US savings rate and Savings Bonds

Monday, April 11th, 2005
Categorized as: Savings Bond FAQ

Recently a group called the New America Foundation sponsored a discussion in Washington on ways to improve the low savings rate of Americans, according to the UPI article, Many ways to increase U.S. personal savings.

One of the five solutions suggested was to revitalize U.S. Savings Bonds. Suggestions included:

  • adding a line to tax returns that would allow people to invest part of their refund in Savings Bonds
  • shortening the minimum holding period, which is currently one year
  • re-establish a marketing program for Savings Bonds
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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 October 6th, 2008 Jon Black said:

This article is dated 2005 and it surprises me that nobody commented on it. Nonetheless, three years later, and in the midst of a financial crisis that involves over-leverage and lack of personal savings, the message of the article is clear and relevant. Joe Sixpack (AKA “Joe Taxpayer”) needs a government that works for him as well at it has worked for wealthy people and Corporate America. Instead of the steady dismantling of the Savings Bonds program, while providing tax breaks and tax money for corporate bailouts, as has happened over the past years, now is the time for our government to encourage the average American to save. Sadly, the mecahnism for this has been in place for years…the Savings Bond program. We simply need government that works for ALL of the people, not for just some of them. REVITALIZE the Savings Bonds program, encourage its use, and provide incentives for doing so.

On October 9th, 2008 Michael A. said:

I agree with Jon Black. Why did the Govt. reduce the amount we can buy from $30,000 to $5,000, and has there been any talk abouting raising the $5,000 amount? My stash of I Bonds will probably help me though these tough times.

On October 9th, 2008 Tom Adams said:

Michael – see the comments on this page for a discussion of your questions.

Tom Adams

On October 28th, 2008 Jon Black said:

Michael – When I look at the $10,000 series I savings bonds I bought in August of 2000, I realize the likely REAL answer to your question, even though the folks at Treasury won’t admit it. According to the Savings Bonds Calculator, my bonds are currently getting a rate of 8.53%, and they’re about as secure an investment as one can get. I bought them when the fixed rate was 3.6%. A bond I bought for $10,000 in 2000 has appreciated to $16,756. Treasury has concluded deals like that are TOO good. The fixed rate is currently zero, and the $10,000 denomination bond is discontinued.

Gee, wouldn’t deals like I got in 2000 really encourage people to save and to use savings bonds to do it? Wouldn’t you feel like our government is interested in helping guys like you with the same zeal they show for helping corporations like AIG?

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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