CDs have been yielding next to nothing for years now and savers have left no stone unturned in the hunt for alternatives. One alternative, the paper savings bond, will be going away in January 2012. Thereafter, consumers will only be able to buy savings bonds online -- for the most part.
While the yields on savings bonds rarely set the world on fire, they have been stalwarts at financial institutions for generations. In July, the Treasury announced that it will no longer sell paper savings bonds through banks.
Instead, savers will need to go through the Treasury's website, Treasurydirect.gov for their savings bond needs. There, the series EE and I bond will continue to be available for purchase.
But paper addicts will still have some recourse -- they will be able to buy paper savings bonds using their tax refund. According to the website, Thefinancebuff.com, bond buyers can even buy more than the $5,000 per person purchase limit buying them this way as well.
Here's what the finance buff has to say, from a post titled, "Backdoor to paper savings bonds:"
How do you buy paper I-Bonds with your tax refund? There are extensive FAQs about this on (the Treasurydirect) website. In a nutshell, you fill out a Form 8888 when you file your tax return. You tell the IRS to use part of your tax refund to buy paper I-Bonds for you, in multiples of $50.
So paper bonds will still exist but not at your local bank branch.
Will the disappearance of paper savings bonds affect you?
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