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Highest I bond rate ever: 7.12%

Posted: Wed Oct 13, 2021 12:16 pm
by jhogue
Tipswatch has announced that the new variable component of I-bonds will reset to a whopping 7.12% on November 1, 2021. This is the highest interest rate ever recorded since I bonds were created in 1998.

Given this high rate, it seems unlikely that the Treasury will announce a fixed component rate above 0.00% on November 1. But whether you buy I bonds before or after November 1, the new variable rate ensures you will easily beat any Treasury bond or any FDIC-insured CD now available.

Those investors who have been accumulating a ladder of I-bonds will be well-rewarded for following a careful and patient strategy for risk-free fixed income.

Re: Highest I bond rate ever: 7.12%

Posted: Thu Oct 14, 2021 8:51 am
by Kbg
Ugg, salt in the wound.

We had a slug of these and used them to by down our mortgage and refinance to a 15 year. Given the mortgage is 2.25% and my home has tripled in value, no complaints. However, we humans are never happy are we? :-)

Re: Highest I bond rate ever: 7.12%

Posted: Thu Oct 14, 2021 9:40 am
by jhogue
Much as I like I-bonds, I like the freedom that comes with being debt free even more. I don't think I would be accumulating I-bonds if I had not paid off my mortgage already.

Re: Highest I bond rate ever: 7.12%

Posted: Thu Oct 14, 2021 9:54 am
by Kbg
jhogue wrote: ↑
Thu Oct 14, 2021 9:40 am
Much as I like I-bonds, I like the freedom that comes with being debt free even more. I don't think I would be accumulating I-bonds if I had not paid off my mortgage already.
I debate myself over this all the time. The purely economic rational thing to do is go with interest rate differentials, but then everything important in life isn't economic.

Re: Highest I bond rate ever: 7.12%

Posted: Thu Oct 14, 2021 12:05 pm
by sophie
I am absolutely incredulous that banks and T bills are still paying near zero interest. A spread of 7% between inflation and nominal interest rates is absolutely unprecedented.

I don't know what it might imply about monetary stability, but it's for sure not good. This kind of situation is what should make gold take off like a rocket. Gold can sometimes take time (e.g. months) to react, so I guess we'll have to wait and see.

Re: Highest I bond rate ever: 7.12%

Posted: Thu Oct 14, 2021 2:02 pm
by Kbg
sophie wrote: ↑
Thu Oct 14, 2021 12:05 pm
I am absolutely incredulous that banks and T bills are still paying near zero interest. A spread of 7% between inflation and nominal interest rates is absolutely unprecedented.
There's no incentive for them to do so and a lot of things are tied to various base rates.

On the flip side, one could ask the same about mortgages and other secured loans which are also dirt cheap.

The above tells you what is being incentivized (debt over savings).

Re: Highest I bond rate ever: 7.12%

Posted: Fri Oct 15, 2021 12:13 pm
by pp4me
Gee, I'm going to have to open a TD account and start moving the money I have in STIP there. Already did that for my wife but they tell me there
is already an account with my SS (I had one a long time but it's closed). Hard to believe someone else would use your SS to open up a TD account
but I guess you never know.

Unfortunately, they didn't give me a customer service number to call but let me send an message. Wonder if I will ever hear back from them.
With those rates they may be busy.

Update: Haven't heard anything back so I'm waiting to see if I ever will. If not that will confirm my worse suspicions about TD and why I closed
my accounts years ago.

Re: Highest I bond rate ever: 7.12%

Posted: Sat Oct 16, 2021 5:54 pm
by pp4me
On a related note, I just heard heard the SS COLA will be 5.9%. Would have preferred 7.12% but it amounts to about $217 /month to me.

As a retiree with fixed income and a fixed budget, inflation doesn't really hit that hard unless it gets to the "hyper" phase. My parents retired in the late 70's and I would say it was a net benefit to them over a long period of time. They were able to sell their home with a huge profit and downsize to a nice mobile home park in Florida. Plus, with the CD rates so high they were able to double their nest egg every few years. I don't remember what
the COLA on SS was but I wouldn't be surprised if it also doubled their payments in the early years before things settled down.

Worked so well for them that they were able to stay completely in cash for the entire time of their retirement, starting out with only $75k. Wasn't a smart thing to do in hindsight but that's the way they thought. Ended up with about the same amount they started with after spending so much on medical and assisted living.

Re: Highest I bond rate ever: 7.12%

Posted: Tue Oct 19, 2021 5:08 pm
by jhogue
It may still possible to retire on a cash-only investment portfolio, but I would not recommend it.

My father-in-law never invested in anything riskier than savings bonds or 1 year bank CDs. He started buying war bonds when the Army sent him to the South Pacific in 1944. When he died in 2008, all of his E Series bonds had been redeemed, but he still had EE bonds marked “POD” in his safe deposit box for his children and grandchildren. That was a successful long term strategy, but I doubt it would work today because of inflation and taxes.

Few middle class families paid income taxes at the end of World War II. Today, I doubt that anyone on this forum has entirely avoided the clutches of the IRS. Just as relentless has been the effects of inflation, which silently eats away at the purchasing power of our investments. I bonds are the only investment I know guaranteed to preserve purchasing power over the long term.