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Investing in gold is an excellent choice and wise investment decision for many reasons. First, the value of gold is based on its natural worth, and investors over the years have used it to protect their wealth from the high level of volatility that inflation brings.

Many investors resort to saving their funds in gold in cases of economic uncertainties. Most of these investors know that investing in gold is a safe refuge above other kinds of investment amid economic adversities.

Secondly, an inverse relationship exists between gold and the United States stock market. For many years, when the stock market is crashing, the gold prices seem to increase. The nature of gold and its relationship with the stock market has made investors choose it as a 'safe haven' investment vehicle.

The financial crisis in the economy can badly affect retirement plans. Hence, wise investors should consider diversifying their retirement portfolios using gold and other precious metals investments. Furthermore, the decline in the dollar's purchasing power is making residents of the United States seek relief by investing in tangible assets like gold bars and gold coins.

Similarly, financial and retirement planning experts recommend gold investing as part of portfolio diversification because of the continuous fluctuations in the stock market. According to them, investing in tangible assets will give you financial security and peace of mind during economic turbulence. Hence, we recommend you seek the services of a financial advisor before investing in a gold backed IRA

What is a Gold Backed 401k?

A Gold backed IRA (Individual Retirement Account) is a self directed IRA backed by real gold. They are also called platinum backed IRAs or silver backed IRAs. This precious metals IRA allows investors to hold physical gold, leverage on increasing gold prices, and stabilize their retirement investment portfolios with gold and other precious metals while enjoying the huge tax advantages of owning a traditional IRA.

Gold backed IRA investments are becoming popular in the United States as a way for investors to diversify their retirement portfolio effectively. This special IRA allows investors to hold gold and silver coins and bars in their retirement accounts.

Platinum-backed IRAs offer various benefits over a traditional or Roth IRA. The major benefit is offering gold investments to its investors, and this metal can secure the retirement account of investors properly.

Gold is a stable asset and a long-term investment option. It can appreciate over a long time. In addition, the market fluctuations affecting stock and bonds do not affect gold investments. Hence, it is a reliable and secure investment option for your retirement savings.

You must understand the cost and other requirements of opening a gold IRA. Generally, the minimum investment requirement for gold and silver backed IRAs ranges from $2,000 to $50,000, depending on the gold IRA provider that you choose to work with.

In the latter section of this article, we will give you the top five gold IRA companies that can help you open a gold IRA account. These gold IRA providers work with reputable gold custodians responsible for keeping your gold investments safe.

For emphasis, a self-directed gold IRA is an excellent way for portfolio diversification and retirement savings protection. People who invest in gold back IRAs will benefit from the stable and profitable nature of gold and enjoy the benefits of IRAs. Hence, silver backed IRA investment is a smart way to protect your financial future.

Bidens attack on gold IRa TAx rules

Why Can't I Get Real Gold Wthin My 401k Retirement Plan?

A 401k is a retirement plan sponsored by employers, and they have limits regarding investment options. These plans and how they are set up differ from employer to employer. Hence, depending on how your employer decides to set up your 401k, it can only allow a limited number and kinds of assets. Most times, the values of these assets will be questionable.

401k plans offer various pre-selected investment options in the following categories.

  • Stocks
  • Bonds
  • Mutual Funds
  • ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds)

Most times, these employers emphasize the stocks of their companies. Nevertheless, all the investments under this 401K retirement are paper assets and susceptible to investment risks.

For instance, if you invest in a particular company stock and the company goes bankrupt, you will lose a considerable part of your retirement savings and investments. No matter the investment option, all the paper assets your 401k plan offers will be subject to volatility that affects the stock market.

Conversely, gold does not belong to any company or the global market. It is an investment asset that can help guarantee your financial security now and in the future, no matter what happens to the other investment assets in your retirement portfolio.

401K plans do not allow investing in physical gold. Hence, you need another way to diversify your retirement portfolio using precious metals. The way to do that is through a gold IRA rollover. This process allows you to move funds from your 401k account to your new gold backed IRA account.

When you open a gold backed IRA account, you can buy gold, silver, platinum, and palladium while enjoying the tax deference associated with individual retirement accounts.

