How Millionaires Will Spend Their Coronavirus Stimulus Checks

If you want another reason why having a high net worth is better than having a high income, all you've got to do is look at who gets stimulus checks from the new CARES Act. That's right. There are millionaires getting coronavirus stimulus checks.

If your latest tax return shows an adjusted gross income of under $75,000 for single filers or $150,000 for joint filers, you get a $1,200 or $2,400 stimulus check. With each child, you get an additional $500. Once you make over $98,000 as an individual without children, and $198,000 as a couple without children, you no longer get any benefits.

To make between $75,000 – $150,000 a year in investment income at a 4% rate of return requires having a portfolio of $1,875,000 – $3,750,000. At a 3% rate of return or withdrawal rate requires having a portfolio of $2,500,000 – $5,000,000. Therefore, plenty of millionaires who are retired or semi-retired will be eligible for stimulus checks.

Yes, many of these people are the same millionaires who are also getting healthcare subsidies under the Affordable Care Act. Even though the ACA is supposed to help make healthcare affordable to the middle class and poorest of Americans, I guess you can't blame these millionaires for legitimately taking advantage of the system.

Based on all these benefits offered by the government, if you want to be a millionaire who lives the best lifestyle while also getting continuous maximum government benefits, then strive to have a net worth between $2,000,000 – $5,000,000.

Out of curiosity, I asked several millionaire stimulus check receivers about what they plan to do once the free money arrives. Here are their profiles and what they had to say.

What Millionaires Plan To Do With Their Stimulus Checks

Family of 4 with a $2.8 million net worth

We plan on using our $3,400 to help pay for our rental property mortgages. We have seven rental properties with two tenants saying they have temporarily been furloughed and would like to delay their payments. Hopefully, they will get their jobs back once the economy reopens so they can pay the full rent, but who knows for sure.

Family of 3 with a $2.1 million net worth

We're going to spend most of our $2,900 stimulus check on local restaurant delivery for the duration of the lockdown. Like you, we love to eat sushi and steak on occasion. With these stimulus checks, it feels like free money. Might as well treat ourselves to some good food during these difficult times! We'll put aside $1,000 for rental expenses and a new couch.

Fortunately, both my wife and I are still getting paid our salaries during the lockdown. However, if the lockdown lasts for more than two months, at least one of our salaries will be at risk. But we're confident that if one or both of us are furloughed, we'll get our old jobs back.

We're going to invest $500 in an eREIT and see how it goes for the year. We want to diversify our investments away from mostly stocks and bonds.

Family of 3 with a $1.8 million net worth

Although we are U.S. citizens, we live abroad and hardly pay any U.S. taxes. Yet, we're still eligible for $2,900 in stimulus checks. We're just going to use the money to invest in our Roth IRAs.

Maybe it's not right that we are getting a stimulus check, but our net worth was over $2 million before the coronavirus pandemic began.

74-year-old grandfather and 72-year-old grandmother with a $1.5 million net worth and pensions

We will spend our $2,400 on groceries and takeout. Our son has helped us figure out Instacart, so we will be ordering all our groceries through them at least until the pandemic subsides.

We're relatively frugal with no debt. As soon as the shelter-in-place order is over we will use the money to hire a gardener and a handyman to fix some various things around the house.

64-year-old single tennis buddy with a $1.9 million net worth

My buddy is the most frugal guy I know. Before the lockdown, we use to hit on the public tennis courts a couple times a week. He still drives a 30-year-old Nissan 240Z despite owning multiple properties mortgage-free. He also is single and has no dependents. I think corona time is finally making a difference! Here's me asking him over text what he plans to do with his stimulus check. We've been talking about the Porsche Panamera for two years.

Related: Are You A Real Millionaire? $3 Million Is The New $1 Million

How I'd Spend A Stimulus Check If I Got One

Unfortunately or fortunately, my family of four will not be receiving a stimulus check from the CARES Act. If we were, my wife and I would have received $3,400 since we have two kids. That would be so sweet! We’d donate most of the money to my father-in-law who lives alone in West Virginia. Whenever I get an unexpected windfall, I like to spread it around to as many people as possible.

Despite not getting any financial assistance during this difficult time, it's still nice to dream about what we'd do with the money if we did. I'm imagining a scenario where we're getting paid $150,000 to work from home for two months while also getting stimulus checks. What an amazing dream!

Further, hopefully, many of you readers will receive benefits from the coronavirus aid package. I'm excited that many grandparents who are on Social Security also get stimulus checks. Therefore, I thought it would be a good idea to provide some suggestions.

What To Do With Your Stimulus Check

1) Calculate expected income. The first thing is to calculate the expected loss of your various income streams. It's a sad process, but it must be done. Your future income will dictate how you should adjust your spending. I recently calculated my budget and kind of winced at how much we spent in one quarter.

2) Create two budgets. First create your Essentials Budget, which includes all the necessary things you and your family need to survive. Now create your Normal Budget, which includes all the things you were spending money on before the pandemic hit. Find the difference in the two budgets so you'll know what to cut.

3) Calculate the shortfall. If you cannot cover every item in the Essentials Budget from your expected income, then you must use your stimulus check to cover such essentials. The government's goal is for nobody to starve and lose shelter during this time of crisis. Further, we must ensure all medicine and support is provided for those with medical needs. Everything else is superfluous and should be cut.

4) Calculate your emergency fund. If you have less than three months of living expenses in cash saved up, but can cover your Essentials Budget, then I would save at least 50% of the stimulus check. Although saving your stimulus check is not helpful for the economy in the short-term, in the medium-term, preventing financial ruin for millions of people will tremendously help you and the economy.

5) Spend on local businesses. If you've got more than six months of living expenses in cash saved up, then I suggest spending the stimulus check on local businesses that are hurting the most. Spend immediately on food pickup or delivery. Set aside the money you would have spent money on a haircut, dry cleaning, flowers, a fitness class, etc and spend it on these small business providers once shelter-in-place is lifted. We must support our local economy to the maximum so that people who worked for these local businesses can return to work. Thank goodness for the Paychecks Protection Program!

6) Restock supplies that were hard to get during the pandemic. When the supply chain of masks, hand sanitizers, and other products come back, it's worth stocking up on a month's supply so that you don't find yourself in a shortage again. Restocking your household when there is plenty of supply will help minimize shortages in the future.

7) Pay your liabilities. The people who could not fully recover from the 2008 – 2009 financial crisis were those who got trapped under too much debt. It is important to try as hard as possible not to have any debt anchors tied around your ankles when the economy eventually starts to recover. The government is doing its best by having moratoriums for rent, mortgages, and student loan repayments. However, if there is no debt forgiveness, you will eventually have to pay back your creditors.

