Can I Buy Gold With My SEP IRA? What To Know

Precious metals — especially gold — have re-entered the picture as the ultimate form of tangible wealth. Gold has outlasted empires, and for thousands of years, it’s been the real form of money that people rely on when the economy gets unpredictable.

There’s a way to protect a major portion of your retirement savings — a Gold IRA.

What Is a SEP IRA?

A SEP IRA is a special type of retirement account designed with small business owners and self-employed folks in mind. If you fit into either of those categories, it could open some big possibilities.

A Simplified Employee Pension Individual Retirement Arrangement, or SEP IRA, works a bit differently than a typical IRA. With a SEP, your employer sets it up and makes contributions on your behalf. If you’re self-employed, you become both employer and employee.

Here’s what this means:

You can stash away way more with a SEP than most standard IRAs. We’re talking a potential $66,000 as of 2023, or 25 percent of your compensation — whichever is less.

Like traditional IRAs, SEP contributions are tax-deductible. You only pay taxes when you eventually withdraw money in retirement. It’s basically a “save for later, get a tax break now” win-win.

Of course, there are some key rules to keep in mind when working with a SEP IRA. Any eligible employees of your business must also receive equal contributions. However, this could be a fantastic tool.

Why a Gold SEP IRA?

You’d probably agree that your retirement is too important to gamble entirely on stocks, bonds, and those numbers flashing across a ticker tape. We all want to see our investments grow, but more importantly, we need to know that what we’ve built will actually be there in the future.

Traditional financial markets can be uncertain, and that’s where the idea of diversification comes in.

A Gold IRA lets you spread your risk and balance out your retirement portfolio with a truly uncorrelated asset — physical gold. Through centuries of political turmoil and economic collapse, gold has held its value.

Hedge Against Inflation

When the dollar’s value decreases (inflation), the price of gold tends to increase. This counterbalances a system in which the currency in your bank account can steadily lose its buying power.

Safe Haven in Unsettled Times

Gold shines brightest when storms hit the economy. During market crashes or periods of uncertainty, investors naturally flock to safety — and gold is often considered the ultimate safe haven.

A Tangible Asset

Unlike a stock certificate or digital number, gold is a physical asset. You can hold it, you can store it, and its value isn’t dependent on the promises of a company or government. There’s a comforting tangibility to that.

Of course, this isn’t about betting it all on gold. A well-crafted Gold SEP IRA complements your other holdings for a more resilient overall retirement plan. It’s about injecting stability so you can weather the inevitable market ups and downs without sleepless nights.

Stocks and bonds offer growth potential, but they’re inherently more volatile. Market swings and unexpected events can cause significant fluctuations. Gold, on the other hand, provides a counterweight to that volatility.

Its historical track record shows stability and resilience, especially during turbulent economic periods. A Gold SEP IRA adds that element of long-term security to your retirement plan. It helps protect your hard-earned savings from the unpredictable nature of traditional markets.

How To Open a Gold SEP IRA

While it might sound complex, opening a Gold SEP IRA boils down to a few key steps. Understanding the different players involved will make it a much smoother process:

1. Choose Your Custodian

A custodian is a specialized financial institution that officially holds and manages your Gold IRA. They handle the legal paperwork, adhere to IRS regulations, and help track the value of your assets. Think of them as the administrative backbone of your IRA.

2. Find Your Broker

Your broker is the one who buys the gold (or other precious metals) you choose for your IRA. They work with reputable mints and dealers to secure the best quality and prices. A good broker offers guidance and helps you make informed decisions.

3. Select Your Depository

Unless you opt for home storage (more on that later), your physical gold is kept safe in a depository. Think of it as a super-secure vault with top-tier insurance. Depositories specialize in safeguarding precious metals, so you can rest assured your investment is well-protected.

4. Fund Your Gold IRA

This is where you put money into your newly opened account.

There are two main ways to do this: A transfer or a rollover. A transfer means moving funds directly from another retirement account (like a traditional IRA) into your Gold IRA. A rollover is converting your existing 401(k) or similar plan.

5. The IRS Paperwork

There’s no way around it — the IRS wants their forms filled out. Form 5305-SEP is the essential one for establishing a SEP IRA. A reputable custodian will provide this form and help you complete it accurately.

With a Gold IRA, you do have the option of storing your physical gold at home. This offers maximum control, but it comes with extra responsibility. You’ll need to boost your home security, update your insurance, and meticulously track your assets for IRS reporting.

However, you don’t have to figure this out alone. A trustworthy precious metals IRA company, like American Hartford Gold, will streamline the entire process.

