A 403b retirement plan, like most retirement plans, means that you are locked into whatever investments the mutual fund, or this case, the insurance company, selects for you, which means your portfolio may lack the diversity it needs to remain stable in tumultuous markets when stock, bond, and other common equities prices fall.
However, alternative IRA companies, like Augusta Precious Metals and Birch Gold Group, make it possible for retirement savers to incorporate gold, platinum, silver or palladium into their long-term investment mix, which history has shown behave opposite typical financial assets when the economy reaches record lows.
This way, you can enjoy increased diversity and inflation protection of your nest egg for greater peace of mind.
It is also possible to convert your current 403b into a gold or silver IRA in the following few steps, provided it qualifies.
Determine if You are Eligible to Convert a 403B Plan Into a Silver and Gold Investment
If you work for a public school, university, public hospital, or another state, local, or municipal government entity, then chances are you have a 403b plan that is eligible to convert to a gold or silver IRA. Some nonprofit employee 403b retirement plans may also qualify.
However, 403b rules and regulations vary from plan to plan, so you will need to verify that your specific retirement account can roll over to a precious metals IRA.
Your 403b may also stipulate that you no longer work for the organization that provided it before you transfer some or all of the funds from your account into the alternative IRA, even if you are over the age of 59 1/2.
Find a Reputable Gold and Silver Investment IRA Company to Work With
The IRS requires that to hold precious metals in an IRA, you must work with a gold and silver IRA company to help facilitate alternative asset purchases on your behalf.
Therefore, you will need to find a company that you are comfortable with to assist you with opening your account so that it meets regulatory compliance.
A good gold IRA company will have years of experience in the field to help properly guide you in acquiring quality holdings and answer any questions you may have for a more self-assured transaction.
It will also have high ratings with the Better Business Bureau, Consumer Alliance, and more, as well as high customer ratings on trustworthy sites to back it up.
Some companies are also endorsed by finance moguls and major media outlets to further attest to their superior service.
Talk With a Precious Metals Specialist
When you contact a gold IRA company, you will usually be paired with a team specialist who will help educate you on the different types of self-directed IRAs for your gold and silver investments. This way, you can choose the best type of retirement account for you.
Since 403bs vary by case, they will also help you determine if your specific plan qualifies for a gold or Silver IRA rollover with their company according to IRS guidelines.
Choose a Custodian to Manage Your Account
Your precious metal specialists will also inform you of their different custodian options.
A custodian is simply a third-party self-directed IRA company that manages your account and acquires your chosen gold and silver products for you, which is required by the IRS. The most reputable directed custodians are Strata Trust, Equity Trust, DirectedIRA.com or GoldStar Trust.
Just be sure your chosen custodian maintains A ratings with various consumer agencies, such as the BBB and Consumer Alliance, to help determine their trustworthiness. You should also check their member testimonies on various popular online sites to get a general idea of how they value their clients.
Choose How You Want to Fund Your IRA Account
Once you have opened a precious metal IRA account, your gold or silver IRA specialist will work with you on the best way to fund it tax-free.
For instance, provided your 403b is eligible, your current IRA specialist can simply contact your previous account custodian, who will release the funds directly into your precious metals IRA account without tax penalties.
Your specialist will also help you complete the paperwork needed for your current custodian to perform the funds transfer.
However, you can also have the funds from your old retirement account paid directly to you to redeposit them yourself into a gold or silver IRA. In this case, you must do so within 60 days or pay a 10% penalty for the withdrawal of your retirement savings before age 591/2.
You will also be required to pay any taxes you would typically owe on the income.
Many companies also allow you to get gold and silver products directly and have them shipped to your home. But, again, you will also lose any IRA tax benefits. You will also be taxed on the capital gains each time their values increase.
Determine if You Want to get IRA-Approved Gold, Silver, Palladium or Platinum for Your Account
As a self-directed IRA, you have total control over the assets you choose for your account.
