Whether you change your jobs or you are separated from service, the decision to rollover your 401(k) into an IRA is still one of life's most important decisions.
There are many reasons why this may be the right choice for you and we will discuss them all in this article. However, before doing so, it is important that you understand the basic facts about IRAs and 401ks.
Why Should You Consider a Gold Rollover?
First, you need to understand that the 401(k) and IRA have a very similar tax structure. Both are considered retirement accounts and both allow you to defer taxes until a later age. The difference with an IRA is that it gives you more investment options. And since gold has been a strong commodity over the last several years, it simply makes sense to roll over your 401(k) into an IRA specifically designed to handle precious metals.
In a rollover IRA, gold coins can actually provide larger capital gains tax write-offs. In addition, the IRA has more options for joint accounts, trust accounts, and even IRA accounts for your children.
Is 401k to Gold IRA Rollover a Good Investment?
In a word, yes. And not just for the reasons listed above; there are numerous other benefits to a rollover IRA.
First, gold has been a good investment over the last decade and those who invested when it was low are reaping the rewards. Metals in general are recognized as a stable investment, but gold is viewed as the most stable of them all.
It is used in many industries and even in space technology. Think of gold as a hedge against inflation: when the dollar is struggling, gold's value remains strong.
In addition, gold also has growth potential. If you are looking at retirement in the next five to ten years, you may want to consider immediate ownership. In other words, if you already have $30,000 saved, you may want to take it out of your 401(k) as opposed to waiting until later.
401k to Gold IRA Rollover Process Explained
The rollover process is very simple. You contact a brokerage firm that offers IRA accounts, and then you fill out a few forms in which you provide your information as well as the details of your 401(k). The rest of the process is very simple, you contact the company holding your 401(k) and tell them that you want to make the transfer. From there, they will send it to the brokerage firm and then it's just a waiting game.
Once the funds have been transferred to your new IRA, you can decide how you want to invest it. Remember that 401(k)s are not always liquid so you should take this into consideration when you are deciding how to spend the money. In most cases, however, most people leave the money where it is until they decide what they truly want to do.
What's the Difference Between Rollovers and Transfers?
There isn't much of a difference except in name. A transfer is exactly what it sounds like: you move the money from one place to another. A rollover is slightly different because the 401(k) provider doesn't actually send you the money. Instead, they send you a check for the total amount of your fund and you are then obligated to send that money to your new account within a specific time period.
Gold IRA Rollover Rules
The IRS does have rules and regulations surrounding 401(k) rollovers. While these rules may seem draconian at first, they are in place to prevent people from abusing the system.
First, you must inform your current 401(k) provider of your intent to make a rollover within 60 days of receiving the check. This is to prevent you from sitting on the money and earning interest in your personal bank account before sending it to your new 401(k) account.
Second, if you are under the age of 70 1/2, you are required to make a direct rollover. This means you must deposit the funds directly to your new IRA provider; you cannot take possession of the money and then deposit it later. This prevents you from circumventing the law and earning interest in your own account before handing it over to the new provider.
If you are 70 1/2 or over, you have a bit more time to make your decision and can set the money aside in either a Traditional IRA or a Roth IRA.
Third, there is a minimum holding period of your rollover contribution. This means that you must leave the money within your rollover account for at least a year before making any withdrawals. If the account is a Roth IRA, you must leave it for at least five years before making any withdrawals. This prevents people from using the rollover system to make a quick profit.
Gold IRA Transfer Rules
When you are working with a Gold IRA Transfer, there are some other rules and regulations that you must be aware of.
First, if you have an existing IRA, you cannot transfer the funds from that account. You must close out the present IRA and then open a new one to transfer the funds.
Second, you cannot combine IRAs when you make the transfer. For example, if you have a Traditional IRA and your spouse has a Roth IRA, the transfer cannot be made from both accounts into a joint account.
