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401k to Gold IRA Rollover Guide

A Detailed Guide to a Gold IRA Rollover

Did you know that many people roll over their 401k’s into a traditional or Roth IRA? Have you considered to rollover a 401k to gold? While this may seem a little challenging, it’s much simpler than it looks!

Many people switch to a traditional IRA or Roth IRA when they need to keep their retirement savings in one plan after having left their previous employer.

However, you could also simply be looking to diversify your retirement account. You might want to use assets whose performance doesn’t have a direct correlation to the economy, making it less of a risk.

If this is the case, you should consider rolling your 401k into a gold IRA.

Fortunately, you don’t have to worry about how to go about making the change. There are various gold IRA companies that can help you set up your retirement account in line with your objectives and requirements.  If you want to jump right into a free consult on how that works, we urge you to visit the link below and request a free precious metals investing kit, courtesy of the top rated company in the space.

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After that, see why this company ranks #1 against all other firms in the space by viewing our gold IRA company reviews.  

This gold IRA roll overs guide will teach you the basics:

What Is a 401(k) Plan?

401k to Gold IRA Rollover Guide

The first step in this gold IRA rollovers guide is understanding what a 401k plan is. In 1978, Congress passed an addition to the Internal Revenue Code included in the Revenue Act. This included the definition of a 401(k).

This was passed in order to give people the opportunity to raise deferred tax, meaning that they could pay tax on certain amounts at a future date.

Furthermore, 401(k) plans are investing and retirement savings accounts that an employer sponsors with deferred tax consequences. A gold 401k rollover takes this a step further.

Contributions made to this account are received from the individual’s gross salary and are defined in terms of subsection 401(k). The employee is allowed to invest these funds when and how they want to.

An employer may use a company match to contribute to the worker’s retirement account. While the company match varies based on certain circumstances, it is often expressed in terms of a percentage.

It’s important to note that there is an annual limit on how much you can contribute to these accounts. In 2015, this gross amount was capped at $18,000.

Regardless of how many IRAs you currently own, you may self-direct a rollover from one IRA to the same IRA or another IRA within any 12-month period.

If you want a 401k rollover to a gold IRA, keep reading!

What Is a Gold IRA?

The Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 facilitated the formation of gold IRAs.

A gold IRA holds precious metals on behalf of the account owner and is a type of long-term retirement account. If you’re interested in a regular IRA rollover to a gold IRA, you have to understand this concept.

Gold IRAs hold physical precious metals, such as coins, bars, and bars, while a regular IRA holds paper assets.

While there are various types of precious metals IRAs, you can use a gold IRA to purchase silver, palladium, and platinum.

Keep in mind that gold IRAs are self-directed accounts. This means that you are allowed to diversify your investment beyond traditional IRAs.

You also need to consider the fact that there are specific requirements when it comes to buying precious metals for your gold IRA. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) sets out specific requirements relating to the expected fineness of the precious metal you want to add to your gold IRA.

Therefore, you cannot simply purchase or add any silver, platinum, and palladium coins – they first need to meet the eligibility criteria.

If you want to know more, request a  gold IRA guide that outlines everything you need to know, 100% free to you.

What Is a Self-directed IRA?

Self-directed IRAs are quite similar to regular IRAs; however, there are a few crucial differences you need to be aware of.

The ‘self-directed’ aspect would have to be the biggest distinction. Unlike a regular IRA, a self-directed IRA is not managed by a third-party financial institution, such as a central bank. Rather, the investor can control and manage the account.

Why Should You Opt for a Self-directed IRA?

Most people live standard or normal lives where they have to go to their 9-5 and save their money. In fact, most of us aren’t investors, so our main goal is to protect our money. We simply put our surplus funds in a tax-protected account and let someone else tell us how to invest it, if at all.

Unfortunately, this is why many central banks receive large sums of management fees and why you’re only allowed to invest in a small number of mutual funds that give you exposure to certain assets, such as stocks and bonds.

This is why most investment brokers don’t mention self-directed IRAs when you’re looking to invest your extra money – because they don’t get anything in return.

The purpose of a self-directed rollover is to enable individuals to take control of their finances. Furthermore, people who knew the ins and outs of investments, “real investors,” wanted a wider selection of investment options that fell within their tax-protected savings accounts.

Now, you still can invest in regular assets, such as stocks and bonds, with a self-directed IRA; however, you’re also allowed to invest in other assets, including:

  • Real estate

  • Physical gold, silver, platinum, palladium, etc.

  • Cryptocurrency

  • Promissory notes

  • Private companies

  • Foreign currency

  • Private equity

  • And much more

However, there are still restrictions on numerous asset classes.

What Is a Gold IRA Rollover?

Now that we’ve looked at 401(k) accounts, gold IRAs, and self-directed IRAs, what is a gold IRA rollover? You have to know the gold IRA rollover definition before actually considering it. Well, this actually combines a little bit of everything we’ve already discussed. Simply put, you can transfer your 401k to a gold IRA – it is a gold IRA transfer.

