just gold, as other precious metals are also eligible to be added to these accounts, such as silver, platinum, and palladium. That said, the US tax-collection agency sets forth some minimum requirements for the products that are eligible for investment purposes.

Only the finest precious metals are eligible to be included in a Gold Roth IRA. However, the exact level of finesse varies for each of the four permitted by the IRS.

  • Gold: it must be 99.9% pure or .999 fine. Purity levels lower than 99.5% are not allowed. Investors typically deem gold as the ultimate financial safe haven during times of economic distress.
  • Silver: must be .999 fine or have a purity of 99.9%. It is seen as an affordable alternative to gold for budget-conscious investors. Silver is also a scarce commodity that is used to manufacture multiple products.
  • Platinum: must have a purity of 99.95%. It is rare, durable, and used as a catalyst in catalytic converters and fuel cells. Platinum is considered more volatile than the latter two metals, but its demand could grow over time amid the adoption of green energy sources.
  • Palladium: must have a purity of 99.95%. This metal is also rare and technological advancements in the field of renewable energies may propel its demand.

Investors have the option to buy either coins or bars to incorporate precious metals into their portfolios. In most cases, government-operated mints are the go-to alternative to buying IRS-approved coins. The United States Mint, Royal Canadian Mint, and Royal Australian Mint are among the most well-reputed establishments that produce these specimens.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is in charge of establishing the rules that regulate how self-directed IRAs function. Roth IRAs operate differently than traditional ones. Here’s an overview of the key characteristics of these accounts.

  • Contributions: You can contribute up to $6,500 per year to a Gold Roth IRA if you’re under 50 or $7,500 if 50 and older as of this year. You can roll over an existing 401(k) or other traditional IRA into a Gold Roth IRA too. These contributions are all made on an after-taxis basis.
  • Tax-advantaged status: With a Gold Roth IRA, your money can grow tax-free and come out tax-free in your golden years. This means more of your money can work for you without Uncle Sam taking a big cut. 
  • Withdrawals: Since the contributions made to a Gold Roth IRA are made on an after-tax basis, they can be withdrawn at any time without any tax implications. In addition, if five years have passed since the account was opened, it is possible to withdraw the earnings within the account as well without paying any taxes either.
  • Penalties: If the account is less than five years old, the usual 10% early withdrawal penalty will apply to any earnings you withdraw, not the contributions. In addition, you will have to pay ordinary income taxes on those withdrawals as well.
  • Special considerations: Same as other types of SDIRAs, there are qualified withdrawals that have no tax consequences or penalties, such as cases when the money will be used for the down payment on a home, for medical reasons, and to pay for birth or adoption expenses.

Best Gold Roth IRA Companies 

In this section, we will be sharing with you our five preferred providers for Gold Roth IRAs in the United States to help you shortlist your candidates. We will provide further details about the services they offer, what they do best, and which type of client may be a better fit for each.

1. Augusta Precious Metals

For more than 10 years, Augusta Precious Metals has been serving customers across the United States by offering access to retirement products such as Gold Roth and Silver IRAs along with an ample catalog of products made of the two precious metals for retail investors. Read our full Augusta Precious Metals review to learn more.

Features

  • Augusta makes available a decent selection of IRA-eligible coins, including American Eagles, Australian Striped Marlins, and Gold Canadian Eagles, along with gold bars of 1 to 100 troy ounces.
  • This provider works with top-notch custodians and depositories. Their preferred picks are Equity Trust and the Delaware Depository, respectively. They offer a seamless onboarding experience.
  • Augusta’s Gold Roth IRAs offer lifetime account support meaning that customers can always count on a representative who can walk them through any issue they may encounter during their journey.
  • Augusta offers access to a vast library of educational materials that were created to help beginner investors in learning more about the caveats and intricacies of gold investing.

