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STUDY: Nearly 50% of Consumers Have Holiday Gift-Giving Guilt

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Nearly 50% of Consumers Have Holiday Gift-Giving Guilt

The holiday spirit spurred a record number of American shoppers to open their wallets this holiday season. According to the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics, 189.6 million U.S. consumers shopped from Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday, and spending was up 16% compared to the same time period in 2018. Yet, despite their generosity, almost half of shoppers felt some kind of guilt about their gift-giving, according to a new report from CompareCards.

Key Findings

  • Nearly half of holiday shoppers carry some sort of gift-giving guilt.
  • Millennials have the most gift-giving guilt, with 50% reporting they feel remorse over spending either too much or not enough on presents.
  • 70% of consumers have at least one holiday shopping money regret.
  • 69% of respondents made at least one impulse purchase this holiday season. The top five impulse buys were clothing, shoes, electronics, food/beverage and home decor.
  • 17% of Americans regretted at least one of their Black Friday/Cyber Monday purchases, especially men (23%) and millennials (also 23%).
  • 23% of all shoppers surveyed made holiday purchases while drunk, including 31% of men and the same number of millennials.
  • 28% of cardholders used a credit card with a 0% intro APR promotion for their holiday shopping purchases. That number jumps to 37% for male cardholders and 41% for Gen X cardholders.

Nearly half of holiday shoppers carry some sort of gift-giving guilt

47% of respondents received at least one unexpected gift and felt bad that they didn’t have a gift to give in return, and 46% of respondents felt guilty that someone gave them a more expensive present than they gave in return.

Millennials report having the most gift guilt

62% of consumers surveyed this holiday season said they were satisfied with the amount of money they spent on gifts. However, among those who did feel remorse, millennials took the lead. Some felt bad about spending too much on gifts (about 24%) and some felt regret over not spending as much on gifts as they would have liked (about 26%). Given the financial burdens facing this generation, not having enough to spend on gifts could be a contributing factor.

70% of consumers have at least one holiday shopping money regret

Nearly 70% of consumers reported having at least one holiday shopping money regret, ranging from not being able to spend enough on gifts to succumbing to impulse shopping or overspending. Other regrets include consumers spending too much on themselves and not being able to spend as much as they wanted on gifts for their friends or coworkers.

Almost 1 in 4 shoppers made holiday purchases while drunk

If you drink and shop, your head might not be the only thing hurting the next day. Out of all survey respondents, 23% said they had made a purchase this holiday season while drunk either “once or twice” or “many times.” Shoppers in the Gen X and millennial age groups were the most likely to make purchases while intoxicated, with about 32% of the first group and 31% of the latter group admitting to having done so.

How to cope with post-holiday shopping guilt

If you’ve taken on credit card debt or spent too much, helpful steps include:

  • Make a debt-repayment budget that you can realistically commit to.
  • Identify how much you can pay beyond the monthly minimum and how long it will take you to pay off the full amount.
  • For those trying to rebuild savings after overspending, identify areas in your budget where you can cut back, at least temporarily, until your safety net has been built back up.
  • Make plans now for 2020 holiday spending

Planning ahead, sticking to a budget and talking with family members to set expectations are all important parts of making your holiday shopping a successful experience. One way to try to get family and friends on board is to establish a tradition which can be both fun and cost-efficient.

If you’re using a credit card for holiday shopping, you might be able to save money by opening a card with a 0% intro APR offer, which will give you anywhere from six months to a year or more to pay off your balance before the intro APR expires. About 28% of respondents said they had used a card offering a 0% intro APR for their holiday shopping.

To view the full report and for more information, visit https://www.comparecards.com/blog/holiday-gift-giving-guilt-survey/.

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Here’s When You Can Expect Social Security Cuts

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Here’s When You Can Expect Social Security Cuts

Social Security is a retirement cornerstone for tens of millions of Americans. According to the Centers for Budget and Policy Priorities, every year it keeps 15 million retirees out of poverty.

Unfortunately, the program is facing massive financial hurdles. It has been collecting a net cash surplus for the last 38 years. However, starting next year, it is projected to run a $21.1 billion net cash outflow.