A gold IRA rollover is when your transfer an IRS-approved retirement account, such as a 401k, 403b, or TSP, into a self-directed IRA.

If you’re interested in holding precious metals, you need a gold IRA custodian to administer your self-directed 401k rollover. Furthermore, you need a precious metals IRA custodian who specializes in these types of assets to make the IRA gold transfer smooth.

The gold IRA custodian will have to work with your broker to take possession of your precious metals and to make sure they are IRS-approved precious metals so that you don’t incur any tax penalties.

What Types of Savings Accounts Are Eligible for a Gold IRA Rollover?

Gold IRA Rollover

Do you want to roll over a 401k to a self-directed IRA? The IRS has strict requirements as to what can constitute a gold IRA. Therefore, you can’t roll over any type of savings account into a gold IRA.

The accounts that are eligible include:

  • Traditional IRAs

  • Roth IRAs

  • Self-directed 401k

  • 401k from a previous employer

  • 403b – for non-profit and public school employees

  • 457b – for non-profit and government workers

  • Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) – for military and government workers

If you have a savings account that was created as part of an employee compensation plan for a company that you no longer work for, you may continue with the rollover process.

Current employees over the age of 59 1/2 are eligible for a partial rollover; however, these are quite complex. Therefore, it’s advisable to speak to an experienced custodian before carrying on with the rollover process.

How to Open a Gold IRA Account

Believe it or not, setting up a gold IRA is quite straightforward and simple. The first thing you have to do is find a precious metals IRA custodian.

Keep in mind that non-compliance with this step is a contravention of the law. Therefore, if you want to set up a gold IRA, you need to have a trustworthy custodian.

Augusta Precious Metals and Goldco can assist you with finding a reliable custodian since these are two of the best gold IRA companies in the industry. Alternatively, you can get a referral from your local bank, credit union, or trusted company.

Don’t forget to conduct the necessary due diligence on the companies you’re interested in. This will help you choose the best option for you.

After this, you need to find a precious metals dealer or broker which you can buy gold from. Your chosen custodian will be able to help you with this considering that they’ll have worked with numerous brokers in the past.

Once you’ve decided on a custodian broker, it’s time to open a Gold IRA account and start investing in the precious metals of your choice.

When you reach retirement age, you’ll either be allowed to liquidate your precious metals to get the cash equivalent or you’ll be able to collect them and store them in a way of your choosing. No matter which option you go for, there will be tax consequences, as the IRS considers both of these as distributions.

Why Should You Invest in Gold?

You might be wondering whether gold investments are for you or not. Just like any other type of investment, there are pros and cons. However, investing in gold is often seen as a smart move since it is a form of risk diversification.

Here are a few reasons why you should include physical gold in your retirement portfolio:

Gold Is Not as Volatile as Other Assets

Gold’s value is quite stable during times an economic crisis. It’s not as volatile as other assets. Why? Instead of trying to sell or get rid of gold during an economic crisis, as people do with other assets, many individuals stock up on gold during these difficult times in order to preserve their wealth. Therefore, gold tends to increase in value during times of economic uncertainty.

There Is a Negative Correlation Between the Value of Gold and Stock Prices

Having physical gold in your investment portfolio will combat losses when your stock portfolio drops. History has proven that when the stock market falls, gold’s price tends to increase. Therefore, investing in gold will ensure that you don’t incur major losses.

Gold Protects Your Purchasing Power

Gold is known as an excellent hedge against inflation. Therefore, when inflation rates rise (which they have been doing quite rapidly recently), gold will protect your purchasing power in the market.

401k to Gold IRA Rollover Guide: How to Rollover 401 k to Gold IRA

Now that you know the basics, it’s time to get into how to actually rollover your 401k to a gold IRA.

Once you’ve created your gold IRA, you can start the rollover process. The company managing your retirement account will be able to assist with this.

Firstly, you have to choose between a direct rollover or an indirect rollover.

When it comes to a direct rollover, you’ll move your funds directly from one account to another. This is a fairly simple process with less chance of IRS penalties.

However, if you were to choose an indirect rollover, you would have to withdraw the funds from your existing retirement account and deposit them into your new gold IRA account. You will have 60 days from the date of receipt to transfer the funds to your gold IRA company or custodian.

Failure to comply with the 60-day transfer period will result in tax consequences. This is because the transaction will now be considered a withdrawal.

Furthermore, if you’re younger than 59 1/2, you’ll receive a 10% penalty for early withdrawal.

Irrespective of which type of account you choose, you need to comply with all conditions set by the company you’re working with. These conditions often relate to the application and processing of your 401k gold IRA rollover.

Once you’ve been approved and complied with all requirements, you or your custodian will receive a check from your gold IRA provider. This is the final step of the 401k gold rollover process.

What Types of Gold and Silver Does the IRS Authorize?

