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2.17%$1k-PenFed Credit Union7 Year Money Market Certificate
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Accounts mentioned in this post. Rates as of August 18, 2017.

PenFed Slashes its Long-Term CD Rates


With 10-year Treasury yields reaching record lows in July, I guess it should have been expected that we would see some big CD rate cuts in August. That was the case at Pentagon Federal Credit Union (PenFed) which typically makes rate changes on its CDs at the start of each month. Only its long-term CD rates were cut, and the longest terms had the biggest cuts. Its 7-year CD yield had the largest cut falling from 2.40% to 2.02%. Below is the list the new PenFed CD rates for terms of 1 to 7 years. I've also listed the old rates in parentheses. These new rates are listed in PenFed's Money Market Certificates page as of 8/1/2012.

  • 2.02% APY 7-year CD (was 2.40%)
  • 1.71% APY 5-year CD (was 1.90%)
  • 1.51% APY 4-year CD (was 1.64%)
  • 1.25% APY 3-year CD (no change)
  • 0.99% APY 2-year CD (no change)
  • 0.90% APY 1-year CD (no change)

PenFed calls their CDs "Money Market Certificates", but they are essentially certificates of deposit (CD) with fixed rates for specific terms.

Minimum deposit is $1,000. The rates are also available in an IRA. Even though PenFed typically maintains CD rates through the month, they no longer guarantee it. For more details about PenFed CDs, please refer to my PenFed CD review.

There's one thing that happened last year that has made PenFed's 5-year CD less competitive. Its 5-year CD early withdrawal penalty now matches the 7-year EWP: up to 365 days of interest. Note, the penalty doesn't eat into the principal so if you redeem the CD before 365 days from the issue date, you'll just lose all of the accrued interest. Please refer to PenFed's disclosure for more details (bottom of PenFed's Money Market Certificate page).

It should be noted that PenFed did the honorable thing in how it changed the EWP. The change applied only to new CDs or CDs that were rolled over. It did not apply to existing CDs. As we know, not all credit unions have done this.

Past Credit Card Changes

In addition to competitive CD rates, PenFed has been known for its competitive cash back credit card. Early this year, PenFed made a change that has disappointed many members. PenFed's Visa Platinum Cash Rewards Card used to offer 5% cash back for gas, 2% cash back on all supermarket purchases and 1.25% cash back on all other purchases. In 2011 that changed to 1% cash back at the supermarket and all other purchases. Early in 2012, that 1% was reduced to 0.25%.

PenFed introduced a new cash back card but it rewarded points instead of cash. It's called PenFed Platinum Rewards Card, and it rewards 5 points per dollar spent on gas purchases, 3 points per dollar spent at supermarkets and 1 point on all other purchases. Currently, 1 point equals 1 cent and the points can be redeemed for gift cards including a pre-paid Visa card. There are concerns that the value of points will likely decline in the future.

PenFed did make it easy for members with the original cash back credit card to switch to the new Rewards Card. Plus, they offered a nice bonus which is still available. Members get a $250 bonus for the new card with $50 coming from your first purchase and $200 if you purchase $1,000 or more during the first 3 months.

PenFed Membership

PenFed makes it easy for anyone to join and open accounts online. If you don't qualify based on military, employer or family, you can become eligible by joining the National Military Family Association (one-time $20 fee) or by joining the Voices for America's Troops (one-time $15 fee). Joining one of these organizations and joining PenFed can be done at the same time all online.

To join PenFed, click on the "Join PenFed" link at the top of any PenFed page. This will take you to the start of the online application. That first page asks about eligibility. If you don't qualify via any of the listed options, click "None of the above". A popup informs users that "We can establish your membership eligibility through either National Military Family Association or Voices for America's Troops." When you close the popup, you are then asked to select one of these two organizations.

Branch Locations

Accounts can be opened online, but for those who prefer opening accounts in an office, PenFed has branches in several parts of the country including Washington DC, Maryland, Virginia, New Jersey, New York, Colorado, North Carolina, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Missouri and Texas.

Financial/NCUA Info

PenFed is the third largest credit union in the nation. It has $12 billion in deposits. PenFed has an overall health score at DepositAccounts.com of 4 stars (out of 5) with a Texas Ratio of 4.17% (excellent) based on March 2012 data. Please refer to our financial overview of Pentagon Federal Credit Union for more details. It's federally insured by the NCUA (Charter # 227).

