I bonds are U.S. savings bonds designed to protect the value of your cash from inflation. And with inflation surging to 40-year highs, investors are especially interested in higher-returning, lower-risk investments. But before making a decision to rush out and buy I bonds, make sure you understand the pros and cons first. This is critically important given that most will instinctively leap to own a security that pays out an annual rate of over 9% – but like any investment – know what you’re buying before you buy.
Taken directly from the U.S. Treasury Department:
A Series I savings bond is a security that earns interest based on both a fixed rate and a rate that is set twice a year based on inflation. The bond earns interest until it reaches 30 years or you cash it, whichever comes first.
For the first six months you own it, the Series I bond we sell from May 2022 through October 2022 earns interest at an annual rate of 9.62 percent. A new rate will be set every six months based on this bond's fixed rate (0.00 percent) and on inflation.
Individuals: Yes, if you have a Social Security Number and meet any one of these three conditions:
To buy and own an electronic I bond, you must first establish a TreasuryDirect account.
Yes, if they meet one of the conditions above for individuals.
Information concerning electronic and paper bonds:
You pay the face value of the bond. For example, you pay $50 for a $50 bond. (The bond increases in value as it earns interest.)
Electronic I bonds come in any amount to the penny for $25 or more. For example, you could buy a $50.23 bond.
Paper bonds are sold in five denominations; $50, $100, $200, $500, $1,000
In a calendar year, you can acquire:
Electronic bonds: You can buy them as gifts for any TreasuryDirect account holder, including children.
Paper bonds: You can request bonds in the names of others and then, once the bonds are mailed to you, give the bonds as gifts.
The purchase amount of a gift bond counts toward the annual limit of the recipient, not the giver. So, in a calendar year, you can buy up to $10,000 in electronic bonds and up to $5,000 in paper bonds for each person you buy for.”
One very important detail to especially keep in mind is that you need to hold your I bond for at least one year. And if you hold it for less than five years, you lose three months worth of earnings when cashing out. Maybe the tax benefits and the protection against inflation are appealing to you. But like any investment, make sure I bonds fit well within your overall financial plan.
Partner, Financial Planner
Mike enjoys getting to know and understand his clients and their needs. Mike guides clients through the financial planning process to help them identify their goals and create a plan to achieve them. His expertise is working with folks nearing retirement and young couples looking to save for retirement and plan for their children’s education. Mike retired from the Air Force in 2014 and went back to school as a non-traditional student at the University of Northern Iowa. He obtained a bachelor’s degree in accounting. Mike is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, and a member of the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors, XY Planning Network and Fee Only Network.
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