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Yes, the I Bonds do resemble a Roth IRA in many respects. The ability to withdraw tax-free for qualifying educational expenses is a nice plus as well. And my favorite part: no commissions, no expense ratios!
I buy both paper and electronic versions. The limit is $5000 per person, per year, for both paper and electronic I bonds. Buying both types allows an individual to purchase $10,000 per year.
I max out the I bonds each year. They are a very good place to stash cash, and they give at least a bit of inflation protection without sacrificing safety of principal.
A very good way to store gold is in a UL listed, TL-15 or TL-30 safe that's bolted to a concrete floor. A 1,000 lb safe bolted to the floor is not easy to gain entry to.