With everything that is going on in the economy today, it’s no wonder that Americans are more anxious and pessimistic than ever. High inflation that continues to rise is perhaps the number one concern for most people today. But there are growing fears that the economy is headed toward a recession, and faster than most people had expected.
Millions of Americans find themselves in an unexpected place right now, dealing with the fact that their cost of living is increasing significantly at the same time as the economy is slowing. They’re having to grapple with the possibility of losing their jobs, losing their savings, and losing the quality of life they’ve come to expect.
That’s why many people are starting to explore the options available to them not only to protect their existing wealth but also to continue growing their wealth even if the economy falls into recession. And that has led many people to start thinking about starting a gold IRA.
What Is a Gold IRA?
A gold IRA is a tax-advantaged retirement account that allows you to own physical gold coins or bars while simultaneously enjoying the same tax benefits as a conventional individual retirement account (IRA). A gold IRA is just like any other IRA, only that it holds physical gold coins or bars. And as long as you follow all the usual IRA rules, a gold IRA works just the same as a conventional IRA that invests in stocks, bonds, or other financial assets.
Advantages of Investing in Gold
There are numerous advantages to investing in gold. Here are four of the most important ones.
Perhaps the most important reason many people decide to invest in gold is to diversify their portfolios. Many people probably think that investing in a mix of investment funds or a mix of stocks and bonds is sufficient diversification. But really diversifying your portfolio means opening up to a wide range of asset classes.
Sticking to conventional financial assets is all well and good when times are good. But during a financial crisis the factors that hammer Wall Street could also hammer your portfolio if you’re not sufficiently diversified. If your wealth is dependent on the health of Wall Street for its well-being, you risk major losses in the event of a severe crisis.
Many people think of gold as crash protection. They saw what happened in 2008, when markets lost more than 50% of their value while gold gained 25%. And they realize that holding gold can make sense as a countercyclical asset, as gold has a tendency to really shine when financial markets are experiencing weakness.
Gold has also traditionally served as an inflation hedge, as it tends to maintain its purchasing power over time. While the dollar has lost 97% of its purchasing power since 1913, the price of gold has increased 8,900%.
Gold also performed spectacularly during the 1970s stagflation, notching annualized gains of over 30% over the course of the decade. Many gold buyers are hoping that gold repeats that kind of performance if the US economy ends up falling into stagflation this decade.
Grow Your Wealth
Finally, gold can help you grow your wealth even when the economy is strong and markets are healthy. Since 2001, gold has been a tremendous performer, with annualized gains of well over 9%.
Advantages of a Gold IRA
A gold IRA can offer advantages above and beyond just ordinary gold ownership. Here are three of the most important ones.
Protect Your Savings and Investments
The primary benefit of a gold IRA is that it retains the same tax treatment as any other IRA. That means that you can buy gold through your gold IRA with pre-tax dollars, your gains will accrue tax-free, and you only owe taxes when you take a distribution.
You also can fund your gold IRA with pre-tax assets from existing retirement accounts, such as a 401(k), 403(b), TSP, IRA, or similar account. And those 401(k) to IRA rollovers can be done tax-free, ensuring that you don’t take a tax hit when trying to protect your assets.
Tax-Free Asset Growth
Just like any other IRA, the gains you make with a gold IRA accrue tax-free. If your gold IRA is a Traditional gold IRA, you acquire assets with pre-tax dollars and only pay taxes when you take a distribution. If your gold IRA is a Roth IRA, you acquire assets with post-tax dollars and pay no taxes when you take a distribution.
A gold IRA also offers you the ability to store your gold at bullion depositories that will keep your assets safe and secure. As with any other IRA, the assets in your gold IRA will be managed by a custodian, and your physical gold coins or bars will be stored at a bullion depository.
This can give you peace of mind, knowing that your assets are safely stored. And should you decide to take a distribution, you can receive the coins or bars that you purchased relatively quickly.
Can You Hold the Gold in Your IRA?
One thing that many gold buyers want to know is, can you hold the gold in your IRA? Some want to know if their gold actually exists, versus being part of a larger pool that might be loaned or otherwise encumbered.
The answer to that is, yes, your gold is yours, and it’s not loaned out or encumbered. The gold coins or bars that you buy are stored in a depository, and if you take a distribution you can receive it either in cash or in the gold coins or bars that you purchased.
Gold IRA vs. Home Storage Gold IRA
Other people want to know if they can hold the gold they own in a gold IRA at home. That’s what is commonly referred to as a home storage gold IRA. And the answer to that is no.
You may see some companies touting the benefits of a home storage IRA. Imagine, being able to buy gold, store it at home, and receive all the same tax benefits as any other IRA account. Unfortunately, that story is too good to be true.
While it’s theoretically possible to start a home storage gold IRA that meets the IRS’ requirements, the reality is that the bar is set incredibly high, and no individual has ever met it.
Feel free to read more about home storage gold IRAs and why they’re not a good idea. And be careful of any company that offers a home storage gold IRA as an option, as they could be leading you into a situation where you end up owing taxes and penalties to the IRS.
Distributions From Your Gold IRA
If you want to take physical possession of the gold coins and bars in your gold IRA, the only way to do that is to take a distribution of your assets and choose to take delivery of physical gold rather than a cash payment.
Just like any other IRA, you can’t take a distribution before age 59½ without paying taxes and penalties. And after age 72, you’ll be subject to required minimum distributions (RMDs).
But if you really want to take possession of your gold IRA, these distributions are an option that can allow you to take possession of the gold you own. Once you take these distributions and pay any taxes you owe, that gold is yours to do with as you please.
Of course, another option if you want to hold physical gold is just to buy gold coins or bars outright. Direct purchases of gold don’t allow you to gain any of the tax advantages of a gold IRA, but they can be a method to help protect the purchasing power of any cash or cash-equivalent assets you may have, especially if you’re worried about rising inflation.
Is Physical Possession of Your Gold IRA Necessary?
Many people who buy and own gold want the reassurance of being able to hold it physically in their own two hands. Even the safest bullion depository in the world wouldn’t give them the same peace of mind as being able to hold their gold whenever they want.
That’s perfectly alright. Every person has different desires, different objectives, and a different tolerance of risk. While most people are perfectly happy holding gold in a gold IRA, some would prefer to store gold at home. And some people like a mix of both.
Whether you want to take physical possession of your gold IRA or not, it’s important to work with trusted partners who can help you achieve your aims. With over a decade of experience in the precious metals industry and thousands of satisfied customers, Goldco has what it takes to help you.
Goldco has established relationships with mints around the world, ensuring that the gold coins you buy are guaranteed to be authentic. And our experienced representatives can answer any questions you may have about buying gold.
If you’re looking to buy gold, Goldco offers you the ability to buy gold through a gold IRA or to buy physical coins and bars that you can store at home. No matter which way you want to buy gold, Goldco has options for you.
Don’t let your hard-earned assets remain at the mercy of rising inflation and a potential recession any longer than you have to. Call Goldco today to find out how you can benefit from buying gold.
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