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8 Highlights of the CARES Act You Should Know

By Alison Southwick and Robert Brokamp, CFP(R) - Updated Apr 14, 2020 at 5:14PM

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Personal finance expert Robert Brokamp breaks down the nitty-gritty of the recently passed CARES Act.

In this episode of Motley Fool Answers, Alison Southwick and Motley Fool personal finance expert Robert Brokamp chat about unemployment rates and markets in general. Also, Robert covers the most important provisions of the recently passed CARES Act. Learn about the benefits and different ways you can access the funds and much more.

Finally, Alison, Robert, and Rick Engdahl share some fun recommendations during these times of physical distancing.

To catch full episodes of all The Motley Fool's free podcasts, check out our podcast center. To get started investing, check out our quick-start guide to investing in stocks. A full transcript follows the video.

This video was recorded on April 3, 2020.

Alison Southwick: This is Motley Fool Answers, I'm Alison Southwick, and I'm joined, as always, by Robert Brokamp. [laughs] I didn't have anything clever today. I'm sorry. What a letdown. Robert Brokamp, personal finance expert here at The Motley Fool.

Robert Brokamp: Hi, everybody.

Southwick: Bro, read it so you don't have to, and he's going to share eight highlights from the CARES Act. Wait, did you really read it or did you skim it?

Brokamp: I tell you I tried. I tried my best, but, man, if you read an actual Act of Congress, it is brutal. Absolutely brutal. I couldn't do it.

Southwick: OK. Bro tried, so you don't have to. He's here to share eight highlights from the CARES Act, all that and more on this week's episode of Motley Fool Answers.

Well, dear listeners, again we're coming to you from the past. Right now, it is Friday afternoon, so where you are in time, the future, I'm sure the sun is shining and we're all just running around outside and hugging each other willy-nilly. I can hope, right, Bro?

Brokamp: Absolutely.

Southwick: If only. All right. Well, let's talk about the week that was. And I'm just basically going to talk about how everyone is out of a job. According to The Wall Street Journal, about 6% of the U.S. labor force has filed for jobless benefits in the last two weeks. That's up from 0.3% at the end of February. The three states that have the largest share of jobless claims are -- do you want to guess, Bro?

Brokamp: Nevada is definitely one of them.

Southwick: Hmm...

Brokamp: It's not? Oh, maybe not.

Southwick: Not from The Wall Street Journal article I saw.

Brokamp: Florida and New York. I don't know.

Southwick: Hawaii, Michigan, and Pennsylvania.

Brokamp: Of course.

Southwick: Yeah. And then, at the bottom of the list for the smallest share of jobless claims. It's South Dakota, Wyoming, and Connecticut.

Brokamp: Anyways, I read an article that had Nevada as first, but what's even more frightening was an article on CNBC that said the job losses we've experienced over the last two weeks wiped out 40% of the job gains we have seen since 2009.

Southwick: Ugh! let's just let that sit there for a while, huh? Well, perhaps not surprisingly, small businesses are the hardest hit. Twenty-four percent of small businesses say they will close permanently within two months or less due to the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic. That's according to a poll from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and MetLife they released on Friday. University of North Carolina's Kenan-Flagler Business School estimated that up to 6.6 million small business employees were immediately laid off when governments in March began mandating closing doors. Back in mid-May, the Treasury secretary, Steve Mnuchin, said that unemployment could hit 20%, but an economist with the St. Louis Fed is now projecting the coronavirus impact on jobs could cost 47 million Americans their jobs, resulting in a 32.1% unemployment rate.

And, Bro, because you're so good with numbers, do you remember the record for unemployment in America, what percent it was?

Brokamp: It was 25% during the Great Depression.

Southwick: Yes, it was. Look at you, 24.9% in 1933. All right. Let's move on to the stock market. So, I have a hard time giving any sort of stock market report, because again, today is Friday and by the time this airs, things could be totally different. So, instead of a numbers breakdown, I'm going to give my market report based on feelings. So, it's going to be a feelings-based market report. And I feel less confused.

