Day: June 26, 2020

CityWatch: Welcome to New York! See you in two weeks!

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Hey, New Yorkers: Have you spotted any fresh Texans skulking down Broadway? Any newcomers from Florida or Arizona traipsing up Fifth Avenue?

Warning: Keep your social distance, and tighten your COVID mask.

These visitors are supposed to be quarantining indoors, where they can’t infect the suddenly healthy New York folks, and no sneaking off to the leafy suburbs of New Jersey or Connecticut, either. The governors of all three states have signed a legally binding travel advisory ordering 14 days of self-isolation for anyone coming from one of the coronavirus-spike states, which are bunched across the American south and west.

Unless you’ve spent a lot of time in New York City, you may not realize how surreal this cold shoulder is. New York likes to exploit its new arrivals and sometimes elevate them, not make them feel unwelcome. IDs have never been checked at the Jersey line. But June has brought a real coronavirus switcheroo. New York, which had led the nation in infections and deaths, surprised everyone, locking down long enough to become America’s bent-curve poster child. And now, states that rushed to reopen are all of a sudden seeing their case counts Texas two-stepping like never before.

Alabama, Missouri and Nevada all reported single-day highs on Thursday. Arizona, California, Florida and South Carolina reported rolling-average highs. And in Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott blinked. For months, the governor had been among the quickest to abandon coronavirus precautions. Now confronting what he concedes is a “massive outbreak,” he is reversing course and suspending all further Texas reopenings. He even called off face-lifts, tummy tucks and other elective surgeries to keep hospital beds free for life-or-death COVID cases.

See: Bill Gates says poor U.S. response is making pandemic picture ‘more bleak than I would have expected’

Meanwhile, New York state’s coronavirus hospitalizations have fallen below 1,000, the lowest since mid-March. Did anyone even think this was possible? The positive-test rate has sunk so low, 1%, that Mayor Bill de Blasio predicts a Phase 3 reopening on July 6, which would include indoor dining (at 50% occupancy), nail salons, tattoo studios and massage parlors, the legitimate kind. “The data is telling us ‘yes’ right now,” de Blasio said.

But all that’s for New Yorkers. If you’re an out-of-towner, the next questions is, “From where?”

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is making the point that hospitality has its limits. After a multistate barrage of quarantine threats from other governors, he is hardly hiding his delight at the turnaround. Directly addressing Abbott, Florida’s Gov. Ron DeSantis and others, Cuomo took his best shot Thursday on CNN: “You played politics with this virus, and you lost. You told the people of your state, and you told the people of this country, the White House, ‘Don’t worry about it. Just open up. Go about your business. This is all Democratic hyperbole.’ Oh, really? Now you see 27 states with the numbers going up. You see the death projections going up. You see the economy going down. It was never politics. It was always science.”

The governors of New York, Connecticut and New Jersey have signed a legally binding travel advisory ordering quarantine for visitors from some states.

Kevin P. Coughlin / Office of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo

These new virus spikes are having a real impact, throwing previous calculations into all kinds of doubt. They aren’t a second wave. It’s too soon for that. The weather isn’t even cool yet. Too many states are bending the first-wave curve—in exactly the wrong way.

And so the demand for tests is overwhelming the supply in Arizona. Walt Disney Co. DIS, -2.38% has delayed the reopening of its California theme parks, previously set for July 17. The stock market has gotten jumpy again. U.S. jobless claims topped 1 million for the 14th week. The only good news, it seems, is that the American economy is so deflated now, there’s less air pollution.

Take a deep breath and enjoy it. Just don’t lower your mask if anyone else is around.

The next question in New York is this one: How far will Cuomo go to enforce the spike-state quarantine? Will violators be arrested? If so, where will they be held? Or is public shaming what all this is about? When DeSantis and the other governors were threatening New Yorkers, the talk was mostly bluster, as things turned out. Hardly anyone was cited, sued or jailed.

Don’t miss: The coronavirus-led economic recession may be over, but the depression has barely begun

From the beginning of the coronavirus crisis, Cuomo has emphasized that his state has neither the will nor the resources to compel compliance. Moral persuasion is the primary tool. That was true of the social distancing and the mask wearing. It’ll likely be true again. There’s a difference between legally binding and practically enforceable.

