simplifying my financial life -- should i get rid of treasury direct?

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anoop
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simplifying my financial life -- should i get rid of treasury direct?

Post by anoop » Wed Mar 14, 2018 12:53 am

I used to have 7 accounts -- 3 high yield, 1 bank, 1 CU, 1 brokerage, and treasury direct (TD).

At some point, I decided to start simplifying things and reduce the number of accounts. This will hopefully reduce the number of places that my information can be hacked from and also makes things simpler for whoever is handling my stuff after I'm gone (I'm single and have a trust that names the people that I would like to help with this). I decided there would be some lost opportunity there (I may not always get the best rates).

So first I closed a bunch of the high yield savings accounts and now down to just one of them, so I have 5 accounts total.

Next I'm thinking I want to close TD. The main reason is that both the Series I and Series E bonds no longer look as attractive to me as they used to. Also, I hear it can be a pain to deal for an estate. I have a bunch of older I-Bonds that have appreciated some so I will have some tax liability from that, but it's nothing too big. I started investing in TD in a big way only a few years ago when they really weren't all that attractive. I plan to move the money to the brokerage and buy treasuries. I realize I will lose the tax deferral by not investing in I/E Bonds. I used to think I-bonds were the best thing here but was corrected by some patient bogleheads.

Have any of you guys chosen to close your TD account and liquidate all the I/E bonds? (My E bonds have a near zero appreciation.) Or is it a really bad idea to do that?

My next step in simplification would be to get rid of either the bank or the CU (most likely the CU will go because I can get similar rates via brokered CDs or treasuries while I keep the easy ATM access of the bank). That will leave me with 3 accounts.
Last edited by anoop on Fri Mar 16, 2018 12:05 am, edited 5 times in total.

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randomizer
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Re: simplifying my financial life -- should i get rid of treasury direct?

Post by randomizer » Wed Mar 14, 2018 1:27 am

Simplification is great. I don't think there is much reason to have multiple FDIC insured bank accounts, unless your balance is greater than $250k.

I personally didn't bother holding individual treasuries until recently, and I can see myself living without them in the future.
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Re: simplifying my financial life -- should i get rid of treasury direct?

Post by mega317 » Wed Mar 14, 2018 2:13 am

I don't know, I'm all for simplification too but if savings bonds fit in to your plan then I'd keep them. I bonds have a role for many of us even with fixed rates near 0. And the effective rate of your E bonds going forward increases every year you get closer to doubling. But I don't know about "really bad idea", how much of your portfolio is this?

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Re: simplifying my financial life -- should i get rid of treasury direct?

Post by anoop » Wed Mar 14, 2018 2:27 am

mega317 wrote:
Wed Mar 14, 2018 2:13 am
I don't know, I'm all for simplification too but if savings bonds fit in to your plan then I'd keep them. I bonds have a role for many of us even with fixed rates near 0. And the effective rate of your E bonds going forward increases every year you get closer to doubling. But I don't know about "really bad idea", how much of your portfolio is this?
About 10%.

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Re: simplifying my financial life -- should i get rid of treasury direct?

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Wed Mar 14, 2018 6:11 am

anoop wrote:
Wed Mar 14, 2018 2:27 am
mega317 wrote:
Wed Mar 14, 2018 2:13 am
I don't know, I'm all for simplification too but if savings bonds fit in to your plan then I'd keep them. I bonds have a role for many of us even with fixed rates near 0. And the effective rate of your E bonds going forward increases every year you get closer to doubling. But I don't know about "really bad idea", how much of your portfolio is this?
About 10%.
I am roughly the same, unless something drastically changed with the investment not meeting your goals, I’d leave them alone.
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Re: simplifying my financial life -- should i get rid of treasury direct?

Post by Blues » Wed Mar 14, 2018 7:37 am

I closed our TD accounts a few years ago for a few reasons...

The TD site is a pain in the posterior.

My wife would never want to deal with navigating that site and I am trying to simplify the portfolio against the day I may not be around to handle all of the minutiae and investing decisions. The closer things are to automatic pilot, the better.

I used the small amount we had invested in TD over a few years to purchase a new Toyota 4Runner which replaced our older SUV. Money well spent.

I've never missed dealing with TD.
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Re: simplifying my financial life -- should i get rid of treasury direct?

Post by stan1 » Wed Mar 14, 2018 7:49 am

I liquidated my Treasury Direct holdings a few years ago. It was a hassle and comprised a small part of my asset allocation. I don't miss it.

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Re: simplifying my financial life -- should i get rid of treasury direct?

