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Poll: Have you received financial support from your government due to the Covid-19 economic crisis?
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Maria Pia Giuseppina Nuzzolese  Identity Verified
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Savings apart Jul 27

Also an employee might have some savings to face hard times. The point is: why should I (as a freelancer) take those savings when it’s up to the government to give me a financial support in such a difficult and unexpected crisis? I think of that as an indemnity, not as an allowance.

Bernhard Sulzer
 

Bernhard Sulzer  Identity Verified
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Not so Jul 27

Dan Lucas wrote:

Lincoln Hui wrote:
But I challenge anyone making at least $50K USD a year and say they can't save money to show me their expense records for a full year, and prove that they could not have saved even $5000.


This. It's a choice to spend rather than save.

Dan


Fact is many people, incl. translators here in the US were impacted heavily by the Covid-19 crisis, and so was I. And I don't live with vacations in Europe or fancy cars. And I don't appreciate the attitude of telling colleagues that we don't know how to save or that we just spend it all. You don't live here and you don't know what individual life situations are like, especially now. And I don't save so I can spend it all because of Covid-19 without any assistance when it is available. You are not doing anybody in need a service writing here the way you do. Please keep that in mind.


IrinaN
Marina Taffetani
Christine Andersen
Jan Truper
Anna Schuster
 

Michael Harris  Identity Verified
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Local time: 01:43
חבר (2006)
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Tax haven? Jul 27

Lincoln Hui wrote:

In my corner of the world, professionals making middle-class or better income are expected to have a year's savings. I personally would feel very uncomfortable with just a year's savings.

No, I don't have to support a family, and yes, I live in a tax haven. But I challenge anyone making at least $50K USD a year and say they can't save money to show me their expense records for a full year, and prove that they could not have saved even $5000.
Don't keep expense records? Well, maybe that's the problem.


I live in Germany, and taxes here are not as bad as in Italy or Spain, but almost 50% of my turnover goes towards income tax and mandatory health sevice costs (in my case 900€/month!!!) I pay a high mortgage so that it is paid off quicker, have two children, and then you are saying that we have to save as well. What should I do with my savings if I got run over crossing the road tomorrow? We do not live a high life, but we enjoy our life....


Christine Andersen
 

Lincoln Hui  Identity Verified
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Yeah, what if? Jul 27

What should I do with my savings if I got run over crossing the road tomorrow?

I would rather be the person who can hope that the car doesn't kill me, than to be the person who hopes that the car kills me because I don't have enough savings to last me a month, or two or three months, while I recover from my injuries. If you've ever gone through something like that, you'll appreciate the value of having five figures in your bank, and understand that it is the difference between whether you see your next birthday cake or not.


Chris S
 

IrinaN
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$5000? Jul 27

Lincoln Hui wrote:

even $5000.
Don't keep expense records? Well, maybe that's the problem.


Pocket change. Barely enough to call the ambulance and spend 1 night at the hospital with something serious or hooked up to some device, without insurance. If I were to go after an open-market health insurance in my age group, it will be about $1400/month, 5-10K out of pocket annually and 30% deductibles. I'm too rich for Obamacare, which is pretty lousy anyway. People who pay self-employed taxes in the US would rather keep that money when they have other sources of assistance, as they should. Also, keep in mind that freelancers in the US are not abusers of public assistance. I don't know a single career welfare recipient among my colleagues.


 

RobinB  Identity Verified
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$5000? Jul 28

Lincoln Hui wrote:

In my corner of the world, professionals making middle-class or better income are expected to have a year's savings. I personally would feel very uncomfortable with just a year's savings.

No, I don't have to support a family, and yes, I live in a tax haven. But I challenge anyone making at least $50K USD a year and say they can't save money to show me their expense records for a full year, and prove that they could not have saved even $5000.
Don't keep expense records? Well, maybe that's the problem.


