Local Financial Professional Explains Latest COVID-19 Relief Bill

Barry Bigelow with Great Waters Financial Explains What the American Rescue Plan Means for Individuals Moving Forward

DULUTH, Minn. – Congress has passed a third relief bill, known as the American Rescue Plan.

So, what’s included in this third stimulus package? Local financial professional Barry Bigelow from Great Waters Financial breaks down the details of the bill for consumers, small businesses, and the unemployed.

What’s included in the American Rescue Plan?

$1,400 Stimulus Payments

• Lawmakers have approved $1,400 checks for individuals earning less than $75,000 and married couples earning less than $150,000.
• It’s worth noting the checks will phase out faster than previous rounds. The checks will decrease in size, cutting off individuals earning more than $80,000 and married couples earning more than $160,000.
• Adult dependents can also expect payments this round after being excluded from the last two bills.

Extended Unemployment Benefits

• This bill includes a continuation of $300 federal unemployment insurance benefits for the unemployed. The extra benefits will continue into September of this year.
• The first $10,200 of unemployment insurance benefits are non-taxable for households earning less than $150,000.

More Relief for Small Businesses

• The third bill includes $15 billion for long-term, low-interest loans from the Small Business Administration.
• There is a new $25 billion grant program specifically for bars and restaurants.
• There is $7 billion earmarked for the Paycheck Protection Program, and the bill would make more non-profits eligible for PPP.

What do the relief bills mean financially moving forward for the nation?

• During the pandemic, people and companies are spending less. The government is filling in the gaps with the three stimulus packages.
• This latest $1.9 trillion bill, is expected to move the economy forward, reduce poverty and revive inflation.
• Some are worried the short-term benefit of all this stimulus will cloud the potential long-term effect of this kind of government spending, like a recession in the coming years.

When can we expect the third stimulus check to arrive?

• The bill has been passed and signed into law by the President. Checks could go out via direct deposit within days since the IRS infrastructure already is in place.

Politics aside, the pandemic still leaves many with uncertainty moving forward. How can you feel secure financially?

• Americans are underprepared for retirement, and the pandemic may be making things worse. About 30% of people admit to decreasing or stopping their retirement contributions last year.
• We can plan and prepare for fluctuations in the economy, but we can’t control them. However, we can control other factors, like how much debt we take on and what we put into our retirement savings.
• You can get an idea of how much you should have saved with a retirement calculator, and Bigelow has one on his website, greatwatersfinancial.com.

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