But if Abbott or DeSantis happens to turn up in Times Square? Well, that could spark a reaction. Given the bitter back story, it could be a while before they can return to Austin or Tallahassee. This being New York, they’d better bring their toothbrushes and a change of underwear.

Ellis Henican is an author based in New York City and a former newspaper columnist.

Key Words: Fauci says that in his 40 years of dealing with viral outbreaks, he’s never seen anything like COVID-19

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Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases for three decades and one of the leading experts on pandemics in the U.S. for the last four decades, told U.S. lawmakers on Tuesday that SARS-CoV-2 has taken him by surprise, particularly in a singular way that helped lead to one of the biggest public health crises in a generation.

‘I’ve been dealing with viral outbreaks for the last 40 years. I’ve never seen a single virus — that is, one pathogen — have a range where 20% to 40% of the people have no symptoms.’

— Dr. Anthony Fauci, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

“I’ve been dealing with viral outbreaks for the last 40 years. I’ve never seen a single virus — that is, one pathogen — have a range where 20% to 40% of the people have no symptoms,” he told a House Committee on Energy and Commerce hearing on the Trump administration’s response to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The World Health Organization currently estimates that 16% of people with COVID-19 are asymptomatic and can transmit the coronavirus, while other data show that 40% of coronavirus transmission is due to carriers not displaying symptoms of the illness. As a result, public health officials have advised people to keep a distance of 6 feet from one another.

A recent University of California, San Francisco, study found that there’s a high load of SARS-CoV-2 shedding in the upper respiratory tract, even among pre-symptomatic patients, “which distinguishes it from SARS-CoV-1, where replication occurs mainly in the lower respiratory tract.” Such a viral load makes symptom-based detection of infection less effective in the case of SARS CoV-2, it said.

Also Tuesday, Fauci dismissed criticism that federal authorities had created a serious misstep by telling the public not to wear masks during the early days of the pandemic, only to reverse that decision later on. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the White House and even the World Health Organization all reversed their positions on the efficacy of wearing masks over time.

‘There was a paucity of equipment [needed by] our health-care providers, who put themselves daily in harm’s way of taking care of people who are ill.’

— Anthony Fauci pushing back on criticism that federal authorities misled the public on the effectiveness of wearing masks

“OK, we’re going to play that game,” Fauci said when questioned about the seemingly sudden U-turn in public-health policy. “I don’t regret that because — let me explain to you what happened. At that time, there was a paucity of equipment that our health-care providers needed, who put themselves daily in harm’s way of taking care of people who are ill.”

After two months of obfuscation over the efficacy of face masks, during which New York City became the epicenter of the pandemic in the U.S., and one month after the WHO declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic, U.S. federal authorities said all Americans should, after all, wear face coverings in public settings.

The COVID-19 pandemic, which was first identified in Wuhan, China, in December, had infected 9,295,365 people globally and 2,348,956 in the U.S. as of Wednesday. It had claimed at least 478,289 lives worldwide, and 121,279 of those deaths were in the U.S., according to Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Systems Science and Engineering.

The Dow Jones Industrial Index DJIA, -2.40% and the S&P 500 SPX, -1.94% were lower Wednesday, as investors weighed progress in COVID-19 vaccine research amid fears of an infection surge of in U.S. states that have loosened restrictions. Fauci said he was cautiously optimistic that a vaccine could be developed by early 2021.

How COVID-19 is transmitted

The Moneyist: My friends shame me for being 26 and making $105,000 — far more than they earn. ‘I secretly feel like I’m paid too much’

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Dear Moneyist,

I have an old group of friends I’ve been close with for more than 15 years.

Two years ago, I graduated from college after struggling to get my undergraduate degree in computer science for eight years. I entered the workforce making what I knew to be a lot of money for someone my age. At 26, I make $105,000 a year. I’m incredibly lucky and privileged to do so.

My problem comes from one of my friends, in particular, who repeatedly shames me for my salary. I don’t recall if I’ve ever told her exactly how much I make, but she will occasionally say things like, “You make too much money” or, “You make more than enough to afford X.”