Post by dodecahedron » Wed Mar 14, 2018 7:52 am

Blues wrote:
Wed Mar 14, 2018 7:37 am
I closed our TD accounts a few years ago for a few reasons...

The TD site is a pain in the posterior.

My wife would never want to deal with navigating that site and I am trying to simplify the portfolio against the day I may not be around to handle all of the minutiae and investing decisions. The closer things are to automatic pilot, the better.

I used the small amount we had invested in TD over a few years to purchase a new Toyota 4Runner which replaced our older SUV. Money well spent.

I've never missed dealing with TD.
I am also planning to simplify out of TD. It is manageable enough for me with my current state of physical and cognitive capabilities, but when I think of the possibility that one of my beloved daughters may someday have to manage my finances in the event of my eventual incapacity, I don't want to add dealing with TD to all the other minutiae (e.g., arranging for caregivers, dealing with health insurance EOBs, etc.) that will also burden her.

Savings bonds seem like an "orphan product" that Treasury only grudgingly supports--I can't imagine that customer service is going to improve in the future. When I was a kid, I actually remember television commercials for savings bonds. I see nobody promoting them now.

With the prospect of inflation and rising rates on the horizon, my EE bonds no longer seem attractive. Real yields on TIPS are better than I bonds, and TIPs can easily be held in accounts at places like Schwab and Fidelity, which have much better customer service than Treasury. And TIPS can easily be moved from one brokerage to another should customer service decline at one broker in the future. No such options for I bonds held at TD.

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Re: simplifying my financial life -- should i get rid of treasury direct?

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Wed Mar 14, 2018 7:53 am

stan1 wrote:
Wed Mar 14, 2018 7:49 am
I liquidated my Treasury Direct holdings a few years ago. It was a hassle and comprised a small part of my asset allocation. I don't miss it.
What is the hassle specifically? That you have an extra account, that you have to enter your account number first, followed by keying in your password with a mouse, that you may request one time codes be sent to your registered e-mail before being able to access your account? I'm trying to understand what is this big hassle that everyone (not you) keeps harping about.
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Re: simplifying my financial life -- should i get rid of treasury direct?

Post by dknightd » Wed Mar 14, 2018 8:03 am

I stopped buying US savings bonds when they quit issuing paper bonds. I do not know the rules on current savings bonds. They used to have a time period over which they were guaranteed to to deliver their face value. If they still do this is might be worth keeping them till that time. The guarantee rate might be low, but is it guaranteed. IMO not a bad place to put "emergency" money YMMV

Edit: signing all those paper bonds is a pain in the fingers ;)
Last edited by dknightd on Wed Mar 14, 2018 8:10 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: simplifying my financial life -- should i get rid of treasury direct?

Post by dodecahedron » Wed Mar 14, 2018 8:09 am

Grt2bOutdoors wrote:
Wed Mar 14, 2018 7:53 am
stan1 wrote:
Wed Mar 14, 2018 7:49 am
I liquidated my Treasury Direct holdings a few years ago. It was a hassle and comprised a small part of my asset allocation. I don't miss it.
What is the hassle specifically? That you have an extra account, that you have to enter your account number first, followed by keying in your password with a mouse, that you may request one time codes be sent to your registered e-mail before being able to access your account? I'm trying to understand what is this big hassle that everyone (not you) keeps harping about.
Big hassle I see is getting someone else authorized to access my account when the bonds mature if I am no longer able to do so. I also understand that they don't mail 1099-INTs, making it harder for whoever might be preparing my tax returns when I am no longer capable.

In general, I want to reduce the number of my accounts AND have that streamlined subset of accounts held at places where I or my POA can deal with someone (either in person or on the phone or on instant chat) who is incentivized to get things straightened out if necessary.

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Re: simplifying my financial life -- should i get rid of treasury direct?

Post by dknightd » Wed Mar 14, 2018 8:16 am

what I do is give the person access to my safe deposit box. In that box I provide my computer password, and the password to my password manager (which contains unique passwords for every site I, or they, may need to visit) so they can pretend to be me if they have to

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Re: simplifying my financial life -- should i get rid of treasury direct?

Post by KlingKlang » Wed Mar 14, 2018 8:23 am

I agree with all of the responses on what a hassle dealing with the Treasury Direct website is, calling them is even worse. Besides everything previously mentioned they also make you run the gauntlet if you want to switch your linked bank account(s). Interestingly Legacy Treasury Direct still mails you your 1099s with no problems.