8) Donate it all. If you find yourself in great financial shape, yet still received a stimulus check, please donate the money to whatever cause, business, or medical facility that needs the most help. Donating to a family member in need is also great. The money was not meant for you. The money was meant for people who are seriously struggling.

Receive Relief, Provide Relief

I'm very happy that millions of Americans will be receiving up to $1,200 in stimulus checks during the coronavirus pandemic. I'm also pleased that millions of Americans will be getting an additional $600/week in unemployment benefits until July 31, 2020. $4,200/month in unemployment benefits per person is a lot of money in California.

On the flip side, the worst thing that can happen is if a stimulus check goes to a non-tax-paying, healthcare subsidy-receiving multi-millionaire who decides to save it all. At least spend the money in your local economy if you're not willing to give the money away to people who need it most.

Let those who need relief, get relief to survive another day. Let those who don't need relief at least spend every dollar of the stimulus check so it is injected back into the economy.

Update 2021: Some millionaires are getting $600 stimulus checks now. Joe Biden and Congress will likely pass even more stimulus checks down the road. We must thank our grandchildren for paying for all this stimulus.

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Readers, what are you planning on doing with your stimulus checks? Do you expect more stimulus checks in the future? Do you agree or disagree with the income requirements for getting a stimulus check? If you are a millionaire receiving a stimulus check, please share how you are spending the free money.

138 thoughts on “How Millionaires Will Spend Their Coronavirus Stimulus Checks”

  1. My wife and I worked extra hard with lots of available overtime this last year to pay off debt and help our kids with college. Put us over the 150,000.00. So we will not be getting any stimulus. To add insult to injury, our hard work increased the amount we owed to the Feds. By thousands. We know lots of people who have “businesses” that have been able to hide their income so that on paper they show little if any income. They will be getting their stimulus checks. The most egregious though. How about the hundreds of thousands of retired multimillionaires that will get this stimulus check along with the monthly security check they get of 1800.00 dollars…”because they earned it.” Our system is broken.

  2. I make 56,000 a year. In 2019, my mother passed away and I received 66,000 from her accounts of which I had to report as income. So I did not receive a stimulus check because it cause my AGI to be over 100,000. I have no savings or assets. I don’t own a home because I went through a divorce and never had enough money for a down payment. Basically lived check to check. I find it very unfair that people with assets in the millions get a stimulus check and because I received money from my mothers account after she passed, I get nothing. My base income is 56,000 a year. I am 63 years old and will probably not be able to retire for several years because I can’t afford to. How is this fair

  3. Interest post. I only have a small amount of debt with a $1,500 Paypal Working Capital Loan. I’m thinking about paying the loan off to go debt free again. But I should probably build up my emergency fund in case I experience another dip in income. I love the idea of being debt free but working capital can really help a sticky situation.

    I think diversifying into REITs is a good idea now that everyone is focused on stocks and bonds. I like the passive nature of real estate but abhor dealing with day to day tasks like leaks, damage, chasing down rental payments, etc. I want as much passive income that requires the least amount of maintenance work on my part!

  4. Sam, didn’t you say 3 million was the new millionaire a while back? An elderly couple with 1-2 million in NW are not rich, per say, but in good financial shape since they will likely need that money in case of health issues and when they cannot work. The majority of the average American NW comes from a combination of their primary home and retirement funds (IRA, 401ks, pensions). Those people are relying on money from 401ks that may have taken huge hits and thus their “fixed” income decreases. Also, 75k a year doesn’t cut it for many coastal cities if you don’t have your mortgagae paid down. I wonder what the numbers are and what percent of the checks are going to high NW individuals and couples.

  5. Ours has not yet arrived since we paid taxes before this happened. We owed and wrote a check because we rolled part of a TIRA. We had to do the “sign in and give the information” thing.
    We are solidly middle income with a million of assets, no debt. We get pensions and Social Security (but I worry about both with few paying taxes). Very frugal.
    We found a “back pack buddy” group that gives food to kids to take home. They are in full swing. Stopped our Church donation, they seemed to be doing little for the community.
    Found another Church that was working with the undocumented. Our “sanctuary undocumented” are working full time in packing plants still making next to nothing. Yesterday my state recognized that a large plant was not even testing. Today our state is back to full lock down. Half of our check will go to them.
    We hung a sign on our door with washed money in baggies for the delivery people.
    Gave my 25 person grocery one of their own gift cards for a “lunch on us”. They bought some store pizza!
    Holding back $200 for each of our small hair salons. I wish we could figure out how to get them the money now!
    BTW- most of my extended family is out of work (nurses/dental/hotel/ real estate/gaming). They have seen very few cases of the virus in their states. They have not seen a penny of unemployment yet. My mom (89 in full lock down) is floating a lot of people until the money comes in….

    1. Hi Sam,

      Thanks for sharing this. I am an avid reader of your blog. I couldn’t help but find that we fit the profile of having a NW within that range and an income below the range listed in your article. We’re 35 and we work for ourselves and decided to take this winter off to explore moving to Los Angeles (were from Canada), of course that’s on hold now. We also had our first baby in 2018 and I took 18 months off, so our income is different than what it would be if I was working. Right now, as Canadians, in the same situation we can obtain stimulus checks of 2k per month for 4 months per individual, as long as we have lost income due to COVID-19. There are other support measures if you own a business. I just wanted to point out what a big difference between Canada and the US. As far as spending, I do want to spend more on eating out and supporting existing businesses. Also one of my tenants has chosen to take off in May (breaking their lease) so that will be painful since it will be hard to rerent in this environment. I definitely have noticed pretty much 1/3 of tenants are having a hard time in general, I’m happy to help by discounting rent or deferring based on their situation. We have a live in nanny who has been isolating with us every weekend (if we weren’t isolating she would be seeing friends and family on weekends), so I’ll also give her extra hours ( and buy her some necessities and snacks) of work each weekend so she can save more to bring her daughter to Canada soon.

  6. I’ve invested it into a diversified portfolio of stocks and bonds. Have around 2 million and seems like a made the most returns after prior downturns. Sounds nuts but I love sell offs and recessions for the opportunity to buy less expensive assets. Five to ten years to an infinite time down the road this will be big money. However, hate to see people suffer because of it. Investing helps the economy as well.

  7. My wife and I received our $2400 stimulus money and sent the majority of it to our emergency fund. I normally wouldn’t invest my EF into the stock market, but after the crash, I simply had to withdraw some EF money to invest into stocks and index funds to lower my cost basis.

