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Tax Time Savings
for all with U.S.
Savings Bonds:
Training Webinar
Why Saving Matters
Role of Savings:                                  “No one has ever
                                                  spent his way
• emergency reserves
                                                  out of poverty.”
• for “get ahead” investments (home, education,
  retirement)                                  ~ Dr. Michael Sherraden
• alternative to costly credit
• provides sense of security, comfort

Process of Saving:
• promotes thinking ahead, prioritizing
• models behavior for kids
• emotional payoff (pride, satisfaction)
But Saving is Hard
Q: How many
Americans currently hold
                           Challenges lower-income savers
Savings Bonds?             face:
A: 55 Million.
(That’s 1 in 6!)
                           • Limited income – a minimum wage
                             worker makes $14K a year.
                           • Consumerism – pressure to buy is
                             everywhere.
                           • Family & friends – are often in need,
                             creating pressure to share resources.
                           • Few opportunities – most people save
                             with structured help (e.g., 401(k) plans),
                             but poor people get little or no such
                             help.
With Help, Anyone can Save
                                                    Tax Clients want to
Some Examples:                                      Save invested in a US
                                                    $500
• In one matched saving test:                       In one study, 49%4%
                                                    Savings Bond at of
    • 2,300 people saved $1.3MM - 2.2% of           for 10 years will grow
                                                    VITA clients agreed:
                                                    “I wish that when I had
                                                    to $743.6
      their income, an average of $550              cash, I was better
    • Almost half lived below poverty level; 4 in   disciplined & saved it
      5 lived below 2x the poverty line             rather than spent it.”
• In test of U.S. Savings Bonds:
    • 1,385 VITA tax clients (6%) saved
      $250k+ in bonds for 2,300 people
    • Buyers’ average income: $20K
    • Average amount saved: $192
A Quick Quiz…

Low and moderate income tax filers receive how
much money each year in federal tax refunds?
• $100 million (average of $500 per household)
• $1 billion (average of $1,000 per household)
• $100 billion+ (average of $1,680 per household)
A Quick Quiz…

Low and moderate income tax filers receive how
much money each year in federal tax refunds?
• $100 million (average of $500 per household)
• $1 billion (average of $1,000 per household)
• $100 billion+ (average of $1,680 per household) 7




         • What might help people save
           some of these funds?
Tax Time Opportunity                           Assistance and
                                                guidance from a
Key elements to foster saving:                  trusted tax preparer is
• Funds to Save - $100 billion is returned to   a critical to helping tax
                                                clients save at tax
  poor families each year                       time
   o   On average, $1,680 per household
   o   Up to 20% of annual income
• Assistance – tax preparers can serve as
  trusted helper to suggest saving
• Convenience – saving at tax time requires
  no 2nd step, extra trip to bank
Something to Consider

For many lower-income clients               Buying $100 U.S. Saving
                                            Bonds every year for 20 years
• tax season is the only chance each year   would leave a tax client with
  when saving seems possible.               over $3,000 – enough to fill
• a tax preparer may be the only person     the gaps in a child’s college
                                            scholarship.
  all year who asks them to think about
  saving.

 Most people won’t save unless someone
         asks them to consider it.
  VITA volunteers & staff owe it to their
   clients to raise this important topic.
A Proposition
                                                   Did You Know?
How about a “Return to Thrift”?
•                                                From 1917-1966, the
    culture that supports saving                  YMCA and others
•   more families with financial reserves      sponsored “National Thrift
•   emphasis on the future, planning           Week,” complete with local
•                                                  “Thrift Captains”
    especially critical for working families
But How?
•   need a secure, trustworthy product
•   available to all, at key moments
•   long-term in nature
•   able to be gifted…
Another Quick Quiz
How many Americans own U.S. Savings Bonds?
• Over 1 million
• Over 10 million
• Over 50 million
Another Quick Quiz
How many Americans own U.S. Savings Bonds?
• Over 1 million
• Over 10 million
• Over 50 million
  • 55,000,000 Americans own savings bonds – 1 in 6!
Quick Quiz
How many Americans own U.S. Savings Bonds?

• Over 50 million
  • 55,000,000 Americans own savings bonds – 1 in 6!
In the 1960s, tax filers could receive their federal
refund in the form of a savings bond.
• True
• False
Quick Quiz
How many Americans own U.S. Savings Bonds?