How to Invest in Gold With Your 401k in Simple Steps

We have already established that you will need to set up a gold backed IRA and perform a rollover to be able to buy gold and other precious metals using your 401k funds. We also mentioned that you must work with a reputable gold IRA provider to help you perform a smooth gold backed IRA rollover.

The IRA custodian should be eligible to open and manage your gold IRA account. Bear Lake Gold has identified gold brokers who work with the leading gold IRA custodians in the industry. These custodians can help you perform a smooth gold backed IRA rollover process.

Follow these simple steps to invest in gold using your 401k funds.

Review and Check Your Account Eligibility

Not all 401k plans are eligible for a rollover. Eligibility is dependent on your employer. Hence, you need to confirm from your 401k plan administrator if your 401k is eligible for a rollover. You can speak with your custodian to assist you in the inquiry process and help you with the necessary paperwork to perform a gold backed IRA rollover.

Open a Gold Backed IRA and Perform a Rollover

Immediately after confirming your status and that your 401k plan is eligible for a rollover, you should open an account with your preferred custodian. Then you must inform your plan administrator about the amount you intend to roll over from your 401k account into your new gold IRA. Provided your account is eligible for a rollover, and you perform the rollover through a reputable company, you will not incur any tax penalty.

Purchase Your Precious Metal Investments

Once you have completely set up your silver backed IRA account and funded your account via a rollover, the next thing to do is to buy your preferred profitable gold investment choices from your preferred gold dealer. There are many gold brokers in the United States, but just a few offer the best products and services in the industry.

As a reputable company that reviews gold firms, we have identified five companies that offer the best precious metals IRA products and services. In addition, they work with the best gold IRA custodians in the United States to ensure you open your gold backed IRA and perform a rollover without hassles.

The five companies we recommend as the best in the gold and silver industry in their ranking order are.

  • Augusta Precious Metals
  • Goldco
  • American Hartford Gold
  • Birch Gold Group
  • Noble Gold Investment

These companies work with precious metal experts who can guide you in making the best investments eligible for your gold-backed IRA account. They also have the best educational materials to help you make an informed decision on your gold IRA investing. In addition, they have thousands of positive ratings on reputable consumer rating websites like BBB (Better Business Bureau), BCA (Business Consumer Alliance), TrustLink, and Trustpilot.

Furthermore, our recommended companies will also help you move the precious metals you bought from them to a secure storage depository approved by the IRS for precious metals storage. The IRS does not allow investors to store precious metals bought through a gold & palladium IRA account in their homes.

tax compliant Gold IRA

Types of Gold IRA Rollover

In the previous section, we discussed how you can roll over your 401k plan to a gold backed IRA in simple steps. However, you can perform your gold IRA via two methods.

  • Direct Rollover
  • Indirect Rollover

Direct Rollover

A direct rollover involves electronically transferring funds from one retirement account to another. Usually, your 401k plan administrator sends funds from your 401k account to your new gold IRA custodian for deposition into your account. This type of rollover is called the trustee-to-trustee rollover. It is the easiest type of gold backed 401k rollover.

Indirect Rollover

This rollover is not like the direct rollover. It involves funds coming to you for redeposition. You will get the money in cash or check from your 401k administrator to deposit in your new gold backed IRA. Then, you will get a 60-day deadline to deposit the money. Failure to complete your deposit within 60 days will attract tax withholding penalties.

Usually, the IRS withholds 20% of the rollover funds and will confiscate it as a tax penalty when you miss the deadline for depositing the money you cashed out via an indirect rollover into your account. You must also be aware that even though the IRS will withhold 20% for cases of tax penalties, with you receiving 80%, you will still need to pay the full 100% to avoid tax penalties.

The indirect rollover is more complicated than the direct rollover, and it is more likely to incur tax penalties than the direct rollover. Hence, it is advisable always to use the direct gold backed IRA rollover.

Why Should I Consider a Gold IRA Over a 401k Retirement Plan

Wealth Protection

Many advantages come with rolling over your 401k to precious metals, or gold backed IRA. First, gold can protect your retirement savings from economic crises, market volatility, and inflation because of its stability.