    It worked well for us. The $2400 from the stimulus went straight back to partially replenish our EF. No complaints there.

    As far as having an opinion on whether or not millionaires should get a stimulus check. I’m not entirely sure because I’m not a millionaire :) I personally would not need a check if I was a millionaire because I trust my money management skills and likely would have quite a bit cash on reserve and multiple sources of income to cover if one source crashed hard. But that’s just me.

  8. I’m not getting a stimulus check because CONgress apparently feels if you make more than $99,000/year as a single person, you are rich. I think since the US owns the world’s reserve currency, this debasing of the currency vis a vis creation of money can go on far longer than you dream possible.

    And as long as it props up the (insanely overvalued) stock market, both parties are happy. Democrats get to shower “bottom feeders” with endless money and promises, and Republicans get their corporate welfare and stock bubble. And if the stock market dares plunge again, there will once again be the ubiquitous 3pm pressers by Trump, Treasury, Congress to announce their newest bailout creation.

  9. STONKS?! Is that what you call stocks when the market is tanking?! Really made me smile…and I think I will keep using this vernacular :-)

    “Mostly invest it (stonks, real estate, bonds, etc)”

      1. That’s the curious thing about stock bulls–they get 10+ years of gains and are too wimpy to handle a several week pullback, so they need to be bailed out.

        It really is egregious that with tens of millions of newly unemployed, the stock market has nearly reversed the entire drawdown. Obviously there has always been a disconnect between Wall Street and Main Street, but the unbridled arrogance of the Federal Reserve, in concert with the US Treasury, to skirt the Federal Reserve Act to buy risky assets, just to keep stocks propped up is outrageous. Stocks, I may add, that were already trading at nosebleed valuations before the crisis hit and are now by all measures, even more overpriced (at least, if P/E ratios mean anything anymore). Worse, this is an affront to prudent investors who once again have had interest rates further suppressed in order to support speculation in financial markets.

        I fear our economy has basically become Californicated: that is, the flipping of houses and stocks to greater fools at ever higher prices backed by more debt substitutes for real, productive labor. Why? Because of the lure of easy money. Why work and do something productive when you can day trade? An activity I argue adds no value whatsoever to the world or to people.

        So while you smugly celebrate the end of the bear market and the return of the bull market, remember that bear markets don’t end in a couple of weeks. The bull was already incredibly long in the tooth, at historically rich valuations. Very few investors have lived through a true, secular bear market (that is, one akin to 1968-82). Given that is about the least that people expect, that may be a more probable outcome going forward than what is acknowledged. And remember, despite your stocks performing so well, there are tens of millions of newly unemployed. Someday in the midst of our crushing national debt, your fate may take a turn for the worse like theirs have, when a newly elected Congress decides not to bail out your precious stock market.

        It is always good to be humble.

  10. I just realized my AGI is negative 400k+, and thats why I got a stimulus payment from the IRS yesterday. It feels wrong, wtf. I read your article and now thinking about what to do with it. I have a problem spending money so I have to find something else worthy to do with it.

    1. Thank you for your caring nature. Many people who are suffering aren’t getting a stimulus.
      God Bless

  11. My wife and I make too much to qualify for the stimulus checks. I still support them, since a lot of people are out of work, and really could use the money. I’m in the top tax bracket already, so I know ultimately my taxes will paying for all the stimulus checks (that I don’t get). This is where the progressive US tax systems has the the top few percent of income earnings supporting everyone else while everyone else complains the rich don’t pay enough.

      1. And the medicare surplus tax of .9%. I’m finding at higher incomes, there are many more penalties, and reduced deductions/credits than loopholes that will benefit me.

    1. I did not qualify either. I also applied for the PPE grant, they ran out of money before they dispursed mine. And to add insult to injury, I am one of their so called ESSENTIALS, I am a nurse and getting paid what I have always been paid, Corona or not…. not even hazard pay here. But as my grandmother says, at least I am still working. And I see that my tax dollars will be too…

    2. No disrespect, but simply being in the top tax bracket (income of $622k or more for married couples) isn’t who I think of when I think about rich people that don’t pay enough in taxes. I think about people for whom most of their income is related to capital gains, or private equity managers benefitting from the carried interest loophole.

      1. No disrespect taken, I completely agree with you. I don’t consider myself rich, but I pay a lot of taxes. “Rich” is hard to define, its different for everyone. When I see government wanting to tax the rich more, they typically use an income of $250,000 per year as the cutoff.

  12. We are retired, so our income hasn’t been affected yet. Our net income has decreased almost $200K, however. I’m gradually donating our $2400. A few things we are doing: 1) We increased our automated donation to our church by $100 per month. Some people might not write a check unless they physically attend church. 2) We had a once in a life trip that was cancelled for next month. I’m planning to pay our pet sitter anyway for the 16 days we were planning to be away. 3) I’ve donated $200 thus far to my favorite zoo, as they won’t be able to open in May or maybe even June and will lose a tremendous amount of revenue. The precious animals still need to be fed and the keepers paid (Animal Adventure Park in Harpursville, NY, home of the famous April the Giraffe). 4) I plan to pay my hairdresser even though I can’t get my hair done this month. 5) We give very generous tips when we order takeout from restaurants. 6) I procrastinated on filing taxes, so I’m sure any excess will be paid to the IRS!

    1. It’s great what you’re doing during this time of crisis for many people. Thank you for supporting the folks and animals in your community by continuing payment.

    1. Yes, I’d like to receive a Stimulus Check, but I don’t qualify and shouldn’t With the high number so those that do need a check for basic living (food, shelter, medical), I think they should come first.

    2. 100% agree. Unfortunately, I desperately needed it. If not, I would have donated to a homeless shelter or a brave hard working Nurse.

  13. Having freshly done Venn diagrams last night helping my youngest daughter with her e-learning math homework, I would have to think the percentage of net worth millionaires that would receive stimulus checks would be extremely small. (Imagine a circle with “millionaires” in it, a circle with “receiving stimulus check” in it… picture where they intersect……not a large area)

      1. I am on Social security. And it’s not much either. Don’t intend to be mean but I still helped family with finances.
        Prayers for all.
        PS. Nurses are also a great person to help.
        So many people are suffering. Pray to God that this is over soon!!
        God Bless and stay healthy!

  14. My biggest question is how the 3 families in the first 3 examples accumulated net worth so high (between $1.8M – $2.8M), while making less than $150k last year AND having kids. Perhaps they inherited money, made smart investments, or live super frugally.