• Over 50 million
  • 55,000,000 Americans own savings bonds – 1 in 6!
In the 1960s, tax filers could receive their federal
refund in the form of a savings bond.
• True
• False
                    Yes! Here’s an example…

                           1962 Form 1040A
          With option to receive refund as U.S. Savings Bond
It’s easy to do on Form 8888
Just complete Part II for U.S.       .
Savings Bonds
 • If bonds are for tax filer just
   complete Line 4
 • If bonds are for others,
   complete Lines 5 and 6
    o If beneficiary check box
• Enter amounts on RHS
U.S. Savings Bonds Overview
                       Series I U.S. Savings Bonds
 U.S. Savings Bonds    an “IOU” from the US Government:
have been a popular,
respected investment
                       • safe – principal protected by “full faith &
  option for over 70     credit of U.S. government”
        years.         • accessible – buy for as little as $50
                       • smart – solid return (1.76%), no fees
                       • simple – sold at “face value” ($50 buys $50
                         bond), rate adjusts twice a year
                       • long-term – must be held for 1 year before
                         “redemption” (cashing in)
                       • portable – may be redeemed at most
                         banks & credit unions
Important Bond Facts
Redemption (“cashing in”)                      Proceeds from Savings
• At most banks & credit unions                Bonds are exempt from
• Requires valid ID                             federal tax if used for
                                                secondary education
Minimum holding                                (check IRS Publication
• Must be held for 1 year                          970 for details).
• If redeemed before 5 years, lose 3 months’
  interest
Loss / theft replacement
• Complete Treasury Form PD F 4000 or Form
  PD F 1048
• Get signature certification from bank
• Mail to Treasury
Savings Bonds as Gifts
                                                    In a 2008 study, 68% of
Tax Clients can buy bonds for:                     buyers purchased savings
• Themselves                                        bonds for others, mostly
                                                    children & grandchildren
• And/or up to two other people
• e.g., kids, grandkids, spouses, nieces /
  nephews, godchildren, etc.
Details
• Tax client needs only name of gift recipient
  (no SSN)
• Client & gift recipient will be listed on bond
  as co-owners
• Either party may redeem bond
Example Savings Bond
          Purchaser’s Social Security Number                   Issue Date




                    123-45-6789                     01 2009

                    John Q. Saver
                    123 Main Street
                    Anywhere, WA 99000-0000
                    OR Jen Saver
                                                          FRB-MPLS
                                                           04-15-07
                                                              2


                :C000090007 :04 000000000000     C000000000I


Owner’s Name & Address (Co-Owner Name, if any)    Authentication Stamp
Bond Features & Benefits

           Feature                         Benefits
 Competitive return (1.76% Reach saving goal sooner
 currently)
 No fees                   No fees to erode savings

 Convenient                Simple tax site order process saves time

 Can buy for others        Easy to give savings as a gift

 Inflation protection      Value not lost as prices rise

 Loss & theft protection   Savings are safe
Bonds vs. Savings Accounts or CDs
  Savings Bonds: CD-like returns, no fees and a $50 minimum
                                                   Typical 1 Year            Series I U.S.
                                Typical Savings
                                                Certificate of Deposit      Savings Bond
                                   Account*
                                                         (CD)*
   Rate of Return                     .51%                 .80%                  1.76%
   Annual Fees                         $0                    $0                    $0
   Minimum to Open                    $100                $1,000                   $50
   Rate Fixed                          No                   Yes            Adjusts bi-annually

   Minimum Holding Period             None                 1 year                 1 year

                                                                              3 months interest
   Early Redemption                                 All interest earned to
                                      None                                 (redemptions within 5
   Penalty / Forfeiture                                withdrawal date
                                                                             years of purchase)
   ChexSystems Review                  Yes                  Yes                    No
   May Buy as a Gift                   No                   No                     Yes

*Source: National Average rates, www.bankrate.com
And Another Quiz

Which of the following are true about Series I U.S.
Savings Bonds:
A. They pay a competitive interest rate (1.76% currently).
B. They can be purchased for as little as $50.
C. They can only be redeemed where they were purchased.
D. They can be purchased as gifts for anyone else – all you need is
the gift recipient's name.
And Another Quiz

 Which of the following are true about Series I U.S.
 Savings Bonds:
 A. They pay a competitive interest rate (1.76% currently).
 B.They can be purchased for as little as $50.
 C.They can only be redeemed where they were purchased.
 D.They can be purchased as gifts for anyone else – all you need is
 the gift recipient's name.


