You can stay true to your recession-inspired frugality by rolling your income tax refund into a U.S. savings bond.
Taxpayers can now purchase Series I savings bonds with part—or all—of their tax refund. Just complete IRS Form 8888 when filing, indicating how much of the refund to use to buy bonds (available in denominations of $50, $100, $200, $500 and $1,000). The unused refund portion will be delivered via direct deposit.
Once the tax return has been processed, the savings bonds will be mailed. This year, individuals can purchase the bonds only for themselves, but in the future other options will be available.
Savings bonds can be a good investment for those nearing retirement—they provide a safe alternative to stocks. But the Series I bonds have some limitations: They can’t be redeemed for a full year, and the three most recent months’ interest will be forfeited if they’re cashed in within the bond’s first five years.
For more information, go to TreasuryDirect.
Elizabeth Nolan Brown is a writer and web content manager for AARP Bulletin Today.