VIRUS MAY INTERRUPT COLLEGE PLANS

#coronavirus #COVID19 #FlattenTheCurve #CollegeDreams #SummerMelt
They call it “summer melt.”
It’s the period between high school graduation and the beginning of college.
This year, the coronavirus complicates “summer melt.”
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution published an article about the virus and “summer melt” in its June 8, 2020, issue.
Some experts are predicting big drops in college enrollment this fall, the article says.
Colleges are unsure when they will open in the fall.
“There is a risk that a wide swath of kids get knocked off their college track. And it gets infinitely harder to get back on,” the article quotes Taylor Ramsey, executive director of OneGoal Metro Atlanta, a non-profit that works to improve college access.
People are really afraid for their health. To compound the problem, many parents of upcoming college students have lost their jobs because of the virus, making it more financially difficult to send their kids to college, the article says.
OneGoal works with about 320 Atlanta and DeKalb County students, including high schoolers, recent graduates and first-year college students, the article says.
When schools abruptly closed this spring, seniors were working on financial aid applications. Some started to get acceptance letters. Others were still applying to college, the article says.
Ramsey told the newspaper that she has asked students what they were going to do if school didn’t open in the fall. The answer was “I have no idea,” the article quotes Ramsey.
So what happens to these students now? It’s really hard to know. But, many can take comfort in knowing that if their college dreams are delayed, they can embark on one of the many programs out there that allow people to earn money by investing a few part-time hours a week. These programs are not like a traditional job, and they can help set up a future for them, regardless of what else they pursue, or when they pursue it.
To learn about one of the best such programs, message me.
Pandemic aside, one does not have to go to college to find success.
Some students are not suited for college. Others may have to assume loads to debt to get through college.
Others, still, may go to college, pursue a field of study that will not automatically convert to a good job. Add a big debt on top of a job that pays relatively little, and you have a situation that makes it difficult to save for the future.
If you were headed down such a path, the effects of the pandemic may force you to rethink your options.
As you rethink your options, know that there may be more options available to you than you may have considered.
Consider this thought: what if I could pursue my passion and not necessarily have to worry about money? It seems farfetched, but if you have an open mind, and are willing to look at things you may have never thought you would do, the possibilities are endless.
Peter

SOME EMPLOYERS OPTING FOR PAY CUTS VS. LAYOFFS

#coronavirus #COVID19 #FlattenTheCurve #layoffs #PayCuts #jobs
Martin A. Kits van Heyningen opted to cut his employees’ salaries instead of laying off some of them.
The workers at his company, KVH Industries, didn’t just take the move well. They applauded him for it.
“It was one of the hardest things I’ve done, but it turned out to be the best day of my life at work” Kits van Heyningen was quoted as saying in a May 31, 2020 article in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
He was trying to keep their morale up. Instead, his workers kept his morale up, the article quotes the company owner.
The ranks of those forgoing job cuts and furloughs include major companies like HCA Healthcare, a hospital chain, and Aon, a London-based global professional services firm with a headquarters in Chicago, the article says.
The coronavirus pandemic has wreaked havoc on employers of all stripes. When people are forced to stay home, very little live commerce gets done.
Because this pandemic is seen as temporary, and because some companies do not want to lose their workers when things come back, they are getting creative about how to keep them.
“Companies learned the hard way that once you lay off a bunch of people, it’s expensive and time-consuming to hire them back. Employees are not interchangeable,” the article quotes Donald Deives, a compensation expert with Willis Tower Watson.
“What we’re seeing this time around (vs. during the last recession) is more of a sense of shared sacrifice and shared pain,” the article quotes Deives.
So how is your work situation during this pandemic? Though nothing is “normal,” some are faring better than others.
It might be a great time to take stock in what you do for a living. Are you able to work from home? Or, can you never work from home?
Is your company losing money because it can’t produce what it normally produces? Undoubtedly, no one saw this coming in time, so there was no way to prepare for it.
But in a crisis, there is always an opportunity to evaluate one’s life, one’s work or one’s well-being.
If you are looking to do something different with your life, or you’ve been laid off or taken a pay cut, there are many programs out there that can enable anyone to make money without having a traditional job. These programs involve work, but can be done part-time a few hours a week – from home when necessary.
To learn about one of the best such programs, message me.
No one wants to be out of work, or take a pay cut. Also, no one wants to get seriously ill, and, perhaps, die.
After the pandemic is considered over, things will probably never be the way they were. Companies are learning to not just adapt to an emergency, but they are finding new, safer ways to do things. That will mean some jobs will not come back..
But you can be the master, or mistress, of your own destiny, if you are open to looking at doing something you may never have thought about doing.
Peter

