by: Diane Benjamin
As of 12/31/2011, Savings Bonds can no longer be purchased from anybody but the Treasury Department. They will also only be electronic.
My experience with Savings Bonds is grandparents buying them for grandchildren’s birthdays and Christmas because they wanted to encourage saving instead of handing the kids cash. I paid for my final semester of college with savings bonds my grandmother purchased for me many years before I used them.
The Treasury Department has decided that giving people something physical to gift is out of date. They also wanted the middle-man (banks) cut out of the process. To purchase bonds, buyers must set up an account on the Treasury Department website. In order to give bonds as a gift the receiver must also have an account. The problem is the receiver’s Social Security number must be entered to establish an account.
What if the parent(s) don’t cooperate and set up an account? What if they don’t want their kid’s social security number on a Treasury Department website? What if grandparents don’t use the Internet? My mom doesn’t. She wants to buy bonds for 2 great-grandchildren. Since she doesn’t use a computer, I got assigned the task. I’m still waiting for account numbers from my niece so I can buy them.
Having the paper bonds reminded me they existed. Is the Treasury Department counting on people forgetting about them? Change your email address or move and the only connection you have is a Social Security Number. Think the Feds are going to notify you when they mature?
Similar to how the banks were cut out of offering college loans, the Federal Government is trying to make sure the country looks to them instead of the free markets. Once again they wrecked the system.