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Last Updated on January 7, 2024

A Gold Individual Retirement Account (IRA) is an investment option that allows individuals to diversify their retirement portfolios by investing in physical gold and other precious metals.

Gold IRAs have become increasingly popular in recent years due to their potential for providing a hedge against economic uncertainty, inflation, and market volatility.

Despite the potential benefits, it’s essential to understand the various fees and expenses associated with a Gold IRA.

This article will provide a comprehensive overview of Gold IRA fees, including how to set up an account, annual fees, storage fees, potential selling fees, tax implications, and additional factors to consider.

How to Set Up a Gold IRA

Setting up a Gold IRA involves a few essential steps:

  1. Choose a custodian: The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requires that all Gold IRAs be managed by an approved custodian. Custodians are responsible for ensuring that your account complies with all applicable regulations and that your gold is securely stored. It is crucial to research and compare different custodians before selecting one, as they may have varying fee structures and services.
  2. Select a gold dealer: You’ll need to work with a reputable gold dealer to purchase the physical gold for your IRA. It’s important to choose a dealer with a strong track record, transparent pricing, and excellent customer service.
  3. Fund your account: You can fund your Gold IRA through a direct transfer or rollover from an existing IRA or 401(k) account. Consult with your custodian and financial advisor for guidance on the best funding method for your specific situation.
  4. Purchase gold: Once your account is funded, your custodian will work with your chosen gold dealer to purchase and store the gold on your behalf.

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Main Fees to Consider When Opening a Gold IRA

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There are several fees that you should be aware of when opening a Gold IRA. These include:

  1. Setup fees: These are one-time fees charged by your custodian to open your account. Setup fees can range from $50 to $200, depending on the custodian.
  2. Transfer or rollover fees: If you are funding your Gold IRA by transferring or rolling over funds from another retirement account, you may incur fees from your existing account provider.
  3. Gold dealer fees: When purchasing gold, you’ll need to account for the dealer’s premium, which is the price above the gold’s spot price. This premium covers the dealer’s expenses and profit margin.
  4. Liquidation Fees: When you liquidate your account there are going to be fees to expect – we’ll detail them below.

Annual Fees

Annual fees for a Gold IRA typically consist of two components: custodian fees and storage fees. These fees can vary depending on your account size, the custodian you choose, and the storage option you select.

Storage Fees

Storage fees are charged for securely storing your gold in an approved facility. There are two types of storage options for Gold IRAs: non-segregated and segregated storage.

Non-segregated storage, also known as commingled storage, means that your gold is stored with other investors’ gold, while segregated storage ensures your gold is stored separately.

Segregated storage typically comes with higher fees, ranging from $100 to $300 per year, whereas non-segregated storage fees can range from $50 to $150 per year.

Gold IRA Liquidation Fees

When it comes to your Gold IRA, an additional fee you may encounter is the liquidation fee. This fee is charged when you decide to liquidate (sell) your gold or other precious metals held within your IRA.

Liquidation fees can vary depending on the custodian and gold dealer you are working with, as well as the type and quantity of precious metals you are selling.

The liquidation fee generally covers the dealer’s expenses and profit margin associated with selling your gold, as well as any administrative fees charged by the custodian for processing the transaction.

These fees can range from a flat fee to a percentage of the total value of the metals being sold, so it’s crucial to understand the fee structure before deciding to liquidate your Gold IRA.

The Gold IRA Liquidation Process

Understanding the liquidation process is essential when considering selling your gold or other precious metals in your IRA. The steps for liquidating your Gold IRA are as follows:

  1. Contact your custodian: Reach out to your Gold IRA custodian to inform them of your intention to liquidate your precious metals. They will provide you with the necessary paperwork and guidance on how to proceed.
  2. Obtain a price quote: Your custodian will work with your chosen gold dealer to obtain a price quote for the metals you intend to sell. The quote will be based on the current spot price of the metals, plus any applicable premiums or fees.
  3. Approve the transaction: If you agree to the quoted price, you’ll need to sign the necessary paperwork to authorize the transaction. Your custodian will then coordinate with the gold dealer to facilitate the sale of your metals.
  4. Receive the proceeds: Once the metals are sold, the proceeds will be deposited into your IRA account. From there, you can choose to reinvest the funds in other assets, take a distribution (subject to taxes and potential penalties), or transfer the funds to another retirement account.
  5. Report the transaction: Be sure to report the transaction on your income tax return, as the sale of gold and other precious metals within your IRA can have tax implications.

Tax Implications When Selling Your Gold

When you sell gold from your IRA, the proceeds are subject to income tax, just like any other IRA distribution. The tax rate will depend on your income level and filing status.

If you take a distribution before the age of 59½, you may also be subject to a 10% early withdrawal penalty, unless you qualify for an exception.

It’s essential to consult with a tax professional to understand the specific tax implications of selling your gold and to plan accordingly.

Additional Factors to Consider About Gold IRA Fees

When evaluating Gold IRA fees, it’s important to consider the following factors:

  1. Account size: Some custodians may offer tiered pricing based on your account size, with lower fees for larger accounts. Be sure to inquire about the fee structure and any potential discounts based on your investment amount.
  2. Additional services: Some custodians may offer additional services, such as account management or access to financial advisors, which could come with additional fees. It’s essential to understand the full scope of services provided and any associated costs.
  3. Inflation and gold prices: While Gold IRAs can serve as a hedge against inflation, it’s important to remember that the price of gold can be volatile. This volatility could impact the value of your investment and, consequently, the fees you pay.
  4. Fee transparency: Ensure that the custodian and gold dealer you choose are transparent about their fees and that you understand all the costs involved in maintaining your Gold IRA. This transparency will allow you to make informed decisions and better manage your investment.


Gold IRAs can be an attractive option for investors looking to diversify their retirement portfolios and protect against economic uncertainty.

However, it’s crucial to understand the various fees associated with these accounts, including setup fees, annual fees, storage fees, selling fees, and tax implications.

By carefully considering these factors and working with reputable custodians and gold dealers, you can make informed decisions about whether a Gold IRA is the right investment option for you.

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