PERMANENT LAYOFFS? WOMEN HIT HARDEST

#coronavirus #COVD19 #FlattenTheCurve #JobLosses #women
During the recession of 2008, men were hit harder than women.
Most of the job losses were in manufacturing and construction.
Samantha Schmidt tackled this subject in an article for the Washington Post. It was also published May 17, 2020, in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
That same edition of the Atlanta paper also carried a story that said many of the so-called temporary layoffs could become permanent.
Schmidt writes that 70 percent of those laid off in the 2008 recession were men.
This pandemic has forced the layoffs mainly of restaurant servers, day-care workers, hairstylists, hotel housekeepers and dental hygienists – professions dominated by women, she writes.
“Women have never experienced an unemployment rate in the double digits since the Bureau of Labor Statistics began reporting data by gender in 1948, until now. At 16.2 percent, women’s unemployment in April was nearly three points higher than men’s,” Schmidt writes.
Her article also points out that women held some of the lowest-paying jobs – cashiers, hotel clerks, office receptionists, hospital technicians and teachers’ aides.
The pandemic wiped out job gains women had made over the past decade, just months after women reached the majority of the paid U.S. workforce for only the second time in American history, her article says.
Meanwhile, employers who early on expected to rehire all their workers once the pandemic crisis abated now would be lucky to hire back 75 percent, the other article says.
It tells the story of Britney Ruby Miller, co-owner of a small chain of steakhouse restaurants. Her quote: “I’m being realistic. Bringing back 75 percent of our staff would be incredible.”
Some large companies won’t have enough customers to justify bringing back all their employees. And, despite federal aid, some small businesses won’t survive at all, the second article says.
If you’re a laid-off employee, you’ve probably been looking for work in the companies that have continued to hire, like pizza delivery companies.
Indeed, job fairs are starting to be scheduled for companies looking to hire.
Other employees may have been looking at other ways to make a living. Actually, there are many vehicles out there that allow anyone, regardless of skills, experience or background, to supplement or even replace their working income. As a bonus, when necessary, the work can be done remotely from home.
Want to hear about one of the best such vehicles? Message me.
The main take-away from the two articles is that the pandemic may inflict permanent economic damage, particularly in the service sector.
If you can escape unscathed, or have only a temporary setback, consider yourself lucky. Remember, despite phased-in economic reopening, not everyone will feel comfortable venturing out. Many who do will do so in a restricted fashion.
The days of safe, large gatherings are still a long way away.
So this might be a great time to take stock of your future. How do you see it? Is the job you had even worth going back to? If not, the time to look at other options may be upon you.
Peter

WHAT IS NORMAL? WHAT WILL NORMAL BECOME?

