Pete C: “I am thinking about buying some I-Bonds and went to I used their Savings Bond Calculator to calculate the value of a $500 I-Bond issued in June and redeemed on 6 months later. The Calculator told me the bond would accrue $9.20 in interest. To my simple, (seemingly) straightforward math mind, that means the bond would have returned 1.84% of the principal in a six-month time period — an annualized return of 3.68%. However, isn’t the annualized return supposed to be 7.49%, the current posted rate for I-Bonds? Help please, I don’t understand.”

–Redeeming Savings Bonds before five years have elapsed, you forfeit three months’ interest.

Robert Pistey: “While searching for 20-30 year level premium term life insurance, I discovered John Hancock’s Marketplace website ( They appear to offer the most competitive rates, offering a 20% discount for ordering through the net as well as a 5% discount on the first year’s annual premium if paid by credit card. I’ve also found that calling the toll free number and mentioning the word ‘Internet’ will get you all the discounts without having to type in the information. The rep will take it over the phone.”

–Click here to get a quote. A 30-year-old nonsmoking male in good health might pay a flat $570 a year for 20 years for $1 million in coverage (until, say, the kids are largely grown).

Before you buy, do some comparison shopping over at Quicken‘s insurance page. (Interestingly, entering the same healthy 30-year-old male here and asking for the same $1 million with a flat premium for 20 years yielded a John Hancock quote of $1,000. Just goes to show the importance of “shopping” — even within the same company.)


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