July 07, 2022
Listen to Podcast Episode:
While Suze and KT’s podcast studio is being repaired and since so many listeners had questions after the April 17, 2022 episode about Series I Bonds, we’re playing highlights of an episode in May, where KT compiled a great sampling of questions for Suze to answer all about Series I Bonds.
Music: Music IN
Robert: July 7th, 2022. Hi everybody. Producer Robert here. On the last episode you heard about the lightning strike that fried the circuit boards to the house next door to Suze and KT and how that strike also fried some of their circuit boards.
Robert: Well, right now eight electricians are working on repairs, which unfortunately means that Suze and KT can't use their podcast studio today. Hopefully Suze will be up and running this Sunday. And since there are still so many questions about Series I Bonds, what we're gonna do today is play highlights
Robert: from an Ask KT and Suze episode from May, all about Series I bonds
Suze: Alright sweetheart, what do you got for me? Oh I Bond
KT: day everybody.
Suze: Wait, wait wait let me talk for a second.
KT: Are you sure? Go ahead. Alright.
Suze: I Bonds. Series I Bonds. On April 17th I gave a master class on the Suze School podcast about I bonds, which I really believe from the bottom of my heart,
Suze: every single one of you without exception. It does not matter who you are out there
Suze: should absolutely purchase a Series I bond. And you do so by going to treasurydirect.gov. Minimum purchase is $25, all the way up to $10,000, which is usually the max but if you listen to the podcast on April 17th you will learn how you can purchase more.
Suze: even after that master class, we are getting so many questions about Series I bonds and you're all saying I know, I know I should know the answer to this question, but I just don't. So KT and I both decided, let's do and ask KT and Suze
Suze: anything about I Bonds.
KT: I just want everyone to know. I don't know the answers either. I we picked out.
KT: There's so many of these, I said, Suze, I'm going to call treasurydirect.gov and tell them to listen to this podcast because if people are asking so many questions, they better figure it out, they better answer them.
Suze: Actually, the truth is KT, all the answers are on treasurydirect.gov. Just people aren't going there to look at them. It's really kind of sad,
Suze: but because of that we will still answer your questions so let's go girlfriend. Okay, we
KT: have lots of them. But they're really quick. So ready,
KT: this is from Gwen, when I cash in my I Bonds, how is the profit taxed as capital gains or ordinary income? Can I buy I Bonds with a retirement account? So, two questions
Suze: first of all, Gwen, you cannot buy
Suze: Series I bonds within a retirement account.
Suze: It has to be in a person's name,
Suze: your name, a trust name, a business name, but not a retirement account. So no, you cannot two,
Suze: when you cash out listen, everybody actually the proper name is when you redeem your I bond
Suze: you will pay ordinary income tax on any interest that you earned on the amount that you are redeeming.
Suze: Just that simple. Please remember when you buy an I bond
Suze: it is a tax deferred investment.
Suze: So that means that your interest that you are earning. You do not pay taxes on it while it stays in the I bond it is tax deferred and that's fabulous because then the interest that you've earned starts to earn interest and everything starts to compound.
Suze: But when you do redeem
Suze: whatever amount you redeem
Suze: you will owe a portion of that is interest. And therefore you will owe taxes on it. Now let me just give you an example.
Suze: First of all you need to remember that you do not have to redeem 100% of your I bond.
Suze: If you put let's just say $10,000 in it
Suze: and all you want is $2,000, that's fine.
Suze: You just need to then redeem $2,000. And Treasury Direct will figure out how much of that $2,000 is principal and how much of it is interest
Suze: that's called pro-rating the amount of money that you redeemed.
Suze: So therefore let's just say you withdrew $2000. Maybe $70 of that might be interest, or whatever it may be and that's what you will owe ordinary income tax on.
Suze: Now here's what's really important for you to know.
Suze: When you redeem money,
Suze: they will send it the next day to the bank account that you have linked to
Suze: on your Treasury Direct dot gov account number one.
Suze: Number two, you will owe income taxes on that interest. But Treasury Direct
Suze: will not mail you a 1099 form like maybe your other financial institutions do.
Suze: You will have to go back onto treasurydirect.gov
Suze: and look to where it says "manage direct."
Suze: Alright, because you want to manage your treasurydirect.gov account. So it says manage direct.
Suze: And then you just scroll down.
Suze: Now that is where you would go to redeem your IbBonds and you would scroll down to where it says Redeem Securities.
