America 2021: The new normal and concerns moving forward
You know that pesky ‘economic recovery’ the Federal Reserve chairman, Jerome Powell recently called “far from complete” and its future “highly uncertain.”³
Kinda like our own recovery.
If you are one of the 68% of Americans that have already felt the emotional and financial stress¹ from this past year – then you know that uncertainty is the “new normal.”
As new Covid strains emerge we see a continued rise in anxiety and unemployment and with our own financial stability unclear, it will likely be some time before we see a return to ‘normal’.² With a new president, a new year, new stimulus checks and new vaccines people are cautiously optimistic.
So what is my point?
No matter what’s going on in the world,
it’s usually what’s going on in our own world that matters most.
So what’s still keeping us up at night? 4,5,6
- Economic uncertainty: continued pandemic recession and potential future inflation
- Personal economic uncertainty:
- Unemployment concerns: you’ve lost your income, your spouse has or you are worried about losing a job5
- Being able to save or save for retirement, having to tap into your funds to survive 4,5
- Wiping out your emergency savings or what to do if you have already4,5
- Increasing debt, ability to pay bills, rent or mortgage and shifting spending to essentials4,5
- Juggling work and caregiver roles (special needs, elder care, kids, disabled family,)4,5
- Older students moving back home, student debt and no job4,5
- Younger kids a home may be falling behind socially and in school work6
OK… so now what? Good news is …
There is always a way.
Although our concerns are real, we do have a chance to reflect and a chance to reset.
It’s a good time to reinvent and get back on track. You know, the start of something big.
Something better. Way better.
First recognize you are not alone.
Know we can’t control the outside world, but we can control our own response.
Out of work?
Good news, a third stimulus check8 may be headed your way soon and not everyone will get the same or get something. Some states are extending unemployment benefits14 and you can also visit the U.S. Dept. of Labor to help you, your spouse or your college kids that just moved back!
Working? Now is the time to get back on track financially. 9
Working from home and caring for a loved one? Visit the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) 12 if you are caring for a child or loved one from home
Working from home and caring for a loved one with special needs: Visit Voya Cares for individuals and caretakers 13 to learn more.
Need relief? Read this if you’re worried about losing your home or paying student loans. Visit our everyday wellness blog series: New year, new extended relief for Americans 11
Kids falling behind?6 If you have older siblings at home, get them involved with helping the younger ones. Reach out and ask about expanding learning time and support from school paraprofessionals for 1:1 time and other teaching tools. Visit The Education Trust (edtrust.org) 10 advocates for better learning.
In time things will get better.
Although it may not feel that way right now we will recover in our own way and in our own time. Keep in mind, nothing good or bad lasts forever and the best is yet to come.
It always does.
Come as you are, leave feeling better.
- USA Today.com, “Survival Mode”: Over 68% of Americans had financial setbacks in 2020 amid the pandemic, Coral Murphy, December 8, 2020 https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2020/12/08/economy-2021-these-biggest-concerns-americans-next-year/6488131002/
- Axios, Ipsos.com, Americans, particularly the vaccinated, are hopeful about the end of the pandemic, New Axios-Ipsos Coronavirus Index finds Americans’ patience to get back to normal slipping, Chris Jackson, Mallory Newell, Jinhee Yi, March 2, 2021, https://www.ipsos.com/en-us/news-polls/axios-ipsos-coronavirus-index ,last accessed, March 4, 2021
- New York Times.com, Powell Pledges to Maintain Economic Support, Updated March 4, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/live/2021/02/23/business/stock-market-today?campaign_id=9&emc=edit_nn_20210223&instance_id=27427&nl=the-morning®i_id=122072586&segment_id=52225&te=1&user_id=98461e809b64b7888db5ee3f2b8f6948
last accessed March 4, 2021
- Voya Market Volatility Covid-19 Impact Research 2020
5. Voya Covid-19 Consumer Sentiment Research Dec 20 2020
- Pew Research Institute, pweresearch.org, Most parents of K-12 students learning online worry about them falling behind, Juliana Menasce Horowitz and Ruth Igielnik, October 29, 2020, https://www.pewresearch.org/social-trends/2020/10/29/most-parents-of-k-12-students-learning-online-worry-about-them-falling-behind/,last accessed March 4, 2021
- U.S. Dept. of Labor https://www.dol.gov/
- CBSNews.com, Third Stimulus Check: How soon might you receive a $1,400 check?, Aimee Picchi, March 4, 2021, MoneyWatch, https://www.cbsnews.com/news/third-stimulus-check-when-will-you-get-1400-2021-03-04/ , last accessed March 4, 2021
- Voya.com, Get Back on Track landing page: https://www.voya.com/page/get-back-track, last accessed March 4, 2021
- The Educational Trust, edtrust.org, https://edtrust.org/resource/covid-19-education-equity-guide-expanding-learning-time/ , last accessed March 4, 2021
- Blog.voya.com, Everyday wellness series, New year, new extended relief for Americans, https://blog.voya.com/voya-insights/everyday-wellness-new-year-new-extended-relief-americans, last accessed March 4, 2021
- cdc.gov, Centers for Disease Control, https://www.cdc.gov/women/caregivers-covid- 19/index.html last accessed March 4, 2021
- Voya.com/VoyaCares, https://www.voya.com/page/voya-cares-individuals-and-caregivers last accessed March 4, 2021
- Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Policy Basics: How many weeks of unemployment compensation are available? Updated March 3, 2021, https://www.cbpp.org/research/economy/how-many-weeks-of-unemployment-compensation-are-available
Last accessed March 4, 2021
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