    Even for a couple w/o kids making $150k, after taxes and normal cost of living expenses they may only be able to save $30-$60k per year, meaning it would take a long time to get a net worth anywhere close to $2M.

    1. Good question.

      Family #1: Investments and heavy in tech investments. NASDAQ is UP in 2020 as of today.

      Family #2: Stock investments, real estate investments, and aggressive savings (60%) for 15 years. Multiple streams of income.

      Family #3: Stock investments, geoarbitrage and living really frugally.

      1. Thanks, that’s good to know. Glad to see that families without super lucrative salaries can still chart a path towards a high net worth.

    2. Shouldn’t even be a question. Rich people who don’t need it, should not receive any stimulus.
      If so, donations of many types are needed and very much needed.
      Homeless Shelters
      Free meals groups
      Animal Shelters
      Many charities
      Etc etc etc
      It sickens me to hear the millionaires speaking of how they will spend the money.
      If I were rich, which I’m from it. I live on a small Social security check. Giving makes you feel great!! God Bless

  15. I was gonna give some of it to a non-profit helping to provide a temporary UBI to people financially affected by the coronavirus, but then the tax man cometh and took a third of it away. I’ll probably still donate some of it anyway, just not as much as I’d have liked.

    I’m actually perfectly okay with the millionaires getting the checks too. Means-testing slows down (or stops entirely, in some cases) the checks for people who really need it. The money could have always just been taxed on the back end of it were really that big a deal. Plus, once you get past temporary relief measures and look long term at welfare vs UBI, you see means-testing just creates a stigma towards recipients and filters the needy out of actually receiving assistance (and all for way more administrative costs, too!).

    ARB–Angry Retail Banker

  16. I have been coordinating online grocery deliveries for family members in NYC, which has been hard-hit by the pandemic. Even though we are saving money on dining out, we’re spending more on food with those extra expenses. That’s where I would earmark an extra $1200!

  17. I will not receive a check ( make too much,) and am perfectly fine with it. But at work
    ( healthcare worker so we all still come to work,) we have an office staff and makes way less than most of us ,at work, and has a family(3 kids) who has received a handsome check. I personally know they still can’t afford to buy a house ( we live in the bay area,) and are renting but since him and his wife are gainfully employed they have decided to give all the money away to the needy. I am sure they could have used this money themselves, saving for a down payment maybe? It really warms my heart to see such amazing people still live in our society…

  18. I won’t be getting a check due to W2 income limits. So be it. I have been going to my local fav brewery here in CO to get growler fills and food to go. I won’t be able to save this place on my own but I hope to see them on the other side of this. The owner is stressed. I can see it on his face and in his voice. There are many small business owners in the same boat. Support local small businesses as they will be the last to see any fed $$$ after the hedge funds and other lobbied interests feed at this trough of cash.

    1. Yes, I sense the fear in small local business owner’s eyes too. My #1 goal recently has been to publicize the Paychecks Protection Program and ensure all small businesses know about it and apply. The money should eventually get paid and provide 8 weeks of payroll+ relief.

      I am telling every single business owner I encounter about PPP. And they have all applied.

      1. Thanks to your article, we applied for PPP. Looks like we will be getting back a fair amount, which we will donate to the people around us who are out of work and have no financial backup.

  19. I’m not a millionaire, not even worth 6 figures yet, recently graduated college. I don’t qualify for this program. I don’t want handouts. I enjoy working. We need more capitalism in this country.

  20. Our check is going into our kids 529 plans. I’m surprisingly pregnant with #3 so now that’s 3 kids college educations to fund.
    We are debt free, paid off mortgage and still receiving a paycheck (hazard pay so time and a half ) husband is a FF for a large city

  21. I’m a bad person and make too much money so I won’t be spending it at all! Before they attached income limits I had planned to find a caterer, or restaurant, that was hurting and pay them with my stimulus check to do meals on wheels meal prep. Many of the volunteers in my area are high risk and stopped. It would have been a great way to spend a stimulus check.

  22. I still don’t quite get it. I am financially independent, retired, and the measly money I make each year is strictly through passive income interest. Does this mean I get a stimulus check or not?

  23. How about what are dead people going to do with their stimulus. Considering payments are being made on 2018/2019 tax returns there are a lot of dead people receiving stimulus checks today.

  24. Do the self righteous commentators realize how much taxes people had to pay on their income in order to save a million dollars? For the 50% of the population who pays no federal taxes this is indeed free money. For the rest of us, this is our money!

    Instead of using net worth as a qualifying factor how about using taxes paid as a factor. You don’t pay anything you don’t get anything. Never mind, in the land of participation trophys everyone but the winners are winners.

    1. That’s true. $400,000 in taxes on a million dollar income is a lot!

      I’m OK with self righteous people telling people to donate so long as they donate everything themselves.

    2. Agreed, it should have been ‘here is x% of the tax you paid in 2019 back to you’. It would at least not exclude middle class high tax paying people in High COL locations who end up paying much more into the system today while getting a big fat $0 while the early retired millionaire (some of who gamed the system even when they were in their earning years – you know who you are) sits in his backyard tweeting about what to do with all the free money coming their way.

    3. FiredinSFBay

      Exactly, this is why the founding fathers only permitted property owners to vote. Why should people who don’t pay any taxes in have the right to vote for politicians who will use taxation to steal on their behalf in exchange for more power. At some point, the whole system collapses…see Rome for prior collapse insights.

      1. I have jokingly said people should 1 vote for each dollar they pay in taxes. It would be interesting, but probably lead to our demise.

        The stimulus isn’t really about helping the needy, I think that is a useful side effect. It’s about pouring cash into the economy to keep us from recession/depression.

    4. I agree with your comment. The system penalizes people who work hard and pay taxes. If not the system you describe, I would say either everyone gets it or nobody does.

  25. I’m donating about half to the local foodbank and using the rest for additional tips at local restaurants when they open. I didn’t lose my job, my expenses have gone down, I’m almost FI and I don’t need the money. I will use the money to stimulate the economy rather than lock it up in some asset.

  26. I’m spending our stimulus on a home office nook for my wife. She’s been working at the dining table/bedroom and that’s no good. We also need to replace the shades at our duplex. That’s probably half the stimulus. The other half, I’ll save in case our tenants need help. They’re doing fine for now, but you never know.
    We’re not ordering take-out much because my wife has an immunity issue. Safety first so we’re not taking any chances. We’ll order out more often later. I’ll donate some to the local food bank.

  27. We plan on donating all the money we receive. Most likely to a variety of charities and we might purchase some gift cards from local restaurants. We are not millionaires but me and my wife have good stable jobs and are being paid throughout this crisis. And we don’t anticipate being laid off if this continues for a long time. We just feel uncomfortable taking free money when so many other people are struggling.