As was mentioned above, you are only allowed to make a 401k gold investment if the particular fineness standards are met. This applies to gold coins, silver coins, gold bullion, and other precious metals.

A few of the coins that you are allowed to buy for your precious metals IRA rollover include:

  • American Gold Eagle coin

  • Canadian Gold Maple Leaf coin

  • American Silver Eagle coin

  • American Platinum Eagle coin

All these coins must at least be 99.9% pure or more.

Keep in mind that certain brands, such as the South African Krugerrand, are not allowed if you want a 401k rollover to a gold IRA. This is because these bars and bullion are not pure enough.

How Do You Own Precious Metals in an IRA?

While you own the physical precious metals in your IRA, you do not have possession of it. You have to store your precious metal bullion and coins with an IRA trustee.

In simple terms, you may not store your gold or silver coins in a box under your bed, a safe, or a safety deposit box on your property.

Furthermore, gold IRAs are taxed in the same way as traditional and Roth IRAs. Therefore, if you decide to take physical possession of your gold or silver bullion, you will face tax consequences. However, you are free to transfer your assets within the account to gold, silver, platinum, or palladium.

If you want to make sure you avoid IRS taxes and penalties, you need to store your precious metals in a depository.

Depositories are there to store your precious metal assets safely and to give you access to them when you’re ready to take custody of them.

Is a 401k Rollover Into a Gold IRA a Good Idea?

Investments can be quite daunting. Is a gold IRA rollover a good idea?

If you want to protect your hard-earned wealth by diversifying your retirement portfolio or if you want a stable asset that will combat the volatile stock market, a gold IRA rollover is an excellent option for you to consider.

There are many attractive features when it comes to gold IRA rollovers; however, the fact that it has a lower risk tolerance is a standout feature.

Once again, this is because the price of gold has a negative correlation to stock prices. Therefore, having gold in your portfolio will counteract the negative movement of your paper assets since they generally move in opposite directions.

Diversification is another major factor. You will rarely find an experienced investor who only has one type of asset in their portfolio.

The majority of gold marketers promote gold IRAs as a safer investment by highlighting the differences in price volatility between gold and the paper currency and stock markets. Therefore, it’s safe to say that gold will always have a value attached to it.

Another crucial factor you need to keep in mind is that all types of investment options have a certain degree of risk attached to them. While gold is a fairly stable commodity, its price will certainly increase and decrease in the future.

You also need to consider the possibility of theft. To try to protect yourself against this, you would need to take out insurance coverage, which is an added expense.

As you can see, there are numerous factors to consider when determining whether you roll over your 401(k). You have to weigh the pros and cons and determine whether the benefits outweigh the costs. This will be different for everyone depending on their unique circumstances.

If you’re not sure what the best move is for you, you should consult a financial advisor.

Which Gold IRA Company Should You Use for a Rollover?

A 401k to gold rollover can be complex, which is why you need a reputable gold IRA company to help you navigate the process. What is the best company to rollover 401k accounts?

Fortunately, we have plenty of guides to help you make this decision. From our experience and research, we have narrowed down the various options to two top competitors:

  1. Goldco

  2. Augusta Precious Metals

If you want to convert your 401k to a gold IRA, these gold IRA companies offer free consultations and information.

If you’re looking for a smaller company, a Vanguard indirect rollover could also be an option worth considering.



Goldco is known for its outstanding customer service. All the account representatives go above and beyond to ensure that potential and existing clients are satisfied and have everything they need to make the best investment decision for them. Goldco has the best 401k rollover options if you want to diversify your portfolio.

Augusta Precious Metals

Augusta Precious Metals

Low costs and transparency are two of the standout features when it comes to Augusta Precious Metals. Not only do you know exactly what you’re paying for, but the company also goes the extra mile to ensure that you’re well-informed by offering various educational resources. Augusta is one of the best rollover options for 401k account holders.

Open your free gold IRA account and get bonus features such as low costs, transparency, and outstanding customer service today.

Gold IRA Buyers Guide: Convert 401k to Gold IRA

The point of this 401k to gold IRA rollover guide is to give you a brief overview of the process and what to expect. There are various factors to consider. You need to be aware of these rules, requirements, and guidelines in order to avoid penalties and unnecessary taxes.

We recommend discussing your specific goals, wants, and needs with a professional if you have a 401k retirement account with your current employer and want to own physical gold and silver.

An expert will help you consider the advantages and disadvantages of each of your alternatives.

You can diversify your retirement savings by investing in gold coins and other precious metals. A few other ways you can invest in gold include buying shares in a gold company and gold ETFs.

When trying to figure out what the best way to invest in gold is for you, make sure you consider rolling over your 401k to a gold IRA. This could tick many of the boxes for you.

Apart from the fact that its performance isn’t linked to the stock market, it’s crucial to diversify your retirement portfolio by investing in several classes of assets.

This will protect your wealth from the various uncertainties that this industry carries.