I am not sure if any Mish readers have savings bonds, but undoubtedly some friends of Mish readers do.

For those who do, here is a public service announcement: Nearly 47 Million U.S. Savings Bonds Worth Approximately $16 Billion No Longer Earn Any Interest

Nearly 47 million U.S. Savings Bonds worth approximately $16 billion have reached final maturity and are no longer earning any interest.

Most paper Series E, EE and I Savings Bonds have a 30-year life. Some Series E bonds, which were issued through November 1965, had a 40-year maturity period. All Series E bonds have reached final maturity and have stopped earning interest.

“It’s not unusual for people to forget about bonds that were purchased 20, 30, 40 or more years ago,” says Jackie Brahney, Marketing Director for SavingsBonds.com. She adds, “Many bond owners purchased the investment for retirement or education purposes and stored them away, but they don’t understand how the bonds work.”

Bond investors are often unaware of what their bonds are currently worth, interest rate performance, or when they will stop earning interest. Unfortunately, many believe that bonds will only be worth the amount that is printed on the front of them (aka face value), which is considered the initial maturity date. EE bonds will continue earning interest beyond their initial maturity date until they reach their final maturity. Final maturity is when a bond will no longer earn any interest.

If you happen to have savings bonds or know of someone who does, please pass on this announcement.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock