Savings Bond Wizard to be eliminated 5/18

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Dead Man Walking
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Savings Bond Wizard to be eliminated 5/18

Post by Dead Man Walking » Mon Jan 01, 2018 12:48 am

I calculated the value of my savings bonds 12/31/17 and noticed that Treasury Direct is eliminating the Savings Bond Wizard as of 5/18. The savings bond calculator will have to be used after that date. I have always used the calculator, so it didn't affect me. This is just a heads up to wizard users.

DMW

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topper1296
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Re: Savings Bond Wizard to be eliminated 5/18

Post by topper1296 » Mon Jan 01, 2018 12:53 am

I've been using the wizard for years. Hate to hear this. I'll have to look up what the calculator is.

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Mel Lindauer
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Re: Savings Bond Wizard to be eliminated 5/18

Post by Mel Lindauer » Mon Jan 01, 2018 1:06 am

Bummer! :annoyed :confused
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leftcoaster
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Re: Savings Bond Wizard to be eliminated 5/18

Post by leftcoaster » Mon Jan 01, 2018 2:13 am

Third party desktop software is available, at least for MacOS.

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Re: Savings Bond Wizard to be eliminated 5/18

Post by Mitchell777 » Mon Jan 01, 2018 6:08 am

Bummer indeed, especially if you bought them through payroll savings and have 75 or 100 of them. So, does that mean you will need to key each bond individually when you want to update the value or see what they are currently yielding?

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Re: Savings Bond Wizard to be eliminated 5/18

Post by Sheepdog » Mon Jan 01, 2018 6:19 am

Mel Lindauer wrote:
Mon Jan 01, 2018 1:06 am
Bummer! :annoyed :confused
My comment is more colorful!!

Anyway, the website says:
NOTE: The Savings Bond Wizard update for the November 1, 2017 savings bond rate release is the final update. As of the next savings bond rate release on May 1, 2018, the Savings Bond Wizard will no longer be available. However, at that time we'll provide instructions on our website on how to convert your Wizard files to the Savings Bond Calculator.

Hopefully it will not be difficult.
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Re: Savings Bond Wizard to be eliminated 5/18

Post by gd » Mon Jan 01, 2018 7:00 am

I'd be more irritated if I'd ever been able to enter a single $10k I-Bond, rather than having to break it into two 5ks. This might actually be an improvement, even when the method for saving your bond info in the alternative seems to be saving and recalling your HTML page-- as long as you don't use Edge or Chrome, because they apparently can't do that. Not holding my breath for the not-yet-available instructions on how to import the old data file. They really want us to just go away, don't they?

Edit: the Savings Bond Calculator also insists $10k I-Bonds don't exist past 2008. I don't get it. I made a single transaction for $10k. Treasury Direct tells me I have a single 10k bond with a single confirmation number. Am I missing something?
Last edited by gd on Mon Jan 01, 2018 7:33 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Savings Bond Wizard to be eliminated 5/18

Post by nisiprius » Mon Jan 01, 2018 7:06 am

It's another indication that the Treasury is ramping down resources and support for savings bonds.
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samsoes
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Re: Savings Bond Wizard to be eliminated 5/18

Post by samsoes » Mon Jan 01, 2018 7:16 am

Here's an accurate, quick but primitive tool to look up I-bond values: http://eyebonds.info/ibonds/home1000.html
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Re: Savings Bond Wizard to be eliminated 5/18

Post by smectym » Mon Jan 01, 2018 7:52 am

Good God. I have hundreds (well somewhere between 150 and 200) I and EE Bonds spanning decades and millenia loaded onto SBW. Can only hope a third party steps into the breach and essentially offers similar software with accurate continuing updates. Would I pay? Probably

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Re: Savings Bond Wizard to be eliminated 5/18

Post by smectym » Mon Jan 01, 2018 8:01 am

leftcoaster’s laconic comment that “third party software is available” is tantalizing.

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Goldrush
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Re: Savings Bond Wizard to be eliminated 5/18

Post by Goldrush » Mon Jan 01, 2018 8:12 am

I'm not surprised by the demise of the Savings Bond Wizard. About a year ago, they did away with Treasury Hunt which was a tool that you could use to locate Series E and EE bonds using your social security number.

https://www.treasuryhunt.gov/

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Re: Savings Bond Wizard to be eliminated 5/18

Post by WolfgangPauli » Mon Jan 01, 2018 8:48 am

I am confused as to what this is. I have loaded all my paper bonds into the website then I saved it (data only) using the instructions they provided. Then, when I click on the file saved the next month it automatically updates on the web. I then save under a different name and do that all over again every month.

