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  • Archive for March, 2013

    Not your grandmother’s savings bonds: purchasing savings bonds electronically

    Friday, March 1st, 2013

    As highlighted in our last blog, savings bonds are still a great way to save. But how you purchase them is changing. Starting last year, the sale of paper bonds—the kind you used to be able to walk into a bank and purchase—were discontinued. You now have to purchase them electronically through the Treasury. This can take some know-how to get set up, and we’re here to help.

    The U.S. Treasury’s Bureau of the Public Debt (soon to be renamed Bureau of the Fiscal Services) operates an online account system in which U.S. citizens can invest in savings bonds, as well as marketable securities. The website is www.treasurydirect.govOutside of purchasing a savings bond through your tax filing, it is now the only way to purchase bonds. It can be a bit confusing, and the Bureau is planning an upgrade, but to help you now, here are some tips for setting up an account. Below is a picture of the home page, with a red arrow showing the link to “open an account.”

    Before you start, you need to have ready:

    An e-mail account, and be able to access it during the sign-up process. You will be sent your account number and one time passcode in separate e-mails after you complete the initial application.

    Your bank account number and the bank’s routing number—the money you use to purchase the bonds will be transferred from that account.


    Purchasing Savings Bonds once you’ve set up a Treasury Direct account

    Below is another screen shot of the home page with an arrow showing where you log in to your account.

    You will have to log into your account using the one-time passcode sent to you via e-mail.  If you are using your own computer and want to register it, check the box below where you enter the passcode, otherwise you will have to get a new passcode e-mailed to you every time you access your account.

    Once you have done that, you have to enter the password you created in the set-up process. You will then be taken to the Account Summary page; Click on the BuyDirect tab at the top of the page.

    There will be an assortment of Securities and Bonds listed; to purchase an I Bond, click Series I – an accrual-type security with a combination interest rate of a fixed and an inflation rate.

    You can set up automatic purchases (the “set and forget” kind of savings plan that is a sure way to build a nest egg) in the Purchase Frequency section.

    Happy Saving!



    About Us

    WISER is a nonprofit organization that works to help women, educators and policymakers understand the important issues surrounding women's retirement income. WISER creates a variety of consumer publications including fact sheets, booklets and a quarterly newsletter that explain in easy-to-understand language the complex issues surrounding Social Security, divorce, pay equity, pensions, savings and investments, banking, home-ownership, long-term care and disability insurance.

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