May 27, 2020

Personal Finance

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Got a PPP loan but workers rejected your rehire offer? You might have to report them to unemployment
Personal Finance

Laid-off employees who reject an offer of rehire may wind up being reported to the state unemployment office if their company took a forgivable federal loan.The Paycheck Protection Program is a federal loan program that was established by the CARES Act. It covers up to eight weeks of wages, mortgage interest and other expenses for business disruptions during the coronavirus pandemic.In order to obtain forgiveness, at least 75% of the proceeds must be used to cover payroll, according to the Small Business Administration. No more than 25% can be used for other costs.Borrowers get two years to pay off amounts that aren't forgiven, at an interest rate of 1%.The SBA and Treasury Department rolled out further forgiveness guidance last week in an interim final rule — and it addresses a burning question entrepreneurs have had for some time: Will I have my PPP forgiveness reduced if a worker I laid off rejects an offer of rehire?
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Here are key ways the coronavirus crisis differs from the Great Recession
Personal Finance

For the second time in 12 years, the U.S. economy and financial markets are facing an unexpected crisis of uncertain proportions.While the 2008 financial crisis and the current coronavirus pandemic are very different in character, both have produced extraordinary volatility in financial markets.Zoom In IconArrows pointing outwardsBoth downturns have also presented major challenges for financial advisors as they try to calm anxious clients and keep them from abandoning their financial plans.How do the two situations compare and how are investors reacting to the uncertainty this time around? There are some notable differences, financial advisors said.The first is the role of the banking system in the two crises.
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Your stimulus check could be taken to pay past debts. One proposal could change that
Personal Finance

Your $1,200 stimulus check could have been garnished if you owe past debts. A group of senators is looking to put a stop to that.But because millions of stimulus checks have already gone out, it could be too late for some.Congress authorized the one-time payments when it passed the $2 trillion CARES Act in March.The payments – up to $1,200 for individuals and $2,400 for married couples, plus $500 for children under 17 – are aimed at helping low- to middle-income families curb the effects of the economic crisis prompted by the coronavirus.The CARES Act protects people who owe past debts to federal or state governments from having their stimulus checks reduced. But the same protection does not apply to private debt collectors.
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Under CARES Act, companies are making it easier to tap your 401(k) plan in emergencies
Personal Finance

Just as employees need a few extra dollars to get by, employers are increasing access to their 401(k) savings.Make sure you proceed with caution before you tap those funds.Close to 2 out of 3 companies have increased access to in-service distributions from employees' retirement accounts, according to a recent survey by Willis Towers Watson. The human resources consultancy polled 816 employers — representing 12 million employees — during the week of April 20.In-service distributions are a way for workers to withdraw or roll over funds saved in their retirement accounts, and do so while they're still working for that employer.It's a timely move, as the CARES Act is now allowing savers to take emergency withdrawals — known as hardship distributions — of up to $100,000 from their retirement plans.
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New college graduates might not have to pay their student loans for three years
Personal Finance

A House bill with bipartisan support would allow 2020 college graduates to postpone their student loan payments for three years without interest accruing. Meanwhile, Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, has introduced legislation in the Senate that would do the same. "Students graduating from college this year are suddenly facing significant hurdles entering the workforce," Romney said in a statement, adding that it would ease the burden on students to allow them "to defer their payments until the economy regains normalcy."Between the wounds to the economy inflicted by the coronavirus pandemic and a growing sense that there's something broken with how the U.S. finances higher education, plans to deliver relief to borrowers are mounting. 
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14% of Americans with retirement savings, both working and unemployed, have tapped into those funds
Personal Finance

Whether unemployed or still working, many Americans are looking for extra funds during the coronavirus pandemic. About 14% of those with retirement savings have taken money from accounts such as 401(k)s and individual retirement accounts.
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'Bold' investors cash in on volatile markets — here's how you can become one
Personal Finance

Volatile markets can strike fear into any investor. However, Ken Hevert, a senior vice president at Fidelity Investments, said that people appear to be handling the coronavirus downturn with less panic than the financial crisis of 2008. "We've seen actually like a 50% reduction in people selling out of their investments this time around versus 2008," Hevert said. He said a key reason is that many of those investors have a plan they trust. Not cashing out allows investors to recover and eventually grow their portfolios, according to Hevert.Some people, on the other hand, use downturns as a chance to take advantage of cheaper prices. Hevert is already seeing evidence of a specific subset of people who are cashing in on the current market. He calls them "bold investors."
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Here are the top 10 cities for summer staycations
Personal Finance

Zoom In IconArrows pointing outwardsCanceled that flight to Cancun or that cruise out of Miami to the Caribbean?You're not alone. In light of the Covid-19 pandemic and worries over health and safety, many Americans will opt to "staycation" this year and holiday at home or nearby."We're seeing a trend overall [that] people are booking trips closer to home, maybe going to a beach house a couple of hours away," Cheryl Golden, director of e-commerce at InsureMyTrip.com, recently told CNBC. "Then, when people get more comfortable, they'll continue to go farther and farther away from home, starting with domestic [destinations]."More from Personal Finance: The top 10 places wealthy travelers will head post-pandemic What travel and tourism will look like after Covid-19 The world's best-value attractions, and worst tourist traps
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Bigger payouts from unemployment may mean less help with health insurance premiums — and a tax bill
Personal Finance

If you're collecting more on unemployment than what you earned while working, it could affect how much you pay for health insurance.For households that bought coverage through one of the health exchanges and get advance tax credits to reduce thier premiums, those federal subsidies are based on the annual income you estimated when you chose your plan. And if that amount gets pushed higher unexpectedly, you could face a tax bill next spring when you file your 2020 return."If their income is a lot more than they estimated, they'll have to pay back some or all of the subsidies," said Karen Pollitz, a senior fellow with the Kaiser Family Foundation. "If it's less, they'd get more back."At last count, 10.5 million people were enrolled in health plans through an exchange, according to the foundation. (It's uncertain how significantly the coronavirus pandemic and unemployment have altered that enrollment number).
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The Man Who Bought Amazon at $48 Says Buy TaaS Now
Personal Finance

Whitney Tilson is one of the most famous and successful investors in America… He first made his mark on Wall Street, starting a hedge fund with just $1 million, ultimately growing it into a series of funds worth 200 times that amount. Along the way he met Presidents Clinton and Obama… was asked to speak at America’s most prestigious business schools (like Harvard, Columbia, and Wharton)… and bought some of the best investments in the world, in the very early stages, for his clients. Such as:
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AOC: ‘If you're homeless, you are eligible for a stimulus check’
Personal Finance

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) took to Twitter on Tuesday to remind those who don’t have permanent homes that they can still get coronavirus stimulus checks that are helping Americans ride out the economic fallout from the pandemic.“If you're homeless, you are eligible for a stimulus check,” the representative from the Bronx tweeted on Tuesday.Read more: Coronavirus stimulus checks: Here's how people are spending their relief money
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As colleges struggle financially, a growing number could close their doors for good
Personal Finance

As the spring semester comes and goes, the future looks even more uncertain for colleges and universities across the country.Even before the global pandemic caused craters in the economy, some institutions were facing financial hardship after years of deep cuts in state funding for higher education. Now, falling enrollment and retention rates due to Covid-19, as well as summer program cancellations and significant declines in giving, have taken another toll on these cash-strapped colleges.MacMurray College, a 174-year-old institution in Jacksonville, Illinois, announced it will close entirely at the end of May. Board of Trustees Chair Charles O'Connell said that, despite the generosity of alumni giving, MacMurray had "no viable financial path forward."
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These simple financial tweaks can help you survive and even thrive during the pandemic
Personal Finance

We are all getting back to the basics.While it might feel good to bake bread, the best way to get through the coronavirus pandemic could be to stock your emergency fund and learn to "do-it-yourself" with household chores so you can save on expenses. One bright spot: You might have more time on your hands.Think optimistically. You can learn to DIY, sock away cash and set a disaster budget for tough times.If you've been putting off thinking about money, now's the time to dedicate those extra hours in the week — no more commuting, no more rushed work mornings — to shoring up your finances.Hold off on panicking by looking ahead, says Sasha Hutchison, 38, an accounting manager and personal finance blogger in Austin, Texas.
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Two-time Shark Tank alum and Youtube star on running a business during coronavirus
Personal Finance

Aaron "Alpha.M"  Marino is no stranger to adversity, and like many other small business entrepreneurs, the Covid-19 pandemic has forced him to innovate his game to combat a bearish economic climate.Marino educates his over six million Youtube subscribers on the latest men's fashion and grooming trends, proper exercise regimes, and — given his social media celebrity and personal story — what it takes to make it as an entrepreneur after starting with nothing, which is a challenge that many americans can relate to at the moment. According to a recent survey, 7.5 million small businesses are at risk of being permanently shut down because of the global COVID-19 pandemic that has rocked the U.S. economy.
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What to do when you're a few years away from retirement and a global pandemic hits
Personal Finance

In the best of times, retirement isn't easy.The coronavirus has only unsettled people even further.The personal finance app Personal Capital surveyed retirees and full-time workers in May. More than a third who were planning to retire in 10 years said the financial fallout from Covid-19 means they'll delay.Nearly 1 in 4 current retirees said the impact has made them likelier to return to work. Before the pandemic, 63% of American workers told Personal Capital they felt financially prepared for retirement. In its current survey, that number has dropped to 52%.  According to recent research from the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies, 23% of currently employed or recently employed people said retirement hopes have dimmed because of the coronavirus pandemic.
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Here's what Social Security and SSI beneficiaries need to know now about $1,200 stimulus checks
Personal Finance