Gold has a proven track record of maintaining its value even in the worst of economic times, which makes it a popular choice for portfolio diversification amongst many retirement planners.
However, silver is also growing in demand as a practical investment asset for its monetary use, increasing industrial applications, and more, which also makes it an effective hedge against inflation during volatile markets and more. We’ve compiled a list of the best silver investment coins here.
You can also get platinum and palladium products as part of your IRA account, which also helps provide portfolio diversification.
No matter which precious metals you choose to add to your self-directed IRA, it is important to ensure they are IRS-approved, meaning they meet their guidelines for purity, to avoid complications with your account.
Finalize Any Paperwork and Make Your Purchases For Your Account
Once your previous custodian has finalized your paperwork for the transfer of funds from your 403b to your new retirement account, it will usually take about 1 to 2 weeks for the money to be deposited into your precious metals IRA. However, it can take up to a month or more, depending on your previous account holder.
After this time, you will be able to get the gold, silver, palladium or platinum to your account.
Again, your specialist or account custodian will help you understand the different IRA-approved products and offer suggestions on the best choices for you based on your retirement objectives.
Your specialist will then double-check that you are satisfied with your selections before making the purchases on your behalf.
Choose a Secure U.S. Depository
IRS rules for a precious metal IRA state that once you have secured physical gold, silver, platinum, or palladium for your account, they have to be stored in a secure U.S. depository for safekeeping. The depository must also be fully insured to meet the requirements.
Hence, after you have made your selections for your individual retirement account, your precious metals specialist will also provide you with a list of IRS-approved storage facilities they work with to choose where you would like them to be safely held until your retirement.
They will then contact the depository of your choice and make arrangements for the gold, silver, or else to be picked up by the facility and taken to their maximum security vault.
In most cases, your assets are also insured in transit to the storage location. However, you may be responsible for paying the cost of insurance in addition to the yearly cost for insurance charged by the facility to store your gold, silver, etc., so be sure to ask.
You may also be allowed to store your holdings separately from all other client's precious metals, also called segregated storage, for an extra fee.
Some depositories also enable you to schedule visits to see your assets while they are under their care. Therefore, be sure your chosen storage facility also offers this privilege if it is something you are interested in doing.
Remain Up To Date With Your IRA Account
One of your self-directed custodian's duties is to provide the IRS with any paperwork required for your account; however, they also provide you with copies for your records. They also remain available to answer basic questions concerning the details of your IRA to help you keep track of your account.
In the meantime, your account specialist also provides ongoing support with more in-depth details of your account, including estimates of your IRA's worth at a given time.
They are also on standby to assist you with continuing to make the best precious metal acquisitions for your account.
Some depositories and/or companies also allow you to view your investment assets and transactions via an online account to help you remain in the know.
Making IRA Precious Metals Withdrawals
You can take possession of the physical gold and silver in your IRA account at any time simply by contacting your account specialist or custodian, who will have the depository deliver them to your residence.
Or you can have the assets sold on your behalf and receive their cash value. However, you will be charged tax and penalties for early withdrawals.
Otherwise, once you reach age 59 1/2, you can freely take hold of the holdings in your account or have them traded in exchange for cash with no penalties.
Some precious metal companies like Goldco also offer a buyback program where they guarantee to pay the highest amount to help make it easier. And they will exchange your holdings back at any time throughout the life of your account should your circumstances change after making your acquisitions.
Should you choose to, you can allow your assets to remain in your account until you turn age 72. However, after this time, you will be required to begin taking distributions; otherwise, you will be penalized.
How to Get Started Converting a 403B to a Silver or Gold Investment IRA
To get started converting a 403b plan to a silver or gold investment IRA, simply contact the precious metals company via phone, and a specialist will answer your questions and walk you through the steps to open an IRA account.
Or many gold IRA and Silver IRA companies also include a contact form on their site, which you can fill out to have a team member get back to you to begin the account setup process.
Some companies also have an online chat feature that puts you in touch with a specialist, so simply visit their website and choose the best mode of contact for you to get started.