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Relief checks 2023 summary news: 2 April

Latest information today on filing your IRS tax return ahead of the April deadline, and news on Social Security, inflation relief, interest rates, the housing market and more.

US Inflation Relief: Latest Updates

What states offer student debt relief programs for their residents?

There are 47 states and the District of Columbia that have at least one program to forgive student loan debt, five of them will do so for moving there.


OPEC cuts production to support market stability, oil prices expected to rise

A day before the OPEC ministerial monitoring meeting, the organization of leading oil-producing countries unexpectedly announced that they would cut production by 1.15 million barrel per day. Dan Pickering of Pickering Energy Partners told Reuters that he believes the price per barrel could rise by as much as $10 while Gas Buddy’s Patrick De Haan is forecasting perhaps as little as $3 pre barrel.


Social Security reveals when funds will run out for benefit payments

The Social Security Board of Trustees released the annual report on the financial status of the Trust Funds, revealing when they will be depleted.

How to calculate your net worth

Knowing your net worth is important to understanding your financial health and progressing toward your goals for the future. Learn how you can calculate it.

Payment of $6,000 in California: Who is eligible?

A city in California has launched a new guaranteed income program that would last one year, for eligible people who have been affected by the pandemic.

The City of El Monte launched its new Guaranteed Income Program which will provide cash assistance with no strings attached to 125 eligible residents

Approved participants can receive a monthly payment of $500 for 12 months through a debit card that the city will issue.

AS USA's Rodrigo Serrano tells us about the requirements for those who want to apply for the assistance.

Housing market: The 20 cities where houses are cheaper than condos

During the pandemic many workers were forced to work from home. A situation that many found suited them prompting a reconsideration of their abodes and a mass migration to upsize. Normally purchasing a condo is cheaper than a single-family house, which is the case in the majority of cities and in some the difference is more than double. 

But a new study has foundcities where the opposite is true.

These Supplemental Security Income recipients won’t get any checks in April

Month after month, the Social Security Administration (SSA) sends out monthly checks to retired workers, to recipients of Supplemental Security Income (SSI), as well as other disability and survivor benefits.

Thanks to the 8.7 percent increase in the cost-of-living adjustment (COLA), average retiree payments increased to about $1,830 in February 2022. On the other hand, median payments for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients are approximately $675. However, in April, no SSI recipient will a check... but it may not be as bad of news as it sounds.... find out more. 

Social Security checks average $1,830: Exact mailing dates in April 2023

The Social Security Administration (SSA) is preparing to send out another round of monthly checks for Social Security, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and other benefit programs distributed by the agency.

Thanks to the 8.7 percent increase in the Cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) applied to benefits in 2023, the size of the average Social Security payment reached 1,830 in February 2023. This is up from an average payment size of $1,677 seen by beneficiaries in November 2022 before the 2023 COLA took effect.

Read our full coverage for the dates these checks can be expected. 

What are the best states to retire in the US in 2023?

Every passing year, a greater number of Baby Boomers (1946-1964) retire. As the cost of living increases across the United States, certain states offer a more comfortable life for seniors. Retirees who were offered a private retirement savings account (i.e., 401(k), Roth IRA, etc.) or a public pension are in a much better position than those solely dependent on Social Security when exiting the workforce.

The Senior Citizens League has reported that the purchasing power associated with Social Secuirty benefits has been reduced by around forty percent since the early 2000s. Without another income source, achieving a dignified standard of living is becoming increasingly difficult for the country’s oldest residents.

Aside from personal reasons, which may motivate some seniors to retire closer to family or in the community where they have lived in worked for decades, the living standard available to older people should be evaluated when choosing where to settle. Wallet Hub, the financial news site, ranked states across three categories: Affordability, Quality of Life, and Health Care, and found that the overall highest-scoring states were Virginia, Florida, and Colorado. At the other end of the spectrum, Kentucky, New Jersey, and Mississippi scored the lowest.

Read our full coverage for details on the ranking. 


Which states saw the largest increases in personal income in 2022?

Residents of Idaho saw the largest nominal increase in personal income of all US states, rising 6.2 percent. Researchers at the Bureau of Economic Analysis, see the "construction industry" as a "leading contributor to the increase." 

The number two spot goes to Colorado where personal income rose by 5.4 percent. And, in third place, was Texas, which together with Colorado saw personal income rise in part due to nominal wage increases in "professional, scientific, and technical services was the leading contributor to the increase in personal income." 

