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How to Protect Your Gold at Home and Offshore?

Eloisa

Published November 3, 2022

Last updated June 29, 2022

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People buy gold in its physical form or digital avatar. When you go the physical gold route, there are added responsibilities or requirements concerning gold ownership. Safe transport and secure storage are the two most important of them.

Most people looking to invest in the value of gold sway toward digital gold as the hassles of physical gold cease to exist. But then some people want to invest in the metal or have a chunk of real gold credited to their name. Those buyers choose to buy the precious metal despite the encumbrances attached to the investment.

how to protect your gold at home and offshore

If you’re one of those investors who want to own gold in the metal, you need to read this. This article talks in detail about storing gold both at home and outside your home, the pros and cons, etc. In some cases, keeping gold at home is not an option. We’ll touch on that too.

The following are the sub-topics:

  • Storing gold at home
  • Keeping gold bought under an IRA at home
  • Holding gold in a third-party or offshore facility
  • Ideal regions for offshore gold bullion storage and more

If you ever needed a proper introduction to different physical gold storage options, this article is probably it. Read on.

Storing Gold At Home

Why store gold in a safe place? Because gold is a precious metal prone to theft, damage, etc. Although gold is a fairly resilient metal, it’s not immune to external harm. Storing gold in a safe and secure place is, therefore, critical. And what better place to store your gold other than your home? Or is there a better option?! We’ll discuss that later. For now, let’s focus on home storage for gold.

Read more: Top Gold IRA companies

Storing gold at home doesn’t mean stashing away the metal in your cupboard, under your bed, or anywhere you can find space. You need a dedicated spot or a home safe located in an undercover area in your house. Some private vaults attach to the floor and wall. And some can go under complete hiding—for instance, under floorboards, in the attic, behind the fridge, etc. The ideal hidden safes are too obvious to attract a burglar’s attention.

Placing the gold with its protective casings in an airtight or waterproof container and burying it under the ground or in large planting pots is also an option. If you go that route, you’ll have to indulge in midnight gardening. Even if you live in a secluded place, burying the gold in broad daylight is risky. You never know who is peeping.

Benefits of Storing Gold at Home

Home storage benefits are that the gold is right under your nose, or you can access the precious metal anytime. Unlike storing gold at a bank or depository, there are no formalities or set timings to be mindful of seeing or accessing your gold.

There are also no recurring storage fees to be paid. The only expense is buying and installing a safe if you don’t already have one. And if you’re not considering storing the gold in a safe (not recommended), locker costs are saved too.

The Drawbacks of Storing Gold at Home

Although home storage for gold has its benefits, it presents so many security concerns. They are:

  • Not the safest storage option: No home safe can match the level of security afforded by a dedicated gold storage facility. Multiple cases of gold thefts at home have been reported. In comparison, there’s rarely an incident of burglary at gold storage facilities. Even if a depository gets ransacked, insurance will cover the losses. Homes can be insured against natural disasters, such as floods and fires, but home contents won’t be protected. For that, you’ll need separate insurance. But even then, the coverage may not be wholesome.
  • Limited space: Besides the risk of theft, you’re also working with limited space. If you buy more gold, you would need more storage room. Although renovating the area and making room is an option, is it worth the expenditure with the cheaper and hassle-free options as gold depositories is a question to be answered. Although you can bury the gold in your backyard, deposit them in mattresses, or squirrel them away in coffee jars, that’s not how you store gold “safely.”
  • Governmental custody: If the federal government decides to freeze, nationalize, or confiscate gold, home-stored gold will be the first to come under siege. Since gold stored at home must be reported to the IRS, finding details of privately held gold is pretty straightforward for the state.

Home Storage is Not an Option with Gold IRA

home storage is not an option with gold ira

A gold IRA or any other precious metals IRA is a great way to invest in physical gold under the IRA umbrella. But if you prefer storing your gold at home, you cannot do that under a gold IRA. The IRS just doesn’t fancy that option.