Also read: Why there are so few women in Silicon Valley

Recently, during a game night when given a funny prompt to draw (“I had too much money, so I bought this car”) she called on me. Some of her assumptions are right. I do secretly feel like I’m paid too much for what I do, and I know my salary has to do with the tech industry instead of my skill.

However, I want to be able to have open and honest conversations with these friends about navigating money as young adults. When I get a raise or a promotion at work I want to be able to celebrate with my friends, and not feel like they’ll judge me or make snide remarks about my salary.

How should I approach this friend? Should I accept that I’m privileged and lucky and stop sharing money related things with them all together?

Making Too Much

Dear Making,

Yes. That’s the short answer. Now for the long one:

You are worth $105,000 a year — and more. At twice that salary, I have no doubt that the value that you bring to your company still pales in comparison to the money they pay you. You don’t need your friends to believe in you for you to believe in yourself, or to know that you’re worth every penny.

If they do not respect your wishes? You choose to stay and endure their slings and arrows or you excuse yourself and find other friends who will show you the respect that you deserve.

It is my experience that it’s best to tell someone how you feel. When your friends make comments about your salary, even if they don’t know how much you make, ask them to stop and tell them why. You don’t have to make excuses for yourself. You don’t have to tell them how fortunate you feel.

Once you tell them how you feel, it’s up to them. Lay out your feelings, and ask them to leave any comments about your job and salary off the table, your job is done. They can respect your wishes or choose not to respect them. You can’t change them. Nor are you responsible for them.

And if they do not respect your wishes? Then you have a choice to make and that is when you are responsible for your own actions. You choose to stay and endure their slings and arrows or you excuse yourself and find other friends who will show you the respect that you deserve.

Also see: I received my ex-husband’s $1,200 stimulus check because we filed joint taxes in 2018. Should I give him the money or return it to the IRS

You are, as you say, in a privileged position, and your friends may be feeling financial pain right now. People are struggling to pay bills. As Americans have received their $1,200 stimulus checks, many have used it to keep a roof over their head. When people are fearful, they sometimes lash out.

Some sobering figures: The average hourly pay in the U.S. hovers at $25.72. Nearly 25% of Americans have no emergency savings. There’s growing concern among many people that the economy won’t restart in time to save them from missing their rent, their mortgage or grocery bills.

You are, as you say, in a privileged position. There’s a lot you can do outside of your friend group to make a difference. Taking action to help others is just one solution to that problem.

Gallup data released this month add more support to previous research that less-educated workers in low-wage, blue-collar roles have been hardest hit by COVID-19, and suggest the pandemic is “exacerbating the income inequality that existed before its arrival.”

Some 95% of workers in low-income households — making less than $36,000 per year — have either been laid off as a result of the coronavirus (37%) or have experienced a loss in income (58%). A quarter of workers earning between $90,000 and $180,000 a year saw an income loss.

Some groups will feel this public-health crisis more than others, including older people, workers who can’t call in sick, and those who can’t pay for quality health care. There’s a lot you can do outside of your friend group to make a difference. Taking action to help others is one solution to that problem.

Here are some of the charities that are doing some great work at the moment. You can help get medical supplies shipped to where they’re needed most, volunteer with Meals on Wheels, donate money to a reputable nonprofit, support your local food bank, or even donate blood.

Also read: Millions of people of color have NO access to affordable health care or quality education — 2 million Americans lack running water

Bottom line: If someone talks negatively about your achievements or aspirations, or believes you’re not up to the job, or suspects they should be doing what you’re doing or earning what you’re earning, it has nothing to do with you. This is all about their insecurities, not yours. It’s really not your problem.

So don’t discuss your salary with your friends. You don’t even have to discuss work with these friends, if you don’t want to. If they ask you how much money you spent on a piece of clothing, remind them that you hate talking about money, and that you would rather not talk about it.

I don’t know any 26-year-old men who think they’re getting paid too much, so focus on being the best friend and employee you can be. But first and foremost, be a best friend to yourself.

