td savings bond calculator problems......

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Topic Author
gadfly888
Posts: 109
Joined: Fri Apr 13, 2007 1:14 pm

td savings bond calculator problems......

Post by gadfly888 »

I have been using the treasury direct saving bond calculator to track my I bonds and ee bonds for many years.
This month, July, the calculator is showing 0% interest rate for I bonds purchased in 2003, 2005, 2006, 2009,
and 2010. Older I bonds and newer I bonds show accurate rates. Post dating the calculator shows the 0%
interest rates started showing up 06/2015. Post dating to 05/2015 and later the rates are properly positive.

this is confusing,

gad-
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Phineas J. Whoopee
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Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2011 6:18 pm

Re: td savings bond calculator problems......

Post by Phineas J. Whoopee »

The inflation portion of Series I Savings Bonds is -.80%. That means any bonds you have with a fixed rate of 0.80% 1.60% or less will spend six months earning zero.

The good part about that is, with negative inflation for the measured period, you're getting ahead in real terms.

Here's the Treasury Direct page with the information.

Hope that's helpful.

PJW
Last edited by Phineas J. Whoopee on Sat Jul 11, 2015 2:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Topic Author
gadfly888
Posts: 109
Joined: Fri Apr 13, 2007 1:14 pm

Re: td savings bond calculator problems......

Post by gadfly888 »

Thank you PJW. Unfortunately the problem isn't the calculator; it's the
implication of the calculation. :( Real terms of inflation per the gov't
are vastly different from the actual real inflation of my life situation.

gad-
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Phineas J. Whoopee
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Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2011 6:18 pm

Re: td savings bond calculator problems......

Post by Phineas J. Whoopee »

gadfly888 wrote:... Real terms of inflation per the gov't
are vastly different from the actual real inflation of my life situation.

gad-
Indeed. It's the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers, not the Consumer Price Index for gadfly888, or the Consumer Price Index for Phineas J. Whoopee.

We can only use the tools we have, is how I look at it.

PJW
Geologist
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Joined: Fri Jan 02, 2009 7:35 pm

Re: td savings bond calculator problems......

Post by Geologist »

You're forgetting that oil prices sank like a stone late last year. That's the major driver for the fall in the CPI and you did benefit from this, if you drive a car.
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Phineas J. Whoopee
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Re: td savings bond calculator problems......

Post by Phineas J. Whoopee »

^ The CPI is based on a standardized basket of goods and services. If one's own basket is a lot different, experienced inflation will differ as well. I don't know anything about OP, but it would be possible for one's expenses to be dominated by tuition and medical care, for example, even as one walks and rides the bus.
PJW
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#Cruncher
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Re: td savings bond calculator problems......

Post by #Cruncher »

Phineas J. Whoopee wrote:The inflation portion of Series I Savings Bonds is -.80%. That means any bonds you have with a fixed rate of 0.80% or less will spend six months earning zero.
A couple of clarifications:
  • While the inflation rate is often quoted on a semi-annual basis, the fixed rate is almost always quoted on an annual basis. Therefore I would state your conclusion as any bonds you have with a fixed rate of 1.60% or less will spend six months earning zero. You can see the composite (aka earnings rate) for all possible fixed rates in the table in this post or in the 3rd column of this composite rate triangle.
  • The six month period when these composite rates kick in depends on the month you purchased each I Bond. For example, one purchased in May or November began earning at the new rate on May 1st. At the other extreme, one purchased in April or October won't start earning at the new rate until October 1st. See When does my bond change rates?.
Last edited by #Cruncher on Sat Jul 11, 2015 12:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Phineas J. Whoopee
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Re: td savings bond calculator problems......

Post by Phineas J. Whoopee »

^ Thanks #Cruncher. Fair points, clarifications, and additions, as always.
PJW
mptness
Posts: 178
Joined: Sun Jun 03, 2012 3:54 pm

Re: td savings bond calculator problems......

Post by mptness »

Phineas J. Whoopee wrote:^ Thanks #Cruncher. Fair points, clarifications, and additions, as always.
PJW
+1

I prefer #Crunchers IBond pages over the Treasury Direct Tools. Much easier to see the month by month values. Simple to see the effect of losing three months interest by simply looking back three months. Thank you for all the great work!
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