Is this the "savings bond wizard" or is this perhaps what they are pushing everyone to? I have never downloaded any software. All on the web. I assume just pulling up your electronic bonds will not change?
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Re: Savings Bond Wizard to be eliminated 5/18

Post by nisiprius » Mon Jan 01, 2018 9:00 am

WolfgangPauli wrote:
Mon Jan 01, 2018 8:48 am
I am confused as to what this is. I have loaded all my paper bonds into the website then I saved it (data only) using the instructions they provided. Then, when I click on the file saved the next month it automatically updates on the web. I then save under a different name and do that all over again every month.

Is this the "savings bond wizard" or is this perhaps what they are pushing everyone to? I have never downloaded any software. All on the web. I assume just pulling up your electronic bonds will not change?
I think you are using what people are calling the "savings bond calculator." The web page that looks like this:

Image

The savings bond wizard is/was a Windows application (no versions for other platforms).

I used to use the calculator web page and found it totally satisfactory--but as I write this, I discover that sometime between 2017 and now, it has in fact quit working properly for me. I don't know if the problem is something they've changed or the result of my upgrading to High Sierra and Safari 11, but I can no longer load my inventory from a web archive and then successfully update the redemption date. What a pain. Update: my inventory is actually a year-2012 file (because I haven't added paper bonds since then). It's in Safari "web archive" format. If I load it and try to update the redemption date, it loses the entire bond inventory. If I start fresh and enter a couple of bonds, save as web archive, load web archive file and update redemption date, it works. So... just some kind of glitch. Somewhere. I'll sit down and do the half-hour's work to re-create the whole file sometime...
Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness; Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.

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Re: Savings Bond Wizard to be eliminated 5/18

Post by WolfgangPauli » Mon Jan 01, 2018 10:03 am

Thank you... I have no windows computers (Mac and Chromebook) so, alas, no impact. Thanks I wonder if they are going to push everyone to the calculator?
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Re: Savings Bond Wizard to be eliminated 5/18

Post by CULater » Mon Jan 01, 2018 10:34 am

leftcoaster wrote:
Mon Jan 01, 2018 2:13 am
Third party desktop software is available, at least for MacOS.
What is this? I used to use the Wizard but it didn't work anymore on my Mac.
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Re: Savings Bond Wizard to be eliminated 5/18

Post by Whakamole » Mon Jan 01, 2018 10:45 am

The SBW was nice because it about thirty seconds to get the latest value of your bonds for a monthly spreadsheet update. I guess this looks similar but I wonder when they will also phase it out.

I get the distinct impression that so few people use savings bonds now, which is why they are scaling down services. I would not be surprised if they started grandfathering these.

To be honest the only reason I use I-bonds is because it adds some tax-deferred space into my portfolio. Maybe this is the year I stop adding.

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Re: Savings Bond Wizard to be eliminated 5/18

Post by alpenglow » Mon Jan 01, 2018 10:52 am

nisiprius wrote:
Mon Jan 01, 2018 7:06 am
It's another indication that the Treasury is ramping down resources and support for savings bonds.
My thought exactly.

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Re: Savings Bond Wizard to be eliminated 5/18

Post by AlwaysaQ » Mon Jan 01, 2018 11:05 am

Just as well. I run Windows 10 and the Wizard layout is one of the worst I have seen. It has one of the faintest fonts and if I want to see the whole page one of the tiniest fonts because of so much whitespace in the layout. I just ran it today and could barely tell if the value ended in 532 or 582.

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Re: Savings Bond Wizard to be eliminated 5/18

Post by HueyLD » Mon Jan 01, 2018 11:10 am

I have a question for those with paper bonds.

How are you going to get the current value on them?

I have all e bonds, but I use SBW because it is easy and fast. I guess I will have to spend 10 minutes logging into TD every time I want to know the value of my bonds.

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Re: Savings Bond Wizard to be eliminated 5/18

Post by jeff1949 » Mon Jan 01, 2018 11:24 am

Mel Lindauer wrote:
Mon Jan 01, 2018 1:06 am
Bummer! :annoyed :confused
Yeah, no kidding!
Makes me wish I had not accrued those 350 I-Bonds back in 2000-2003. Okay, I'm kidding now! :sharebeer

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Re: Savings Bond Wizard to be eliminated 5/18

Post by Whakamole » Mon Jan 01, 2018 11:46 am

HueyLD wrote:
Mon Jan 01, 2018 11:10 am
I have a question for those with paper bonds.

How are you going to get the current value on them?

I have all e bonds, but I use SBW because it is easy and fast. I guess I will have to spend 10 minutes logging into TD every time I want to know the value of my bonds.
So I've followed the instructions for the Savings Bond Calculator and it isn't all that bad.

You have two choices now.

One is to log into your account and check the current value. I know how easy it is to log into Treasury Direct since I avoid doing it.

The other is the calculator. You enter your bonds once, and then you can "save" the bonds (in the form of an .html file on your computer.) To get the current value, you can open the .html file using your browser and hit a button. I assume you can also update your holdings if you've purchased some more bonds and save the file again.