How To Choose Your Gold

Deciding which form of gold is right for you adds an exciting element to the whole process. Let’s break down the key categories:

Gold Bars

Pure and simple. Bars come in various sizes, from as small as one gram to as hefty as 400 ounces. Larger bars often carry lower premiums (the price per ounce over gold’s spot value), but they limit flexibility when it comes to selling. Many choose a mix of bar sizes for the best of both worlds.

Gold Coins

The world of coins is vast. For a Gold IRA, your focus will be on bullion coins, valued primarily for their gold content rather than their collector appeal. Some popular choices include the American Gold Eagle and Canadian Maple Leaf.

Gold Rounds

These are similar to coins but without the official designation of legal tender. They tend to be easier to acquire than some bullion coins and can offer slightly more affordable premiums.

Now, let’s talk about coin conditions:

Circulated Coins: These have been used every day, bearing scratches and signs of wear. They hold less value for a Gold IRA, as their focus is on melt value (the metal content) rather than any collector potential.

Uncirculated Coins: These look fresh from the mint — pristine and untouched. Their condition commands a higher premium but carries the assurance of quality.

Collectible/Numismatic Coins: These are valued based on rarity, historical significance, and condition. While some fit into Gold IRAs, there are stricter IRS rules and storage restrictions.

While we’re primarily focusing on gold, your SEP IRA allows for a broader range of precious metals. Here are some additional options:

Silver: Historically, silver often moves in tandem with gold, offering diversification potential and a more accessible entry point. Popular choices include American Silver Eagles or Silver Rounds.

Platinum and Palladium: Less common, but they add another layer of diversity. Platinum holds strategic industrial uses, while palladium is growing in demand for its role in pollution-control devices.

You might also encounter “proof coins.” These are specially minted for collectors, incredibly pristine but carrying much higher premiums. They are generally ideal for a Gold IRA focused on long-term value.

Choosing your gold is a mix of personal preference, budget, and overall goals. A good broker will guide you through these options, explain factors like purity standards, and help you craft a precious metals portfolio that suits your needs.

What About Buying and Storing Your Gold?

Now that you’re sold on a Gold IRA, you may be wondering how to buy gold.

Once you’ve decided on what you want, the broker gets to work. They secure the best possible price from mints or dealers and handle all the purchase details. Upon confirmation, the gold will either be shipped to your home (if you choose home storage) or directly to your designated depository:

Depository Storage: This is the most common choice for Gold IRAs. Depositories are insured, highly secure facilities specializing in safeguarding precious metals. They offer peace of mind and simplify IRS reporting. However, you’ll typically pay annual storage fees.

Home Storage: This option provides maximum control. You have direct access to your gold, and there are no ongoing storage fees. On the flip side, security falls entirely on your shoulders. You’ll need a highly durable safe, insurance adjustments, and careful record-keeping.

Even if you opt for home storage, your custodian still needs to be informed. They’ll track your holdings and ensure they meet IRA requirements.

How Can You Track Your Gold IRA?

You can’t set it and forget it. Keeping tabs on your Gold IRA is essential. Here’s why:

Important Record-Keeping: You’ll need detailed records for tax purposes. Track purchase dates, descriptions of your holdings, and any market value fluctuations. A spreadsheet or investment-tracking app can make this easier.

The Custodian’s Role in Valuation: Your custodian provides regular statements detailing your account holdings and their current value. This helps you monitor performance and stay informed.

Selling Strategically: Gold prices fluctuate. There might be times when selling a portion makes sense — perhaps to rebalance your portfolio or take profits. A broker can advise on the best way to do this while staying within IRA regulations.

When you decide to sell gold from your IRA, the funds typically go back to your custodian, not directly to you. They handle the transaction through a broker and make sure it adheres to IRS rules. You can then use those funds to reinvest within your IRA or consider taking a distribution (subject to the usual retirement account regulations).

It’s important to choose a precious metals company that simplifies the entire process, offering transparent pricing, clear reporting, and readily available brokers for guidance when you need it. Try American Hartford Gold today for all your precious metal needs.

American Hartford Gold Is Here To Help

The idea of a Gold IRA makes sense, but you might still have questions and want expert guidance. That’s where American Hartford Gold steps in. Our precious metals specialists have years of experience streamlining the process of setting up and managing Gold IRAs.

We’re committed to educating our clients, offering transparent information, and simplifying the world of precious metals. If you’re ready to explore a Gold IRA further, schedule a consultation or request our free information guide. It’s time to secure your financial future and protect your hard-earned wealth with the enduring power of gold.


Simplified Employee Pension Plan (SEP) | Internal Revenue Service

Retirement Plans FAQs regarding SEPs | Internal Revenue Service

Self-Directed IRA Custodians | Equity Trust

Form 5305-SEP (Rev. 12-2004) | IRS

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