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What you need to know before you launch your gold and silver IRA
Hedging economic uncertainty in your retirement plan

We think you will find the following Q&A a helpful introduction to including precious metals in your IRA or other retirement plan. We invite you to put our forty-plus years experience in the gold business to work for you. To get started, please ask to speak with one of our IRA consultants. We simplify the process - straight-forward, expert recommendations from one of America's most trusted gold firms.

Q. Why include gold in your retirement plan?

A. The rationale for gold ownership within a retirement plan is the same as it is outside the plan. This quote from a recent Vanity Fair article by Matthew Hart sums up why gold should be a part of every retirement portfolio:

"An ounce of gold cost $271 in 2001. Ten years later it reached $1,896—an increase of almost 700 percent. On the way, it passed through some of the stormiest periods of recent history, when banks collapsed and currencies shivered. The gold price fed on these calamities. In a way, it came to stand for them: it was the re-discovered idol at a time when other gods were falling in a heap of subprime mortgages and credit default swaps and derivative products too complicated to even understand. Against these, gold shone with the placid certainty of received tradition. Honored through the ages, the standard of wealth, the original money, the safe haven. The value of gold was axiomatic. This view depends on a concept of gold as unchanging and unchanged—nature's hard asset."

Put simply, gold is money - money that cannot be printed or debased. What better way to save for retirement than with the ultimate savings vehicle -- physical gold. For an in-depth look at gold's role in preserving assets under adverse economic circumstances, we recommend "Black Swans, Yellow Gold - How gold performs in periods of deflation, chronic disinflation, runaway stagflation and hyperinflation". The study draws from the historical record to show why many view gold the investment for all seasons.

Q. Can I buy physical gold for my Individual Retirement Account (IRA) or 401(k)?

A. You can buy gold coins and bullion, and other precious metals*, in a self-directed IRA or 401(k) established with a trust company. People with retirement plans typically have a conventional IRA or 401(k) with a bank or brokerage firm that specializes in bank deposits, stocks, mutual funds, annuities and other assets. In many cases, these investors have little or no say in the investments being made. A self-directed plan empowers the individual to make his or her own investment decisions and adds to the available investment options. The precious metals are among those options.

* In recent years, many IRA investors have come to view silver as a retirement asset with qualities similar to gold. USAGOLD has placed thousands of silver American Eagles and Canadian Maple Leafs with investors who believe in silver's asset preservation attributes.

Q. Can I do a rollover from my current IRA or 401(k)?

A. Yes. As a matter of fact, most precious metals' retirement plans at USAGOLD begin with a rollover. The current law allows for both transfers from IRAs as well as rollovers from qualified retirement plans, such as 401(k), 401(a), 403(b), 457, Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) and annuities. We have a great deal of experience with this process and can help you navigate it with a minimum of brain damage. Because of the annual fees for storage, insurance and management (approx. $225/year), precious metals IRAs are most economical when their value is higher, and that is where a rollover makes a great deal of sense. Someone just starting an IRA, even with maximum yearly contributions, would need a few years to accumulate a large enough account to make it cost effective.

Q. What is the difference between my current plan and a self-directed IRA or 401(k)?

A. All the rules, particularly pertaining to tax treatment, that apply to conventional retirement plans also apply to self-directed plans. Generally, conventional plans do not allow for diversifications into physical gold because of the special circumstances that accompany precious metal ownership – storage, insurance and custodial responsibilities. Typically, the client planning for retirement who wishes to purchase precious metals in physical form, i.e., coins and bullion, must establish a new account with a trustee that allows self-directed retirement plans. The client then transfers funds from his or her current trustee to a new trustee that allows these special transactions.

Q. Can USAGOLD help me choose a trustee that sponsors self-directed IRAs or 401(k)s?

A. Yes. At this time, we have direct working relationships with three trust companies that offer self-directed plans.

Q. What is the role of the trustee in my retirement plan?

A. Self-directed trustees do not render investment advice. They simply provide the administrative and reporting services, and work with various vendors, like USAGOLD, that offer specific, permitted precious metals investments (listed to your immediate right) under the Internal Revenue code. Of course, the trustees charge fees for their services and those charges are generally listed on their websites. As a result, the client planning for retirement can get a sense of what the costs will be before making a commitment.

Q. Why is it important to choose the right vendor for your gold rollover?

A. Choosing the right gold firm can mean the difference between success and failure as a gold owner. Choose the right firm and it will help you stay the course on protecting your assets from economic uncertainties. Choose the wrong firm and your funds can be diverted to an assortment of bullion-related investments and/or derivative investments that are not truly asset preservation vehicles.

Gold stocks, for example, are an investment in stocks first and gold bullion second. Mint state and proof coins graded by independent services usually sell for high mark-ups over their gold value that immediately put the buyer at a disadvantage. Precious metals exchange traded funds and certificates introduce counter-party and systemic risk to the investment equation. These are just three examples of the kinds of investments that can lead the investor away from the stability of conventional coin and bullion investments, and generally should be avoided by investors whose goals include building a hedge against economic certainties or a long-term store of value.

