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Will Money Tear Your Marriage Apart?

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There is saying that mentions how opposites attract, and the idea could not hold to be truer in regards to relationships. However, there are many things two people, especially a married couple, must agree on, and finances is often one of them. When newlyweds agree overall about money, there’s less of a chance their marriage will end in divorce. Kansas State University (KSU) conducted a research in 2012 and found that arguments, namely those regarding money was the prevalent predictor of marriages that ended in divorce.

Want to make sure your marriage doesn’t end up like so many already have? Here are four tips to keep your marriage and money intact.

Have a Money Conversation Tying the Knot

Before you down the aisle, you need to talk through any personal financial situations you might have first. It would be a shame to find out any serious money situations post-wedding. It’s better to come clean to your partner first if there’s any debts or other financial situations you’re in. Hopefully, there can also be a talk if there are any plans in place to help decrease the amount of debt.

What’s Mine, What’s Yours, and What’s Ours

The percentage of couples that are deciding to hold off on getting married today is at its peak compared to any time in the last hundred years. A 2015 report conducted by the US Census Bureau showed that both men and women are getting married later in life. They’re also choosing to have separate incomes in place and have an independent view in regards to spending, investing, and saving their money. Implementing personal finances like this allows couples to give themselves more time to think through how they will manage their finances. Taking this route is often better over immediately co-mingling all assets into one. Instead, it may be a better idea to think about making a joint account solely for any stated and agreed expenses such as utilities, property taxes, and rent or mortgage. A separate and personal account should be kept for all other expenses.

Create a Plan

After a couple successfully settles on where they are in regards to money, they should attempt to shift their focus to their financial future. Examples of what to discuss include current lifestyle, having children and retirement goals. Whatever your goals are, make sure you have a good plan in place. The start of these plans often being with coming up with a household budget that is based on your income that can comfortably cover all expenses. The next part of the plan would be to make short-term goals such as paying off any student loans, credit card debt, or setting up an emergency fund account. The same steps should also be taken into consideration for any long-term goals as well such as deciding to open a savings accounts for retirement and paying for other expenses like childcare.

Money Can Buy You a Lot of Things, But It Can’t Buy Love

Some may feel money or other materialistic things can buy love for people, but it will not. It takes a lot to know you sincerely love a person and accept them for all that they are. Hanging out with your loved one for a few hours or days is one thing, but living with them is an entirely new subject. Once you marry someone you have to be willing to compromise, includes personal finance. Sitting together with your partner and talking it out first, or whenever you can, is a better idea than keeping it bottled in or leaving it as a surprise. Getting any money management differences out in the air allows couple the chance to create a better sense of appreciation and understanding of each other’s approach to personal finance.

The sooner you can do this, the better. Once both of you can understand any differences early on, it’s easier to work with and find a plan. Couples who do this improve all odds and avoid personal or painful arguments concerning money later down the road. If there are any financial difficulties you are having with a partner, work on making a plan today and see where it can take you. Of course, change will not happen overnight, but if you’re both committed, then you’ll definitely see a bright future.

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Economy

Trump Changes Course, Shows Support For More Stimulus Checks

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Trump Changes Course, Shows Support For More Stimulus Checks

There’s some positive news for the tens of millions Americans who are still struggling to make ends meet as the coronavirus pandemic lingers for the third month.

It appears President Trump has changed his mind, and is now in favor of sending out an additional round of stimulus checks to help Americans get through the economic uncertainty created by the coronavirus pandemic.

When asked about the likelihood of additional checks, the President replied, “I think we will. I think we’re going to be helping people out. We’re gonna be getting some money for them during the artificial — cause it really is it’s an artificial closure — and now we’re gonna be able to open it up,” Trump told reporters while he was in Michigan touring a Ford factory.

“I would say there could be one more nice shot. One more nice dose,” Trump said about a potential stimulus bill as the country struggles to recover from historic job losses and businesses are faced with an uncertain future.

Trump’s comments were echoed by White House staff, including economic advisor Kevin Hassett, who said during a CNN interview that another round of checks is “pretty likely,” and says “it’s coming sooner rather than later” before adding that if there are indications the economy is recovering quickly as more states reopen, the White House may look at other relief options.

Also supporting Trump’s outlook is Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who said Thursday that there’s a “strong likelihood” the U.S. will send out another round of stimulus checks.

“I think there is a strong likelihood we will need another bill,” he said during an online event hosted by The Hill newspaper, but added that the stimulus may not be needed immediately.

