Can I Take Physical Possession of Gold in My IRA?

  • An IRA account is a smart way to invest for retirement.
  • Buying gold stocks can help to diversify your portfolio.
  • Gold stocks are those that offer exposure to gold.

For those who are interested in taking physical possession of their gold, IRA accounts are an excellent option. Gold is, after all, one of the safest investments around. As such, it is an excellent asset to have in an IRA account.

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Rules Regarding Gold and Other Precious Metals

The IRS has specific rules regarding gold and other precious metals in IRAs.
First, there are limitations on the amount of gold and other precious metals that can reside in an IRA. The limit is 5% of the total value of your IRA's assets.
Second, although there are many types of IRAs, there is only a single type of IRA that can hold gold, and that is a self-directed IRA.
Third, gold and other precious metals must be held in a "segregated account." That means the gold and other precious metals are kept separate from the rest of the assets of the IRA.
Fourth, gold and other precious metals are tangible assets, so they must be stored securely.

Types of IRAs

There are two types of IRAs: traditional and Roth. A traditional IRA allows you to defer taxes until you make withdrawals in retirement. A Roth IRA works differently; you pay taxes on your contribution up front, but you don't pay taxes on withdrawals.
In a self-directed IRA, there are no rules restricting the types of investments that you can choose. However, there are limitations imposed by the IRS regarding the types of transactions you can make.

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Rules for IRAs That Hold Precious Metals

Gold, silver, platinum and palladium bullion coins, bars or .999 fine jewelry that is included with your IRA rollover are permissible. However, IRA custodians generally do not allow an IRA rollover of gold coins that are worth less than $5.

Required Documentation

In order to take physical possession of precious metals in your IRA, your custodian must have written communication from you, the client, stating:

Details about the precious metals that are to be physically held within your account.

The quantity of each precious metal that is to be physically held within your account.

The specific location of the precious metals that are to be physically held within your account.

The identity of a trusted party that will be in possession of the precious metals on behalf of your IRA.

can i take physical possession of gold in my ira

How to Buy Gold for an IRA

One hallmark feature about gold and other precious metals is that buyers can take physical possession of the metal. For example, you can physically take possession of gold bars, gold coins, and even gold jewelry. However, you can't take physical possession of gold bullion in your self-directed IRA.

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

The Bottom Line

Gold is popular in IRAs because it is so easily traded, and it provides an attractive alternative to paper assets. The popularity of gold in IRAs has skyrocketed since 2009, when the financial crisis led to the collapse of the paper financial system.