Older consumers may be less inclined to go out and spend as the pandemic continues
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Consumer confidence was improving at the end of the summer, but now that appears to be stalling with the Conference Board’s report this week showing a slight decline in October.
That’s as COVID-19 cases surge across the country, while Congress remains deadlocked on passing another round of stimulus to help prop up households, businesses and the unemployed.
And, age matters when it comes to coping with the pandemic economy.
The research firm Morning Consult finds that baby boomers are more pessimistic about the future than millennials. Economist John Leer said, for a 55- or 60-year-old who’s out of work and looking ahead to retirement, “the time that older Americans have to make up their lost savings, their lost income, is much shorter than it is for younger adults.”
Older Americans are also more leery of going out in the pandemic to shop at the mall, go to the gym or take a trip.
Robert Frick, 63, an economist at Navy Federal Credit Union, sees the impact his generation is having.
“For myself and for my friends, we are very cautious,” Frick said. “We aren’t traveling, we’re not going to restaurants, we’re not spending. Younger people — unfortunately, they’re not in as good a financial condition — but they are traveling and spending more.”
Frick said older professional workers and retirees have done pretty well financially with the value of assets like stocks, homes and retirement accounts up in the pandemic.
COVID-19 Economy FAQs
Can businesses deny you entry if you don’t have a vaccine passport?
As more Americans get vaccinated against COVID-19 and the economy begins reopening, some businesses are requiring proof of vaccination to enter their premises. The concept of a vaccine passport has raised ethical questions about data privacy and potential discrimination against the unvaccinated. However, legal experts say businesses have the right to deny entrance to those who can’t show proof.
Give me a snapshot of the labor market in the U.S.
U.S. job openings in February increased more than expected, according to the Labor Department. Also, the economy added over 900,000 jobs in March. For all of the good jobs news recently, there are still nearly 10 million people who are out of work, and more than 4 million of them have been unemployed for six months or longer. “So we still have a very long way to go until we get a full recovery,” said Elise Gould with the Economic Policy Institute. She said the industries that have the furthest to go are the ones you’d expect: “leisure and hospitality, accommodations, food services, restaurants” and the public sector, especially in education.
What do I need to know about tax season this year?
Glad you asked! We have a whole separate FAQ section on that. Some quick hits: The deadline has been extended from April 15 to May 17 for individuals. Also, millions of people received unemployment benefits in 2020 — up to $10,200 of which will now be tax-free for those with an adjusted gross income of less than $150,000. And, for those who filed before the American Rescue Plan passed, simply put, you do not need to file an amended return at the moment. Find answers to the rest of your questions here.
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