Some good tips to follow. Be sure and read the full article Where did you put those savings bonds and gift cards? Did you know that you owe taxes on the interest of matured savings bonds even if you don’t cash them.
Treasure Hunting Richard Connor | June 5, 2020
MANY OF US have found ourselves with free time on our hands. I’ve read that folks are filling their days with shopping, baking, exercising and binge-watching TV. May I suggest another activity, one that may prove profitable? Over the past few years, I’ve found significant amounts of money in unlikely places. These treasures often come not just with monetary benefits, but also great memories. Here are four places to look:
1. Forgotten savings bonds. I’m old enough to remember when paper savings bonds were a common gift for birthdays and holidays. Many companies also had savings bond buying programs, encouraging employees to invest and pitching it as an act of patriotism. If you signed up, the money to be invested was taken out of your paycheck. Paper bonds were then mailed to you and you’d dutifully tuck them away for the future. I’ve been organizing my financial documents lately and I came across an envelope with a bunch of Series I savings bonds. I entered the required information in the Treasury Direct savings bond calculator and, much to my surprise, found they were worth nearly $10,000. I’ll bet many folks have old savings bonds hidden in the back of desk drawers.
2. Lost assets. Each state has unclaimed property that it holds, waiting for the owners to come forward. I haven’t checked every state, but I can attest to Pennsylvania’s efficiency. I recently found almost $1,000 in my father’s name. There were funds from an insurance company’s demutualization, an old savings account and the return of a security deposit from the Philadelphia Gas Co. Most of these were from the 1950s and 1960s. My father died in 1999, so the funds were divided between my two brothers and me. A decade or so ago, we also found almost $17,000 in my wife’s aunt’s name. They were shares she received in 1984 from the breakup of the Bell telephone companies. Searching for and claiming lost assets takes a little effort. You’ll want to try variations on your and your relatives’ names. I’ve seen claims with and without middle names. It helps if you know relatives’ old addresses. Be prepared to prove your right to inherit. We’ve had to supply death certificates and have our signatures notarized.
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