As the Coronavirus resurgent intensifies, a major showdown is underway in Washington DC. The U.S. economy has dipped into a recession and in parts of the country our healthcare system is being pushed to the limit. The House and Senate have released their respective proposals for the next relief package to absorb some of the impact from this fierce force. On May 15th House democrats drew first blood and passed a massive $3 trillion HEROES Act, an acronym for Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. After some heated debate in the Senate, republicans released a $1 trillion relief package dubbed the HEALS Act, an acronym for Health, Economic Assistance, Liability Protection and Schools. These relief packages are miles apart and negotiations are underway to reach some common ground. Here is a synopsis of some of the major points:

THE HEROES ACT

The democratic lead House of Representatives HEROES Act appears to focus on the basic needs of the American people.

Stimulus Check: Send another $1200 direct payment to individuals. The first round of stimulus checks excluded adult dependents, which excluded many college students and immigrants. People without a Social Security number were excluded from the first round of checks. The HEROES Act says all you need is a taxpayer ID number.

Unemployment Benefits: Extend the $600 unemployment insurance benefit through January 2021.

Evictions: Extend the federal eviction moratorium for renters and homeowner.

Hazard Pay: The Act will give to a wide variety of “essential” workers, including doctors, nurses and other frontline medical personnel, police officers, firefighters, social workers, grocery clerks, postal workers, and childcare and cafeteIAR workers.

Government Funding: Provide a backstop for state and local government.

School Funding: Reopen schools safely.

Small Business: The Paycheck Protection Program would be extended with more funding and changes in rules to allow hard-hit businesses take out a second loan.

Student Loans: Relief for borrowers including $10,000 of student loan forgiveness for those “economically distressed” in addition to an extension of the interest-free payment pause on student loans and the suspension of debt collection.

Rental Aid: 40-million-plus American renters will be provided with vouchers to cover the cost of rent and utilities. It would also extend the ban on evictions for nonpayment for a year following its enactment date.

Mortgage Relief: Provides homeowner assistance intended to prevent mortgage defaults and property foreclosures.

Debt Collection Freeze: Includes a moratorium on debt collections during the pandemic and 120 days thereafter.

THE HEALS ACT

The republican lead Senate HEALS Act seems to focus primarily on the needs of businesses.

Stimulus Check: Send another $1200 direct payment to individuals as before. Unemployment Benefits: End the federal supplemental $600 unemployment benefit and begin  covering 70 percent of a laid-off worker’s pre-pandemic wages. Evictions: Extend the federal eviction moratorium for renters and homeowner. School Funding: Reopen schools safely.

Liability Protection: Businesses, schools, health care providers and nonprofits that are reopening would receive legal protection from lawsuits related to coronavirus illnesses and deaths.

Small Business: The Paycheck Protection Program would be extended with more funding and changes in rules to allow hard-hit businesses take out a second loan. Tax Breaks: Republicans want to provide a higher-level write-off for business meals; and enhanced employee retention bonus tax credit; and deductions for employer purchases of coronavirus-related supplies such as personal protective equipment.

It is evident why members of Congress are in a heated debate and frantically trying to reach some common ground. Millions of unemployed Americans sit at home patiently waiting for our elected officials to decide whether they can continue to put food on the table and keep a roof over their head. These are very uncertain times for millions of Americans; especially those who were already living paycheck to paycheck. The one hundred-thousand-dollar question on many Americans minds is whether the $600 extended unemployment insurance benefit will continue and if another $1200 stimulus check will be sent?

A LOOK IN THE MIRROR

Isn’t it time to take a hard look in the mirror? For those of you who were already struggling to make ends meet before the recession or up to your eyeballs in debt, now is the time to make a commitment to get your financial house in order. An economic slowdown will always come at the end of a business cycle and the only way to insulate yourself through these difficult times is to have a sound financial plan.

What did you do with your first stimulus check? Did you spend it on necessities? Were you able to invest some or all of it? What would you do with a second stimulus check? Wouldn’t it be nice to have a choice whether to spend or save it?

What will you do differently when you get on the other side of this financial crisis? Will you begin focusing on debt elimination or establish a savings or investment program? Perhaps you will stop procrastinating and decide to work for yourself? For those seeking wealth, are you willing to change old habits and conditioning and open your mind to new methods of obtaining wealth?

WAKE UP CALL

The U.S. economy has dropped by a stunning 9.5 percent from April through June, a historic contraction and a stinging reminder of how much was lost in such a short
period. The Federal government is preparing to send out another round of checks with confidence that many Americans will return it to our economy. Let’s stop
being a pawn in this game called capitalism and start building our own wealth. The process begins with a desire to be wealthy and a willingness to put in the work. Next, you must raise your money awareness and stop outsourcing financial decision. Lastly, we must realize the power elected officials have as it relates to money decisions affecting our lives and make it your business to stay informed on the issues and get out and vote.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss wealth building strategies, please give us a call, at 614-468-1660 for a complimentary consultation.

Darren, a Columbus, Ohio native has earned degrees in Business, Accounting, and an MBA. He has over twenty-five (25) years’ experience in financial services. The Ohio Company, First Union Securities, and Merrill Lynch were instrumental in his career prior to starting his own Wealth Management Firm, Wealth Conscious LLC, (614) 468-1660, www.wealth-conscious.com. He holds his Series 65 and Life and Health licenses. Investment advisory services are offered through Foundations Advisors, LLC an SEC Investment Advisor Representative.