Pros

  • Free shipping on eligible purchases.
  • Both gold and silver products are available for customers to add to their portfolios.
  • Augusta offers an ample catalog of IRA-eligible gold coins and bars.
  • This provider has a positive track record of customer satisfaction, as reflected by its online reviews. They also have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB)

Cons

  • Augusta requires a minimum deposit of $50,000 to open an account. This makes it one of the most demanding providers on this particular front.

Who Is August Precious Metals Best for?

Augusta Precious Metals is an excellent choice for wealthy investors primarily who would like to rely on a top-notch gold dealer and Gold Roth IRA provider that has a solid track record of satisfied customers, a decent portfolio of investable products, and some nice perks such as lifetime account support.

In A Nutshell

  • Key Highlight: Exclusive lifetime customer support for its clients
  • Minimum Investment: $50,000
  • Metals Available: Gold and silver bullion and coins
  • Ratings: 5.0/5.0 over 200 reviews (TrustLink); 4.9/5.0 over 100 reviews (BBB) and A+ rating with BBB
Augusta Precious Metals

on Augusta Precious Metals’ website

2. Goldco

Goldco is a Los Angeles-based gold dealer and investment company that offers access to alternative retirement products like Gold Roth IRAs. The firm has been in business for over 17 years and has an impeccable online track record that includes an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Over $1 billion in gold and silver products have been sold by Goldco since its founding. Read our full Goldco review to learn more.

Features

  • Rollovers and transfers are supported by this provider to open a Gold Roth IRA.
  • Goldco requires a minimum deposit of $25,000 to open an account.
  • Investors can also rely on Goldco to buy gold and silver products to be stored privately.
  • Ample selection of available gold coins, including American Eagles, Wright Flyers, Gold Liberty, Gold Phoenix, and more.
  • Gold and silver bars of multiple weights can be purchased with this provider.
  • Positive track record of customer satisfaction as reflected by a 4.8-star rating on Trustpilot.

Pros

  • Over 17 years of experience in the business and a large number of positive online reviews.
  • Ample catalog of gold and silver products that are eligible to be included in a Gold Roth IRA.
  • A Silver Roth IRA is also available for customers who would like to further diversify their retirement portfolios by adding another precious metal.
  • For account balances exceeding a certain threshold, Goldco offers to waive their annual management fees.

Cons

  • Having to set up two separate accounts for adding gold and silver to their Roth IRAs may be inconvenient for some customers.

Who Is Goldco Best for?

Goldco can be a good alternative for customers who have already amassed substantial balances on their retirement portfolios and would like to diversify their holdings by incorporating gold or even silver into their accounts.

In A Nutshell

  • Key Highlight: Exclusive gold buyback program
  • Minimum Investment: $25,000
  • Metals Available: Gold and silver bullion and coins, palladium and platinum
  • Ratings: 4.8/5.0 over 200 reviews (TrustLink); 4.8/5.0 over 450 reviews (BBB) and A+ rating with BBB
Goldco

on Goldco’s website

3. American Hartford Gold

Ranked the #1 gold company by Inc.’s list of America’s 5000 fastest-growing private companies and have shipped over $1 billion worth of gold, American Hartford Gold is one of the no-doubters of the gold dealing business. Along with the possibility of buying both gold and silver directly to be privately stored, this provider also offers the chance to open a Gold Roth IRA. Read our full American Hartford Gold review to learn more.

Features

  • Top-rated provider with an outstanding track record of customer satisfaction that includes an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and a solid 4.9-star rating on Trustpilot.
  • Ample catalog IRA-eligible gold and silver products.
  • AHG requires a minimum deposit of $10,000 to open an account.
  • Live prices for the two precious metals are available on the company’s website.
  • AHG works with some of the best custodians and depositories in the business, including Equity Trust, the Delaware Depository, and International Depository Services.
  • Live support is available 24/7 with this provider, and the process of opening and setting up an account is quite easy.