I am cashing out my TD I Bonds when they reach the five year mark. My problem is that I still have a few 30 year TIPS in TD coming due in 2027-29. As far as I know there is no way to get them out of TD. Is this correct?

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Re: simplifying my financial life -- should i get rid of treasury direct?

Post by SGM » Wed Mar 14, 2018 9:01 am

I will be discarding my treasury direct account as they do not make things easy. If my wife had to take over the account she would have a very difficult time. I can also buy some treasuries through Vanguard without a charge. TD is such a small amount and not worth the effort. I have done far better with an older tax deferred CD equivalent (7 year savings annuity) through USAA than with the I bonds even after taxes are figured in.

I recently transferred out of a brokerage account and will be closing a second bank account for simplicity.

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Re: simplifying my financial life -- should i get rid of treasury direct?

Post by anoop » Wed Mar 14, 2018 9:07 am

Thanks for all the responses so far.
randomizer wrote:
Wed Mar 14, 2018 1:27 am
Simplification is great. I don't think there is much reason to have multiple FDIC insured bank accounts, unless your balance is greater than $250k.
I did it in part for chasing the highest yield and I opened them at a time when the FDIC insurance limit was 100k and I was saving to buy a house. I have since bought a house and I have decided I value simplicity over optimizing my returns.
dodecahedron wrote:
Wed Mar 14, 2018 7:52 am
Savings bonds seem like an "orphan product" that Treasury only grudgingly supports--I can't imagine that customer service is going to improve in the future. When I was a kid, I actually remember television commercials for savings bonds. I see nobody promoting them now.
That is my feeling also. They used to be one of the best savings vehicles for those that didn't want to worry about investing in the stock market, but with the reduction in limits and the lousy rates, I'm wondering if they will eventually just get rid of them altogether.
dodecahedron wrote:
Wed Mar 14, 2018 8:09 am
I also understand that they don't mail 1099-INTs, making it harder for whoever might be preparing my tax returns when I am no longer capable.
If they don't mail a 1099-INT, does it mean that you have to login to TD to get it? Or do they just expect you to figure out the number and report it? Should be easy for me either way, but I was expecting I'd see a 1099-INT in the mail.

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Re: simplifying my financial life -- should i get rid of treasury direct?

Post by Blues » Wed Mar 14, 2018 9:13 am

^^^^You log on and download a copy of the 1099-INT when it becomes available.
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Re: simplifying my financial life -- should i get rid of treasury direct?

Post by J295 » Wed Mar 14, 2018 9:21 am

I think I’m lucky… Buying I bonds in the past has been a breeze on Treasury Direct. Personally, they have a role in our portfolio so I’m keeping them in place.

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Re: simplifying my financial life -- should i get rid of treasury direct?

Post by Da5id » Wed Mar 14, 2018 9:27 am

If you want simplification, sounds like a good place to start. I have a smallish amount of ibonds (<2% of total holdings), and the hassle factor might some day make me sell them too.

If you have older ibonds with nice fixed rates, would really hurt to sell. Paying tax in order to give up a really nice investment seems unfortunate. Selling ibonds with 0-0.1% fixed doesn't seem all that painful.
Last edited by Da5id on Wed Mar 14, 2018 9:33 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: simplifying my financial life -- should i get rid of treasury direct?

Post by 2cents2 » Wed Mar 14, 2018 9:29 am

I have a countdown to when all our bonds will have reached maturity--oh happy day!.... But then at tax time I consider getting new I Bonds :oops: (So far I have not bought any more because I don't want to have to deal with TD for many of the reasons mentioned on this thread.)

anoop wrote:
Wed Mar 14, 2018 9:07 am

If they don't mail a 1099-INT, does it mean that you have to login to TD to get it? Or do they just expect you to figure out the number and report it? Should be easy for me either way, but I was expecting I'd see a 1099-INT in the mail.

You have to go online to get it. Then, you have to print it out. And, maybe it is the printer that I use, but the headings appear on one page and the results appear on another. And, it includes 6 more pages of stuff having nothing to do with savings bond interest.

I print out a page every time I make a redemption so I don't forget to log in and get the 1099-INT at tax time.

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Re: simplifying my financial life -- should i get rid of treasury direct?

Post by anoop » Wed Mar 14, 2018 9:38 am

Da5id wrote:
Wed Mar 14, 2018 9:27 am
If you have older ibonds with nice fixed rates, would really hurt to sell. Paying tax in order to give up a really nice investment seems unfortunate. Selling ibonds with 0-0.1% fixed doesn't seem all that painful.
I think the best fixed rate that I have is around 2% but the $ amount is very small--I used to buy a paper I-bond for $500 each month from my local bank. I really started buying them in quantity when the fixed rate dropped to below 1%. So overall, I don't think I will be losing out that much. I used to track my holdings with the savings bonds wizard but I stopped when I switched to a mac. I couldn't figure out how to get the web version working and they didn't have an app for macOS.

