If you want to protect your retirement savings and enjoy peace of mind during your golden years, one of the investment alternatives you’ve probably heard of is a silver IRA.
Like a standard IRA, these individual retirement accounts allow holders to enjoy tax benefits and diversify their investment portfolios. However, instead of buying paper assets, such as stocks or mutual funds, you can purchase silver and other precious metals.
Before deciding if this is the perfect investment alternative for you, you have to consider some key aspects.
Are gold and silver investments smart moves for retirement? Should you put your hard-earned money into precious metals? Read on to find the answers to those questions!
Before delving into the benefits of silver IRAs, it is also important to understand what this precious metals IRA account is and how it works.
As mentioned, a silver IRA has the same rules and benefits as the standard IRA you can open at a brokerage firm. However, instead of investing in paper assets, you can buy silver bullion and other precious metals.
When you open a silver IRA, you’re putting your money into a self-directed IRA. Therefore, you can also have more freedom when managing your assets, and you aren’t limited to what a broker offers.
FYI – Here is our list of the top Silver IRA companies.
In other words, a silver IRA is an IRA with a silver investment type. As long as the products are approved by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), you can hold any precious metal you like in your retirement account.
Besides precious metals, you can also buy mutual funds or exchange-traded fund that invests in silver, silver options, and shares of silver mining companies.
Types of Silver IRAs
Since a silver IRA account is a self-directed IRA, it can be traditional or Roth. These are the main differences between the two types:
Traditional IRA: It’s funded with pre-tax dollars. If you choose this type of silver IRA, you only have to pay income taxes when you withdraw money from the account once you reach the age limit set by the IRS.
Roth IRA: It’s funded with post-tax dollars. Therefore, you don’t have to pay taxes when you withdraw money from your silver IRA in retirement.
In both types of silver IRAs, your investments grow tax-free. As long as you keep the profit in your account, you aren’t taxed, even if you decide to sell the precious metals.
Also, both types are governed by IRS rules in terms of contribution limits. In 2023, the annual contribution limit for an IRA account is \$6,500 or \$7,000 for those 50 or older.
Also Read: Is a Gold IRA a Good Idea?
Advantages of Opening a Silver IRA and Buying Precious Metals
Opening a silver IRA can give you many benefits if you hope to save for retirement and protect your money. Here are some of the most common:
Hedge Against Inflation and Recession
Firstly, gold has intrinsic value, and its price has continued to rise over the years. Therefore, this precious metal provides a hedge against inflation, recession, or economic volatility.
While currency value tends to fall over time and is vulnerable to sudden market movements, history has shown that silver and gold prices have gone up.
Over the last century, silver and gold prices have increased 10-fold. Meanwhile, the value of the paper dollar has fallen by 90%. That’s why investing in a precious metal IRA is a smart move for those who want to protect their money against negative economic events.
Furthermore, buying silver coins also means you’re safeguarding your purchasing power over time.
If you have a standard IRA, you can only invest in paper assets, such as bonds and stocks. While these assets can give investors high returns, they’re more susceptible to extreme markets.
However, silver has become a highly sought-after asset, as it holds its value over time. Unlike paper assets, when you invest in a gold or silver IRA, there is no risk of your metals losing value and being affected by volatility if the stock market falls.
A diversified portfolio is highly beneficial for everyone, especially for those who want to save for retirement and have enough money when the golden years arrive.
Also, having a diversified portfolio with assets that are loosely correlated with each other can protect your money against wild market movements. If the value of one investment falls for some reason or another, your other assets’ prices don’t plummet.
When you invest in precious metal IRAs, you must comply with IRS regulations. These rules state that the silver you can buy must have a specific purity level.
While you can hold non-collectible silver bars and coins in these accounts, each product must be at least 99.9% pure. IRA-eligible silver coins include the following:
American Silver Eagle
Australian Kookaburra Silver
Canadian Silver Maple Leaf
Australian Silver Vienna Philharmonic
Mexican Silver Libertad
Complying with IRS regulations may seem complicated at first. However, it guarantees that all your assets are of the highest quality, which also benefits your investment.
Huge Growth Potential
Another advantage you can enjoy when opening a silver IRA is that this precious metal has experienced an exceptional rebound in recent years. Also, thanks to its increasing demand, it is unlikely that the silver price will go down anytime soon.
Silver is highly used in technology. Actually, it’s one of the essential materials to produce electronics. As the world gets more technological and these devices become more and more popular, the demand for silver continues to grow.
The same is true in the industrial sector. Silver is strong, has electrical and thermal conductivity, and can withstand high temperatures. Therefore, it’s highly used for different industrial applications.
More than half of the global demand for silver is linked to these industrial applications. In addition, this metal is also widely used to manufacture jewelry, fine art, dinnerware, and more.
