The options for investing in your retirement plan have never been more diverse.
With bonds, stocks, IRAs, and more on the table, modern investors have options when it comes to retirement. For a truly diverse portfolio aimed to offset volatility of paper assets and other markets, silver is a popular choice for good reason.
Silver has proven growth potential and has typically maintained its value during economic downturns or times of high volatility. It has countless industrial applications, giving it intrinsic value. Additionally, silver has historically been used as a form of money, and because it’s not tied to any other form of currency, central banks and governments cannot alter its price.
With a self-directed investment retirement account, you can capitalize on the many benefits of silver and work them into your retirement plan.
A self-directed IRA, or SDIRA, is an investment method that offers a hands-on approach to managing funds. When you open an SDIRA, you can personally choose the assets and investments you want to include.
SDIRAs allow investors to include assets and investments not typically included in a conventional IRA. SDIRA holders can choose from a large and diverse selection of assets, allowing for more nuanced performance and a more niche prediction of future financial markets.
SDIRAs, IRAs, and 401(k)s
A conventional IRA consists of bonds, mutual funds, and stocks. Physical silver is not typically an option, and the assets one invests in are chosen by a financial institution rather than the IRA account holder themselves.
SDIRAs are held by a custodian such as a brokerage or investment firm. Unlike conventional IRAs, the account holder can direct the custodian to make specific investment decisions such as purchasing and selling assets.
Whereas individuals can open their own IRA or SDIRA, employers sometimes offer 401(k) options, which allow for investment plans similar to conventional IRAs. Self-directed 401(k)s, however, do enable account holders to invest in silver.
Here are some of the SDIRA options available:
- Traditional SDIRA
Taxes are only paid when funds are withdrawn. Funds can be withdrawn at age 59.5 onwards, and annual tax-deductible contributions are decided based on income level.
- Roth SDIRA
Withdrawals are penalty-free following a 5-year holding period. All earnings and principal are tax-free, but annual contributions are not tax deductible. Income level decides eligibility.
- SEP SDIRA
SEP SDIRAs are established by employers. Employers can contribute up to 25% of earned income, and contributions are 100% vested. Employers can choose to fund the account or not each year, depending on the business cycle.
- SIMPLE SDIRA
Also established by employers, this SDIRA is designed for small businesses with 100 employees or fewer. Employers must make contributions based on employee compensation, and the account is 100% vested.
Why Save with Silver?
Let’s explore some of the main benefits of adding silver to your retirement account.
When the value of paper assets drop, silver prices often rise. Investors flock to silver to escape volatility in the stock markets, allowing you to use silver to diversify a more traditional portfolio. In 2019, China launched the Shanghai Silver Benchmark, forming 18% of the world’s demand for silver, demonstrating the longevity and security of the asset.
Equally, when the value of fiat currencies like the U.S. dollar weakens, investors look to precious metals like silver. During times of economic upheaval, government’s often respond with monetary easing policies. For example, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused the U.S. government to print off unprecedented amounts of money, making silver a potential hedge.
SIlver has massive growth potential for a number of reasons. Silver is a real and finite asset, unlike paper assets, and it has intrinsic value. The global supply is continuously depleting, and in recent years, demand has risen. Silver is needed to make batteries, alloys, RFID chips, solar panels, nuclear reactors, and many other widely used technologies.
Rolling Assets into a Silver IRA
The process of moving existing retirement accounts into an SDIRA can seem daunting. Birch Gold precious metals specialists are available to help you with this entire process, making your experience a straightforward and simple one.
Typically, people use 401(k) rollover and IRA transfer options. It’s just as possible to use a rollover from other retirement accounts sponsored by your employer, such as TSP, 457, and 403(b).
Transfers and Rollovers
A transfer involves moving funds from one retirement account to another of the same type. You can transfer funds from a 401(k) to a 401(k) or from an IRA to another IRA. A rollover, on the other hand, moves funds between different types of retirement accounts. You can also combine several different accounts into one rollover and even maintain your assets’ tax-deferred status in doing so.
The following accounts are eligible for a rollover into a Silver IRA:
- Traditional IRA
- Roth IRA
- SIMPLE IRA
- SEP IRA
- Eligible 401(k), TSP, 457, 403(b), and others.
How to Begin Investing in Silver in an SDIRA
We’ve made the process of opening a Silver IRA simple, with several easy-to-handle steps and a precious metals specialist on hand to help answer any questions you might have along the way.
1. Open Your Custodian Account
To begin, you need to set up an account with a custodian. A custodian is a financial institution that stores assets and can execute trading decisions on your behalf. For a silver SDIRA, your custodian will hold the legal paperwork connected to your account, and an approved depository will store the physical silver. To meet IRS requirements and maintain a tax-deferred status on your investment, the IRS requires that your retirement plan is managed by a custodian.
Birch Gold Group works with licensed custodians that specialize in precious metal IRAs, including silver SDIRAs. We typically work with Equity Trust Company and STRATA Trust company. We selected these groups because they meet our strict quality standards at the highest level, including their A+ ratings from the Better Business Bureau.
As with a conventional IRA, you can transfer funds from your retirement account to a silver SDIRA with no tax penalty. Birch Gold Group will assign an IRA specialist to your account to facilitate the transfer or rollover process, which usually takes one to three weeks. The length of the process depends on how quickly your custodian will process the paperwork from your former accounts. Birch Gold Group has a minimum starting point of $10,000 for a silver IRA account.