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Re: simplifying my financial life -- should i get rid of treasury direct?

Post by Da5id » Wed Mar 14, 2018 9:41 am

anoop wrote:
Wed Mar 14, 2018 9:38 am
I think the best fixed rate that I have is around 2% but the $ amount is very small--I used to buy a paper I-bond for $500 each month from my local bank. I really started buying them in quantity when the fixed rate dropped to below 1%. So overall, I don't think I will be losing out that much. I used to track my holdings with the savings bonds wizard but I stopped when I switched to a mac. I couldn't figure out how to get the web version working and they didn't have an app for macOS.
Sounds like giving up a small good investment (2% real is very good) for simplification is a good trade-off for you to make. Small dollar amount and hassle factor outweigh the fact that it is a good investment.

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Re: simplifying my financial life -- should i get rid of treasury direct?

Post by telemark » Wed Mar 14, 2018 11:16 am

I've never been fan of EE bonds, but short term treasury yields are looking attractive now, with three months at 1.65% and six months at 1.85%, so I might move some short term money into that. I linked a second bank account last year with no problems, so that part doesn't worry me.

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Re: simplifying my financial life -- should i get rid of treasury direct?

Post by dcabler » Wed Mar 14, 2018 11:23 am

I simplified things a few years ago.
- Most of my taxable and rollover IRA is at Fidelity
- Some of my taxable is at Vanguard. Current employer's 401K is at Vanguard, but it will roll over to Fidelity whenever I leave the company.
- I have a deferred compensation plan that is with Prudential - nothing I can do about it till it's done paying out
- Current company uses E-trade for ESPP and RSU's. I sell as soon as vested, so nothing more to be done.
- of course our bank accounts
- finally, I do have a TD account for Ibonds

For me, reducing the number accounts did make life a little simpler for me. But as others have noted, I will make sure that somebody has access to all of my accounts should I become mentally (or otherwise) incapacitated. And one could argue that if all of my eggs were in one basket, hacking would have a much larger effect than if things were spread around. Hopefully recoverable, in either case.

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Re: simplifying my financial life -- should i get rid of treasury direct?

Post by anoop » Wed Mar 14, 2018 11:40 am

dcabler wrote:
Wed Mar 14, 2018 11:23 am
And one could argue that if all of my eggs were in one basket, hacking would have a much larger effect than if things were spread around. Hopefully recoverable, in either case.
With fewer accounts, the chances the hack goes unnoticed for a long period is much lower (it is less of a hassle to check more frequently, you can have really complicated passwords without needing to write them down or forget them, change the password frequently, etc.). Additionally, with consolidated assets, one can also have a more personal relationship with the bank which might help them catch such issues at their end quicker, not to mention being able to get them to fix it quicker.

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Re: simplifying my financial life -- should i get rid of treasury direct?

Post by dcabler » Wed Mar 14, 2018 12:09 pm

anoop wrote:
Wed Mar 14, 2018 11:40 am
dcabler wrote:
Wed Mar 14, 2018 11:23 am
And one could argue that if all of my eggs were in one basket, hacking would have a much larger effect than if things were spread around. Hopefully recoverable, in either case.
With fewer accounts, the chances the hack goes unnoticed for a long period is much lower (it is less of a hassle to check more frequently, you can have really complicated passwords without needing to write them down or forget them, change the password frequently, etc.). Additionally, with consolidated assets, one can also have a more personal relationship with the bank which might help them catch such issues at their end quicker, not to mention being able to get them to fix it quicker.
Perhaps, but then again I do check every day. It's part of my "me time" before the rest of the family wakes up. :D

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Re: simplifying my financial life -- should i get rid of treasury direct?

Post by nisiprius » Wed Mar 14, 2018 1:00 pm

I, too have been brooding about Treasury Direct. I have no answer.

I have a stack of paper series I savings bonds in the safe deposit box, many bought in the Good Old Days, which I have no intention of exchanging for anything else until they mature (or are needed).

The bonds I've bought in TD, i.e. since they discontinued paper bonds, are still appealing, because I still think it is prudent to have a big chunk of my low-risk-low-return holdings in things that are directly inflation-indexed, but I'd consider liquidating them. I, too, have concerns about Treasury Direct. No matter what I do about cookies, if I log in are a delay of more than a few weeks I alway have to go through the emailed-one-time-code rigmarole.