“We’re going to step back for a few weeks and think very carefully if we need to spend more money and how we’re going to do that,” Mnuchin said.

The change in course comes after Republican lawmakers were originally hesitant to continue adding to the deficit while attempting to generate an economic recovery. But with job losses continuing to climb every week and estimates for the second quarter GDP to plunge as much as 40%, the Senate GOP leaders are warming to the idea of an additional stimulus package.

While Democrats have pushed a $3 trillion plan through the House, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell reportedly told President Trump last week any stimulus bill should not cost more than $1 trillion.

McConnell has also openly opposed the Democratic plan to extend the $600 per week additional unemployment benefit by six months when it expires in July.

Republicans have also shown little interest in the Democrat’s proposal of nearly $1 trillion in aid for state and local governments to offset increased costs and lower revenues due to the pandemic, mainly citing that the budget issues the cities and states are facing pre-date the pandemic and relief funds shouldn’t be used to fix old problems.

The White House and Republican leaders would also like to pass liability protection for businesses that reopen, shielding owners from lawsuits should an employee claim they contracted the virus while on the job. Democrats, however, have opposed the idea.

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Economy

36 Million Have Sought US Unemployment Aid Since COVID-19 Hit

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36 million have sought US unemployment aid since COVID-19 hit

WASHINGTON: Nearly 3 million laid-off workers applied for US unemployment benefits last week as the viral outbreak led more companies to slash jobs even though most states have begun to let some businesses reopen under certain restrictions.

The wave of layoffs has heightened concerns that more government aid is needed to sustain the economy through the deep recession caused by the viral outbreak.

Republicans in Congress are locked in a standoff with Democrats, who have proposed trillions more in aid, including for struggling states and localities, beyond the nearly $3 trillion already given to individuals and businesses.

Republican leaders say they want to first see how previous aid affects the economy and have expressed skepticism about approving much more spending now.

Roughly 36 million people have now filed for jobless aid in the two months since the coronavirus first forced millions of businesses to close their doors and shrink their workforces, the Labor Department said Thursday.

An additional 842,000 people applied for aid last week through a separate federal program set up for the self-employed and gig workers.

ALSO READ | The sound of silence: An Indian muses on life in a New York ravaged by COVID-19

All told, the figures point to a job market gripped by its worst crisis in decades and an economy that is sinking into a severe downturn. The report suggests the tentative reopening of some businesses in many states has done little to reverse the flow of mass layoffs. Last week’s pace of new applications for aid is four times the record high that prevailed before the coronavirus struck hard in March.

Jobless workers in some states are still reporting difficulty applying for or receiving benefits. These include free-lance, gig and self-employed workers, who became newly eligible for jobless aid this year.

In Georgia, one of the first states to partially reopen its economy, the number of unemployment claims rose last week to 241,000. In Florida, which has allowed restaurants to reopen at one-quarter capacity, claims jumped to nearly 222,000, though that state’s unemployment agency has struggled to process claims. Other states that have lifted some restrictions, such as South Carolina and Texas, reported large declines in claims.

President Donald Trump appeared to respond to the report by tweeting, “Good numbers coming out of States that are opening. America is getting its life back!”

The latest jobless claims follow a devastating jobs report last week. The government said the unemployment rate soared to 14.7% in April, the highest rate since the Great Depression, and employers shed a stunning 20.5 million jobs. A decade’s worth of job growth was wiped out in a single month.

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Even those figures failed to capture the full scale of the damage. The government said many workers in April were counted as employed but absent from work but should have been counted as temporarily unemployed.

Millions of other laid-off workers didn’t look for a new job in April, likely discouraged by their prospects in a mostly shuttered economy, and weren’t included, either. If all those people had been counted as unemployed, the jobless rate would have reached nearly 24%.

Most economists have forecast that the official unemployment rate could hit 18% or higher in May before potentially declining by summer.

The job market’s collapse has occurred with dizzying speed. As recently as February, the unemployment rate was 3.5%, a half-century low. Employers had added jobs for a record 9½ years. Even in March, unemployment was just 4.4%.

Now, with few Americans shopping, traveling, eating out or otherwise spending normally, economists are projecting that the gross domestic product — the broadest gauge of economic activity — is shrinking in the April-June quarter at a roughly 40% annual rate. That would be the deepest quarterly contraction on record.