One of the big downsides is that it doesn't support Chrome, or Microsoft Edge for those who use it. It does support Firefox (and Waterfox, yes I've tried it), IE, Safari (Mac), and Opera.

The thing that bothers me more is that this seems like they are continuing to ramp down their support of individual savings bonds; the site is difficult to use, they've gotten rid of a calculator that many use to keep track of the value of their bonds, their policy towards compromised accounts, etc. I'd be tempted to cash them in if it wouldn't give me a hefty tax bill.

smectym
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Re: Savings Bond Wizard to be eliminated 5/18

Post by smectym » Mon Jan 01, 2018 1:05 pm

Another aspect of Treasury unplugging support for Savings Bond Wizard: perhaps they hope to drive more investors to “convert” paper savings bonds to electronic, using the tool on the Treasury Direct site.

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Re: Savings Bond Wizard to be eliminated 5/18

Post by rkuklinski » Mon Jan 01, 2018 1:12 pm

leftcoaster wrote:
Mon Jan 01, 2018 2:13 am
Third party desktop software is available, at least for MacOS.
I am not sure what software leftcoaster is using however I found the macOS software below via online search. I have not tried it.

http://spottedsnake.net/SavingsBondTracker/index.html
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Re: Savings Bond Wizard to be eliminated 5/18

Post by Mel Lindauer » Mon Jan 01, 2018 2:20 pm

nisiprius wrote:
Mon Jan 01, 2018 7:06 am
It's another indication that the Treasury is ramping down resources and support for savings bonds.
Yep, that's one more nail in the Savings Bonds coffin.

Here's a Forbes column I did back in 2011 where I predicted this slow death for Savings Bonds. The title of my article was "Treasury Killing Off U.S. Savings Bonds?".

Here' a link: https://www.forbes.com/sites/theboglehe ... b57db12a8d
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raven15
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Re: Savings Bond Wizard to be eliminated 5/18

Post by raven15 » Mon Jan 01, 2018 2:27 pm

Thanks for the heads up. I entered my 19 legacy savings bonds into the calculator, and saved it for future use with Firefox. I wish I could have uploaded a CSV file, hopefully that will be available for people who have hundreds. Now back to my regularly scheduled activity of watching paint dry.
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Re: Savings Bond Wizard to be eliminated 5/18

Post by Gnirk » Mon Jan 01, 2018 2:33 pm

I've been using the on-line Treasury Direct Savings Bond Calculator for years. I had to initially add each bond to the site. However, once entered, you can then save it to your documents (at least on my Mac). Open it when you want to recalculate, enter the new valuation date, and it will calculate for you. I re-save it about once every three months....no particular reason. Right now I'm loving the 5.39% my three I-Bonds are earning, and the 4% my EE bonds are earning.

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Re: Savings Bond Wizard to be eliminated 5/18

Post by EyeYield » Mon Jan 01, 2018 2:56 pm

nisiprius wrote:
Mon Jan 01, 2018 9:00 am
WolfgangPauli wrote:
Mon Jan 01, 2018 8:48 am
I am confused as to what this is. I have loaded all my paper bonds into the website then I saved it (data only) using the instructions they provided. Then, when I click on the file saved the next month it automatically updates on the web. I then save under a different name and do that all over again every month.

Is this the "savings bond wizard" or is this perhaps what they are pushing everyone to? I have never downloaded any software. All on the web. I assume just pulling up your electronic bonds will not change?
I think you are using what people are calling the "savings bond calculator." The web page that looks like this:

Image

The savings bond wizard is/was a Windows application (no versions for other platforms).

I used to use the calculator web page and found it totally satisfactory--but as I write this, I discover that sometime between 2017 and now, it has in fact quit working properly for me. I don't know if the problem is something they've changed or the result of my upgrading to High Sierra and Safari 11, but I can no longer load my inventory from a web archive and then successfully update the redemption date. What a pain. Update: my inventory is actually a year-2012 file (because I haven't added paper bonds since then). It's in Safari "web archive" format. If I load it and try to update the redemption date, it loses the entire bond inventory. If I start fresh and enter a couple of bonds, save as web archive, load web archive file and update redemption date, it works. So... just some kind of glitch. Somewhere. I'll sit down and do the half-hour's work to re-create the whole file sometime...
Using OSX 10.9.5 and Safari 9.1.3 I was able to update all my EE bonds to 01/2018 in the Savings Bond Calculator, using a Web archive file from 2012, without them going away, so maybe it’s only not working with the latest OS? Do you have access to a Mac with an older version of the OS?

