By Steve Dinnen
A friend mentioned the other day that he had found some U.S. Savings Bonds that friends and relatives had purchased for his children, gathering dust in a lock box. They used to be a fairly common gift, often to mark the birth of a child or a birthday.
His children are now in their 40s. So those Series EE bonds have long since quit accruing interest, which ends after 30 years of ownership.
Series EE Bonds are bought at half their face value, e.g.,, $50 for a bond valued at $100. They reach that face value in 20 years and still accrue interest until they hit the 30-year mark.
The other type of savings bond, Series I, is bought at face value and builds from there, also for 30 years. It’s superior to the EE, since one of its two value-building components is tied to the rate of inflation. The current rate on Series I Bonds, available through April 2023, is 6.89%. (The current rate on Series EE bonds is 2.10% through next April.)
So, friend, dust off those matured bonds and cash them in—most banks will oblige. Then go to treasurydirect.gov, the only place to buy bonds these days, and use that cash to grab some I bonds. The annual limit is $10,000, though you can buy $10,000 more if you own a business, or another $10,000 if you have a living trust. Married? Double those amounts.