Do you have savings bonds stowed away in a desk drawer or safe-deposit box? Check their maturity dates.

If you have any 30-year maturity Series EE bonds issued in March 1984 or earlier, they have stopped paying interest. Similarly, 20-year maturity Series HH bonds issued in March 1994 or earlier have stopped paying interest. And none of the once-ubiquitous Series E bonds, given to many a baby boomer for birthdays, confirmations and bar mitzvahs, are paying interest. estimates about $16 billion in savings bonds have reached maturity and are no longer paying interest.

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The Treasury Department says if you have these bonds, cash them in, because you are, in effect, making zero on your money. Be aware, interest earned on savings bonds is subject to federal taxes when you cash them in, unless you've been reporting the interest every year.

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