63% of Americans living paycheck to paycheck

Price of Inflation

Revelations 18:23:’For the merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived.’

Important Takeaways:

  • Share of Americans living paycheck to paycheck rises to 63% — here’s how to get your finances back on track
  • As of November, 63% of Americans were living paycheck to paycheck, according to a monthly LendingClub report — up from 60% the previous month and near the 64% historic high hit in March.
  • Even high-income earners are under pressure, LendingClub found. Of those earning more than six figures, 47% reported living paycheck to paycheck, a jump from the previous month’s 43%

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Cuomo outlines plans to fix New York finances weakened by COVID-19

By Barbara Goldberg

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Governor Andrew Cuomo on Monday promised a kaleidoscopic mix of “New York tough” plans to jumpstart the state’s finances amid COVID-19, create jobs, and ensure racial, social and economic justice for underserved communities.

In his State of the State address, Cuomo gave the outlines of his plan, which he said he would detail further in coming days. They are set to include more on Cuomo’s previously flagged proposals to employ online sports betting and recreational marijuana to help close a $15 billion budget deficit.

Cuomo also talked about beating COVID-19 and vaccinating at least 70% of the 20 million New Yorkers.

“We will win the COVID war and we will learn from it. We are New York tough,” Cuomo said.

Reeling off a series of proposals aimed in part at jobs creation, Cuomo described a ‘Medical Supplies Act’ to ensure the sort of vital public health materials like face masks and gowns that were in short supply last spring when New York was the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic. New York, which last year scrounged and scrambled for supplies largely made in China, would purchase first from its own manufactured supply, Cuomo said.

Improved transportation was also in the pipeline, he said.

“We will commence the most aggressive construction and transportation development program in the United States of America. New air, road and rail systems, upstate and downstate, more affordable housing and more economic development to create jobs, jobs and more jobs,” Cuomo said.

Cuomo said he would seek to eliminate racial and social inequities through such plans as affordable broadband connections, eliminating healthcare premiums, and converting unused commercial space into inexpensive housing.

Cuomo also vowed to expand voter access, an issue at the center of a national debate over the future of democracy in the United States. The Democratic governor’s proposals include adding time for early voting, broadening availability of absentee ballots, and speeding up vote counting.

Cuomo praised New Yorkers for supporting one another through the COVID-19 pandemic, citing their unity in a nation that has been deeply divided by politics during Trump’s term.

“Over the last year when forces were trying to convince this country that the strongest four-letter word is ‘hate,’ New Yorkers showed that the strongest four-letter word is ‘love’ and that love wins every time,” Cuomo said.

(Reporting by Barbara Goldberg; editing by Jonathan Oatis and Rosalba O’Brien)

New U.S. Postal Service chief warns of ‘dire’ finances as quarterly loss narrows

By David Shepardson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The head of the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) on Friday said the agency faces a “dire” financial position even as it posted a slightly narrower third-quarter loss amid soaring package demand during the coronavirus pandemic.

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy said USPS has a “broken business model” and is in need of organizational changes. “Without dramatic change, there is no end in sight and we face an impending liquidity crisis,” DeJoy said.

USPS said quarterly revenue rose to $17.6 billion, up $547 million. The quarterly net loss shrank to $2.2 billion from $2.3 billion in the same quarter last year.

First-class mail volume declined by 1.1 billion pieces, or 8.4%. Shipping and packages revenue increased by $2.9 billion, or 53.6%, on a volume increase of 708 million pieces, up 49.9%.

Democrats Thursday called on DeJoy to reverse changes that they say are resulting in delayed mail.

“We believe these changes, made during the middle of a once-in-a-century pandemic, now threaten the timely delivery of mail—including medicines for seniors, paychecks for workers, and absentee ballots for voters—that is essential to millions of Americans,” wrote House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer.

Voting by mail is expected to increase dramatically this fall amid the coronavirus pandemic. Trump has claimed without evidence that absentee voting leads to rampant fraud.

“We are not slowing down election mail or any other mail,” DeJoy, a Trump supporter, said Friday.

The Postal Service has faced financial woes with the rise of email and social media, and a measure passed in 2006 requiring it to pre-fund 75 years of retiree health benefits over the span of 10 years at a cost of more than $100 billion.

DeJoy said the Postal Service is eliminating inefficiencies, including “unnecessary overtime.” The Postal Service has lost $80 billion since 2007.

(Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Nick Zieminski)

Four ways to prevent loneliness from wrecking your retirement

A couple walks down the street in the Tverskaya district of Moscow August 17, 2013. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

By Chris Taylor

NEW YORK (Reuters) – When Monica Dwyer of West Chester, Ohio thinks of retirement, her mind wanders to her family friend Paul.

Paul had a wife and kids, and a good job at Procter & Gamble. But his wife died 15 years before he did, and, over time, his social circles started shrinking, along with his finances.

Eventually, Paul “barely had money to eat,” Dwyer said. He kept his thermostat at 55 Fahrenheit (13 Celsius), even in frigid Ohio winters. He could not drive, surviving on $1 McDonald’s hamburgers, and was alienated from his children, before he died.

“He was a forgotten soul,” Dwyer said.