The program entered the decade with a reserve of $2.9 trillion in assets. Although, many expect the net outflows to increase each year and chip away at the reserve by $1.1 trillion. This leaves the program with only $1.8 trillion in reserves by 2029.

The program isn’t facing bankruptcy or insolvency. Instead, it is more and more likely that retirees will soon face reductions in their benefits to keep the program afloat.

Two trusts actually make up Social Security. The first one is the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI) trust. It provides payouts to retired workers and survivors of deceased workers. The other is the Disability Insurance (DI) trust. This one supplies payments to workers that are long-term disabled.

When reporting on the state of the program, the Social Security Board of Trustees generally lumps the two trusts together. However, each trust is independent and faces individual risks.

Of the two, the OASI is projected to be in financial distress the soonest. The latest Trustee report estimates that the OASI will deplete its asset reserves by 2034. Meanwhile, the DI trust could possibly depleat its reserves in 2065.

But because the OASI is much larger than the DI trust ($2.8 trillion of the combined $2.9 trillion in reserves), the combined trusts are projected to become insolvent in 2035.

So expect the first major cuts to come in 2035 in an effort to avoid insolvency. Those efforts will involve a potential bitter pill for retirees to swallow.

Unless Congress finds a way to raise additional revenue and/or reduce outlays, retired workers and survivors of deceased workers can expect a 24% reduction in monthly benefits starting in 2035. While that seems a long time from now, it’s only 15 years away and will be here sooner than you think.

In real numbers, a retiree who receives the average monthly Social Security benefit of $1,503 today would see their monthly benefit reduced to $1,142 per month, or $361 less to live on. A married couple receiving $2,531 in monthly benefits would see their check cut by $608 per month, down to $1,923.

While the monthly reduction stings, looking at it from a lifetime benefit approach magnifies the worries for retirees trying to live out their golden years. A hypothetical worker who retires this year and starts receiving benefits would typically expect to collect about $500,000 in Social Security benefits. A 25% reduction means they would see their benefits cut by $120,000, down to only $380,000 in retirement benefits.

A married couple would see their projected $1 million in benefits reduced by $240,000 down to $760,000. That’s not an easily-replaced amount of retirement income.

If there is a glimmer of hope, it’s that Congress can take action to avoid – or delay – the day of reckoning. Yes, they’ve known since 1985 that the program would one day run out of money. But if there is one thing that the government is good at, it’s waiting until the last minute to really dig in and find a solution.

Let’s hope they can set aside their differences and put America’s retirees first.

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‘The Great Reset’ Will Push Socialist Agenda Across The Globe

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‘The Great Reset’ Will Push Socialist Agenda Across The Globe

Quietly, while the coronavirus pandemic distracted the world, a group of liberal “key global governmental and business leaders” met in Switzerland and planned the next coup d’etat to take over the global economy. Many call it The Great Reset. It also means “dangerous times for those who support individual liberties and free markets.”

The World Economic Forum will hold a summit next year to further their initiative. According to them, “The Great Reset is a commitment to jointly and urgently build the foundations of our economic and social system for a more fair, sustainable and resilient future. It requires a new social contract centred on human dignity, social justice and where societal progress does not fall behind economic development.”

What it really is trying to accomplish is using the coronavirus pandemic as a cover. They’re aiming for a renewed push for socialism and climate change initiatives.

The Economy and the Pandemic

You have to ask yourself, how did capitalism or climate change create the COVID-19 pandemic? They obviously didn’t, but remember, never let a crisis go to waste.

Klaus Schwab, the founder and executive chairman of WEF, said “COVID-19 has shown us that our old systems are not fit for the 21st century,” and “we need a global reset… we must not miss this unique window of opportunity.”

António Guterres, the UN Secretary-General, also weighed in on the topic. He said, “We must build equal, inclusive, sustainable societies, that are more resilient in the face of pandemics and climate change.”

Kristalina Georgieva, the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, made it very clear that the expansion of social programs should serve as the goal of The Great Reset.

“If we were to concentrate in investing in people, in the social fabric of our societies, in access to opportunities and education for all, in expansion of social programs – then we can have a world that is a better world for all.”

And Al Gore, Mr. Climate Change himself, spoke during the summit. “This is a time for a reset to fix a bunch of challenges,” he said. “First among them, the climate crisis.”

