4.6.20 PPP slow roll-out; Stimulus check updates; Companies helping people; Creating a will right now
It's my pleasure to welcome here to the Clark Howard. Show where it's all about you and that wallet of yours and I wanted to tell you in the rush people's wallets prone virus. We're getting increasingly agitated Questions and upset people posting Clark Dot com slash. Ask and I understand. I mean this is clearly as situation that snuck up on us and eight so many people's wallets alive and my pledge to you is. I'm going to do the best. I can each day answering your questions and as I can relieving some of the anxiety you feel. I want to talk about that more later in this show but I wanted to start with something. That is good news out of nowhere right because a lot of this has been out of nowhere auto. Insurers are making money hand over fist because people aren't driving like normal. You may wonder how much driving is down around. The country as people are under various forms of shelter in place in most of the United States. I think and forty two of the fifty states and driving down about forty percent so I'm surprised some places in the country. It's down a lot more than that surprised. It's not overall down more than forty but the reality is was so far fewer vehicles on the road. The accident rates have collapsed so auto. Insurers are voluntarily in some cases before being ordered by state regulators to refined a portion of people's auto insurance premiums of the bigs allstate was first and then you're going to see a number of smaller players do so the first that I heard of in the country is one that's big in the Midwest called American family and they are giving people fifty dollars back per car you ensure with them allstate is giving people fifteen percent of the premium dollars collected for March for April May and others are gonNA come up with their own formulas. But you're going to see money show up. A number of different ways could be direct deposit back in your account could be a check back to you could be a credit towards future premiums but auto insurers or doing a really smart thing now being there to help while their insureds really need it and it's going to give people a positive feeling towards their auto insurers so one bit of good news is. I go into two pieces of very difficult news. They payroll protection plan. That started Friday and then starts later this week for people who are self employed independent contractors the payroll protection plan is off to a very very very rough start. The banks particularly the big ones have been very hostile to this program and uncooperative. Today smaller community banks have been very interested in helping people but are overwhelmed by the number of people applying so the as I said an expression last week I said the cavalry hadn't even mounted its horses yet. They're on their horses now and they're coming over the hill but they're not quite there to save your wallet and it is going to happen. Roughly is not going to be a smooth process at all. And it's GONNA require persistence on your part is a business owner get payroll protection plan. Money there is a new much clearer much more comprehensive guide at SBA DOT GOV that went. Live over the weekend where you'll be able to see the particulars of each program. But what happens? Is You file an application with the Banker Credit Union. That you fine. That is willing to work with you. And you file that application that takes about six to eight minutes to fill out very very very streamlined simplified application. Then you go into a queue with the bank or Credit Union when they will at some point respond back to you and say okay. These are the supporting documents we need. This is the proof we need of your payroll various aspects of your money that they will need from you. You know what you've spent for different things in two thousand nineteen in particular and they'll let you know what documentation they want. The documentation itself is very streamlined. And for those. Who use the big payroll services? The payroll services themselves are getting deluged with requests for documentation from the people they do payroll processing for and so the payroll services are putting up special portals where you can go get the exact documentation that you need for an application for the payroll. Protection plan is an example the second biggest payroll provider. Paychecks sent out an email today to the people who process payroll through paychecks saying that they now had all the data available for you and I says to assist with the reports that all of our businesses need to successfully and accurately apply for the SBA loan. Paychecks created a direct report and FLEX. That's their database for people use paychecks for payroll. They will include everything. You need to apply so on Friday. We obviously had chaos with people applying for this and here on Monday. We already have pivot where organizations that can support your business or helping you with that documentation. You're going to need once you're time comes up in the queue for your bank or Credit Union. They you're hoping to process your application. The good news once your application processes money should be available within twelve to seventy two hours for your business remember. The amount of money you can for is two and a half times your monthly payroll based on a formula affair. Pretty simple formula for you to be able to do so now. Let's move to the other big Roadblock in place for people to get money and that is unemployment compensation the unemployment