Gold IRA Rollover: Investing Your Retirement Funds In Gold And Silver

May 24, 2023

There are many ways to roll over your retirement funds into a gold IRA. It could be either a direct method where your plan administrator handles the process or an indirect method where you complete the transaction by yourself. Either way, doing a gold IRA rollover lets you invest in precious metals such as gold that could help increase the growth of your portfolio while protecting your savings against the ups and downs of the market.

If you’re still choosing which gold IRA custodian to set up an account with, I recommend Augusta Precious Metals as the best overall Gold IRA company for its A+ rating on BBB and free shipping and insurance on qualifying purchases. So if you’re looking for a secured and experienced gold IRA company, then Augusta Precious Metals might be for you.

Gold IRA Rollover: Investing Your Retirement Funds In Gold And Silver

So, you’ve been saving for your retirement for a while now and want to spice up your savings by holding more than paper assets. If you can relate to that, then a gold IRA might be for you. But if you have your savings in a retirement account, you can’t just withdraw them to buy gold because you’ll have to pay the IRS an early withdrawal penalty fee. However, there’s a way to make this work—and that’s where a gold IRA rollover comes in.

In this post, you’ll learn and understand what a gold IRA rollover is, how it works, the types of rollovers, steps on how to set up an account, and the best gold IRA companies to help you secure your financial future.

What Is A Gold IRA Rollover?

A gold IRA rollover is a process where you transfer funds from your existing IRA account to a new IRA account in order to invest in precious metals such as gold, silver, palladium, and platinum. Your existing account could be any type of retirement account, such as a traditional IRA, Roth IRA, Simplified Employee Pension (SEP), Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees (SIMPLE), or other.

The rollover process usually takes up to 3 weeks, depending on your account type and custodian. Once your funds are transferred, you can then purchase the precious metal investment of your choice, and it will later be stored in a secure storage facility or depository.

Gold And Silver IRA Rollover

In general, you can roll over an existing IRA to any precious metal IRA, e.g. a gold IRA or a Silver IRA. But what’s the difference?

Gold IRA Rollover: Investing Your Retirement Funds In Gold And Silver


Let’s start with the similarities. Although the gold and silver IRA rollover might sound different, both rollover processes are generally the same. Both of these IRA rollovers involve transferring your funds from your existing retirement account to a new gold/silver IRA. The procedure usually starts by choosing a gold/silver IRA custodian, choosing a dealer to buy your precious metals, funding your account, purchasing your metals, and storing it in an IRA-approved depository.


Despite their similarities, gold and silver IRA rollovers aren’t the same. The main difference is the type of metal you’re investing in. And you guessed it, a gold IRA allows you to invest mainly in gold, while a silver IRA allows you to invest mainly in silver.

It’s important to note that you can also invest in other precious metals like silver and platinum in a gold IRA and that other silver IRA custodians offer physical gold investments as well. It’s just that a gold IRA provides a wider range of gold investments but has a very limited offering of silver than a silver IRA, and vice versa. So, it all depends on which of the two precious metals you want to focus your retirement investing on.

Tax-Free Gold IRA Rollover

We can all agree that no one wants to pay additional taxes or penalties when they only want to invest in gold using a gold IRA—and that’s where the tax-free gold IRA rollover comes in. To be clear, it’s not that there are two different types of gold rollovers where one is a “tax-free gold IRA rollover,” but the other one is not. The term tax-free refers to a process where you transfer your existing funds from a normal retirement account to a new gold IRA without incurring any tax penalties like the early withdrawal penalty fee I mentioned earlier.

How Does The Gold IRA Rollover Work?

A gold IRA rollover works by transferring your funds from one financial institution (where you have your retirement savings) to another that’ll act as a custodian for your gold investment (the gold IRA company). There are two ways to do this:

  • An indirect rollover.
  • A direct rollover.

The Indirect Gold IRA Rollover

In an indirect gold IRA rollover, you basically do the rollover process yourself. This means that you make a withdrawal from your retirement savings account, and you then use the money to purchase IRA-eligible gold bullion like gold coins or bars. Then, you must choose a custodian to hold your investment for you, since the IRS forbids you from storing the IRA gold at home or anywhere other than a certified and approved custodian.

