As recession fears have mounted over the past year, more and more Americans have expressed an interest in protecting their wealth with gold. But for people who are first-time gold buyers or who haven’t followed precious metals markets, the gold buying process can seem daunting.
With hundreds of different gold products to choose from, not to mention dozens of companies vying for your business, the choices can seem overwhelming. Then of course come the numerous questions you have, and the second guessing, sometimes even after you’ve bought gold.
Buying gold doesn’t have to be difficult, but if you haven’t prepared yourself then it might not be as pleasant an experience as it could be. Here are three things you might want to think about before you start buying gold.
1. Examine Your Budget
One of the first things to think about is whether you can afford to buy gold. Yes, gold can help you protect your assets during times of recession, and it can act as a hedge against inflation, but can you afford to own gold?
If you’re six figures in debt, or struggling to make credit card or car payments, can you really afford to buy gold? If you don’t already have a budget or a financial plan in place, is buying gold really going to help you?
There are many people who have an innate understanding of the benefits of gold. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that gold is going to benefit them.
Gold isn’t a magical talisman that, once you own it, is going to make everything turn out right. Gold, like other assets, should be treated as one part of a well-planned and holistic approach to growing your assets. And that means examining your finances to make sure that buying gold is within your budget.
2. Think About Your Timeline
Another thing to consider is how long you’re going to own gold. Presumably, most people at some point will want to sell their gold to get cash. But when that sale occurs is going to look vastly different depending on how old you are.
If you’re in your 30s or 40s, there’s a good chance that you may own gold for 20-30 years or more. The choice between direct cash purchases of gold or buying gold through a gold IRA might not make much of a difference to you, as the decisions about selling gold may be decades off.
But what if you’re in your 50s or 60s? Then you have to start thinking about retirement, taxes, and other topics.
For instance, if you buy gold with a gold IRA, at some point your IRA and 401(k) assets will be subject to required minimum distributions (RMDs). Have you consulted with your tax advisor to figure out what your best strategy is to minimize your tax burden in retirement?
Roth IRAs are exempt from RMDs, and Roth 401(k) accounts will also be exempt from RMDs starting in 2024, so that’s something to keep in mind. But again, how you buy gold will play into your tax and retirement planning, so make sure you think things through.
You can fund a gold IRA with a rollover from existing retirement accounts, such as a 401(k), 403(b), TSP, or IRA account, and those rollovers can occur tax-free. Or you can move money from those accounts into a Roth gold IRA through a Roth conversion, although you would have to pay taxes on that conversion. And assets from a Roth IRA or Roth 401(k) can be rolled over into a Roth gold IRA tax-free.
Taxes are just one part of the equation, however. RMDs start to kick in for your 401(k) and Traditional IRA accounts at age 73. And the RMDs cover all of your 401(k) and IRA accounts.
If you’re already closing in on RMD age, would you have to tap into your gold IRA and sell gold in order to make your RMDs? Would a direct cash purchase of gold keep you from having to sell gold from a gold IRA to make your RMDs? These are questions that you’ll want to ask yourself, and once again consulting a tax professional to get answers could be very helpful.
3. What Do You Want From Gold?
The last thing you want to consider is what purpose gold plays for you. What do you want gold to accomplish within the greater scheme of your portfolio?
Are you expecting the gold price to take off over the next few years, making gold an integral part of your growth strategy? Are you looking to buy gold as a hedge against inflation or recession? Is gold just another part of your portfolio diversification strategy? Or is gold the ultimate hedge against the collapse of the US dollar and the international financial system, a SHTF backup for when everything falls apart?
How you answer these questions may determine how much gold you buy, whether you do it through a gold IRA or through a direct cash purchase, and how long you own gold.
Making the Gold Buying Process Enjoyable
Of course, there are numerous other questions you’ll want to ask yourself too, especially once you make the decision to buy gold. If you’re opening a gold IRA, you’ll want to figure out how to fund that gold IRA. You’ll want to ask yourself which gold coins or gold bars you want to buy.
You’ll also need to choose a gold IRA custodian and a bullion depository to store your gold. Doing your homework and being prepared can help make the process a lot less difficult.
At Goldco, we want our customers to enjoy the process of buying gold and to benefit from owning gold. We work hard to provide both quality gold and silver products and excellent customer service. The over 5,000 5-star reviews our customers have given us attest to our success in doing that.
If you’re interested in buying gold, or just want to learn more about the various options for buying gold, whether through a gold IRA or a direct cash purchase of gold, call us today to learn why so many people have chosen to do business with Goldco.
Trevor Gerszt is the founder and CEO of Goldco, a precious metals dealer in Los Angeles. For more than 20 years, Trevor has sought out ways to help people build long-term wealth through the security and stability of precious metals and other alternative assets. Goldco is A+ Rated by the Better Business Bureau, a 5-Time INC 500 Winner and has countless 5-Star Reviews for its quality customer service, dependability and strong reputation.
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