UPDATE: A 2 cent increase on a 42 cent stamp is an increase of almost 5 percent, not a half a percent. I apologize for the error. Thanks to reader Luke who gently pointed out my fuzzy math. This means investing in sheets of Forever stamps IS a good idea unless your money is going to earn more than 4.5 percent elsewhere. Even so, it’s a decent return on something as valuable as stamps, assuming you don’t lose them.
PREVIOUSLY: The United States Post Office is raising their rates May 11, 2009, from 42 to 44 cents for a first class letter. You can buy Forever stamps now and use them after the rate hike, however. This saves you two cents per letter, or about a half of a percent.
So is it worth it to hoard Forever stamps?
“Hoarding Forever Stamps makes financial sense if you think postal costs will rise at a higher rate than your after-tax earnings on a money-market mutual fund — currently about 3.5 percent a year for someone in the 30 percent tax bracket,” writes Allan Sloan, a reporter at the Washington Post who looked into this question when USPS introduced the Forever Stamp two years ago.
In the end, hoarding Forever stamps is not a wise investment, except for the pleasure you get from paying a little less at the post office, Sloan says. Hmmm…I think that brief joy is just enough to convince me to buy a few sheets.