Suze: Okay, that's where you would do that.
Suze: If you've already cashed out, you would go to where it says manage my securities
Suze: and then you would look to where it says manage my taxes. And that is where you will find your 1099 for the year
Suze: that you redeemed some of your I bonds. So you know exactly what to report on your taxes. Just that simple.
Suze: Now I get by the look on Ms. Travis's face, KT don't say anything here.
Suze: I know you want to, don't, don't.
Suze: (Suze laughs) Anyway. Right. I know all of this can be complicated. So you also could just call treasurydirect.gov and ask them any question that you may have. And their phone number is 844
Suze: 2676. It is just that simple.
Suze: So that's what you need to know. Okay enough on this now, next question, KT.
KT: Suze. Next question is from Barbara
KT: Suze. Can you explain why I need to enter the banking info and routing number etcetera when I open a Treasury Direct account?
Suze: Yes. The reason is Barbara
Suze: you may at one day want to redeem these bonds or maybe they will mature. and treasurydirect.gov needs a place that they can automatically send the money to when you redeem it. They are not going to cut you a check. They are not going to send it to your home.
Suze: They are going to send it
Suze: to the bank account that you have registered. So you need to tell them how are they going to do that
Suze: and they're going to do that by direct routing it to your bank account. What's very important - everybody listen to me right now,
Suze: the bank account that you put on treasurydirect.gov is a bank account that you need to keep forever.
Suze: Because if you close that account and you go then to another bank or whatever it may be, they're not going to be able to send it to you when you do redeem. So the bank account
Suze: that you put down
Suze: has got to be one that you're going to keep forever.
KT: That's really great. Yeah, it can be a
Suze: credit union account, whatever it is. But it's got to be one that you're going to keep for that
KT: keep for as long as you've got this I Bond invested. Right okay. Next is from Mimi.
KT: trying to create an account buy I bonds on treasurydirect.gov but I'm having trouble finding where you put in a beneficiary. I thought you said you can either open an individual account or have a second person named on the account or have a beneficiary. I can't find where you add the second person or the beneficiary.
Suze: You Mimi and everybody else.
Suze: Not exactly sure why
Suze: Treasurydirect.gov kinda makes it a little complicated. But here's what you all need to know.
Suze: If you're buying an I bond for the first time in a personal account let's say that's true. You need to create a registration which means you want the I bonds to have just yourself as the only owner. You as the primary owner and another person as the secondary owner or you as the owner and another person as the beneficiary. But you do that not when you first open up your account. You open up your account, and then as you go down you have to look for a thing that says registration information.
Suze: And when you click on there, you will see that you have three options. There's like three little things that you can click.
Suze: Whether it's a sole owner, a primary owner or a beneficiary. And then you simply fill in the information that comes up. They're gonna ask you the for the first middle and last name of the beneficiary or the secondary owner and so on and so forth.
Suze: Now again remember this. You choose the sole owner.
Suze: If you want yourself as the only owner with neither a secondary owner nor a beneficiary, why you would do that is beyond me.
KT: Why you would do what?
Suze: Choose just you want to be a sole owner.
Suze: KT, if you're a sole owner you die, who's going to get this money?
KT: So let me ask you that if you don't fill it in, what happens to the money?
Suze: What do you mean if you don't feel it in? Let's say you choose the sole owner?
KT: I you choose sole owner and there's nothing else that you add what happens?
Suze: It goes to your estate and it goes through probate
Suze: Why would you want that to happen?
Suze: You choose a primary owner which is what we have, KT. You choose a primary owner if you want yourself as the primary owner with another person at the secondary owner.
KT: And a secondary owner is more or less like the beneficiary.
Suze: It's not only the beneficiary
Suze: but they take and take over the account as if it was their own
Suze: going to
Suze: probate without
Suze: redeeming it without anything. The secondary owner has the ability to view the account, check the account.
Suze: It's what you and I both have.
KT: It's good for spouses or for who,
Suze: For anybody who wants it that way.
Suze: Now you would choose beneficiary if you want yourself as the primary owner, with another person as the beneficiary. Now the reason you would do it that way is that the beneficiary doesn't have a right to view your account. If you die, it goes to them, they cannot take it over as if it was their own.
Suze: But if you name a beneficiary
Suze: and you die, it avoids probate. Now it's really important that you all understand
Suze: that each bond can only have one second owner
Suze: and only one beneficiary, but not both at the same time.