Just in case, I did a (EDIT) Export as .pdf of both my denomination pages and emailed them to myself, which will make it easier if I have to re enter the info.
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Re: Savings Bond Wizard to be eliminated 5/18

Post by GerryL » Mon Jan 01, 2018 4:39 pm

Gnirk wrote:
Mon Jan 01, 2018 2:33 pm
I've been using the on-line Treasury Direct Savings Bond Calculator for years. I had to initially add each bond to the site. However, once entered, you can then save it to your documents (at least on my Mac). Open it when you want to recalculate, enter the new valuation date, and it will calculate for you. I re-save it about once every three months....no particular reason. Right now I'm loving the 5.39% my three I-Bonds are earning, and the 4% my EE bonds are earning.
Yeah. I guess I never knew about the Wizard and have also been using the Calculator. I only check it once or twice a year, so I often get confused about the steps to update and save -- probably because my default browser is MS Edge. I only track (in Quicken) the total value of all my I and E bonds, so I just record a single number each go around.

I'm seeing 5.92% interest rate on I bonds from my purchase in 2000!

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Re: Savings Bond Wizard to be eliminated 5/18

Post by warner25 » Mon Jan 01, 2018 5:19 pm

Whakamole wrote:
Mon Jan 01, 2018 11:46 am
One of the big downsides is that it doesn't support Chrome
I use it with Chrome, no issues.

I used SBW for years until switching to Linux. Then I found the web calculator and never looked back, even though I'm using Windows again. No more downloading the SBW updates every few months. It's faster and easier to just open the .html file for the calculator.

Regarding paper EE and I bonds, we aren't buying any more but we have a bunch that my wife received over the course of her childhood. We hold them because they pay substantial interest rates with some purchased 30 years ago. But I look forward to cashing them out. I've learned that our renters' insurance won't cover their loss in a fire or burglary, and that worries me a little. However, I suspect that cashing out will be a pain... her name is spelled wrong on some of them, and others are in her mom's name (POD to my wife).

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Re: Savings Bond Wizard to be eliminated 5/18

Post by statman » Mon Jan 01, 2018 5:23 pm

Pity. Loved the Wizard. The Savings Bond Calculator does work (in Firefox), but adds a step: click your saved .html file to see your inventory at the TD website, then click "Return to savings bond calculator" to get the current values. I'm in the process of converting from paper to electronic, but as other threads have said, Treasury Direct is very slow to convert the submitted paper bonds.

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Re: Savings Bond Wizard to be eliminated 5/18

Post by HueyLD » Mon Jan 01, 2018 6:09 pm

statman wrote:
Mon Jan 01, 2018 5:23 pm
Pity. Loved the Wizard. The Savings Bond Calculator does work (in Firefox), but adds a step: click your saved .html file to see your inventory at the TD website, then click "Return to savings bond calculator" to get the current values. I'm in the process of converting from paper to electronic, but as other threads have said, Treasury Direct is very slow to convert the submitted paper bonds.
The threads about super slow pace were from two years ago. The more recent replies indicated that the turnaround time returned to normal of less than a few weeks.

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Re: Savings Bond Wizard to be eliminated 5/18

Post by digit8 » Mon Jan 01, 2018 7:10 pm

Whakamole wrote:
Mon Jan 01, 2018 10:45 am
I get the distinct impression that so few people use savings bonds now, which is why they are scaling down services. I would not be surprised if they started grandfathering these.
Is there any kind of public record of how much money has gone into I Bonds?
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Re: Savings Bond Wizard to be eliminated 5/18

Post by maywood » Mon Jan 01, 2018 7:48 pm

Thank you for bringing this to our attention. I'm sorry to hear this as the Wizard works great for me, I've been using it for over 15 years and have over 400 bonds entered, including serial numbers. I'm not familiar with the online savings bond calculator so I will have to play with that. I've also thought of converting all of my paper bonds to the Treasury Direct system, thinking that would make them easier to redeem.

>However, at that time we'll provide instructions on our website on how to convert your Wizard files to the Savings Bond Calculator.

Oh, yah! Hope the import will work and I won't have to re-enter the bonds.

maywood

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Re: Savings Bond Wizard to be eliminated 5/18

Post by Whakamole » Mon Jan 01, 2018 11:01 pm

digit8 wrote:
Mon Jan 01, 2018 7:10 pm
Whakamole wrote:
Mon Jan 01, 2018 10:45 am
I get the distinct impression that so few people use savings bonds now, which is why they are scaling down services. I would not be surprised if they started grandfathering these.
Is there any kind of public record of how much money has gone into I Bonds?
https://www.treasurydirect.gov/indiv/re ... bsales.htm

There's a link to an Excel sheet with more recent data. I'm a bit skeptical of the FY2018 data which seems way off, but for FY2017, an average of about $4.5M a month in EE bond sales and $28M a month in I bond sales. A total of $11B in outstanding securities, compare this to the national debt and you can see that this is a rounding error for the Treasury.

