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Tuesday, June 13th, 2006
Categorized as: Savings Bond news

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FDIC Insured Certificates of Deposit can pay 1 or 2% more than savings bonds when held for a similar length of time. See top CD Rates Below:


On February 6th, 2008 Faye Winkler said:

I have some EE bonds most are 1988 and some are 1989 1 2000 I was thinking that the 1988’s would be matured at 12 years after issue not correct? I didn’t see the dates on those. Should I do something else with these

On February 7th, 2008 Tom Adams said:

Faye – 12 years? Yes. Do something else? No.

Tom Adams

On February 13th, 2008 Mark Stevenson said:

Here’s a nice observation that appeared today on the Bogleheads page that reinforces some of Tom’s succinct philosophy on comparing the stock market to inflation over finite time spans:

$100,000 invested in the stock market in 1961, including reinvested dividends, but corrected for inflation, would have grown to $100,960 in 1975 (14 years) or $129,500 in 1976 (15 years).

And of course, $100,000 invested in the stock market in 1928, including reinvested dividends, but corrected for inflation, would have “grown” to $91,300 in 14 years, $111,400 in 15 years, $135,000 in 20 years.

On October 23rd, 2008 Lawrence Jackson said:

I just finished reading the book “Saving Bonds Advisor”. Excellent book however, I was left with some questions that were not adressed or fully explained. First, is it financially practical or even responsible of me to have the majority (70-100%) of my investments in U.S. Gov’t Securities?

Also, would my investments bring greater returns if I had U.S. Gov’t Securities mutual fund accounts instead of bonds purchase from Treasury Direct?

Finally, if U.S. Saving Bonds are so great, than why are all the financial planners telling everyone to purchase municipal bonds—they seem to have security, tax benefits, and higher yields than U.S. bonds?

On October 24th, 2008 Tom Adams said:

Lawrence – The book suggests having the foundation of your investing portfolio in safe liquid investments. How much that is in per cent depends on how big your portfolio is. So if you have a $10,000 portfolio, yes, it should ALL be in safe investments. If you have $10 million, on the other hand, it would not be responsible to have it all invested in government securities.

You get the best returns by using TreasuryDirect, not a mutual fund.

I don’t have anything against municipal bonds. Given the annual investment limits for Savings Bonds (lowered to $5,000 per SSN per year since the book was published), they are definitely worth considering, although there are some concerns that the current financial crisis will end up causing some of these bonds to default.

Tom Adams

On October 24th, 2008 Lawrence Jackson said:

Thank you for responding so quickly to my questions. I really don’t trust the stock market. I have been trying to force myself to invest in the market because EVERYBODY is telling me that’s where my money should be. I’m 34 yrs. old and I am told that I have plenty of time to recover any loses from the downward market trends. The problem is: I don’t want to lose any of my money and I don’t like the idea of not knowing what my investment is worth on any given day. HOWEVER, your response to my earlier question has disturbed me even more. You stated, “…the current financial crisis will end up causing some of these bonds to default.” IF the U.S. were to default on its financial obligations, where would that place small investors like myself and should I continue to purchase Savings Bonds? Also, how would this effect world markets, considering the U.S. dollar is the global standard? It is my understanding that nations cannot discharge sovereign debt in bankruptcy, is that true?

On October 27th, 2008 Tom Adams said:

Lawrence – please go back and read your previous question.

You asked me about municipal bonds. I responded that some municipal bonds are likely to default because of the current financial crisis. Municipal bonds are issued by cities, not by the U.S. Treasury.

It’s generally believed that the U.S. Treasury can’t default because it can print new money to pay its debts. That may cause other problems, but not default of its obligations.

Tom Adams

On March 18th, 2009 Robert Meech said:

If an I Bond is issued in my name but shows a different Social Security Number, Can I cash it or does the person who’s SS# appears on the bond have to cash it? Who would be responsable for the tax?

On March 19th, 2009 Tom Adams said:

Robert – the SSN on the bond isn’t used for anything but tracking the bond down if it’s lost. See this post for the answer to your tax question.

Tom Adams

On October 13th, 2009 josh said:


On October 14th, 2009 Tom Adams said:

Josh – yes, your assumption is incorrect. The fixed rate never changes. For further clarification, see how I bond interest rates work and my page on I bond fixed rates.

Tom Adams

On November 4th, 2009 Jen said:

I’m thinking I might buy some US I and EE Savings Bonds for my retirement plan. My job doesn’t offer a 401K or IRA and I don’t own a home. I was in the stock market over 15 years, finally got out last year in Oct.

Q.1) What is the best way to save for retirement? As I said, my company doesn’t offer a 401K, so each pay check is taxed. If I use the taxed money to buy US Savings Bonds for my retirement, by the time I withdrawal my Savings Bonds, the interest will taxed again (double taxed)?

Q.2) How can I avoid double tax?

On November 5th, 2009 Tom Adams said:

Jen – Savings Bonds are a good place to put away money for emergencies. If you never have an emergency, you can spend the money on your retirement.

The reason Savings Bonds are good for this is that after one year you can get the money back out again. Before the bonds are five years old there’s a penalty of the most recent three months interest, but after that there are no penalties at all.

If you have to take money out of a 401K or other retirement plan for an emergency before you retire, on the other hand, there can be significant penalties.

For your retirement you should open what’s called a Roth IRA with a reputable company like or Inside the Roth you can pick one or more mutual funds to invest the retirement savings in. Both companies offer an inflation-linked bond fund, which is like investing in Series I Savings Bonds.

When you take the money out of a Roth IRA, there is no tax on the money.

Compare this to a traditional IRA, which allows you to put in money before it’s taxed, but all of the money you take out is taxed.

So a Roth IRA is the way to go in your situation.

Tom Adams

On November 23rd, 2009 Jodi said:

Will the person who purchased the savings bonds be notified when they are cashed in?

On November 24th, 2009 Tom Adams said:

Jodi – No, that never happens.

Tom Adams

On December 6th, 2009 Ellen said:

I read in your book that you if I went to the website I could sign up for email alerts. I cannot find the link. Thanks for your help!

On December 7th, 2009 Tom Adams said:

Hi Ellen – Sorry, I had to discontinue the alerts because too many people subscribed and then called me a spammer when I sent them out.

Tom Adams

On December 16th, 2009 Les Teater said:

I have $32,000 interest that matures in Jan 2010 on EE bonds.My wife and I are retired and on SS she has a taxable state retirement ,I have no retirement.Should we file saperate income tax so I can cash some of the bonds?How much can I cash before it effects my SS?

On December 16th, 2009 Tom Adams said:

Les – You can cash it all and it will not lower the amount of SS your receive. However, it may make some of your SS income taxable.

This is really a tax question, not a Savings Bond question, and I don’t know the best answer.

Tom Adams

Comments Closed

June 1, 2010

After six years, over 400 posts, 3,680 real comments, and over 90,000 spam comments (thank you, Akismet, for making managing a blog with comments possible), I am closing public comments on I will contine to update the main articles on this site, but not the comments.

Virtually every question about Savings Bonds has been asked and answered on this site multiple times. Use the search feature (see the box in the gray area near the top of this page) or the detailed menu on the lower part of the home page to find the information you're looking for. If you have a copy of Savings Bond Advisor, you can ask me a question here.

Tom Adams

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