      All of these statements are true except letter C.
U.S. Savings Bonds can be redeemed at most banks and credit
   unions nationwide, not just where they were purchased.
Yet Another Quiz
How long must savings bonds be held before
they may be redeemed?
1. 6 months
2. 12 months
3. 5 years
4. They may be redeemed any time
Yet Another Quiz
How long must savings bonds be held before
they may be redeemed?
1. 6 months
2. 12 months
3. 5 years
4. They may be redeemed any time



U.S. Savings Bonds must be held for at least 12 months
             before they may be redeemed.
 Bond buyers should understand that they can not access
     funds saved in bonds for one year after purchase.
Finding: People Want to Save

• LMI tax clients value saving
       49-63% of buyers saved part of
        refund in the past
       48% of decliners
• Saving is a growing concern
Finding: People Like Savings Bonds
• Pleased with bond purchase
• Familiar with bonds
      65% of tax clients “familiar” (vs. 32% for
       IRAs)
      63% of tax clients had bought bond,
       received bond as gift or known
       someone who has owned
Finding: Who Saves
 • Demographics
         Parents: 70-75% of buyers; grandparents: 4-15%
         Gender: 79% female
         Age: ~ 40 years, same as sample
         Income: average AGI of buyers ~ $20k
         Ethnicity: African American over represented among buyers;
          Hispanic slightly under
 • Other
       Large tax refund ($3.4k for buyers vs. $1.7k)
       First time savers: as high as 50%
Finding: Why People Save
• Who: for kids & grandkids
      70%+ of buyers bought for others
      59% of buyers “I want to put something away
       for my kid’s future”
• What: for education, retirement
      Children / family (27%), Education (23%),
       Retirement (18%)
• Time horizon: long-term
      2/3rds still saved after 3 years (in line with
       national average)
Finding: How People Decide to Save
 • When: at “point of sale”
          ~50% report deciding to save at tax site
 • How: human contact
    o   “learned about option to buy bonds today…”
          79%+ when someone talked to me
          12% from brochure or poster
          20% before coming to tax site
Presenting Savings
   54% of bond purchasers
   during the TS ‘07 pilot,
                                 Consider
 As taxthey had no money
   said preparer, YOU play       • Saving requires many tax clients to
 a “saved role in a client’s
    crucial or invested” prior     take a “leap of faith”
   to buying bonds
 decision to save for the           o   What if they need the money later? Or
 future - their own, or that            their savings disappear?
 of their children or
 grandchildren.
                                 • Clients generally trust you, their tax
                                   preparer or other VITA staff
                                 • You are there at the key moment –
                                   when the refund amount is clear
                                 As the face of any savings offer,
                                       your role is critical.
Bond Order Process
                              How it Works
                              1. Client chooses to order bond in Part II of Form
                                 8888
                              2. Government mails bonds to clients

                              Your Role(s)
                              1. Explain opportunity - describe savings bonds
                                 & chance to order at tax site
                              2. Seek decision – ask client to decide if, how
Tax Preparers Matter             much & for whom to order bonds
In a 2007 study, 41% of tax
clients who saved part of     3. Process order – complete IRS Form 8888
their refund decided to do      and enter name of owner and co-owner(s)
so only after meeting with      or beneficiary and amount for bonds
their tax preparer.
Talking with Clients
                                                   New Savers?
Bonds are a good fit for…                          54% of tax clients who
                                                   bought savings bonds in
• Parents / guardians – bonds are popular gifts    2007 said they had no
  for kids                                         money “saved or invested”
   o   68% of ’08 buyers bought bonds for others   prior to buying bonds.
• First time savers – seeking a safe way to
  start saving
   o   Bonds can be ordered for as little as $50
• Long-term savers – who want a tool to build
  savings over time
• People on ChexSystemsSM – who do not
  qualify for a bank account
Conversation Starters
                                                       When a client speaks:
To raise the topic of saving, try
open-ended questions:                                   •
                                                        •
                                                            Listen closely
                                                            Look her in the eyes
• I see you have a savings bond brochure; have you      •   Never interrupt
  had a chance to look at it – what do you think?       •   Consider repeating back
                                                            her key points
• We have a new, free service this year to help you
  save; have you heard about it – what questions do
  you have?
• Have you ever heard of US savings bonds? What
  have you heard? –or- May I tell you about them?
• Do you recall how you used last year’s tax refund?
  What are your plans this year?
Seeking A Decision
Remember:                          To help clients decide about
 •   Saving is hard & many
     client’s won’t say “yes.”     buying bonds:
 •   It is normal for about 1 in
     10 to order bonds.
                                   • Answer any questions; tactfully
 •   Please keep asking clients      correct any misinformation
     about bonds – even if         • Briefly re-state 2 or 3 relevant bond
     many say “no.”
 •   Always respect clients’         features
     choices, as they know            o For example, “as I mentioned,
     what’s best for them.
                                         bonds are very safe, available for
                                         just $50, and earn 1.76% right
                                         now.”
                                   • Then ask directly, “would you like to
                                     order a savings bond today?”
                                   • If client declines
                                      o Politely ask them why
                                      o Correct any misunderstandings,
                                         ask again
Possible Client Concerns
                                                         During 2007 & 2008
Concern: I can’t afford to save                          pilots, bond purchases
• Response                                               used, on average, 6% of
   o Even a little is a start; you can begin for $50     their refund to buy
   o You just saved $150 in tax preparer fees - you
                                                         savings bonds