When doing an indirect gold IRA rollover, you have to follow strict guidelines from the IRS to ensure everything goes smoothly. Remember, you can’t make withdrawals from your retirement account until you turn 59 ½, so you can’t just take your money out and buy some gold willy-nilly. If you do, you’ll have 60 days to purchase IRS-approved, IRA-eligible gold and store it in an IRS-approved gold or precious metal IRA, or pay a 10% early withdrawal penalty fee. You may also have to pay income tax on the withdrawal, depending on the original type of retirement account.

So, the indirect route increases your risk of incurring tax penalties, especially if you didn’t follow the regulations and rules of the IRS, so you need to know what you’re doing.

The Direct Gold IRA Rollover

In a direct gold IRA rollover, you let financial institutions manage your funds and make the gold purchase for you. The rollover happens directly between the institution where you hold your retirement account and a company that’ll handle the purchase, transfer and storage of your physical gold investment, otherwise known as a gold IRA company and custodian.

If you choose a direct gold IRA rollover, you never withdraw a cent from your retirement account; therefore, there’s no risk of withdrawal penalties and extra income taxes.

If you want a tax-free and hassle-free way to roll over your retirement savings into gold or other precious metals, you should choose the direct method. First, you need to contact your retirement account custodian or move your funds to the new IRA custodian of your choice. From then on, both of them will manage your funds and do the process until you are ready to invest in gold using your retirement savings.

401(k) To Physical Gold IRA Rollover

A 401(k) to physical gold IRA rollover is a process that involves your existing 401(k) plan and a gold IRA custodian. Rolling over your 401(k) retirement account to a gold IRA lets you invest in gold and even in other precious metals like silver. You have to transfer your funds into a self-directed IRA since 401(k) plans don’t offer physical gold investments. They only offer paper gold assets that can be found in mutual funds and ETFs.

This type of rollover can be done by: choosing a self-directed IRA custodian that offers physical gold, opening a gold IRA, transferring your 401(k) funds to your new account, purchasing your gold, and storing it in an IRS-approved facility like Delaware Depository.

401(k) To Roth Gold IRA Rollover

To do a rollover from your 401(k) to a Roth Gold IRA, you’ll need to select a self-directed IRA custodian. The process is the same with regard to transferring your 401(k) funds to a traditional gold IRA. The difference is that the Roth gold IRA is not only limited to physical gold and other precious metals investments. You are also allowed to invest in other assets permitted in a self-directed IRA, such as real estate, private equity, and debt instruments.

You can also benefit from a Roth Gold IRA’s tax advantages since you can enjoy tax-free growth on your contributions and tax-free withdrawals when you turn 59 ½ years old. A Roth gold IRA is your best option if you expect to be in a higher income tax bracket when you retire.

SIMPLE IRA To Gold IRA Rollover

If you have a SIMPLE IRA and you want to invest in gold, then a SIMPLE gold IRA rollover will do the trick. The steps to complete the process are the same as for a Roth Gold IRA—but with your SIMPLE IRA as the account which you transfer your funds from.

Do note that you’re not allowed to transfer or roll over your funds if you’ve had your SIMPLE IRA for less than 2 years. If you do, it can be considered as a distribution which could result in a 10–25% tax penalty depending on the plan. You must wait 2 years to transfer funds from your SIMPLE IRA to another retirement account.

How To Transfer 401(k) To Gold IRA

To get started with transferring your 401(k) to a gold IRA, you must first choose an IRA custodian that allows physical gold investments. Once you’ve chosen a custodian, you’re ready to follow the steps below to diversify your retirement portfolio with gold.

  1. Open a gold IRA with the IRA custodian.
  2. Contact your 401(k) custodian and let them know you want to transfer your funds into your new gold IRA.
  3. Complete the necessary paperwork and wait for them to move your funds.
  4. Purchase the type of physical gold you want to invest in. That gold must also be IRS-approved (must be 99.5% pure).
  5. Let your IRA custodian store your physical gold in a depository to avoid theft and damages.

There might be no tax penalties when you transfer your 401(k) to a gold IRA; however, there are a lot of fees that you have to pay, such as storage, maintenance, set-up, and transaction fees. So if you don’t have any extra cash to keep your gold investments, then it’s best to find other alternative investment options than gold.


How To Do A Gold IRA Rollover: A Comprehensive Guide

Below are the steps to do a gold IRA rollover with your retirement account. We’ll use Augusta Precious Metals as an example, but the process is the same for most gold IRA companies.