Millions of $1,200 stimulus payments have been sent out to Americans. But some recipients of Social Security or other government benefits are still asking, "Where is my money?"The stimulus checks were authorized by Congress as part of the $2 trillion CARES Act aimed at helping to reinvigorate the U.S. economy amid the spread of Covid-19.Many individuals who rely on Social Security or Supplemental Security Income benefits qualify for those checks.That's because the payments target low- to middle-income Americans. Full stimulus checks of $1,200 go to individuals with up to $75,000 in income, while married couples who file jointly with up to $150,000 may receive $2,400. Payments are reduced for incomes above those amounts and phase out completely at $99,000 for individuals and $198,000 for married couples.
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Coronavirus pandemic will drive major changes to the nursing home industry
Personal Finance

Lamont Johnson lives just about two miles from his mother's nursing home in Long Island, New York.He has not been able to visit her for about two months.The reason: Covid-19 had spread to his mother's residence, in the hamlet of East Meadow, ultimately resulting in 39 deaths.Like other nursing homes and assisted living facilities throughout the country, the residence stopped allowing family members to visit elderly or ailing loved ones as the novel coronavirus spread across the nation.But the stress of the situation was amplified by a lack of communication, Johnson said.Oftentimes, no one would answer the phone when he called the nursing home. That meant Johnson did not know how his mother, Lillian, 77, who suffers from dementia, was doing day to day.
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‘They just couldn't afford to bring us back’: Many furloughs turn into permanent layoffs
Personal Finance

Anita Tallman worked for the same image processing company in Nevada for 24 years. What began as reduced hours at the start of the coronavirus pandemic — and then a one-month furlough as it wore on — ultimately turned into a permanent layoff.“We were told that for one month, we would be back on April 20,” Tallman, 60, said. “I thought this is good for a month, we'll get a hold of this, and it'll be fine. But as you know, we couldn't get a hold of it.”
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These new scams are targeting your coronavirus stimulus checks
Personal Finance

Scammers want your coronavirus stimulus checks — and the newest targets are the young and the old.The federal government has issued one-time payments to tens of millions of Americans since April to provide financial relief amid the coronavirus pandemic.College students and nursing home residents are emerging as the latest victims of thieves who want to steal those funds.Emerging scams, which build on several others targeting aid like unemployment benefits and small business loans, come as Congress is weighing another round of financial assistance for cash-strapped Americans.Zoom In IconArrows pointing outwardsConsumers have lost more than $40 million to coronavirus-related fraud, according to Federal Trade Commission data as of Tuesday. The typical American lost about $460.
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College-bound students to miss out on billions in financial aid due to pandemic
Personal Finance

This year, students may need extra help to make college a reality.Amid the coronavirus crisis and sky-high unemployment rates, less than half of families feel confident in their ability to meet the costs of higher education, according to education lender Sallie Mae.About 69% of parents and 55% of students entering college in the fall said Covid-19 has impacted their ability to pay for school, according to a separate poll of 6,500-plus high school seniors and their families by NitroCollege.com, a site that helps students and parents navigate college admissions and financial aid.Already, nearly 40% of parents have tapped their child's college fund to help cover expenses due to economic fallout from the pandemic, according to another report by LendingTree. 
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Here's who would would profit most from a $600 unemployment extension
Personal Finance

Certain jobs and industries are benefiting from enhanced unemployment pay more than others — and have the most to gain from an extension of benefits. Workers in lower-paying sectors of the economy, such as accommodation and food services, benefit more from the unemployment increase than those in finance and insurance that pay workers better. And the difference could be quite stark.Democrats have proposed giving Americans larger unemployment checks until early 2021. Republicans, however, appear resolute in blocking an extension past July.  The $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief package enacted in March enhanced unemployment benefits. Nearly 39 million Americans have filed for jobless pay since mid-March. Unemployment levels are at their highest since the Great Depression.
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Dog Having Mobility Issues?
Personal Finance

According to studies, 80% of dogs over eight years old will suffer the devastating effects of osteoarthritis and more than 75% of those will be prescribed an analgesic drug that might cause internal damage.Large dogs and pure breeds are more predisposed to arthritis, but overall it affects all dog breeds, ages, and sizes, this is why a natural dog joint supplement is a good idea.The best time to get your dog started with a joint supplement is as a preventative before the first signs of mobility issues appear, the second-best time is now.
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This disaster could wipe out your finances – and few people are preparing for it
Personal Finance

The coronavirus pandemic has battered Americans' household finances, but another major threat lies around the corner: hurricane season.Only 15% of adults polled by the American Institute of CPAs have created a disaster plan to protect their household finances. The organization, which represents accountants, polled 2,050 U.S. adults in the fall of 2019.Six out of 10 participants said they were likely to be personally affected by a natural disaster in the next three to five years.More from Personal Finance: Post-pandemic, remote learning could be here to stay Demand for refunds intensifies among college students College enrollment could drop if schools stay closedJune 1 signals the official start of hurricane season, and as many as 13 to 19 named storms are expected to hit the U.S. between then and Nov. 30.
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