SPECIAL NOTE: An important consumer tip for IRA investors

Take special care to avoid offers of independently graded modern bullion coins that are IRS-approved for inclusion in IRAs, but priced at very high, and often unsustainable, premiums over their gold content. This includes common contemporary items sold as "first-strike", "early issue", "first release", Mint State 69, Mint State 70, Proof 69 and Proof 70, as graded by the independent grading services including the Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) and the Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC).

Quite often these items are promoted as exceptionally rare and desirable when in reality they are not substantially different from the typical bullion coin items priced as shown at the top of the column to your immediate right. At NGC, for example, 99.6% of the one ounce gold American Eagle business strikes submitted for review graded either Mint State 69 or Mint State 70 -- the two highest grades at the services. Fully 46% of submissions received a Mint State 70 grade, the ultimate rating.

As for the silver American Eagle one ounce coins, 99.5% of submissions (or nearly 5.7 million coins) made the top grades of Mint State 69 and Mint State 70. Proof American Eagles, both gold and silver, obtain similar results when submitted to PCGS or NGC for grading. Taking this analysis a step further, using these numbers as a guideline, anyone willing to pay the grading fees (about $25 per coin) could submit gold American Eagles to one of the grading services with a high probability of obtaining a similar result.

In short, just about everything submitted comes out superior quality by the promoters' definition. What's more, numismatic experts know that if five times the number of coins were submitted, the grading services would likely report a high-end population roughly five times the current level. These numbers are a testament to the U.S. Mint's coin-making prowess, but a blow to the promoters' definition of rare and desirable. It also greatly weakens claims of any future appreciation due to these items' alleged scarcity. In our view, the better approach is to stick with the ungraded, high-quality regular issue Mint items which trade in the marketplace at tight spreads. Avoid entirely the telemarketer manufactured grading, first-strike scenario and its heavy mark-ups.

United States Mint consumer alert

Be advised -
Do NOT buy these items in your IRA:

- Mint State 69 & 70 American Eagles (Gold and Silver, all sizes)

- Mint State 69 & 70 Gold Buffalos (All sizes)

- Proof 69 & 70 American Eagles (Gold and Silver, all sizes)

- Proof 69 & 70 Gold Buffalos (All sizes)

- Any of the above as high-priced first strike or early issue

Q. How can the average person planning for retirement distinguish between the good vendors and the bad?

A. First, and most important: Check the Better Business Bureau's profile on a company before you do business with it. Check not only its rating but the number of complaints, the type of complaint and how those complaints were handled. A consistent record of complaints can be a warning sign even if the company has managed to keep an A+ rating. This is a simple and straightforward step every first-time investor should take, but it is amazing how many ignore it.

Second, choose a gold firm that has a solid track record. Ten years in business is good; fifteen years or more is even better.

Third, choose a firm with a commitment to keeping you informed, i.e., one that is interested in answering your questions now and keeping you informed in the future. If a sales person gives you short shrift or hits you with a heavy sales pitch take it as a warning.

(Note: USAGOLD has been awarded the Better Business Bureau's Gold Star Certificate, its highest accolade. In addition, the firm has been rated A+ by the BBB with zero consumer complaints. The firm has been accredited since 1991.)

USAGOLD's Better Business Bureau report

Q. What are the mechanics of a gold rollover?

A. It is quite simple and straightforward. After an initial telephone consultation, we send an e-mail that contains links to trust companies we use to administer the program. The client chooses which trust company he or she wants and then submits the completed paperwork by e-mail, fax, overnight courier, or standard US Mail. The process of opening and funding the account is handled by the trustees involved in the rollover. Usually, in the course of about two weeks--sometimes less--the funds are "rolled-over" from the current trustee to the new trustee. At that point, the client is able to contact USAGOLD to purchase metals for his or her IRA or 401(k).

Q. What happens once my IRA has been funded?

A. After your account has been funded, you are ready to make precious metals purchases within your IRA. Here, you can put our forty-plus years of gold market experience to work for you. One of our IRA consultants can help you choose the best product mix to fit your individual investment goals. Once you have selected the coin or the bullion product[s] you to wish to include, we will fix the price verbally with you by telephone. Next, you instruct the trust company to transfer funds to USAGOLD for your purchase. Upon our receipt of payment, we deposit the metals directly into your account at the depository. You can rest easy knowing your precious metals are stored in a secure depository in a fully-insured allocated account. We will work closely with the custodian through each stage of the process to insure your transaction goes smoothly.

