There are several options available to us when planning for our retirement. One popular option recently has been Gold IRAs. Also called precious metals IRAs, these accounts allow you to diversify your assets, protecting you from inflation and other market volatilities.
But there are still a lot of questions for people who aren’t sure if investing in gold or silver is right for them. One common question is: can I physically possess my gold?
The short answer is, like a lot of life’s questions, it depends. If you want the protection of an IRA account, you cannot physically possess your precious metals. That doesn’t mean, however, that you have no options.
Why You Can’t Possess the Gold
With a gold IRA, just like with any other IRA, you can decide if you want your contributions or your withdrawals to be tax free. In either case, once your funds are placed in the IRA account you cannot touch them until you retire or reach an eligible age (59 ½).
With gold, if you were to take physical possession of the asset, that would effectively be taking an early withdrawal on your IRA funds. Because gold is still money.
Your Other Options
You still have options for taking physical possession of your gold though. Here are two popular routes.
- Early Withdrawals
- Physical Gold Purchases
Just because there might be a tax penalty doesn’t mean that it isn’t worth it. In that case, you can speak with your broker about shipping some or all of your gold to you for you to arrange storage and security.
Just keep in mind that if you do this before you retire, or before you 59 ½, you will have a tax penalty. Speak with your broker to find out if the particulars make sense for you.
Physical Gold Purchases
Several of the Gold IRA companies I’ve reviewed have great options for making precious metals purchases that ship directly to you–or any other address you choose. Some of these companies even have specific packages designed for spending that gold in emergencies or when cash isn’t an option.
Be aware that these physical gold purchases are not tax-protected in the same way a gold IRA is. But there are situations against which you may want to protect yourself where taxes are the least of your concern.