#coronavirus #COVID19 #FlattenTheCurve #TheNewNormal #normal
We all want to get back to normal.
But what IS normal, and what will it look like months from now, after adjustments to mitigate the coronavirus?
Gracie Bonds Staples, in her “This Life” column for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, tackled the subject in the May 7, 2020, edition.
“Indeed,” she writes, “a lot of us will return to what we were doing before the pandemic struck. Work.”
Yet, for others, she continues, “life will never be the same.” Some businesses will reopen, others will never reopen, she adds.
“Normal” differs by culture, nation, age and era, Staples quotes Usha Haley, the W. Frank Barton Distinguished Chair in International Business and a social scientist at Wichita State University in Kansas.
“There was a time when slavery was normal in the South,” Staples quotes Haley. “Our first president had slaves; but it’s rightfully considered abhorrent now, and we see it as our original sin,” she quotes Haley. “There was a time when women couldn’t vote, and, in several societies, they still can’t,” she adds.
Technology and immigration, among other factors, have accelerated change in our society, Staples writes.
“The idea of normalization never has meant much,” Staples quotes Haley. “ It’s much better to ask who is affected, who benefits, and who doesn’t. Everybody is not affected the same way. Normal isn’t what we should strive for. We should strive for a better society,” Staples quotes the professor.
No matter when it happens, “normal” will be different for most of us. Businesses and individuals have had to innovate during this time to find ways to do things while minimizing physical contact among people.
Undoubtedly, that will have corporate and other thinkers looking for ways to do things differently. Usually, that means analyzing how work got done during the paramedic, and determining whether it can get done the same way, or better, in the future.
When people stay home en masse, it means less traffic, less spending on necessities like gasoline etc., and those can be good things. But physical interaction with others cannot be eliminated entirely. How do two people have a date – a successful, pleasure-filled date – without getting near each other? Also, we all long to have group gatherings, parties, weddings etc., without worrying about keeping physical distance.
So what will your “normal” look like, presuming it won’t look the same as it did before. If you are concerned how you are going to make a living, know that there are many ways out there to do so without having a traditional job.
Though these programs involve work, and physical closeness might be preferred, they can be done remotely if necessary.
If you believe your economic future may be in peril, or you just don’t want to go back to what you were doing before, and have an open mind, you can check out one of the best of these vehicles by messaging me.
Meanwhile, “normal” WILL change, at least in the short term. Perhaps, in some cases, it will change forever. Instead of wishing for what was, embrace what will be – whatever that becomes. For the only thing certain in life, besides death and taxes, is change.
So, don’t just wish change away. Work for a better life, regardless of the new “normal” circumstances.
Peter

AIR POLLUTION MAKES THE CORONAVIRUS WORSE

#coronavirus #COVID19 #FlattenTheCurve #AirPollution
Air pollution makes the novel coronavirus more lethal.
So says a study by Harvard University.
Long-term exposure to polluted air makes the virus more deadly because pollution worsens complications of respiratory illness, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution quotes the study. The newspaper published an explainer on this April 18, 2020.
But here’s the irony: because the virus has kept many people in their homes, thereby minimizing human activity, many cities around the world are reporting cleaner air, the article says. By not driving much, and with businesses not churning as much pollution into the air, one can actually see mountains in the distance from some cityscapes that were clouded with smog prior to the outbreak.
U.S. Environmental Protection chief Andrew R. Wheeler said the agency would not tighten controls on particle pollution, known as PM2.5, because of insufficient scientific evidence, the article says. The PM2.5 standards were enacted in 2012.
In fact, the article says, PM2.5 – small lung-damaging particles generated by power plants, cars, airplanes and burning – levels have dropped by 39 percent between 2000 and 2018. However, data has shown an uptick in some regions since 2016, according to the article.
Americans now see less pollution and have gained 1.5 years of life expectancy since 1970, the article says.
This information puts our lives into perspective. We need economic activity to live. But economic activity means pollution. It’s up to us as humans to try to maximize – we can’t really eliminate all pollution – our air quality.
This viral outbreak has taught us a lot about how to do things differently. Something as simple as minimizing trips to the grocery store can put savings back in our pocket, and minimize the particles we put into the air.
Though it would be impractical over time to live lives secluded at home, perhaps this stay-at-home life can teach us to value things we had put little value on before.
Meanwhile, stay-at-home orders also mean no income coming in for many people. What if you could make money by staying home? There are many vehicles out there that allow you to use technology to help you generate income while you, and everyone else, is staying home. To learn about one of the best such vehicles, message me.
As progress is made on alternative energy sources, we will see less pollution over time.
Decades ago, the hum of engines and factory machines meant industrial progress. They were the sounds of money being made.
As we continued to make progress, we, in turn, made our air quality worse. As we look forward to a cleaner, perhaps quieter, world, it will mean some jobs could disappear.
If you are among those for whom the sound of internal combustion engines or factory machinery means money, you may eventually have to rethink how you earn a living.
Peter