Third, the amount that can be transferred is limited. You cannot transfer more than you currently have in any given IRA. For example, if you have $20,000 in your IRA, you cannot make a transfer of $50,000 just because both are invested in gold IRAs.
Fourth, the minimum amount that can be transferred is based on the age of the account holder. If you are under the age of 70 1/2, you can make a transfer for at least $1. If you are 70 1/2 or older, you can make a transfer for at least $6,000.
Finally, there is a minimum holding period that applies to all transfers.
Before you also consider taking a distribution from your existing 401(k) plan, you are strongly advised to speak with an accountant or financial advisor. There are certain rules that apply when you take a distribution and these rules could prevent you from combining them if you do not take the proper actions.
If your 401(k) allows for a Direct Rollover, you can have the funds directly deposited into a new Gold IRA account. Under this scenario, you will remain the owner of the funds and they will not be considered a taxable event. There are still rules that apply, but generally, this process is easier than withdrawing the funds and then properly re-depositing them into an IRA.
If the 401(k) plan is a designated Roth account, you will have the option to have the funds transferred to a separate designated Roth account. This is referred to as a Trustee-to-Trustee transfer and there are no tax implications involved because it is considered an intra-plan transfer.
The 60-Day Rollover Rule
If you are under the age of 59 1/2, the IRS does not want you to withdraw your funds and then re-deposit them shortly after. In fact, the government would like your money to continue to work for as long as possible! Fortunately, there is a way around this and that is known as the 60-Day Rollover Rule.
Under the 60-Day Rollover rule, you have up to 60 days to make your rollover deposit. The advantage of this is that you are not subjected to the default withholding rate which is currently at a whopping 25%. By doing a 60-Day Rollover, you can control the amount that is being withheld. This can help if you are looking to maximize the growth of your funds while keeping taxes to a minimum.
The Biggest Benefits of a 401k to Gold IRA Rollover
Regardless of which scenario you find yourself in, there are some significant benefits to opting for a rollover. The biggest benefit of all is that you can continue to defer your taxes until a future date; potentially decades in the future! This can certainly come in handy if you are looking to save money and are not in a particular tax bracket currently.
Another important aspect of rolling over your 401k is that many times you will have more investment options available to you.
The Growth Potential for Precious Metals Has an Incredibly Large Upside
Many people believe that investing in gold and other precious metals is a great way to hedge your portfolio against tough economic times as well as an unstable economy.
Finally, many 401k plans actually have high fees associated with them. A direct rollover allows you to bypass this and go with a New Direction Gold IRA, which has much lower annual fees.
The Ability to Further Diversify Your Retirement Portfolio
Is yet another reason why a rollover is such a great idea. The more types of assets you have, the less likely you are to suffer from a loss during any given time period.
The Tax Advantages are Worth their Weight in Gold
If you are already participating in your employer's 401k and then you have the option to rollover your 401k when you leave that company, there is really no reason why you shouldn't do so. The benefits are many and far outweigh the risks involved.
The Advantage of Taking Complete Control of your Investments
Is incredibly empowering. Gone are the days where a person had to pay high fees to invest in mutual funds and hope that it would adequately cushion them for retirement.
You not only have the option of choosing whether or not to invest in mutual funds, but you can also take things a step further and choose your own stocks and physical precious metals. This is what can be accomplished through a rollover IRA.
There are many consequences that come along with leaving your current job. Some are good and some are bad. A 401k is one of the benefits of having a stable job; however, like most good things in life, that eventually comes to an end.
When you leave your company, there are many options on the table as to what to do with your 401k account. One of the most popular options is to rollover your 401k into an Individual Retirement Account. A rollover IRA has several benefits including tax advantages, more investment options, and the ability to take greater control of your own retirement funds.
No matter which direction you decide to go in regards to your 401k account, a rollover into an Individual Retirement Account is certainly worth considering. This type of IRA allows you to take greater control of your financial future and gives you a wider selection of investment options.