How These New CD Rates Compare

PenFed has a long history of being a rate leader for long-term CDs. So I'm afraid we may see others follow with CD rate cuts. There aren't many other nationally available 7-year CDs with yields of 2.00% or higher. As of this morning, the best deal continues to be at Patelco Credit Union which has a 2.50% APY 7-year CD and IRA CD. Navy Federal Credit Union still offers a 2.35% APY for its 7-year CD and IRA CD ($100K minimum deposit). However, not everyone can qualify for Navy Federal membership (a military connection is required).

The highest nationally available 7-year CD yield at a bank is 2.00% APY at Discover Bank (Dime Savings Bank just cut their 7-year CD yield.) Discover Bank also has a 10-year CD, but that yield has just gone down from 2.25% to 2.10%. So now it's hard to justify the 10-year CD over the 7-year CD unless you think it's going to be a very long time before we see higher rates.

The above rates are accurate as of 8:00am EDT 8/1/2012.

Searching for the Best CD Rates

To search for the best nationwide rates and the best rates in your state, please refer to the following tables at DepositAccounts.com:

Related Pages: CD rates, IRA rates

Related Posts

Anonymous   |     |   Comment #1
Thanks again, Bernacke and Obama, for lowering CD rates to feed your bank and welfare subsidies.

Anonymous   |     |   Comment #2
Yeah, banks don't need to pay for our CD deposits when they can get free money from Bernacke and when the economy sucks so bad that the banks have no place to invest our deposit money.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #3
Ratewise, its looking ugly as far as reinvesting the proceeds of my five year CD'c coming due in August. Anyone else in the same boat?
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #4
This may seem like a stupid question but does anyone know the answer?  The Federal Reserve is not supposed to be connected to Washington from what I know.  Soooo is Bernanke using "our" tax dollars to burn us with?  I had my hopes on using Penfed for August CD maturies and now it is back to square one again!  This is really a nightmare for savers and I would just like to know if Bernanke gets to stick the knife in twice by using OUR tax dollars to keep banks from giving out loans and thereby they can't afford to pay us decent savings rates.  Thanks to anyone who knows the answer.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #5
Anon#4.  He doesn't use our tax dollars.  He prints money out of thin air.  Back in '09 on a 60 mins interview he stated it!. 

However, it acts as a tax on savers.  It's also money that could be spent in the economy that has vanished (the savings interest part).
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #6
To Anonymous - #3,

Welcome to depression number 2, you are not alone in this suffering, we all are.
Bernanke will keep the rates low for as long as he is chairman and then some extra years after he is gone or even a decade or more, because Obama needs cheap money for his deficit cover up and for undeserved entitlements to the leaches of the society.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #7
Also known as transition of wealth from savers to spenders!
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #8
Did I miss something, or are they not offering a 10 year cd anymore.  I thought they added them over a year ago.  Not as if I am locking my money in that long with these long rates, but I was hoping to lock in 10 years if the rates ever recovered.  Sure wish I could have locked them in for 10 years in 2007 instead of 7, when they were 6.25%
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #9
It seems that everyone has a lobby, etc that acts in their particular behalf, except for the savers that is. Instead of peddling 'cheap' car rentals, vacations and insurance, it would be nice if AARP helped our cause in a more meaningful manner for a change, but they do not, and have not. I noticed last Sunday that AARP is an associate sponsor of Jimmie Johnson's NASCAR racing team, and an associate sponsorship does not come cheap. Yep, thats right, AARP is now involved with NASCAR. AARP, where are you when WE need you....Jimmie Johnson is well able to take care of himself.
Punishing Seniors
Punishing Seniors   |     |   Comment #10
Bernacke is making senior citizens pay for his little bank-loving game.

And, at the same time, Obama is making senior citizens pay for his re-election vote buying by cutting 1/2 trillion $ from Medicare to pay for Obamacare.

I guess they think all seniors have Alzheimers and will forget when election day comes!
RJM   |     |   Comment #11
I was considering another 7 year penfed CD but thats out now. Might go with Patelco. Dont have an account there though.

The low rates SHOULD bode well for stocks and the economy overall which, I can see the argument, is better overall.

(Although it sure doesnt FEEL great for those of us with a lot of free cash)


I am 49, retired and used to own a LOT more stocks than I currently do. Find myself far more afraid of the downside because the market just hasnt been that great the last 7 years. Whereas the 20 years prior to that were a LOT better for me.

Rationally, I should have more of my money in stocks. But since I no longer have earned income, I have an excess of fear.

I also have doubts of my ability to earn income like I used to should I need to go back to being self employed.