compensation that Congress passed two weeks ago is kind of in suspended animation states are still waiting for final instructions from the US Department of Labor to implement the new rules temporary. Cova nineteen rules for unemployment. Which is where you get four months of six hundred dollars a week in overlay compensation on top of what you're eligible for from your state. Then your state rules are overridden is well for who is eligible for unemployment compensation from the State and so for pretty much the first time ever people who are non traditional forms of work is independent contractors. Self-important GIG workers are eligible for the six hundred dollars. Plus typically Mo- states it will be a reduced amount of unemployment in addition unemployment will go on an additional thirteen weeks. So you hear me say will will will because the state can't can't can't right now process. The number of people. Applying people need money now. Unfortunately it's not coming now. It's going to take a while for the ten twenty million people. Whatever number is thirty million who because stats can't keep up with how many people suddenly found themselves unemployed? It's GonNa take a while for all those people to go through the state unemployment process funnel for the money to start flowing. The money is retroactive once. The state gets you processed. The problem is what do you do for money today? Then I'm going to stop there and go to your questions again that you post for me at Clark Dot com slash. Ask Kim you got I I up I is Eric. Eric says that he's a physician for a large company. And due to their decreased work volume. He says that nearly everything right now. all outpatient care not related to the pandemic has completely stopped so due to the decrease work volume. They've had salaries cut. They've had bonuses delayed and he knows that other companies are laying people off so he feels fortunate but he's had to work much longer hours in Kovic Environment and he moved out of his own home to try to protect his family and not bring coded into their house so he did. That is at his own personal expense and now he's just found out that his wife's hours are being cut so he basically wants to know when you work for a very large company like his. Is there any help? That's on the way so the only potential help and and I'm really sorry about the disruption in your family's life both have you you and your wife suffering you not being able to be with your family right now. I mean that's a lot all at once. In just the last couple of weeks you may be under the new revised rules for unemployment. Even though you're still employed because you've suffered a pay cut you may depending on the final regulations from the US Department of Labor be eligible for partial unemployment compensation. While you're still working is unusual situation a law passed by. Congress looked into this as one of the elements that they want the US Department of Labor to address and so we have to await the regulations to know. If they're actually will be compensation for you because of the pay reduction you have suffered your wife being laid off. If that's how this plays out she will be eligible for unemployment compensation both the six hundred dollars a week. Federal overlay plus. What she'd be eligible for under her state guidelines. Joel Clark micro-mini says a while ago you mentioned series is savings bonds. Are those still a good idea. And how would someone go about purchasing those so if you go to savings bonds Dot Gov you can buy series is and it's a bit of a guess right now on whether series is a good decision you can buy five thousand dollars worth and the reason people are gravitating to series is. Is You get a base rate of interest? Plus the rate of inflation and the economy. There are a small number of economist but a significant enough number. Who believed that? The amount of money that the federal government is printing essentially to deal with this stem various stimulus. Laws will lead to a wave of inflation if they are right being in series. Ii savings bonds will turn out to be a very smart decision if they turn out to be wrong. And we don't have any meaningful inflation going forward. No HARM NO FOUL. You can sell. The series is savings bonds. After you've held them for a year and say I well that didn't really work out and you go on from there with how you would put money aside in savings but I think that it is a reasonable strategy to us right now if you do worry. That inflation is part of the picture going forward. I own some series I bonds. I bought forever ago and I'm keeping them the full thirty years as one part of the puzzle for me and how I deal with the potential for inflation that so far has not been any meaningful threat at all but some point could be support for today's episode comes from Progressive Insurance. Here's a fun fact. Progressive customers qualify for an average of six discounts when they sign up for progressive auto insurance discounts for things like enrolling automatic payments ensuring more than one car going paperless and of course being a safe driver plus customers who bundle their auto with home or add. Renter's insurance save an average of twelve percent on their auto insurance. There are so many ways to save when you switch and wants your customer with progressive you get unmatched claim service with twenty four seven support online or by phone. It's no wonder why more than twenty million drivers trust progressive and why they've recently climbed the third largest auto insurer in the country get a quote online at