savings

Check value of savings bond online

Don TaylorQuestionDear Dr. Don,
Do you know how to find out what a savings bond is worth that is 19 years old? It is a $50 bond.
-- Jean Juncture

AnswerDear Jean,
The TreasuryDirect website offers two different ways for you to find out how much your paper savings bond is worth. Its Savings Bond Wizard is a free download that you can install on your computer. Otherwise, you can just use the "Calculate the Value of Your Paper Savings Bond(s)" page on its website.

I'm presuming that it's a Series EE savings bond. Bonds with issue dates of November 1986 through February 1993 had a guaranteed minimum rate of 6 percent per year, compounded semiannually, for their 12-year original maturity period. These bonds have a final maturity of 30 years from the date of issue.

A Series EE issued 19 years ago (Aug. 1, 1991) is currently yielding 4 percent and has a yield over its lifetime of about 5.26 percent. The bond is worth approximately $67.06, with $25 in principal and $42.06 in interest earnings.

If you deferred paying taxes on the interest earnings, you'll owe taxes in either the tax year you redeem the bond or the tax year it reaches final maturity, whichever comes first.

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