Pros

  • AHG has ample experience as a gold dealer and has served thousands of customers, delivering over $1 billion worth of gold and silver products.
  • Free shipping on all orders. All packages include travel insured.
  • This provider has one of the highest ratings in the industry on Trustpilot and is also an A+ rated organization on the BBB website.
  • AHG offers to waive customers’ annual management fees for three years if their account balances exceed $100,000.
  • Some prominent characters, including Bill O’Reilly and Rudy Giuliani, endorse AHG and its services.

Cons

  • No other precious metals aside from gold and silver are offered by this provider. 
  • The minimum deposit is lower than some of its peers, but it is still relatively high.

Who Is American Hartford Gold Best for?

By offering to waive three years’ worth of management fees to account holders with over $100,000 in assets, AHG has positioned itself as one of the most appealing Gold Roth IRA providers for wealthy customers who may save hundreds of dollars by choosing them.

In A Nutshell

  • Key Highlight: Exclusive buyback program for existing clients
  • Minimum Investment: $10,000
  • Metals Available: Gold and silver bullion and coins
  • Ratings: 5.0/5.0 over 1000 reviews (Trustpilot); 4.9/5.0 over 267 reviews (BBB) and A+ rating with BBB
American Hartford Gold

on American Hartford Gold’s website

4. Birch Gold Group

It’s been 20 years since the Birch Gold Group was founded, and since then, the company has expanded to 50 states. They offer outstanding customer service, an ample catalog of gold products, and retirement solutions, including Gold Roth IRAs. Read our full Birch Gold review to learn more.

Features

  • Birch Gold Group requires a minimum deposit of $10,000 to open a Gold Roth IRA.
  • This provider works with top-notch partners, including the STRATA Trust Company for custodian services and the Delaware Depository for storage.
  • Birch offers to make the necessary arrangements to let customers visit their appointed depository. This is not something that all gold IRA companies offer.
  • Aside from gold, customers can also buy silver, palladium, and platinum products with Birch.

Pros

  • Birch offers $1 billion in insurance coverage for the assets held in its Gold IRAs.
  • This provider has nearly 20 years of experience in the business and a solid track record of customer satisfaction as reflected by its A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and a 4.6-star rating on Trustpilot.
  • Through its website, customers can keep track of precious metals prices and sign up for a newsletter service to keep learning more about gold investing.
  • Prominent political and financial figures like Ron Paul and Ben Shapiro are endorsers of the Birch Gold Group.

Cons

  • Birch’s educational materials are pretty basic. 

Who Is Birch Gold Group Best for?

Birch would be a good choice for beginners who can take advantage of this provider’s educational resources and partnerships with top-notch custodians and depositories to easily set up their Gold Roth IRAs. In addition, despite not being the lowest in the industry, the minimum deposit required to open an account is not on the high end either.

In A Nutshell

  • Key Highlight: Robust security features
  • Minimum Investment: $10,000
  • Metals Available: Gold and silver bullion and coins, palladium, and platinum
  • Ratings: 4.9/5.0 over 130 reviews (TrustLink); 4.7/5.0 over 70 reviews (BBB) and A+ rating with BBB
Birch Gold Group

on Birch Gold Group’s website

5. Noble Gold Investments

Noble Gold Investments has been around for over 20 years, and its extensive experience includes overseeing over $200 million in assets for its customers along with offering an ample portfolio of gold and silver products that can be added to one of their Gold Roth IRAs.

This provider is well-known by Texans as it is one of the few firms that offer access to a local depository to safely store its customers’ precious metals. Read our full Noble Gold Investments review to learn more.

Features

  • Noble requires a minimum deposit of $2,000 to open an account.
  • A Texas-based depository is available to customers. This facility is operated by International Depository Services (IDS). Customers can visit their premises, and Noble can arrange such visits.
  • The portfolio of products made available by Noble includes 5 gold coins, 6 silver coins, and gold bars of multiple sizes.
  • Products made of other precious metals, such as palladium and platinum, can also be purchased with this provider.
  • An account can be opened with this provider in 5 minutes or less, and the process can be completed online.