Progressive Dot Com in as little as five minutes and see how much you could be saving auto insurance from Progressive Casualty Insurance Company and affiliates home and Renter's insurance not available in all states provided and service by affiliated and third party insurers discounts vary and are not available in all states and situations. So we continue to take your questions that you post for me at Clark Dot com slash ask. Kim is up with the question. That's right this is from Andy. What advice do you give surrounding alimony? The cash flow through my business is between twenty and twenty five percent of normal nonetheless. I haven't alimony obligation that is bound legally. What is the conventional wisdom for this effort to not engage in a in a legal battle in the future? That is a great question. Part depends on your relationship with your ex spouse. If you're on generally decent terms with your spouse contact your ex POWs and say. Here's the situation. I like so many other. People had my income devastated. Can we have a temporary reduction that we agree to in the alimony? That's the easiest path of least resistance in a situation where people are not hostile each other. Who were formerly married? In a case where that's going to be a no go. Then the normal procedures you have to petition the court for a reduction in the amount of alimony that you're paying because of a great change in your income. I this is. This is a complicated and difficult process. That varies by state is divorce laws and how alimony and child support work vary by state. And if you're if you can afford to make the phone call you call the lawyer who handled your divorce lay out for him or her the circumstance that the great reduction your income and ask what legal options may be available to you but all of that is much more difficult than if you have a civil relationship with your former spouse and you can talk with your former spouse. That's the best path and possible best way to hit the point of least resistance getting at least a temporary reduction. And what you have to pay Joe Clark. Alley rights inches auto lenders offering payment deferrals with no late fees other than accruing interest. Should I take this offer and if I do? Will it affect my credit score? So it's up to the lender if it's going to affect your credit score what I've been advising. Is that if you do receive an accommodation on the existing loan like an auto loan. The you need to see either at the lenders website or it needs to be best on an chat where they say no. We're not going to report US delinquent to the Credit Bureau. You need that in writing somewhere so that you have the ability later if they do report you delinquent to use that as documentation with the credit bureaus to try to get the negative remarks removed from your credit but without any assurance of that yes the lender could report. You is delinquent even though you did what they agreed to with. You glad you're with us here on the Clark Howard. Show where it's all about you and that Walla Yours is. We continue to answer your questions. You try to make sure you got enough money to get by moving forward. Clark Dot Com and Clark deals dot com or helping you stretch every dollar right now and dollars. People want their twelve hundred dollars that Congress promised for the stimulus but there are a number of people who were not in line to receive that money because you made too little money in two thousand nineteen and twenty eighteen to file tax return in either of those years which is key to you getting the twelve hundred dollar check so over the weekend the US Treasury reached a deal with turbo tax where you can go to turbo tax dot com and you got hunt around because it wasn't easy to find it on turbo tax but you go to turbo tax and you file a free return put in one dollar of income for a year. You know if you had no income. He had to report put in one dollar they will loaded and take that information. Loaded in the IRS system. Then you're registered and that's how someone who would be below the radar will get the twelve hundred dollars stimulus check. So if you're a social security recipient you don't have to do this. There was a work around figured out for that on Thursday. But if you don't receive social security and you have not historically had to file a return and you want to make sure you got the twelve hundred dollars this is how you it again. You GO TO TURBO TAX DOT COM and put in the search box stimulus check. I guess would be the best thing I it took me. I found it three different ways searching around but they all required more work than they should have and you fill out the brief brief brief form takes just a couple of minutes maybe three minutes and then you'll be in the IRS system to get your money speaking of getting your money if the IRS has direct deposit information on you the money will start showing up later in the month of April on the other hand if the IRS has the male check. Who's just a briefing for members of Congress were the? Irs said? The checks would take all summer into early fall to mail checks to everybody which is certainly not the intent. Congress had for the program speaking of summer and early fall. I'm seeing more and more fear from people that the economy is going into a dark hole. And it's GonNa last forever and I want to tell you that that is not the case. It's not how this is gonNA play. You can see something that that is so confusing. If you're sitting there you've suddenly become unemployed. You're worried how you'RE GONNA pay rent mortgage by food and all