Savings Bonds - how to keep track of them

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ps56k
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Savings Bonds - how to keep track of them

Post by ps56k »

Have lots of EE bonds from when our son was growing up.
Have a genereal question about how folks are handling EE bonds, keeping track of inventory - holding vs cashing in -

Was using the Savings Bonds Wizard desktop software program to keep the inventory of EE bonds.

https://www.treasurydirect.gov/indiv/to ... wizard.htm

That has been retired in favor of a HTML file that you can keep on your desktop.

So - does it make sense to still retain a desktop inventory list of EE bonds,
or - go to the Treasury Cloud - and let that be the record keeper
or - watch the interest rate - after 20yrs - and potentially cash them in -
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ReformedSpender
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Re: Savings Bonds - how to keep track of them

Post by ReformedSpender »

Electronically convert them via TreasuryDirect and let it do the tracking

:beer
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jeffyscott
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Re: Savings Bonds - how to keep track of them

Post by jeffyscott »

I never used the wizard, have been using the html calculator since at least 2006 to keep track of a few paper I-bonds. I plan to continue to do so until they reach final maturity. At that time I may roll them over to a 529 for myself and then change the beneficiary to grandchild, if that loophole still exists and college is still a thing.

For EE bonds, which I also have a few of (though not paper), I will likely keep for 20 years to get the doubling and then do the same 529 trick. Mine earn nearly nothing, other than the doubling factor. They will likely continue to be worth keeping for that, since the return for the time remaining to maturity is now nearly 5% and that return will increase over time.
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ps56k
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Re: Savings Bonds - how to keep track of them

Post by ps56k »

just looked - and we have about 33 of the EE bonds for our son.... he's in his late 20's now -
SO.... it's easier to find all the paper records (bonds in a folder) if we are not around,
not so sure with any of the Cloud stuff
jbranx
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Re: Savings Bonds - how to keep track of them

Post by jbranx »

I keep careful lists of the numbers etc. and then converted all my E's and I's on Treasury Direct. It's a little out of date software wise but secure and you can pass the password on to heirs so they know how to get their inheritance. Only takes a couple weeks usually for the conversions to be done after you mail them in. They alert you to matured bonds, allow you to sell/buy savings bonds and treasuries, and provide an online 1099 when you sell. Better than trying to find a bank that will convert them.
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heartwood
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Re: Savings Bonds - how to keep track of them

Post by heartwood »

jbranx wrote: Fri Mar 15, 2019 4:36 pm I keep careful lists of the numbers etc. and then converted all my E's and I's on Treasury Direct. It's a little out of date software wise but secure and you can pass the password on to heirs so they know how to get their inheritance. Only takes a couple weeks usually for the conversions to be done after you mail them in. They alert you to matured bonds, allow you to sell/buy savings bonds and treasuries, and provide an online 1099 when you sell. Better than trying to find a bank that will convert them.
You mention "They alert you to matured bonds, allow you to sell/buy savings bonds and treasuries, and provide an online 1099 when you sell."

I've looked for such alerts and see them if I logon. If you're getting emails from them I must be missing the option. My experience is that when the US Savings bond matures it stops earning interest and they move the value to a non-interest bearing account at TD, w/o any acknowledgement to me. I then have to logon and send the proceeds to my bank. I've gotten no notices of maturity. Similarly I get no notice that the 1099 is available.

I have reminders in my online google calendar of each maturity date and to check in January/Feb for the 1099. Each requires my remembering. Have I missed something?
bdpb
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Re: Savings Bonds - how to keep track of them

Post by bdpb »

heartwood wrote: Fri Mar 15, 2019 6:01 pm You mention "They alert you to matured bonds, allow you to sell/buy savings bonds and treasuries, and provide an online 1099 when you sell."

I've looked for such alerts and see them if I logon. If you're getting emails from them I must be missing the option. My experience is that when the US Savings bond matures it stops earning interest and they move the value to a non-interest bearing account at TD, w/o any acknowledgement to me. I then have to logon and send the proceeds to my bank. I've gotten no notices of maturity. Similarly I get no notice that the 1099 is available.

I have reminders in my online google calendar of each maturity date and to check in January/Feb for the 1099. Each requires my remembering. Have I missed something?
I get the following email every month. Seems to be a default. Check your spam file.