In addition, the investment is easy to store because of its portability. Its portable nature and easy storage make it an ideal investment vehicle for retirement savings and wealth protection.

Tax Advantage

When you invest in gold, you will get huge tax benefits. Gold backed IRA investors always hold back some money instead of huge taxes as income penalties. It means that as a gold backed IRA investor, you will not pay for tax underpayments at the end of the year; just calculate how much you need to withdraw from your 401k to invest in gold and precious metals.

In addition, gold IRAs allow you to enjoy compound interest on investments without bothering about paying extra taxes because of an increase in earnings from your compounding interest.

Reduced Transaction Costs

Gold backed 401ks allow investors to enjoy reduced costs of transactions. Investors can enjoy low account protection and management fees annually. In addition, precious metals IRAs do not attract trading fees like traditional stock and bond investments. The cost reduction means that investors do not need to make extra expenses when buying gold through gold brokers.

High Liquidity

Buying gold through a reputable gold IRA company will give you investment liquidity because gold investments have lower points of entry and still carry the same value of diversification. Gold, an investment safe haven, can help protect your savings during economic uncertainties. Hence, saving in gold will keep your mind at rest, knowing your investments are safe.

In addition, when you roll over 401k funds to a gold backed IRA account for investments, you will enjoy the extra benefit of getting access to your retirement asset funds without incurring penalties when you need to liquidate your 401k assets immediately. To roll over your 401k to gold without penalty, click here to see the top five companies that can assist you.

Effective Portfolio Diversification

When you invest in gold via a gold backed IRA, you can diversify your investment portfolio. When you effectively diversify your retirement portfolio through gold investments, you will have extra funds to fall back on when your traditional investment fails.

Using tangible gold assets to diversify your retirement account portfolios via a gold backed IRA will help you enjoy the tax benefits of IRAs. You will enjoy contribution deductions and reduced taxes in capital gains.

Potential Returns on Investments (ROIs)

Just like other investment vehicles, gold backed IRAs provide good ROIs. Like paper assets and real estate investments, gold has also increased in price over the years. Gold increased from around $300 in 2003 to about $1900 per ounce in 2023.


How to Move Your 401k to Gold Without Penalty

Suppose you are careful enough to review the IRS rollover rules and follow guidelines properly. In that case, you will not incur tax penalties. Below are the three main events that may occur when rolling over your funds from 401k to gold.

Direct Rollover or Transfer

You will not incur any tax penalty when transferring funds from your 401k into your gold IRA via a direct transfer. The direct transfer method is the best way to roll over funds from your 401k to gold without penalties, provided you do the process via a reputable gold company.

Indirect Rollover or Transfer

The indirect rollover allows your 401k plan administrator to give you your 401k funds in a check or cash for redeposition into your new gold IRA account. During an indirect transfer, you will have a 60-day time window to complete the redeposition of funds. Failure to do that within 60 days will attract a tax penalty. However, completing the redeposition within 60 days will not incur any IRS tax penalties.


You will most likely incur a tax penalty when withdrawing funds before 59.5 years from your 401k. Usually, this early withdrawal will attract a 10% tax penalty. However, this early withdrawal rule has few exceptions.

Estate Withdrawals

At death, you will not pay the 10% tax penalty stipulated by the IRS when your estate withdraws from your 401k retirement account.

Disability Withdrawals

You will not pay the IRS tax penalty if you get disabled and make an early withdrawal from your 401k retirement account.

Changing or Quitting Your Job When You Turn 55 Years

If you leave your current employer, who opened your 401k retirement account for you, or quit your job at age 55 and above, you will not pay any tax penalties for making withdrawals.

As we said, your journey to effectively rolling over your 401k to gold without incurring tax penalties begins with performing your rollover through a reputable and IRS-compliant gold IRA dealer. Below is a summary of the five best gold dealers in the United States Gold and Silver Industry.

Top Five Gold-Backed IRA Companies in The United States

Augusta Precious Metals

This company is the absolute best gold IRA firm in the U.S. today due to Augusta's transparency, pricing, dedication to education, and extraordinary attention given to customers.

