Gold has long been considered a hedge against inflation, so it's not surprising that people look for ways to invest safely. Not everyone can afford to buy gold outright, but with a Gold IRA investing in gold becomes accessible thanks to the fee waiver. Gold IRAs offer many of the same benefits as gold bullion but also have advantages over other types of investment because they are federally insured for up to $250K.
There are two types of IRAs: Traditional and Roth. You can roll your contributions into an IRA if you already have a 401K or other retirement funds. If you don't, you can contribute money to a new IRA account or transfer money from a taxable investment account into the new IRA. The options are there, but it's important to understand how gold IRA fees work before deciding.
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Understanding Gold IRA Costs
The gold IRA ownership costs can be substantial when you break the account into three primary elements: Set-up, maintenance, and storage fees.
Due to the asset's limited supply and low demand, gold IRA set-up fees are relatively high. Usually, the fees are paid to a custodian or service provider, covering investment management, security equipment, staff training, compliance, and administration. Several companies offer gold IRA services with varying costs, and some even offer set up as part of their fee structure.
The setup cost can vary widely by account type, custodian choice, and how long you hold the IRA with that particular company. For example, some account types will cost more than others, depending on whether they are a higher-risk or lower-risk product. Likewise, if you take advantage of a higher fee structure with a custodian, the fees will also be higher.
The set-up fees are strictly an upfront cost and are in no way paid as ongoing or management fees. Regarding storage, companies normally charge $25+ per month per account in care charges. These charges are reflected in your expense ratio over the life of your account - roughly 1/15th of this cost is subtracted from your total assets each year.
Construction costs can also vary widely by the type and location of the depository you choose to store gold. Some services offer vault construction and storage at no additional cost, while others charge upwards of $2-3 million for such service.
In addition to the upfront setup fees, there are also ongoing annual storage charges. These fees vary by custodian but are normally between $25-$100/per year per account. While these fees seem minimal, they can add up to a considerable amount over time.
When considering the storage costs, you must understand two things: First, whether you choose to outsource or self-store your gold isn't going to affect your expense ratio because it's the same either way; the fee is still pro-rated based on the lifespan of your investment.
Second, to calculate the storage costs, you must include the storage value of your gold. For example, if you have a 200oz gold bar worth $18,000 in storage value and annual storage fees are $25/year per account, the total storage cost is $3350/year. That's a simple calculation, and that's all it takes to get a very good idea of what will be included in your overall costs.
Storage charges are settled in advance annually and are not part of your overall fee structure. The accountant might like the upfront setup fees, but the average investor probably does not.
Maintenance fees are unique because they are part of the overall expense ratio. They vary by account type and custodian, but they will apply to your maintenance and rollover costs, regardless of the business you choose. Generally speaking, if you make a substantial amount of money from your IRA investment, you may be unable to avoid these fees.
Your maintenance fee is often set at a percentage of the account value. The ETF market is quite competitive, and most firms will charge anywhere from 0%-2% annually for their service. Again, it's important to understand that these fees are not part of any pro-rated expense ratio.
While many will argue that gold IRA fees are necessary because of the lack of gold available, others will contend that you can easily get your hands on gold at a lower price than what you are paying for the service.
Management fees vary by type and custodian, similar to the set-up fees. Again, it's important to understand that management charges are not part of any pro-rated expense ratio and generally range from 0%-2%.
Like management fees, compliance is also part of your overall fee in the same way setup and maintenance fees are - regardless of what type of investment vehicle you choose. Compliance fees are charged on all account transactions, including transfers between accounts so that they can add up over time.
Any money withdrawn from the gold IRA is subject to a 10% penalty unless it is physical gold. This can really add up, given how illiquid the investment is.
Gold IRAs are illiquid and come with a margin requirement - an amount you must maintain in your account to avoid death and taxation. The amounts vary by account type and custodian but typically start at a $5 million minimum as of 2016. This means you have to put up anywhere from $4-6 million for most companies to let you use their products.
Gold IRAs and the Cost of Entry
Gold has a 2-3% overall expense ratio, but the costs can vary greatly by account type, custodian, and investment vehicle. Those fees are just the cost of getting into a gold in the first place, and the real costs are derived from keeping your gold as an IRA and managing all of your investments within that account over time.
In addition to these fees, you will also have to allocate some of your investment yearly to cover any required maintenance or withdrawals. This can significantly burden investors just getting their feet wet in the gold market. The costs you incur here are the same for all gold IRAs - self-directed or otherwise.
There is also a real concern about the scarcity of physical gold itself, which leads to speculation on the inflationary impact of the metal.
As gold becomes less and less affordable in relation to other investments, you can be assured that the costs will continue to rise. While these concerns are valid, they are by no means insurmountable. If you want to protect your savings from inflation, investing in Gold IRA is an exceptionally good way to accomplish that goal without having to deal with bank commissions or dealing fees.
If you are looking for a way to protect your savings from the ravages of inflation, you can't beat the gold IRA.
Gold IRAs are unquestionably a viable option for anyone looking to diversify their investment portfolio. They are relatively easy to set up and maintain and offer many benefits that even experienced investors may need to be aware of. Gold is one of the best options you have as an investor in terms of preserving purchasing power over time and giving you the potential for future value gains without putting you on an opposite side of an unwinnable race between inflation and deflation.
The best IRA investment, at least from the liquidity standpoint, is considered the stock market. This is a good example of how illiquid gold IRAs really are because for you to purchase your first share on an S & P 500 ETF, you have to put up $105.
