Does USAA Offer Gold IRAs?

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USAA is renowned for its dedication to serving the unique needs of military families with a range of financial products, from insurance to retirement plans.

But if you're wondering whether USAA extends its offerings to include Gold IRAs, the answer is no.

This article will explore why that's the case, what USAA offers for retirement, and introduce three alternative providers for those interested in the distinct advantages of investing in gold.

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What to expect from this article:

  • An explanation of what Gold IRAs are and their benefits.
  • Insights into why USAA does not offer Gold IRAs.
  • Information on traditional retirement options available through USAA.
  • A comparison between Gold IRAs and USAA’s retirement products.
  • Guidelines on how to choose a Gold IRA provider.
  • Profiles of three top Gold IRA providers as alternatives to USAA.

What is a Gold IRA?

A Gold IRA is an individual retirement account where physical gold, silver, platinum, or palladium is held in custody for the benefit of the IRA account owner. It functions like a standard IRA, except that it holds physical bullion rather than paper assets. This type of IRA requires setting up a self-directed IRA, a special type of IRA that can hold a variety of alternative investments usually prohibited in regular IRAs. 

One significant advantage of Gold IRAs is their ability to provide financial security in times of economic instability. While the stock market can fluctuate wildly, gold typically remains stable or even appreciates.

Investing in a Gold IRA is often seen as a way to hedge against inflation and protect against the potential decline of currency value. For retirees, this means a safeguard for their savings in an environment where their usual income might no longer be coming in.

Why Doesn’t USAA Offer Gold IRAs?

Based on our observations, USAA's extensive suite of financial products is tailored to meet the needs of its members, who primarily come from military backgrounds and their families. This focus results in a product range that emphasizes predictability and long-term security, which aligns more with traditional investment options like stocks and bonds rather than the comparatively volatile commodities markets, including gold. 

USAA's approach is about creating a stable financial environment for its members, ensuring that their long-term financial planning is in line with their unique needs and lifestyle. The absence of Gold IRAs in USAA’s offerings may reflect a strategic decision to prioritize products that offer less complexity and more predictable growth, which are better suited to the profiles of their majority clients.

This ensures that members are not exposed to the potential high volatility and the special considerations required in managing physical gold investments.

Traditional Retirement Options Available

Traditional IRAs

USAA’s Traditional IRA provides a reliable avenue for tax-deferred retirement savings. Contributions to a Traditional IRA may lower your taxable income for the year these contributions are made, potentially reducing your annual tax burden.

The investment choices available through USAA's Traditional IRA span a wide array of stocks, bonds, and mutual funds, each selected to balance risk while aiming for steady growth over time. This option is particularly attractive to those who expect to be in a lower tax bracket during retirement, as you'll pay taxes on withdrawals at your future, possibly lower, tax rate.

Roth IRAs

In contrast to Traditional IRAs, Roth IRAs funded with after-tax dollars offer a different financial planning advantage. With Roth IRAs, you pay taxes on money going into your account but enjoy tax-free growth and tax-free withdrawals in retirement.

This can be a powerful advantage if you anticipate being in a higher tax bracket when you retire or if tax rates rise across the board in the future. Our findings show that USAA's Roth IRA option allows for the same diverse investment choices as their Traditional IRA, enabling tailored investment strategies that cater specifically to individual financial goals and timelines.


For those who have access to 401(k) plans through employment, USAA offers services that help manage and optimize these accounts. 401(k)s are potent tools for retirement savings, often featuring employer match programs that can significantly enhance your retirement nest egg.

USAA provides educational resources and planning tools to help you make the most of your 401(k), including decisions on contribution levels and investment allocations. This is particularly useful for USAA’s core demographic of military personnel and their families, who may face unique challenges such as frequent relocations and deployment.

Comparing Gold IRAs to USAA's Retirement Products

While Gold IRAs offer unique benefits such as asset diversification and protection against currency devaluation, USAA's retirement products are designed to facilitate steady growth with potentially lower volatility.

Traditional IRAs and 401(k)s provided by USAA may include tax benefits that are not available with Gold IRAs. Specifically, USAA's retirement accounts often come with the ability to deduct contributions from your taxable income, which can significantly reduce your annual tax burden. 

Moreover, the investments in these accounts grow tax-deferred, meaning you won't pay taxes on the earnings until you withdraw them in retirement, potentially at a lower tax rate.

However, Gold IRAs have their own tax advantages, such as the potential to grow wealth tax-free if structured as a Roth IRA, where contributions are made with after-tax dollars. This can be particularly appealing during periods of high inflation or economic instability when gold prices tend to rise. Unlike traditional equity or bond investments, gold is a physical commodity that can provide a tangible sense of security for investors.

