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Bonds in lockbox
Old 01-21-2019, 08:20 AM   #1
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Bonds in lockbox

We have approx 2 1/2 years of living expenses in bonds in a lock box at the bank. Have I bonds and EE bonds. It occurred to me I don't know how to cash them out. Do you go up to the teller and cash them out? We've had them over 20 years. I've never cashed a paper bond.
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Old 01-21-2019, 08:32 AM   #2
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I doubt a teller will be able to handle it... a "banker" (the people who sit at a desk vs. stand up behind the bulletproof glass) will likely have to call in to headquarters for instructions. I'd start with the sign-in sheet to see a banker.

Or convert paper to electronic and cash them at treasurydirect.


Depending on the rest of your finances, those EE's are probably paying higher interest than anything else you can find... I'd try to hold them till they don't pay any more.

ETA: my banker vs. teller experience is Wells Fargo where the "bankers" have to call a real banker on the phone to ask how to do IRA contributions.
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Old 01-21-2019, 08:44 AM   #3
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Yes, Spock. Every so often I go on Treasury Gov site and calculate the value. The EE bonds are paying 4% right now. I actually got those as a gift from my mom in the early 90's. Have not touched them, since.
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Old 01-21-2019, 08:45 AM   #4
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We had a bunch of EE bonds that were given to our daughter when she was born and during the first few years of her life. When she turned 18 and graduated from high school, she and I went to the bank, walked up to the teller at our local Chase branch where DD and we have checking accounts and cashed them with no problem. That was only 7 years ago, so I'm sure there are still some tellers around who know how to cash a bond.

I also had one E bond that was in my grandmother's name and my maiden name that was found after she died. I had to have her death certificate and my SS card to cash that one in. It was probably about 40 years old.

This doesn't apply to your living expenses, but in DD's case, she was using the money for higher education expenses, and I don't know if she did something wrong on her tax return, or if there's just no place to explain this, but she did get a letter from the IRS wanting her to pay tax on the interest, so I helped her respond to that.
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Old 01-21-2019, 09:05 AM   #5
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Yes Treasury bonds are cash-able at the teller.
But, it is in your interest to look up the value you should get before cashing them, and print it out.
DW does that each time, and normally it goes fine, but last time, the teller made a mistake and stated the bonds were worth less than they should have been. Turned out Teller had looked at the wrong number.
It's not automatic, so a human error can cheat you out of money.
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Old 01-21-2019, 09:08 AM   #6
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When redeeming a savings bond you need to fill out info on the back like name, address, etc. If you have years worth of living expenses in bonds, I would suppose you have dozens if not hundreds of individual bonds. In advance you might prepare a rubber stamp or labels or similar to save you the trouble of handwriting the same info on the back of each bond. Your signature is needed too but I can't recall if you must wait and sign in front of the person at the bank.
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Old 01-21-2019, 10:36 AM   #7
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I regularly cash my EE bonds at my credit union. It's no problem for the teller. If there are several bonds the teller asks me to fill out the info on just one.


An alternative that I have used is to register and cash the bonds using the government website. It has an unfriendly interface and takes weeks to process bonds. I don't recommend it unless you prefer to do everything online.


treasurydirect.gov
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Old 01-21-2019, 10:39 AM   #8
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A teller at Wells Fargo redeemed my i-bonds without any issue. He even provided me with a tax receipt.
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Old 01-21-2019, 10:41 AM   #9
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We cash our I-bonds at the local bank. They ask customers to make an appointment if they have a volume of bonds to cash in at one time.
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Old 01-21-2019, 11:19 AM   #10
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We cash our I-bonds at the local bank. They ask customers to make an appointment if they have a volume of bonds to cash in at one time.
+1 same at my CU.
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Old 01-21-2019, 11:30 AM   #11
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I can only mention my own experience, bonds and stock certificates, etc. can disappear from a bank box. And once they're gone, they are gone!
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Old 01-21-2019, 11:32 AM   #12
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I can only mention my own experience, bonds and stock certificates, etc. can disappear from a bank box. And once they're gone, they are gone!
Don't know about stock certs but missing bonds can be replaced.
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Old 01-21-2019, 12:09 PM   #13
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You have me curious now. We have some bonds from 1988 when we were married in our lock box. I'm going to have to make a trip to the bank with my key !
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Old 01-21-2019, 03:24 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Rianne View Post
We have approx 2 1/2 years of living expenses in bonds in a lock box at the bank. Have I bonds and EE bonds. It occurred to me I don't know how to cash them out. Do you go up to the teller and cash them out? We've had them over 20 years. I've never cashed a paper bond.
Those ibonds are probably very desirable right now. Our ibonds are from April 2001 and have a 3.4% fixed rate (in addition to the current inflation rate). So you probably know this but you have 30 years to maturity before they don't give you the great deal you have now.
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Old 01-21-2019, 04:12 PM   #15
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The on line systems to keep up with the values is great. I had a five inch stack my late wife left in a safety deposit box. I thought these were all cashed. I have cashed a few recently. Most banks and credit unions around my area do not cash them. One of my banks does. I would not send them off to the treasury. Some of mine are still
paying over 4%.
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Old 01-21-2019, 04:18 PM   #16
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Our IBonds will be the last to go... hopefully to be become part of our estate.
Bought back in 2001 through 2003, when the limits were 30K/person/year. If it doesn't work out that way, they'll help pay for whatever comes next.

They didn't seem like a particularly good deal back in the early years, when interest rates were well into the double digits, but they seem to be working pretty well today.

Our bank will cash IBonds, but some of the other local banks will not.
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Old 01-21-2019, 04:25 PM   #17
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Be sure that you have a trusted person who has Power of Attorney to access your lock box in case something happens to you, otherwise you could lose access to the bonds as would your heirs.
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Old 01-21-2019, 04:59 PM   #18
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Be sure that you have a trusted person who has Power of Attorney to access your lock box in case something happens to you, otherwise you could lose access to the bonds as would your heirs.
POA doesn't do any good in the event of death.
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Old 01-21-2019, 05:06 PM   #19
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You have me curious now. We have some bonds from 1988 when we were married in our lock box. I'm going to have to make a trip to the bank with my key !
If those are EE bonds you need to be careful. EE bonds fully mature in 30 years. Unless you've been paying tax on the bond interest annually, the IRS considers all the interest to be paid at full maturity, whether you redeem the bond or not. Those 1988 bonds likely matured in 2018 so they are taxable in year 2018. If you fail to report the income, even if you do not redeem the bonds, you are subject to penalties and interest later.
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Old 01-21-2019, 10:08 PM   #20
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We have approx 2 1/2 years of living expenses in bonds in a lock box at the bank. Have I bonds and EE bonds. It occurred to me I don't know how to cash them out. Do you go up to the teller and cash them out? We've had them over 20 years. I've never cashed a paper bond.
that's what i do each january. the teller has me sign all of them but only place my address on one bond. you can direct deposit the proceeds into a bank account. i'm guessing any FDIC insured bank can do this.
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