Should you put money into gold? The answers to this question usually lean one way or the other. On one side of this debate, many investors hold the opinion that buying gold is a losing proposition because it doesn’t pay dividends or interest and it requires money to store and safeguard.

While disputed, it is generally accepted that Warren Buffett stated the following in relation to his stance against buying gold.

“Gold is extracted from the earth somewhere, perhaps in Africa. Then we burn it, make another pit, bury it once more, and hire someone to stand guard over it. It serves no purpose. Anyone on Mars who witnessed this would be perplexed.

On the opposite end of the precious metals spectrum, there are investors who think that gold will serve as a store of value in times of crisis because they think the U.S. dollar is rapidly losing purchasing power. Additionally, there is rising worry that debt and inflation will someday render the currency useless.

Although there are real reasons to be concerned about inflation, the case for stockpiling gold, silver, or any other precious metals isn’t always backed by the evidence. The widespread consensus is that gold makes a better inflation hedge than it does as a hedge against a crisis. If we experience a terrible economic collapse, goods like gasoline, food, clean water, and medicine are more likely to be used as a currency than precious metals like gold, silver, platinum, or palladium.

Having said that, there has been a surge in marketing during the Great Recession urging retirees to convert their cash assets into precious metals in an IRA or GoldAndPreciousMetals.com. You should take the time to learn how these accounts function before deciding to allocate your hard-earned retirement nest egg toward any investment.

A Gold IRA: What Is It?

The tax code authorizes “self-directed” vehicles that can contain precious metals like silver or gold, even though the majority of IRAs invest in more conventional assets like stocks, bonds, and cash equivalents. However, this does not imply that any kind of precious metal can be kept in an IRA. The tax code establishes the purity requirements for gold, silver, platinum, or palladium bars that can be held in these specialist accounts as well as the designated gold, silver, and platinum coins that qualify. Jewelry and other items made of precious metals, such as rare coins, are prohibited.

Finding a custodian that will let you retain precious metals like gold within the IRA is necessary for setting up an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) correctly. You must also choose an authorized repository. The next stage is to purchase the allowed amounts of gold or other precious metals like silver, platinum, or palladium, and then transfer those assets to the depository in a way that allows the custodian to account for them. The gold and silver American Eagle and Canadian Maple Leaf coins, the Austrian Philharmonic coin, PAMP Suisse Gold bars, and the majority of platinum bars are a few examples of acceptable shapes.

Choosing a Traditional or Roth IRA to invest in

Both standard and Roth IRAs are subject to the same tax regulations that permit the holding of gold in IRAs. Precious metals can also be held in SIMPLE-IRAs and SEP accounts, which are simplified employee pensions. When deciding between a traditional and Roth IRA, the same criteria are used. Both types of accounts have advantages and disadvantages. Tax-deferred growth and deductible donations are features of traditional IRAs. On the other hand, contributions to a Roth IRA are made with after-tax money, and distributions are tax-free.

Is it Secure to Have Gold in IRAs?

In order to be able to sell an investment and use the proceeds for consumption in the future, it must either produce present income or have a reasonable expectation of increasing in value. In essence, you are spending tax-deferred space on something that doesn’t bring in money and won’t spare you from paying taxes. The account value will be subject to taxes upon withdrawal, just like any other traditional IRA account. Physical gold does not produce dividends, interest, or capital gains distributions, all of which are tax-sheltered in an IRA, unlike owning stocks, mutual funds, ETFs, etc.

Rules for Required Minimum Distribution

Annual required minimum distributions (RMDs) from traditional IRAs are necessary once you reach age 72 (or 70.5 if you do so before January 1, 2020). RMDs do not apply to Roth IRAs. You must have enough liquid assets to make your necessary distributions from traditional IRAs. This can be difficult for Gold IRAs and may force you to liquidate assets in order to comply with RMD regulations. The good news is that other IRA funds may be used to satisfy the entire necessary minimum payout. When choosing between a Roth and standard Gold IRA, investors need consider 7 RMD restrictions.

Should You Make a Gold IRA Investment?

A Gold IRA investment is identical to an investment in another asset type. You must confirm that the total risk tolerance and time horizon of your investment portfolio match. Additionally, you must ensure that the decision to incorporate investments in alternative asset classes, such as gold, is consistent with your comprehensive financial plan. Although adding gold in your retirement plan can bring some variety and possibly make you feel less anxious about the state of the economy, it should only make up a small portion of your entire retirement savings.

Advertisements for gold IRAs play on our anxieties and, at first glance, may seem to be well-supported. Before creating a Gold IRA, think it over carefully. Due to high prices, relative volatility, and a patchy track record in terms of investments, include gold or other precious metals as a sizable component of your IRA is typically a bad idea over the long term.

There are additional ways to add gold to your IRA. You can purchase and sell shares of gold ETFs and keep them in a traditional IRA or 401(k) (k). The lack of minimums and the requirement for special accounts are further benefits. 8 Alternative asset classes generally shouldn’t make up more than 5 to 10% of your whole retirement investment portfolio.