KT: So, Suze, I know this. I know this whole podcast is making you crazy. But one more question, suppose my sister Lynn who has two daughters has a $10,000 I bond
KT: wants to buy one
KT: and she wants to leave that
Suze: both her daughters. Right.
Suze: can't do that because everybody, you've got to get this
Suze: right. Are
Suze: you listening closely? An I bond can only have one beneficiary
Suze: per bond. That is it.
Suze: So if Lynn has $10,000, she would have to take out one I bond for $5,000 and leave it to one daughter another. Another I bond for another $5,000 and leave it to the other daughter. You cannot have two
Suze: beneficiaries or more
Suze: on an I bond. Just that simple. All right.
KT: If I open my I bond and I have a beneficiary. Do you have to add the beneficiary's name? Social, everything?
Suze: Everything to them. All right.
Suze: So trust accounts and business accounts can't buy bonds however with a secondary owner or a beneficiary because the trust or the business will be the only owner. But the trust already says where everything goes. So is that clear everybody?
KT: Sort of. (KT Laughs)
KT: We're going to do two I bond classes. Let me keep asking questions. It gets clearer because these questions really repeat themselves. Here's here's the next one. This is from Diane.
KT: Question # one, will I be continuously participating in the renewal rate that occurs twice a year. May 1st and November 1st.
KT: I understand the rates may change based on CPI and some years my money may earn 0% and I'm okay with that.
KT: Is that true?
Suze: It's possible, yes.
KT: Question two, will I be able to lock in the rates on bonds that I already purchased?
Suze: Alright, so what's funny here Diane is you already know how it works and then your second question shows that you don't know how it works.
Suze: everyone there are two parts to a Series I bond the first part is a fixed interest rate that never ever really changes. And that currently is at 0%.
Suze: The second rate is your inflation rate which as we speak right now is 9.62%. Every May first and every November first the new rate is set for the next six months.
Suze: Right? It can go up, and it can go down or it can stay the same. So Diane, what will happen is when you buy an I bond, and let's say you bought one right now for 9.62%.
Suze: You will only get for the next six months from today's date 4.86% on that money because it's only guaranteed for those six months really.
Suze: Six months from now, whatever the new rate they happened to assign on November first, you will get that new rate. But again, the rates are only good for six months.
Suze: So even though it may say that it's 9.62% or 10%, you actually only get half of that because the 9.62% is an annual rate.
Suze: But it's only guaranteed for six months. So you only get half of it.
Suze: So you cannot lock in that rate forever. You only get that rate for six months from the date that you bought your bond. And then you get the new rate that was set in either May or November for the next six months and it keeps going like that.
KT: Next one is from Ann. I'm in the process of getting an I bond in the name of my trust
KT: I already have two I bonds in my name.
KT: When I first opened my Treasury account, I needed a medallion verification. I am opening the trust I bond account under my Social Security number. But they are requiring another medallion certification.
KT: This is not easy to get. My question is general. Why do we need medallion certifications when a notary is not sufficient?
Suze: Because a notary does not know for sure that you have an account at the
Suze: bank that you say you do.
KT: Wait, wait. Let's tell everyone what a medallion certification is.
Suze: And KT, we had to get one.
KT: Let's tell everybody what it is.
Suze: Not everybody needs one.
Suze: But if you happen to be purchasing one and there's something that the treasurydirect.gov, people want to know that absolutely. This is your account.
Suze: You have to go in to the bank
Suze: that you have the money in usually
Suze: and get a medallion or a stamp from that bank that verifies yes, you are who you say you are. And yes, you have money at their bank.
Suze: They want to know that. And the reason they want to know that is that these interest rates in Series I bonds are such a great deal, especially right now
Suze: everybody wants them. And it would be really easy for people to launder money in these if verification wasn't absolutely necessary as to who you are and that you have a bank.
Suze: So it's what they require to make sure that you are who you say you are. Don't feel bad about it. KT and myself had to do that as well.
KT: Listen to the next question. Everyone this is from Tim.
KT: And to that point my wife and I tried to establish a Treasury Direct account for her but for some reason they required certification by mail for her account.
KT: I am concerned it won't be approved by the end of April. I've reached my annual limit in I bonds for my account. Can I purchase I bonds as a gift in my account then give them to her once her account is open. I'm worried we'll miss the current rate if we have to wait for her account
KT: to officially be opened by Treasury Direct.
Suze: Yeah. See Tim what you have to understand and obviously this was written before May 1st.
KT: Yeah, he wrote this in the end of April.
