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How to Open a Precious Metals IRA | What You Need to Know

An IRA is an investment account that helps people save money for retirement. While traditional or Roth IRA accounts involve investing in stocks, bonds, and mutual funds, investors can set up a precious metals IRA, allowing them to own physical gold, silver, platinum, and other precious metals in their retirement portfolio.

Precious metals are a great way to secure and diversify your portfolio, as many investors are now investing in these metals through an Individual Retirement Account (IRA).

In this article, you’ll learn how to open a precious metals IRA, invest in precious metals through it, and learn the key factors to consider before making an account.

What Is a Physical Precious Metals IRA Account?

Open a Precious Metals IRA

A precious metal IRA is an individual retirement account that allows people to invest in physical gold, silver, platinum, and palladium as part of their retirement savings. Investors can hold these metals in coins or bars and store them in a third-party depository for maximum security.

This IRA is typically self-directed, which gives you more control over your investments, unlike a 401k plan or traditional IRA. You can buy various precious metals and even physically hold them in your home.

Precious metal IRAs are an excellent option for investors who want to protect their money from inflation or market crashes. However, like any other investment, a self-directed IRA carries risks and might not be suitable for everyone.

How to Get Started with a Precious Metals IRA Account

To get started with a gold IRA, you will need to follow these steps:

  1. Choose a precious metals IRA custodian: A custodian is a financial institution or company that holds your assets and handles the administrative tasks associated with your IRA account. Some popular options include Birch Gold Group, Goldco, and Noble Gold Investments.

  2. Open an account: After settling on a custodian, you’ll have to complete the appropriate paperwork to set up an IRA account. You must disclose your identity, contact details, and financial information, including your annual income and net worth.

  3. Fund your account: Anyone can invest heavily into a Precious Metals IRA in several ways, including moving money from their existing IRA account or 401(k) to a new IRA account or making a direct cash contribution. Talk to your custodian if you want to know how much you can put in each year and for specific guidelines.

  4. Choose your investments: Once your account is funded, purchase precious metals for your IRA. The custodians offer many options, including different types of silver, gold, platinum, and palladium coins and bars. Your broker can advise you on which investments suit your needs and risk tolerance.

  5. Monitor and manage your account: precious metal IRA requires the same careful management as any other investment to guarantee it produces the desired results. To ensure your investments yield the results you expect, you should monitor your portfolio regularly and make any necessary adjustments to your precious metals investment.

Should I Get a Gold IRA?

Whether or not you should put money into a gold IRA is a decision only you can make based on your financial situation and retirement plans.

Here are some possible advantages to investing in a gold IRA investment:

  1. Diversification: Gold’s low correlation to other asset classes, such as equities and bonds, makes it an attractive diversifier. As a result, the portfolio risk may go down.

  2. Potential for the preservation of wealth: Its value may rise over time, which has led to its long-held status as a haven investment.

  3. Potential for protection against inflation: This asset may serve as a hedge against inflation because its value may rise in contrast to inflation.

However, keep in mind that gold and other physical precious metals are not risk-free. Nothing guarantees that gold’s worth will rise or drop over time, and the prices can be unpredictable. In addition, a gold IRA investment also includes storage and insurance fees. 

Before making any significant investments, it’s wise to talk to a financial advisor. A gold IRA may or may not be a good investment, but an advisor can help you figure that out.

IRA-approved Depositories

When investing in a precious metals IRA, it’s crucial to do so at a trusted depository. The Internal Revenue Service recommends keeping your metals in a safe, insured repository, and it would be best if you found one to store precious metals.

You’ll be able to monitor your metals holdings with the help of the depository’s audit trail. A reliable repository and IRA custodian are crucial because they will deliver metals to you.

Many businesses have received IRS approval; you just need to do your homework to find the best one. Therefore, find a reliable depository and a good IRA custodian, so your savings and investments are safe.

Checkbook IRAs

Checkbook IRAs

A checkbook for self-directed retirement accounts gives you more freedom in how and where you invest your retirement savings. Without the involvement of a third-party custodian, a checkbook IRA allows you more significant freedom in investing and managing your money.

You can use a checkbook IRA to invest in various assets like silver coins and other precious metals. Some people prefer to invest in these assets by using a checkbook IRA to have more control over their decision to make investments easier and faster.

With a checkbook IRA, you can get more freedom and speed in your investment decisions. However, with these privileges also come greater accountability and potential danger. Before determining if a checkbook IRA is the best option for you, it’s crucial to weigh the benefits and drawbacks of this retirement savings vehicle.

What Precious Metals Are IRA-eligible?

The IRS has clear guidelines of which metals are eligible for owning in an IRA account. Generally, IRA-accepted precious metals include gold, silver, platinum, and palladium; each must be at least 99.5% pure, like the Canadian Maple Leaf Coins.

Not all metals are IRA-eligible; collectible, rare, and antique coins are generally not accepted as assets in a precious metals IRA. Talking to your IRA custodian for specific guidelines and eligibility requirements is always a good idea.