The problem is that today, it's not clear that it is easy to redeem paper savings bonds. I keep thinking that if you can get into TD, it is easier to redeem electronified bonds. So I vacillate. Sometimes I think I should just electronify the paper bonds. Other times I think that since, for almost twenty years my wife has known that there are paper bonds in the safe deposit box, maybe it's best to just leave them there. I always end up settling for leaving everything alone, and reminding my wife and our adult kids that we do have both paper bonds in the safe deposit box and also electronic bonds in an account at TD... and thinking that even if "something happens," as long as she and the kids know that the TD account exists, there is probably some cumbersome procedure for getting access to the bonds in it.
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Re: simplifying my financial life -- should i get rid of treasury direct?

Post by dratkinson » Wed Mar 14, 2018 1:11 pm

I went through the simplification drill a few years back and closed several accounts. TD was one of them. I'm down to 1 online bank, 1 local B&M CU, 2 investment relationships. All mail at least an annual paper statement, tax documents, and have decent telephone support.



Mailed statements. I consider mailed paper statements and tax documents to be an element of simplification. Why? I/heirs can't forget accounts exist.

I do use investing monthly eStatements, but if worse comes to worst, then I want accounts that I can live with offline. (TD and HSBC online savings failed this newly realized personal requirement.)



TD account. Closed my TD account after finding an acceptable single-state muni fund. So went from low-yield deferred low state tax advantage of savings bonds, to higher-yield immediate higher fed+state tax advantages of single-state muni fund.

Was glad to redeem all savings bonds in one year without advancing tax brackets, and while I still had the mental ability to remember to go look-for and download the 1099INT.

Note. Electronic savings bonds were easy to redeem. Paper savings bonds a little harder to redeem locally. It saves trip(s) to call a bank/CU first and ask if they will redeem them... for a non-customer. (Wells Fargo did for me, while I set through the move-your-accounts-here sales pitch---WF didn't have any products/services that were better/cheap than my existing. The proceeds exactly matched what the Savings Bond Calculator website predicted, but required 1-week to receive---WF paid me after TD paid them.)

Note. You may receive multiple 1099INTs that have no relationship to the way in which the savings bonds were redeemed, but a single composite 1099INT entry is sufficient on Sch B.

Never had any trouble with TD website, but that may be because I'd heard so much bad that I was always more careful.

The paper-Ibonds-fed-tax-refund game was a fun distraction from doing taxes, but in reality it's a lot more work/time than rebalancing into an established muni fund.



Bank vs CU. I prefer a local B&M COOP-network CU as I can use any of the CU network ATM/walk-in locations. I like my CU's mailed monthly statements.

My primary checking remains (from inertia?) an old online HY account (~0% now, free with $1K min bal). If it's ever compromised, or the mailed monthly statements are converted to eStatements, then I'll switch to my free 0% $0-balance B&M CU checking. But for now the convenience of its mailed monthly statements and telephone support makes it easy to keep.

I believe having 2 real (free) checking accounts is a beneficial backup capability, not a needless complication.

I've also given gifts (graduation, wedding,...) written on my tax-exempt mmkt. And if the recipient asks, "...what's a tax-exempt mmkt and how do I get one?", then we can discuss their retirement planning. :)
Last edited by dratkinson on Fri Mar 16, 2018 11:34 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: simplifying my financial life -- should i get rid of treasury direct?

Post by anoop » Wed Mar 14, 2018 1:22 pm

dratkinson wrote:
Wed Mar 14, 2018 1:11 pm
I went through the simplification drill a few years back and closed several accounts. TD was one of them. I'm down to 1 bank, 1 CU, 2 investment relationships.
..
Closed my TD account after finding an acceptable single-state muni fund.
..
I don't see having 2 checking accounts as a complication, but as having a beneficial backup capability.
Doesn't the investment relationship offer check writing and possibly ATM privileges? Mine does. Or at least I have some checks sitting around, although last time I used one was ca. 2002.

I like the suggestion of muni bond fund. I will look into that. Does that generate any capital gains liability?

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Re: simplifying my financial life -- should i get rid of treasury direct?

