As the nation considers the results the last decade of federal spending and the historic quantitative easing introduced by the Federal Reserve, more and more investors are looking for safe-havens for their long term savings and retirement money. Many investors are concerned about what will happen to the future of their 401K, IRA, or other tax-sheltered account. Fortunately for gold/silver buyers, there’s good news. Current rules allow investors to put almost any kind of tax-deferred money into physical gold and silver. Not just a gold ETF or fancy trading account that represents “virtual” gold or silver, but you can actually own physical gold/silver coins (or bars) in your retirement accounts.

Here’s how it works. Let’s say you have an IRA with $50,000 in it, and you don’t like the risk of the stock market or the pathetic returns offered by savings and money market accounts. You can transfer that IRA money into a special Precious Metals IRA Account and use the $50,000 to buy physical gold or silver bullion. The funds are spent by your IRA custodian to purchase the bullion on your behalf, and then the bullion is stored in a secure vault in a US-based depository in your name. Those coins will sit there on the shelf in that vault with your name on them until you choose to take a disbursement from your IRA. That disbursement will be governed by all the normal rules on eligibility (including age, qualified expenses, etc.).

The good news is that if things ever get really bad and you’d like to take physical possession of your gold/silver yourself, you can tell the depository to ship you your coins/bars (subject to any appropriate penalties and take an early distributions). It’s just like taking a cash distribution from your IRA, except instead of getting a check in the mail, the coins are shipped directly from the depository straight to your door within a couple days of your request. Pretty simple!

How to Choose the Best Dealer for an IRA

Unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation about buying gold and silver through an IRA. Many dealers charge you way too much for your IRA, and they hope you won’t know the difference. And it’s hard to find the truth, since some IRA dealers have offered enormous incentives to “independent” reviewers to write “reviews” of their company, and those reviewers will receive huge reimbursements for sending customers to that dealer.

Here’s an example of one company that claims to pay referring websites or “reviewers” an affiliate fee of 3%.  (Click here.)

The amount that the dealer profits on the transaction is in addition to all of these affiliate commissions! This represents a markup of approximately 5 times what more competitive dealers like Cornerstone charge.

So do your own research, and review truly independent sites like GoldDealerReviews.com that actually solicit customer feedback rather than “independent” reviewers that are paid by the company they are reviewing.

Simple Steps to Start a Precious Metals IRA

Choose a Custodian

Cornerstone has relationships with the industry's top IRA custodians to help you purchase, receive and store your precious metals in a secure, insured storage facility. Depending on which custodian you choose, you will also pick a 3rd-party secure storage facility to store your metals at. Popular options include Delaware Depository Service Company, Dakota Depository, and Idaho Armored Vaults. Storage fees will vary based on your custodian and account size, but usually range from 0.1-0.5% of the value of your account per year.

Fund your IRA

Fund your new IRA account. You can fund your new IRA account with a check or bank wire from your personal funds, or you can rollover funds from your existing IRA account.

Purchase Metals

Once your new IRA Precious Metals account is funded, place an order with Cornerstone Bullion for any IRA-approved precious metals you would like to buy! Cornerstone will work with your custodian to facilitate the prompt payment and shipping of your order. That’s it! You are done, and your IRA is now backed by physical precious metals.

Different Kinds of IRA/Tax-Deferred Accounts

Traditional IRAs

  • You must store the metals in a third-party storage facility until you liquidate the metals or take a disbursement from your IRA
  • You can create and fund a new IRA, or rollover an existing IRA
  • Only a few IRA custodians allow for Precious Metals IRA Accounts (most IRA custodians are not flexible enough to allow for precious metals purchases), so see our list of recommended custodians or contact us for help on choosing who to work with.

Roth IRAs

  • These are treated like traditional IRA’s, except your tax liability and distribution rules are different because you’ve already paid taxes on the money

401K Plans

  • If you have an old 401k from a company you’ve left, you can roll that over into an IRA and put the money into precious metals
  • If you are self-employed, you can have a self-directed 401k that allows you to put your money into gold and silver, and you aren’t required to store the metal at a depository (you can store the metal yourself)
  • If you have an active 401k and you are not self employed, contact us to see if your 401k rules allow you to put money into physical gold and silver

* Contact an approved custodian for details on your individual account situation

Popular Bullion Products Allowed in an IRA

Gold – 99.5%
Silver- 99.0%
American Eagle coins* American Eagle coins
American Buffalo coins Canadian Maple Leaf coins
Canadian Maple Leaf coins 1 Oz Silver Rounds
Australian Kangaroo & Nugget coins Silver Bars (various sized)
Austrian Philharmonic coins Australian Kookaburra coins
Britannia Bullion coins (2013 or newer) Austrian Philharmonic & Mexican Libertad coins
Gold Bars (various sized) Britannia Bullion coins (2013 or newer)
* NOTE: American Gold Eagles are allowed even though they do not meet the 99.5% fineness requirement.

Bars and/or rounds must meet the required fineness and be hallmarked by a NYMEX/COMEX, NYSE, LME, LBMA, ISO 9000, or national government mint refiner/assayer.
Platinum – 99.95%
Palladium – 99.95%
American Eagle coins Bars and rounds meeting minimum fineness requirements
Australian Koala coins
Canadian Maple Leaf coins
Isle of Man Noble coins

Preferred Custodian

The Entrust Group

Locations (877) 545-0544 TheEntrustGroup.com To speak with our preferred account manager directly, call Entrust’s Business Development Manager Diana Kelly at (877) 545-0544 ext. 308.

Other Recommended Custodians

GoldStar Trust Company
PO Box 719
Canyon, TX 79015
(800) 486-6888
GoldStar Trust Company
New Direction IRA
1070 W Century Drive, Suite 101
Louisville, CO 80027
(887) 742-1270
NewDirectionIra.com
The Kingdom Trust Co.
1105 State Route 121 North Suite B
Murray, KY 42071
(888) 753-6972
KingdomTrust.com