Read more from the BEA. 


Can't meet the tax filing deadline?

Worried about missing. thenational tax filing deadline on Tuesday 18 April? File for an extension though mid-October, advises the IRS. 

Those who apply for an extension should be aware that it only applies to the return and that any taxes owed must still be paid by the April deadline. 

Find out more before. 


What will interest in the spring housing market look like?

At 6.66 percent, the average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage in the United States hit its highest level since the early 2000s in late 2022.

In February 2023, rates for a 30-year mortgage fell to an average of 6.26 percent.

In late March, the Federal Reserve bumped rates up around twenty-five basis points, leading the Effective Federal Funds rate to reach 4.87 percent. In response, the cost of a traditional mortgage began to rise again, with the 30-year rate increasing to 6.32 by the end of March.

Read more in our full coverage on where experts expect rates to stand throughout the spring. 

Stimulus checks in April 2023: which states pay it and amounts

Last year, prices began to rise rapidly, and to support residents in combat inflation, various states began sending out relief checks. Although inflationary pressure in the market has weakened in recent months, the delivery of support will continue in April.

Find out where checks are being sent in our full coverage. 


Housing market “hunger games”

Like pretty much everything else the price of housing shot up during the pandemic fueled by record low mortgage rates and a mass migration as Americans rethought their living situation. To add insult to injury, to tackle rising inflation the Federal Reserve began aggressively raising interest rates which helped more than double the cost of borrowing to buy a home. When coupled with high prices many would-be homebuyers were pushed out of the market.

While the bidding wars have calmed down and mortgage rates begin to retreat, another dynamic is now playing out, an intergenerational battle to buy a home. Baby boomers have become the largest group of homebuyers at the expense of millennials according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Over the past year the percentage of millennials who managed to close a purchase of a home plummeted from 43% to 28%, meanwhile baby boomers jumped from 29% to 39% in the same time. What’s happening?

“Boomers have the money, and they have the housing equity, and they were able to win out on multiple-bid situations by either paying all cash or putting down a significant down payment,” said the NAR vice president of research Jessica Lautz. “They’re not downsizing. Baby boomers are purchasing the same size of home or larger than what they were living in before.”

First-time homebuyers are also being squeezed out with the level at its lowest level since the NAR began measuring in 1981, dropping from 34% to just 26% over the past year.


Cuts will need to be made to Social Security and Medicare within a decade

The Boards of Trustees of the Social Security and Medicare that oversee the funds that support the programs that millions of Americans rely on to either support their monthly income or provide their healthcare coverage issued their annual report on Friday. They gave a stark warning to lawmakers in Washington DC, that action needs to be taken to shore up the funds or they will be depleted within a decade.

While the date when the fund for Medicare will be exhausted was extended by three years from previous estimates, benefits will need to be cut starting in 2031 according to the latest report. The date when the fund for Social Security benefits will be depleted on the other hand was moved up by a year to 2033. At that time the Administration will only be able to pay out 77 percent of OASI scheduled benefits.


Social Security and Medicare Trustees’ message to Congress

The Trustees recommend that lawmakers address the projected trust fund shortfalls in a timely way in order to phase in necessary changes gradually and give workers and beneficiaries time to adjust to them.

Implementing changes sooner rather than later would allow more generations to share in the needed revenue increases or reductions in scheduled benefits.

The Boards of Trustees of the Social Security and Medicare, 2023 Annual Report

Mortgage rates could be at 5.4% by end of 2023

Rising mortgage rates coupled with sky-high home prices helped put the brakes on the housing market as many would-be homebuyers were pushed to the sidelines. After pushing toward the 7% level once again, mortgage interest rates have fallen for three straight weeks with the weekly average for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage at 6.32%.

According to an updated prediction from the Mortgage Bankers Association mortgage rates will remain volatile in the coming months dependent on the Federal Reserve's interest rate policy. However, mortgage rates are forecast to drop to around 5.4% by the end of the year.


Hello and welcome to AS USA's live blog on inflation relief and financial news

As the national tax filing date approaches, we will be providing you with information from the IRS on how to preventhiccups during processing and the distribution of your refund. 

This week the Bureau of Labor Statistics will release the March Unemployment Report. This information will provide further insights into how rate hikes from the Federal Reserve are impacting the labor market. 

Prices in the housing market have not cooled as many anticipated, as interest rates have increased. In February, the increasing cost of housing drove average prices up 0.4 percent.