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Gold IRA requirements to know

A gold IRA is a tax-advantaged retirement account you can use to invest in precious metals. Getty Images

Investing in gold today can help some investors take advantage of the precious metal's current high price value while diversifying their portfolios for long-term success.

If you're investing for retirement, you may be particularly interested in buying gold through a gold IRA. These accounts work like regular IRAs (whether you choose a traditional, Roth or SEP IRA), but allow you to hold eligible gold investments. However, there are some requirements you must meet to open and maintain your investment account. 

By taking a few extra steps to ensure you're maximizing your gold IRA, you can reap the benefits of this type of gold investment. Find out more about adding gold to your portfolio with a free information kit.

Gold IRA requirements to know

The IRS has some requirements investors must meet to qualify for a gold IRA. Here's what to know before you open your account.

Standards for physical gold

Because gold is typically considered a collectible by the IRS — and collectibles are not eligible to be held in IRA — you must ensure that the gold you buy meets certain standards.

Generally speaking, this means that your physical gold must be of a fine purity and may need to meet weight specifications. This is to ensure the gold you invest in an IRA is high-quality gold bullion. If you choose to buy gold coins, they may also be used as currency under state laws.

To ensure the gold you buy is IRA-eligible, you may want to consider working with a gold investment company. These companies can help you set up and fund your gold IRA using gold bars and coins that fit IRS regulations.

Learn more about funding your gold IRA with a free investors kit today.


Once you have your IRA-eligible gold, IRS guidelines specify that you also must keep your IRA with a bank or approved non-bank trustee. This account custodian can help you set up and fund your gold IRA, keep your assets safe and offer regular reports on your performance. 

Before you choose, make sure you research the added costs a custodian can add to your investment. This may include annual account fees and a setup fee, either based on a flat number or a percentage of your investment. Experts typically recommend only putting around 5% to 10% of your overall portfolio into gold, so your other investments can maximize growth. If the custodian you choose carries an annual cost, you may want to consider this in your overall investment amount.

If you decide to invest in a gold IRA through a gold investment company, find out your options for custodians first. Some companies work with one or two preferred custodians, while others may allow you to choose any eligible custodian you prefer. 

You can find a list of approved non-bank custodians on the IRS website.

IRA limits

Just like any other type of IRA, gold IRAs are still subject to contribution and withdrawal limits. You should keep these in mind as you build up your gold IRA over time.

For 2023, total contributions to all IRAs shouldn't exceed $6,500 (or $7,500 for investors age 50 or older). This amount may change each year, so it's important to stay up to date with contribution limit changes.

As for withdrawals, you can begin withdrawing money from your IRA at age 59 and a half — if you have a traditional IRA, you may incur a 10% early withdrawal tax for taking any money out before this age. You'll also need to make required minimum distributions from a traditional IRA after reaching age 73. This minimum is based on your balance, but you can calculate yours on the IRS website.  

If you think a gold IRA could be right for you, consider speaking with a trusted financial advisor who can walk you through all the information you need to know for your individual plan. You can get started with more information now using this free investment guide.

The bottom line

A gold IRA could be a good way to enjoy gold's benefits — as a hedge against inflation and potential safeguard from market downturns — through your investment journey to retirement. But the IRS has some specific requirements for investors who want to use an IRA for gold investing. Make sure you do your research to ensure your investment is eligible before you buy in. 

If you're thinking about a gold IRA, you may want to consider working with a gold investment company through the process of funding your account and storing your gold. Learn more with a free information kit today.

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