You should never have to apologize for being who are and/or for achieving what you have achieved. You have worked hard for this — and you should enjoy it. You are only accountable to yourself. If you are in a toxic situation, by all means ask yourself why you choose to remain in it.

I say that because there is another person whispering in your ear: Your saboteur. After you have spoken to your friends, turn your attentions to your saboteur. You can be far less diplomatic here. Tell her: “I am where I am because of who I am. Now do yourself a favor — and get lost!”

You’ve worked hard to finish college and get a job in a white male-dominated industry. Give yourself a break. I don’t know any 26-year-old men who think they’re getting paid too much, so focus on being the best friend and employee you can be. But first and foremost, be a best friend to yourself.

The Moneyist:‘I’m astounded that I have NOT received my payment’: When will I receive my stimulus check?

You can email The Moneyist with any financial and ethical questions related to coronavirus at qfottrell@marketwatch.

Want to read more?Follow Quentin Fottrell on Twitterand read more of his columns here

Would you like to sign up to an email alert when a new Moneyist column has been published? If so, click on this link.

Hello there, MarketWatchers. Check out the Moneyist private Facebook FB, -6.91% group where we look for answers to life’s thorniest money issues. Readers write in to me with all sorts of dilemmas. Post your questions, tell me what you want to know more about, or weigh in on the latest Moneyist columns.

The Moneyist: ‘I’m astounded that I have NOT received my payment’: When will I receive my stimulus check?

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Dear Moneyist,

I am one of the many Americans waiting on a stimulus check. I’m astounded that I have not received my payment, especially as I qualified, according to all IRS requirements. I just found out that my parents claimed me as a dependent. As soon as I found this out, I filed my 2019 tax return.

However, I fear it’s too late for me to receive my $1,200 stimulus check. Is it too late? The tax return deadline for 2019 was extended to July 15, so I assume there are many people like me who don’t qualify based on their 2018 return, but do qualify on the 2019 return.

When will I receive my stimulus check?

Confused son

Dispatches from a pandemic: Letter from New York: ‘New Yorkers wear colorful homemade masks, while nurses wear garbage bags’

Dear Son,

You are one of an estimated 30 to 35 million people who are waiting on their stimulus checks from the Internal Revenue Service. Your stimulus payment is an advance on a 2020 tax credit, so you will receive the $1,200. However, it likely won’t arrive until next year or later this year, at the very earliest. By then, we may or may not be in the midst of a second wave of the pandemic.

Some 160 million stimulus checks have been sent. Here’s a breakdown, per the House Committee on Ways and Means:

• 13 to 18 million taxpayers who file returns below the $2.2 trillion CARES Act income thresholds.

• 7.5 million Social Security and Railroad Retirement beneficiaries who do not file tax returns.

• 10.7 million taxpayers who don’t file tax returns and don’t receive federal government benefits.

• Millions of Social Security Insurance-only or Veteran Affairs recipients who do not file tax returns.

“The IRS also has an estimated 10 million pieces of mail to open and process, including 4.7 million tax returns. Some of these returns may be from first-time filers who would qualify for economic impact payments,” according to the House Committee report. “Treasury and the IRS initially estimated that there would be 171 million economic impact payments under the CARES Act, which seems low given the following populations.”

Don’t miss:‘We will not have a vaccine by next winter.’ Like the 1918 Spanish flu, CDC says second wave of coronavirus could be worse. So what happens now?

Having your bank details on file will help speed the plow for a payment next year. If the IRS does not have your bank-account information on file, it will likely take longer. Approximately 14 million Americans, or 6.5% of U.S. households, don’t have bank accounts. You can submit your bank-account and address information through the IRS tracking tool, “Get My Payment.” It should also tell you if the IRS needs more bank-account information.

The Moneyist: My son is staying with me, yet my financially irresponsible ex-husband received his $500 stimulus check. Is my ex right to keep it?

You can email The Moneyist with any financial and ethical questions related to coronavirus at qfottrell@marketwatch.com. Want to read more?Follow Quentin Fottrell on Twitterand read more of his columns here

Would you like to sign up to an email alert when a new Moneyist column has been published? If so, click on this link.

