Relief checks live updates: COLA 2023, mortgages, social security payments, housing market, December jobs report

Relief checks live updates: COLA 2023, mortgages, social security payments, housing market, December jobs report - Funny Happy New Years Eve Gifts

Headlines | Tuesday 10 January 2023

- Nasdaq closed down 4.6 percent lower on Friday compared to data from one month ago 

- Unemployment falls to 3.5 percent, the same rate seen in February 2020

- Social Security beneficiaries begin receiving checks with 8.7 percent COLA applied 

- The Federal Reserve is expected to bump up interest rates further in early February 

- Interest rates for 30-year fixed mortgage fall slightly to 6.5 percent 

Relief checks live updates: COLA 2023, mortgages, social security payments, housing market, December jobs report - Funny Happy New Years Eve Gifts

US NEWS

Do college students have to file tax returns?

Relief checks live updates: COLA 2023, mortgages, social security payments, housing market, December jobs report - Funny Happy New Years Eve Gifts

US NEWS

The California Earned Income Tax Credit: Who qualifies and how much money would you recieve?

Relief checks live updates: COLA 2023, mortgages, social security payments, housing market, December jobs report - Funny Happy New Years Eve Gifts

LATEST NEWS

How high will the interest rates go up in 2023?

Relief checks live updates: COLA 2023, mortgages, social security payments, housing market, December jobs report - Funny Happy New Years Eve Gifts

SOCIAL SECURITY

Can I pay for Social Security credits in the US to guarantee my retirement even if I am not working?

Relief checks live updates: COLA 2023, mortgages, social security payments, housing market, December jobs report - Funny Happy New Years Eve Gifts

SOCIAL SECURITY

When will the first Social Security payment checks of 2023 arrive?

Scams on the rise using 2023 Social Security COLA to steal SSNs

The Social Security Adminstration announced an historic 2023 cost-of-living adjustment (COLA). The increase of 8.7 percent is the highest in 40 years to help recipients benefit payments keep up with high inflation.

While beneficiaries are eargerly awaiting the higher amounts, the increase has also attracted attention from scammers seeking to gain access to personal information. Children of Social Security recipients are encouraged to warn their parents about potential robocalls from scammers trying to get Social Security numbers using the 2023 COLA as a ruse.

When you can expect your Social Security payments

The first payments based on the historic 8.7 percent COLA increase for 2023 went out at the end of December as the first of the year was a holiday. Just like for every month, January payments to Social Security recipients will be staggered throughout the month based on a beneficiaries birth date, type of benefit or when they began receiving benefits.

You can check out the Social Security Administration's 2023 payment calendar to see when you can expect to see your payment issued.

Home sellers offering buyers more concessions as the housing market slows

The tables have turned to the advantage of those looking to purchase a home as the housing market cools due to record prices and high mortgage rates. According to Redfin data submitted by their buyers’ agents across the US two out of five sellers are offering concessions to offload their listed property. That’s up from just over 30 percent the previous quarter and the same quarter last year and the highest proportion since the residential real estate brokerage began keeping records.

One of the concessions that sellers are offering perspective buyers is mortgage-rate buydowns whereby, instead of the buyer paying cash to temporarily lower the mortgage rate, typically by one to three points, the seller offers to do so. Other concessions include funds to cover repairs and closing costs.

While at the same time buyers’ agents reported that over a fifth of homeowners, a record, offered both a concession and a final sale price below the listing price.

Relief checks live updates: COLA 2023, mortgages, social security payments, housing market, December jobs report - Funny Happy New Years Eve Gifts

Carlo Allegri / REUTERS

Wall Street shares rise as Fed Chair avoids commenting on future rate hike policy

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell speaking at a forum sponsored by the Swedish central bank, his first public appearance of the year, focused on the importance of the central bank’s independence as being vital for it to tackle inflation. He talked about the need for policymakers to avoid taking on new goals such as climate change “without a clear statutory mandate”. Doing so would undermine the Fed’s independence.

Unlike other Fed officials, who have been expressing a need for policymakers to remain aggressive in raising interest rates to further bring down inflation, Powell refrained from commenting on the central bank’s rate policy. While he did acknowledge that “restoring price stability when inflation is high can require measures that are not popular in the short term as we raise interest rates to slow the economy” the absence of any specific future changes to the interest rate sent shares higher on Wall Street.

As the the closing bell nears on Tuesday, all three major indexes were posting slight gains.

Without explicit congressional legislation, it would be inappropriate for us to use our monetary policy or supervisory tools to promote a greener economy or to achieve other climate-based goals. We are not, and will not be, a 'climate policymaker.'