Suze: Don't worry about it. Honest to God, it's not that big of a deal. What's important to know is that just do what is on treasurydirect.gov.
Suze: Every one of you make sure that when you open up an account you're opening it up at treasurydirect.gov. Make sure that you have spelled it correctly and that it is the official website. Don't go to treasurydirect.com or whatever. You never know when there are scammers out there.
Suze: But if treasurydirect.gov
Suze: is asking you or your wife for information, give it to them. In terms of missing out, you didn't miss out on anything. She will simply open up the account when she can, she will get the 9.62% interest rate.
Suze: And depending on what they change November 1st to, she may get more. She may get less. Who cares. But she's fine. It's not a big deal Tim number one. Number two, if you were to open up one in your account, you would have to open up a new account.
Suze: You cannot
Suze: and I repeat, you cannot add money to an account you already have.
Suze: So when you purchase a Series I bond and let's say you wanted to purchase one every month for $100. Let's just say that's true. Every month
Suze: you have to purchase a new bond
Suze: with a new serial number with a new maturity. You can't add to one that you already have.
Suze: So you wouldn't have been able to do it anyway. All right.
KT: Next question is from Betty. Ready? This is going back to
KT: a previous one about the ownership ready Suze? When investing in I bonds you spoke of three different options. I have questions about the consequences of death of owner. Sole,
KT: Primary. The secondary has control anytime. Beneficiary has the control only upon death. So I don't understand really how you're going to answer. Take a look at this.
Suze: So, in essence, KT did answer that question, but again,
Suze: the only downside honest to God of Series I bonds
Suze: is that you cannot make a trust the beneficiary.
Suze: So therefore if you are a sole owner and you do not name a beneficiary or a secondary owner, you die, it goes into your estate and your will will govern who gets that money.
Suze: But it will have to go through probate in most cases.
Suze: A primary owner that has a secondary has control,
Suze: meaning that if you die, they can take it over as their own. They cannot sell or do anything with it while you are still alive. However you die, they get to take it over as their own or they can take out the money if they want as well.
Suze: A beneficiary has absolutely no control whatsoever. You die, they automatically get the money. However, it does not go through probate. The secondary does not go through probate. If you open this up as a trust
Suze: again, your trust
Suze: already says where it's to go. So if you die owning it in trust it avoids probate. There you go.
KT: All right, next question from David.
Suze: what was that little look for?
KT: That was like, whoa, too much information.
Suze: Yeah, here's the problem everybody with KT... KT likes my answers to be short.
KT: There's many times that Suze gives an answer that has options or a variety of choices.
Suze: That was her question to me.
KT: I know, but I think it's still confusing when we give too many choices.
Suze: No, we’re not giving too many choices.
KT: What you can do.
Suze: People need to know the difference. This is why we're doing a podcast on Series I bonds.
KT: We better do a couple of these. Here's the next question. This is from David. Suze. Now ready for this one. Suze, now that it's May, when should I see the dividend for my Series I bond that I bought last month. I'm going to answer that.
KT: David, it doesn't work that way.
KT: It's not like interest bearing checking accounts or saving. It's an I bond.
KT: You get the dividend annually.
Suze: You never get the dividend.
KT: You don't get a dividend.
Suze: So glad KT answered that for you, David. David, Listen an I bond is not like another kind of a bond where every six months you get your interest, I bonds pay interest. They do not pay dividends, they pay interest. So that's the first thing.
Suze: When you buy an I bond,
Suze: your interest is not going to show up in your account for the first four months at least. And the reason that is, is that they automatically, when they post interest, they assume that you want to know how much money you are going to get if you redeem this bond.
Suze: Remember in the very first year you can't redeem it anyway, and in years two through five, there's a three month interest penalty. So they will always assume the interest penalty has been applied so you're not gonna see any interest accruing in your account
Suze: for at least
Suze: four months.
Suze: So don't freak out. It's just how they do it. So you're not going to see anything for four months in this account of years. Alright.
KT: Alright. Next is from Cathy. I see the CPI rates for I bonds went up.
Suze: CPI stands for what KT?
Suze: Oh God
KT: I got the C word right.
KT: Alright I see these are 30-year bonds. I'm 55, I don't think I want to wait 30 years to cash it in. What would you think is the sensible length of time to hold on to this before cashing in if you're not desperate for the money?
Suze: That my dear will depend on what interest rates are doing.