TREASURY.DIRECT@bpd.treas.gov

Fri, Mar 1, 2:03 AM

to me
Dear xxx,

Your savings bond ABCDE has matured. The proceeds from the maturity payment will be used to purchase a Zero-Percent Certificate of Indebtedness in your account. This security earns no interest. For more details, go to Security History and look for the confirmation number. You may redeem the Zero-Percent Certificate of Indebtedness to your bank account. If you need help, e-mail us by clicking the Contact Us link in your TreasuryDirect account.
Thank you for investing through TreasuryDirect.
lws
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Re: Savings Bonds - how to keep track of them

Post by lws »

I get alerts from TD.
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heartwood
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Re: Savings Bonds - how to keep track of them

Post by heartwood »

Got them, thanks!
mpnret
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Re: Savings Bonds - how to keep track of them

Post by mpnret »

ps56k wrote: Fri Mar 15, 2019 2:43 pm Have lots of EE bonds from when our son was growing up.
Have a genereal question about how folks are handling EE bonds, keeping track of inventory - holding vs cashing in -

Was using the Savings Bonds Wizard desktop software program to keep the inventory of EE bonds.

https://www.treasurydirect.gov/indiv/to ... wizard.htm

That has been retired in favor of a HTML file that you can keep on your desktop.

So - does it make sense to still retain a desktop inventory list of EE bonds,
or - go to the Treasury Cloud - and let that be the record keeper
or - watch the interest rate - after 20yrs - and potentially cash them in -
I have a large amount of savings bonds which I was tracking with Savings Bond Wizard until they stopped updating it in 6/2018. They did however provide you with a smooth transition which is the HTML file you mentioned. Just click on it and you have your entire inventory entered in Savings Bond Calculator at Treasury Direct. All the inforamtion others have been mentioning is right there. I prefer just watching the maturity dates and cashing them to converting to electronic bonds.
JerryB
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Re: Savings Bonds - how to keep track of them

Post by JerryB »

Earlier this year I was able to export/copy SBW into SBC. This apparently is no longer an option, so I will have to reenter my bonds.
Problem is the Savings Bond Calculator is not compatible with Chrome, which is what I use. Is there any way to get around this or are there any other SB calculators available?
JerryB
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Re: Savings Bonds - how to keep track of them

Post by JerryB »

SBC is supposed to be compatible with Safari. I use an iPad, so I have Safari, but when I save the bonds in SBC, I do not get any drop down menu to save the file. Anyone using Safari successfully?
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jeffyscott
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Re: Savings Bonds - how to keep track of them

Post by jeffyscott »

JerryB wrote: Thu Aug 01, 2019 4:38 pm Problem is the Savings Bond Calculator is not compatible with Chrome, which is what I use. Is there any way to get around this or are there any other SB calculators available?
It's compatible for me and has been since at least 2006. Every month since then, I put the new date in and click update to see the current values.

Perhaps it's your settings?

Or maybe I only think it works because I don't care that I don't see updated data until I click "update" :?: . I never knew this was a "problem" before seeing this:
https://www.treasurydirect.gov/indiv/to ... m#Problems
just now :D

If I did care, I'd just save it in Firefox, even though I don't use that otherwise.
The two greatest enemies of the equity fund investor are expenses and emotions. ― John C. Bogle
jatwell
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Re: Savings Bonds - how to keep track of them

Post by jatwell »

I use a combo of Google Sheets (no personal data, chart of bond values, published to web) and Excel locally on my computer (with actual amounts of personal bonds and other investments) and it works really well.

From this post, I got the function for google sheets. I setup a tab w/ all the different series/issue dates I have for the $100 value.

viewtopic.php?t=154847

You can just grab the price for $100 bond and do the math for your quantity inside excel when the import is refreshed

Sample cell, the inputs are series, denomination, issueDate, redemptionDate:

getBondData(EE,100,10/2011,today())
getBondData(I,100,4/2008,today())

Once you have your Google Sheets setup, you have to go to File -> Publish to Web with Link being your sheet w/ values and Embed being CSV.

Next you go into Excel and Data -> From Web and paste the link from above. It will create a new sheet in Excel with the linked info above. To refresh, you just have to hit Refresh Data and Excel will go out to Google Sheets which will in turn run the query to update all the prices.

I actually use this in addition to the excellent =googlefinance() function to get stock quotes. Basically this one Google Sheet gets all my updated stock/bond pricing automatically whenever refreshed direct from Excel. It has none of my personal info or investment amounts, it's just a super easy way to get this data into an Excel doc I keep local (with all my investment amounts/details).