the rest. Why Oh why is the stock market going up? Because the stock market is a forward looking indicator and investors believe that even though the current effect of Corona virus is hideous economic activity down roughly somewhere around thirty percent massive unemployment rate now that the effects of Corona virus on the economy being hideous will be relatively short lipped and this is based on a number of suppositions. And I want to tell you what those are first that the shelter in place going on much of the country is reducing the number of people being exposed and being infected by corona virus. What has been talked about for weeks is flattening the curb and that seems to be happening so that is really important but the second phase and their shelter in place only works if we get the second phase right and that is you read. What economists say and you read what Public Health experts say. We must we must come up with organized testing regimen so that people are tested who might be positive. People are tested. Who May in? Fact HAVE ANTIBODIES. That people are in fact put in a position. We know what we're facing. And once we come to assist them with thorough testing then it becomes much easier once we crush this initial wave of corona virus with the frightful loss of life or suffering. But once we crush this the economy comes out of hibernation. It doesn't come roaring back because think about the things that people are going to have to regain confidence to do going to sporting events going to concerts potentially going out to eat and sit down in a restaurant. Travelling by air going on a cruise a going to conventions a lot of activities then involve a great number of people in close proximity to each other. That's going to await US having a credible path of treatment but that path of treatment is not years away. It is measured in months away. And then we're at a point where we have disease management and that's when the economy can resume not the strength that it had leading into corona virus but at least resume to steadily start coming back to life in a way that we eliminate this massive wave of unemployment. So In Shock. Therapy right now but shock. Therapy only is effective. If we have a protocol moving forward for testing isolation of those tests positive and treatment priorities generally divided depending on whose modeling you have. The most faith in dividing people into four categories are people into five categories based on a positive diagnosis corona virus and then what level of symptoms? They're having we get that part right and the economy can resume functioning rather than being a sleep and Kim. What do you have for me right now? The question this is these are questions people posting at Clark Dot com slash. Ask Right on before I get to Christopher's question one thing. That continually comes in You mentioned what turbo tax is. Doing people are still saying that they are hearing that. This stimulus is going to come out of their twenty twenty taxes. And I know you've said that's not true. It's not true. And one of the things about twenty twenty taxes is that not only will this not be a taxable event. The twelve hundred per person. And if you meet the right. Criteria five hundred dollars per child update sixteen. Is that if you in? Two Thousand Eight hundred twenty end up this year with an income collapse where you would not have been eligible for the stimulus based on your twenty nineteen or twenty eighteen tax. Return that you then will retroactively. Get this money later when it would have really helped in the minute. But you'll still get the money later right on. Thank you for saying that out loud again. All right this is from Christopher Clark. Thank you so much for all you do. Especially in this turbulent time. I was wondering what your opinion is of the fate of the US Postal Service. I've been reading stories that because of Corona virus it could shut down by June. Is this realistic? The postal service was broke before corona virus and in order for the postal service. Which is not. It's a it's a Frankenstein in that. It's not truly a private organization and no longer truly a traditional federal function. But Congress dictates Wyatt operates. Congress is going to be forced in the fourth stimulus. Bill whenever that comes about to provide funding necessary for the postal service to continue deliveries and I hope springs eternal from me. I know it's unpopular with people but I hope that's also the time which we scale back the number of days that physical mail is delivered to people because the way people communicate today six day a week mail delivery is no longer necessary and we would probably be fine with alternating three day. Delivery depending on your address Monday Wednesday Friday or Tuesday Thursday Saturday. And that's one of the reforms that should come out of any bailout of the postal service. Joe Clark Ashley Road. And she says I've seen the information about BP offering fifty cents a gallon discount to first responders healthcare workers during the corona virus pandemic. My husband is a firefighter so I told him about this and he went to get his code for the discount but requiring verification through this website which requires all of our personal information including his full social security number. I read your article regarding social security numbers and I tried to use a dummy number and it didn't work. Yeah dummy number won't work for this so you have to decide. Is the trade off worth it? Is it worth it for you? And by the way for I go on I just want to express my gratitude