Hello there, MarketWatchers. Check out the Moneyist private Facebook FB, -6.91% group where we look for answers to life’s thorniest money issues. Readers write in to me with all sorts of dilemmas. Post your questions, tell me what you want to know more about, or weigh in on the latest Moneyist columns.

Top Ten: Weekend reads: Where’s the stock market heading?

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Investors are worried. The U.S. stock market’s dramatic recovery from the March lows has stalled. The market tends to be forward-looking, and the rapid recovery for share prices pointed to a quick end to the coronavirus recession.

A recession is usually defined as two consecutive quarters of shrinking gross domestic product. Second-quarter GDP is expected to be dismal, but then the U.S. COVID-19 recession may end and a new economic expansion may well begin during the third quarter.

But Rex Nutting has been considering the long-term effects of the pandemic, which may include thousands of businesses closing permanently and millions of people losing their jobs, also permanently. He explains why we shouldn’t expect a quick bounceback from what may turn out to be a depression.

More cause of concern: The U.S. sets record for new cases in a single day, as Texas becomes first state to reimpose restrictions

Related:41% of businesses closed on Yelp have shut down for good during the coronavirus pandemic

Also:Bill Gates says the poor U.S. response is making pandemic picture ‘more bleak than I would have expected

The S&P 500 Index’s rally from its March low has stalled.

FactSet
A sudden change for the stock market

If you look at the chart above, you can see that the remarkable recovery for the S&P 500 Index from its March low has started to reverse. Mark DeCambre explains what’s spooking investors.

How to cope with the new market uncertainty

Michael Brush has tactical advice on how to take advantage of the current damage to stock prices.

An argument that stocks aren’t overvalued

The U.S. stock market roared back so quickly from its March lows, even as the U.S. economy was still sliding, that some professional investors said valuations to depressed earning levels were way too high. But three analysts at New Constructs argue that the S&P 500 is cheaper and more profitable than you might think.

Jackie Cummings Koski.

MarketWatch
This woman’s path to FIRE

Jackie Cummings Koski went from being divorced with $20,000 to being able to retire early and begin the new career that she wants — helping other people.

Federal Reserve stress tests and bank dividends

Here’s a look at which banks may need to cut their dividends following the Federal Reserve’s annual stress tests, which were augmented to reflect the economic damage from the coronavirus pandemic.

Angra do Heroismo on Terciera Island, Azores

iStockphoto
The best retirement escape you’ve never heard of

Brett Arends interviews a man who is considering a move to a beautiful island region where you can swim all year and with the bonus of the fastest, cheapest, easiest way to a European passport.

The July 15 IRS deadline

Bill Bischoff explains that July 15 is actually many deadlines in one, and digs into several personal and business scenarios to help tax filers avoid costly mistakes.

More IRS help for IRA holders

The IRS has just broadened the rules on who can roll back a required minimum distribution taken on a IRA this year.

The darkest reds on this map of the Arctic are areas that were more than 14 degrees Fahrenheit warmer in the spring of 2020 compared with the recent 15-year average.

NASA
100 degrees — in Siberia

The Arctic has been warming at about twice the rate of the rest of the world, according to Mark Serreze, a research professor of geography and director of the National Snow and Ice Data Center at the University of Colorado Boulder.

How new scientific discoveries may cure blindness

Hemant Khanna describes how CRISPR and other gene therapies can help to cure diseases that cause blindness.

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Black people are up to 6 times more likely to be killed by police, Harvard study says

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Findings from a new study by Harvard researchers underscore the concerns of protesters calling for racial justice and an end to police violence.

Black people are three times more likely on average than white people to be killed during police contact, and the rate varies widely by geographic location, according to peer-reviewed research published this week in the journal PLOS One. The authors, Gabriel Schwartz and Jaquelyn Jahn of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, examined racial and ethnic inequities in fatal police violence across 382 U.S. metropolitan statistical areas between 2013 and 2017.

The ratios comparing Black and white incidence rates of fatal police encounters were “markedly high” and “nearly all statistically significant,” the authors wrote: The Chicago metro area had the largest racial inequity in police killings, with Black people 6.5 times more likely to be killed by police than white people. These ratios were also high in the metropolitan areas of San Francisco; New York; St. Louis, Mo., Columbus, Ohio; Milwaukee, Wis.; Trenton, N.J.; Asheville, N.C.; Dayton, Ohio; and Reno, Nev., ranging from 4.3 to 5.9 times more likely.

