Contributed by: Jeanette LoPiccolo, CRPC®
Throughout the years, savings bonds have been popular gifts. Before college savings accounts became so popular, grandparents sometimes gave bonds for birthdays, encouraging their grandchildren to save for the future. Could you have any savings bonds lying around in files or locked up in a safety deposit box?
If you have bonds that you have not looked at in years, now may be the right time to bring them into the digital age with Treasury Direct.
Recently, the U.S. Treasury stopped issuing paper bonds to save costs. Instead, you can create an online account and monitor your bonds as you would an investment account. If you use Raymond James Client Access, you can create an external link to your savings bonds account. Then, you and your financial planner can track your bonds.
In addition to preventing your bonds from being forgotten (or tossed away in a Marie Kondo cleaning frenzy), here are a few good reasons to try the online account:
You can cash your electronic bonds, in full or in part, at any time – 24 hours a day, seven days a week – and move the funds to a savings or checking account that you specify. You don’t need to go to a financial institution, and there are no restrictions on the number of bonds or the value that can be cashed, once minimum requirements are met.
Online holdings and their current values can be viewed at any time.
When electronic bonds reach final maturity and are no longer earning interest, they will be automatically paid to a non-interest bearing account.
The process is fairly simple. Step 1 is to locate your savings bonds. Then visit https://www.treasurydirect.gov/indiv/research/indepth/smartexchangeinfo.htm and scroll down to “How Do You Use SmartExchange?”. Follow the prompts and get started!
Jeanette LoPiccolo, CFP®, CRPC®, is an Associate Financial Planner at Center for Financial Planning, Inc.® She is a 2018 Raymond James Outstanding Branch Professional, one of three recognized nationwide.
Opinions expressed in the attached article are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Raymond James. All opinions are as of this date and are subject to change without notice. The information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee that the foregoing material is accurate or complete.