     could save some of this amount
   o How did you use last year’s refund? Buy a $50
     bond & you’ll still have some of your refund next
     year
Concern: I don’t trust the government
• Response
   o 55 million Americans hold Savings Bonds
   o Savings bonds have been sold since 1934
   o You trust the gov’t to send your refund
   o The same department that processes your refund
     issues bonds
Client Concerns (more)
                                                               Q: Does one pay state or
Concern: I’ll save by myself, my own way                       local Income taxes on
 • Response                                                    Savings Bonds?
                                                               A: No.
    o   It’s great you already have a plan to save!
    o   We are offering another saving option that can
        save you time & a trip to the bank.
    o   Bonds are among the safest saving options with
        very competitive returns.
    o   You can buy a bond for your kids, grand-kids or
        others - bonds make great gifts.
    o   For most of us, if we don’t do it now we may
        never do it.
    o   It’s free to split your refund and buy a bond today.
Another One
Which of the following are good ways to begin a
conversation about savings bonds with tax clients?
A. Do you want to buy a savings bond?
B. Have you heard about our new saving option this year? What questions
   do you have?
C. Has anyone talked with you today about savings bonds? What do you
   think about them?
Another One
Which of the following are good ways to begin a
conversation about savings bonds with tax clients?

A. Do you want to buy a savings bond?

B.Have you heard about our new saving option this year? What questions do you
have?

C. Has anyone talked with you today about savings bonds? What do you think
about them?


Both letter B & C are good conversation starters.
They are open-ended, non-threatening and will help you learn more
about the client’s thoughts and feelings.
Final Quiz
If a client says “I’m not interested” which of the
following is the best way to respond?

A.Fine. How do you want to receive your refund?
B.Why? Savings bonds are a great way to save and saving is really
important.
C.Okay, that’s fine. Thanks for considering it. It would help me to
understand why you aren’t interested – could you give me some idea?
Final Quiz
If a client says “I’m not interested” which of the
following is the best way to respond?
A. Fine. How do you want to receive your refund?
B. Why? Savings bonds are a great way to save and saving is really
   important.
C. Okay, that’s fine. Thanks for considering it. It would help me to
   understand why you aren’t interested – could you give me some idea?

Letter C is the best response.
It accepts the client’s answer but keeps the conversation going and
provides an opportunity to identify and correct any misunderstandings
about savings bonds.
YOU can Encourage Savings Habits

Did you know?
81% of those who bought   PLEASE:
savings bonds in 2007
said they were very
                          Ask every client who has a refund
happy with their          • If you don’t, who will?
purchase!                 • Tax time may be a client’s only feasible saving
                            opportunity all year; it may be a year before
                            they have another chance.
                          • It never hurts to ask; you can’t be sure who will
                            say yes unless you ask!
                          • Everyone deserves a chance to decide for
                            themselves.
“Savings is hard. Bonds make it easy”
• Multiple dimensions:
       National vs. Local
       Offline vs. Online

• Lots of outreach into the communities
  (consumers, gatekeepers, tax preparers)

• Support of elected officials

• Local media coverage; PSAs, etc.

• Social media and campaign web site
Training Content and Delivery
• One webinar / classroom Powerpoint presentation
       Why savings matters, savings bond features and how to present
        savings at tax time

• Two video presentations:
       Role play video on how to offer / promote bonds to clients
       “Bond Stars” video – successful tips from star bond coordinators

• Role play script for class room training

• FAQs and Guides
Training Content and Delivery
• Available for download on:
      www.bondsmakeiteasy.org/taxpreparers/training
      Please download and e-mail to other sites / organizations interested in
       training
• Available for viewing, sharing with others, and
  downloading on Social Media sites:
          http://www.slideshare.net/bondsmakeiteasy
          http://www.scribd.com/bondsmakeiteasy


 Please view, read, share, comment, download,
 train!
Marketing / Communication materials
• All available on
  http://www.bondsmakeiteasy.org/taxpreparers/materials

    • Communications toolkit

    • Outreach collateral
           Posters, flyers, buttons

    • Point of Sale collateral (for tax sites)
Join our Campaign – offline
• Pledge to buy a bond in 2013
• Promote it at your tax sites
• Build awareness of the policy among your partners
  and networks
  o   Include blurbs about the policy in your newsletters or e-
      mail blasts
  o   Encourage public officials to publicize the new policy in
      constituent communications
  o   Have public officials speak about the option
  o   Work with employers and employee unions to promote the
      opportunity
  o   Distribute Marketing / collateral (FREE download on
      www.bondsmakeiteasy.org/taxpreparers/materials
And Online
• “Like” BondsMakeitEasy on Facebook
  o   and share the campaign with your family, friends and
      colleagues: www.facebook.com/bondsmakeiteasy

