United States Savings Bonds have been one of the most popular ways for Americans to save for more than 75 years. As a result of purchases or gifts, more than 55 million people currently own approximately $180 billion in savings bonds.
But some savings bonds have quit earning interest. Savings bonds earn interest for different lengths of time, depending on the series and when the bond was issued. It is important to check any savings bonds you have to make sure they are still earning interest. This is especially true for the popular Series E bonds and savings notes. Many individuals have savings bonds stored away in safe deposit boxes or drawers and probably aren’t aware of the maturity dates.
The following savings bonds no longer earn interest (as of 1/6/10):
|E||May 1941 through January 1980|
|HH||January 1980 through January 1990|
|Savings Notes||All issues|
If your savings bonds have stopped earning interest, you should cash them in or exchange them.
The savings bond website provides information about the savings bond program and offers a tool called Savings Bond Wizard. This wizard can help track values, maturity dates, and other information about savings bonds.
Many individuals have forgotten about savings bonds purchased decades ago. If you think you may have some savings bonds, it is a good idea to find them, make sure they are still paying interest, and include them in your total financial planning activities.