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One of the biggest concerns we have as we near retirement age is money, and rightly so, with so much uncertainty about what will happen when we finally finish work and have to rely on our own savings and investments.
While most of us are happy with our standard 401k plans or IRAs, you might be wondering about the other options out there, with precious metals and gold IRA investing a popular choice.
Investing in gold is no new thing, but it’s something that many people nearing retirement age or even those still young and in the workforce have been considering.
Finding the best gold IRA companies is no easy feat though, especially if you’ve never delved into this type of investment before or already know very little about your own retirement savings plan.
We’ve compiled this thorough guide with gold IRA reviews on some of the top rated companies to help point you in the right direction.
With some of the best gold IRA investing options in the country and a little more about what they offer specifically, you’ll be in the best hands if you decide to consider adding precious metals to your retirement portfolio.
Whether you want to start a brand new account or are looking for the best gold IRA rollover, we can help you find it.
Take a look through our guide and see what’s involved in gold IRA investing as well as what the biggest companies offer in terms of features, pros, and cons, and you might find yourself with a new option for how to keep money safe but flourishing through your retirement years by investing in precious metals.
The Top Picks for Best Gold IRA Companies
Finding the best gold IRA for your retirement can be a challenge if you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for.
We’ve gone through countless hours of research to come up with a definitive list of the best gold IRA custodians and companies and what each of them has to offer for your retirement, so your only final decision will be which of these top performers you want to work with.
Hartford Gold Group
Hartford Gold Group is one of the biggest gold investment companies in the US and they specialize in not only gold IRA but also other means of investing in precious metals.
They have big-name endorsements, reasonable fees, and both online and over the phone customer service that can be accessed around the clock.
In addition to gold, you can also invest in silver and platinum, though gold seems to be their most popular precious metal.
The best thing about the Hartford Gold Group is the abundance of information and up to date data they’re able to give.
Their website has the most recent prices for precious metals and there’s a live chat option that lets you speak with one of their advisors whenever you need.
They have a lengthy FAQ section just for gold IRAs as well, so you’ll never have a shortage of information.
They have a range of storage options to choose from as well, so you can get something closer to home if you choose.
Their vaults are across the country including Brinks depository vaults and some in Delaware, and it’s completely up to you where you keep it.
Their buyback program is another huge advantage that lets you liquidate your assets without as many fees, should you decide to cash out after retirement age and live off the money.
Setting up an IRA account can be done over the phone so it’s not as straightforward as it could be, and the addition of this service would make it a lot easier.
However, all you have to do is phone someone at Hartford Gold Group, tell them how much you want to invest and they can rollover funds from your existing IRA or another plan in just two days.
They can take care of the entire process without you even needing to call your custodian which takes the middle man out of it.
You’ll be liable for storage fees and other costs, but this is calculated on a case by case basis and there’s no way to get this information just by looking at their catalog or site.
This can be annoying for potential customers because it means a bit more research on your behalf to figure out if they’re a viable option.
According to existing customers, their fees are reasonable being that they’re one of the larger gold companies, but that’s hard to determine without knowing their prices.
Hartford Gold Group has the major advantage of being one of the biggest and best gold backed IRA companies in the country and their huge customer base constantly vouches for their service.
Whether you want to invest in gold for an IRA or look at other precious metals for an investment portfolio, they pretty much cover everything.
If you’re searching for a larger and more trusted name to take care of your rollover or start a new IRA then they’re our top pick and one that seems to never falter on service.
Orion Metal Exchange
One of the top contenders in the precious metals IRA reviews has to be Orion Metal Exchange, offering famously low fees for its customers but still having the large buying power that you’re looking for with this type of investment.
Orion Metal Exchange is a precious metals dealer that works with all aspects of investing and they offer great services for those looking to start a new gold IRA or rollover their existing money into one, giving customers a more traditional type of service.
In terms of their customer service, there seem to be plenty of options for reaching out to their support team but sadly no online support.
You can phone them, email them, or reach out through their social media, but the lack of a customer chat is something that would make the process easier.
Their main headquarters is located in Los Angeles but everything can be taken care of over the phone if you’re a new or existing customer, so you never have to visit the branch.