  28. Dillon Faubion

    We are in the middle of a remodel on our primary (and only) home. We were originally planning on two phases of the construction. However, with the virus keeping us indoors and my wife and I still having jobs, we have saved more than normal each month. Add in the stimulus check and we are able to do a full remodel all in one phase.

  29. We’re not millionaires. We actually got our gov’t check this morning. It’s already in route to our brokerage account and will be invested if the market dips a bit.

    Fortunately, we have not been directly impacted. Still early and we have an emergency fund just in case. But we’ve continued to give 10% of our post tax income throughout this crisis. Some of that has gone to cashiers at our supermarket. Some will be going to go to family.

  30. At first, I read this as “How MILLENIALS Will Spend Their Coronavirus Stimulus Checks.”

    Avocado toast, obviously.

  31. Optimistic but annoyed

    Be sure to check the memo line of your checks, i hear there is a special treat for everyone noted there, to make sure you know who to thank for this “free money”. Then, remember this “free money” is just pre-payment of your projected 2020/2021 tax refund. Regardless, I love to see the collective determination to cycle back any funds to those who are disproportionately impacted by the stay at home orders. Happy to be part of that group!

  32. I’m not a millionaire (and with the market over the last month, that much farther away). However, I do make good money in a lower cost of living area. Right now, I do not need the money, but I also do not know where the future will lead. While I have a very solid job, i do know other professionals (accountants, dentists, lawyers) who are either being laid off or who have had their salary cut simply because their firms are closed or drastically scaled back operations. In all cases, the expectation is that they will be brought back with full pay once this is over, but obviously no one knows today when that will be. Right now my firm is fine, although VERY slow, but that could change depending on how long the stay at home orders remain.

    As a result, I am sticking the money in my savings account/emergency fund with the hope (and also expectation) that I will not need it. Thankfully, I have quite a bit invested so I have access to additional money if it absolutely came down to that. Ultimately, if I do not need the money, I will donate a portion (we did not do our usual higher than normal Easter donation at Church) and also have some work done on the house since I know several trade work guys who are either not allowed to work or whose work has dried up because people do not want them in the house (ie electricians, plumbers, etc).

  33. Random Dude

    We’ve are giving to a family member. She cuts hair for a living and already doesn’t make enough to live on. We are not millionaires ourselves (100K/year, NW about 600K), but are rich in comparison. We already sent 1000 this month as she is out of work and will keep sending another 1000/month. Not sure when we will get the 3400 stimulus check.

    I’m sharing not to toot my own horn but hopefully to encourage others to give as well. I suspect most reading this website don’t need a stimulus check, even if they are not millionaires.

  34. Its an interesting experiment no doubt. Kind of like what do you do when no one is watching. I think the whole situation is insane, but when trying to provide relief for millions, there are bound to be oversights. It stings thinking that I’m too rich (high W2) and also too poor (not high enough net worth) to receive it. So my vote went with “what stimulus check”. I will say that If I were getting a stimulus check it would go directly to others that need it more as cash. I think that spending money on restaurants and “supporting” local business by getting a service in return isn’t really different than any other day, though better support than nothing. If you want to really help them – just give the money and ask for nothing in return.

    I think it’s easier to say this since i’m not getting a stimulus check than to do it, but I can tell you with honesty that it’s exactly what I would do. Want proof?

    My kids daycare is currently closed in definitely, and as a result i’m no longer paying $3400/month in childcare expense. So, in a sense I’m getting my own stimulus check for the next few months (hopefully, they open again). In this period, I so far have been using the money for the following:

    – Paying 25% of monthly tuition to daycare to help cover staff costs during the shutdown.
    – I am continuing to pay my dog walker (two weeks advancements at a time) and I tell her to stay home. I believe most people since they are working from home, are no longer using her service.
    – I pay my cleaners and tell them to stay home. Again, I believe they are not being utilized by others.
    – I’m sending weekly payments to my sister that was laid off to help ease her burden even thought I know she is getting the stimulus and UI.
    – I have been buying groceries and having them delivered to older neighbors so they don’t have to worry about going out.
    – Tipping clerks/cashiers and baggers at the store for being there in times of need.

    My thoughts are that in these times, we should try and help out all of the people (and services) that we take for granted on a daily basis. If life ever gets back to “normal”, I really want them to still be available. I guess I am selfish after all!

  35. Not a millionaire yet. I’m saving mine and my wife’s check because I’m in the process of building a years worth emergency fund. I want to quit my job and work for myself

  36. I’ll likely spend my “free” money to buy precious metals. If the government in going to increase the money supply, then I am going to hedge against that increase. Stupid action on the government’s part leads to stupid response on my part.

  37. My two cents on getting a stimulus check, if you qualify for it, take it and use it how you see fit. Consider the advice given here, but every situation is different and you know yours best. But don’t feel guilty, everyone situation could change tomorrow, even if you are already wealthy. Good luck!

  38. I’ll be using our $2,400 to help with the $14k tax bill I have, due in July. My wife and I are both semi-retired, part time workers, who, due to a small IRA distribution ($20k) got whacked with a surprise: our adjusted gross income wound up at 401% of the federal poverty level, meaning we retroactively lost the ACA tax subsidy on our health care. We pay $800 a month for that and get a $11k subsidy from the state. But at 401% counting the IRA distribution (used to pay my hospital bill from a hear scare) the subsidy disappears, and goes into our total amount due to IRS. Bad accounting advice from our (former) CPA firm. So what comes in as a result of the CARE act goes right back to the government in July. Yep, we still have a low seven figure net worth, but that was designed to last 30+ years. Maybe it will. Probably not.

  39. So government data is flawed. They rely on income reported and not net worth. We have an income that exceeds the amount that “qualifies” someone for the aid and a net worth that is still above $3.5m. And you now what? I don’t need it. We have donated money to GoFundMe campaigns to support laid off restaurant staff, bought gift certificates to restaurants we love, donated to non-profit food banks, our church, donated the cost of tickets to summer concerts that were cancelled, bought groceries for elderly neighbors, bought meals to go from many restaurants and tipped 20-25 percent, bought wine from same, and on and on. If you are fortunate enough to have planned and saved and still have an income, then you should give. Period. If not, you’re a selfish prick.

    1. luckily it’s a free country and wealth is not monitored for taxation, income being so is bad enough. you donated and that’s great. leave others alone.

