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Although planning for retirement and beyond is absolutely vital, there are some staggering statistics surrounding how few people are actually doing so in the US. As far as wills are concerned, about 60% of Americans are currently without one, and this can lead to serious implications for grieving loved ones.
Passing on without a will or trust in place can mean probate comes into effect, and assets can end up in limbo. Instead of your assets being passed on to your loved ones, they will instead be locked in by legalities for a considerable amount of time.
Another part of planning for the future is to build up some form of retirement fund. Before most people pass on their assets to family and friends, they will need to finance their retirement.
What is the current state of retirement planning in the US?
Americans are lagging in preparing for retirement just as they are with estate planning. One source estimates that 25% have nothing put aside for their retirement. Even those who do are saving far less than they should.
However, the United States Census Bureau paints an even scarier picture for upcoming retirees. 50% of women between 55 and 66 have nothing saved for retirement, and 47% of men in the same age group are the same.
If you are one of the many individuals with little retirement savings then you may be interested in how you can add to your portfolio. Similarly, if you are already taking your retirement portfolio seriously, then you may be interested in diversifying. Gold bullion represents an interesting proposition for retirement portfolios in 2023.
Can you put gold bullion into your retirement portfolio?
Data on 401(k) take-ups differ, but according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, about 67% of private sector workers could utilize an employer’s retirement fund in 2020. Yet, only 40% chose to do so, even with many employer’s matching contributions.
This could have much to do with the pandemic, and the subsequent cost of living rises you see today. Or, it may be that some people are choosing to invest in other directions. For instance, it is extremely difficult to invest in gold with a 401(k). Instead, there are specific IRAs and other instruments available for this.
For those who aren’t entirely clear, an IRA is an individual’s savings account for retirement as opposed to a 401(k) that is provided by an employer. IRAs have tax advantages and are designed specifically to help individuals add to their retirement portfolio, and they allow for various investments such as precious metals.
How can you invest in gold bullion for your retirement?
There are a number of ways that you can add gold to your retirement portfolio. Perhaps the way most people envisage investing in gold bullion is simply to buy and store it.
Purchasing physical gold bullion
Precious metal retailers such as SD Bullion sell physical gold and silver, along with platinum. These retailers buy and sell gold in the form of coins and bars, and can be used to build a reserve of precious metals for later life.
Storing gold bullion
The downside of owning actual gold bars is how to securely store them. Many precious metal retailers now offer secure, guaranteed storage. But, there is of course an annual fee to consider here.
Gold can be purchased and added to a mutual fund in the form of EFTs. An EFT is an exchange-traded fund. These are traded in the same way that stocks are, and track the price of physical gold. These can be used to invest in gold for a mutual fund.
Gold and silver IRAs
It is becoming more common for IRAs to have precious metals added to them. While you cannot add such collectibles as stamps to an IRA, the tax code does allow gold to be added, but not all gold. You can fund an IRA with a mutual fund that contains gold EFTs for instance, but you can’t add South African Krugerrands to an IRA as they are deemed as collectibles.
The appeal for investing in gold is clear when you consider other investment opportunities today. With bitcoin so unstable, you have to ask why invest in crypto at all when precious metals might be a better option. However, if you want to invest in gold for retirement, you will need to understand how an IRA can be used.
How can gold bullion be added to an IRA?
Financial advisors, and also many of the precious metal retailers, will be happy to advise on how you can set up a gold IRA. But, here is a very brief rundown of what you can and cannot add when it comes to gold bullion.
Firstly, you need a self-directed IRA for gold bullion. To do this, you will need a custodian. The custodian is required by law to ensure the IRA meets regulatory requirements, holds the assets, and administers them. They carry out investment activities according to your decisions as well.
To include gold bullion in a self-directed IRA it has to be classified as legal tender, and have a certain level of fineness. This refers to how pure the gold actually is, and for you to be able to add gold bullion, it has to have a 99.5% level of fineness.
The good news is that American Eagle coins pass the requirements so they can be added to a gold IRA. Gold rounds and bars that have been a government mint, or a facility approved by COMEX or NYMEX, can also be used as an investment. As long as they also hold 99.5% fineness levels.
Is gold investment a good idea in 2023?
At the beginning of January, gold rose to a 6-month high, and experts are predicting new records would soon be hit. In general, gold can be a good investment idea in the short term.
When analysts make predictions about record highs being hit, it could be time to consider a short-term investment in gold. However, over a longer period, and for retirement fund purposes, the picture could be a little different.
Gold is usually outperformed by stocks, but does appreciate when inflation rises. Unlike physical cash, gold will grow in value over time, and isn’t affected by interest rates in the same way savings accounts and some other investments can be.
One way gold bullion is a worthy investment for a retirement portfolio is diversification. If you are budgeting and saving for retirement, then you should consider having a diverse portfolio. Gold and silver make good additions to mutual funds and IRAs as they help to lower the risks involved with your portfolio as a whole.
Investing in precious metals isn’t without its drawbacks, and you may be advised to head to stocks and bonds as these may yield a higher return. However, gold bullion is surging in value at the time of writing, and is an excellent way to diversify a portfolio.
The only problem with investing in gold bullion is that you must understand what you can add to your IRA, and what you cannot. Many gold coins are not legal tender, or of adequate fineness. This will render them collectibles which are not permitted in an IRA.
Consult an advisor who has experience in working with self-directed IRAs holding precious metals, and you can then decide whether gold bullion should be part of your retirement plan.
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