• “Follow” BondsMakeItEasy on Twitter
  www.twitter.com/bondsmakeiteasy.twitt

• “View” and “Share” our videos on Youtube
Thank you!
For more information:
• visit:
  Doorways to Dreams (D2D) Fund at http://www.d2dfund.org/
  and Bonds Make it Easy at http://bondsmakeiteasy.org/
   o   Preeti Mehta
   o   pmehta@d2dfund.org
   o   (617)-541-9065

• about Series I U.S. Savings Bonds, visit:
   o   The Bureau of Public Debt at
       www.treasurydirect.gov/indiv/products/prod_ibonds_glance.htm

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Savings Bond Training Webinar

  • 1. Tax Time Savings for all with U.S. Savings Bonds: Training Webinar
  • 2. Why Saving Matters Role of Savings: “No one has ever spent his way • emergency reserves out of poverty.” • for “get ahead” investments (home, education, retirement) ~ Dr. Michael Sherraden • alternative to costly credit • provides sense of security, comfort Process of Saving: • promotes thinking ahead, prioritizing • models behavior for kids • emotional payoff (pride, satisfaction)
  • 3. But Saving is Hard Q: How many Americans currently hold Challenges lower-income savers Savings Bonds? face: A: 55 Million. (That’s 1 in 6!) • Limited income – a minimum wage worker makes $14K a year. • Consumerism – pressure to buy is everywhere. • Family & friends – are often in need, creating pressure to share resources. • Few opportunities – most people save with structured help (e.g., 401(k) plans), but poor people get little or no such help.
  • 4. With Help, Anyone can Save Tax Clients want to Some Examples: Save invested in a US $500 • In one matched saving test: In one study, 49%4% Savings Bond at of • 2,300 people saved $1.3MM - 2.2% of for 10 years will grow VITA clients agreed: “I wish that when I had to $743.6 their income, an average of $550 cash, I was better • Almost half lived below poverty level; 4 in disciplined & saved it 5 lived below 2x the poverty line rather than spent it.” • In test of U.S. Savings Bonds: • 1,385 VITA tax clients (6%) saved $250k+ in bonds for 2,300 people • Buyers’ average income: $20K • Average amount saved: $192
  • 5. A Quick Quiz… Low and moderate income tax filers receive how much money each year in federal tax refunds? • $100 million (average of $500 per household) • $1 billion (average of $1,000 per household) • $100 billion+ (average of $1,680 per household)
  • 6. A Quick Quiz… Low and moderate income tax filers receive how much money each year in federal tax refunds? • $100 million (average of $500 per household) • $1 billion (average of $1,000 per household) • $100 billion+ (average of $1,680 per household) 7 • What might help people save some of these funds?
  • 7. Tax Time Opportunity Assistance and guidance from a Key elements to foster saving: trusted tax preparer is • Funds to Save - $100 billion is returned to a critical to helping tax clients save at tax poor families each year time o On average, $1,680 per household o Up to 20% of annual income • Assistance – tax preparers can serve as trusted helper to suggest saving • Convenience – saving at tax time requires no 2nd step, extra trip to bank
  • 8. Something to Consider For many lower-income clients Buying $100 U.S. Saving Bonds every year for 20 years • tax season is the only chance each year would leave a tax client with when saving seems possible. over $3,000 – enough to fill • a tax preparer may be the only person the gaps in a child’s college scholarship. all year who asks them to think about saving. Most people won’t save unless someone asks them to consider it. VITA volunteers & staff owe it to their clients to raise this important topic.
  • 9. A Proposition Did You Know? How about a “Return to Thrift”? • From 1917-1966, the culture that supports saving YMCA and others • more families with financial reserves sponsored “National Thrift • emphasis on the future, planning Week,” complete with local • “Thrift Captains” especially critical for working families But How? • need a secure, trustworthy product • available to all, at key moments • long-term in nature • able to be gifted…
  • 10. Another Quick Quiz How many Americans own U.S. Savings Bonds? • Over 1 million • Over 10 million • Over 50 million
  • 11. Another Quick Quiz How many Americans own U.S. Savings Bonds? • Over 1 million • Over 10 million • Over 50 million • 55,000,000 Americans own savings bonds – 1 in 6!
  • 12. Quick Quiz How many Americans own U.S. Savings Bonds? • Over 50 million • 55,000,000 Americans own savings bonds – 1 in 6! In the 1960s, tax filers could receive their federal refund in the form of a savings bond. • True • False
  • 13. Quick Quiz How many Americans own U.S. Savings Bonds? • Over 50 million • 55,000,000 Americans own savings bonds – 1 in 6! In the 1960s, tax filers could receive their federal refund in the form of a savings bond. • True • False Yes! Here’s an example… 1962 Form 1040A With option to receive refund as U.S. Savings Bond
