Can You Buy Gold in an IRA?

Written by Banks Editorial Team
4 min. read
Written by Banks Editorial Team
4 min. read

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Retirement planning often centers around prudent investments in IRAs. Individual retirement accounts have tax advantages that allow investors to keep more of their money. Stocks and mutual funds populate most IRAs, but you can also accumulate alternative investments, such as gold. Gold is a well-known inflation hedge that often acts as a haven during market uncertainty. While some companies go bankrupt or miss expectations, gold holds intrinsic value because of its impact on society. We will discuss why gold can make sense for your portfolio and how to invest in gold through an IRA.

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Reasons to Invest in Gold

Many investors turn to gold during uncertain times, especially with inflation. As inflation continues marching past 40-year highs, dollars in the bank become less valuable. Uncontrolled inflation also hurts stocks and real estate. Inflation leads to demand destruction as consumers have less purchasing power after buying the essentials. Weakened earnings drag stock prices, and rising interest rates only complicate the picture for equities. While inflation increases home prices initially, this can hurt long-term demand and result in interest rate hikes. Housing prices will continue declining as interest rates continue rising due to quantitative tightening.

Gold is less prone to inflation, geopolitical risks, and rising interest rates, a monetary policy that can result in deflation. The asset’s limited supply and value to civilizations make it a more stable investment in an unstable economy. Gold can yield positive returns when the rest of your portfolio is down. Gold may linger during economic boom cycles, but it won’t fall off the map. Growth investments can soar during the best of times but promptly collapse during bearish economic cycles. During down cycles, gold becomes more valuable. Investors rushed into gold during the Great Depression as other assets crashed. The asset’s dynamics help it outperform during inflationary and deflationary cycles.

Buying Gold in an IRA

Buying gold in an IRA is more complex than buying stocks and mutual funds. First, you will need a self-directed IRA account to accumulate gold. Only a few custodians offer this choice, including Bitcoin IRA. Bitcoin IRA lets you add precious metals and crypto to your portfolio. The IRA provider stores assets on your behalf.

Are There Rules for Buying Gold in an IRA?

Gold can pay off in the long run, especially during economic instability. You can buy gold bars, stocks, and other assets, but you have to follow a few rules if you want to buy gold in an IRA.

Custodian Requirements

Gold investors must work with a custodian that offers self-directed IRAs. Self-directed IRAs give you more control and let you put funds into alternative assets. You can set up a self-directed IRA with Bitcoin IRA or any other custodian offering this account. 


Gold IRAs let investors buy physical gold instead of paper assets. The custodian will store gold on your behalf until you are eligible to cash out. Investors have to pay a small storage fee to buy and hold gold in their IRAs. In addition, the IRS sets security standards for gold vaults that custodians must meet.

Types of Gold

Custodians offering gold IRAs let investors buy physical gold, such as bullion bars and rounds. Some IRAs offer gold, silver, and other precious metals, giving investors the opportunity to diversify their retirement accounts further.

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Contribution Limits

Unlike a regular investment account, IRAs have contribution limits based on your age. Investors under 50 can contribute up to $6,000 to their IRAs every year. Creating multiple IRAs will not increase your maximum contribution limit. The cap applies to cumulative IRA contributions across multiple accounts instead of on a per-account basis. Investors 50 and older can contribute $7,000 per year to catch up. The IRS periodically adjusts maximum contribution limits. The IRS also lays out Roth IRA contribution limits based on your income. For example, single taxpayers earning over $144,000/yr or married taxpayers filing jointly earning over $214,000 cannot contribute to a Roth IRA.

Distributions and Withdrawals

You can withdraw money from your IRA anytime, and you don’t have to show financial hardship. However, withdrawing too early can trigger fees if you are under 59 and a half years old. Roth IRAs let you avoid capital gains on your gold, and distributions do not increase your taxable income. This is because you already paid taxes when you put the money into your Roth IRA. Investors can withdraw Roth IRA contributions penalty and tax-free anytime, but this condition does not apply to earnings.

If you invest $30,000 into a Roth IRA and produce a $10,000 capital gain, your account balance rises to $40,000. You can withdraw $30,000 without any taxes or fees because you contributed $30,000. You will have to reach the age requirement and own the Roth IRA account for at least five years to take out earnings tax-free. 

Traditional IRA withdrawals increase your taxable income and do not let investors make tax-free capital gains. However, you can get around penalties and fees under specific circumstances, such as making the down payment for a first-time home purchase.

Other IRS Considerations

The Internal Revenue Service limits which assets you can purchase in a gold IRA. Investors can choose from pre-determined bullion, bars, and coins. Investors cannot accumulate jewelry with their IRA funds.

Pros of Buying Gold in an IRA

Buying gold in an IRA has several advantages. Many investors gravitate to IRA for tax benefits. You can either defer taxes and make current bills more affordable or escape capital gains taxes. The tax savings can speed up your path to retirement and create a smoother experience.

While every IRA provides tax advantages, gold stands in a class of its own. Gold is a store of value that protects investors from inflation and deflation. As a result, gold tends to soar during economic uncertainty. The asset has tremendous hedging potential during market cycles where stocks and real estate underperform. 

Gold’s integral fixture in civilizations ensures it will always have value. The asset makes for fine jewelry, but it’s also used in hospitals, electronics, and other essentials.

Cons of Buying Gold in an IRA

Gold’s physical nature provides many strengths, but it also has notable weaknesses. Your IRA custodian has to store gold on your behalf. The custodian will charge an additional storage fee that will reduce the return on your investment. Physical assets also have less liquidity than paper assets like stocks. If you need money quickly, you will have to find an investor willing to buy at a fair price. 

Gold IRA investors also do not benefit from dividends. Some investors prefer cash-flow-producing assets that reward them for being long-term holders. Gold investors have to rely on price appreciation to get a return on their capital.

How to Buy and Sell Gold in an IRA

Accumulating gold in an IRA offers inflation protection and can help you weather economic uncertainty. Investors need self-directed IRAs to buy gold and get significant tax advantages. Bitcoin IRA can set you up with a gold IRA. The custodian lets you purchase physical gold, and they will handle the storage. Bitcoin IRA also lets you invest in over 60 cryptocurrencies, the widest selection among competing crypto IRA providers. You can buy and sell gold in an IRA by creating a Bitcoin IRA account today.

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