What are they and why is it a good idea to buy them now?

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Series I savings bonds are now only available in paper form if you use your income tax refund to buy the bonds and fill out IRS Form 8888 when you file your tax return. In any single calendar year, you can buy up to a total of $5,000 of paper I Bonds using your federal income tax refund. Series I savings bonds are also available in electronic format.

As the cost of bacon and other goods sizzles, more people want to protect their savings from getting burned to a crisp by inflation. 

One simple move, which I wrote about this past summer as well, involves setting aside some money in inflation-protected savings bonds, known as I Bonds.

You’re likely going to hear even more about I Bonds come November when some startling new rates are expected to be announced. 

But it’s not a bad idea to try to pick up some I Bonds by Oct. 28 to lock in some already solid rates – and set yourself up for an estimated 5.3% rate for a 12-month period. Here’s how you’d do it. 

How to get a 5% rate 

First, you need to realize that I Bonds issued this year from May through October now offer an annualized rate of 3.54%, good for six months, thanks to an uptick in inflation. This is a variable rate that will go up or down over time, and likely change every six months after the issue date of the bond. 

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