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Checking In

March 28th, 2020 at 04:34 pm

We've been on lockdown for just over a week I guess.

MM(16) was offered the summer job last week. They asked him to go in Wednesday? ??? Then quickly thought better of it. I doubt he will have a job at all. Will see...

MH's employer has been in extreme denial. It seems pretty obvious to us they are closed until fall (MH usually has the summers off). He works with the schools. They gave him about 70% pay and sent him home, last two weeks. It started "one day at a time" and ended up "one week at a time". Finally they shut down (yesterday) and told him nevermind, to file for unemployment. They will finish paying him this week and will pay out his sick pay.

We are completely fine for now, but I worry about a longer term recession. & honestly, MH is still recovering from 9/11 economically. He doesn't want to claim unemployment and get ahead of people who need it with more urgency. I told him I'd look it up and we could delay. But while thinking about it now I looked it up and I guess he only has two weeks to file? That's my one minute of googling. We can wait a couple of weeks and get further back in the line. It won't be much, given his job is low-wage and part-time. I don't know if he will be eligible for the new Federal benefits but will take what we can get. 9/11 was very harsh on us financially, so I just don't want to be stupid about it. It's hard for me to take my employment for granted, if nothing else. We are fine if I am employed, yes, but nothing is certain about that, now or ever.

School is going to be closed and online through the end of the school year. Not official yet I don't think, but even the Governor has said schools will likely not open again this spring.

I still feel comfortable going to small office. Even one of my innunocompromised employees has her Doctors' blessing (based on her specific medical situation and the small size of our office). My work is being rendered all sorts of essential at the moment. Construction is essential. Payroll and basic operations are essential. CPAs are essential, etc. For now. I can do most of my work from home, but am still going in two days per week. I think two days is kind of minimum to function "well". But also going in while I can because I know we may all be just working from home at some point.

Though construction is "essential", all the public offices are being shut down and "home sales" is not essential at the moment. So it's been insane busy with new daily challenges. Recorder's office shut down in one of our counties but is doing special recordings? We can't get permits, I guess? Not sure if that will change. Last I heard inspections might go digital/remote. Stuff like that.

I need to back up a bit on this though. I left a recession proof niche in 2018 (no choice, employer retired). I accepted a job in construction. I probably would have not accepted 99% of the jobs in construction but this one is unique. They have several businesses, I do some wealth management (very random), etc. I wasn't really expecting "home building" to stay essential but it is for now due to housing shortages in our state. But regardless of that, my business runs things largely like I run my household. Bills are paid far ahead and they leverage very little. I have not been concerned about the short run (weeks/months). Will see how things continue.

I did accept this job thinking it would be a natural pivot to part-time or semi-retirement during the next recession. Wasn't thinking about it happening so soon and may have some regrets on this front.

So that's kind of the big picture on that. I only leave the house to go to the office. MH only leaves the house to go to the grocery store.

I am just so buried at work, life continues on as it has. We are homebodies and try to generally limit unnecessary errands, always eat our meals at home, etc. so it's been a small change for us at this point. Having the electric car is the icing on the cake. I just recharge overnight, I never have to go to a gas station. MH has been getting groceries while I am home. We will have to take our gas cars out for a spin at some point.

As frustrated as I am that my work stars continue to align at *crazy* (pretty much with infinite random things that are completely outside of my control, spanning many years). As frustrating as that is, I do appreciate what a small disruption this has been to us, that we don't have smaller kids or kids in college. We seems to be in some sweet spot, my kids are very independent and don't need our help navigating school. In contrast, my SIL was in the middle of a remodel, has missing windows in her house and no working shower (due to bathroom remodel). πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ My niece was going to Paris next month for an amazing exchange program, etc. Glass half full "monkey mama" is thinking, "Well we had absolutely nothing planned or going on, so this is very little disruption to our lives." It seems a miracle honestly after the last few years we have had. Will take it.

I mean, we did cancel LA Trip #2, which seems entirely jinxed at this point. But will just redo in the fall, if we can. LA Trip #1 was canceled when I was hit by some horrible flu or virus. The purpose of the trip was for us adults to see MM's #1 college choice, so we would like to redo the trip before 2021.

Edited to add: We will get $3,400 stimulus and will have to pay back $500 because MM(16) will be 17 by the end of the year. I expect the IRS does not know his age and that they will advance us $500 for him, if nothing else because this stimulus will be so rushed. Will see. But anyway, just hoarding the cash for potential unemployment. I've seen a lot of tax misinformation out there. The money is yours to keep unless your tax situation changed between 2018/2019 and 2020. They are basing the stimulus payments based on 2018 or 2019 taxes filed, because that's the most recent income/dependent information they have on file. But whether you were truly eligible and get to keep it will sort out when you file your 2020 taxes. **CORRECTION: That last sentence is not true. (Not sure 'strikeout' works on this mess of a website, sorry. I know it works on my sidebar but never works here so I didn't even bother trying). If you are overpaid, you get to keep it!**

11 Responses to “Checking In”

  1. Lots of Ideas Says:

    MM you could file for unemployment and put the money aside to donate later if things go OK for you.

    There isn’t a limited pool of unemployment money - your husband taking from someone else.

  2. MonkeyMama Says:

    LOI - Understood, but there is a very long line and other people need it far more urgently than we do. He is taking from those people if he just makes the line longer. We will get in line eventually, just no rush.

  3. MonkeyMama Says:

    LOI - Understood, but there is a very long line and other people need it far more urgently than we do. We will get in line eventually, just no rush.

    I can't even imagine how long it will take them to process the claims already in the system.

  4. disneysteve Says:

    I'm curious what you guys do/did such that 9/11 is still impacting your finances 18-1/2 years later. My apologies if you've explained this previously.

  5. Butterscotch Says:

    Like Steve, I am curious about the 9/11 background. Weren’t you guys in your early 20s back then?

  6. Julie Says:

    According to the Wall Street Journal, reconciling the stimulus payments using 2020 information will only work in one direction. If a person ultimately qualifies for a larger payment they will receive more money, but if a person ultimately qualifies for a smaller payment, they will not have to pay the money back. I don't know if this is true, but it makes sense (the politics of clawing money back would probably not be good!).

  7. MonkeyMama Says:

    DS - Too complicated of a question to answer. Not sure it has much to do with anything we did. ??? But I mentioned in regards to my husband's long-term unemployment. It might not be worth mentioning here, but I know in real life people will roll their eyes at us taking unemployment. I've just been seeing people being so nasty online with this whole virus thing. (Not here I don't think, but online in general). I don't know, it sounds really stupid now that I type it out and try to answer your question. 😁

  8. MonkeyMama Says:

    @Julie - that is interesting. I expect that I will take a class this week re: stimulus and will correct this post as I get more info. Like I said, lots of misinformation. I am guilty too apparently.

  9. disneysteve Says:

    If you qualify for unemployment, file for unemployment. I see absolutely nothing wrong with that. You pay into it. Your employer pays into it. You are entitled to benefits. My daughter hesitated thinking other people need it more than her, and I'm proud of her for thinking that way, but I still encouraged her to file, as she had every right to do.

  10. Joan.of.the.Arch Says:

    I'll be watching for your udpdates on the stimulus relief payments, TYVM.

  11. MonkeyMama Says:

    @Joan - oh no, the pressure! Big Grin
    There will probably be some good FAQ news articles coming out, if not already. But if I do get to the stimulus class, I can try to share this weekend.

    My gut reaction is that the requested two-week timeline (to rush out checks) is very pie in the sky. The IRS is already understaffed and the IRS employees I know were sent home/furloughed.

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