You might not hear of stories like Paul’s very often, but they are out there. A study https://www.cigna.com/newsroom/news-releases/2018/new-cigna-study-reveals-loneliness-at-epidemic-levels-in-america released last month by health services company Cigna found that nearly half of Americans report feeling lonely sometimes or always, which the study concluded is a national “epidemic.”

“We had been hearing from customers that they are feeling more disconnected and lonely, so we wanted to do some research to understand the state of loneliness across the U.S.,” said Dr. Doug Nemecek, Cigna’s chief medical officer for behavioral health. “What we found was astounding.”

The emotional impact of loneliness in retirement is obvious – feelings of being isolated and misunderstood, with social interactions that lack meaning. But loneliness turns out to have financial ramifications as well.

Take healthcare costs, for instance. “People who feel lonely are less healthy,” Nemecek said. “There are many studies linking loneliness to worsening heart disease, cancer, diabetes, depression and substance abuse. In fact, healthwise, loneliness is comparable to smoking 15 cigarettes a day.”

If you are strategic and determined, there are multiple defenses against social isolation as you get older. Here are four tips from financial planners.


Society likes to poke fun at retiree developments, like the elder Seinfelds buying their condo in Del Boca Vista. But at larger senior communities like The Villages and Sun City Center, both in Florida, “you could participate in a group activity nearly every hour of every day,” said Holly Donaldson, a financial planner in Seminole, Florida.

Retirement communities are a powerful alternative to retiring “in place” in your own home. Staying in your home may initially sound appealing because of the comfort level with your surroundings, but it could eventually leave you very alone indeed, especially if you are struggling with physical disability.


If you enjoy working, and your employer does not have any mandated retirement age, then by all means keep showing up at the office. The first benefit is cognitive, keeping you alert and active and maintaining that social circle in the workplace.

The second benefit is financial: Just a couple of years of additional work means you are actively building up your 401(k) assets, not drawing anything down, and boosting your Social Security payments by delaying taking them. That alone is enough to create a robust retirement outlook.


Volunteers live longer, have lower levels of disability and higher levels of well-being, according to data analysis by the Corporation for National & Community Service (CNCS), a federal agency. One surprising fact: volunteerism has a greater impact on well-being than other factors like income, education or marriage.

Volunteering also assembles a new social circle to hold you up in dark times. Intuitively, many seniors know this already: More than 21 million older Americans provide 3.3 billion hours of service every year, according to the CNCS.


Retirees are highly susceptible to financial abuse, thanks to social isolation. The losses amount to an estimated $36.5 billion every year to fraud, scams and exploitation, according to a study by True Link Financial, a financial services company aimed at retirees, with the vast majority of financial abuse not even being reported.

The sad fact is that 90 percent of financial abuse comes at the hands of someone in a position of trust, like a family member, according to the non-profit National Adult Protective Services Association.

The best way to defend against being at the mercy of one person is by having multiple people in your corner. If you have church friends, childhood friends, extended family and volunteering friends – all looking out for you – it will be less likely you will be taken advantage of.

“I always recommend having duplicate financial statements sent to someone you trust,” advises Brett Anderson, a planner with St. Croix Advisors in Hudson, Wisconsin.

(Editing by Lauren Young and Frances Kerry)

Americans without college degree report worsening finances: Fed survey

Applicants fill out forms during a job fair in Los Angeles November 20, 2009.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The overall financial situation of U.S. households continues to improve but Americans without a college degree feel they are struggling more compared to a year previously, according to a Federal Reserve survey released on Friday.

The annual survey, which was conducted in October 2016, is now in its fourth year and acts as a temperature check on the financial wellbeing of U.S. families.

Seventy percent of those surveyed said that they were either “living comfortably” or “doing okay,” an improvement from 69 percent the prior year and 62 percent in 2013.

The improving statistics in part reflect a buoyant jobs market. Since the last survey the unemployment rate has declined to 4.4 percent from 5.0 percent, and is now near what many economists would consider full employment.

U.S. stocks have risen as well as home prices, both of which can also contribute to household wealth. However, that masks deep disparities and wage growth has remained sluggish even though the economy has largely recovered from the financial crisis.

Forty percent of respondents with a high school degree or less said they were struggling financially, one percentage point more than in 2015, at a time when those with more education felt their situation had improved. Seventeen percent of those with a college education described themselves the same way.

There were also differences based on race and ethnicity. Fifty-one percent of white adults said they felt better off than their parents compared to 60 percent of black adults and 56 percent of Hispanic respondents.

Former manufacturing towns helped propel President Donald Trump to the White House last November and there have been growing concerns over the lack of well-paying jobs for those without a college degree.

“The survey findings remind us that many American households are struggling financially, including fully 40 percent of those with a high school diploma or less,” Federal Reserve Board Governor Lael Brainard said in a statement.

Elsewhere, the survey showed that improved incomes did not necessarily mean large savings or job stability.

Forty-four percent of respondents said they would struggle to meet emergency expenses of $400, a drop of 2 percentage points from 2015, while 17 percent of workers, and 24 percent with a high-school education of less, said their work schedule was changed by their employer from week to week.

Within that, two-thirds received their schedule six days or less in advance and 37 percent had either on-call scheduling or received notice one day or less in advance, the Fed said.

The survey tallied the responses of 6,643 adults aged 18 and over.

(Reporting by Lindsay Dunsmuir; Editing by Andrea Ricci)