When it comes to investing, especially investing for retirement, you need to protect your assets through diversification. The more diversified your assets are, the better the protection against declines. The reason is that diverse assets aren’t strongly correlated, so when one asset class (such as stocks) is declining, some other class (i.e. precious metals) could be rising or holding its value.

For centuries, investors considered gold to be a storage of value and a hedge against inflation. It’s true that gold fluctuates and declines at times, however, in the long-term it’s been retaining its intrinsic value. Gold can’t be produced, only extracted, and there are limited quantities of it. In the long run it’s bound to rise.

Since gold is a viable investment for long-term investors, many are looking to include it into their retirement savings. A good way to do it for the United States-based investors is to buy gold via Gold IRA account. While new deposits can be made to open it, it’s also possible to rollover the funds from a traditional IRA.

When it comes to Gold IRA, the investors can acquire both coins and bars, and have these held in a custodian account. However, the gold bullion has to be approved for Gold IRA investment. Generally, the gold acquired has to be 0.9999 pure. The exception is given to Gold American Eagles. These coins can be purchased in a variety of sizes ranging from 1/10 oz. to 1 oz.

Many other government-issued coins and bars qualify as well. Examples of qualified coins and bars include 1 oz. Australian Kangaroo Gold Coins, 1 oz. Austrian Gold Philharmonic Coins, 1 oz Canadian Gold Maple Leaf Coins, and 1 oz Credit Suisse Gold Bars.

When contributing to Gold IRA, keep in mind that an annual IRA contribution stays the same. Overall, as of 2016, the contribution limit is $5,500. It is $6,500 for those over 50 years old. Another thing to know is that in addition to gold, certain silver, platinum, and palladium bullion can be bought as well.

Opening a Gold IRA account is quite simple. It can be done through approved precious metals dealers, online brokerage houses, and some other financial institutions.