The same thing applies to gold IRAs; whether you choose to use stock or gold makes no difference. The amount of money you need to front before purchasing your first share will vary with several factors, including market risk, current account value, and account type.
On the other hand, investing in a stock market requires you to have $105 to invest, and that's a big difference between investment vehicles.
Gold IRAs were created for two primary reasons: to provide an alternate investment opportunity for people who don't have access to 401(k)s and offer another opportunity for high net-worth investors to create some additional tax benefit through this type of retirement plan.
Many people who do not have the opportunity to participate in a 401(k) plan must be aware that they can establish their own gold IRAs. While most Americans have access to 401(k) plans from their employers, some could lose out on this kind of long-term savings opportunity.
This is especially true for high-risk industries or individuals whose employers don't sponsor retirement plans for them. There are several reasons why a person or business would choose not to offer 401(k) and other types of qualified retirement plans to their employees. Still, in almost all cases, individuals who work in high-risk professions with low wages or no benefits should already be saving for retirement on their own.
Avoiding the headache of IRAs entirely and investing in gold is a viable option for those looking to get into the market without worrying about setup and maintenance fees or dealing with third-party administrators. While gold is only an ideal investment for some, it can be part of a diversified portfolio where you essentially play both sides of the coin.
Many investors have considered gold one of many great investment options in recent years. One benefit many investors and pundits may need to fully see is that gold is safe from inflation. This type of protection comes with a premium when you purchase gold over other investments like stocks, bonds or commodities.
Looking at the overall picture, gold is a good addition to a diversified portfolio where you are already planning on investing in other types of assets. The value of gold is the same throughout time, and so is the cost, and there is no reason to believe that this value will change in any significant way anytime soon.
The general theory amongst investors is that gold has been known to be a great store of value in the past, and it's only logical that someone would want to preserve capital in such a way -- especially someone who needs it for retirement. However, due to the way Gold IRAs work, there are several limitations as far as how much money you can invest in a tax-deferred manner.
The IRS imposed annual contribution limitations for IRA accounts. For 2008, this limit is $4,000. If you wanted to invest $10,000 in a gold IRA account, you would have to open a new IRA each year until you exceed the $100,000 limit ($4,000 a year). You can only keep adding money to the same account, which is permitted.
The reason for the annual contribution limitation in IRA accounts is that the total savings that can be added together at one time should be at most $100,000. This is important because if you don't abide by this rule, your savings will be taxed as ordinary income when you withdraw it in retirement.
If you have a $110,000 IRA collection, $10,000 would be considered an excess over the limit and would therefore be taxed as ordinary income when you withdraw it from your account.
How to Buy Precious Metals With an IRA
Prospective investors should determine the ratio of gold, silver, and platinum in their IRA, and they can then decide which is the most suitable investment, either gold or silver. The maximum quantity of each metal that can be held in an IRA amounts to 100 ounces. The maximum quantity for gold is 300 ounces; for both silver and platinum, it is 10 ounces each.
IRA investors must determine the optimum method of investing in precious metals without incurring unnecessary taxes. This could be accomplished by opening up a new IRA account that holds at least $100,000 in gold or silver as a platform for future transactions involving these metals.
One of the most important factors to consider when buying gold with an IRA is the storage costs. The storage fees charged by most IRAs amounts to 0.375% of the value of each gold purchase. If you buy $10,000 worth of gold, the IRA provider will charge you $37.50 for storage.
Therefore, investors should consider investing in small amounts until they reach a total of $100,000. At this point, there will be no more interest or fees to be charged by the IRA provider for storage purposes because it is over their minimum threshold for charging fees for this service. This explains why many investors prefer to start with a small amount, build up their gold IRA over time and then make larger investments using the same accounts.
Investors should invest in silver before platinum in the early stages of investing in gold. This is because silver tends to be much less expensive than platinum, and its price is usually more stable; therefore, there is a lower risk when trading in this type of metal.
Gold IRAs are self-directed IRAs, so you can buy precious physical metals such as bullion coins or bars. You could also choose a company specializing in holding precious metals, like Goldco or Augusta Precious Metals.
Do gold IRAs have miscellaneous fees?
Yes, Gold IRAs have miscellaneous charges. They charge $50 annually for account maintenance, $10 to get a statement from them, and $35 for a check.
Are fees on gold IRAs tax-deductible?
According to IRS Tax Code Section 408 (4) (B), no fees are tax deductible except costs associated with an investment not made at the recommendation of the IRA custodian. You cannot deduct any costs associated with buying gold or other precious metals from your IRA account.
Are gold IRA fees similar to other IRAs?
Yes, gold IRA fees can vary. The reason is that your investment in gold is not uncapped, so you will have to pay some fee for the total value of your metals.
Are gold IRA fees refundable?
If you have an annual savings goal determined by the IRS, you will have to pay a $50 fee if it exceeds your annual saving goal. For example, if your IRA account has a current balance of $135,000 and your annual saving goal is $25,000, you will have to pay that year's $50 annual fee.
Gold IRAs are more expensive than regular IRAs, so people will have to pay higher fees when opening up gold accounts with their retirement plans. Gold IRAs have higher annual fees than regular IRAs, which means they are less affordable for anyone who wants to preserve their wealth beyond the age 65. Gold can be an alternative investment for an IRA, but it still requires extensive research to avoid tax surprises when you withdraw your IRA funds in retirement.
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