This seems to be a general issue with Treasury Direct, even throwing in Bills/Notes/TIPS/Bonds doesn't add up to much, about $31B outstanding as of September.

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Re: Savings Bond Wizard to be eliminated 5/18

Post by OnTrack » Mon Jan 01, 2018 11:55 pm

warner25 wrote:
Mon Jan 01, 2018 5:19 pm
Regarding paper EE and I bonds, we aren't buying any more but we have a bunch that my wife received over the course of her childhood. We hold them because they pay substantial interest rates with some purchased 30 years ago. But I look forward to cashing them out. I've learned that our renters' insurance won't cover their loss in a fire or burglary, and that worries me a little. However, I suspect that cashing out will be a pain... her name is spelled wrong on some of them, and others are in her mom's name (POD to my wife).
The fact that your insurance won't cover loss of paper saving bonds should not be a concern, see:
https://www.treasurydirect.gov/indiv/re ... eplace.htm
https://www.treasurydirect.gov/indiv/re ... eplace.htm
"If your paper bond is lost, stolen, or mutilated, you can get a substitute electronic savings bond."

Also, if some of your bonds are actually 30 years old or more, they should be cashed since they no longer pay interest after 30 years and the tax is due at that time even if they are not cashed.

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Re: Savings Bond Wizard to be eliminated 5/18

Post by statman » Tue Jan 02, 2018 11:32 am

HueyLD is correct: my first batch of Ibonds were converted to electronic form and appeared in my TD account in just 2.5 weeks, and this was at holiday time. So even though TD remains somewhat awkward to use, service has improved greatly.

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Re: Savings Bond Wizard to be eliminated 5/18

Post by DavidC » Tue Jan 02, 2018 5:51 pm

rkuklinski wrote:
Mon Jan 01, 2018 1:12 pm
leftcoaster wrote:
Mon Jan 01, 2018 2:13 am
Third party desktop software is available, at least for MacOS.
I am not sure what software leftcoaster is using however I found the macOS software below via online search. I have not tried it.

http://spottedsnake.net/SavingsBondTracker/index.html
The million dollar question is just the Savings Bond Wizard program being removed/eliminated in 2018, or are they going to stop publishing the savings bond value files too. I can't speak for the MacOS third-party software, but the third-party software I use on Linux (gbonds) retrieves/uses those specific files (which may or may not be the same files the Savings Bond Wizard uses?).

I suppose someone could always manually create/publish newer files if the treasury ceases publishing them too, but that would be an extra annoyance.
Whakamole wrote:
Mon Jan 01, 2018 11:01 pm
digit8 wrote:
Mon Jan 01, 2018 7:10 pm
Whakamole wrote:
Mon Jan 01, 2018 10:45 am
I get the distinct impression that so few people use savings bonds now, which is why they are scaling down services. I would not be surprised if they started grandfathering these.
Is there any kind of public record of how much money has gone into I Bonds?
https://www.treasurydirect.gov/indiv/re ... bsales.htm

There's a link to an Excel sheet with more recent data. I'm a bit skeptical of the FY2018 data which seems way off, but for FY2017, an average of about $4.5M a month in EE bond sales and $28M a month in I bond sales. A total of $11B in outstanding securities, compare this to the national debt and you can see that this is a rounding error for the Treasury.

This seems to be a general issue with Treasury Direct, even throwing in Bills/Notes/TIPS/Bonds doesn't add up to much, about $31B outstanding as of September.
I'm not able to peek at the spreadsheet (a macro-enabled Excel spreadsheet from the Internet? Really U.S. Treasury?) but comparing your $11 billion value to other figures that suggest ~$134 billion is currently held in I and EE savings bonds then that suggests only ~8% of all I and EE savings bonds are in electronic format at TreasuryDirect. If savings bonds were still being purchased in the same quantity as they previous were I'd expect that % to be higher (maybe ~20% since we have ~6 years since paper bonds were discontinued and I/EE bonds reach final maturity in 30 years) but I'm not good at statistics/that's a complete guess.

It is hard to escape the feeling they're dying. Oh well, I'll be backing up the truck and loading up grok87 style one more year for sure :wink: .
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Re: Savings Bond Wizard to be eliminated 5/18

Post by BigJohn » Tue Jan 02, 2018 6:11 pm

Well this is an unwelcome new year’s gift. Anyone have any recent experience with converting paper bonds to a Treasury Direct account? The horror stories from a few years back made me very lery to take this step with my kids paper bonds..

