Government wants to start sending millions of Americans a check.
*Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said the Trump administration plans to send money to Americans immediately.
*The cash injection could provide much-needed support to Americans who have seen dramatic income declines in the wake of the coronavirus.
*Here's what to consider when it comes to the best ways to use that money to benefit your family and community.
This could be good news, in the form of money, may be coming to Americans soon in the nest two weeks.
On Tuesday, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said that the Trump administration plans to move fairly quickly to send money to Americans as the coronavirus crushes the economy.
Mnuchin said "Americans need cash now," indicating stimulus checks could come in the next two weeks.
This huge announcement follows much talks over how the government could move forward in helping shore up American workers' bank accounts now, with so many businesses temporarily closed or operating at small capacities.
Could it be a thousand dollars for everyone?
Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, said this week that he wants the government to send every adult $1,000.
Details on how big the checks the Trump administration hopes to deploy have not been disclosed. Of course, any plans would need a green light from Congress.
"The basic idea of getting money into the economy very quickly is a good idea," said Leonard Burman, institute fellow at the Urban Institute, a non-partisan think tank, and co-founder of the Tax Policy Center.
It is also an improvement over potential payroll tax cuts, another idea that has been touted by the Trump administration and others in recent weeks.
"The ideal thing would be to target the payments [at] the people who are most vulnerable, the people who lose their jobs who are working in industries that are severely affected by the coronavirus," Burman said. "It's hard to set up something to do that right away."
Whether and how the extra income is taxed will also depend on the terms of the program.
Burman said he thinks making that extra income subject to income taxes is a smart move. That way, he said, it would put a greater burden on high earners to pay more of it back. It would also increase state income tax bases that will be hurt in a recession.
For individuals, the big question is: How can I best use this money wisely?
The answer depends on your personal situation.
"The majority of people should probably keep it in their checking account or savings account temporarily," said financial advisor Winnie Sun, founder of Sun Group Wealth Partners in Irvine, California.
One exception to that is if you have high-interest credit card, or other, debt. In that case, you want to pay down those balances, Sun said.
Should you invest or spend?
If you're near retirement, you definitely want to keep the extra cash on hand. But if you're in your 20s or 30s, you may want to invest the money toward your retirement by putting it in a Roth individual retirement account, Sun suggested.
"If you went and bought XYZ mutual fund or put it into your IRA, I'm sure that in 20 years that would turn out to be a great thing," said certified financial planner Jude Boudreaux, senior financial planner at The Planning Center in New Orleans.
One thing to remember about a universal plan to pay all Americans is that it is not based on financial need.
"It's going to be too much for some of them and not enough for others," Burman said.
If you don't need the money, you may want to consider donating to a charity that's directly involved in relief efforts or to your local food bank, Boudreaux suggested.
It's the difference between just being constantly in a fear and reactive state to the ability to shift and start to move forward again.
Jude Boudreaux, SENIOR FINANCIAL PLANNER AT THE PLANNING CENTER"
If you wanted to really make a difference in a bunch of families' lives right now, and you absolutely didn't need those dollars, I would really consider passing that along to an organization that does a lot of good for a lot of people," Boudreaux said.
In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Boudreaux saw firsthand how payments from organizations like the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Red Cross helped prop up the local economy.
"It was super-beneficial to be able to have that just to endure the storm at hand," said Boudreaux, whose own family received about $2,000 in support. Having that check in hand can allow people to start considering what moves to make and where they can find work now?!
"the difference between being constantly in fear and reactive state to the ability to shift and start to make a move forward again," Boudreaux said.
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