  40. Sam, great article in part.
    *Like, Suggesting “DONATE” and Spend on local/small businesses are Great.
    *But the parts of “Why One Should Donate…” sounds like you’re lecturing, judging, and Shaming people in my humble opinion.

    And are you SURE on the Unemployment Benefits section?
    You: “I’m also pleased that millions of Americans will be getting an additional $600/week in unemployment benefits for up to 39 weeks. $4,200/month in unemployment benefits per person” is a lot of money in California.

    Isn’t it *”An additional $600 per week added to the individual’s Reg. State UI benefits FOR (4) Four MONTHS only” (the $600 STOPS the week ending July 31, as Stated on the UI website)…then it’s back to the Reg. Amount after that! And a 13 weeks extension added is to the regular (State) UI Benefits claim, that guarantees up to 39 ( in some states less) weeks of UI Claim.

    Please, double check the information.


  41. I think, of all people that should receive a stimulus check, it should be millionaires. Their taxes are what pay for these types of things. Would be nice for them to get some their own money back!

    I’m turning my fake currency check into real wealth buy purchasing 2 Gold American Eagle Coins.

  42. I haven’t heard any replies about giving money charities like soup kitchen or food bank. I would think they are hurting for funds.

    1. I just wrote a check for $800.00 to the local soup kitchen. Just putting money where my mouth is. I gave my cleaning lady $1000.00. She has 3 kids and her clients have cancelled. In these hard times we need to help those around us who are hurting .

  43. Money Ronin

    I voted “Other” in the poll. I think net worth should be a factor in determining the stimulus amounts, but I recognize there is no practical way to do so. Even my own net worth is subject to speculation now that apartment interest rates have increased and tenants have started to not pay rent (and won’t need to for months to come). My real estate have definitely tumbled in value but who knows how much? Leverage works both ways.

    It’s unclear whether I will get a stimulus check but if I do it will be a cash reserve to offset rental losses. The potential loss is huge given my tenants are working class people severely impacted by job loss. In CA the rent/eviction moratorium and repayment of funds can last potentially 8 to 14 months plus another 3 to 4 months if an eviction is needed. That is a lot of unpaid rent and reserves required.

    1. Really, the Gov doesn’t know your net worth? They know what we had for breakfast and what snacks between lunch and dinner we had.

  44. Ms.Conviviality

    I’m using the stimulus money to buy supplies to start an Etsy shop. It’s something I’ve been wanting to do for a while but didn’t want to spend the money since I had other financial goals. Sheltering in place has allowed for more time to work on my projects and the free money was another guilt free incentive to start the business.

  45. Last year (2019) I made well under $75k as a single mom. This year (2020) A 15 year old investment was sold & I received cash. Now my 2020 income is above 200k. Will I have to return the $1200 + $500 stimulus at tax time next year?

    1. Well, they said “Based on 2019 AGI or 2018 AGI for not yet filed returns”, therefore the answer would be no.

      However, in 2021 you’ll be filing for 2020 income tax year, your income has increased by $125K, therefore you’ll have to pay taxes on the higher income and would feel like you’d be giving back that money.

      If I were in your shoes, I’d make No Plans on Spending that check, I’d put it in a safe interest earning account until I could do/get a rough estimate on my 2020 tax liability, (after all Deductible and credits) for the higher income first.

      Good luck.

    2. No. The stimulus is tax free income. It’s structured as a sort of early tax credit that you don’t have to pay back.

      ARB–Angry Retail Banker

  46. I’ll use my stimulus $ to continue paying my housekeeper to not come to my house. I’ll also use it to feed my constantly ravenous two young adult sons who came back from college to live with me because they won’t be on the dining plan provided by my ex. Providing them (and to a lesser extent, myself) three meals a day adds hundreds of dollars to the monthly grocery bill.

    Also, FYI I (a retired person with $75,000 in taxable income, solely from investments) do NOT qualify for healthcare subsidies on the exchange – I believe you have to be in the $40,000 range for a subsidy.

  47. What’s worse is that there is no COLA, so a couple making $130k in say alabama is in the same boat as another making $200k in NYC or SF but the first one gets the stimulus while the second couple does not.

    So hard working middle class workers living in high COL areas end up getting nothing, while carrying the tax burden of this massive payout all while retired millionaires are simply sitting in their backyard and tweeting about what stock to buy when the money hits their accounts. (you know who you are)

    oh well…

    1. This is why there should have been no means testing on the stimulus. Like you said, millionaire retirees got money while middle class workers in NYC and SF–along with college students just entering the workforce–were excluded.

      No one should have been excluded.

      ARB–Angry Retail Banker

    2. Put on your thinking cap…where are the high-COLA areas you mention, and how do they vote?

    3. No COLA adjustment definitely is something that would be nice for taxes etc.

      But given we live in a free country and can move to lower cost areas of the country, I see the gov’t’s point not to adjust for COLA.

      HCOLA should have hopefully provided much higher incomes to save and invest.

  48. This is exactly what is wrong with this country. Why would you use the stimulus money for yourself if you don’t need it. So much inequality and people can only think about themselves. Maybe after this is all done people will wake up to and stop the inequality.

  49. A point I haven’t seen mentioned here, or anywhere…the checks are for BUY-IN! The problem with the Wall Street bailout, TARP, and the annual $1+ Trillion deficit (a subsidy for the U.S. now, paid for by the U.S. future) is that regular people got nothing. Now, is there truly a millionaire receiving this check that will return it to the government? That was rhetorical.

    Once you take the money, all the high-minded palaver about “the debt” and “entitlements” and “government overreach” and “moral hazard” can be $hitcanned along with any other opinion one might offer. These amounts are not random, btw. These have been focus-grouped, and we are willing sell our right to complain for $1,200. We all have a price! Look who is getting bailouts, headline today: US Airlines, Treasury Department Reach Deal For Billions In Bailout Aid, and even the WWE has been declared “essential.”

    A question for consideration: Why do we work decades, at jobs we don’t love, to pay taxes to the government, while the government can simply create $6 trillion?

    1. The $1200 to you is a vehicle for you to pay the bank, directly through mortgage or indirectly through rent. The point of the stimulus is to keep banks solvent. Businesses will remain under mandatory closure for a while yet, so the government obviously didn’t distribute that money to stimulate the general economy.

      1. Payments to individuals plus unemployment add’l totals less than 10% of the $2 trillion. 40% of homeowners own title outright. So, nah.

        1. How many of those people who own their home outright are above the $75K cutoff? Congress expected this shutdown to last for six weeks, not six months.