to all the businesses that are stepping forward in a very tough time and helping out first responders and medical personnel. Because these people are putting their lives on line on the front line and having some kind of direct monetary appreciation is nice so having said that you have to decide. Is it worth it to breach your personal information in this way to receive the fifty cents a gallon? And I'll let you make your own call on that. I always talk about the possibility of your personal information coming back to harm you. When you put it somewhere versus the absolute certainty that by giving that information you save money. This is one of those things. And you've got to make that fifty cent a gallon call. And before I go to you Kim with another question one to say I did not end the statement. I just made mean to ignore people that are working in grocery stores pharmacies in the General Merchandise retailers and Warehouse Clubs people working in warehouses people working in logistics. There are so many people that are making sure that we can still eat that. We still have the supplies we need and they are also putting themselves at risk by doing those jobs. Kim One hundred per cent. All right this is from Casey. Casey says given these times at Miss Cova nineteen pandemic of what a regular people to do regarding rental payments. There are many people like myself who were laid off. Due to the virus can landlords and apartment complexes evict folks whose backs are against the wall? First of all this is Extremely difficult circumstance for both landlords and for tenants lot of rentals that we rent we rent from small landlords not from big impersonal private equity firms or big real estate investment trusts. Everybody's getting crushed by this landlords. Have as a general rule not been very accommodating to people Some have been downright cold with communications. They've sent to tenants in many jurisdictions around the state the country. You cannot be addicted right now. It doesn't mean that when Krona viruses over you can't be evicted but right now you can't be a huge number of landlords also regardless of where you live in the country have loans backed by certain federal agencies those federal agencies have said that the landlords are prohibited from doing evictions. It doesn't mean they can't come after you for the money doesn't mean that later. Once the corona virus emergency lifts of victory at that time but what I'm recommending to any Tenet is communicate to your landlord early. Tell your landlord. You cannot pay right now and wait for the landlords response even if the landlord says you know life's terrible and then you die kind of response. You know a cold calculating Kind of response. The reality is they may be bluffing. Because odds favor that you live in a state or local jurisdiction. Where even if you can't pay you cannot be evicted when I'm recommending. Is You do whatever search engine use. Google duck duck go paying whatever search engine us go in and put in a search on addictions corona virus. And then your local city county or state or try a search under each and see. What's posted about prohibitions against evictions? Right now Joel Clark. Billy said I'm being laid off due to the Kobe. Nineteen pandemic and I was looking into early distribution of an old employer provided Plan a retirement plan that was vanguard but when I called to ask about the waiver of the ten percent penalty. They said that this plan was not included in that but every article. I've read says something. The lines of temporary waiver of ten percent four of ten percent penalty for qualified retirement plans. So what exactly is it qualified? Retirement plan a in this case a qualified retirement plan first of all. I'm sorry about your financial circumstances but a qualified retirement plan is I have read is 401k an IRA and four three B. That other plans were not stated in the statute and more information may come out about that at a later time. But that's the limit of the plans that I've seen that qualify for a waiver of a ten percent penalty and Joe. I asked this individual post again. Exactly what kind of qualified retirement plan that he had and looked to see. If there's information specifically about that type you have a question for me right now about your wallet. Please go to Clark Dot com slash ask and producers Kevin Joe or asking your questions right now rather than you being on the show with me and Kim. Who Do you have a question from? This is from a gentleman also named Clark and Clark says we don't need. We don't need the government's twenty. Four hundred dollar bailout. I'd rather go to someone who needs it. What do we do give it to another individual? Since it's tax free money give it to somebody else. You know who really needs it in your family or your neighborhood or a friend. Give it to a charity that you trust. Give it to one of the big national charities if you don't have a specific charity that you have faith in so simply if it's money you don't need in your solid on your feet. Make that money useful in some way where you know. There's going to be a direct benefit for someone who is suffering from the fallout of Corona virus. So however that would work in your life. That's what I would do with it. The podcast normally would end here. But because of the unusual circumstances wherein we have additional content that we recorded earlier today that I'd like you to have access to and this will continue day by day as long as the events warrant. There are so many people stepping up to the plate. Who were doing what