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Leif
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Re: Savings Bond Wizard to be eliminated 5/18

Post by Leif » Tue Jan 02, 2018 6:39 pm

When I switched to a Mac and moved to the Saving Bond Calculator. It was a pain to enter, but easy after that.
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Re: Savings Bond Wizard to be eliminated 5/18

Post by GLState » Tue Jan 02, 2018 6:53 pm

BigJohn wrote:
Tue Jan 02, 2018 6:11 pm
Well this is an unwelcome new year’s gift. Anyone have any recent experience with converting paper bonds to a Treasury Direct account? The horror stories from a few years back made me very lery to take this step with my kids paper bonds..
I converted paper Ibonds to to Treasury Direct a couple of months ago. It took about 3 weeks from the time I mailed them to show up in my account.

warner25
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Re: Savings Bond Wizard to be eliminated 5/18

Post by warner25 » Tue Jan 02, 2018 9:37 pm

OnTrack wrote:
Mon Jan 01, 2018 11:55 pm
The fact that your insurance won't cover loss of paper saving bonds should not be a concern...
Cool! That does make me feel better.

Our oldest bonds reach 30-year maturity this summer, so that will be our first test of cashing out.

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Re: Savings Bond Wizard to be eliminated 5/18

Post by #Cruncher » Thu Jan 04, 2018 8:54 am

gd wrote:
Mon Jan 01, 2018 7:00 am
[Using the Savings Bond Calculator] might actually be an improvement, even when the method for saving your bond info ... seems to be saving and recalling your HTML page -- as long as you don't use Edge or Chrome, because they apparently can't do that.
On my Windows 10 computer I couldn't see how to save the inventory with Microsoft's new Edge browser, but I could do it with Chrome (version 63.0.3239.108).
  • Click Get Started.
  • Enter your savings bonds.
  • Click [Save].
  • Right click on the page and choose [Save as].
  • For file type choose "Web page complete". Do not choose "HTML only".

samsoes wrote:
Mon Jan 01, 2018 7:16 am
Here's an accurate, quick but primitive tool to look up I-bond values: http://eyebonds.info/ibonds/home1000.html
Thanks for the plug, samsoes. But "primitive"? You couldn't have called my creation something like "uncomplicated"? :wink: But two obvious shortcoming for users of the Savings Bond Wizard or Savings Bond Calculator are 1) it only handles I Bonds and 2) it only shows one savings bond at a time. The 2nd deficiency at least is handled by my I Bond Portfolio Calculator spreadsheet. It uses an Excel macro to calculate and display, for a selected year, the monthly values for a list of I Bonds. For each I bond, it's necessary to enter just the month purchased and the amount.


Whakamole wrote:
Mon Jan 01, 2018 11:01 pm
digit8 wrote:
Mon Jan 01, 2018 7:10 pm
... Is there any kind of public record of how much money has gone into I Bonds?
https://www.treasurydirect.gov/indiv/re ... bsales.htm
There's a link to an Excel sheet with more recent data.
I downloaded the Excel spreadsheet. [1] Its sales figures are much smaller than those in the table of the referenced TD web page. So I suspect that the spreadsheet includes only online sales while the table also includes sales of paper savings bonds. However, the spreadsheet shows sales later than 2011, the last year shown in the table. Since -- except through tax refunds -- paper savings bonds were no longer sold after 2011, it should provide a fairly good recent sales history.

Here is a summary which I extracted from the hidden "Data" sheet of the spreadsheet. The first table is for I Bonds, the second one is for EE bonds. Both are in thousands of dollars. For fiscal year 2017 (Oct 2016 - Sep 2017) TD sold $333 million of I Bonds up from $245 million the year before. During the same period it sold $53 million of EE bonds, the same as the year before.

Code: Select all

       -------------------- TreasuryDirect Sales of I Bonds Oct 2001 - Sep 2017 in $000 --------------------------
                                                                                                           Fiscal
Year     Jan     Feb     Mar      Apr     May     Jun      Jul     Aug     Sep      Oct     Nov     Dec   Year [2]

Code: Select all

2001                                                                                   0       1       0
2002        1       0       0       10       2       2        2       2       3      406   6,770  13,653        25
2003   24,564  13,954  16,072   45,873  44,931  42,691   64,851  92,158 111,369  225,516  36,362  30,585   477,291
2004   45,974  22,521  25,508   19,310  62,742  43,522   35,029  33,705  27,208   25,195  70,678  67,380   607,980
2005   86,591  38,777  32,232   27,073 122,194  70,901   54,424  53,248  39,459  143,673 321,140 252,894   688,153
2006  321,571 154,373 139,238   94,208  32,321  16,764   14,466  11,212  10,339   14,910  28,660  25,638 1,512,199