Starting a gold IRA with Orion Metal Exchange means you get your own personal account manager and they give you guaranteed pricing in real-time.
Each month they send statements about how your gold is doing and what’s happening with your investment, as well as up to date news about precious metals and potential changes that could impact your money in the future.
As a customer, you’ll never feel out of the loop and will know exactly what’s happening with your gold.
On the downside though, you can’t purchase anything online and you can’t set up an account this way either.
Compared to other gold IRAs with this option, it does make the company seem a little dated.
A little more digitization of the process and access to online resources would be of huge benefit to Orion Metal Exchange and their customers, especially if you’re new to this type of investment and aren’t yet at the stage where you want to talk to an account manager.
The rundown of costs is easy to find on their website but it also depends on your personal circumstances.
Their storage fees are between $75-$100 per year which is quite reasonable and they have a low minimum investment of $5,000 for a gold IRA.
However, according to their own financial experts, they recommend that customers commit to at least $20,000 of gold in order to see real gains from it in the future.
This might not be suitable for everyone so it should work with your personal retirement investment plan.
Orion Metal Exchange has more of an old school feel than some other gold IRA companies we’ve reviewed, but there are plenty of people out there who’d favor that approach.
They have low fees and great purchasing power which gives you more value for money, but the process of switching over to a gold IRA or starting a new one could be more efficient.
Birch Gold Group
Birch Gold Group are the self-proclaimed precious metal specialists and judging by their many happy customers this seems to be correct.
They have loads of information available on gold IRAs and outline the process for rollovers and new accounts in plenty of detail, as well as upfront information on fees.
With a few main storage options including the Delaware Depository and Brinks Global Services, they’re a reliable choice to go with according to the precious metals IRA custodian reviews we’ve found.
While some gold IRA companies charge a fee of a few hundred dollars to set up a new retirement plan it’s completely free with Birch Gold when you take advantage of their current promotion.
This is a huge bonus and a way to save some money, but it’s not the only cost to look at. Investments over $50,000 will have their fees waived for the first year as well, but customers with less than that should be prepared to pay some costs.
You’ll also be liable for storage and adminstative costs with the account, but this is determined on a case by case basis.
One major benefit that Birch Gold offers over others we’ve reviewed is the larger range of precious metals you can invest in.
In addition to having gold IRA stores, you can also choose to purchase silver, platinum, and palladium.
This gives you even more diversification and one place to do it all, should you prefer to take this approach.
Birch Gold’s website is a little challenging to navigate and if you’re completely new to the world of precious metals it’s frankly overwhelming.
You can’t speak to anyone online nor can you set up your account this way, so everything has to be done over the phone.
The website also doesn’t seem secure so you’ll want to avoid doing any business online for this reason.
It would also be helpful to have some more information available about the company itself, including the owners and stakeholders, and not just writeups about their celebrity endorsements.
Full transparency is important to have when you’re dealing with something as serious as your retirement investment plan, and although Birch Gold is known as a huge company you want to have as much information as possible when you’re trusting someone with your finances.
Overall, Birch Gold Group gives you a personal touch with your own account manager once everything’s been set up, but getting to that stage requires a little more work than we’d like.
With the addition of more online services and a website that’s not as overwhelming in terms of data and information, they might find themselves more attractive to new customers.
For great buying power a range of precious metals to choose from though, Birch Gold Group is a solid choice.
Oxford Gold Group
When one of your biggest priorities in choosing a gold IRA company is customer service, you’ll want someone like the Oxford Gold Group working around the clock.
With 24/7 customer service support and 20 years of experience in the industry, you’ll always feel peace of mind dealing with them, and they can put your mind at ease if you’re new to this type of investment.
A gold IRA with Oxford lets you invest in both silver and gold, but there are currently no other precious metal options available.
As a full-service precious metals dealer, IRA accounts aren’t the only thing they do, but within the company is an entire IRA-dedicated department.
There’s not that much information available online but they have the resources to help customers over the phone, so it can be hard to navigate through their site.
