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-   -   But I'm on a fixed income! (https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=892506)

dropzone 03-24-2020 07:24 PM

But I'm on a fixed income!
 
And as long as Trump et al keep their hands off my Social Security I'm glad I am. But will I be eligible for the stimulus payments? A grand or two would hit the spot before June, when I get all my SS (it's complicated).

Sunny Daze 03-24-2020 07:29 PM

I don't know if it's clear yet who will get payments. The bill hasn't been passed yet.

Beckdawrek 03-24-2020 07:48 PM

Guv-mint. My favorite flavor. (:))

nelliebly 03-24-2020 08:38 PM

I'm on a fixed income, too, dropzone. But if I qualify for this stupid payment, I'll give it to my kids regardless of my own needs. It's a pathetic attempt to buy votes, and their generation will end up paying for it anyway, so they should bet my portion.

E-DUB 03-24-2020 09:40 PM

My wife needs a car. Both of our vehicles died about two months apart. I was able to replace mine at no small cost, but that left me in a position to not be able to help her with hers. So, yeah, I'd take the $$$$.

dropzone 03-25-2020 08:10 AM

"UP TO" $1200. I'm fucked.

OTOH, I'm currently on only survivor benefits. I'm way poor.

Velocity 03-25-2020 09:17 AM

In response to the OP: According to CNN, your fixed income shouldn't affect you either way. You'll be eligible to receive a $1,200 stimulus check as long as you didn't earn more than $75,000 last year or last-last year. However, the checks likely won't arrive until May.

dropzone 03-25-2020 09:31 AM

Alrighty then. I haven't made $75k since 2008, back when it was pretty good money. Now it seems like minimum wage.

Kovitlac 03-25-2020 09:40 AM

Interesting. I don't need the money to survive, as I'm still able to work like normal, but I'd be lying if I said I really couldn't use the money. Had a few car maintenance and repair bills come up that I've been paying off and I'd really love to get those taken care of.

I'm a bit out of the loop so I apologize, but was it confirmed whether the money would have to be paid back or not? I hadn't really been keeping tabs on this, figuring that since I haven't lost my job or got decreased hours, I wouldn't qualify for any help.

Velocity 03-25-2020 09:43 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kovitlac (Post 22209675)
I'm a bit out of the loop so I apologize, but was it confirmed whether the money would have to be paid back or not?

From reading the sources, I am 99.999999% certain that you don't have to pay them back (it's a gift, not a loan,) except perhaps in the sense that they might be considered taxable income, in which case you'd have to pay a small fraction of them as federal income taxes next year just like any other income.

Probably treated the same as the 2001 and 2008 Bush-era stimulus/tax-rebate checks (and I can't recall how those were treated, tax-wise.)

Tigers2B1 03-25-2020 09:46 AM

A relative has been living off her Roth IRAs and hasn't filed a tax return since 2013. She doesn't yet receive Social Security retirement and doesn't plan to until she reaches 70. So she doesn't have a record with her tax return but does have a record with Roth withdrawals. Does someone in that situation qualify for the payments?

Velocity 03-25-2020 09:46 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dropzone (Post 22209666)
Alrighty then. I haven't made $75k since 2008, back when it was pretty good money. Now it seems like minimum wage.

Right - and even if you earned more than $75k, you could still get a check, but it wouldn't be for the full $1,200; it would be a reduced amount.

It's only at $99,000 income that you receive nothing.

Tigers2B1 03-25-2020 09:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tigers2B1 (Post 22209691)
A relative has been living off her Roth IRAs and hasn't filed a tax return since 2013. She doesn't yet receive Social Security retirement and doesn't plan to until she reaches 70. So she doesn't have a record with her tax return but does have a record with Roth withdrawals. Does someone in that situation qualify for the payments?

Just one correction in case it matters. She did filed up to 2016 when she also took money out of a traditional IRA. She hasn't filed since 2016.

Hermitian 03-25-2020 10:11 AM

Can someone actually define what "fixed income" means? I have heard that in different ways.

kayaker 03-25-2020 10:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hermitian (Post 22209735)
Can someone actually define what "fixed income" means? I have heard that in different ways.

