Harry Gross: Don't delay cashing in

Dear Harry: We have a lot of E savings bonds that we bought in 1980. We know that they "finally" mature in 2010. We understand that if we choose not to redeem them, they will no longer bear interest after the maturity date. Is there a penalty for not redeeming them right away? Can they be taken from us ultimately if there's no activity like in a regular bank account? Is there some way to defer the reporting of the interest like transferring to HH bonds? We don't need the money now.

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