Opening a self-directed individual retirement arrangement account gives you the opportunity to invest in a range of asset classes that custodial IRAs don't offer. These include tangible assets, such as real estate or precious metals -- including platinum, gold and silver. Holding silver in your IRA isn't as simple as having it shipped to your house, but a self-directed IRA can help you make silver a part of your retirement.
Open a self-directed IRA account with a custodian that allows you to hold precious metals like silver. Discuss your plans with your accountant before selecting a custodian to ensure that you are taking an appropriate level of risk.
Fund your account with a direct contribution or by rolling over funds from an existing IRA.
Contact a precious metals dealer to purchase your IRA-eligible physical silver. The Internal Revenue Service will not let you hold collectible coins in an IRA, so your silver must be in the form of 99.9 percent pure bullion, silver American Eagle coins, or other coins of the same purity rather than collectibles
Direct your dealer to send the invoice for the silver to your IRA custodian, who will pay it. The dealer will ship the coins or bullion to your custodian's repository, which will hold your physical silver for you.
Pay your self-directed IRA custodian's recurring fees. While the fees vary by custodian, the custodian will charge you for maintaining your account and storing your silver, and it may charge you fees to open your account or on a per-transaction basis.
Steve Lander has been a writer since 1996, with experience in the fields of financial services, real estate and technology. His work has appeared in trade publications such as the "Minnesota Real Estate Journal" and "Minnesota Multi-Housing Association Advocate." Lander holds a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Columbia University.