$5,000 is one month's COL expenses here, not one year's. And what's the professionals supposed to mean, Lincoln? I'm one of the most experienced, most successful professionals in our industry, after all. And I give back to our profession, in a big way.


 

Chris S  Identity Verified
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$5000! Jul 28

RobinB wrote:
$5,000 is one month's COL expenses here, not one year's.

😳

Being so successful, you’ll have been in a position to save a lot more than that per year, no?

This whole discussion is bothering me. The welfare system is there to help the poor, not professionals who prioritise spending over saving. I get that nobody likes being called out for being selfish, but we do all have a personal responsibility.


Dan Lucas
Michael Harris
 

Jean Dimitriadis  Identity Verified
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$5000! Jul 28

Lifestyle inflation anyone?

 

Jan Truper  Identity Verified
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OT Jul 28

Chris S wrote:

We got £10,000 automatically from the Welsh government as we are registered for business rates.

I don’t think we’ve lost much work due to Covid. It has been a bit quiet perhaps, but nothing more than normal seasonal variations.

I don’t feel entirely happy about getting money for nothing (though I’ll have the chicks for free), but then again I had to work throughout lockdown for my 80% of normal earnings rather than sit around getting a tan like those who were furloughed🤷‍♂️



Chris S wrote:

This whole discussion is bothering me. The welfare system is there to help the poor, not professionals who prioritise spending over saving. I get that nobody likes being called out for being selfish, but we do all have a personal responsibility.



So you made 80% of your normal earnings ***plus*** £10,000.
You then describe people who are in less fortunate positions as "sitting around getting a tan" and "selfish", to top it off with "we all have a personal responsibility".

Did I read that correctly?




(edited for typo)

[Edited at 2020-07-28 09:03 GMT]


Marina Taffetani
 

Lincoln Hui  Identity Verified
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The mentality Jul 28

IrinaN wrote:
Lincoln Hui wrote:

even $5000.
Don't keep expense records? Well, maybe that's the problem.


Pocket change. Barely enough to call the ambulance and spend 1 night at the hospital with something serious or hooked up to some device, without insurance. If I were to go after an open-market health insurance in my age group, it will be about $1400/month, 5-10K out of pocket annually and 30% deductibles. I'm too rich for Obamacare, which is pretty lousy anyway. People who pay self-employed taxes in the US would rather keep that money when they have other sources of assistance, as they should. Also, keep in mind that freelancers in the US are not abusers of public assistance. I don't know a single career welfare recipient among my colleagues.

You're describing the reason why you should be saving at least $5000 per year. I'm not convinced people do that in your part of the world, self-employed or not.

By the way, I'm not saying you can't or shouldn't take handouts when they're there. There are many types of crises where that bailout will not be there. The culture of the United States is such that saving money is frowned upon, and the expectation is that you should - must - spend all your monthly income and assume that such income is still going to be there next year. This is the case across all age groups, and it has been the case for the past 50 years or more.

RobinB wrote:
$5,000 is one month's COL expenses here, not one year's.

Like I said, show me.

$5000 is per year. You're not 25. People like you have had decades to save $5000 per year. Maybe once every 3 years a crisis comes around that wipes out one year of savings, which is exactly why you should save that money in the first place, which would leave you with $60,000 after a decade.

The fact that you responded the way you did at all shows that you don't understand that when you've saved that $5000 after one year, you leave that money saved and don't spend it unless you actually get hit by that car. Maybe you take your chances with financial instruments, maybe you take your chances with less risky financial instruments, but you're using it on things that you are prepared to turn into cash when manure hits air mover. "One year's savings" does not mean you save money for a year and not ever do it again.

[Edited at 2020-07-28 09:28 GMT]


 

Chris S  Identity Verified
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@Jan Jul 28

Jan Truper wrote:
So you made 80% of your normal earnings ***plus*** £10,000.
You then describe people who are in less fortunate positions as "sitting around getting a tan" and "selfish", to top it off with "we all have a personal responsibility".

Did I read that correctly?