  • 14. It’s easy to do on Form 8888 Just complete Part II for U.S. . Savings Bonds • If bonds are for tax filer just complete Line 4 • If bonds are for others, complete Lines 5 and 6 o If beneficiary check box • Enter amounts on RHS
  • 15. U.S. Savings Bonds Overview Series I U.S. Savings Bonds U.S. Savings Bonds an “IOU” from the US Government: have been a popular, respected investment • safe – principal protected by “full faith & option for over 70 credit of U.S. government” years. • accessible – buy for as little as $50 • smart – solid return (1.76%), no fees • simple – sold at “face value” ($50 buys $50 bond), rate adjusts twice a year • long-term – must be held for 1 year before “redemption” (cashing in) • portable – may be redeemed at most banks & credit unions
  • 16. Important Bond Facts Redemption (“cashing in”) Proceeds from Savings • At most banks & credit unions Bonds are exempt from • Requires valid ID federal tax if used for secondary education Minimum holding (check IRS Publication • Must be held for 1 year 970 for details). • If redeemed before 5 years, lose 3 months’ interest Loss / theft replacement • Complete Treasury Form PD F 4000 or Form PD F 1048 • Get signature certification from bank • Mail to Treasury
  • 17. Savings Bonds as Gifts In a 2008 study, 68% of Tax Clients can buy bonds for: buyers purchased savings • Themselves bonds for others, mostly children & grandchildren • And/or up to two other people • e.g., kids, grandkids, spouses, nieces / nephews, godchildren, etc. Details • Tax client needs only name of gift recipient (no SSN) • Client & gift recipient will be listed on bond as co-owners • Either party may redeem bond
  • 18. Example Savings Bond Purchaser’s Social Security Number Issue Date 123-45-6789 01 2009 John Q. Saver 123 Main Street Anywhere, WA 99000-0000 OR Jen Saver FRB-MPLS 04-15-07 2 :C000090007 :04 000000000000 C000000000I Owner’s Name & Address (Co-Owner Name, if any) Authentication Stamp
  • 19. Bond Features & Benefits Feature Benefits Competitive return (1.76% Reach saving goal sooner currently) No fees No fees to erode savings Convenient Simple tax site order process saves time Can buy for others Easy to give savings as a gift Inflation protection Value not lost as prices rise Loss & theft protection Savings are safe
  • 20. Bonds vs. Savings Accounts or CDs Savings Bonds: CD-like returns, no fees and a $50 minimum Typical 1 Year Series I U.S. Typical Savings Certificate of Deposit Savings Bond Account* (CD)* Rate of Return .51% .80% 1.76% Annual Fees $0 $0 $0 Minimum to Open $100 $1,000 $50 Rate Fixed No Yes Adjusts bi-annually Minimum Holding Period None 1 year 1 year 3 months interest Early Redemption All interest earned to None (redemptions within 5 Penalty / Forfeiture withdrawal date years of purchase) ChexSystems Review Yes Yes No May Buy as a Gift No No Yes *Source: National Average rates, www.bankrate.com
  • 21. And Another Quiz Which of the following are true about Series I U.S. Savings Bonds: A. They pay a competitive interest rate (1.76% currently). B. They can be purchased for as little as $50. C. They can only be redeemed where they were purchased. D. They can be purchased as gifts for anyone else – all you need is the gift recipient's name.
  • 22. And Another Quiz Which of the following are true about Series I U.S. Savings Bonds: A. They pay a competitive interest rate (1.76% currently). B.They can be purchased for as little as $50. C.They can only be redeemed where they were purchased. D.They can be purchased as gifts for anyone else – all you need is the gift recipient's name. All of these statements are true except letter C. U.S. Savings Bonds can be redeemed at most banks and credit unions nationwide, not just where they were purchased.
  • 23. Yet Another Quiz How long must savings bonds be held before they may be redeemed? 1. 6 months 2. 12 months 3. 5 years 4. They may be redeemed any time
  • 24. Yet Another Quiz How long must savings bonds be held before they may be redeemed? 1. 6 months 2. 12 months 3. 5 years 4. They may be redeemed any time U.S. Savings Bonds must be held for at least 12 months before they may be redeemed. Bond buyers should understand that they can not access funds saved in bonds for one year after purchase.
  • 25. Finding: People Want to Save • LMI tax clients value saving  49-63% of buyers saved part of refund in the past  48% of decliners • Saving is a growing concern
  • 26. Finding: People Like Savings Bonds • Pleased with bond purchase • Familiar with bonds  65% of tax clients “familiar” (vs. 32% for IRAs)  63% of tax clients had bought bond, received bond as gift or known someone who has owned
