Housing data for the month of May paints a confusing picture: Existing Home Sales were off 9.7% from April and compared with a year ago, purchases were down 26.6%, the biggest annual slide since February 2008. But New Home Sales were up 16.6% from April and were 12.7% higher from a year ago. The National Association of Realtor (NAR) Pending Home...Read more
As I prepare to write an article about filing taxes on a hot, humid day, I can’t help but think about the old TV commercial for a local electronics manufacturer that touted its “Christmas in August Sale.” It just seems wrong, but for millions of Americans, the early summer weeks will include preparing and paying taxes. Because of the ...Read more
Imagine you are asked to fill a 12-foot deep hole. Now imagine that the hole is only 11 feet deep. Feel better? Of course 11 is better than 12, but the task ahead is immense. That massive hole is the US economy and right now, although it may be shallower than first feared, it is still gigantic.
Two recent examples underscore the point. The May ...Read more
In a startling reversal, the Labor Department reported that the economy added 2.5 million jobs in May, versus the 8 million drop in payrolls that was expected. The report may signal that the worst of the economic impact from coronavirus occurred in April, when 20.7 million Americans were sidelined. But just because the worst is over, does not ...Read more
A spring survey released by the National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE) found that 88% of Americans said the pandemic is causing stress on their personal finances. Chief among those stressors was not having enough saved for emergencies. That’s not surprising, considering that before COVID-19, an alarming number of people lived ...Read more
As colleges conclude their virtual graduation ceremonies, young workers are confronting the grim reality of an awful labor market. We are living through the worst employment landscape since the Great Depression, with millions of Americans sidelined, due to the global health and now, financial, pandemic. While many of the jobs lost will return in...Read more
The U.S. economy lost a staggering 20.5 million jobs in April and the unemployment rate surged to 14.7%.
To understand just how devastating the pandemic has been to the labor market, consider this: 20.5 million is more than double the total decline in employment during and after the Great Recession. It is 10 times more than the single worst ...Read more
Few personal finance to-dos are more vexing than estate planning. But in this pandemic crisis, no other issue is more important. The need is immediate and pressing for front-line health care workers and first responders, but also necessary for everyone else.
I recommend that you consult with a qualified estate attorney, but if the choice is an ...Read more
As some parts of the country reopen from the pandemic lockdown, there appear to be three phases that the economy and businesses will move through. I'm calling it T3, which stands for triage, transition and transformation.
During the preliminary phase of triage, companies learned how to operate in new ways, as workers were sheltering in ...Read more
In January, I wrote about what was then a health scare out of China. I wondered, "Will coronavirus impact growth? At this point, we simply don't know the lasting impact, but there is likely to be at least a short-term effect, which could cause ripples that are worth monitoring."
That last sentence may be my biggest understatement of the year.
The current and unprecedented financial situation facing the world economy is frightening for most Americans. Much has been written about the stimulus checks, small business loans and unemployment benefits the CARES Act delivers to those in financial distress.
But what is the act's impact as far as retirement finances are concerned?
There are ...Read more
"Apocalyptic," "unprecedented shocks," "a generation-defining moment" are just some of the terms that describe the economy and the labor market right now. Sadly, the news could get worse in the coming months.
In the three weeks ending April 4th, a staggering 16.8 million Americans filed for unemployment, with millions likely to do the same over...Read more