STRIPs

I’ve heard older relatives mention zero-coupon bonds and I recently saw someone talk about STRIPs (Separate Trading of Registered Interest and Principal security). Googling, I’m still a bit confused. It seems like you can’t buy them directly. Is there some way to get interest rates on them?

They appear to be tax free (state and federal).

Like a lot of people nearing retirement age, I’m just considering and comparing a variety of ways to get an income stream to hold me over until collecting social security. There are the usual suspects such as selling off stocks, bonds/bond funds, CDs, MYGAs, etc. but I’m trying to see how STRIPs would compare.

I had picked up a couple of 3 yr MYGAs a few years ago and they will be maturing in the next year and I’m considering my options. Rolling them over is a possibility due to the tax deferral but I have other fixed income type money I’d like to invest.

Thanks
Rich