  • 27. Finding: Who Saves • Demographics  Parents: 70-75% of buyers; grandparents: 4-15%  Gender: 79% female  Age: ~ 40 years, same as sample  Income: average AGI of buyers ~ $20k  Ethnicity: African American over represented among buyers; Hispanic slightly under • Other  Large tax refund ($3.4k for buyers vs. $1.7k)  First time savers: as high as 50%
  • 28. Finding: Why People Save • Who: for kids & grandkids  70%+ of buyers bought for others  59% of buyers “I want to put something away for my kid’s future” • What: for education, retirement  Children / family (27%), Education (23%), Retirement (18%) • Time horizon: long-term  2/3rds still saved after 3 years (in line with national average)
  • 29. Finding: How People Decide to Save • When: at “point of sale”  ~50% report deciding to save at tax site • How: human contact o “learned about option to buy bonds today…”  79%+ when someone talked to me  12% from brochure or poster  20% before coming to tax site
  • 30. Presenting Savings 54% of bond purchasers during the TS ‘07 pilot, Consider As taxthey had no money said preparer, YOU play • Saving requires many tax clients to a “saved role in a client’s crucial or invested” prior take a “leap of faith” to buying bonds decision to save for the o What if they need the money later? Or future - their own, or that their savings disappear? of their children or grandchildren. • Clients generally trust you, their tax preparer or other VITA staff • You are there at the key moment – when the refund amount is clear As the face of any savings offer, your role is critical.
  • 31. Bond Order Process How it Works 1. Client chooses to order bond in Part II of Form 8888 2. Government mails bonds to clients Your Role(s) 1. Explain opportunity - describe savings bonds & chance to order at tax site 2. Seek decision – ask client to decide if, how Tax Preparers Matter much & for whom to order bonds In a 2007 study, 41% of tax clients who saved part of 3. Process order – complete IRS Form 8888 their refund decided to do and enter name of owner and co-owner(s) so only after meeting with or beneficiary and amount for bonds their tax preparer.
  • 32. Talking with Clients New Savers? Bonds are a good fit for… 54% of tax clients who bought savings bonds in • Parents / guardians – bonds are popular gifts 2007 said they had no for kids money “saved or invested” o 68% of ’08 buyers bought bonds for others prior to buying bonds. • First time savers – seeking a safe way to start saving o Bonds can be ordered for as little as $50 • Long-term savers – who want a tool to build savings over time • People on ChexSystemsSM – who do not qualify for a bank account
  • 33. Conversation Starters When a client speaks: To raise the topic of saving, try open-ended questions: • • Listen closely Look her in the eyes • I see you have a savings bond brochure; have you • Never interrupt had a chance to look at it – what do you think? • Consider repeating back her key points • We have a new, free service this year to help you save; have you heard about it – what questions do you have? • Have you ever heard of US savings bonds? What have you heard? –or- May I tell you about them? • Do you recall how you used last year’s tax refund? What are your plans this year?
  • 34. Seeking A Decision Remember: To help clients decide about • Saving is hard & many client’s won’t say “yes.” buying bonds: • It is normal for about 1 in 10 to order bonds. • Answer any questions; tactfully • Please keep asking clients correct any misinformation about bonds – even if • Briefly re-state 2 or 3 relevant bond many say “no.” • Always respect clients’ features choices, as they know o For example, “as I mentioned, what’s best for them. bonds are very safe, available for just $50, and earn 1.76% right now.” • Then ask directly, “would you like to order a savings bond today?” • If client declines o Politely ask them why o Correct any misunderstandings, ask again
  • 35. Possible Client Concerns During 2007 & 2008 Concern: I can’t afford to save pilots, bond purchases • Response used, on average, 6% of o Even a little is a start; you can begin for $50 their refund to buy o You just saved $150 in tax preparer fees - you savings bonds could save some of this amount o How did you use last year’s refund? Buy a $50 bond & you’ll still have some of your refund next year Concern: I don’t trust the government • Response o 55 million Americans hold Savings Bonds o Savings bonds have been sold since 1934 o You trust the gov’t to send your refund o The same department that processes your refund issues bonds
  • 36. Client Concerns (more) Q: Does one pay state or Concern: I’ll save by myself, my own way local Income taxes on • Response Savings Bonds? A: No. o It’s great you already have a plan to save! o We are offering another saving option that can save you time & a trip to the bank. o Bonds are among the safest saving options with very competitive returns. o You can buy a bond for your kids, grand-kids or others - bonds make great gifts. o For most of us, if we don’t do it now we may never do it. o It’s free to split your refund and buy a bond today.