Pros

  • Noble requires one of the lowest minimum deposits in the industry to set up an account.
  • An account can be opened online and in a matter of minutes.
  • Positive track record of hundreds of satisfied customers shown by its A+ BBB rating and hundreds of online reviews on Consumer Affairs and TrustLink.
  • This provider offers to waive its annual management fee in the first year for eligible customers.

Cons

  • Noble’s systems are not designed to help customers keep track of the value of their assets.

Who Is Noble Gold Investments Best for?

Noble Gold Investments is a low-cost option for investors who want to open a Gold Roth IRA but don’t have the account balance required by other providers in this list that may ask for a deposit that is 5 or 10 times larger.

In A Nutshell

  • Key Highlight: Unique Survival Packs
  • Minimum Investment: $2,000
  • Metals Available: Gold and silver bullion and coins, palladium, and platinum
  • Ratings: 5.0/5.0 over 120 reviews (TrustLink); 4.9/5.0 over 50 reviews (BBB) and A+ rating with BBB
Noble Gold Investments

on Noble Gold Investments’ website


Costs Associated with Gold Roth IRAs

Investors have to resort to a gold IRA company to open a self-directed IRA and incorporate precious metals into their retirement portfolios. Opening and running these accounts typically generate some additional fees compared to regular IRAs. Here’s an overview of what those additional costs are.

Setup Fees

Some providers may charge an upfront account set-up fee to arrange the necessary paperwork and perform a rollover or transfer if needed. This fee may range from $50 to $500 and the money is frequently used to cover the administrative expenses associated with opening an account with a custodian and depository.

Management Fees

All account holders of an SDIRA must appoint a trustee who will maintain the necessary records of the account, execute the customer’s purchase orders, manage the relationship with the depository, and other similar tasks. These fees may range between $100 and $300 per year.

Storage Fees 

The IRS-approved depository that the customer chooses will typically charge an annual fee for safekeeping the assets held in the Gold Roth IRA. Depending on which type of storage method the customer chooses — commingled or segregated — these fees may go from $100 to $150 per year.

Some depositories may charge additional fees for issuing certified reports on the gold holdings, letting customers visit their facilities, and taking delivery of every new shipment.

Restocking Fees

Most gold dealers offer refunds and returns in case the products they sell arrive damaged or if a customer refuses to take delivery for one reason or the other. However, to process these returns, they will typically charge a restocking fee. This is a percentage fee that may vary from 1% to 5% of the value of the returned goods.

Markups and Seller’s Fees

Gold dealers earn money by adding a premium to the market price of the gold products they sell. Investors have to keep in mind that this is typically an unavoidable cost of adding precious metals to their retirement accounts. These markups may vary between 2% and 5% above the market price. Sellers may offer promotions and discounts from time to time that can significantly reduce the impact of this cost on the purchase price.


IRS Approved Gold for Gold Roth IRAs

Three products are the most commonly picked by investors to add new holdings to their Gold Roth IRAs. As discussed previously, the IRS has established clear rules that indicate which of these alternatives are eligible to be added to a tax-advantaged account and here’s an overview of all the available choices.

  • Gold bars: Gold bars are typically a good alternative for high-net-worth customers who prefer to consolidate their holdings into the lowest number of individual products possible. These bars come in weights ranging from 1 to 100 troy ounces and they are minted by well-reputed establishments like Valcambi, PAMP, and the Royal Canadian Mint. These bars have to comply with the IRS’s minimum gold finesse requirement of 99.9% purity.
  • Gold coins: Gold coins come in multiple presentations and they are typically issued by governments including the United States, South Africa, and Australia. The most popular specimens include the South African Krugerrand, the Canadian Maple Leaf, and the Australian Desert Scorpion.
  • Gold rounds: Rounds are a convenient alternative to coins that are minted by private establishments instead of government-owned mints. Some of the most popular mints that create these products include APMEX and Rosland Capital. The minimum purity requirement for rounds is 99.9% as well.

How to Purchase Gold with A Roth IRA?

