What Is a Gold IRA Rollover?

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Knowing the answer to “What is a gold IRA rollover?” is a fantastic way to learn how to hedge your retirement funds against inflation.

Instead of falling victim to volatile market conditions and other issues of debasement, gold IRAs are a helpful solution.

Whether you’re a first-time investor or a seasoned professional looking to diversify your portfolio, these retirement investment accounts are ideal.

This guide will help walk you through the essentials of a gold IRA to help you better protect your retirement plans.

We’ll answer questions like what a gold IRA rollover is, how it works, and how you can begin to set up a retirement portfolio today.

What Is a Gold IRA?

A self-directed IRA for gold is a relatively simple investment that anyone can use to their advantage, as long as you have money to invest.

It’s an investment account that lets you purchase precious metals, such as physical gold, platinum, silver, and palladium.

Since you’ll be investing in physical products, many find that it is one of the better ways to protect their retirement against inflation.

With a gold IRA, your accounts will be subjected to many of the same rules as a traditional IRA. For example, some accounts can be tax-deferred until withdrawal.

However, there are also restrictions, such as early withdrawal penalties, how the gold investments must be stored, and so on.

Not only does a gold IRA help protect your retirement savings against inflation, but it also offers a few other considerable benefits, including:

  • Protection from devaluations of currency for your physical gold bars
  • Reducing investment risk by adding diversification with gold prices
  • Extra protection against government seizure
  • Many of the same benefits as traditional IRAs

What Is a Gold IRA Rollover?

If you already have an established retirement account, you should consider looking into a gold IRA rollover.

This process is when you take your existing investment portfolio, such as a 401(k), Roth IRA, or SEP IRA, and roll it into precious metal coins or bullion bars.

Doing so can help hedge your saved income against economic uncertainty.

You will withdraw funds from your account and bring them straight into your new precious metal product IRA during the full or partial rollover process.

That said, you have 60 days to do so once you withdraw the funds, or you could be subjected to significant penalties.

When you switch to a gold or silver IRA, you will need to redeposit the funds through a new custodian or administrator.

What Are the Rules of a Gold IRA Rollover?

Before you sign up for a gold IRA rollover, you must first consider the IRS-specific rules you will have to follow. These restrictions and requirements include:

Transfer Time

When clients decide to go through with a gold IRA rollover, they must reallocate the paper assets within two months or 60 days.

This means the money must be withdrawn from the old financial institution and deposited into their new gold IRA within this time frame.


If you do not reallocate your old retirement savings into your new gold IRA, you could be subjected to a 10% early withdrawal penalty and a tax penalty.

This only applies to individuals under 59.5 years of age.


Taxes are another important penalty to consider when rolling into a new self-directed retirement account.

It could be classified as ordinary income if you do not bring over the funds within 60 days. As such, you could be taxed based on your income tax brackets.

Number of Rollovers

If you’ve decided to do a gold IRA rollover, you must know you can only do one rollover for every 365 days in a calendar year.

Tax Withholding

A major benefit of this process is that you won’t have taxes withheld from your savings if you move from a personal IRA to another IRA.

learn what is a gold IRA rollover

What Is a Gold IRA Transfer?

When trying to learn about gold IRA rollovers, you may have heard the term “gold IRA transfer.” The two processes are relatively the same, with some distinct differences.

A transfer is a risk management strategy when moving your investments between two retirement savings accounts.

As earlier mentioned, you must follow specific rules when doing a gold IRA rollover; when doing a transfer, the rules are much laxer.

When you choose to do a transfer, you will be moving your retirement investments from one custodian to another.

You won’t receive any money during this process, as the funds are directly transferred between third-party precious metals dealers.

It is a straightforward and elementary way to switch from one account to another and is often a simpler solution than a gold IRA rollover.

What Are the Rules of a Gold IRA Transfer?

The primary difference between a transfer and rollover is that the distributed money never reaches your bank account.

Since you’ll never touch the money yourself, you will find the rules for gold IRA transfers are far less invasive.

To give you an idea, let’s look at the transfer rules you will need to consider.

Transfer Time

Unlike a gold IRA rollover, transfers are not held by a 60-day transfer rule.

As your investment moves from one custodian to another, it should be a relatively quick and transparent process.


There aren’t any early withdrawal penalties that you will have to worry about if the gold transfer isn’t complete within 60 days.


When switching your money from one custodian to another, the distributed funds aren’t subjected to taxes.

Number of Rollovers

Account owners can make as many transfers as they want within a calendar year.

Tax Withholding

No taxes will be withheld from your retirement investments when doing a gold IRA transfer.

Gold IRA Rollover vs. Gold IRA Transfer: Which Is Better?

As with any investment account or process, the preference for how you move your money depends on the account owner.

Because of its simplicity, many people prefer to go through a gold IRA transfer instead of a rollover.

There is far less room for human error, and you won’t have to worry about managing the process.