Disparities also emerged for Latinx and white incidence rates of fatal police encounters in certain areas, though the paper urged caution due to the results’ “lower statistical precision.”

‘Monitoring these incidence rates and their racial/ethnic inequities allows public officials and the communities they represent to track the severity of the problem, devise preventive policies, and evaluate their efficacy.’

Overall, the authors said they found “wide geographic variation in the incidence of fatal police violence across the U.S.” The Black Lives Matter movement has prompted new attention to police killings “as an urgent public health and racial justice problem” over the past several years, they added.

“Monitoring these incidence rates and their racial/ethnic inequities allows public officials and the communities they represent to track the severity of the problem, devise preventive policies, and evaluate their efficacy,” they wrote. “These monitoring efforts also have implications for racial/ethnic inequities in mental health and other health outcomes that are affected by stress from violence by state-sanctioned actors and law enforcement officer impunity.”

The authors noted that “no national, publicly-funded data system has accurately tracked the number of people who die during contact with police.” They analyzed 5,494 police-related fatalities using data from Fatal Encounters, a national citizen-science database of people killed in interactions with law enforcement.

Causes of death included gunshot wounds (94.2%); tasering (3.4%); asphyxiation, bludgeoning or pepper-spraying (1.7%); and other causes (0.7%). The study excluded some 1,670 cases reported to be suicides, accidents or vehicular collisions from the sample, and also left out 547 deaths that lacked race or ethnicity data from the racial-inequity analysis.

The authors cautioned that the neighborhood context, and not just variation across metropolitan statistical areas, might be important to understanding geographic differences in fatal police violence. Race and ethnicity were not self-reported and thus had the potential to be misclassified by police or media outlets, they added; causes of death could also be misclassified.

The study, published in the midst of widespread unrest and course correction on racial inequality in the U.S., adds to a body of literature showing significant racial disparities in policing. One 2019 study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, for example, concluded that “young men of color face exceptionally high risk of being killed by police.”

Congressional Democrats and Republicans have proposed contrasting approaches to police reform in response to the protests over killings of unarmed Black Americans, though the two parties hit an impasse Wednesday. Meanwhile, a Washington Post/Ipsos poll released Thursday found that 93% of Black Americans considered police treatment of Black Americans to be an important issue in their vote for president, and 92% of Black American registered voters favored presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden.

Next Avenue: Preparing kids for adulthood: 5 secrets to an easier launch

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This article is reprinted by permission from NextAvenue.org.

“Oh, no! Mom! My flight’s delayed! I’ll miss my connection in Iceland!”

“Relax. Everything will be just fine.” I watched as my daughter Chloe scrambled around, shifting items from one bag to another, and checking the weight of her luggage.

Moving to Ireland for a semester abroad was a big jump for my 20-year-old, even though she had flown alone in the states and the year before had spent a month in Greece. Her experience with airports only heightened her anxiety.

It wasn’t long before she heard from the airline again, with a second flight change. She would now leave 30 minutes earlier, on a different airline, with a connection in London.

The stress of a major flight change along with a list of last-minute errands to run, a possible overweight suitcase, uncertainty about baggage fees, and the inability to pick her coveted window seat, all stuffed more worries into her already overweight bag of anxiety.

As much as I hoped everything would “be just fine” as I had promised, I was nervous for her. After all, she was still my baby girl, and I wanted everything to go smoothly. What could I do to help? I soon realized there was nothing I could do. Even if there was, would my help now aid her in the long run? Interfering could thwart a life lesson on how to deal with a monkey wrench thrown into your plans.

The secrets to an easier launch

We said our tearful goodbyes that day with no idea there was an enormous monkey wrench still to come. Having a global pandemic shorten her study abroad by two months was a calamity beyond the scope of our imaginations. As my husband and I walked through this letdown with her and welcomed her back home into what had been our empty nest, I reflected on the journey to adulthood with all of its joys and triumphs, as well as adversities and heartbreaks.

