An Individual Retirement Account can take many forms, but one of the most interesting is a precious metals IRA. Precious metals can add diversity to your retirement portfolio, as it is a hedge against inflation and, in general, it is security against currency instability. It is a hard asset that doesn't have the downside potential of other investments. However, there are a few things you should know about this type of IRA, before you decide to invest.
There are specific metals allowed by the government
The Internal Revue Service makes the rules for what a precious metal is. Gold, silver, platinum and palladium are what you are limited to buying, for your IRA. In addition to the type of metal, there are rules as to the form it can take, and where it is procured. Gold, for example, can be purchased in the form of bullion or coins. But there is also a specific criteria for how pure the gold must be. Gold coins must be purchased that were made at specific mints, because they have a reliable purity content. You are allowed to purchase fractions of an ounce. This is easily done, with bullion, because it is available in more than one size.
You cannot keep the gold yourself
Your IRA account must be with a trustee that is approved by the IRS. In addition, you will need a depository to hold the physical gold. This depository must also be approved by the government. You have nothing to do with the approval. Trustees and depositories have already been approved, by the government. Once you have an account, it is only a matter of buying approved gold and having it transferred to your depository. The trustee is basically the manager of your metals. He or she knows exactly how much you have in your account.
You can have a traditional or Roth IRA
Gold IRAs are available in both the traditional and Roth versions, so you will need to decide which is best for you. Traditional IRA accounts give you a tax deduction each year you contribute to your account, but you will have to pay taxes when you begin to sell your gold when you retire. With a gold Roth IRA, there is no tax deduction, but when you retire, your withdrawals are not taxed. You should know that there are more fees associated with either type of gold IRA. There are fees associated with the trustee and the depository, as well as fees for selling your gold when you enter retirement.
It's easy to get started with a precious metals IRA. You simply find an approved trustee and open an account. You can also roll over an existing IRA account. After this, you need to begin funding the account with the metal of your choice.