U. S. "I" Bonds To Buy and Hold

Good deal now or maybe not?

Thoughts welcome…


Sure i-bonds are a good deal. But the $10k limit is tiny compared to what most retirees require.


Paying 9.6% annually for the next few months until the next inflation reset, sure…

…better than .1% on cash or 1% at specialty online accounts…

but limited to $10K per person per year new additions so, may take several years to build up a meaningful(?) position. That said, inflation isn’t going back to 2% a year anytime soon say the pundits.

Where can I buy them? Any bank?

Is that % per year now or when cashed?


Where can I buy them?

Online via TreasuryDirect website


Hi Retired Vermonter,

This subject has been discussed here several times over the last few months. Here are links to a couple of threads:



IMHO I-bonds are a great investment given the return and the risk.

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Where can I buy them? Any bank?

As of Jan 1, 2012, banks were no longer allowed to sell I-bonds. As already suggested to you, you can buy up to $10k for each individual SSN/TIN through Treasury Direct. Additionally, you can buy a paper I-bond for up to $5k with your tax return refund. In order to get that I-bond consolidated with the rest of your I-bonds at Treasury Direct, you will have to fill out some forms and send the paper I-bond to the Treasury. After a few weeks/months it is supposed to show up in your I-bond account.

Is that % per year now or when cashed?

Payment of interest is deferred until the bond is cashed. You may not cash in the bond until you have held it for at least one year, and for the first 5 years, there will be a 3 month interest penalty for cashing in early.

That said, you have the option to claim the interest each year on your tax return so that you don’t get hit with a tax bomb when you cash the bond or it matures, whichever comes first. (Please note - even if you don’t cash the bond upon maturity, you will still need to account for the interest income on that year’s tax return. Also note - the bond will stop accruing additional interest when it matures. Maturity is 30 years after issue.)



Just to be prepared, the site looks like it was built using DOS. A little primitive, to say the least. But it works.

I keep paper backup (print outs) for all my purchases. But then again, I’m pretty old school.



Thanks all.