THINK BEFORE TAPPING 401K

#coronavirus #COVID19 #FlattenTheCurve #retirement #savings #401ks
You’ve been laid off or furloughed.
You have no income, at least for the moment.
Federal stimulus, unemployment insurance etc. will help, but it may not bail you out entirely.
You haven’t got much, if anything, in savings, except, perhaps your 401(k).
You’d like to save it until retirement, but things are desperate now.
Carla Fried, from Rate.com, suggests you consider four things before you tap that retirement nest egg.
Her article was published April 16, 2020, in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Fried’s first suggestion: try reducing your monthly bills. Some people have subscriptions, or belong to things, they don’t use much. If that’s the case with you, cut some of those expenses.
Fried points out that the stimulus bill allows you to stop payments on student loans until Sept. 30. Most landlords will work with you on rent. Remember, many landlords have mortgages on the place you live in, and they are hurting, too.
Fried’s second suggestion is to understand the taxes you will owe if you tape that 401(k) early. Congress has allowed those tax payments to be made over three years, but you should not tap that money unless absolutely necessary.
If you have a Roth IRA or Roth 401(k), withdraw that first, she suggests, since you can do so without a tax penalty.
Thirdly, Fried suggests taking a few minutes to think about the future. “Before you tap retirement savings, try to slow down your racing brain. Imagine yourself at 65. At 70. At 90. That’s why you save,” the article says.
Finally, Fried suggests not rushing to make that, or any, decisions because you are laid off. Know that this crisis is temporary, and if you can weather it without drastically impairing your financial future, you’ll be better off for it.
Also, take a moment to think outside the box. There are many vehicles out there that allow you to spend a few, part-time hours a week to generate an income that could ultimately dwarf whatever you would make at a job.
They can allow you to rebuild your retirement savings over time, if you desperately need to tap into it now.
To learn about one of the best such programs, message me.
In summary, take a breath. Consider everything now and in the future before making decisions. These times will test our patience, but steel yourself to be up to the test.
Remember, too, that this situation is temporary, albeit indefinite. Some states are looking to open up certain businesses at the end of April or early May. Remember, too, that “normal” may not look like the normal you remember. Some jobs may not come back. Employers will learn from this experience, and find ways to do things that may save them money, and, perhaps, cost jobs.
For you, it’s best to wait before tapping your retirement savings, if you can, and look for other ways to generate income, if you need to.
Peter

WORKING FROM HOME CHANGING HOUSING MARKET

#WorkFromHome #coronavirus #COVID-19 #commuting
Technology is allowing more people to work remotely.
That’s changing the way people think about where to live.
In and around big cities may not be the only option for those able to carve out office space at home.
Lisa Prevost took on this subject in an article for The New York Times. It was also published Sept. 25, 2019, in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of last year, 24 percent of employed persons worked at least part of the time at home, the article says. That percentage has undoubtedly increased as coronavirus (COVID-19) fears and precautions have set in.
Among those with advanced degrees, it was 42 percent, the article quotes the figures.
In a survey last year of 23,000 new home shoppers, John Burns Real Estate Consulting, a firm with offices nationwide, 30 percent worked at home between one and four days a week. Some 13 percent worked at home full time, the article says.
States like Vermont are offering incentives for people to move there and work from home, the article says.
Is this a trend? Let’s look at it from all sides.
In past decades, employers frowned on people working from home for lack of supervision. They didn’t trust that employees could give full attention to their work, or give a full day’s work, from home.
It’s not that people would necessarily cheat their employers , though there are certainly those who might try. It’s more that home provides distractions – kids, TV, personal phone calls etc. – that would prevent an employee’s 100 percent concentration on his or her job.
But longer commutes, or even short commutes in heavy traffic are forcing people to spend more time getting to and from work, adding stress that could interfere with their ability to do their jobs.
Commuting and traffic add to the general societal problem of overcrowding and gridlock in cities, pollution from vehicles and portions of life wasted commuting.
So, the attitude about working at home may be changing, and technology is enabling people to do their jobs from anywhere.
Be careful what you wish for. You pay for the freedom to work from home with the electronic leash from work that never gets removed.
Certainly, technological advancement is a blessing and curse. But it is here, and people must adapt.
But what if you could work from home at a job you enjoyed, and could work when you wanted? There are many vehicles out there that allow people to work independently, yet have a network of colleagues they can call for help. These programs are designed for people who want to be their own bosses. They certainly require work, but, with no one watching you, are aimed at people who are self-motivated.
If you believe you are that self-motivated person, regardless of your education and skills, and want to learn about one of the best such programs, message me.
The bonus with these programs is you can live and work from anywhere.
Business and society are certainly warming up to the idea of having people work from home. They have to evaluate people more on tasks than hours worked.
Is it right for you? Remember, there are benefits and costs – freedom, but loss of interactions and gain of distractions. You have to evaluate your own situation to determine whether such an arrangement would suit you.
Peter