Post by mega317 » Wed Mar 14, 2018 1:25 pm

nisiprius wrote:
Wed Mar 14, 2018 1:00 pm
The problem is that today, it's not clear that it is easy to redeem paper savings bonds. I keep thinking that if you can get into TD, it is easier to redeem electronified bonds. So I vacillate. Sometimes I think I should just electronify the paper bonds. Other times I think that since, for almost twenty years my wife has known that there are paper bonds in the safe deposit box, maybe it's best to just leave them there. I always end up settling for leaving everything alone, and reminding my wife and our adult kids that we do have both paper bonds in the safe deposit box and also electronic bonds in an account at TD... and thinking that even if "something happens," as long as she and the kids know that the TD account exists, there is probably some cumbersome procedure for getting access to the bonds in it.
I seem to remember several posts not too long ago about having difficulty with paper savings bonds. As in no one at the bank knew what they were or wanted to deal with them, or something. This is from the TD site:
For paper bonds, there’s no general limit to the total value you may redeem in a single transaction; however, banks have varying policies on how much they will redeem in one transaction and some banks may have a policy to not redeem savings bonds at all.
If I had some I'd think about electricity-fying them. Banks aren't going to increase their support.

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Re: simplifying my financial life -- should i get rid of treasury direct?

Post by HueyLD » Wed Mar 14, 2018 2:21 pm

Banks in my area either do not cash savings bonds for non-customers or set very low bars for the amounts cashed per day. And those are among the biggest banks in the nation.

I think it may become virtually impossible in the future to cash savings bonds at a financial institution. However, e-bonds at TD have their own problems with complex rules, lack of 1099 mailing, etc.

As a result, it may be a good idea to gradually cash out savings bonds to spread out the tax hit.

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Re: simplifying my financial life -- should i get rid of treasury direct?

Post by Good Listener » Wed Mar 14, 2018 2:27 pm

I would drop it. I did years ago as it was a pain to deal with. And one can buy new treasuries at little or no cost at your brokerage. The EE bonds are getting phased out or at least diminished in importance and aren't worth dealing with anymore.

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Re: simplifying my financial life -- should i get rid of treasury direct?

Post by fipt2030 » Wed Mar 14, 2018 3:03 pm

Wow, is that such a big hassle dealing with TD
I am 20 yrs (hopefully) from retirement and just started buying both Saving bonds for both of us, to diversify our bond holdings.
In 20 years they could be 20% of our portfolio, and happy with their place to meet our needs in 20 years

What am I missing

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HueyLD
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Re: simplifying my financial life -- should i get rid of treasury direct?

Post by HueyLD » Wed Mar 14, 2018 3:07 pm

fipt2030 wrote:
Wed Mar 14, 2018 3:03 pm
Wow, is that such a big hassle dealing with TD
I am 20 yrs (hopefully) from retirement and just started buying both Saving bonds for both of us, to diversify our bond holdings.
In 20 years they could be 20% of our portfolio, and happy with their place to meet our needs in 20 years

What am I missing
The hassle lies in having someone else manage your TD portfolio because you are incapacitated or dead.

In 20 years, you may need to revisit this very real issue.

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friar1610
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Re: simplifying my financial life -- should i get rid of treasury direct?

Post by friar1610 » Wed Mar 14, 2018 3:10 pm

In a perfect world I would prefer not to have a TD account. But I have a bunch of I-Bonds from the good old days of 3.4% fixed and I converted them to electronic format years ago. Since there's no other viable way to hold them and I'm not going to redeem them as long as they remain such a good deal, I'm stuck with TD. A bit cumbersome to use but, it seems to me, not as hard as many BHs make it out to be.
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fipt2030
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Re: simplifying my financial life -- should i get rid of treasury direct?

Post by fipt2030 » Wed Mar 14, 2018 3:17 pm

HueyLD wrote:
Wed Mar 14, 2018 3:07 pm
fipt2030 wrote:
Wed Mar 14, 2018 3:03 pm
Wow, is that such a big hassle dealing with TD
I am 20 yrs (hopefully) from retirement and just started buying both Saving bonds for both of us, to diversify our bond holdings.
In 20 years they could be 20% of our portfolio, and happy with their place to meet our needs in 20 years

What am I missing
The hassle lies in having someone else manage your TD portfolio because you are incapacitated or dead.

In 20 years, you may need to revisit this very real issue.

Hopefully early 60’s shouldn’t bring those problems
( guess health is wealth)
Understand the concern now, our portfolio isn’t as complicated as many but could be simpler. Need to start thinking on those lines as investments mature.

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dratkinson
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Re: simplifying my financial life -- should i get rid of treasury direct?

