Checking the value of older savings bonds

Remember savings bonds? Lots of us even used automatic purchasing plans through our payroll to buy them on a regular basis. If you have bonds stashed in a safe place and haven't looked at them lately, you may find that they are no longer a smart investment.

If you own fully matured U.S. savings bonds, you are losing money on your investment. Each bond has a maturity date after which the government no longer pays interest. That date varies with the series of the bond and the date it was purchased.

According to the U.S. Department of Treasury's Treasury Direct Web site, www.treasurydirect.gov, the following savings bonds no longer earn interest: Series E bonds issued from May 1941 through October 1979; Series H bonds issued from June 1952 through October 1979; Series HH bonds issued from January 1980 through October 1989; Savings Notes issued May 1967 through October 1970; and all series A, B, C, D, F, G, J and K bonds.

If you find you have bonds that are no longer earning interest it is time to cash them in and reinvest your funds in some other type of investment. Savings bonds can be redeemed at your local bank. They can be redeemed by the person whose name is listed on the bond and who provides appropriate identification.

If you want to know how much your bonds are worth, the Treasury Direct Web site provides a Savings Bond Calculator with which you can determine the current value of any savings bond. You will need to enter the series type (E, EE, etc.), the denomination and the date the bond was issued. The Web site gives excellent directions on using the calculator. Treasury Direct also provides other information about your savings bonds, including directions to replace lost bonds.

The Senior Connection is a column provided by the Clinton County Office for the Aging. For more information about services for senior citizens, contact their office at 135 Margaret St., Suite 105, Plattsburgh or call them at 565-4620. Information is also periodically provided by the Behavioral Health Services North Caregiver Resource Center. They may be reached at 565-4543 or 565-4625.

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