CAN YOU FIND AN EMERGENCY $400?

#EmergencyCash #MoneyInTheBank #breakdowns #PaycheckToPaycheck
Your (pick one: car, refrigerator, washing machine) breaks down.
To repair it would cost $400.
Do you have the cash, or could you get a loan that you could pay back quickly, to cover it?
Four in 10 Americans don’t, according to a Federal Reserve survey.
Jeanna Smialek discussed this in a New York Times article that was also published May 24, 2019, in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
But the economy is good, you say. Still, a lot of folks not only live paycheck to paycheck, their paychecks have shrunk since they lost their job, presuming they’ve gotten another one since. Some have not.
It creates a chicken-and-egg issue. If your car is broken down, you have to bum rides, or just plain not get to work. In fact, the Atlanta newspaper published more recently an article about the number of working people living in extended-stay motels because rents have risen so much. For some of those, car troubles have been the cause.
Yes, people are selling things to pay for emergencies, the Times article says.
Since the Fed took the survey, the article says, household finances have improved. That’s the good news. Three-quarters of adults said they were “doing OK” or “living comfortably,” up from 63 percent in 2013, the Times article says.
So YOU are not in dire straits. But, you may not be living the life you want. You may not have the job, or income you want. You see others with the things you would want, and wonder: why them, and not you?
Sure, you may be able to pay your bills, or deal with an emergency repair. But you may want something more out of life, and are not really sure what to do to get it.
The good news is that you CAN get it, if you are willing to look at things that you may not have ever thought you would do. There are many vehicles out there that can allow people to live their dreams, even with a part-time, off-work effort. To check out one of the best, message me.
It’s tough to live for any length of time without your car, or key appliances. It’s hard to deal with increasing rents when your paycheck is not increasing, or even declining.
We’ve all heard the horror stories of people making the choice between food and necessary medicine. In America, no one should have to make that choice.
Instead, you should have the choice of doing something that will better your life, regardless of what your employer wants you to do.
You don’t need special skills, education or background. You just need to be open to looking at something different.
America is, and has always been, a great country. Opportunities abound for those willing to check them out.
If you are unhappy with your situation, and think there is nothing you can do about it, think again.
Then, ask yourself this: am I seeing all my options, or am I afraid to look for, and at, them?
The next big thing may not fall into your lap, but there are definitely options that will make anyone’s life better.
Peter

YOUNG ADULTS DIFFER FROM THEIR PARENTS

#YoungAdults #millennials #GenZ KidsAndParents
It’s not unusual for a younger generation to have different priorities from their parents’.

But usually most are optimistic.

Deloitte recently released its Global Millennial Survey of 13,416 millennials (born between 1983 and 1994) across 42 counties and 3,000 Gen Z respondents (born between 1995 and 2002) from 10 countries. Most are uneasy and pessimistic, according to an article Marie Patino wrote for Bloomberg. It was also published May 21, 2019, in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The percentage of respondents who think that businesses are making a positive impact dropped from 61 percent in 2018 to 55 percent this year, the article says.