Working with Oxford means you get your very own account manager, 24/7 customer service, and a formulated investment plan that is tailored specifically to your financial situation and goals.
Service is the biggest selling point of Oxford and they’re the preferred choice for people who want a much more personal touch with their gold IRA.
Although they don’t have online support they do have great reviews about their customer service over the phone.
In terms of cost, Oxford Gold Group is one of the most expensive we’ve found and it’s likely to do with this detailed customer support you get.
Although the prices are varied and you can usually get a personalized summary depending on your circumstances they’re still quite costly.
Storage runs between $175 – $225 per year and maintenance fees between $175 to $275 per year, so even just calculating these two alone shows you that you’ll have a lot of ongoing costs.
Those who intend to invest a lot more money will be able to waive a lot of fees, which is when a company like this would be more attractive to choose.
If your account is over $100,000 then you’ll be able to get discounted fees and possibly even eradicate them altogether, so if you plan on investing a lot in precious metals through your IRA then Oxford Gold Group are one of the better options.
For all others, you might want to shop around if you’d prefer not to spend so much in fees.
The Oxford Gold Group gives you two storage options for your gold IRA, including the Delaware Depository and various Brinks Global Services around the country.
They don’t allow local storage or holding the gold yourself, which seems pretty standard, but they will cover storage fees for the first one to five years depending on your account.
This is the gold IRA company to go with if personal customer support is your number one priority.
Their online services are lacking and their fees are higher than most, but having a specialized account manager, personalized retirement plan, and 24/7 customer support will make it worthwhile for many people.
Consider Oxford Gold Group if you want the personal touch and you likely won’t be disappointed.
Lear Capital has been operating as a precious metals dealer for over 20 years and in that time they’ve earned a pretty solid reputation.
They have an in-depth website that answers all of your questions, upfront information about fees and costs, and useful tools like a portfolio comparison calculator that lets you see what an investment in a gold IRA might actually be worth one day.
Over their years of service, they’ve made $3 billion in investments in precious metals so it’s clear they know what they’re doing.
Where Lear Capital really stands out is how much information they’re able to give potential and existing customers through their website alone.
You can apply for free investor kits or make purchases online, and they have more information on gold IRAs than we’ve noted on any other company website.
If you’d like to get all of the data before speaking to a customer agent, this is one gold IRA that actually lets you do it.
In addition to being a hub of information, their fees are also extremely reasonable and a lot lower than other large companies like this that we’ve reviewed.
Lear Capital charges a flat fee of $160 which includes insurance, statements, a 24/7 online account, and shipping.
They don’t have an application fee to get started and their storage costs differ depending on what option you choose, as well as other commissions and fees that change with your investment amount.
To sign up with a Lear Capital gold IRA you must be able to invest a minimum of $7,500 which is a little higher than most.
In addition to this setback, they also only offer one storage facility option which is the Brinks Depository in Utah.
Although it’s a trusted storage option and one that thousands of people rely on, most other gold IRA companies give their customers a wider range to choose from, so this alone could put off potential investors.
The process of applying for a gold IRA takes just three steps, and it can be completed online which is a huge bonus.
You simply fill out some information about your new IRA account, let the know how much you want to invest and whether it’s a rollover or new account, and then wait for Lear Capital to do the rest.
This is great for digitally-minded folks who’d rather not spend hours on the phone or filling out too much paperwork, and something we hope to see other gold IRA companies follow suit with.
Lear Capital is a great choice for a gold IRA company that gives its customers as much information as possible about their potential investment.
They have lots of online services and are known for their efficient and friendly customer service, so as long as you don’t mind the limited storage options or high minimum investment, they could be exactly what you’re looking for in a gold IRA company for your retirement.
Gold IRA FAQs
Individual retirement accounts can be overwhelming to understand, and a gold IRA sometimes adds even more confusion.
If you’re weighing up your retirement investment options and considering putting some money into a gold IRA you no doubt have a lot of questions.
We’ve answered some of the most popular ones people have about this option so you can see if it’s a smart investment choice for you.
What Is A Gold IRA?
A gold IRA is an individual retirement account that deals with physical gold assets instead of paper ones as a form of investment.