2007   46,754  20,844  22,113   19,672  13,428  10,299    9,581   9,643   8,958   12,463  18,138  39,145   230,500
2008   29,270  19,739  26,691   45,768  16,159   9,042    9,975   7,994   8,462   11,279  16,781  24,985   242,845
2009   41,226  24,274  28,423   27,899   7,119   4,946    4,150   3,667   3,342    3,449  13,072  18,951   198,089
2010   31,693  15,517  15,677   15,541   8,361   6,907    6,078   6,103   5,752    7,688   6,231   8,346   147,101
2011   15,508   7,784   7,488    6,583  31,579  21,559   22,263  26,041  21,091   32,237  29,833  43,447   182,161

2012  107,051  55,073  56,568   54,885  40,659  28,289   27,919  29,799  24,447   33,584  30,204  56,549   530,207
2013  110,898  39,621  36,123   38,218  30,445  19,090   20,817  16,427  14,722   14,844  32,582  45,679   446,699
2014   86,578  30,191  26,907   24,369  37,247  25,723   23,093  18,731  20,638   22,575  20,955  38,192   386,581
2015   72,930  25,679  22,148   17,763  12,036   9,786    8,859   7,438   6,544    7,268  33,091  38,267   264,903
2016   52,757  23,945  20,509   20,969  13,311   9,105    9,250   8,652   7,795    8,763  39,456  52,479   244,918
2017   74,600  27,663  24,745   28,012  26,647  14,521   12,796  12,504  10,733                            332,918

Code: Select all

       -------------- TreasuryDirect Sales of EE Bonds Oct 2001 - Sep 2017 in $000 ------------------
                                                                                               Fiscal
Year    Jan    Feb    Mar     Apr    May    Jun     Jul    Aug    Sep     Oct    Nov    Dec   Year [2]

Code: Select all

2001                                                                         0      0      0
2002       0      0      0       0      0      0       0      0      0       0      0      0        0
2003       0      0      0       0  2,550  2,531   3,651  3,427  3,327   5,356  7,645 12,470   15,485
2004  21,567 12,540 11,296   9,399  9,702  8,113   7,052  5,964  4,888   4,806 12,372 11,979  115,992
2005  21,061  7,898  7,814  25,413  3,936  3,111   2,815  3,000  2,812   2,471  2,762  3,295  107,016
2006   4,666  2,426  2,623   2,261  3,107  2,791   2,334  2,386  2,342   2,495  2,301  3,144   33,465

2007   3,157  2,363  2,667   2,354  2,070  1,929   1,858  2,009  1,829   2,086  1,879  3,278   28,175
2008   2,888  2,409  3,112   2,641  1,817  1,533   1,445  1,284  1,617   1,648  1,476  2,233   25,989
2009   2,511  1,735  1,949   1,648  1,398  1,510   1,412  1,270  1,191   1,282  1,525  2,114   19,982
2010   2,451  1,542  1,670   1,501  1,529  1,551   1,634  1,782  1,802   2,151  2,142  2,742   20,382
2011   3,321  2,362  2,468   2,275  2,692  2,329   2,239  2,669  2,844   2,820  3,025  4,953   30,233

2012   7,846  5,940  5,399   5,333  5,393  4,926   4,931  5,107  4,211   5,082  5,142 11,290   59,886
2013   8,636  4,637  4,573   4,950  4,677  4,024   4,362  3,802  3,473   3,687  3,924  8,258   64,647
2014   7,596  3,981  4,051   3,729  3,985  3,729   3,641  3,528  3,678   4,055  3,535  7,394   53,786
2015   7,978  3,988  3,764   3,333  3,636  3,397   3,598  3,537  3,033   3,313  3,523  7,307   51,249
2016   7,240  4,382  3,783   3,695  3,758  3,172   3,570  3,696  5,586   4,469  4,026  7,476   53,025
2017   9,118  3,846  4,118   3,289  3,923  3,284   3,099  3,650  2,968                         53,266
  1. Despite its .XLSM extension the Excel file apparently includes no macros.
  2. Fiscal year Y runs from October of year Y - 1 through September of year Y.

leftcoaster
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Re: Savings Bond Wizard to be eliminated 5/18

Post by leftcoaster » Mon Feb 19, 2018 8:27 pm

rkuklinski wrote:
Mon Jan 01, 2018 1:12 pm
leftcoaster wrote:
Mon Jan 01, 2018 2:13 am
Third party desktop software is available, at least for MacOS.
I am not sure what software leftcoaster is using however I found the macOS software below via online search. I have not tried it.

http://spottedsnake.net/SavingsBondTracker/index.html
I'm the author, so yes, that's what I use.

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Re: Savings Bond Wizard to be eliminated 5/18

Post by CarlZ993 » Mon Feb 19, 2018 9:48 pm

nisiprius wrote:
Mon Jan 01, 2018 9:00 am
WolfgangPauli wrote:
Mon Jan 01, 2018 8:48 am
I am confused as to what this is. I have loaded all my paper bonds into the website then I saved it (data only) using the instructions they provided. Then, when I click on the file saved the next month it automatically updates on the web. I then save under a different name and do that all over again every month.