Here's the function you have to use in Google Sheets (Tools -> Script Editor).

Code: Select all

/**
* Retrieve savings bond data from TreasuryDirect.gov.
* https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=154847
*
* @param {string} series - savings bond series (e.g., "I", "EE").
* @param {string} denomination - savings bond denomination (e.g., "100").
* @param {string} issueDate - issue date, format mm/yyyy.
* @param {string} redemptionDate - redemption date, format mm/yyyy.
* @return savings bond data.
* @customfunction
*/

function getBondData(series,denomination,issueDate,redemptionDate) {  
  
  if (redemptionDate instanceof Date) { redemptionDate = Utilities.formatDate(redemptionDate, "GMT", "M/yyyy") };
  if (issueDate instanceof Date) { issueDate = Utilities.formatDate(issueDate, "GMT", "M/yyyy") };
  var payload =
   {
     "RedemptionDate" : redemptionDate,
     "Series" : series,
     "Denomination" : denomination.toString(),
     "IssueDate" : issueDate,
     "btnAdd.x" : "CALCULATE"
   };
  
  var options =
   {
     "method" : "post",
     "payload" : payload
   };
 
  var url = "http://www.treasurydirect.gov/BC/SBCPrice";
  var response = UrlFetchApp.fetch(url,options);

  bondText = response.getContentText().match(/<table id="ta1">[\s\S]*?<\/table>/g).toString();
  bondData = bondText.match(/[\d,]*\.\d*/g);
  return bondData;

}
JerryB
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Re: Savings Bonds - how to keep track of them

Post by JerryB »

Well, I tried again with Chrome and was able to save the results. Just put in a few bonds to test it. I'll see on September 1 if it will update. Thanks for your suggestions.
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jeffyscott
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Re: Savings Bonds - how to keep track of them

Post by jeffyscott »

JerryB wrote: Tue Aug 20, 2019 1:22 pmWell, I tried again with Chrome and was able to save the results. Just put in a few bonds to test it. I'll see on September 1 if it will update. Thanks for your suggestions.
If you want to you may be able to test now. I can put in 09/2009 or 10/2009 and it gives me the values. When I put in 11/2009 it says "NA" for interest rate on some I-bonds with May issuance date. It only fails, when I put 12/2009 or a later date in. (I only have I-bonds saved in the calculator)

So I think as long as the value is known, it will show you what it will be at future dates.
The two greatest enemies of the equity fund investor are expenses and emotions. ― John C. Bogle
JerryB
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Re: Savings Bonds - how to keep track of them

Post by JerryB »

Yea, I put in a prior date that I had saved a paper copy and it calculated that date correctly and forward again to August. Guess I can enter them all. Now, if I could just get Minneapolis to pay out quicker when they mature.
Dandy
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Re: Savings Bonds - how to keep track of them

Post by Dandy »

Better than trying to find a bank that will convert them.
I use Treasury Direct and it is pretty good though a bit goofy to use and navigate. Tells you pretty much all you need. but they don't send you a 1099 :oops: you have to go on line and figure out how to get one.

I had some paper bonds that I recently wanted to cash - Bank of America Branch Teller cashed them. I signed them, the value was put in our checking account immediately, gave us a printout summarizing the value, interest etc. for each bond. Took about 10 minutes. I thought it would take weeks to get the money -- thought they would have to send the bonds out and wait for Treasury to wire them the money.
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ps56k
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Re: Savings Bonds - how to keep track of them

Post by ps56k »

tnx for the discussion...

Our son is out in California, we are in Chicago.
Have a stack of about 30 of the $25 EE bonds - bought on his birthday by relatives.
So, now we are approaching the 20yr maturing of a bond a year...

Still not sure which way on the logistics -
A - hold all the paper bonds here - and send him the yearly matured ones to sign & cash
B - send the entire stack to him - let him then choose to hold or convert to online
C - enter all into Treasury Direct - and se nd him the info
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Re: Savings Bonds - how to keep track of them

Post by Jack FFR1846 »

Why not just send him all the bonds and let him figure it out?

Personally, I used to use the Wizard and have done the html version using firefox. I have just shy of $400k in paper bonds.
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ps56k
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Re: Savings Bonds - how to keep track of them

Post by ps56k »

I'm pretty sure we had to setup an account for our HH bond - required direct deposit -

If I can find the account ID / password -
can I use that exact same account for adding all the remaining 30+ EE bonds ?
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