And my only other option job wise would be an undesirable job as a restaurant manager which was fine in my low to mid 20s but not so fine at nearly 50. (Long hours, mostly on your feet for, low income, I guess around $45-55k for the kind I have experience with)
Dan B
Dan B   |     |   Comment #17
#11 & #13.......I'm 50, in the process of selling my business for a measly amount & plan on taking a few years off travelling etc after that is finalized. My suggestion to both of you is erase the concept of "risk free" from your mind & memory. Then take all your money out of CDs & divide it among solid US dividend paying stocks, US mREITs, European telecomms &................learn how to invest properly in p2p direct lending notes here in the US.

Bottom line is that with this mix, you'll have a real good chance at 8% per year long term.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #18
#17  The problem with your stragedy is that there is no "learning properly" in a market that is subject to manipulation as ours is and has been.  Even the "so-called" experts miss their targets most of the time.
Dan B
Dan B   |     |   Comment #25
#18........Well you're wrong, as I've exceeded my targets for 3 years in a row now. Pls. note that I'm referring to learning how to invest properly in p2p direct note investments...............not the other stuff. And no there really is no manipulation there as interest rates are not set by the government.  And yes like almost every other thing in life, there are a few right ways to invest in it & many wrong ways to invest in it. Those of us who are in fact experts have put in the time & study which enable us to hit or surpass our targets. And I can prove it.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #27
#25 - Since you brought it up yourself and, as you say, are an expert, please feel to "prove it", as stated in your post. Fresh and valid ideas are always welcome.
Bozo   |     |   Comment #12
Not pleased, but not surprised, given the action on the ten of late. Bottom line these days is "treading water" against the target inflation rate. The number "2" is getting just too common these days. 2% target inflation, 2% CDs (if you're lucky), 2% dividends on stocks, 2% bond fund yields (and sinking), 2% annual GDP growth (hopefully).

And our grandson just turned two.

Terrible twos, I guess.
Ted H.
Ted H.   |     |   Comment #13
RJM #11: Interesting post.  I'm 52, also mostly retired.  I also think that I should be in the market, but I fear any loss of principal since it would be very hard for me to recoup it without earned income.  However, due to really bad deposit rates right now, my retirement income is getting hammered.  I would need millions to throw off enough income at 2% CD rates.  Any suggestions? I'm seriously considering Israeli 10-year govt bonds which pay 3.50% semiannually.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #14
The fed should be audited and it would be best if the fed were dissolved.  Ron Paul is one of the few sensible, noncorrupt politicians
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #15
I was wondering if anyone can verify what I was told over phone today by Patelco's CSR which seems unusual to me.  She said anyone can be a member and the account can be opened on the same day as we want to purchase the CD or CDs.  Other credit unions won't let me buy a CD until the account is opened and at least $5.00 is put in a savings account.  She says Patelco doesn't do it this way.  I like their way better if it is correct because it means I don't have to join until the funds are available and I can check if the rates are still the same and lock them in.  She also said if I give her my banks info, they can do an electronic transfer of the funds from my local bank's account to Patelco to buy the CD or CDs I want.  She said it takes about 3 days to do this but the rate is locked in.

My question is, have any of you purchased CDs from Patelco recently and done it this way and became member on same day you purchased CD?  I just want to make sure the rep is giving me correct info.  Thanks for any info you can provide from your experience with Patelco.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #16
To Anonymous #15,

I am not a Patelco customer, but a relative of mine in the Bay area recently applied for membership and opened a CD on the same day.  At least that was her experience when she went to a branch office.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #19
EBSB has 1.8%  for a 3 year (Limited Geo).  I'd go with 3 year.  I have equities holdins but I like a large cash position too and trying to get the highest rates possible but in this enviroment shortest terms with decent rates. I did get a Muni bond that pays 3.5% tax free.  The same as my mortgage rate once I close on my refi.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #20
That PENFED at 5% for 10 years keeps looking better all the time
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #21
#20  Where do you see PENFED at 5% for 10 years????
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #36
#20  The 5 year CD was a couple of years ago. 5% for 10 years.  I wish I put more in.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #22
Any decent small two-family or three-family house should throw off a 3%-5% return after all expenses, repairs, some vacancy, etc.  Add some write-offs to the mix, and the potential for price appreciation as the economy improves = a viable alternative to these 1%-2% CD's.   I just can't bring myself to 'lend' money to the bank for 5 to 10 years at these rates.  And then get taxed on the interest.  Just my opinion.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #23
I also would like to know where there is a Penfed for 5% for 10 years!  Are you sure you aren't looking at old rates from some years ago?
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #24
Anon #21.  The 5% cd existed in a magical vortex that existed near the end of 2010.  It was accidently opened by one of their programers.  Quickly a band of pixies, fairies and ogres closed the vortex.  However, a few were able to pick these up and live happly ever after.  (or until taxes are raised)
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #26
I suggest you alternative investment advocates just move on to another forum.