The states that are now easing lockdowns are doing so in varied ways. Ohio has permitted warehouses, most offices, factories, and construction companies to reopen, but restaurants and bars remain closed for indoor sit-down service.

A handful of states have gone further, including Georgia, which has opened barber shops, bowling alleys, tattoo parlors and gyms. South Carolina has reopened beach hotels, and Texas has reopened shopping malls.

Data from private firms suggest that some previously laid-off workers have started to return to small businesses in those states, though the number of applications for unemployment benefits remains high.

Few analysts expect a quick rebound. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell warned Wednesday that the virus-induced recession could turn into a prolonged downturn that would erode workers’ skills and employment connections while bankrupting many small businesses. Powell urged Congress and the White House to consider additional spending and tax measures to help small businesses and households avoid bankruptcy.

Powell spoke a day after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat, proposed a $3 trillion aid package that would direct money to state and local governments, households and health-care workers.

Trump is applauding the moves to reopen states’ economies in hopes of reducing unemployment. So far, there is limited evidence on how that is working.

Homebase, a software company that provides time-clock technology to small businesses, has tracked how many employees have clocked in and for how many hours since the pandemic struck. Though Homebase’s data suggests that some people have returned to work in states that have partially reopened, it’s unclear how sustainable that trend can be unless many more customers return. All states remain far below their pre-virus employment levels.

In Georgia, which began reopening in late April, the number of people working at small businesses on Tuesday was down 37% compared with the beginning of March, according to Homebase’s data. That is an improvement from mid-April, when the number of employees working had fallen by half.

In New York, which remains mostly shut down, employment at small businesses is down 63% as of Tuesday, only slightly better than in mid-April.

(c) 2020, Express Network Pvt Ltd. All rights reserved. Provided by SyndiGate Media Inc. (Syndigate.info).

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Business

Democrats Release “Wish List” Disguised As $3 Trillion Stimulus Bill

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Democrats Release “Wish List” Disguised As $3 Trillion Stimulus Bill

House Democrats released their latest stimulus bill yesterday aimed at helping the country cope with the coronavirus pandemic, and it has a lot of asks, and a price tag to match.

Clocking in at 1,800 pages, the plan will be voted on this Friday and would cost more than $3 trillion.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Congress had a “momentous opportunity” to help the country, and that “not acting is the most expensive course.”

Republicans have already said the bill, called the HEROES Act, is just a “liberal wish list.”

A preview of the bill included:

  • Nearly $1 trillion in relief for state and local governments
  • A second round of direct payments of $1,200 per person, and up to $6,000 for a household
  • About $200 billion for hazard pay for essential workers who face heightened health risks during the crisis
  • $75 billion for coronavirus testing and contact tracing — a key effort to restart businesses
  • An extension of the $600 per week federal unemployment insurance benefit through January (the provision approved in March is set to expire after July)
  • $175 billion in rent, mortgage and utility assistance
  • Subsidies and a special Affordable Care Act enrollment period to people who lose their employer-sponsored health coverage
  • More money for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, including a 15% increase in the maximum benefit
  • Measures designed to buoy small businesses and help them keep employees on payroll, such as $10 billion in emergency disaster assistance grants and a strengthened employee retention tax credit
  • Money for election safety during the pandemic and provisions to make voting by mail easier
  • Relief for the U.S. Postal Service

The bill not only includes another round of stimulus checks, which “people are craving,” as Pelosi contends. However, it also boosts the amount for each dependent up to $1,200.

Amazingly, some Democratic lawmakers want to go even further.

Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan wants Pelosi to ask for checks for “multiple months moving forward,” not just another single round like the CARES Act. Ryan also previously suggested that all Americans should get $2,000 per month until the unemployment rate returns to pre-coronavirus levels.

Response

In response to the proposed bill, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said, “But what you’ve seen in the House is not something designed to deal with reality, but designed to deal with aspirations.”

Other Republicans like Sen. Lindsey Graham from South Carolina believe the government should take a wait and see approach before issuing more checks. Graham says “I doubt there will be another payment,” and adds, “hopefully in the coming weeks here, the economy will reopen and people will get back to their livelihoods.”

Even if the Democrats can get the bill passed through the House this Friday, the bill will likely languish for quite some time. The Senate will be in no hurry to vote on the bill, and next week is the last week for votes before lawmakers leave for the Memorial Day recess. They aren’t due back in Washington until June, and only then can they begin contentious negotiations.

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