Jerome Powell, Federal Reserve Chairman

It is essential that we stick to our statutory goals and authorities, and that we resist the temptation to broaden our scope to address other important social issues of the day. Taking on new goals, however worthy, without a clear statutory mandate would undermine the case for our independence.

Jerome Powell, Federal Reserve Chairman

The case for monetary policy independence lies in the benefits of insulating monetary policy decisions from short-term political considerations.

Price stability is the bedrock of a healthy economy and provides the public with immeasurable benefits over time.

But restoring price stability when inflation is high can require measures that are not popular in the short term as we raise interest rates to slow the economy.

The absence of direct political control over our decisions allows us to take these necessary measures without considering short-term political factors.

Jerome Powell, Federal Reserve Chairman

The guaranteed benefits provided by Social Security, including the annual COLA, are more crucial than ever as high inflation remains a problem for older Americans

Jo Ann Jenkins, AARP CEO
Relief checks live updates: COLA 2023, mortgages, social security payments, housing market, December jobs report - Funny Happy New Years Eve Gifts

LATEST NEWS

These are the most important dates for the 2023 COLA increase in the USA

The Social Security Administration revealed the cost-of-living adjustment, or COLA, for benefit checks in 2023 back in October. Because of this year’s strong inflation, seniors will get 8.7% more this year instead of 2022, the greatest rise since 1981 and the fourth-highest increase ever.

According to the charity AARP, this hike will amount to nearly $146 more every check for the typical retiree.

Year-over-year inflation in the third quarter — in this example, July to September 2021 vs July to September 2022 — determines the yearly COLA.

When will the COLA be reflected in my Social Security check?

The COLA kicks in with December 2022 benefits, which are reflected in January 2023 checks.

Social Security payments are paid on Wednesdays, according to a schedule determined by the beneficiary’s birth date. So, if you were born between the first and tenth of the month, your benefits will be paid on the second Wednesday of the month or January 11, 2023.

Relief checks live updates: COLA 2023, mortgages, social security payments, housing market, December jobs report - Funny Happy New Years Eve Gifts

US NEWS

What is the standard deduction for 2023?

The term ‘standard deduction’ is the earnings threshold below which you will not have to pay tax on your income. This either means that you can reduce your tax bill, or it could free you from income tax entirely.

The standard deduction increases in 2023 is $13,850 for single filer or married but filing separately, $20,800 for head of households and $27,700 for married taxpayers filing jointly.

Republcian immediately row back on Inflation Reduction Act provisions

The Republican-controlled House passed a bill Monday night that would slash tens of billions of funding dollars for the Internal Revenue Service.

Relief checks live updates: COLA 2023, mortgages, social security payments, housing market, December jobs report - Funny Happy New Years Eve Gifts

US NEWS

Do college students have to file tax returns?

The answer to this question is much more difficult than a simple yes or no. There are so many factors, questions of dependency, salary, taxes withheld, and a multitude more that make it a confusing thing to tackle.

Everyone must file a federal tax return if they make over a certain amount of income. To find out if you have to file taxes, you’ll need to know your Earned Income, which includes job wages as well as taxable scholarships couple with Gross Income: any other payments like dividends on investments.

Do college students have to file tax returns?

The answer to this question is much more difficult than a simple yes or no. There are so many factors, questions of dependency, salary, taxes withheld, and a multitude more that make it a confusing thing to tackle.

Firstly, how much did you earn last year?

Second, are you someone’s dependent?

AS USA's Oli Povey has the information

When will the December Consumer Price Index report be released?

On Thursday 12 January, the Bureau of Labor Statistics will release the CPI report for December. 

This report provides critical information for economists as to how inflationary pressure is trending within the market for goods and services. However, it should be noted that because of the holiday season, November and December data should be taken with a grain of salt. The economic activity seen during these months differs widely from others, meaning that the Federal Reserve could wait until January numbers are released to make any dramatic changes to interest rates. 

Last month, unemployment fell, which runs counter to the predictions made by the Federal Reserve. By raising rates, members of the US central bank believed that unemployment would rise. But again, December can be a tricky month for predictions because of seasonal workers who are brought on to help with increased shopping demand. 

Energy prices continue to increase in the United States

As the economy continues to feel the impacts of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, one of the sectors most impacted in energy. 

The US Energy Infomation Adminstration has reported that natural gas prices are hitting their highest level since 2008. 

​​​​​​​Price increases are derived from multiple reasons, one being a production decrease seen in the US in early 2022, followed by surging demand in liquified natural gas in Europe as the block cut their reliance on Russian energy products.

Increasing energy prices pull prices across the market up, and until prices for natural gas and crude oil return to a more normal level, we can expect the prices of other goods (that depend on these resources for production and transport) to stay elevated as well. 

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How you doing on this Tuesday morning?

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