The top gold IRA companies are based in the United States and only served US based customers. We’ll discuss the best companies based on several factors depending on your needs. Investing for retirement can be overwhelming, so we’ve broken it down to make it easy.
The factors to consider when choosing a company are fees, storage, prices, customer service, buyback programs, and minimum investments. We’ve picked out the best company for each and the reasons why.
When it comes to customer service, you want a company that treats you the same before you become a customer and well after you’ve purchased an IRA. American Hartford Gold and Birch Gold Group stand out here.
Both companies have been in business for decades and understand relationships. The newer companies are trying to do as much business as they can fast, and they ignore customers after they buy. We’ve seen some horror stories in regards to BBB complaints that haven’t been resolved.
Several companies will talk a big game and promise delivery times when trying to get you to purchase. Once you purchase, it can take months, years, or never to receive your delivery. When trying to contact these companies, you find that the person you spoke to is no longer with the company and you can’t get in contact with anyone.
How Much to Get Started with an IRA
To get started opening an IRA account, you just need to contact one of the companies. Most gold IRA companies have an online form to fill out and they’ll call you to understand your financial situation and if you can work together. They also all list a phone number on their website which you can use to get in contact with someone faster.
In terms of how much money you’ll need, the lowest minimum investment is $2,000 with Noble Gold Investments. Depending on the company you go with, the minimum amount you’ll need to invest can be up to $50,000 which is with Augusta Precious Metals. The normal range is between $10,000-$25,000.
Birch Gold Group has a minimum of $10,000. American Hartford Gold doesn’t have a specific minimum investment, but it’s around $5,000-$10,000. Lastly, Goldco has a minimum of $25,000.
Gold IRA Fees
Besides your actual investment, you’ll need to pay fees for a gold IRA. The common fees paid are set up fees which are around $150, storage fees which can be a couple hundred per year, and lastly the maintenance fee which is usually around $50.
Some companies charge a flat storage fee which is important to know in advance because you can end up saving a lot on fees or paying too much. If you’re investing a smaller amount, you’ll want a company that charges fees as a percentage of the account.
If you’re investing a larger amount, you’ll want to pay the flat fee. In both cases, you get the better end of the deal. Let’s take an example of two people, one who invests $10,000, and one who invests $1 Million.
With a percentage fee of 1%, person A would be $100. Person B would pay $10,000.
Let’s compare that to a flat fee of $200 per year. Person A would be paying double in this case. Person B would be saving over $9,000.
Is a Gold IRA Worth It?
Depending on your circumstances, it can be better to purchase a gold IRA than purchasing physical metals with cash and storing them yourself. Now you can purchase physical precious metals with cash and pay a depository or storage facility to store them for you and keep them safe, but of course you’ll have to pay a fee for that.
You can also just keep them in a safe at your home. What you need to consider is how you’re going to sell the metals when you need or want the cash back from it after it grows.
By using a gold IRA company, you’ll have many more benefits. Number one is that with an IRA you have tax savings. You can have a traditional IRA or a Roth IRA. With the traditional IRA, you don’t pay taxes on that money now because it’s deductible from your tax return. When you sell the metals or take contributions or withdrawals, you’ll pay taxes on the growth.
With the Roth IRA you’ll pay taxes on that money now which is not deductible. Then the tax is deferred on the growth until you start taking contributions. The benefit of the Roth IRA is that you essentially have tax fee growth. When you start taking contributions after 59 years old, you’ll be in a lower tax bracket than you were when you started the Roth IRA.
That lowers your tax greatly since you’re at a lower tax bracket. So investing in gold for retirement is the best use for an IRA with precious metals.
Gold IRA Rules
There are a few common questions that come up when people are looking at gold IRAs. Can you store your precious metals at home? Are there certain metals that you must purchase?
To answer the first question, no you can’t store the IRA at home. The laws are what allow the tax benefits of the IRA and one of the rules is that the metals must be stored by an IRA approved depository.
The second question about the types of metals is extremely important. There are certain metals and purity of the metals that are required for an IRA. Most IRA companies offer gold and silver, but some also offer platinum and palladium. You can have the mix of your choice.
In terms of purity, gold must have a 99.5% purity. Silver has to 99.9% pure. Platinum and palladium both must be 99.5% pure.
In an IRA you can have either premium bullion or non bullion coins or bars.
Before you start an IRA, there are penalties that you should be aware of. Like any IRA, you cannot take contributions or take money out of your IRA before 59 1/2. If you do, you’ll pay an early withdrawal fee and you’ll pay the taxes on it as well.
So before you purchase an IRA, make sure you have enough money to get you to 59 and a half.