Post by dratkinson » Wed Mar 14, 2018 3:19 pm

anoop wrote:
Wed Mar 14, 2018 1:22 pm
dratkinson wrote:
Wed Mar 14, 2018 1:11 pm
I went through the simplification drill a few years back and closed several accounts. TD was one of them. I'm down to 1 bank, 1 CU, 2 investment relationships.
..
Closed my TD account after finding an acceptable single-state muni fund.
..
I don't see having 2 checking accounts as a complication, but as having a beneficial backup capability.
Doesn't the investment relationship offer check writing and possibly ATM privileges? Mine does. Or at least I have some checks sitting around, although last time I used one was ca. 2002.

I like the suggestion of muni bond fund. I will look into that. Does that generate any capital gains liability?
Recall there are restrictions on using Vanguard mmkt fund for writing checks (>$250, can't do ACH pull,...). So a true backup checking capability would need to be as flexible as a true checking account so I can reestablish my existing creditors' ABP (automatic bill payment) plans.

Recall Fidelity and Schwab may have money management accounts that are more flexible, but moving comes with other problems (no Admiral shares, ETF don't automatically reinvest,...).

Bottom line. No good reason to change preferred investing relationships to get a backup checking capability that already exists with my remaining winnowed banking relationships.


Capital gains. Yes, capital gains are generated when we sell fund shares, or from internal fund operations (its selling). But since I have no immediate need to sell, that eliminates my need to make manual Sch D entries. And internal CGs are relatively small and automatically handled by the tax s/w from the 1099DIVs' data.

Last year, my automatic internal CGs entry appeared on Sch D line 13, this year on the capital gains worksheet. My only responsibility is to ensure the automatic internal CG's total appears "somewhere".

Bottom line. If I don't sell then I don't have a manual Sch D entry.
Last edited by dratkinson on Wed Mar 14, 2018 3:43 pm, edited 2 times in total.
d.r.a, not dr.a. | I'm a novice investor, you are forewarned.

Darth Xanadu
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Re: simplifying my financial life -- should i get rid of treasury direct?

Post by Darth Xanadu » Wed Mar 14, 2018 3:22 pm

HueyLD wrote:
Wed Mar 14, 2018 3:07 pm
fipt2030 wrote:
Wed Mar 14, 2018 3:03 pm
Wow, is that such a big hassle dealing with TD
I am 20 yrs (hopefully) from retirement and just started buying both Saving bonds for both of us, to diversify our bond holdings.
In 20 years they could be 20% of our portfolio, and happy with their place to meet our needs in 20 years

What am I missing
The hassle lies in having someone else manage your TD portfolio because you are incapacitated or dead.

In 20 years, you may need to revisit this very real issue.
Doesn't that hassle exist for every single portfolio account one owns?
"A courageous teacher, failure is."

anoop
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Re: simplifying my financial life -- should i get rid of treasury direct?

Post by anoop » Wed Mar 14, 2018 3:32 pm

Darth Xanadu wrote:
Wed Mar 14, 2018 3:22 pm
Doesn't that hassle exist for every single portfolio account one owns?
From what I have read here in the past, it is a much bigger hassle with TD because their customer support is poor.

fipt2030
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Re: simplifying my financial life -- should i get rid of treasury direct?

Post by fipt2030 » Wed Mar 14, 2018 3:34 pm

anoop wrote:
Wed Mar 14, 2018 3:32 pm
Darth Xanadu wrote:
Wed Mar 14, 2018 3:22 pm
Doesn't that hassle exist for every single portfolio account one owns?
From what I have read here in the past, it is a much bigger hassle with TD because their customer support is poor.
The person handling it need access to that persons email id , number and password

donall
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Re: simplifying my financial life -- should i get rid of treasury direct?

Post by donall » Wed Mar 14, 2018 6:45 pm

I just redeemed a small amount of inherited paper bonds. Could not have been easier and is one of the reasons we still use a brick and mortar bank. I also transferred bonds that I inherited. It seemed cumbersome, but went smoothly with two phone calls and emails. The website takes a bit getting used to but I think I am used to it now. Just remember to give your account number to your beneficiaries before you die or get incapacitated.

anoop
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Re: simplifying my financial life -- should i get rid of treasury direct?

Post by anoop » Thu Mar 15, 2018 1:19 pm

I have to keep the account around at least until November because I bought one last November. So I'll just wait until then to liquid.

Some of my earliest I-bonds are currently earning 4.1%, but most are in the mid-upper 2's.

2015
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Re: simplifying my financial life -- should i get rid of treasury direct?