The IRA company lets you invest money in precious metals like gold and platinum and then holds them for you in a retirement account until you’re ready to cash them out and trade the physical stores of gold for money.
Do I Get Possession Of My IRA Gold?
Although technically the gold in an IRA belongs to you, you will not get physical possession of it.
Gold is held either in-house with the trustee or at a third party location where it can be looked after unless you use a local storage option.
There are circumstances where you can access the physical stores of gold rather than trading them for their cash value, but this comes with large fees and taxes that usually makes it disadvantageous.
Is A Gold IRA Safe?
Choosing a safe option for your retirement savings is never a one size fits all approach but investing in precious metals has always been considered somewhat harmless.
The best way to put money aside for retirement is with diverse options, so choosing a gold IRA as one area where to put your money might be the safest alternative.
You should always speak with a financial advisor about which options are the best for your personal circumstances because an investment in gold might not always be ideal.
What Is A Local Storage Gold IRA?
A local storage gold IRA is sometimes referred to as a home storage IRA and this refers to the process of sending the gold directly to the manager of the IRA rather than storing it with a third party facility.
This gives the IRA manager, which could be you, the choice of where to store the gold provided they are able to find somewhere safe and secure to do so.
This is the least common method of storage though, with most relying on a third party national depository or vault for safekeeping.
Can I Use My Existing IRA, TSP, 401K Or 403b To Invest In Precious Metals?
All 401k and related plans are unique, and although not all of them will allow you to invest in precious metals like gold, some do.
If you would prefer to use some of your retirement investment funds for purchasing gold as part of your plan, the manager or trustee of the account can advise you whether it’s possible.
Otherwise, you can rollover the funds of your existing IRA or 401k and transfer them into a gold IRA instead.
Is It Expensive To Have Gold IRA?
There are costs associated with having a gold IRA that can make it a more expensive option than other investment vehicles.
Setup and administration fees, storage fees, maintenance fees, and markups and commissions are just some of the costs associated with this type of investment that could end up losing money if not researched properly.
What Are Some Other Precious Metals Besides Gold To Put In A Precious Metals?
Gold IRA is the standard term that covers all precious metals that can be used for IRAs, however, it’s not the only one.
In addition to gold, you can also invest in other precious metals including silver, platinum, and palladium, usually all available from the one type of account and kept together as a single investment.
How Can I Rollover My Existing IRA Investment Gold IRA?
If you have money already in an existing IRA and want to roll the funds over to a self-directed gold IRA, you can organize this with your IRA custodian.
The IRS allows each person to perform one rollover every 12 months, so you are limited in how often you can rollover funds, but it is possible if you want to make the switch to a gold IRA instead.
How Long Should One Hold The Precious Metals In An IRA?
Gold is often considered more of a long term investment that rarely sees gains in the short term.
Therefore, the longer you can hold precious metals like gold in an IRA the better off you’ll be.
However, gold trading can be a volatile market and it’s hard to know exactly what they’ll be worth in the future, so there’s always a risk to be taken.
How Much Of My Savings And Worth Should Be In Invested Precious Metals?
Some financial experts believe that having 10-20% of your worth in tangible assets like precious metals is the ideal figure, but it will depend entirely on your circumstances.
To get an accurate amount that suits your financial situation you should speak with a financial advisor directly to know exactly how much to invest in gold.
A Smart Option for Retirement
While there’s certainly nothing wrong with having a traditional IRA working for you at retirement, diversifying your portfolio a bit and adding precious metals to your investments can also be a wonderful idea.
Provided you’ve done your research on the best place to buy and how to know you’re getting the right amount, it can be hugely beneficial in the long term.
If you’re interested in rolling over your existing IRA to a gold IRA or starting up a new fund entirely, any of these companies we’ve reviewed will be the best place to start.
They have a longstanding history in the industry, great reviews and recommendations, and a wealth of options that can be catered specifically to your needs.
It’s never too early to think about your retirement and what type of investment options would work best for you.
Having a gold IRA is just another viable option that could end up being hugelybeneficial when it comes time to cash out, so don’t discount the worth that precious metals could have in your investment retirement portfolio.