they can to help their customers. With the difficulties that people are facing financially because corona virus and I want to. I mentioned meant mobile. Am I N T mobile a lot of our listeners? Us men mobile which is a very very low cost cell phone company and they are offering all their customers unlimited data through mid may usually with meant you get these really cheap plans but it's metered data where you get you choose. How much data you're GONNA buy and you get only that amount per monthly cycle and now to help people particularly think about people who don't have a home Internet connection. They got kids. You GOTTA DO HOMEWORK. You might have do work work. And having access unlimited data is very valuable and something that they didn't have to do but they did and at and T. and cricket both have done an imitation temporarily of the new T. Mobile fifteen dollar month rate plan. Where for fifteen a month? You Got Unlimited talk unlimited text in two gigabytes of data month two gigabytes is pretty tight cap but with a lot of people do have home. Internet connection and are sheltering employees using very little sailor. Data lowering yourself to fifteen a month and staying within the two GIG. Cap is a fantastic way for you to save money and then comcast with six Finnity for people who comcast says. He's really ugly. Data caps on your home Internet connection and you have to pay a surcharge to be exempted from the massive surcharges. Massive fees. For going over your data and comcast is giving refunds to people since all customers right now have unlimited data without the ugly overage junk fees. And so they didn't have to but they're giving people money back each month. Who were paying the surcharge. In addition another piece of good news. Compliments of David Lazarus at the Los Angeles Times new report that Robo calls are significantly down because so much of the world is in shelter in place the crooks involved with doing robo calls can't get to work to make their robocalls so of all things to be a positive effect. That one is really weird but we sure will take it and the Robo callers are clever. They're like Locus and they will figure their way back into trying to steal money from you and be very why wary answering any phone call. That is not from someone you recognize to avoid the scourge of the Robo callers. And here's something else I wanted to talk about today. I told you last week that people were looking to buy life insurance in numbers that hadn't been seen in forever and I've had a number of questions from people about buying Life Insurance. Some insurers afraid to write life insurance right now but most issuing policies as normal and that's about people suddenly fearing their mortality so the other thing that people are trying to do right now in numbers that are unprecedented is get a will done and there are so many people with young children in the house or maybe you got money. But you've not gotten around to do a will 'cause somehow you decided you were immortal and now suddenly you realize them. Maybe I'm not immortal. So how do you do a will when maybe lawyers are not available to help you right now or maybe you have a simple situation and you don't feel like you can afford to hire oil? Well let me tell you who would not have. Simple situation blended families with minor children. That's not going to be a simple situation. If you own your own business. That would not be a simple situation if you have adult children. Who Don't get along and you've got money. That's not a simple situation. Those are all cases where clearly you would want to have a lawyer. Prepare a will for you this case a warrior would be doing so with you. Virtually meeting with you instead of meeting with you in person but I also want you to know that if you have a situation that would be one that you would more simple. You can buy a comprehensive kit right now from no low in L. O. DOT COM and the kids are available at thirty percent off right now. Promo Code you have to use his no low twenty Noel. Oh twenty the comprehensive kit. They offer is eighty nine bucks and you download it to a windows or Mac. Chromebook users are out on this but it allows you to do not just your will but a healthcare directive durable power for your finances documents for the person you name is your executor. You can say what you want your final arrangements to be. There's document for that. You can do Ladders in it. That would go to your kids or your spouse sir significant other if you want to. It's a very very comprehensive. Kid also has a section for you to organize your financial records so that you're able to put that together. The thing is called thing it's called will maker and trust twenty twenty. Now let me give you a word of caution. This gives you the ability in the software to set up your own trust arrangements but trust arrangements are very complicated documents and doing one self help is not something that I would recommend you. I can't I'm not oil. You're back in. Imagine any lawyer would say oh. Yeah juice draw. Your own. Trust wouldn't do that. But for all these other things. It would be a good way for you to provide protection for your family with any well program though if you get in and you don't know what you're doing you don't understand it. Stop and hire a lawyer. You're listening to the Clark Howard show. Thanks for joining us today. The Clark Howard show is produced by Kim. Droves JOE WARS GUARD DEBRA REESE AND GEM errors and remember twenty four hours a day where there to serve you at Clark Dot Com and Clark deals dot com.