Getting a boost of extra money is a priority for many American families now. The economic uncertainty we all faced this year has made many folks worry about their finances, and they’re searching for ways to improve their income. The stimulus check was welcome assistance to many, and there’s hopefully another one on its way soon. This could be as much as $1,200, and while that isn’t exactly a huge amount, it’s definitely better than nothing. But getting over a $1,000 windfall won’t solve the problem of ongoing income.
The fact that even before the pandemic millions of middle-class Americans were just a single missed paycheck away from being considered in poverty is an eye-opener. Given that, it’s a stretch to think that they are able to survive in today’s current climate, especially if you consider that 40 percent were considered "liquid-asset poor.” This means that they don’t have enough money stashed away to cope if they experience a change in their income circumstances like being laid off or their business being forced to shut.
For Americans of a certain age, Social Security will be a lifesaver. If you are of an age where you are able to get a Social Security check every month but hadn’t been claiming it, you could be getting a monthly check from the SSA. The estimated average Social Security retirement benefit this year is $1,503 a month. If you have been smart and were able to wait until your full retirement age, you qualify for the maximum amount, which is a whopping $3,011 a month.
No matter your circumstances, you most likely have been thinking about your finances and your future more than ever in 2020, and as the year ends, thoughts about money will get even more pressing. The holidays are around the corner, and even though we don’t know what the holiday season will be like this year, a stimulus check would not go amiss for many of us right now.
Taking Social Security earlier than planned might not be a bad idea if you are struggling to make ends meet and qualify for it. It could be the difference between a happy holiday season and a rather dismal one.
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