See: Should you attend college next fall? Before deciding, here are all the questions you should NOT be afraid to ask

I think of other parents about to embark on this journey. Even though ceremonies have been canceled or reimagined during the COVID-19 crisis, students are still graduating and making plans to move on, hopefully in the fall, to the next stage of their lives. Whether it’s college, a gap year, or an immediate move into the workforce, these children are on their way to adulthood. How does the parental role change as they grow and find their wings?

As an empty-nester, I’ve nudged four children out of the nest and watched them flop and falter, but eventually fly. Along the way, I’ve learned some secrets to an easier launch.

Without further delay, let’s dive into the “flight lessons” that will allow our fledglings to take off, fly, and land smoothly on the journey to adulthood:

1. Facing fears builds confidence

As parents, our tendency is to rescue our children from life’s trepidations and unforeseen shadows. But just as we let them fall when they learned to ride their bike without training wheels, to encourage them to face their fears is the only way they’ll overcome them.

My 20-something kids look at me with wide-eyed fear when I say “just call the bank” (or office, or your school, etc.) “and ask them,” to solve an issue quickly.

“Mom. You know I hate making phone calls.” With email, texts and Snapchat, making a phone call and speaking to a real live person is comparable to riding a real live dinosaur. It instills real live fear in some young adults.

With a little coaxing, they punch in the number and state their need. They solve their problem in two minutes and are one step closer to becoming an adult.

2. Mistakes offer life lessons

We watched mistakes and mishaps unfold throughout their childhood years. From simple mistakes, like not following the Lego set instructions, to big ones, like not studying for that algebra final. Each error offered an opportunity for learning. Why, then, do we want to step in and prevent mistakes in young adulthood?

Yes, the stakes are higher now. Failures in college or on the job have financial implications. These massive flops can cause our kids to “fail to launch” out of the nest, and none of us want that. As young adults, relationship mistakes can lead to pain and heartache. We suffer when we see our young ones hurting.

Related: 22 going on 16…? Advice for parents with kids who won’t grow up

But we all made mistakes and grew from them. We learned that being successful requires hard work; that some relationships aren’t meant to be and those that are, are worth waiting for. In the same way, our kids will learn and grow through their failures.

3. Advice is best received when asked for 

As our children leave the nest, they yearn for independence. At the same time, they don’t yet know how the world operates. They may not understand implications of credit card debt, interest rates or how a mortgage works. When they ask us for information or advice, it’s perfectly fine to advise — to teach the wealth of knowledge we’ve learned over our lifetimes.

But unsolicited advice feels like meddling. Waiting instead for our children to tell us what they don’t understand builds trust. We should be ready to walk alongside them through life’s problems when they seek us out, but also be ready to watch from afar as they learn to cope on their own.

4. When parents aren’t around, others will step in 

This is the beauty of the “flock.” My four children have flown to four different states, all of them at least a two-hour drive (or flight) away. They’ve studied abroad in Australia, Belize, Greece and now Ireland. I couldn’t be there for every need that arose. Nor should I be.

Starting from an early age, I had to coax my kids to say “hello” and be friendly, to approach others for help and then say “thank you.” As time went on, they learned that others are generally good and trustworthy. And they found the help they needed.

My daughter made it to Ireland that day, despite a third canceled flight. Along the way, she met three other young adults, all on their way to Dublin, and spent a several-hour layover at London’s Heathrow Airport with her new friends, exploring, laughing and enjoying the start of an excellent adventure.

5. Joys and sorrows are meant to be shared

Never could we have predicted our daughter’s study abroad experience would be interrupted by a global pandemic. Everything happened so fast. With the rug pulled out from under her, she was devastated. We all were. Graduating seniors and their parents have had to deal with similar loss and heartache.

During times of sadness and grief, parents are often the first ones a child turns to and in times of trouble, we can offer a listening ear or a shoulder to cry on. Our young adults’ life experiences are more limited than our own, and while we may have seen the other side of sadness, they are staring into a bleak cavern with no light on the other side. If we walk with them, cry with them and acknowledge the reality of their pain, the bonds we strengthen will last a lifetime.