Suze: I have I bonds that go all the way back. And I'm so thrilled that I kept them. Because over the long run I've really averaged, even though some of the years I made 0% believe it or not, I've made a lot of money on these bonds and I'm keeping the money in there.
Suze: So you don't have to keep them for 30 years, you can take any money out you want or redeem them after five years.
KT: Any amount of money.
Suze: Any amount of money you want after five years without any interest penalty whatsoever.
Suze: So we just have to see how long inflation stays up there. You just have to look at what you need from your money. Do you like the interest rate that these bonds are giving you? Especially because they're tax deferred. So your interest is also compounding, and make a decision at that time.
Suze: And remember after the first year, if you want to take money out again, anytime between year two and five, there's what KT?
KT: A three year
KT: A three,
Suze: It's a three month interest penalty. What is wrong to you? Has
Suze: has this become your new block versus ROTH?
KT: It's close.
Suze: What Is wrong with you!
KT: It's close. Next question. No, wait. All right. Answer that. I just did. That's the answer. Suze. Three months.
Suze: Go on
KT: interest penalty right?
Suze: If I ask her that again in an hour, let's see if she gets it.
KT: All right. This next question is from Shannon and after this entire Ask Suze about I bonds seminar I can answer this one.
Suze: wait, let's take bets. Let's take bets. 50 bucks. 50 bucks. Who wants to put 50 bucks on 100? All right, 200.
KT: Shannon is really, really excited. She said I bought my first series I bond. My question is if I purchase another bond, does this get added to the current one I purchased, or is this considered a separate I bond? Answer from KT. It's got to be a separate I bond. You cannot add it to the first one. Second question. When purchasing another I bond does the holding period start new again for the new bond purchased?
KT: Absolutely, yes.
KT: There you go. Suze. Give me some Ding Ding ding ding ding ding.
KT: I got it right. I know. After this lesson, I knew the answer.
Suze: And now you tell me, KT, how long does she have to hold it?
KT: That's not fair. We just laughed about this. Three months.
Suze: And what about the first year?
KT: No the first year you have to hold it. You can't touch it for a year and then
Suze: Come on, KT, please, please don't do this to me,
KT: please. You can't touch it for a year.
Suze: And then what?
KT: And then
Suze: What? Please. Everybody this can't be happening.
Suze: Years what through what?
Suze: Years two through five what?
KT: If you take any money out there's a,
KT: a three month penalty interest
KT: penalty rate.
KT: There's a three month interest.
Suze: What is wrong with you?
Suze: But why is that so difficult?
KT: It isn't. But you're looking at me with this look like I really should just, it should just roll off my tongue.
Suze: Guess what it should.
KT: I know. And sorry, this is really confusing this I bond business. Here's the thing everybody. Just buy them because you're going to get a really good return
KT: and just hold on to it for awhile.
Suze: This is a very interesting phenomenon. Really everybody, which is KT is brilliant. No, I'm not kidding. KT is the one who negotiates every one of our contracts for us. These long legal contracts with this and that and that and this that bore me to death.
Suze: And I of course would just give it to the lawyer. But we have learned that sometimes KT is actually better than the lawyer believe it or not because
KT: I don't understand anything.
Suze: But but when it comes to certain topics, it's like her brain just disconnects. And I don't understand why. However,
Suze: it does. But it's not a comment on really whether KT is intelligent or not.
KT: Test me in a week and I'll know the answer because you have to let these things sink in Suze. That's all.
Suze: I've been talking about this now for over a year.
KT: Well, I'm saying it takes a little more than that. It takes a little time to forget it.
Suze: We’re going on. But for those of you who keep writing and saying, I know I should get this. I don't get why I don’t get this.
Suze: Don't feel bad. Don't feel bad. I live with it. Okay. No, no, no, it's not you.
KT: It's Treasury Direct dot Gov has got to make the language easier.
Suze: But they've been learning from me.
KT: They're all learning from the treasurydirect.gov and then they're asking you Suze, what does that mean?
Suze: No, they're listening to my podcast and they don't understand it.
KT: Suze. Where's my quizzie?
Suze: KT. This whole podcast has been your quizzie.
KT: That's not nice, Suze.
Suze: But it's true.
KT: I'll get it.
Suze: You promise me?
KT: I have lots of I bonds so I'm getting something right.
Suze: You should see her face everybody. All right. What do you want to tell everybody?
KT: Be safe, strong and secure.
Suze: And know about I bonds. Oh please help me. Bye bye.
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