Q. Is now a good time to do a rollover into gold?

A. Gold, first and foremost, is wealth insurance. You cannot approach it the way you approach stock or real estate investments. Timing is not the real issue. The first question you need to ask yourself is whether or not you believe you need to own gold. If you answer that question in the affirmative, there is no point in delaying your actual purchase, or waiting for a more favorable price that may or may not appear. Cost averaging can be a good strategy. The real goal is to diversify so that your overall wealth is not compromised by economic dangers and uncertainties like the kind generated by the 2008 financial crisis or the on-going sovereign debt crisis in Europe.

What you can do. . .
If you paid very high premiums for
independently graded proof silver American Eagles within your IRA

4:52 am Sun. November 23, 2014
Spot prices

GOLD $1,202.00   SILVER $16.47

Current Gold Coin & Bar Prices
American Eagle
(One troy ounce)
$1,262.10
American Buffalo
(One troy ounce)
$1,265.11
Canadian Maple Leaf
(One troy ounce)
$1,247.08
Austrian Philharmonic
(One troy ounce)
$1,256.69
Gold Bar
(One troy ounce)
$1,224.24
Gold Bar
(Ten troy ounce)
$12,356.56
Gold Bar
(Kilo)
$39,365.50
American Eagle Proof *
( One troy ounce)
$1,514.52
Current Silver Coin & Bar Prices
American Eagle
( One troy ounce)
$19.55
Canadian Maple Leaf
( One troy ounce)
$19.43
Austrian Philharmonic
( One troy ounce)
CALL
100-ounce bars
(Exchange approved)
$1,801.82
American Eagle Proof *
( One troy ounce)
$ 55.00

Please call to verify all product pricing.

 

* The US Mint sets the market premium of proof gold coins in $50 increments and proof silver coins in $5 increments - as such, proof coins can jump or fall in price dramatically from one day to the next, and pricing above may not accurately reflect said changes at all times. Prior to considering a purchase of any proof coin, we strongly recommend you read the SPECIAL NOTE to the left: "An Important Consumer Tip for IRA Investors".

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IRA Eligible precious metals Items

The following are precious metals coins and bullion bars approved by the IRS for inclusion in retirement accounts:

GOLD

American Eagle (All sizes, proof and business strikes)
American Buffalo (All sizes, proof and business strikes)
Canadian Maple Leaf (All sizes, proof and business strikes)
Austrian Philharmonic (All sizes, proof and business strikes)
Australian Nugget (All sizes, proof and business strikes)
Accredited Bars (Minimum purity of .995 fine, or 99.5% pure)

SILVER

American Silver Eagle (one ounce)
Canadian Maple Leaf (one ounce)
Austrian Philharmonic (one ounce)
Accredited bars (Minimum purity of .999 fine, or 99.9%)

PLATINUM

American Eagles (All sizes)
Canadian Maple Leaf (All sizes)
Australian Koala (All sizes)
Accredited bars (Minimum purity of .9995 or 99.95%)

PALLADIUM

Accredited Bars (Minimum purity of .9995 or 99.95%)

Ratings Matter!

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Accredited since 1991. Zero complaints.

USAGOLD is a recipient of a BBB Gold Star Certificate in consecutive years from 2006 through 2013 for having no com-plaints during the previous three years

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Black Swans Yellow Gold

How gold performs during periods of deflation, chronic disinflation, runaway stagflation and hyperinflation

This in-depth study tells why many investors around the world view gold as the ideal portfolio inclusion for the times.

CLICK HERE for Immediate access

Testimonials

I discovered USAGOLD several years ago after I decided to put the majority of my SIMPLE IRA account (which had lost 25% of its value in 2001) into gold. Although I knew little about holding physical gold, George Cooper patiently explained the process and provided copies of the USAGOLD tutorial publications. No hard sell. I am quite pleased with my ongoing relationship with USAGOLD, and will continue to refer others who want to know about holding gold.

CR - Mechanicsville, Virginia

I recently converted my wife's traditional IRA and 401k to a precious metal IRA. With the assistance of George Cooper at USAGOLD the transfer was quick, efficient, and financially rewarding. Her account is up 20% since a little over a year ago, which is even more impressive in light of the shaky stock market conditions during the same time. We are still contributing the annual maximum to our accounts and will always use USAGOLD for our purchases.

JM - Sulphur Springs, Indiana

I wanted to diversify some of my IRA holdings, so I recently set up a Precious Metals IRA Account to hold physical gold coins. George Cooper was able to help me set it up with only a phone call or two. George and Centennial Precious Metals are set up as my designated representatives. Now, with each new transfer of funds into the account, George contacts me to arrange for the purchase of additional coins. Each purchase is stored separately in the IRA under my name only, and not commingled with any other IRA assets. I recommend this type of account to anyone who wants more choices in their investment plan. The government specifically allows this kind of retirement investment, so why not take advantage of it? When I retire, I want to have something real. Paper is paper, but gold is forever. Thanks,

MH - San Antonio, Texas

 

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