What We Are Reading Today - March 26th
The big news this morning was the initial jobless claims which was a shocking number. LPL writes “We knew the disruptions from the COVID-19 pandemic would be massive, but what it has meant to everyday workers finally came through in the numbers. Roughly 3.3 million people filed new claims for unemployment benefits in the week ending March 21, almost five times the previous high of 695,000 set in 1982. The number, while well beyond economists’ consensus forecast, is not a complete surprise, and markets have already been slowly pricing it in. Jobs are likely to return quickly once the economy gets going again, but we know the timing of that is uncertain. Until then, backstops from federal programs and support for businesses to help minimize further layoffs will be essential for millions of Americans.” The silver lining may be that states were able to get these persons into the system quickly for relief, and that the legislation that has been discussed to provide support now can identify those persons who will need the additional unemployment support. https://lplresearch.com/2020/03/26/making-sense-of-skyrocketing-jobless-claims/
In other major news, we remain dedicated to watching all financial related headlines, not just the investment news. For certain clients, the passing of the Senate stimulus bill called the “Relief for Workers Affected by Coronavirus Act” has the potential for significant impact on 2020 financial planning.
Here's what we read this morning:
- The bill proposes to waive the required minimum distribution rules for certain defined contribution plans and IRAs for calendar year 2020. This may mean that if you do not feel you need to take distributions to meet income needs, more time can be given for investment values to recover. https://www.finance.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/CARES%20Act%20Section-by-Section%20(Tax,%20Unemployment%20Insurance).pdf
- The bill also encourages Americans to contribute to churches and charitable organizations in 2020 by permitting them to deduct up to $300 of cash contributions, whether they itemize their deductions or not. https://www.finance.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/CARES%20Act%20Section-by-Section%20(Tax,%20Unemployment%20Insurance).pdf
- The updated stimulus bill also includes a provision that would help the most generous individual donors and corporate givers by eliminating the percent of AGI limits for charitable deductions. For individuals, the 50-percent of adjusted gross income limitation would be suspended for 2020. https://www.forbes.com/sites/ashleaebeling/2020/03/25/new-universal-tax-break-for-charitable-donations-included-in-updated-2-trillion-covid-19-stimulus-bill/#397d6cf366a2
There is plenty of time to see how the full bill and the details play out, but know that we plan to communicate the details as they become clearer and the individual implications they may have on you in the coming weeks/months. Stay safe!