Financial Thanksgivings of 2021
BY ANDREA BEREZNAK
Practicing gratitude has so many benefits. As we start the wrap up of 2021, many of us have much reason to feel appreciation for the financial blessings in our lives. Join me as we focus on gratitude and celebrate the gifts we have received this year.
Here are a few financial gifts 2021 brought...
COVID in Retreat & a Return to Socialization
Life is not the same as it was before COVID-19, and in both exciting and sad ways it never will be. However, a greater and greater portion of the U.S. populace has gained some immunity from the virus. As that occurs, we've been able to return in some form to many of the socialization activities that bring joy and meaning into our lives. Our children are again interacting with their classmates at school. Business and personal travel is resuming. Sports and group events are being held. Businesses re-opening has had the dual benefit of supporting our local economies and providing a much-missed venue for family, professional, and social outings. The ability to engage in these social activities again in safe and considerate way sis a gift we can appreciate perhaps more than ever before.
Strengthened Financial Position for many Families
Thanks to pandemic stimulus programs during both the Trump and Biden administrations, many U.S. families received multiple checks from federal government during 2021 and 2020. In addition to the direct payments, stimulus programs also significantly increased the size of unemployment benefits. These boosts allowed families to continue paying financial obligations while laid off, quarantined, or unable to work due to underlying health conditions.
Since mid-2020 home values and financial market prices have risen. As a result, many American families have seen their financial circumstances and net worth improve. This increased financial cushion often brings increased sense of opportunity, confidence, and security.
While unfortunately inequality has grown recently, as shown in the graphic, the recent increases in household savings have been greater at the lower end of the economic continuum than at the top.
Income quarters based on 2019 household earnings. Source: JPMorgan Chase Institute
Pause on Student Loan Payments
In August, the U.S. Education Department extended a March 2020 pause on student loan payments, interest, and collections on most federal student loans until January 31, 2022. This extension allowed millions of Americans to continue focusing on their families, health, and finances instead of student loans during the on-going pandemic. In allowing borrowers more time to recover from potential job or income loss, the extension provides a generous opportunity to plan prior to payments restarting next year.
Continued Easy Monetary Policy by the Federal Reserve
While the inflation debate continues, there is no doubt that the Federal Reserve has boosted the U.S. economy and recovery during 2021 with their policy. With no rate hikes and no tapering of bond purchases, the Fed has ensured that money continues to flow through the economy and both businesses and individuals can access borrowing at attractive interest rates. This accommodative continuing policy has supported the U.S. as the economy has climbed out of the massive, short recession prompted by COVID-19 in early 2020.
Did you benefit from these in 2021?
What financial gifts are YOU thankful for this year?
If you are looking for a financial advisor team focused on your unique financial situation, communicates openly, & that puts you and your goals at the center of the relationship, call us at (480) 507-2425 or contact us online. We’d love to meet you & share in your gratitude.
The content in this article was prepared by the article’s author. Cetera Advisor Networks, LLC does not endorse its content, and the views expressed may not necessarily reflect those held by Cetera Advisor Networks, LLC.