One of my pet-peeves is when people say they're on a "fixed income". Aren't most people on a fixed income, other than those working for commission? If I win the Mega-Zillion Lottery, quit my job, and receive a $40,000 check each month , I'm on a fixed income, right?

Musicat 03-25-2020 10:20 AM

If I understood my college economics lectures, sending checks to everyone without backing increases the money supply, leading to inflation, which will erode the value of any "free" money you get.

OTOH, if there is backing, the real money will come from taxes, past or future, which will erode the value of anything you get.

Sounds like a win-win, lose-lose proposition, although the wins & loses won't be distributed evenly in the population. Overall, however, a zero-sum game.

Kovitlac 03-25-2020 10:21 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Velocity (Post 22209684)
From reading the sources, I am 99.999999% certain that you don't have to pay them back (it's a gift, not a loan,) except perhaps in the sense that they might be considered taxable income, in which case you'd have to pay a small fraction of them as federal income taxes next year just like any other income.

Probably treated the same as the 2001 and 2008 Bush-era stimulus/tax-rebate checks (and I can't recall how those were treated, tax-wise.)

I was living with my parents back during that time, so I honestly have little idea how those were done, lol. Thank you for your reply! :D

Musicat 03-25-2020 01:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kayaker (Post 22209751)
One of my pet-peeves is when people say they're on a "fixed income". Aren't most people on a fixed income, other than those working for commission? If I win the Mega-Zillion Lottery, quit my job, and receive a $40,000 check each month , I'm on a fixed income, right?

A fixed income is one that you can count on each pay period, like a salary that doesn't vary. Social Security is an example. Most commission jobs are variable, based on the amount of commission earned for the sales you make, even though the actual funds received can be a draw upon future earnings.

Some commission jobs are 100% commission-based -- if you sell nothing, you receive nothing in commission. That's how my real-estate income is; I receive only the commission from my sales, nothing else. In some ways, this is worse than a fixed income; it includes the possibility of no income at all, while expenses continue.

dropzone 03-25-2020 01:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kayaker (Post 22209751)
One of my pet-peeves is when people say they're on a "fixed income". Aren't most people on a fixed income, other than those working for commission? If I win the Mega-Zillion Lottery, quit my job, and receive a $40,000 check each month , I'm on a fixed income, right?

When I was telemarketing I heard the whine in the title about once an hour. Because I'm a saint I never said, "Lady, my rate is based on the program I'm calling for and if we run out of contracted hours I can get laid off for the rest of the month. Don't think I have any sympathy for you. I only wish I had a fixed income.

And FTR, my luxurious SS fixed income will be slightly higher than many months as a telemarketer. This massive influx of home workers will fuck things up for me when I get out of the Home and start looking for work.

Folacin 03-25-2020 02:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Musicat (Post 22209756)
If I understood my college economics lectures, sending checks to everyone without backing increases the money supply, leading to inflation, which will erode the value of any "free" money you get.

OTOH, if there is backing, the real money will come from taxes, past or future, which will erode the value of anything you get.

Sounds like a win-win, lose-lose proposition, although the wins & loses won't be distributed evenly in the population. Overall, however, a zero-sum game.

Well, a subset of people has been worried about hyper-inflation for the last 30 years or so. My nearly 40 years ago economics class said "too much money chasing not enough goods", and this stimulus is supposed to prevent "no money and too many goods" AIUI.

And as AIUI (not well admittedly), the 'backing' is the overall economy (at any rate nothing tangible). So if the money infusion causes people to continue to buy stuff, then at some level/percentage it is 'self-backing'. And certainly if it staves off an actual depression/deflation scenario it is a good thing.

Little Nemo 03-25-2020 02:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kayaker (Post 22209751)
One of my pet-peeves is when people say they're on a "fixed income". Aren't most people on a fixed income, other than those working for commission?

It used to be standard that if you were collecting a pension, the amount you received was set at a specific figure at the point when you retired and began collecting it. Not a bad idea at the outset. But if you were collecting the same amount twenty years later, inflation might have reduced the value of that amount to less than you can live on.