In other words, many of the kids don’t trust businesses.

Only about half of those in the two groups aspire to buy a house, the article says – something that likely was a high priority for their parents when they were young.

Only 52 percent of millennials surveyed said that earning a high salary was a top priority, the article says. It’s noble to want to have a higher purpose than just making money, and money doesn’t always buy happiness. But money can help one work through adversities in style.

Incidently, 56 percent of Gen Z’ers said earning a high salary was a priority, the article says.

In China and India, the article quotes the survey, Gen Z’ers were more optimistic about the future, while youth in major economic powers were pessimistic about the world and whether their place in it will improve, the article says.

It’s fairly easy to understand the pessimism. Perhaps the young folks have seen a parent, or someone they know well, forced out of a good job well ahead of retirement.

Perhaps they’ve come out of school with slim job prospects.

Perhaps they have witnessed atrocities, like school shootings, officer-involved shootings of unarmed people, or something else that triggers pessimism.

Certainly, older generations witnessed their share of bad news, but not nearly as much of the kinds of things the kids are seeing out there.

Regardless, there is still reason for optimism.

And, if you’re the kind of person who dreams of doing something great, for whom helping others is a high priority, there are many vehicles out there that can ultimately provide the resources to take some of those worries off one’s back, while enabling that person to pay it forward to others. To check out one of the best such vehicles, message me.

Certainly, there is much to be concerned about all over the world. Nearly everyone faces adversity at some point in life.

But bear in mind, if you are a young person who is pessimistic about the world, it’s OK to dream of a world you would like to see. It’s perfectly OK to dream of a very successful life for yourself, however you define that.

You have to be open, though, to perhaps doing something you may have never thought about, or considered doing. You have to be open to looking for, or at, something that could change your outlook on life. That something could be brought to you by someone you may not expect.

In today’s world, optimism sometimes requires effort. Don’t hesitate to put in that effort. You have the ability to improve your own lives. Go for it.

Peter

U.S. BIRTH RATE LOWEST IN 32 YEARS

#births #BirthRates #census #population
The U.S. is seeing its lowest number of births in 32 years.
So says provisional data from the National Center for Health Statistics.
A Bloomberg News article about birth data appeared May 16, 2019, in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The article goes on to break down the data by race, method of birth etc., but doesn’t talk about why birth rates are declining.
There are a number of trends one could point to. Many people are postponing marriage for any number of reasons. The longer one postpones marriage, it seems, the less likely there are to be children as part of marriage.
Other data has pointed to an increase in both the number of single-person households, and the number of young adults who continue to live at home with their parents.
Also, there are money issues. College debt is at an all-time high. The more young adults owe for their educations, the more likely they will postpone buying homes and having children.
And, though the economy is considered good, not everyone has benefitted. Some younger folks have been laid off, and not been able to find work that pays what their previous jobs paid – if they have found one at all.
There are many solutions out there to the financial issues involved with the decision to have children. There are a number of vehicles out there that can enable young couples to devote a few part-time hours a week to augment – or even surpass – their incomes, To check out one of the best such vehicles, message me.
Though parents likely encourage their adult children to have children, having children isn’t for everyone.
Being a parent requires major responsibility. You not only have to support those children financially, you have to be there for them. In other words, being a parent involves lots of money and lots of time. Not everyone has the desire for and commitment to that responsibility.
It’s important, some say, that each person replace himself. The article says the birth rate is dropping below replacement levels.
So who are the future workers, if birth rates continue to decline?
First, as we now see, machines can replace humans for many tasks. Second, immigrants looking for opportunities are moving to the U.S. Regardless how you may feel personally about that, it’s reality. The need for those immigrants is plain to see these days, no matter where you look.
So how do you feel about having children? Don’t feel you have a duty to have them, regardless of how badly your parents want to be grandparents.
Have children because you really want to have children. Don’t have more children than you can afford. Try not to have “accidental” children, if you can avoid it.
There is no shame in being single, or being married without children. It’s all a matter of the kind of life best suits you.
Peter