Folks, viruses don’t care about socialism or capitalism. Viruses don’t care if we have zero global carbon emissions. To hide behind these agendas and blame a global pandemic on capitalism and global greenhouse gas emissions is xxxxx.

A Complete Overhaul?

In a recent article on Fox Business, Justin Haskins, who’s no fan of the agenda, offers his two cents. He says, “The purpose of the Great Reset isn’t merely to enact policies that would lead to additional wealth redistribution, but rather to completely overhaul the world’s existing structures and institutions.”

Haskins then points to comments by Schwab. He says, “the world must act jointly and swiftly to revamp all aspects of our societies and economies, from education to social contracts and working conditions.”

Haskins continues, “How, exactly, are these leaders planning on convincing Americans and citizens of every other industrialized nation to abandon modern capitalism? By scaring people into believing that these changes are essential for stopping the next great ‘crisis’ the world will face when the COVID-19 pandemic finally subsides: climate change.”

“At the World Economic Forum’s June meeting, one speaker after another cited climate change and environmental sustainability as the key justifications for radical economic changes that would include massive new regulations and restrictions on economic activity, wealth taxes and expansive government programs comparable to the Green New Deal.”

Ultimately, according to Haskins, the goal is for the global elites to control more of our lives. This also comes under the guise of helping the world.

“The elites at the World Economic Forum can effectively control economic activity on a scale” that no one has achieved before, he says. “These are truly dangerous times for those who support individual liberty and free markets.”

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Proposal: Cut Taxes On Two Lowest Income Brackets By 50%

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Proposal: Cut Taxes On Two Lowest Income Brackets By 50%

Democrats hope to pass the $3 trillion HEROES Act. On the other hand, Republicans discuss another round of stimulus checks or “back to work” bonuses. These bonuses aim to help Americans struggling to financially recover from the coronavirus pandemic. While all this is happening, a new idea has been proposed: cut taxes in the lowest two income brackets by 50% or more. This will really help those who need it the most.

The idea is from John C. Yoo, a professor at the UC Berkeley School of Law, and he says it would “turbocharge” the economy.

“Little doubt exists that the U.S. economy needs the help,” Yoo says. Additionally, his proposal, although unconventional, would immediately help those in need.

“The president could establish an economic recovery deferred action program that cut taxes immediately for those in the lowest brackets by 50 percent or more. This could accelerate the economic recovery far faster than current proposals for more unemployment payments or business aid, which help alleviate suffering but do little for growth. Trump could establish an economic recovery deferred action program that cut taxes immediately for those in the lowest brackets by 50 percent or more,” says Yoo.

“Turbocharging” the Economy

The tax savings, according to Yoo, would far exceed any potential stimulus check the government would issue. It would also provide immediate help.

“Imagine the boost to the economy if Trump cut taxes on the lowest two brackets to zero. A married couple making up to $20,000 would save $2,000 in federal taxes, while a married couple making $80,000 could save an additional $7,000 or so.”

“These families would not have to wait upon government checks in the mail; they could see the funds immediately in their paychecks.” Yoo said.

Yoo points out that the benefits would be more than just a tax break, it could also revitalize small businesses.

“Tax cuts would mean larger paychecks, which would create an incentive to return to work rather than remaining unemployed and on public assistance. Middle-class families would have a greater incentive to run the risks of starting or operating small businesses if they could keep more of the profits, instead of handing them over to the federal government.”

A Plus for The Administration

Yoo says cutting taxes on the lowest income brackets will help President Trump show support for the poor and minorities.

“A broad tax cut could answer accusations that the administration does not care about the poor or minorities. Trump could focus his deferred tax collection program to benefit the poorest the most, says Yoo, before adding, “He could also target certain geographic areas, such as the inner cities, for full tax breaks regardless of bracket. State COVID lockdowns have impacted the poor the most by shutting down restaurants, travel and hospitality, retail stores, and other businesses dependent on face-to-face interaction.”

While Yoo’s proposal is unconventional, it’s also practical. It avoids adding to our already ballooning national debt. It also satisfies the need to provide immediate relief to families. Also, it shows a good-faith effort to bridge the wealth gap by truly giving a tax break to those that need it most.

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