We highly recommend that everyone take advantage of their free web conference that helps you understand the economy, threats to your retirement, and the precious metals buying process (designed by their in-house Harvard-certified economic analyst). They even share tips for avoiding gimmicks and high-pressure tactics in this unregulated industry.

This gold precious metals specialist company was chosen by Money magazine as "The Best Overall" in its Best Gold IRA Companies list for 2023. It is the only gold IRA firm with ZERO complaints on the BBB website since 2012.

It has an outstanding track record proven by consumer watchdog ratings and tons of the best customer reviews, including endorsement by hall-of-fame quarterback Joe Montana, whose advisors found Augusta for him. We are thrilled to recommend Augusta as our #1 gold IRA company!


  • Award-winning recognition for account lifetime customer service Money magazine's "Best Overall" & Investopedia's "Most Transparent" in 2022.
  • Experienced professionals to help you make the ideal choice of investments.
  • Only gold IRA firm with ZERO complaints at BBB, BCA since launching in 2012.
  • Thousands of 5-star ratings from customers.
  • Must-watch: Free web conference with an excellent focus on consumer education.
  • Endorsement by high-income customers, including corporate ambassador Joe Montana whose team found this company for him.
  • Transparent, streamlined process and competitive rates.
  • No hidden management fees & ZERO custodian/storage fees for up to 10 years – every customer qualifies.


  • A minimum balance of $50,000 in savings makes this best for the "red carpet."
  • Limited selection of gold and silver investments.
  • Virtual account opening is not possible.

To start investing with Augusta Precious Metals, please click this link to download its 2023 gold investment kit for free.

Our #1 IRS 401k to Gold Company Recommendation

augusta Precious Metals

Augusta Precious Metals is our best rated overall precious metals company

  • Customer care is exceptional
  • Pricing is highly competitive
  • Educational program second to none
  • The best FREE investment guide in the industry
  • Zero complaints on BBB & BCA
  • Free shipping on all orders
  • They have a team of experts to guide you through your transfer from your 401k in to a Gold IRA
401k gold free gold


Established in 2006, this company has an excellent solid record and is our top recommendation for people looking to invest over $25,000 in a gold IRA. We consider this gold trading online platform the 2nd best Gold IRA Company in The USA Today.


  • 2nd Ranked Gold IRA dealer.
  • Top ratings from BCA, TrustPilot, and other third-party review sites and excellent customer reviews.
  • Biggest promotions in the industry.
  • Best buyback program.
  • No high-pressure sales tactics.
  • Competitive pricing.
  • Works with the most secure storage companies.
  • Dedicated expertise in precious metals.
  • Excellent customer service.


  • The minimum IRA deposit requirement is $25,000.
  • You cannot virtually set up an account.
  • Information about the management is not available on the Goldco
  • The fee may appear to be slightly higher than some budget-friendly rivals.

To start investing with Goldco, please click this link to download its 2023 gold investment kit for free.

Our #2 IRS 401k to Gold Company Recommendation

Goldco complaint

Goldco is our second top-rated gold and precious metal company. Having been top-rated all of last year, they were very close to Augusta Precious metals

  • Great promotional offers
  • Pricing is highly competitive
  • Educational program second to none
  • FREE investment guide in the industry
  • High buyback prices
  • Expert guidance provided by the team
  • First years fees waivered for new customers

American Hartford Gold Group

One of the most trusted Gold and Precious Metal brokers in the United States is American Hartford Gold. This family-owned company is endorsed by Bill O'Reilly and America's Mayor, Rudy Giuliani.

American Hartford Gold is great for gold and palladium IRA and purchasing physical Gold, Silver, and Platinum.


  • Easy-to-open silver & palladium IRA account with very competitive rates.
  • Free storage, maintenance & insurance for up to 3 years.
  • Physical gold and silver delivered to your front door at no additional cost.
  • Hassle-free process to buy back your precious metals with no fees.
  • Does not share your information with any private or public entity.


  • No prices on the online catalog.
  • Doesn't ship out of the U.S.
  • Minimum investment requirement of $10,000 for Gold IRA rollovers.

To start investing with American Hartford Gold, please click this link to download its 2023 gold investment kit for free.