2. Choose Your Precious Metals
There are a number of options available when it comes to setting up a precious metals IRA. Gold is probably the most commonly known option, but you can also invest in platinum, palladium, and of course, silver. Here’s a list of IRA-approved precious metals products.
Silver’s track record and legacy as an asset with intrinsic value makes it a particularly popular choice. Silver is more volatile and often sees greater price appreciation than gold over short time periods. As a result, investors monitoring industrial demand can gain an edge over the market that would be difficult to pursue for other precious metals. However, it’s important to be aware of all four options (silver, gold, palladium, platinum) as well as IRS criteria for which precious metals products are eligible for your retirement account. At Birch Gold Group, your designated precious metals specialist will walk you through specific products and options so you can make the best possible decision when it comes to your retirement.
3. Invest in Silver
Purchasing silver through Birch Gold Group is very straightforward. Before making your purchase, you can choose to consult with a precious metals specialist who will recommend products that best suit your specific needs and expectations. Once you are comfortable moving forward with a purchase, simply give your specialist the go-ahead, and they’ll make a purchase on your behalf. From that point on, you’ll own silver in your very own SDIRA.
4. Store Your Silver
Your newly-purchased silver will be securely stored at an approved, insured depository. This is true for any precious metals bought through Birch Gold Group. We usually work with Delaware Depository, the largest such depository in the U.S., along with Brink’s Global Services, a world leader in secure logistics and storage solutions.
5. Monitor Your Investment
For peace of mind, you can reach out to your assigned specialist at any time with queries about your silver IRA. This affords you expert input on the current state of the precious metals markets, allowing you to make informed decisions on an ongoing basis. Additionally, you can get a detailed and up-to-date buyback quote from Birch Gold Group at any time.
Frequently Asked Questions
Let’s take a look at some of the common questions associated with using your retirement account to invest in silver. Again, for any other queries, please feel free to contact Birch Gold Group directly.
What Fees Come with Silver IRAs?
There are specific fees associated with custodians and depositories. These fees are representative of what most customers will pay when setting up an IRA through Birch Gold. We’ve divided these into one-time and annual fees below.
- Account Set Up Fee: $50
- Wire Transfer Fee: $30
- Storage/Insurance: $100
- Management Fees: $80
Our team’s collective experience in the finance and precious metals markets spans many types of IRAs, and we’ve established our service in such a way that offers complete flexibility as well as valuable one-on-one consultations with our Precious Metals Specialists. A minimum of $10,000 is required to start a retirement account using precious metals through Birch Gold. For new accounts of over $50,000, Birch Gold will cover your fees for the first year. To find out more about the fees associated with a silver IRA, contact us.
What Silver is IRA Approved?
Only silver bars, coins, and rounds of over 99.9% purity (.999 fineness) can be purchased through a retirement account. Below is a list of some of the silver products eligible for investment in your silver SDIRA.
- American Silver Eagle (bullion)
- American Silver Eagle (proof)
- Canadian Silver Maple Leaf
- Canadian Silver Twin Maples
- America the Beautiful Silver Series
- Silver Rose Crown Guinea
- Silver Gyrfalcon
- Silver Polar Bear and Cub
- Silver Bars and Rounds
Can I Buy Gold in a Silver IRA?
Not everyone is aware that your silver IRA can be used to purchase gold as well as silver. Here is a list of some gold products eligible for investment through your silver SDIRA:
- American Eagle Coins (Bullion & Proof)
- Gold American Buffalo Coins
- Canadian Maple Leaf Coins
- Austrian Philharmonic Coins
- Australian Nugget / Kangaroo Coins
- Gold Polar Bear and Cub coins
- Gold Gyrfalcon Coins
- Gold Twin Maples Coins
- Valcambi CombiBars
- Gold bars and rounds from approved mints & refiners
Other than the American Gold Eagle, gold must be 99.5% pure to be eligible for IRA investment.
Do I Own Physical Silver if I Buy Through an IRA?
Yes. If you invest in silver through an IRA, you will physically own that silver. Your silver will be stored by an approved depository that recognizes you as the sole owner. You will be the legal titleholder of any metals purchased through a precious metals IRA.
Through Birch Gold, you can even choose an in-kind distribution option, which gives you the actual precious metal straight from your account.
What Tax Benefits Come From an SDIRA?
Traditional, SEP, and SIMPLE IRAs are all tax deferred. With these methods, you’ll only pay taxes on funds you withdraw, allowing you to accumulate tax-free capital in the meantime.
On the other hand, a Roth SDIRA is taxed upfront, and annual contributions are not tax deductible. However, your account will be tax-exempt once you reach retirement. The gains on your silver aren’t taxed on qualified distributions. The type of retirement account you opt for is up to you and should be based on your personal retirement savings needs.
Is There a Good Time to Rollover my Retirement Account?
Every saving situation is different. As a retirement plan account holder, choosing when to rollover your funds is a personal decision. Some people find that rolling a 401(k) into an IRA can save on fees, for example. IRAs typically have more flexibility when it comes to estate planning payouts over other retirement plans.
Ultimately, you’ll need to consider your options. We recommend that you consult your accountant, tax lawyer, or tax advisor. The final decision is up to you.
Our Birch Gold precious metals specialists are always here to help walk you through the different ways you can invest in silver so you can understand your situation better and make the best choice for your retirement.
Contact Birch Gold today by calling (800) 355-2116 when you are ready to include silver in your retirement nest egg or ask a question about different silver IRA options.