Redeemed paper saving bonds: neither fast nor simple.

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dratkinson
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Redeemed paper saving bonds: neither fast nor simple.

Post by dratkinson »

Simplicity.

Recent topics about planning for diminished financial management ability later in life caused me to review my investments with an eye to simplifying. Some MET stock shares from the MetLife demutualization and my savings bonds (electronic and paper) seemed to be most logical candidates for simplifying.

My first step toward simplifying was to not play the paper savings bond tax refund game this year. I'm a 3-time consecutive winner, but winning has only complicates my life: monthly value determination, redemption issues.

Selling the MET shares was easily handled using the provided phone number. Check should arrive within a few weeks.

Redeeming the electronic bonds was easily handled through TD. Money was in online HSBC savings within 3 days.

On the other hand, redeeming paper savings bonds was neither fast nor simple.
--I could mail them to TD to redeem. That would require a few weeks.
--I could mail them to TD to convert to electronic, then redeem. That would require a few weeks.
--I originally bought some from US Bank. But they didn't want to redeem them: no customer account. And fees would apply if I opened an account only to redeem bonds, but closed account before 6 months. Employees gave every indications they didn't want to mess with this redemption.
--My CU doesn't do savings bonds, but called and found a CO-OP-linked CU that did... 20 mile round trip.
--Called Wells Fargo (close by) and learned they would redeem the bonds and deposit the money into a free 90-day *savings account. They did try to talk me into a WellsTrade account, but I explained that was not an option. (*WF didn't have that much money at hand, didn't know me, wanted to ensure they got the money from Treasury before releasing it to me. Not unreasonable requirements.)

It required >2 *hours for me to sign the back of each bond and for WF to process them. The amount deposited into my new WF savings account exactly matched TD's Savings Bond Calculator. (*WF used that time to pitch their products/service: CDs, WellsTrade account, investment management,.... I used the time to talk to WF personal banker about his investing: costs matter and there's a way to invest that is cheaper and more efficient than buying individual stocks.)

All in all, WF was most pleasant and accommodating to work with, so I thanked the employees by explaining some things they didn't know about personal investing, and invited them to visit the forum.

A quick look didn't tell me how to close my TD account. Will close it if I can figure it out.

Will probably close my online HSBC savings: low interest and no longer need its TD link.

Will probably close WF account when I need this money. Can't think of any good reason to keep it open.

My only remaining investments are at Vanguard: a 3-fund taxable portfolio and some play money in a small Roth IRA. Can't get much simpler than this. (I am going through the due diligence steps to research a single-state muni fund. Depending upon my results, my recent redemptions will go there, or to VWLUX.)

I've adjusted W-4 withholding to account for MET capital gains and savings bond dividends.

Simplicity is nice. Should have started/stayed there.
--My small local B&M CU savings (0.10% APY), Presidential Bank online checking (4.5% APY when I joined, 0.12% APY now), and HSBC online savings (5.05% APY when I joined, 0.10% APY now) are linked through Vanguard. Tired of chasing temporary bank yields and relinking Automatic Bill Payment plans.
--My itch for higher long-term yields now scratched by VWLUX (LT national muni). Researching single-state munis as an option.






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Last edited by dratkinson on Tue Jun 09, 2015 4:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
d.r.a., not dr.a. | I'm a novice investor, you are forewarned.
PhysicsTeacher
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Re: Redeeming paper saving bonds: neither fast nor simple.

Post by PhysicsTeacher »

Thanks for this post. I have paper I bonds worth just under $10k that I purchased back in 2008 and 2009 that are currently part of our emergency fund, and I was unaware of the option to convert them to electronic bonds in Treasury Direct. It sounds like it'll be much more convenient to go ahead and do that now.
drawpoker
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Re: Redeeming paper saving bonds: neither fast nor simple.

Post by drawpoker »

Yes, thanks for the reminder about paper savings bonds. I inherited a Series EE issued in 1992 and was planning on cashing it in (if in dire straights before the 30 years are up) at my local bank.
I didn't realize banks could decline the redemption for non-customers.
Good to know.
Jack FFR1846
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Re: Redeeming paper saving bonds: neither fast nor simple.

Post by Jack FFR1846 »

My experience has been the opposite. My credit union (DCU) has never had an issue handling redemption. If you fill out all the info ahead of time except signature, it's not much more time than cashing a check. I've cashed at least $75k in bonds over the last 3 years.
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feh
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Re: Redeeming paper saving bonds: neither fast nor simple.

Post by feh »

A local bank (at which we do not have any accounts) cashed some EE Bonds for us earlier this year, without complaint. Took about 10 minutes, because the teller hadn't done it before.
Independent
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Re: Redeemed paper saving bonds: neither fast nor simple.

Post by Independent »

My local bank cashed mine in a few minutes. I talked to a "personal banker" instead of a teller.
We have a checking account there and bought the bonds there.
nordlead
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Re: Redeemed paper saving bonds: neither fast nor simple.

Post by nordlead »

I opened a chase account (free $$$ with deposits on both the savings and checking account) and just deposit all of my EE bonds there.
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dratkinson
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Re: Redeemed paper saving bonds: neither fast nor simple.

Post by dratkinson »

Wrap up.

Received multiple (in one envelope) 1099-INTs from WF for redeeming ~50 paper savings bonds. Don't understand the logic, but happy it wasn't ~50 1099s. Thank you, Wells Fargo.

Received multiple (in one PDF) 1099-INTs from TD for redeeming all electronic bonds.

Asked and was told I only need to enter one 1099-INT for each transaction (WF, TD).
See: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=183300
d.r.a., not dr.a. | I'm a novice investor, you are forewarned.
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