In the VSECU Blog you'll find financial and lifestyle resources to help empower possibilities for your personal success.
When I began to consider writing about economic recession, the pandemic crisis was in its beginning stages and preparing for a recession was a largely theoretical conversation. Fast forward four months, and we are in a recession that surpasses the Great Recession of 2008. Downturns to both the state and national economies have caused a level of financial hardship most of us have never experienced—unless you were alive for the Great Depression from 1929 to 1941. Rather than heighten your concern or cause you despair, however, my goal is to answer some frequently asked questions and provide you with a framework to better understand the current economic recession and what we might expect moving forward.
For many, investing can come with baggage. People often make different associations with the term based on past experiences with parents, teachers, and friends. The portrayal of Wall Street culture in American cinema tends to portray a version of investing that quite possibly keeps a lot of would-be investors on the sidelines reading the financial news and wondering how the “wolves of Wall Street” keep finding fresh kills. Being a market-based investor is not just for the ultra-rich. It’s something nearly anyone with a job can do. It’s about setting goals, making a budget that includes investing, staying the course, and remaining disciplined to the basic principles of investing.
The financial markets are experiencing unprecedented times. We have seen record-breaking ups and downs in a single day, and that trend will likely continue into the new year. These crazy market conditions can make even the most confident investors question their decisions. So, if you have investments in the market or are considering investing, here are some thoughts and tips on how to navigate these uncertain times.
COVID-19 has changed many aspects of our day-to-day lives. Among other things, our personal finances, 401(k) accounts, job security, food security, social lives, and family lives have all been impacted. To mitigate the pandemic’s effect on our personal lives, the U.S. government enacted new laws to help Americans deal with the novel coronavirus. Passed at the end of March, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and the Families First Coronavirus Response (FFCR) Act made notable changes in how we take care of our health, our work, and our finances. Here are the key impacts both the CARES and FFCR Acts have had on these areas of our lives in 2020.
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The average Vermonter generates almost six pounds of waste each day. Two pounds of that waste is either recycled or composted, which means that every single day we all throw away a four-pound bag of trash. That’s a lot! To help with this burgeoning waste problem, Vermont’s Universal Recycling Law, or Act 148, was passed in 2012. The law has two primary goals—to reduce Vermont’s overall waste and increase the amount of waste that is diverted from the landfill through recycling and composting. It has been instituted incrementally over the past six years with the final phase—the complete landfill ban on food scraps—coming on July 1.
Fact: Unemployment is at an all-time high Have you lost or left your job recently? If so, you may be wondering how to take control of the money in your 401(k) or other employee retirement account. First, recognize that the crisis of losing your job may also be an opportunity. You can move your retirement funds to a different account and potentially have more options to plan for your future than you did under your previous employer’s plan. With fewer and fewer people staying at one job for the long term, most people experience at least three to four employers during their career, so you are not alone.
When you think of the ideal home, it conjures images of comfort—a safe haven you can come back to at the end of each day. And yet, statistically, the home can be a dangerous place. A study by the National Center for Healthy Housing found that 35 million American homes contained at least one health or safety hazard. That’s two out of every five homes with factors contributing to illness, injury, and even death.
Loans and Grants for Now and Later Whether it’s starting curbside pickup at restaurants, pivoting manufacturing facilities to produce masks and other necessities for frontline workers, creating online ordering systems, or developing remote work infrastructures on the fly, one silver lining the pandemic has shown us is the innovative power of small business owners and entrepreneurs. But the reality is that the small business sector is still in need of help—specifically financial help. If you are a business owner, here are the two major categories of finance that you can turn to, both during the COVID-19 crisis and after.