To invest in gold and other precious metals like silver bars or coins under a self-directed or precious metals IRA, specific requirements must be met. The gold or silver, for starters, must be pure versions of their respective metals. Gold and silver alloys are not allowed, and there’s no room for jewelry since they are never fully gold or silver. The precious metal should take the shape of a bar or coin. Also, a recognized or IRS-approved mint should have made the bullion coin or bar.

Another thing that the IRS is very particular about is the storage of gold bullion under an IRA. The facility must be IRS-recognized and cannot be private property. And in case you’re wondering, there’s no option to invite the IRS for an inspection of your space in the hopes of deeming it eligible for gold IRA storage. To learn more about gold IRAs, click here.

Offshore gold storage is an option with a gold IRA, but you cannot choose the place. If your IRA depository has storage facilities outside of the U.S., you may avail the option. But then, it would depend on your custodian and the physical space available at the various storage facilities.

Read on to learn more about offshore gold storage.

Best Places to Store Gold Offshore

The United States may not be the best place to store physical gold, but the U.S. is not a terrible place. There are several other countries where storing gold is akin to handing over the gold to the state. But then some countries are renowned for their haven status and fare better than the States.

Not long ago, Switzerland has always been synonymous with stashing wealth away safely from prying eyes. Although the mountainous Central European nation hasn’t reached passe status yet, it certainly is no longer the only viable place to store your wealth. The Swiss have competition.

The following countries (in no particular order) are excellent at safeguarding foreign wealth, be that institutional or individual:

  • Singapore: Singapore is considered the best place to store gold or stash legitimate wealth. The solvent government, low taxes, sovereign wealth fund, and no debt are qualities has enticed many looking for wealth storage options away from established locations like Switzerland. 
  • New Zealand: New Zealand is one of the safest countries for storing precious metals. The low corruption and crime and the favorable laws make the country one of the most peaceful states and a haven for your gold.
  • Switzerland: A long past of neutrality, democratic political system, economic standing, etc., still holds the country in great stead among those wanting to store gold safe and secure.
  • Austria: Austria is the best region if you seek total anonymity. The Das Safe storage facility is particularly excellent. It has been in operation since 1984.

You cannot go wrong with storing your gold in the safe depositories of any of the above countries. But if you’re unsure which place, consider a country you’d like to visit as a tourist or even settle in if the need arises. For example, if New Zealand is a destination you have always wanted to visit, store gold there and give yourself a legitimate reason to fly to the country.

Also, consider your specific storage requirements. Do you prefer a location closer to your country? Is anonymity your top-most priority? 

Learn more about the particular storage facility before zeroing in on one. Not all facilities are built like how they show in the movies. And because Austria is known for anonymity, don’t take that for granted, or not all storage facilities may adhere to that.

And then there’s the cost factor too. Consider your options, do your cost-value analysis, and then decide. You’d most likely be spoiled with choices than having very few options on hand.

Read more: Best gold IRA companies

Conclusion

The best way to safeguard your gold was to have it under your constant vigil. But that is no longer true. With dedicated storage facilities mushrooming in the safest parts of the world and offering storage facilities you cannot dream of creating on your property, it’s now okay and recommended to stash some of your gold in a far-off location.

Make sure the gold you store away in a distant place is gold you don’t need immediate physical access to. Even if you can afford to and have the time to fly to the offshore location and check in on your gold now and again, most storage facilities would not entertain your frequent visits for safety and security concerns.

The best way to store gold is to put away most of the gold in an offshore place and keep some close to you in your house or a local bank’s vault. You can also put some of the gold in a local gold depository, but accessibility concerns would arise again. And how much gold to keep close to you or the quantity to stockpile away depends on your preferences. 

Irrespective of how you go about it, always ensure you’re in the right with the IRS and are not inadvertently hiding things that you should have reported.