How Much Does It Cost to Start a Gold IRA?

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How Much Does it Cost to Start a Gold IRA?

Deciding to make retirement changes comes with a lot of questions. The two most common questions you should ask are: what is this going to cost; and how much is the return?

While we can’t speak to what the market will do, especially with something as specific as precious metals, we can walk you through what some common fees and rates are for having a Gold IRA.


The good news is that if you’re starting a self-directed IRA for precious metals, you can usually negotiate some waiver of fees. Generally speaking, however, the start up costs begin with a flat fee of somewhere between $100 and $300, depending on the firm. 

However, this only sets up the existence of the Gold IRA and does not extend to any of the actual Gold purchasing, storage, or insurance. We would be remiss if we didn’t cover those topics in an article about the actual costs you could face.

Broker and Custodian Fees

The IRS laws around Gold retirement accounts are pretty iron-clad. You should be wary of firms claiming they’ve found any loopholes around the laws. 

One of the provisions of precious metal IRAs is that you must work through a broker to purchase the gold, and a custodian to transport and house the gold you want listed in your IRA. That means that you cannot simply go purchase gold on your own, house it at your residence, and count it as IRA protected assets.

If you want to invest in physical possession of precious metals under IRA status, you must hire a broker. That broker will sometimes charge you the upfront setup fees discussed above.

Even if they waive those, however, there are still fees to look out for:

  • Purchasing fees: either a flat rate per transaction, or up to 33% of the purchase price. Also referred to as Seller fees, or Spread.
  • Maintenance fees: usually a flat rate, but could run up to $300 per year.
  • Storage Fees: because the third party must house your physical gold, they typically charge based on the amount of gold you own through them.
  • Insurance: sometimes included in storage or maintenance fees, this is liability insurance should anything happen to your gold.

These fees, while sometimes credited to the account on sign up, can still arrive all at once during your first transaction when setting up a Gold IRA. While the fees paid to simply set up the account may be minimal or even granted for free, these fees are just to file the paperwork, essentially.

To actually conduct business with a Gold IRA will entail fees that you should be aware of up front. Because while you won’t pay them on day one, you will pay them when you start using your precious metals account.

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