Is this the "savings bond wizard" or is this perhaps what they are pushing everyone to? I have never downloaded any software. All on the web. I assume just pulling up your electronic bonds will not change?
I think you are using what people are calling the "savings bond calculator." The web page that looks like this:

Image

The savings bond wizard is/was a Windows application (no versions for other platforms).

I used to use the calculator web page and found it totally satisfactory--but as I write this, I discover that sometime between 2017 and now, it has in fact quit working properly for me. I don't know if the problem is something they've changed or the result of my upgrading to High Sierra and Safari 11, but I can no longer load my inventory from a web archive and then successfully update the redemption date. What a pain. Update: my inventory is actually a year-2012 file (because I haven't added paper bonds since then). It's in Safari "web archive" format. If I load it and try to update the redemption date, it loses the entire bond inventory. If I start fresh and enter a couple of bonds, save as web archive, load web archive file and update redemption date, it works. So... just some kind of glitch. Somewhere. I'll sit down and do the half-hour's work to re-create the whole file sometime...
I can't find where I can enter paper I-Bonds. My screen doesn't show these links. I've tried on Chrome & Explorer.
Carl Z

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HueyLD
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Re: Savings Bond Wizard to be eliminated 5/18

Post by HueyLD » Tue Feb 20, 2018 7:35 am

(1). Enter the required data

(2). Click on “calculate” button

(3). You will see your entry detail below

(4). Repeat the steps (1)-(2) for each bond

(5). Done

ALCOMData
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Re: Savings Bond Wizard to be eliminated 5/18

Post by ALCOMData » Thu May 10, 2018 10:47 am

I hadn't even heard about the Savings Bond Wizard being eliminated until today, 05/10/2018, when I went to update my Savings Bond file from 04/2018. When the automatic update feature didn't work, I did some homework on my own. When I discovered the Savings Bond Calculator, I said to myself, "there's got to be a better way."

Turns out that there is, at least for those of us who have stable inventories. I have six EE bonds and ten I bonds, which were up to date through 04/2018. The Automatic Update tool starts to work normally, but then reports it can't find sbwcrv.exe even though that file is exactly where it's supposed to be.

But I find a simple alternative that works, at least for now.

In my case, I simply changed the Price for date in the upper left-hand corner from 04/2018 to 05/2018 and it automatically updated all the data. I also tried changing the Price for date to 12/2017 and the data automatically reverted to that date, and to 01/1996, which is the earliest date it will accept.

I'm looking forward to seeing if it still works come 06/2018.

Peter

P.S. I also saved a test file with a Price for date of 01/1996. I then closed and re-opened the program and answered "no" to the question about updating to today's date. It did, in fact, still show 01/1996 until I changed the date to 05/2018.

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Re: Savings Bond Wizard to be eliminated 5/18

Post by Mel Lindauer » Thu May 10, 2018 5:03 pm

ALCOMData wrote:
Thu May 10, 2018 10:47 am
I hadn't even heard about the Savings Bond Wizard being eliminated until today, 05/10/2018, when I went to update my Savings Bond file from 04/2018. When the automatic update feature didn't work, I did some homework on my own. When I discovered the Savings Bond Calculator, I said to myself, "there's got to be a better way."

Turns out that there is, at least for those of us who have stable inventories. I have six EE bonds and ten I bonds, which were up to date through 04/2018. The Automatic Update tool starts to work normally, but then reports it can't find sbwcrv.exe even though that file is exactly where it's supposed to be.

But I find a simple alternative that works, at least for now.

In my case, I simply changed the Price for date in the upper left-hand corner from 04/2018 to 05/2018 and it automatically updated all the data. I also tried changing the Price for date to 12/2017 and the data automatically reverted to that date, and to 01/1996, which is the earliest date it will accept.

I'm looking forward to seeing if it still works come 06/2018.

Peter

P.S. I also saved a test file with a Price for date of 01/1996. I then closed and re-opened the program and answered "no" to the question about updating to today's date. It did, in fact, still show 01/1996 until I changed the date to 05/2018.
Don't get your hopes up. May 2018 is the last month the SB Wizard will price.
Best Regards - Mel | | Semper Fi

BigJohn
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Re: Savings Bond Wizard to be eliminated 5/18

Post by BigJohn » Thu May 10, 2018 5:35 pm

I moved my SB Wizard inventories to the SB Calculator over the weekend. The transfer went without a problem and the saved file opened up later without a hitch. In terms of functionality the SB Calculator seems to do everything I used SB Wizard for so no worries there. At least for me this was as painless as a program transition gets.

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Re: Savings Bond Wizard to be eliminated 5/18

Post by ReformedSpender » Thu May 10, 2018 7:51 pm

All good things must come to an end I suppose...bummer, I liked the wizard.

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