Employed people didn't have this issue because wages and salaries were generally adjusted upwards periodically to reflect the rising cost of living. So it was the elderly, who were essentially being forced to live off a "salary" that had been set decades earlier, who were said to be suffering from having to live on a "fixed income".

To address this problem, many pensions now have cost-of-living adjustments built into them.

DrDeth 03-25-2020 02:11 PM

[QUOTE=kayaker;22209751]One of my pet-peeves is when people say they're on a "fixed income". Aren't most people on a fixed income, other than those working for commission? ../QUOTE]

No, if you are employed you can change jobs, get a promotion or a raise.

Altho technically yes, a millionaire could be on a "fixed income" it really means someone on retirement and/or Socsec or perhaps Disability. Yes, sometimes those get a CoL but never a real increase.

RivkahChaya 03-25-2020 02:19 PM

I wonder what's going to happen to us?

In a normal year, which includes 2017 & 2019, we earn less than $60,000 combined. However, in 2018, I inherited money from my mother that put us well, well over $99,000. That's where a lot of what's in the bank is from, although we do manage to save, and living in a cheap part of the country helps.

If the inheritance counts as "income," then 2018 will count against us getting the money. However, if they really are going to look at BOTH years, we should be OK. Or if they are going to look at earned income, and not inherited income, we should also be OK.

I'd like to ask someone these questions, but I don't know who.

Melbourne 03-25-2020 03:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Little Nemo (Post 22210256)
It used to be standard that if you were collecting a pension, the amount you received was set at a specific figure at the point when you retired and began collecting it. Not a bad idea at the outset. But if you were collecting the same amount twenty years later, inflation might have reduced the value of that amount to less than you can live on. .

Particularly during those years in the 70s, 80s when inflation was hitting double figures.

We have been getting a similar whine here in Aus about unemployment benefits. Unemployment benefits are very small, and the program is depressing and de-humanizing. I get that: I've been on benefits. But there's a political meme that benefits "haven't gone up in 20 years" which is just ..... political. (Benefits have been indexed. And rent-relief is proportional). No: "wage increases" are what people who aren't on indexed benefits get. And no: our unemployment benefits have always been very small, depressing and dehumanizing, and you shouldn't need to make up reasons for improving and increasing our program.

Folacin 03-25-2020 04:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RivkahChaya (Post 22210290)
I wonder what's going to happen to us?

In a normal year, which includes 2017 & 2019, we earn less than $60,000 combined. However, in 2018, I inherited money from my mother that put us well, well over $99,000. That's where a lot of what's in the bank is from, although we do manage to save, and living in a cheap part of the country helps.

If the inheritance counts as "income," then 2018 will count against us getting the money. However, if they really are going to look at BOTH years, we should be OK. Or if they are going to look at earned income, and not inherited income, we should also be OK.

I'd like to ask someone these questions, but I don't know who.

I think you can look at your 2018 taxes for your AGI (the last line on the first page) - I presume (based on nothing) that that is the value that determines your check. I don't believe that an inheritance feeds down to that line.

D'Anconia 03-25-2020 08:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Folacin (Post 22210529)
I think you can look at your 2018 taxes for your AGI (the last line on the first page) - I presume (based on nothing) that that is the value that determines your check. I don't believe that an inheritance feeds down to that line.

Inheritance is not considered income.

https://turbotax.intuit.com/tax-tips...axes/L653s0Kyn

Senegoid 03-26-2020 03:21 AM

Article in Washington Post with details on who is eligible and how much they can get.

Calculate how much youíll get from the $1,200 (or more) coronavirus checks

Quote:

Are the checks taxable? No, they are not taxable. The only catch is that technically a personís 2020 income is what is qualifies them for the payment. Since no one knows their total 2020 income yet, the government is using tax returns from 2019 and 2018 to figure out who qualifies for a check. It is possible that someone may have to pay back some of the money if his or her income this year turns out to be significantly more than it was in 2019 or 2018. Thatís expected to be a relatively small share of people, and the money would not have to be paid back until April 15, 2021.


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