Our #3 IRS 401k to Gold Company Recommendation

Hartford American

American Hartford Gold is our third top-rated company.

  • A leading, recognized, and trusted brand in the industry
  • A family owned and run business
  • Excellent customer service
  • Buy back guarantee
  • Free shipping
  • Promotional offers for new  customers
  • Transparent about the cost
  • Diligent when it comes to compliance


Birch Gold

Since it was established in 2003, the company has delighted customers and provided excellent customer education. Birch Gold Group's one-on-one interactions with customers are a fundamental advantage for those who want to make vital decisions impacting their financial future.


  • Top ratings from national consumer agencies.
  • Opportunity to invest in palladium and platinum.
  • For investments above $50,000, no fee in the first year.
  • Exceptional customer service, support, and advice.
  • A strong market presence and a history of nearly 20 years.


  • Online account opening is not permitted.
  • There is no onsite live customer chat.
  • Annual fees and setup costs are not accessible online.
  • You need to get their information kit to find complete details about the management team.

To start investing with Birch Gold Group, please click this link to download its 2023 gold investment kit for free.

Noble Gold

The truth is that Noble Gold has not been around the scene for a long time, but it has, in the shortest time possible, made huge impacts on the gold IRA market.

Since its inception, the company has captured customers' hearts via its vast educational resources gallery, a wide range of investment options, and low investment requirements. The company's commitment to customer service also has high ratings on third-party rating sites like BCA and Consumer Affairs.

According to the agent we spoke to, Noble Gold gives customers a committed account manager from the first day they decide to open a gold IRA account with it. The knowledgeable professionals will also give the customers all they need to know about how a gold IRA works and the setup process. In addition, they offer a smooth buyback process to their customers.

Noble Gold works with Delaware Depository and Brink's Global Services to provide storage services for its customers. In addition to these storage companies, Noble Gold owns its depository in Texas. Hence, customers can choose to store their metals in any of these three depositories.


  • They have high ratings on more than one trusted customer rating site.
  • Their team of investment experts will give you detailed guidance to make the perfect choice for your gold investments.
  • They offer competitive prices.
  • They have a wide selection of gold IRA investments.
  • Their minimum initial investment is $2000.
  • They give their customers a free gold IRA rollover guide.
  • They have their IRS-approved storage facility in Texas.


  • Their range of gold products comes with a high premium.

To start investing with Noble Gold Investment, please click this link to download its 2023 gold investment kit for free.


In summary, investing in gold through a gold backed 401k is one of the most effective and efficient investment decisions you will make to diversify and safeguard your investment portfolio. However, you cannot directly purchase gold and other precious metals for inclusion in your 401k without opening a gold backed IRA account and performing a gold backed 401k rollover.

Most Americans are investing in gold and silver through a gold-backed IRA because of its capacity to stabilize your investment savings and hedge against inflation and market volatility while also giving you the huge tax benefits of an IRA.

However, to enjoy these advantages and many more, you must perform your gold backed 401k rollover through a reputable gold IRA company. A reputable gold IRA company will help you through your rollover process and ensure you transfer your funds from 401k to your new gold backed IRA smoothly without incurring tax penalties.

In this article, we have shown you the five best companies in the United States that can help you open a gold-backed IRA and roll over your 401k funds into your new gold-backed IRA. These companies have various characteristics and offer a range of services to meet the financial goals and needs  of various investors.

To get the most out of your 401k retirement savings via a gold backed 401k investment, please click the relevant links in the previous section to open your gold backed IRA account with any of our recommended gold-backed providers and begin your 401k to gold backed IRA rollover today.


Frequently Asked Questions About Protecting your 401k

Converting my 401k to a precious metals IRA

To find out more about converting your 401k to a precious metals IRA click this link

Can I rollover my 401k to a gold IRA?

Yes you can perform a 401k to gold IRA rollover see this page for more details

What Portion of My 401k Should I Roll Over into Gold or Other Precious Metals
We are often asked what portion of my 401k, 403b or 457b plan should I rollover into gold or precious metals. click this link to read our full article
How to Protect Your 401k From a Stock Market Crash

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