The annual inflation rate accelerated to 9.1% in June, the highest rate we have seen since 1981 when Jimmy Carter rolled out the ‘WIN’ buttons (Whip Inflation Now). This is the worst inflation in over 40 years! Inflation is hard to miss. A tank of gas is approaching $100 and prices of just about everything at the grocery store are up 50% or more since this time last year.
What’s an investor to do? Well, what would you say if you could get a guaranteed interest rate of 9.62%? Does that sound impossible?
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Series I Bonds are non-marketable, interest-bearing savings bonds backed by the federal government. They earn a fixed interest rate for the life of the bond with a variable inflation rate adjusted twice a year – May and November. These bonds have no risk of losses and are currently paying at a rate of 9.62% through October 2022. Here is what you need to know:
- You can invest between $25 – $10,000 annually.
- The interest rate ‘adjusts’ every 6 months based on inflation which is determined by the latest Consumer Price Index. Inflation will likely be with us for some time, but the interest rate fluctuates based on changes in inflation.
- Interest is not subject to state or local taxes but is subject to federal income taxes.
- Series I Bonds must be held for a minimum of 1 year.
- If cashed out during years 2-5, a penalty of 3 months interest is imposed.
- You must buy them directly from the U.S. Treasury at TreasuryDirect.gov.
You may find purchasing the Series I Bonds a challenging process. It took me about 30 minutes to figure out how to navigate their system. But a 9.62% guaranteed, no-risk investment is an exceptional value. Compare that to the typical money market account paying 1.8% and you can see why millions of Americans have taken advantage of this opportunity. The interest rate will reset in November 2022 and every 6 months thereafter.
Please consult with a certified financial planner for guidance to see if this investment option is right for you. For more information, visit www.TreasuryDirect.gov.
Stewart H. Welch, III, CFP®, AEP, is the founder of THE WELCH GROUP, LLC, which specializes in providing fee-only investment management and financial advice to families throughout the United States. He is the author or co-author of six books, including 50 Rules of Success; J.K. Lasser’s New Rules for Estate, Retirement and Tax Planning- 6th Edition (John Wiley & Sons, Inc.); THINK Like a Self-Made Millionaire; and 100 Tips for Creating a Champagne Retirement on a Shoestring Budget. For more information, visit The Welch Group. Consult your financial advisor before acting on comments in this article.
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