  50. Canadian Reader

    Canada is calling it the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit. There are some qualifying steps, but basically anyone who lost his/her job can apply and the benefit is standard 2k/per month/per adult- up to 4 months. Many citizens are laughing because this is more money than they made while working! It also happens to be the same amount a person would get if they qualified for the maximum amount of EI- which is income based.
    The government plans on reviewing situations at tax time next year and will apparently be going after those who weren’t supposed to get the benefit. Because they needed to get the money out quickly they weren’t really turning anyone away. Another way to think about it would be an interest free loan- which you could pay back at tax time next year. To date 5.6 million Canadians are receiving it out of a working population of around 19.5 million people.

    I don’t qualify because I’m already on maternity leave, but my husband does. So far he decided it wasn’t worth applying because he would probably need to pay it back next year.

    1. Sounds like another win for Canadians!

      Given you’re on maternity leave, hopefully you are getting paid your full salary during this time? If so, another great win.

      The one thing I wished was if both my wife and I had full-time jobs while getting paid a full salary while on parental leave. That would be amazing.

      1. Canadian Reader

        Thanks for the reply!
        The amount I receive on maternity leave is the same as any other citizen on Federal Employment Insurance- except mat leave is for a longer duration. They pay 55% of a max annual salary of around $55,000 per year/ for 50 weeks. If you make more than $55,000 then you are disadvantaged by reduced income while on maternity leave. If you make less then they give you less.
        I had a high hourly wage, but only worked about 750 hours per year. In that case they average your highest pay over 20 weeks worked in the year before you apply- which qualifies professionals who work less hours for the maximum amount.
        I’m not sure how much anyone really cares about Canadian benefits- but I always find it interesting to compare different models practiced around the world!

    1. exactly! really wish he would have opened with nr.8; but based on poll results, he knows his readers. sigh.

      1. Yes, for this readership, #8 should be the main option. Sad that most folks aren’t considering donating.

    2. I always save the best for last.

      However, roughly 50% of readers do not get stimulus checks, therefore, they don’t have stimulus money to donate.

      How will you be donating your stimulus check?

  51. Interesting question and very interesting responses. I say, give it away to a non-profit or a relative that needs it a lot more than most who follow Sam’s great blog. Our first non-profit choice is Amigos de Guatemala. A great non-profit that focuses on education of indigenous girls in the highlands of Guatemala. (Please, no America First responses. This is a worldwide pandemic.) There are also MANY great humanitarian service projects in the USA. The choice of giving it away seemed so obvious to me when I was surprised to learn I actually qualified. You mentioned this in your article but did not include it as a choice in your survey? Would like to see how many would check that choice. Give it to a qualified humanitarian project, list that amount as a deduction if you itemize and the humanitarian service project will spend all of it on those who need it. Seems like a win win win opportunity for us, the project and the country.

  52. You forgot a choice in “how are you going to spend your stimulus check” –give it away to a person, local business, or cause that really needs it due to the coronavirus. There is a difference between just giving it away and getting food or services that you need. In the latter case your gift is a small percent of what you are spending.

  53. Chris Minasian

    I cannot help but open up a big fat ugly can of worms on this….once again our children will be STUCK with MORE debt piled on top of everything they will have to pay for- it’s bad enough their childhood/teen years have been beyond screwed with (gun shootings, overdoses, pandemic, jobs/school cancelled) now we’re loading them up with future debt to help provide rental checks to millionaires with multiple properties?!?! When do the benefits end for the older generation…we are penalizing our kids in many ways….think about it….if I’m wrong- please lift up my spirits and my teenagers’.

    1. I agree. I just had a daughter 3 months ago in January and can’t help but wonder how all of this will ever get paid for. It really is upsetting that part of this debt is being handed out to people who don’t need it nearly as bad as many of the people the program was designed for. I’m not saying people aren’t “hurting” compared to where they were at, almost everyone is. But a millionaire with multiple properties may have a “scratch” and need a band aid while those with lower income have suffered mortal wounds. By giving handouts out to those who don’t really need it as soon was they feel a little pain, we are only continuing with the whole “Wussification of America” trend.”

      We have not had a balanced budget or surplus since 2001. Back in 2000 the US debt was $5.7 trillion or $20,292 per citizen and $55,201 per tax payer. As of today we are sitting at $24.24 trillion or $73,545 per citizen and $195,420 per tax payer. I just don’t see in anyway how this is sustainable. Projections for 2024’s national debt are $37 trillion if things continue as they are. We continue to kick the can down the road and every time we kick it down the road the can gets heavier, doesn’t go as far, and gets harder to kick. But hey its not just a US problem, its a global problem so we are all invited to the debt party. Sh*t happens when you party naked. The keg will eventually run dry and the party will be over and our younger generations will be left to deal with the Sh*t.

      1. Chris Minasian

        Exactly! Now watch as your sweet daughter grows up and says things like “why are we having lock down drills at school or why are they telling us our planet is going to implode in 10 years”….we are going to be paying heavy therapy bills down the road for these young adults. But try to enjoy her every day…it goes fast. The positive out weights the negative…it’s nice to have my teenage daughters home through all of this to be honest.

        1. Well they paid their taxes too, many low income pay 0 taxes. Millenials want socialism….so here is a taste. We teach our kids frugality and I’m sure they will have a nice inheritance from us due to our frugality. I’m not worried for my kids

  54. I had an awkward conversation with a person on a forum who retired early (FIRE) with $3 million in net worth getting subsidized healthcare.

    He was arguing that if you qualify for something, you take advantage of it, because why not? The subsidy is for everyone who qualifies. He also reasoned that if he pays full-cost, he’d have to go back into the workforce to build up an even bigger nest, potentially taking away a job from a young person when he didn’t need to.

    The thing is, he had a point. His point and strategy is all valid, legitimate, and fair. I didn’t even want to bring the moral aspect to the conversation because that too is a very gray line.

    But it still felt like he was doing something wrong.

    The only solution I think is to revise the law so net worth is taken into consideration when government subsidizes healthcare and/or sends stimulus checks. It’ll be an arduous process and perhaps even invasive, but perhaps on the tax return they can add a line “net worth” that allows you to put in an approximation of your net worth (and the IRS get occasionally verify it).

    It’s just so pointless and insulting to send thousands of dollars to millionaires, especially when $1,200 to them becomes a rounding error at year end.

    1. First off, most of the people who received the stimulus checks aren’t millionaires. Frugality isn’t commonplace in the USA.

      There are more than a few millionaires who are at or past retirement age. Many may be living on this money for 30 or more years, so in reality they aren’t living a decadent life and are being frugal. Do you think it makes sense to take away their chance for $1,200?