Post by 2015 » Thu Mar 15, 2018 3:17 pm

Just about every day I come across some process, methodology, or task that I had simplified over the last 3 years and I am ever so grateful for having gone through that exercise, no matter how small. When you get rid of the friction inherent in all the little things you can start focusing on the big things that really matter. The resulting fulfillment and satisfaction from this new quality of life is incomparable.

PatrickA5
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Re: simplifying my financial life -- should i get rid of treasury direct?

Post by PatrickA5 » Thu Mar 15, 2018 8:07 pm

Closed our TD accounts a couple of years ago as part of a major simplification plan.

We're down to one B&M Bank, Ally, Vanguard and a 529 plan. I don't think I can get it any simpler than that.

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aj76er
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Re: simplifying my financial life -- should i get rid of treasury direct?

Post by aj76er » Thu Mar 15, 2018 11:31 pm

Last year, I consolidated down to one brokerage, two online banks, and Treasury Direct.

I'm not crazy about Treasury Direct website, and do worry about phase out of I-bonds, but I think they are really good investments in this environment (e.g. rising rates, rising inflation). I also like the additional tax deferred space.
"Buy-and-hold, long-term, all-market-index strategies, implemented at rock-bottom cost, are the surest of all routes to the accumulation of wealth" - John C. Bogle

anoop
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Re: simplifying my financial life -- should i get rid of treasury direct?

Post by anoop » Thu Mar 15, 2018 11:41 pm

aj76er wrote:
Thu Mar 15, 2018 11:31 pm
Last year, I consolidated down to one brokerage, two online banks, and Treasury Direct.
What do you do if you, say, sell a car and need to deposit cash?
aj76er wrote:
Thu Mar 15, 2018 11:31 pm
I'm not crazy about Treasury Direct website, and do worry about phase out of I-bonds, but I think they are really good investments in this environment (e.g. rising rates, rising inflation). I also like the additional tax deferred space.
True, that's why I posted to here. But it looks like a good majority of folks have chosen to forego the advantages of I-bonds over keeping things simple.

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aj76er
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Re: simplifying my financial life -- should i get rid of treasury direct?

Post by aj76er » Thu Mar 15, 2018 11:53 pm

anoop wrote:
Thu Mar 15, 2018 11:41 pm
aj76er wrote:
Thu Mar 15, 2018 11:31 pm
Last year, I consolidated down to one brokerage, two online banks, and Treasury Direct.
What do you do if you, say, sell a car and need to deposit cash?
aj76er wrote:
Thu Mar 15, 2018 11:31 pm
I'm not crazy about Treasury Direct website, and do worry about phase out of I-bonds, but I think they are really good investments in this environment (e.g. rising rates, rising inflation). I also like the additional tax deferred space.
True, that's why I posted to here. But it looks like a good majority of folks have chosen to forego the advantages of I-bonds over keeping things simple.
Over the past year I've never had more than $40 in my wallet (typically from receiving cash when splitting dinner out with friends). When I receive checks (once or twice a year), I can deposit with app in my phone. I don't think I've ever received a large pile full of cash to deal with as in your example. If I did, I'd probably try to get a money order and scan it in like I do for checks? Although I'd probably request PayPal for a large cash transaction (like a private car sale).

Using a credit card gets me a 2% discount on all purchases. So, there's really no incentive to use cash. I haven't used an ATM in over a year.
"Buy-and-hold, long-term, all-market-index strategies, implemented at rock-bottom cost, are the surest of all routes to the accumulation of wealth" - John C. Bogle

lynneny
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Re: simplifying my financial life -- should i get rid of treasury direct?

Post by lynneny » Fri Mar 16, 2018 1:19 am

I'm just starting the simplification/consolidation process (set in motion by a layoff and subsequent decision to retire) so interesting to see what others are doing.

I'll probably end up with:
1) taxable and checking at Schwab (just moved there)
2) Roth IRA at Vanguard along with IRA I'll roll my 401(k) into
3) HSA I may just keep at Payflex
4) One high yield account somewhere like Ally.

I'd almost forgotten about the I-bonds. I only have about $15,000, so probably best to just redeem them with TD so it's one less account to keep track of as I get older.

anoop
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Re: simplifying my financial life -- should i get rid of treasury direct?

Post by anoop » Tue May 08, 2018 7:46 pm

OK I just redeemed all my E bonds and I bonds (except one which won't be eligible for selling until November). It was hard to sell the old ones given the 4% rate, but I decided to plough ahead in the name of simplicity. Selling them one-by-one was an absolute pain!

So now I have about $25K of taxable income. Should I be sending an estimated tax payment in? If so, what would be the best way to do this? Would turbo tax 2017 generate the appropriate forms for me?

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