USAA's offerings, meanwhile, include a variety of mutual funds and ETFs that can be included in their IRAs and 401(k)s, allowing for a diversified portfolio that can be adjusted based on the investor's risk tolerance and retirement timeline. This flexibility is a significant advantage for those who may want to shift strategies as market conditions change or as they get closer to retirement age.

How to Choose a Gold IRA Provider

Based on our firsthand experience, choosing the right Gold IRA provider is a critical decision that involves several key considerations:

  • Reputation: Research the provider's track record and industry standing. Look for reviews and testimonials to understand other investors' experiences. A provider with a solid reputation is more likely to offer reliable service and ethical business practices.
  • Fee Structure: Understand all costs involved, including initial setup fees, annual administrative fees, and storage fees. Providers should be upfront about their fee structure to avoid any hidden charges that could eat into your investment.
  • Storage Safety: Ensure that the provider offers secure storage options. Gold IRA assets typically need to be held by a custodian in IRS-approved depositories. Confirm whether they offer segregated storage to keep your investments separate from others, which can provide additional security.
  • Range of Offered Metals: Check the variety of gold and other precious metals offered. Some providers might offer a wider range of options, including silver, platinum, and palladium, which can further diversify your investment.
  • Customer Support: Good customer service is essential, especially for investors new to gold IRAs. Providers should offer comprehensive support, guiding you through the setup process, and be available to answer any queries about your account or investments.

When selecting a Gold IRA provider, it's also beneficial to ask about their buyback policies and whether they offer assistance with rolling over an existing retirement account into a Gold IRA. This can simplify the transition and ensure that your retirement planning is seamless and effective. With these points in mind, you'll be better equipped to choose a provider that not only meets but exceeds your retirement investment needs.

Top 3 Gold IRA Providers as Alternatives to USAA

For those interested in exploring Gold IRAs, here are three reputable providers you should consider:

1# Goldco

Goldco has built a reputation on the strength of its customer service and deep expertise in precious metals.

Specializing in gold and silver IRAs, they make a point to work closely with their clients, ensuring that each investor fully understands the different options available to them.

If you're new to investing in precious metals, Goldco's team takes the time to educate you about the benefits and potential risks associated with these types of investments.

They offer a range of gold and silver coins and bars approved by the IRS for IRAs, allowing for a tailored investment that meets your retirement planning needs.

 Goldco also assists in every step of the process, from rolling over an existing IRA into a precious metals IRA to selecting the right metals and finalizing the transaction.

Their commitment to transparency ensures there are no hidden fees or surprises, making Goldco a trusted choice for those looking to diversify their retirement savings with precious metals.

2# Augusta Precious Metals

Augusta Precious Metals prides itself on taking an educational first approach, which is particularly beneficial for investors who are new to the complexities of precious metal investing.

What sets Augusta apart is their commitment to openness and honesty, providing clear, upfront information about the costs associated with purchasing gold and silver for an IRA.

They offer a no-obligation web conference led by a Harvard-trained economist, which helps clients understand the economic factors affecting the precious metals market. This dedication to education helps investors make informed decisions that align with their long-term financial goals. 

Augusta's customer service team is available to guide you through the entire process, from initial inquiry to the purchase and storage of your metals, ensuring a smooth and secure transaction.

With a focus on building long-term relationships, Augusta supports its clients well beyond the initial transaction, offering ongoing insights into market trends and investment strategies.

3# American Hartford Gold

American Hartford Gold is recognized for offering competitive pricing and high levels of customer satisfaction, making it another excellent option for those considering a Gold IRA.

They focus on simplifying the investment process, which can be daunting for those new to gold and silver IRAs.

From the first conversation, their team works to demystify the steps involved in setting up a Gold IRA, including how to roll over funds from existing retirement accounts without incurring taxes or penalties.

They provide a personalized service that looks at your individual retirement goals and financial situation, offering tailored advice on how to best integrate precious metals into your retirement planning.

American Hartford Gold's commitment to transparency means that they disclose all fees upfront, and their customer service is noted for being responsive and informative, ensuring you feel confident and well-supported in your investment decisions.

Protect Your Retirement Savings - Without Taxes or Penalties!


While USAA does not offer Gold IRAs, several highly reputable providers do. Each of these alternatives offers unique benefits that can meet the diverse needs of investors looking to diversify their retirement portfolios with precious metals. We encourage doing thorough research and consulting with a financial advisor to choose the best option for your individual needs.

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