Gold IRA Rollover: Investing Your Retirement Funds In Gold And Silver

#1 Find A Reputable Gold IRA Custodian

Before you call your retirement account administrator to do a gold IRA rollover, you must find a reputable gold IRA custodian first. Ideally, this self-directed IRA custodian should enable you to invest in real estate, private equity, debt instruments, and precious metals.

You should try to avoid any IRA custodians that aren’t well-reviewed online. If you’re looking for a reputable gold IRA custodian, you can watch and read testimonials from Youtube, Trustpilot, Reddit, and Better Business Bureau (BBB).

When choosing a company to invest your funds in, what matters most is how it ensures that your gold is stored properly and how it helps diversify your retirement portfolio while managing potential risks. If that’s what you’re looking for, check out Augusta Precious Metals, our #1 best-rated gold IRA company.


#2 Set Up A Gold IRA Account

Suppose you've decided which IRA custodian you will invest with; it can now help you set up a gold IRA account. Depending on your preferences, you can choose between a traditional or Roth gold IRA.

#3 Begin The Gold IRA Rollover Process

After opening your new account, you must give your existing retirement plan administrator a call to start the Gold IRA rollover process. If you wish to handle your retirement savings and deposit them yourself into your new account, then an indirect method will do for you.

However, if you want your current plan administrator to transfer your funds and send them directly to your gold IRA, then a direct method will work. Using the direct method is more hassle-free and risk-free.

#4 Transfer Your Retirement Funds

Once you choose either direct or indirect rollover to start the procedure, your current 401(k) or IRA administrator will transfer your funds to your gold IRA custodian.

This will involve filling out some necessary paperwork to ensure that you're the one doing the filing.

#5 Fund Your Gold IRA

After your existing custodian approves the transfer, you must wait for at least 1 – 3 weeks before your IRA custodian receives your retirement savings.

#6 Purchase Your Gold Investments

When your self-directed IRA custodian receives the funds, you can now invest in a broad variety of gold investments, whether it’s physical gold, gold mining stocks, or gold ETFs. Other than that, you can also diversify your retirement portfolio with real estate, private equity, debt instruments, and other precious metals, depending on your custodian and investment strategy.

It's important to understand that there are fees or costs for every investment. For example, if you open a gold IRA to invest in physical gold, there are storage fees that you have to pay annually, which are around $100 to $150, depending on the custodian. Moreover, it’s also recommended to consult with your financial advisor before making any decisions to make sure that you comply with IRS rules and regulations.

5 Best Gold IRA Companies To Invest In Gold And Other Precious Metals

With hundreds of gold IRA companies out there, finding the best one that suits your retirement goals can be a tough one to choose. That’s why I’ve done the hard work for you and created a list of the Best 5 gold IRA companies to invest in gold and other precious metals. So grab a coffee and let’s jump right in!

Best ForFeatures
Augusta Precious MetalsBest overall gold IRA companyFree gold guide to learn about gold IRAs.Free shipping on all orders
Offers a gold buyback program and lifetime customer support
Has 5 main product categories, including common gold and silver bullion, premium gold and silver, and IRA-eligible coins
Noble Gold InvestmentsBest for low minimum investment and gold IRA packages.Offers 6 Royal Survival Packs for emergencies
Only requires $2,000 as a minimum investment
Has a BuyBack program to sell your gold whenever you want 
American BullionBest for secure storage optionsHas the lowest gold bar spread of $99.80 per ounce over COMEX
Waives its storage and custodian account fees for the first year
Birch Gold GroupBest for complimentary educational resourcesFree gold and silver info kit
Has social media accounts and podcasts to keep you updated on the latest market trends
GoldcoBest for free silver bonusOffers 10% silver bonus and free shipping on deliveries
Has free secured storage for up to 3 years on qualifying purchases

Choosing the best gold IRA company—not just by following your friend’s advice—cannot only be a smart move toward your retirement goals but also to your financial future as well. With our top 5 best gold IRA companies, you can now feel confident in your decisions. So, go on and begin your gold investing today!

How To Transfer IRA To Gold And Silver

To transfer your IRA funds to a gold or silver IRA, the first thing that you must do is open a self-directed IRA or gold IRA (this account can still invest in silver) from a reputable gold IRA custodian. I suggest you create an account with Augusta Precious Metals since it is recognized by Money Magazine as “The Best Overall Gold IRA Company,” and it also offers a free gold guide so you can educate yourself more on investing in gold and silver.