We have now shared with you the most important details you need to know about Gold Roth IRAs. Now, you are ready to take the next step, which is opening an account with a gold IRA company and making your first purchase. To make things easier for you, here’s a step-by-step guide you can follow.

Step 1: Determine The Source of Your Funds

Investors have various alternatives to fund their Gold Roth IRAs. They can either make a cash contribution or they can roll over or transfer an existing retirement account like a 401(k) or a regular IRA.

Even though a cash contribution may sound like the easiest way to fund a Gold Roth IRA, keep in mind that the deposit must not exceed the maximum annual contribution established by the IRS. 

Since the minimum deposit required by some Gold IRA companies is higher than that threshold, some investors may find this alternative a bit inconvenient if they have already contributed some money to their existing retirement accounts during the year.

Hence, the most common method used to transfer funds to a gold IRA is through a rollover or transfer. This process involves moving the funds from one tax-advantaged account to the other and is arranged by the former account administrator and the gold IRA company.

A direct rollover involves the direct transfer of the funds from the previous administrator to the new one. Meanwhile, in an indirect rollover, the investor takes possession of the assets and has to deposit them with the new trustee within the next 60 days to avoid penalties and tax consequences.

Step 2: Open A Precious Metals Roth Self-Directed IRA (SDIRA)

We have provided a list of our preferred companies to open a Gold Roth IRA. These providers have been vetted and carefully reviewed by our team and they stand out from their competitors in terms of the diversity of their catalog, time in business, quality of their customer support, and other relevant characteristics.

The process of opening an account can typically be completed online. However, some gold IRA companies may require you to send some of the paperwork via physical mail. 

Some personal and financial information will have to be shared with the gold IRA company and both a trustee and depository will have to be appointed to arrange and receive your account’s gold purchases.

Step 3: Fund Your New Precious Metals Roth SDIRA

If the funding method selected by the investor is a rollover, the previous administrator must be contacted to make the necessary arrangements to execute either a direct or indirect rollover. 

If the funds come from a 401(k), some administrators may only offer the indirect rollover alternative. This is the least convenient of the two as investors will only receive a portion of the funds held in the account and the rest will be withheld and can only be claimed in the next tax filing.

However, if the funds come from another IRA — whether that is a regular or self-directed account — the process will typically be faster as the two administrators will contact each other and arrange the transfer.

Step 4: Purchase Your IRS-Approved Precious Metal

Once the depositor is cleared, investors will have the chance to select which gold products they will add to their retirement accounts. As discussed previously, there are multiple alternatives including coins, bars, and rounds that you can choose from.

Any product that complies with the IRS’s requirements can be added to the portfolio. At this point, factors such as the level of liquidity that the investor would like to have — coins are typically more liquid than gold bars – or the available discounts and promotions at the time of the purchase have to be considered.

Some providers offer free shipping for orders exceeding a certain value. It is often a good idea to wait until there are enough available funds on the account to make purchases exceeding that threshold to save money.

Step 5: Store Metals at an Approved Depository

The IRS requires that investors store the precious metals held in a gold IRA with an approved depository. This is an institution that owns and operates a safe location and follows proper reporting and bookkeeping procedures to comply with the agency’s rules.

All the precious metals purchased for a gold IRA are shipped to the appointed depository. Transit times may vary from 1 to 7 days. These packages travel insured and their contents are concealed by using special packaging materials. The origin of the package is also typically not disclosed.

Some of the most well-reputed depositories include Brink’s Global Services and the Delaware Depository. Once the gold shipment is received, the depository will credit the assets to the customer’s account.


Final Thoughts

Gold Roth IRAs are a great alternative for investors who would like to have more flexibility when it comes to withdrawing money from their retirement accounts. Since the money that goes into them is deposited on an after-tax basis, contributions are treated differently than Traditional Gold IRAs.

These accounts can be used to purchase precious metals to diversify the investment portfolio further. Gold has been considered for centuries a safe haven asset and a stable store of value during times of elevated inflation. Hence, Gold Roth IRAs can be a convenient way to protect the purchasing power of an investor’s money as well.

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