Hedge Against Depreciation
If you diversify your portfolio and include silver in your investments, it can also act as a hedge against depreciation, which usually affects paper assets.
With a silver IRA, you can diversify your portfolio and protect your hard-earned money against inflation and depreciation, since this precious metal is not tied to any particular currency. Also, banks and governments cannot manipulate silver prices.
Even in tough times or when there is economic uncertainty, silver has performed well. That’s one of the reasons why it continues to be a highly sought-after asset among investors.
Finally, there are tax benefits. If you want to enjoy some tax advantages while saving or investing for your retirement, a silver IRA may be a good investment alternative for you.
In addition to the tax benefits these accounts offer, you can also fund them through a silver IRA rollover, which promises even more tax advantages to holders.
Here are some of the tax benefits you can enjoy if you roll over a silver IRA:
All investments you can make in your precious metals IRA are exempt from taxes on capital gains
Silver IRA accounts allow holders to enjoy the same tax-deferred growth potential as standard IRAs, meaning your earnings can multiply and grow tax-free until retirement
The dividends and interest earned through your investments in silver or other precious metals are also tax-free
Disadvantages of Precious Metal IRAs
While opening a gold and silver IRA to hold physical precious metals can bring many benefits, there are also some drawbacks linked to these accounts. These are the main ones:
There Are No Rents, Dividends, or Interest
Unfortunately, silver doesn’t provide interest, income, or dividends to investors. It can be a great disadvantage for those who prefer to invest in high-yield assets.
If you buy stocks, for example, you can credit your annual dividend check to your individual retirement account. There, your money can grow tax-free until you decide to retire.
Another option is to reinvest that money to enjoy the benefits of compounding. If you choose this alternative, your interest can earn interest, making your retirement pool grow over time.
However, when you invest in silver or gold, you can only earn a return in the form of capital gains when silver prices rise, but predicting that this will happen is almost impossible.
Also, if you open a traditional IRA instead of a Roth IRA, you must start receiving your minimum distributions as soon as you turn 70.5. Therefore, to comply with these IRS rules, you will likely have to sell your precious metals.
If the price of silver has fallen for any reason when you liquidate your assets, you could get less money than you paid to buy the precious metal. Thus, you must be careful!
Silver IRA Custody Restrictions
Investing in precious metals sounds tempting when you think about having tangible assets for your retirement. However, it doesn’t actually happen when you open a silver individual retirement account.
Under IRS rules, no one can buy precious metals for themselves or keep silver coins at home. Also, you can’t transfer the money you already have in your retirement account to a new one. Instead, you must do all transactions through a custodian.
Although working with a custodian can give you more security since they take care of shipping, insurance, and purchases, you never see or have the metal you buy in your hands.
Many fear their precious metals will be vulnerable to theft and loss if they aren’t stored at home. However, these risks can be mitigated by choosing a reliable dealer and a trustworthy custodian.
High Costs and Fees
The process of opening a gold and silver IRA account can be another drawback. Once you’ve chosen a trusted custodian, all you have to do is fill out a few forms and deposit the funds into your account via direct transfer or a silver IRA rollover.
However, opening this precious metal IRA account and buying silver bullion can be expensive, as you have to pay some fees, including the one-time initiation fee and costs related to storage and administration.
Depending on the location and reputation of the storage facility you choose, fees can range from $250 to $500 per year. In addition, you must pay a custodian fee and cover insurance-related costs if you want to keep your precious metals protected.
Final Thoughts: Is a Silver IRA a Smart Investment Choice?
Silver and gold IRAs can be highly beneficial to those expecting to save for retirement and protect their money against market movements.
As mentioned, opening a precious metals IRA account is an excellent way to diversify a portfolio and protect your investments even when there’s economic uncertainty. Therefore, if you put your retirement funds in one of them, you can be sure that your money won’t lose value over time.
Also, you can enjoy some tax benefits, especially if you make a silver IRA rollover. However, if you still have doubts about whether a precious metals IRA is a good investment alternative for your retirement, you can seek help from an expert financial advisor!
What Are the Benefits of Self-directed IRAs?
Since they’re self-directed IRAs, precious metal IRAs offer these benefits:
Tax benefits on your investment’s earnings
Greater flexibility in the investments you can make
Select investments with higher appreciation potential
Greater diversification of funds in different retirement accounts
How to Choose a Reliable Precious Metals Dealer?
If you want to choose a reliable precious metals dealer to open an IRA and buy silver or platinum coins, this is what you should do:
Check what previous clients say about its services
Take a look at its product catalog
Check if it’s honest about its fees
Should I Choose a Traditional IRA or a Roth self-directed IRA?
Both accounts offer tax advantages. If you decide to open a Roth gold self-directed IRA, your contributions won’t have tax deductions, but you can make tax-free withdrawals later, for example. Therefore, you must consider your investment objectives to make the right decision.