CARES Act: What to Know About the COVID-19 Stimulus Bill

The $2 trillion “Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security” (“CARES”) Act was recently signed into law. The CARES Act is designed to help those most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, while also providing key provisions that may benefit retirees.

To put this monumental legislation in perspective, Congress earmarked $800 billion for the Economic Stimulus Act of 2008 during the financial crisis.

The CARES Act has far-reaching implications for many. Here are some important provisions to keep in mind:

  • Stimulus Check Details - Americans can expect a one-time direct payment of up to $1,200 for individuals (or $2,400 for married couples) with an additional $500 per child under age 17. These payments are based on the 2019 tax returns for those who have filed them and 2018 information if they have not. The amount is reduced if an individual makes more than $75,000 or a couple makes more than $150,000. Those who make more than $99,000 as an individual (or $198,000 as a couple) will not receive a payment.
  • Business Relief - The act also allocates $500 billion for loans, loan guarantees, or investments to businesses, states, and municipalities.
  • Inherited 401(k)s - People who have inherited 401(k)s or Individual Retirement Accounts can suspend distributions in 2020. Required distributions don’t apply to people with Roth IRAs; although, they do apply to investors who inherit Roth accounts.
  • Suspended RMD - The CARES Act suspends the minimum required distributions most people must take from 401(k)s and IRAs in 2020. In 2009, Congress passed a similar rule, which gave retirees some flexibility when considering distributions.
  • Withdrawal Penalties - Account owners can take a distribution of up to $100,000 from their retirement plan or IRA in 2020, without the 10-percent early withdrawal penalty that normally applies to money taken out before age 59½. But remember, you still owe the tax.

Many businesses and individuals within our community are struggling with the new realities that COVID-19 has created. The CARES Act, however, may provide some much-needed relief for our neighbors, friends, and loved ones.


Please remember that different types of investments involve varying degrees of risk, and there can be no assurance that the future performance of any specific investment, investment strategy, or product made reference to directly or indirectly in this content, will be profitable, equal any corresponding indicated historical performance level(s), or be suitable for you or your portfolio. Due to various factors, including changing market conditions, the content may no longer be reflective of current opinions or positions. Moreover, you should not assume that any discussion or information contained in this newsletter (article) serves as the receipt of, or as a substitute for, personalized investment advice from Searcy Financial Services, Inc.

The content of this letter does not constitute a tax or legal opinion. Always consult with a competent professional service provider for advice on tax or legal matters specific to your situation. To the extent that a reader has any questions regarding the applicability of any specific issue discussed in this content, he/she is encouraged to consult with the professional advisor of his/her choosing.  

Published for the blog on April 9, 2020 by Searcy Financial Services, your Overland Park, Kansas Fee-Only Financial Planner and Investment Manager. 

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