How to Make Withdrawals from a Precious Metals IRA

There are specific guidelines and rules you need to follow to withdraw from a self-directed IRA. Here are some of them:

Check your eligibility: You’ll need to meet the withdrawal criteria, such as being over 59 1/2 of age, having a disability, or the death of the original holder.

Get in touch with your custodian: Contact your custodian to start the process. They can provide the necessary instructions and forms to complete the withdrawal.

Choose a withdrawal method: There are a few options that you can choose, including taking a series of periodic payments, a lump sum distribution, or a rollover to another IRA account.

Pay taxes: You might be required to pay taxes when withdrawing from your precious metals IRAs. Therefore, contact your custodian and ask for more information on the tax implications to learn more.

Remember that, unlike a Roth IRA, withdrawing early from your precious metals IRA can lead to penalties. Make sure to consult with a financial advisor or a tax professional before withdrawing from your account.

How to Find the Right Precious Metals Dealer

As mentioned before, a precious metals IRA is an excellent way to diversify your portfolio to protect your wealth from economic downturns. However, finding a broker or a custodian to help you manage your investments is crucial.

The first thing you’ll need to do is research your available options and look into the track record of each broker specializing in this type of IRA. After narrowing your list of good brokers, compare their services, fees, and reputation.

Once you’ve found the perfect custodian, register an account and fund it. They can walk you through the process and ensure everything is alright, and when everything’s done, your IRA account will be ready. Also, consider which types of metals they offer and storage options.

Thankfully, we’ve already done the legwork for you!  

—–> Check out our list of the best precious metals IRA companies.

Four Easy Steps to Add Precious Metals to Your Self-directed IRA

Adding precious metals to the self-directed IRA is an excellent way to protect your savings and diversify your retirement portfolio. However, the procedure can seem daunting. Here are four straightforward steps to assist you in starting:

The first step is finding a trustee or custodian specializing in precious metals and self-directed IRAs. Also, make confident you do your research and find it is secure, reliable, ad trustworthy.

Furthermore, the second step is to open an IRA account. You can roll over your IRA funds from a current IRA or open a new one.

The third phase is to buy precious metals. Additionally, make sure you prefer silver and IRS-approved gold bars and coins.

Finally, depositing your precious metals into the IRA is the fourth step. The trustee or custodian will give you instructions on how to do this.

Moreover, adding precious metals to your self-directed IRA is a wise way to ensure a comfortable future and protect your retirement savings. You are all set once you’ve finished these steps!

Required Minimum Distribution Problems 

A required minimum distribution (RMD) is the minimum amount you must withdraw from your IRA every year once you reach a certain age. Its purpose is to ensure that you start using the funds in your IRA for retirement earnings rather than holding them invested indefinitely.

Moreover, if you possess a precious metals IRA, you may face challenges when taking your RMD. Here are some possible issues you may encounter:

Valuation: One likely problem is that the price of the precious metals may fluctuate significantly over a period, making it challenging to determine the worth of your RMD.

Liquidity: Another issue is that precious metals, such as silver and gold, may not be as liquid as other investments, such as mutual funds or stocks. 

Storage: If you own precious physical metals in your IRA, consider keeping them secure to take your RMD. This may involve additional costs for insurance and storage.

It’s always a smart idea to consult with a tax expert or financial advisor if you have questions related to your RMDs. They can assist you in understanding the regulations and requirements for taking RMDs from your precious metals IRA and guide the best course of action for your situation.


Precious metals IRAs can be a fantastic way to create a stable and diverse retirement portfolio. Still, investing in other financial instruments like bonds, stocks, or even precious metals may have risks. Additionally, an IRA account is an excellent option because it’s both tax-advantaged and allows you to diversify your investment portfolio. 

Furthermore, precious metals IRAs give a similar investment vehicle to gold funds, which generally keep the metals themselves but on a much larger scale. Buying metals through an IRA can enable you to diversify your investments and hedge against possible inflation while holding your money funded.

Frequently Asked Questions About Precious Metals IRAs

Below, you can find some of the frequently asked questions from some investors in precious metals.

Can You Contribute to a Traditional IRA and a Precious Metals IRA in the Same Year?  

Yes, you can contribute to precious metals and a traditional IRA in the exact year if you stay within the maximum contribution limit for both accounts. However, you need to be aware that the total contributions to your IRAs cannot surpass the annual contribution limitation or your taxable payment for the year, whichever is less.

Are There Some Expenses Related to a Precious Metals IRA?  

Yes, there are charges related to a precious metals IRA. Additionally, these may include storage fees, transaction fees, and custodial fees. It’s necessary to carefully review the fee structure of any precious metals IRA before determining to invest.

Can an IRA Hold Precious Metals?

Yes, an individual retirement account (IRA) can hold precious metals, such as silver, gold, palladium, and platinum, as assets. This sort of IRA is well known as a precious metals IRA. 

Are the Precious Metals in Your IRA Insured?

Some custodians may give insurance on the precious metals stored in your IRA, while others may not. It’s crucial to carefully review the terms of your IRA contract and understand what insurance, if any, is offered for your precious metals. It relies on the precise terms of your precious metals IRA.