I bonds purchasing. The current yields are better than just holding cash

I wish I bought a bunch back when Clark said the core rate was phenomenal. Oh well. Here we are 22 years later. I re-started buying them after the inflation rate escalated last year. Planning on buying them regularly now as they will become a component of my retirement income. Also buying EE bonds but they are a 20 year holding period. There are some constraints about what to expect 20 years out.

In 2000-2001 EE bonds were producing 3% to 5%, today’s series I bonds are earning 7.12%.

I started maxing out I-Bonds in 2016 and have a pile now, so grateful. EE Bonds? Not sure I can wait 20 years, and you MUST wait 20 years to get the 3.6% interest. If you wait 19 years 364 days… you get almost nothing.

Wow 20 years or nothing that is worse than an annuity.

I did have some of those I bonds when Clark promoted them years ago. They were paper as I recall.

Then this abominable Treasury Direct thing came in and you had to use that or else. Back then TD site required not only a big long fancy password, but you could not even key it in and had to use a virtual keyboard. Without a mouse you were SOL. Not going back there no matter what the interest rate is.

When using the Treasury Direct website, if you change your bank account you must fill out a form(form 5512), and return it… you cannot simply edit your account online. I have the form, but I have no idea where to send it to. Any thoughts?

See page 5 of 6 for the postal address of where to send the completed form.

I have no experience with purchasing bonds from the TD (only as part of my IRA). Clark’s advice is to go ahead and buy I bonds but with this caveat: “Make sure you actively manage your I bonds by staying aware of the interest rate changes.” Can someone explain what this means?

They post interest rate updates at Treasury Direct, what Clark means is just make sure that the interest rate you get there is competitive with other alternatives at your disposal. Make sure you want what it is that you’re buying… don’t just do something because someone told you to do it.

If you forget your Treasury Direct account number, forget about buying I-bonds. That website is one of the WORST sites I have ever seen. I forgot my number and when I click the link, instead of showing me some of the security questions I answered when I set it up, they display every option. If you don’t remember which ones you used, they say to answer them all. Then…they block out your response so you can’t see if you misspelled something. So THEN it locks you out and you have to call Treasury direct. If you have to do this, set aside an entire day and call them as early as you can. I’ve been trying to get my account unlocked for a week - but every time I call, I am told that the wait is “two hours or more”. If you call after 1 p.m. Eastern time, you will get a message that they aren’t taking any more calls. It might be tolerable if you had hold music, but you don’t…it’s just a phone ringing about 10 times before you get the message that they are sorry you have to wait, but the wait is still two hours or more. They don’t accept email.

I am willing to come out of retirement to consult with them on how to make a website that is actually user friendly. Their security is overkill. And even if things work, the site is confusing as hell to navigate.

An absolutely HORRID system and service. I’d like to buy some I bonds, but I can’t because there is no way to get them to unlock your account.

I have my account number in a password manager for exactly that reason.

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Thank you for clarifying this. So the interest rate is 9.62 from May 2022 to October 2022. If I buy any time between 5/22 and 10/22 and hold for at least 5 years, my bond will earn 9.62 for the first 6 months then I should check to see if the interest rate changes to something below other alternative investment alternatives? I wish I could see an example.

Here it is…

Individual - Series I Savings Bonds Rates & Terms: Calculating Interest Rates (treasurydirect.gov)

To be honest, I will keep buying them no matter what, because they defer taxes, and are not taxable by State or Local Governments. That’s like having a whole extra IRA.

Beware the website is awful. Don’t lose your account number or password, Youll never recover them, per the other user who posted in this thread.

Okay, got it:). When we finally cash them, I suppose the accumulated earnings will be taxed at whatever bracket we are in at the time.

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LIstening to the hold ringing now. I called exactly as the clock changed to 8:00 a.m. and got thru the call tree by 8:01…My wait is two hours or more. Ridiculous.

Thank you….I have now returned the form, when I called and listened to the recording, it said it may take two months to process…insane! I should be able to change my bank account online, and having to wait two months to have someone else do it is ridiculous.

I got. Medallion signature guarantee at Fidelity Investments and the bank was added within a couple weeks.

I got thru after 45 minutes the other morning. Called right at 8. IT asked me to complete a survey after I was online, which I gladly did…I usually avoid 1 ratings, but made an exception this time. The only one I answered with a higher number was “how likely are you to use this site again” . I gave it a 3, since it’s the only place I can buy them. At coffee the other morning, one of the guys said the WSJ had an article about how bad that website is.

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I wonder if you can get service via snail mail if you send copies of your IDs and such. Beats wasting time on the phone, honestly, for non time critical matters

We heard about the I bonds from Clark at year-end 2021 and bought them in late Dec and early Jan. I thought the $10K limit was kind of a bummer.

It also prompted me to cash in 20 or so EE bonds from the 1980-90 timeframe that had maxed out. All of them had matured to @ or exceeding 200% of their face value between 2012 and 2019. I got most of them as a result of US Bond drives and incentive awards from my employer at the time.

The max of $10k pp a year for I bonds makes it a kind of a set-and-forget thing and a good example of why keeping a percentage of your investment portfolio in opportunity cash is a good idea. If you plan ahead you can get another $5k as part of a FIT tax withholding refund making the total $15k per year per person.

Thank you!! I appreciate it!!