  • 37. Another One Which of the following are good ways to begin a conversation about savings bonds with tax clients? A. Do you want to buy a savings bond? B. Have you heard about our new saving option this year? What questions do you have? C. Has anyone talked with you today about savings bonds? What do you think about them?
  • 38. Another One Which of the following are good ways to begin a conversation about savings bonds with tax clients? A. Do you want to buy a savings bond? B.Have you heard about our new saving option this year? What questions do you have? C. Has anyone talked with you today about savings bonds? What do you think about them? Both letter B & C are good conversation starters. They are open-ended, non-threatening and will help you learn more about the client’s thoughts and feelings.
  • 39. Final Quiz If a client says “I’m not interested” which of the following is the best way to respond? A.Fine. How do you want to receive your refund? B.Why? Savings bonds are a great way to save and saving is really important. C.Okay, that’s fine. Thanks for considering it. It would help me to understand why you aren’t interested – could you give me some idea?
  • 40. Final Quiz If a client says “I’m not interested” which of the following is the best way to respond? A. Fine. How do you want to receive your refund? B. Why? Savings bonds are a great way to save and saving is really important. C. Okay, that’s fine. Thanks for considering it. It would help me to understand why you aren’t interested – could you give me some idea? Letter C is the best response. It accepts the client’s answer but keeps the conversation going and provides an opportunity to identify and correct any misunderstandings about savings bonds.
  • 41. YOU can Encourage Savings Habits Did you know? 81% of those who bought PLEASE: savings bonds in 2007 said they were very Ask every client who has a refund happy with their • If you don’t, who will? purchase! • Tax time may be a client’s only feasible saving opportunity all year; it may be a year before they have another chance. • It never hurts to ask; you can’t be sure who will say yes unless you ask! • Everyone deserves a chance to decide for themselves.
  • 42. “Savings is hard. Bonds make it easy” • Multiple dimensions:  National vs. Local  Offline vs. Online • Lots of outreach into the communities (consumers, gatekeepers, tax preparers) • Support of elected officials • Local media coverage; PSAs, etc. • Social media and campaign web site
  • 43. Training Content and Delivery • One webinar / classroom Powerpoint presentation  Why savings matters, savings bond features and how to present savings at tax time • Two video presentations:  Role play video on how to offer / promote bonds to clients  “Bond Stars” video – successful tips from star bond coordinators • Role play script for class room training • FAQs and Guides
  • 44. Training Content and Delivery • Available for download on:  www.bondsmakeiteasy.org/taxpreparers/training  Please download and e-mail to other sites / organizations interested in training • Available for viewing, sharing with others, and downloading on Social Media sites:  http://www.slideshare.net/bondsmakeiteasy  http://www.scribd.com/bondsmakeiteasy Please view, read, share, comment, download, train!
  • 45. Marketing / Communication materials • All available on http://www.bondsmakeiteasy.org/taxpreparers/materials • Communications toolkit • Outreach collateral  Posters, flyers, buttons • Point of Sale collateral (for tax sites)
  • 46. Join our Campaign – offline • Pledge to buy a bond in 2013 • Promote it at your tax sites • Build awareness of the policy among your partners and networks o Include blurbs about the policy in your newsletters or e- mail blasts o Encourage public officials to publicize the new policy in constituent communications o Have public officials speak about the option o Work with employers and employee unions to promote the opportunity o Distribute Marketing / collateral (FREE download on www.bondsmakeiteasy.org/taxpreparers/materials
  • 47. And Online • “Like” BondsMakeitEasy on Facebook o and share the campaign with your family, friends and colleagues: www.facebook.com/bondsmakeiteasy • “Follow” BondsMakeItEasy on Twitter www.twitter.com/bondsmakeiteasy.twitt • “View” and “Share” our videos on Youtube
  • 48. Thank you! For more information: • visit: Doorways to Dreams (D2D) Fund at http://www.d2dfund.org/ and Bonds Make it Easy at http://bondsmakeiteasy.org/ o Preeti Mehta o pmehta@d2dfund.org o (617)-541-9065 • about Series I U.S. Savings Bonds, visit: o The Bureau of Public Debt at www.treasurydirect.gov/indiv/products/prod_ibonds_glance.htm

Editor's Notes

  1. Joanna