Once you’ve created a gold IRA account, transferring your IRA to gold and silver is easy peasy. You can read the steps below to learn about the basic process.

  1. Contact your existing IRA custodian and inform them about the transfer.
  2. Fill out an application and the necessary paperwork.
  3. After you receive your IRA funds in your gold IRA, you can now decide to choose which gold and silver you’re going to invest in.
  4. Purchase gold and silver that are eligible by the IRS—where gold is 99.5% and silver is 99.9% pure.
  5. Let your new custodian store your investments in a secured depository.

Investing in gold and silver doesn’t guarantee returns, and their value can fluctuate at any time. Although these precious metals may be a good long-term investment option, it’s not recommended to buy and leave them for decades without monitoring their performance.

Can I Roll My IRA To Gold?

Yes, you can roll your IRA to gold. This process can be done either through a direct or indirect rollover. If you’re a beginner, it is highly recommended to roll over your account using a direct rollover. A direct rollover lessens your risk of incurring tax penalties since you are transferring your IRA funds by yourself, not with a custodian.

If you failed to deposit your IRA funds to a gold IRA within 60 days, the funds will be considered a distribution, resulting in potential taxes and penalties.

How Do I Transfer My Gold IRA?

You can transfer your gold IRA by following these steps:

  1. First, choose a reputable gold IRA custodian to open a new account that allows you to invest in gold.
  2. Second, open a new gold IRA account by filling out an application with your personal information and other details.
  3. Third, fund your new account by contacting your existing retirement plan custodian to transfer your funds from your 401(k) or IRA to your new gold IRA.
  4. Fourth, wait for your custodian to move your retirement savings to the new account.
  5. Fifth, choose your gold investments and buy IRS-approved gold and other precious metals with the help of your gold IRA custodian.

Before you transfer your gold IRA, you must know that it would take at least 1 – 3 weeks to complete the process. Likewise, you are only allowed to transfer or roll over your retirement accounts once a year, according to the IRS.

In Summary

A gold IRA rollover is a process that enables you to invest in precious metals such as gold, silver, palladium, and platinum. Your funds are transferred from your existing 401(k) or IRA account to a new self-directed IRA either through a direct or indirect rollover.

This process may look simple, but you may be subject to tax penalties if you fail to follow IRS rules and regulations. Thus, it's important to talk with a financial expert before choosing your best gold IRA custodian, starting your IRA rollover process, and buying your precious metals investments.

Gold IRA Rollover FAQs

Is a gold IRA rollover worth it?

Yes, a gold IRA rollover is worth it. The gold IRA rollover allows you to invest in precious metals such as gold, silver, palladium, and platinum using your existing 401(k) or IRA retirement accounts. Rolling over your funds to a gold IRA can provide diversification and a hedge against inflation, which can be a valuable addition to your retirement portfolio.

How to do a gold IRA rollover?

You can do a gold IRA rollover by choosing between direct and indirect methods. A direct method involves 2 custodians – your existing 401(k) and new IRA custodian – to perform the rollover process from setting up a gold IRA account to letting you purchase gold bullion. While in an indirect method, you will be the one to transfer your retirement funds and deposit them to a gold IRA within a period of 60 days. If you fail to deposit them, you’ll be paying a 10% early withdrawal penalty.

How do I roll over my IRA to gold?

You can roll over your IRA to gold by choosing a self-directed IRA custodian and opening a gold IRA first. From then on, you can contact your existing IRA custodian to transfer your funds to the gold IRA. Your existing custodian and gold IRA custodian will work together and manage the process until you can purchase your gold investments.

How long do you have to roll over IRA funds?

If you’re doing a rollover by yourself (an indirect rollover), you only have 60 days to roll over your IRA funds to another plan or IRA. If you fail to deposit your funds by then, your funds will be eligible for the 10% additional tax on early distribution.

What are the IRS rules for a gold IRA rollover?

The IRS rules of a gold IRA rollover are the same as any other IRA rollover. When you do an indirect rollover, you only have 60 days to deposit your retirement funds into a gold IRA. otherwise, you’ll pay tax penalties. Likewise, the gold that you purchased must meet certain purity standards to qualify, such as the gold should be 99.5% pure or 0.995 in fineness.

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