There is room for error when doing a rollover, such as forgetting to roll over your funds before 60 days.

Considering significant penalties associated with late rollovers, you could lose a considerable chunk of your retirement.

It is also important to note that a rollover gives you access to all of your savings, which can be tempting for many.

On the other hand, a transfer is done through third parties, keeping your investments safe and secure.

Some people might not prefer this method, as they want to manage their funds’ rollover.

Regardless, as long as you complete your gold IRA rollover within 60 days, the two processes are relatively similar.

What Is a 401(k) to Gold IRA Rollover?

As earlier mentioned, another solid choice is to roll your existing retirement savings, like a 401(k), into a new gold IRA.

With a 401(k) to gold IRA rollover, you can transform a traditional investment strategy into a more protective savings option.

Account owners can opt to roll over their funds from a self-directed or employer-sponsored 401(k).

It is important to note that although it is available, there are different rollover rules you will need to follow during this process.

For example, rolling funds from a current employer-sponsored 401(k) into a new gold IRA can be slightly challenging.

On the other hand, a former employer-sponsored 401(k) to gold IRA rollover should be straightforward.

If you have decided you want to take your current employer-sponsored account, you will need to read your policy’s fine print.

Please note that some employers have 401(k) agreements that prevent employees from investing in gold while employed.

A quick chat with your employer or HR department can also be beneficial to discuss whether a gold IRA rollover is permitted.

How Do I Start a Gold IRA Rollover?

With a good idea of what a gold IRA rollover is and how it can diversify and benefit your retirement savings, it’s time to start the process. 

This guide will go over the steps from rolling your 401(k) over into a new gold IRA.

Step 1: Find a gold IRA company.

The first thing you will want to do before withdrawing your funds is to find a gold IRA company with outstanding reputations.

There are many great names, such as Augusta Precious Metals, American Hartford Gold, and Goldco.

You will want a gold IRA company to manage the rollover process with you, offering step-by-step instructions to make the process considerably simpler.

A few massive benefits you’ll have with gold IRA companies to avoid market volatility include:

  • Competitive buyback prices
  • Reputable five-star reviews
  • Straightforward setup process for beginners
  • Access to storage with insurance coverage
  • Buying and selling a wide variety of physical metals
  • Access to competitive fee structures
  • Help with educational resources to learn about refined bullion
  • Direct and indirect rollover options for account owners

There are plenty of other important factors to consider in your chosen gold IRA company as well, including:

Knowledge of Assets

Nothing is more important than working with financial advisors who know physical gold prices.

Your chosen gold IRA company should know the ins and outs of their accounts and what investment products are best for you.

They should be the most knowledgeable people you work with during the signup process.

Precious Metal Selection

Having an assortment of precious metals to choose from to manage your investments is of the utmost importance.

A larger inventory means you have a better chance of diversification. Also, ensure all gold, silver coins, platinum, and palladium coins are IRS and IRA-approved.

Storage Facilities

After purchasing your precious metals for investment, you will need a secure storage facility with competitive storage fees.

Your gold IRA company should have a list of reputable storage facilities for you to choose from to keep your financial goals safe.


Instead of finding a custodian on your own, your reputable gold IRA company should suggest a trustworthy one.

Your custodian will be responsible for keeping track of your paperwork and transactions to give to the IRS and yourself.

They are also responsible for managing the purchasing and selling of precious metals for your retirement strategy.

Step 2: Open your account.

Now that you have a reputable gold IRA company behind you, it’s time to open your retirement portfolio.

This should also be done before you withdraw money from your preexisting 401(k) or traditional IRA.

Working alongside the gold IRA company you’ve chosen, their administrators should help you facilitate the process of buying physical metals.

When signing up, you will need to choose which precious metal IRAs interest you from the rollover company and where you want your gold stored.

It is also important to confirm the total minimum investment you will need when opening the account.

Some precious metals companies require $0 for account opening, while others require a $20,000+ minimum.

Step 3: Begin the rollover.

Now, it’s time for you to roll over your traditional 401(k) or IRA into your new precious metals IRAs. Again, your precious metals specialist can assist you with this process.

You can also choose an IRA transfer instead of a rollover option when the company handles the asset custody services for you to avoid a financial penalty.

When doing a direct rollover, you will need to complete a lot of paperwork to prove you have deposited the gold and silver products truthfully into your new account.

It can also take a little more time than a transfer, as you’ll need to receive the withdrawn funds and redistribute them to your new precious metal asset.

Once your rollover is complete, you can purchase IRS-approved precious metals for retirement.

Final Thoughts

Answering “What is a gold IRA rollover?” is the first step to making your investment portfolio much more diverse.

By managing an account with less risk, you can ensure you have a reasonable nest egg waiting for you once you reach 59.5 years of age.

The benefits are considerable, whether you opt for a gold IRA transfer or a gold IRA rollover.

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