      Based on your logic you’d agree that Medicare for the elderly should be means tested and if you have more than a certain amount of money saved that you shouldn’t get any subsidy? And what about people who retire a few years early, say at age 62 and live on an amount that qualifies them for subsidies? Should they also have to pay out the full price for insurance instead of receiving any kind of subsidy? If not, at what age is is acceptable to retire and not be subjected to means testing? Perhaps they could means test social security and if you have over a certain threshold saved you won’t qualify for medicare or social security. And only once they’ve depleted all their savings they could wait in line at an office to apply to receive social security benefits and Medicare.

      The government loves people who need to spend lots of money so they can pay lots of taxes. Reference those darn lottery winners with their multi-million dollar jackpots who are often back to zero in savings after 7 years or less.

  55. I’m a multimillionaire but only work one day a week in retirement so we squeak by under the $150 K joint filing AGI. We will just throw the stimulus checks in with our other income and either invest more or reduce our withdrawal rate. I think covid19 may have killed my main consultancies, if so I’ll have to start withdrawing some.

  56. It’s based on income and children. Them’s the rules. If you qualify, you qualify. Tax avoidance (as opposed to tax evasion) is legal and encouraged, so why shouldn’t those who have done the prep work reap the reward? It’s money that doesn’t exist anyway, right?

    I’m going to take mine, combine it with a tax refund (which is an accident; I didn’t account for the child tax credit), and use it to open a trading account. It’s extra money so I don’t mind using it on some high-risk activities that have the potential to provide a good reward. All that volatility provides some great trading opportunities if you know what you’re doing (and please don’t try this if you don’t know what you’re doing).

  57. Unpopular opinion – Our government and the Fed are no different than a person who uses a credit card to pay one credit card bill, while using that other credit card to pay another credit card bill, in order to use that credit card to pay for another credit card bill. A constant never ending cycle of borrowing money to pay down debt…

    The US dollar runs on “faith”, but for how long can we sustain this?
    Plan for the best,but prepare for the worst…

  58. My wife and I make over $200k a year, didn’t think I was getting this but apparently other millionaires are?

    1. Yep! Lots of millionaires are because they are earning less than $75K/$150K in investment income and not working.

      I didn’t even think about millionaires, retirees, and people on Social Security getting these stimulus checks until I talked to a bunch of people.

      1. Most millionaires have their money stashed in tax deferred vehicles. As far as IRS reporting goes, I make just a little more than FTE minimum wage in California. The fact that I just netted $375K in capital gains on a home sale doesn’t even need to be reported on my Federal tax form due to the $500K primary residence exclusion.

  59. Neat, it looks like I’m the only one who might blow the stimulus check on fun stuff. I’m thinking a new PC (mine is going on 8 years old) or an e-Bike (the lectric xp is tempting me).

    I’ve been thinking about both for a while, so the free money is just a convenient excuse to splurge. I was borderline FI prior to the panic, and paying off the mortgage a month earlier to facilitate FIRE life ASAP isn’t that urgent right now.

    But maybe I should just keep tossing all of the extra income into the money pile like the majority of my fellow welfare recipients.

  60. I’m going to buy stocks with my part of the check.

    The other part is going to my son. You see, he’s a paramedic but also a student so I claimed him on my 2019 taxes. However, since he working 40+ hours a week as a paramedic and firefighter he loses since I claimed him and unfortunately, he will not get a stimulus check from the government.

    So I have to make it right and give him what he should have received as an equivalent as a full-time first responder…

    I might spend some in my local community too, especially bars and restaurants. I know some waiters and waitresses that are hurting.

    1. Didn’t realize if that you get claimed, you don’t get a stimulus check.

      Can you clarify an adult on your taxes? I’m confused how this works since my kids are still young.

      1. Yes if you get claimed by someone else you don’t receive a stimulus check. The person who claims you gets an extra $500. But your dependent won’t receive any money.

        You are allowed to claim an adult on your taxes if they are a full time student under age 24 and there is no limit to how much income they make. So if a 22 year old full time college student is making $30,000 as a paramedic they could still be claimed by their parents. Which means they would not receive a stimulus check.

        If they are not a full time student, their income has to be below a certain amount to be eligible to be claimed as a dependent.

        If you are under 18, there are also no income requirements.

        1. Thanks for the clarification! Great info.

          Strategically, wouldn’t it be better not to claim the adult child so the adult child can get the $1,200 stimulus if income is under $75,000?

          I guess the reason why a parent wouldn’t do this is because they wouldn’t have known there would be a $1,200 stimulus check when they did their 2018 or maybe 2019 taxes.

          It’s the same thing with the PPP loan. S-corp owners who tried to save on FICA taxes by paying themselves a small income are now not going to get max PPP. If they knew about the PPP loan, they would have paid themselves up to $100K.

          1. Parents claim their adult children because they want to claim the college tax credit. Whoever claims the child get’s the tax credit. This is mostly when the parents are paying for college. They also want to claim them in order to get the $500 other dependent credit.

            Also, in order for a child to claim themselves they have to be able to have paid at least 50% of their living expenses. For me, I usually require children to make at least $15,000-$20,000 before I’ll consider them claiming themselves. Unless it’s clear they definitely are living on their own and paying their own expenses.

            So yes it would’ve have made sense for adult children to claim themselves because then they are eligible for the $1,200 stimulus check. But if they aren’t making much money (say below $20,000), it’s unlikely that they are providing more than 50% of their support, and thus shouldn’t be claiming themselves anyways.

            And yes you are absolutely right about the PPP program. S Corp owners who kept their own pay low to save on taxes are now not getting as much from the PPP program. Also, business owners who paid their workers as subcontractors instead of employees, in order to save taxes at the time, are also not getting as much from the PPP program.

            1. I’ve been claiming my college kids as dependents, but it doesn’t benefit me at all. I think I have to claim them (or at least they can’t claim themselves) since I am still supporting them. Also means no stimulus checks for them or me.

        2. What is the point of claiming an adult child who is working full time hours? Wouldn’t they get more back in a refund?

          1. Usually claiming someone won’t effect their refund. Unless they would be claiming some sort of tax credit (like a college tax credit). There are situations though that makes it more beneficial for a child to claim themselves.

            Usually these situations work themselves out on their own. If the parents are really paying for college and providing all of the child’s support, then it usually makes sense for the parent to claim them. If the child is working full time and living on their own then usually it makes sense for the child to claim themselves.

          2. It doesn’t make sense to claim a child that is working full time. They are losing out on their own refund. Of course, if the child is also filing taxes as an independent and noone has been audited then you would be gaining the benefit of both… illegally.

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