Fast forward to 2012. As of January 1st, you will only be able to purchase US Savings Bonds online through www.treasurydirect.gov or through your tax refund. This serves not only as a cost savings measure, but is also a better way to track ownership. No more lost or missing bonds! And you can set up an automatic purchase schedule to help you save on a regular basis.
If you have paper bonds, they are still valid. You can verify what they are worth on the TreasuryDirect website and keep track of them. You can even convert your paper bonds to electronic bonds, or upgrade to Series I bonds to earn a little more interest.
This is one area where our government really gets it right. Check out the website for more information on all types of government securities, including T-Bills, T-Notes, T-Bonds and TIPS.