This place is for bank deposit deals only, dig?

Ah, bank deposits...love 'em or leave 'em!

Anonymous   |     |   Comment #28
I agree with #27. Otherwise, how can anyone take the touted "success" posts any more serious than the Vegas gambler that always flaunts his wins but when it comes to his offsetting losses, they always seem to always slip his mind. Even then it's always easy to "prove" a win after history has already played out. Anyone can claim they participated in the last great moderate/high risk investment strategy but I doubt they would be spending time here (a la #26's post). JMO
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #29
I did read all of the post and none of you annalize the factual problem with money.
How do you define the value of the money?
You can never get the real value of any currency, because it changes from moment to moment.
If nobody wants your money at a value you think is fair, well, your money is only worth what the actual user of them gets in return.
Lets say you have a million dollars, they are sitting in a CD at 2% interest and your friend has same amount of money in a saving account at a rate of 0.2% and your neighbor has the same amount in the stock market at an unknown rate of return.

Bernanke already printed over $5 trillions and the real inflation is at 8%. When you include both variables in a equation and when you count all of the money in circulation in USA at an estimated amount of around $50 trillion the real value of the money got diluted by 18% .

Now,  most of you could care less for the present or future value of the dollar, however, the person with the money tided up in CD will continue to lose  16% per year, the person with the money in savings accounts decided to buy real estate, commodity, foreign currency and other valuables and diversified his money to the present value of the dollar, while the guy in the stock market could not care less because the value is not determined until the stocks are sold at profit or loss.

People who are afraid of stock crashes, do option one or two above and they assume the money are safe and the amount is still the same as 5 years ago and still earning interest on it, but forget to include the purchasing power and the devalued dollar they hold and continue to think, my money are safe from crashes. However, the money you hold are continually crashing in the background, slowly but steady. In ten years your money went through few crashes without realizing that.

People in the stock market experienced sudden crashes of 10-20% per year on average, however, the length of the crash lasted few months and totally recovered back at the present value of the dollar and did not lost a penny if they never sold a stock while it was down. If you include the dividends received while invested, they are ahead of any one  else holding CDs or diversified investment (other then stocks) .

What people are afraid off is not the devaluation of their money, but sudden drop of the valuation of the their money. The CD looses greater value than any other investment vehicle, but, because the crashes are slow and not noticeable, people think they have made it and their money is safe and protected from the evil stocks.

Those are the fact, some of you will agree, some of you will not and continue to be in denial.
Just ask some of wall-mart employees who invested 4% of their checks for 20 years and now have more the few millions in stock values. Their money did not loose any value, but multiplied by 100 times of the present value of the dollar while the stock market went through many crashes. 
Paoli2   |     |   Comment #31
Dan B (or is it really Augie or Peter??)  You were pushing your P2P Lenders on another post.  I don't think you are supposed to solicitate on here.  It's not for advertising your own personal business if that is what P2P is all about.  I checked it out and it's not for me.  You will "give us a taste" of how "you" think it's done properly.   I think you misread the title of this group.  It's "DepositsOnline" and the only taste I want is what Ken works so hard to give us.  If you don't believe in CDs you need to go solicitating your P2P someplace else, imo.   Have a great day!
Anonymous/Paoli   |     |   Comment #32
Ok folks, you didn't like our Savers Petition and many of you made it clear in your posts you don't like Bernanke and the Fed.  Soooo do something about it!  Get involved!  A friend sent this to me on Facebook:


Whether you are a Democrat, Republican or chicken farmer, you can still back up those trying to make changes.  Read it and if you think it is something you can back up consider signing it.  Just ignore the request for donations.  This is NOT from SignOn from what I can see.  Nothing can be changed without people willing to do their part.  
Dan B
Dan B   |     |   Comment #33
Paoli2...........As you wish. And it is Dan B. I contribute there almost daily. But I will leave you be remain here getting your 1$ per annum. You deserve it.
Dan B
Dan B   |     |   Comment #34
I meant 1% per annum. 
Paoli2   |     |   Comment #35
Dan B:  No one is throwing you out.  Maybe you can sign our Savers Petition before you leave tho.  If you think these folks are just getting 1% on their CDs, you really don't know them or this forum very well.  We  do our research and with Ken's hard work, help each other to find those 2% CDs no matter what.  It's survival of the fitess and I think we have some really "fit" folks in this group.  Thank you for caring to help.  Don't forget to sign our Savers Petition if you do decide to leave. :)
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #37
A little help here please.  I'm having a very hard time justifying putting my money in a 6 year 2% CD.  I figured in the federal and state taxes and I can not justify a return of 1.6% for 6 year investment.  Any comments?
Anonymous/Paoli   |     |   Comment #38
#37 Patelco is still running it's 7 year CD for 2.50% in Ken's list.  It's about the best you are going to get right now and might be worth going out one for year for it.  I hope it is still available when my CDs mature this month.  Just a thought.
Dan B
Dan B   |     |   Comment #39
Paoli2.........I stand correted. 2% per annum then. As the expression goes, to each his own. I'm not trying to drum up business, just to open some eyes. I know I come off as an arrogant know it all, but I do understand where you guys are coming from. My parents feel the same way as most of you do & are by and large mentally struggling with the same issues as you. Thankfully, they have a wide ranging portfolio & thankfully after 2 years of prodding, they have decided to have me run a small percentage of their fixed income portfolio. I'm outperforming their CDs by a wide margin. (i.e. 13.2% vs 2.5%)

But like I said, to each his own. I just see it as a losing battle of attrition that you guys are waging here, that's all.
Paoli2   |     |   Comment #40
Dan:  You can't lose a battle until you run out of all your ammunition and you give up.  There are ways to survive on even 2% interest if one puts in the effort and has spent their earlier years saving enough.  I'm so glad you were able to help your parents.  Maybe they are still young enough to make up for any possible loss.  Unfortunately,  I'm not so I have to protect whatever I have.  Thanks for understanding.
Dan B
Dan B   |     |   Comment #41
Paoli2...........I do understand. I'm also glad that some of you guys seem aware that all this artificial interest rate suppression is nothing less than an undeclared breach of trust & understanding (to put it diplomatically) between the government & the governed..............that goes back many many decades. 
Pablo Savin
Pablo Savin   |     |   Comment #42
Good call on the CD rates. They stink. We spent years saving and have saved enough to live off the cd's for decades even at 2.5 percent. Save as much as you can no matter where you put it.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #43
Rather get 2% guaranteed than loss 10% in stocks in a month or two (happened to many friends, colleagues and relatives).  I'm with #42.
RJM   |     |   Comment #44
I did well in stocks for my first 20 years investing. Its just the last 7 or so that hasnt been so great. And it makes me think that my early good fortune may not be repeatable despite my exensive knowledge of the microcap markets.

The last 7 years is when I finally had the confidence to retire & live off my stock income and ever since, my stock income has been little to nothing.

I looked into P2P lending and saw too much risk for too little reward.

Ive got a lot of money earning .85-.90%.

I find myself "chicken" to take the kind of risks I did when I was younger and had regular earned income.

The best thing Ive got going for me is I can live on very little.

But, I have no insurance whatsoever. I had been driving an old car 94 model for the last 6 years and tonight, it quit on me at Walmart.  I walked home...4.6 miles per google. (I went a half mile out of the way I guess, hoping to find a ride)

I fear the motor is shot but I really dont know. Its a low mileage car but its not worth spending more than a few hundred $ on max.

The good news is, I have plenty of food in the house. So I dont need a car right away. I do need to get my car out of the walmart parking lot though.

The closest store is 2.1 miles from my house. And believe me, that 2.1 miles is NOT easy walking terrain.

So Ive got to get that car fixed or a replacement car. And thats not easy without a car.

This is where being a hermit doesnt really help.

Oh, and to make matters worse, my house is in terrible shape, needs a roof, I have a leak & mold smell.

But, its paid for. It might be worth half what I paid for it 7-8 years ago.

It easily needs $20-20k worth of work.

Ive got the $$. Im just afraid to spend it.
lou   |     |   Comment #45

Your post should be required reading for all politicians and Federal Reserve honchos.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #46
To RJM, I feel your pain.  I feel like I am living in the Orwellian book 1984.  We have cameras at traffic lights now because cops are too lazy to actually stop you to give you a ticket.  You have a house that is worth less so the zombie G-men employees can take everything from you in the form of property tax.  You have to risk your life in an 18 year old car to get some food at walmart. 