Ha, no, I knew I was setting myself up there, but that’s taking mixing-and-matching to extremes!

I’m simply saying we should all have rainy day funds, especially as businesspeople, to see us through any quiet period, crisis or illness. I honestly didn’t think that would be controversial.

As for the grant, it’s definitely weighing on my conscience, but just for the record: only half of it is mine, it wouldn’t cover a 20% drop in turnover over a six-month period anyway, and I’ve already given a chunk of it away.

I’ve got friends who have had four months off work and received more from the taxpayer than I have made while continuing to work. I’ve also got friends who have had to cope on £90 a week universal credit. There’s something wrong there, surely?


Jan Truper
Liena Vijupe
Michael Harris
 

Michael Harris  Identity Verified
גרמניה
Local time: 01:43
חבר (2006)
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Completely agree with you Jul 28

Chris S wrote:

RobinB wrote:
$5,000 is one month's COL expenses here, not one year's.

😳

Being so successful, you’ll have been in a position to save a lot more than that per year, no?

This whole discussion is bothering me. The welfare system is there to help the poor, not professionals who prioritise spending over saving. I get that nobody likes being called out for being selfish, but we do all have a personal responsibility.




and this whole situation has opened my eyes. Everything ran like a Swiss clock over the past 15 years and I should have taken more care. Is a lesson for the future....


 

Bernhard Sulzer  Identity Verified
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Local time: 19:43
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Topic Jul 28

The question raised for this discussion here is
"Have you received financial support from your government due to the Covid-19 economic crisis?"

not

"Are you so helpless, incompetent or ignorant that you aren't saving enough to get through the Coronavirus crisis without government assistance that you are "not"1 entitled to?

1-There are strict provisions in the US for whether you are eligible/entitled to government assistance or not.
... See more
The question raised for this discussion here is
"Have you received financial support from your government due to the Covid-19 economic crisis?"

not

"Are you so helpless, incompetent or ignorant that you aren't saving enough to get through the Coronavirus crisis without government assistance that you are "not"1 entitled to?

1-There are strict provisions in the US for whether you are eligible/entitled to government assistance or not.

Considerations include loss of additional employment and the amount of tax you paid during that employment and the time that has gone by since you lost such employment (e.g. teaching or any other employment w/ an employer). All unemployment insurance money individuals receive is taxed so part of it will go back to the government.
If you are entitled to unemployment insurance money you have the right and most often NEED to apply for it. It is very important to keep your family and yourself safe and receiving some form of income. Many individuals, translators included, have worked and lost additional jobs (teaching etc.) either before or during the crisis.


All tax-paying families received a one-time payment - stimulus package - based on how many family members there are and, for children, if they were younger than 17 by a certain date in April.
The idea behind the stimulus package is, as the name implies, to stimulate the economy, to allow families in need to be able to continue buying food and help with other important payments such as rent. Thus, money is put back into the economy which in turn helps with jobs and the continued functioning of the economy in general. Unfortunately, many families are now in danger of losing their apartments or houses because the crisis has continued and additional support has not been approved by Congress.


I find it insulting to tell us here in America that we don't save but simply spend all our money. I won't even discuss such a horrible statement. Many people here struggle because of high expenses and small incomes. Just do the research.

Many sectors of the economy paused or shut down completely during the last couple of months and are only slowly opening up again, and so opportunities for translations have also declined, especially in marketing for hospitality and travel industries and other businesses ... Now, many are being shut down again because the infection rates have been rising, most dramatically in now more than 30 states, especially in Florida, Texas and California. But even here in Ohio, there are now usually more than 1000 new infections per day.

Main point is that even though non one can ever count on money in individual dire circumstances, it is something completely different when a whole country is affected by a crisis like the one we're experiencing now.

So yes, my family (as each tax-paying family member in America) was eligible and entitled to the one-time stimulus package and we have received it.
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Barbara Cochran, MFA
Anna Schuster
IrinaN
 
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