Also read: How to get your grown kids to stop using your credit cards

When joy comes again — and it will — be ready to celebrate with them. Life’s successes, momentous occasions and even simple family times filled with love and laughter are reasons to rejoice.

While you’re celebrating, go ahead and revel in your new position as “flight instructor.” Your young ones will soon be soaring high and flying solo. Then you can say with confidence to your child and yourself, “everything will be just fine.”

Linda Hanstra is a school speech-language pathologist by day, writer/blogger by night. She lives in Michigan with her husband, and for the moment, her two college-age daughters. Linda writes to encourage empty-nesters on topics of family, faith, travel, biking, and more.

This article is reprinted by permission from NextAvenue.org, © 2020 Twin Cities Public Television, Inc. All rights reserved.

Kelley Blue Book: These are your best bets for used hybrids under $10k

This post was originally published on this site

If you find yourself becoming a little more budget-conscious, you’re not alone. One way to cut back on monthly expenses is to get a really fuel-efficient car. Certainly, that will lead you to a long list of hybrid fuel-sippers. Hybrids use a combination of a gasoline engine and an electric motor to get most miles out of every drop of gas. They don’t need to be plugged in, you just gas up and drive. There are plenty of good used hybrid vehicles for a reasonable price. Here are the 10 best used hybrid cars for less than $10,000.

1. 2016 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid

The Hyundai HYMTF, -3.22% Sonata is one of the newer hybrids you can get at $10,000, so it has a lot of new car features like Apple AAPL, +1.32% CarPlay, heated seats, backup camera, and a touch screen. It has a comfortable ride — and 41 mpg combined fuel economy.

2. 2013 Toyota Prius

The Toyota Prius is the go-to car when it comes to affordable hybrids. It offers interior flexibility and a lot of cargo space, and 48 combined mpg fuel economy. It’s also bolstered by Toyota’s TM, -0.02% solid reputation for quality and reliability.

3. 2012 Honda Civic Hybrid

The Honda HMC, -0.15% Civic Hybrid is fun to drive and comfortable like the regular Civic but adds 44 mpg combined fuel economy to the mix. It’s also backed by typical Honda reliability.

4. 2015 Toyota Camry Hybrid

The Camry Hybrid gets good gas mileage — 40 mpg around town — but functions like a normal family sedan. It’s spacious, comfortable, reliable, and quiet. If you want an effortless hybrid, this is the one.

Also read: The pros and cons of buying a certified used car

5. 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid

Like the Camry, the Accord Hybrid is everything we love about reliable sedans with the added benefit of great fuel economy — 47 mpg. The interior has a high-quality look and feel. Accords are noticeably more fun to drive than other hybrids, too.

6. 2016 Chevrolet Volt

The Volt works like a normal car, but you can charge it if you want to drive 35-40 miles on just electricity. After that, it works like a normal hybrid car using a combination of the gasoline engine and electric motor to get 38 mpg for more than 300 miles.

7. 2016 Ford Fusion Hybrid

This family-friendly gas/electric hybrid is spacious, comfortable, and efficient. There’s also a plug-in hybrid version, the Fusion Energi, which allows you drive 20 miles on all-electric power before the gas engine kicks in.

Related:5 important facts about car insurance no one ever tells you

8. 2013 Honda Insight

Honda offers several appealing hybrid options. The 2013 Honda Insight hybrid offers a sleek and modern 5-door hatchback design, intriguingly advanced powertrain technology, and the most versatility of the bunch. Its fuel economy is 41/44 mpg.

9. 2013 Toyota Prius C

Toyota’s Prius C is more basic than the Prius. But basic still means air-conditioning, power windows, power mirrors, and digital gauges. The Prius C has two specialties -– low price and great gas mileage. Fuel economy is as good as 53 mpg in the city.

Also see: These 3 EVs are the lowest cost to own over 5 years

10. 2012 Ford Escape Hybrid

If you can’t afford to give up versatility or light off-road ability for the sake of going green, consider the Ford F, +1.34% Escape Hybrid. It is as capable as the regular Escape while achieving fuel economy as good as 34 mpg.

This story originally ran on KBB.com.

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