What Is a Gold IRA Rollover?

A Gold IRA rollover occurs when a 401(k), or similar account, is converted, tax free and penalty free, into the type of individual retirement account (IRA) that allows ownership of physical gold within the plan.

A Gold IRA rollover differs from a Gold IRA transfer in that a rollover moves funds from one type of plan (401K) to a different type of plan (IRA). A transfer moves funds from one type of plan (IRA) to the same type of plan (IRA). 

Even though the two IRA plans may be administered by different custodians, they are still both IRA plans and have the same rules. 

Although both the 401(k) and the IRA are tax-deferred accounts, designed for taking withdrawals during retirement, they are different by nature and how they are administered. 

401(k) plans are offered by an employer, and often that employer sponsors—meaning the employer adds contributions on your behalf or matches your contributions to a certain point—your plan. You have little say in exactly what the 401(k) is invested in, and typically only get to choose your level of risk, sectors that you’re interested in investing in, and the percentage of allocation into those sectors. You end up owning a basket of stocks in your chosen sectors. You get what you get. 

So, how does a Gold IRA work? A Gold IRA is self-directed. You choose the exact allowable instruments that you’d like to invest in. You can create your own gumbo and season it any way you’d like, within the rules of the IRA. As a Gold IRA investor, you can own physical, IRA-eligible gold coins or physical gold bars as a major part of your portfolio, and you can mix and match your gold with stocks and other paper-based assets. If you choose to invest only in your precious gold, that’s fully allowable too. It’s your choice. 


Why Should You Roll Over Funds Into a Gold IRA?

Without knowing your individual circumstances, we can’t tell you for certain that you should roll over funds into a Gold IRA, but we can certainly share why some investors are rushing to get their funds rolled over. Many investors want to:

  • Gain control of their investment portfolio.
  • Lower their fees.
  • Open up a wider array of investment options.
  • Stay invested and tax-deferred, while avoiding withdrawal fees and penalties.


Many investors feel helpless and stuck with their 401(k) plan. They don’t know who is managing it, why it is being invested in a certain manner, or the motives of the controlling parties. After reaching the age of 59 ½, when there is no longer a penalty for withdrawal, or when an eligibility opportunity—such as separation of employment—occurs, investors often jump at the chance to regain control of their hard-earned money. Many choose the Gold IRA because it offers choice and control.

Lower Fees

Exorbitant fees are often associated with 401(k) accounts. Because this type of plan is managed, typically by a big Wall Street investment firm, it may incur a myriad of fees that can eat away at your investment growth and savings. Management, trading, and annual fees are just a few of the fees that a 401(k) has to satisfy. A Gold IRA typically has one annual fee, and that fee includes all administrative costs, paperwork costs, and even the cost to safely and securely store and insure your gold in some of the world’s greatest depositories (vaults). 

More Investment Options

Because a Gold IRA is self-directed, you have complete control over what you want to own and how much. You want to own gold coins and only gold coins? No problem. Like the famous fast food restaurant says: Have it your way. Keep in mind that Advantage Gold is not a financial advisor and we cannot give any stock recommendations – we can simply help up the self-directed IRA and you decide how much you wish to allocate into which asset.

Stay Tax Deferred and Penalty Free

Just because you’ve left a job, it doesn’t mean that your money has to stay tied to the employer’s 401(k) plan. If you have separated from your previous employer, you have the right to keep your investment funds tax deferred and penalty free by rolling them into a new Gold IRA. You will gain control without losing any advantages that a tax-deferred retirement account offers. 

How To Roll Over An IRA or 401(k) Into a Gold IRA

You asked, what is a Gold IRA? Hopefully, by now, you have a clear understanding. You’ve decided that you want physical gold as part of your portfolio, you’ve digested this 401(k) to Gold IRA rollover guide, and you’re ready to get started. What’s next? Well, the good news is that rolling over an existing account into a Gold IRA is easy and can be completed in just a few simple steps:

  • Open a Gold IRA.
  • Complete your rollover.
  • Purchase your gold and other precious metals.

Open a Gold IRA

This process is quick and painless. Your account executive will walk you through the custodial application, making sure to dot the I’s and cross the T’s. Your new account custodian “hosts” your account, and files, reports, and sends out all required correspondence and statements. You are never required to do the dirty work, as the custodian does it for you. The required application information is straightforward and typically easy to find. 

Once you complete a few forms and e-signatures, you will be the proud new owner of a Gold IRA account. 

Complete Your Rollover

Grab a statement from your current plan, and scan it, fax it, email it, or snail mail it to your account exec. Then, guess what! You just sit back and relax. The exec will forward the statement to the custodian, and your new account custodian will contact the administrator of your old account and facilitate the rollover. Yes, it really is that simple. 

In a few days, your new account will be funded. Remember, if you had $100,000 in your old account, you will have $100,000 in your new account. You will not be taxed or penalized to facilitate the Gold IRA rollover. 

Purchase Gold and Other Precious Metals

Once you’ve funded your account, your account executive will walk you through the options of eligible gold coins, gold bars, and can advise you on any other precious metals that are allowed in the Gold IRA. 

The IRS has very strict guidelines on the quality, purity, and condition of the metals that you will hold inside of your individual retirement plan. 

Gold must be 99.5% pure, coins must come from approved government mints, the coins must be uncirculated, and they must be in perfect physical condition. Bars must match the same purity standard and can only be sourced from approved manufacturers. 

Once you’ve decided what metals you want to own, your chosen Gold IRA company purchases, packs, insures and ships them to the depository (fancy word for vault) that you choose. 

The IRS regulates all approved depositories, which must meet stringent guidelines for space, storage, security, administration, and reporting. The available depositories are some of the most renowned vaults in the world, including the Delaware Depository, Brinks, JPMorgan, and HSBC Bank. 

The depository will carefully inspect your metals to ensure that they adhere to IRS standards and confirm that the metals are what they are supposed to be. 

Then the metals go into your custodian’s section of the vault, and they sit safe and sound until you go to the depository to visit them, or until you request physical distribution and have your metals sent to you. 

Are There Fees Associated With a Gold IRA Rollover?

There is a fee associated with a Gold IRA rollover, but the good news is that most find that the annual custodial fee is nominal, especially for all that it covers. 

The small annual custodial fee covers everything that is entailed with a Gold IRA, including your plan’s administration, your reporting, your statements, and the safe and insured storage of your metals. 

Are You Ready To Do a Gold IRA Rollover?

You’re in good company. Since 1997, when the Taxpayer Relief Act broadened the types of investments that are allowed in an IRA, scores and scores of investors have rushed to the Gold IRA rollover to own a tangible asset, gain control of their portfolio, lower their fees, and to increase their investment options, all while staying in a tax-deferred and penalty-free status. 

For the last decade, Advantage Gold has been educating and helping investors just like you. We are experts and we love what we do. Contact us today and let us show you how easy it is to get started with your Gold IRA rollover. We’re happy to help.

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