A Precious Metal Individual Retirement Account, or Precious Metal IRA, is another option for individuals to save for their retirement.

As discussed elsewhere, diversification is important when planning for your retirement and a Precious Metal IRA can help you do that. And, although a Precious Metal IRA isn’t as common as other retirement funds, opening one is not as confusing as you might expect.

Requirements

The first thing you need to know is that there are rules concerning what is allowed in a Precious Metal IRA. Here is a brief overview.

Gold

If you want to add a gold bar into your Precious Metal IRA, it must be 24 Karat. This also holds true for gold coins. However, the US Gold Eagle, which comes in at 22 Karat, is allowed to be a part of your Precious Metal IRA. The coins do not need to be from the United States, as long as they meet the 24 Karat requirement.

Silver

Silver must have at least a purity of 0.999% to be allowed into your Precious Metal IRA. As with gold, coins don’t have to be only from the United States as long as they meet the purity requirement. Unfortunately, this does rule out silver coins from before 1965 as they don’t contain enough silver. Silver bars can be a part of your Precious Metal IRA along with silver coins.

Platinum and Palladium

Platinum and palladium require a purity of 0.995% or higher to be included in a Precious Metal IRA. Although they aren’t as common as their silver and gold counterparts, you are able to find coins from foreign countries and these can be included as well.

Although Precious Metal IRAs are relatively rare, they are increasingly a popular choice for investors who want to diversify their investment portfolio and protect themselves and their retirement from sudden downturns in the stock market.