The government people don't care.  It doesn't matter if they are republican or democrate, they don't care about anyone but themselves.  They let the fed run rampant illegally printing money so your money is worth less so you are left with a car without an engine and a house with a leaky molding roof.

Unfortunately, people haven't woken up because we as a nation are lazy.  We believe everything we are old by the Joe Goebbels ministry of propoganda.  We are entertained at our circuses, what I call NFL football.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #47
I truly expect that even as soon as one year from now we will essentially have a flat yield curve in effect. Probably CD yields no higher than one percent through maturities of seven years.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #48
It looks like we are going to look like Japan with their near zero interest rates.


I'm driving an 18 year old car with over 150K miles.  I hope it lasts to 200K.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #49
#48 - Interesting link.

Curious to know what the rate on deposits was during Japans low rate period, such as the rate on 5 year deposits, similar to our 5 year CD's. Anyone know?
Dan B
Dan B   |     |   Comment #53
RJM.......That's a good start to what could be a great story. I worked in video production for 17 years. If there was a way for you to PM me I'd help you flesh it out, add some **** & action to it. Then you can post it on that site that the bullied bus driver used & you'd be set for life as the money poured in from the soft hearted types. :)
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #55
Totally agree with the U.S. = Japan scenario! 

The U.S. economy is following in lock step with what happened to Japan's economy.  The only difference is we are about a decade behind Japan.  Unfortunately, if you want to see what the future state of our economy will look like, you need only to look at what is happening to Japan's economy today.

No need to be scared.  Just plan for it.  And ignore all the B.S. from the gurus on the financial networks.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #56
I agree with the poster who said he saved enough money to live on even at 2.5%.  I saved my heart out and ran the numbers once a month or more for the last 11 years.  I just retired this week and 2.25% was my worst case scenario.  That's what I've got...worst case scenario, but the numbers do work and we are okay.  I'm hanging out in Discover's 10 year CDs and one 7 year CD.  I am way over the max FDIC limit, but I can't find a workable deal anywhere else.  (You know they let you take a monthly withdrawal and only charge you 9 months simple interest on any principle amount.  I ran the numbers and it works out better to withdraw from a 10 year CD at 2.45% than buy shorter term CDs)  My hope is that rates will increase before 7 years.  We don't have to give up cable TV (but, I still might) or dinners out or Christmas gifts for 28 kids/grandkids/great-grandkids, so I feel fortunate.  But, aren't we all just one little bad luck story from disaster?  That's how I feel.  I don't trust the banks or congress or corporations.  So, I'm going to try to have some fun in my last 25 or so years an not think about interest rates so much.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #57
And, yes, don't be scared, just be diligent and plan.  I saved 22% of my income for the last 12 years before I retired.  Some people lived way better than I did, but I still lived fine and enjoyed looking at my monthly 401k statements like a greedy miser looks at piles of gold in the basement.  (bwaahaahaaa) 

On the subject of the Japanese scenario, the thing that is different for the Japanese right now is they are still suffering from the tsunami and nuclear power plant meltdowns.  What a mess. Not sure if the US could suffer anything equivalent to that in terms of how brutal it was for them and still is.  Yeah, I'd love cheap nuclear fuel, but, their story sure reminded me of why we don't have more nuclear plants here.  We never thought we'd see the like of the oil spill in the gulf, but there it was and how many months went by before they even got it turned off?  Holy moly!  That was only oil, imagine if it had been nuclear waste. 
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #58
Is this horse still alive?  I want to beat it a bit more.  I need to point out that Discover allows you to make a partial withdrawal at any time without disturbing the terms of the rest of the CD. Most banks make you cash in the whole CD when you make an early withdrawal. With Discover, you can just have the interest sent to you monthly without penalty. Or, if you need more than just the interest, you can pull out a fixed amount comprised of both principal and accumulated interest. So, lets say you have a CD for $165,000 and want to withdraw $1600 a month for 7 years. You will pay about $17 in penalty in each of the early months. If you did it every month, the penalty amount rises slightly since you are pulling out more principal than interest as the balance of the CD goes down. At the end of 7 years, you still have about $58K to buy a new CD. This feature made a believer out of me and I have 5 CDs with them. Yes, I'm way over the $250K FDIC limit, but that's not my main concern. It's figuring out how to maximize my income without buying into a crappy annuity. I love Discover.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #59
Geez , Discover dropped rates on its 10 year to 2.1% .....you lucky dog, getting in at 2.25%