Mistake to Avoid: Holding US Savings Bonds After Interest Has Stopped Accruing

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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):

SeriesIssue Date
Series
E
Issue Date

May 1941 through January 1980

Series
HH
Issue Date

January 1980 through January 1990

Series
Savings Notes
Issue Date

All issues

Series
A, B, C, D, F, G, H, J, K
Issue Date

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.

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