Get Your Gold from a Traditional IRA

  • You can invest in gold as a traditional IRA investment.
  • However, there are restrictions on how you can do it.
  • Gold itself isn't an asset to be held in an IRA.

You can invest in gold as a traditional IRA investment. However, there are restrictions on how you can do it. Gold itself isn't an asset to be held in an IRA. Instead, the gold fund is the actual investment.
Gold as a traditional IRA investment is only allowed in certain types of IRAs, such as a traditional IRA or Roth IRA.

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Gold IRAs vs. Traditional IRAs: An Overview

Gold and precious metals can be a fantastic addition to your retirement portfolio.
However, you probably don't want to buy gold in your IRA yourself - particularly if you have limited investment experience.
Purchasing physical gold is one of the most complex transactions you can make in the financial markets. In addition to having to understand the tax implications, you're also going to need to buy the right amount of gold.
It's best to buy gold in an IRA that is managed by a precious metals company, which simplifies the process.

Gold vs. Traditional IRAs

A traditional IRA allows you to contribute pre-tax dollars to your retirement account. However, there are limits to the amount you can contribute ($6,000 in 2021) and the taxes on any gains made are deferred until you begin taking distributions from the account.
A traditional IRA allows you to buy gold, but there are two stipulations:
1. The gold must be held in a physical bullion form (meaning that gold bars or coins).
2. It must be purchased from an authorized precious metals dealer.

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Pros and Cons of a Traditional IRA

The main advantage of investing in gold with a traditional IRA is that you can buy it with pre-tax dollars. This enables you to defer taxes on your investment gains until you withdraw the money at retirement.
The downside is that if you withdraw the money prior to retirement age, you will pay taxes on the entire amount.


Gold-backed IRAs are offered through many major banks and brokerage firms, and they also can be purchased through most investment firms.
Gold-backed IRAs are some of the most flexible retirement vehicles available. They offer the same benefits as traditional IRAs, and they can be rolled over into other qualified plans.
The asset backing gold-backed IRAs is typically in the form of gold bullion.
The tax advantages of a gold-backed IRA are similar to those of traditional IRAs.
Gold-backed IRAs generally offer lower fees and commissions than other types of IRAs.
Gold-backed IRAs are less liquid than other types of IRAs.
Gold-backed IRAs are risky.
Gold-backed IRAs do not provide the diversification that other types of IRAs do, so they're typically not recommended as a core holding.
Gold-backed IRAs are illiquid, which means it's nearly impossible to liquidate them quickly, if necessary.
Gold-backed IRAs carry more risk than other types of IRAs.

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You pay capital gains taxes when you withdraw funds.
You only have access to the same metals that IRA custodians offer.
You have limited flexibility in terms of investment options.
You are limited in the amount you can contribute each year.

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You can avoid income taxes on the money you contribute.
You have greater flexibility in terms of investment options than if you opened a self-directed IRA.

Gold IRAs vs. Traditional IRAs: An Example

Let's say you contributed $5,000 per year to a Traditional IRA for 10 years and earned an average of 8% annually. After 10 years, you would have $108,000.
If you invested this money in gold, the value of the same investment would be $207,000.
If you invested that same $108,000 in gold at the beginning of each year, you'd end up with the same $207,000.

buying gold in ira

A $100,000 Account

Stock: $100,000
Gold: $100,000
1% Return on Gold
Total: $101,800

Gold in a Traditional IRA can be held as physical bullion, which is stored in a safe deposit box. You can keep the gold in a depository of your choice.

Traditional IRA

A traditional IRA allows you to contribute up to $6,000 per year, or $7,000 for those over 50. The contribution is fully tax-deductible, and any investment gains are tax-deferred until you begin withdrawing funds. If you decide to withdraw money from your traditional IRA before the age of 59 1⁄2, you will have to pay a 10% penalty on the taxable portion of the withdrawal.

Gold IRA

A gold IRA is an IRA that qualifies as an IRA investment because it holds physical gold. A gold IRA is similar to other IRAs, such as a traditional IRA, in that contributions are tax-deferred.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) allows a gold IRA custodian, such as Goldco Precious Metals Inc., to hold gold, silver, platinum, and palladium on behalf of an IRA. As long as the gold is in the form of bullion, the IRA has a tax-free basis. The gold must be held in separate accounts by custodian companies.

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Gold IRA: Should You Open One To Save For Retirement?

The Bottom Line

Gold is historically volatile. The precious metal can lose as much as 40% of its value in a matter of months.
However, investors who trade gold have benefited during bull markets, as gold has typically been a strong performer. Furthermore, gold tends to perform well during long-term market downturns.