So, in late March I was very confused, because we were all being told to stay at home, unemployment everywhere you turn, the rest of us are trying to work from home with kids asking for snacks every five minutes. I mean, the economy felt like it was grinding to a halt, and what did the markets do in the late March? They went up for a bit, they were rallying. And this is going to sound weird, but after a few big days in late March where we had, like, 11% rallies, the news was still getting worse. I was just oddly pleased this week to see the market start to tumble. Isn't that horrible? But I was so confused. Because I was like, why is the market still going up? And so then, when the market started to tumble again, I was like, OK, all right, that makes sense. OK, now there's some sort of order to the world. Ugh, isn't that awful?!

Brokamp: Just in case it explains it, and it might not, but they think one of the reasons that the market did go up toward the end of March... March was the end of the first quarter, and every quarter a lot of institutions have to rebalance their portfolios. So, target-date funds, pensions, endowments, places like that. And if you're rebalancing your portfolio at the end of March, you're basically selling bonds and cash to buy stocks. So, that might be why the market went up there toward the end. And now that we're in April, why the market is drifting down again.

Southwick: Yeah. I mean, and also, if you read the articles, it would have been, the market is up on hopes of the stimulus package, which obviously we're going to get into later. I even saw an article that was, like, the market was going up because of selling fatigue. [laughs] Which I don't quite understand.

Brokamp: My finger on my mouse button, it hurts. [laughs]

Southwick: Ugh! I'm just so tired of selling, but apparently that's a thing. I mean, I feel for reporters who, it's their job to tell you why the market went up or down on any given day, like, I really feel for them.

So, anyway, it's all horrible news on top of the fact that more than 1 million people have tested positive for COVID-19 and there are over 50,000 deaths worldwide. So, before I stop talking and let Bro take over to talk about the CARES Act, I did want to take a moment for a PSA. Last week, instead of our usual April Fool's joke, The Motley Fool announced that we are donating $1 million to help the frontline efforts in New York to fight the spread of COVID-19. Obviously, we don't all have extra money to donate right now, but if you would like to donate alongside us, we reached out to the State of New York and we were, like, where can we help, where will our money be put to work? And they told us to donate to Health Research Incorporated. It's who the State of New York has partnered with to receive donations and then they parse out the money to purchase medical supplies and support medical staff and volunteers, again, on the frontlines in the State of New York. So, again, if you would like to donate alongside us, you can head to That's It'll redirect you to HRI's website where you can donate from there.

And for those of you who can't donate, that's great, too. I feel like I should just say that our heart is going out to every one of our listeners -- even if you are in retirement, this is a scary time for you, if you have lost your job, it's a scary time for you. Even if you haven't lost your job, it's just, it's a scary time for everyone. So, I don't have anything [laughs] nicer thought to make it all better, but my heart really is just breaking for everyone and all of our listeners out there.

So, anyway, with that, Bro, you're going to talk about how a little bit help is on the way for people out there.

Brokamp: Yeah, and it might be more than a little bit. So, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act [sic] or the CARES Act was passed by Congress signed by the President. If you read about it in the media, you'll see that it's worth $2.2 trillion. It could actually be worth more, it really depends on how many businesses and people end up taking advantage of it, but there's a lot of aid in there. It does span hundreds of pages, and I didn't read every page, but I did read an awful lot of articles. So, what we're going to just discuss today are eight of what I would say are the most relevant provisions to most of our listeners. Are you ready?

Southwick: I am ready. What's No. 1?

Brokamp: No. 1, so, money in the bank for most people. And these are those recovery rebates that you may have heard about: $1,200 per adult, $500 for each kid aged 16 and younger. But not everyone will get it. About 90% of Americans will, 10% won't. Who won't get it? Well, you probably make too much money, because there are income limitations on how much you'll get. So, you start by figuring out how much you'll get. Again, $1,200 per adult, $500 per kid 16 and under. But then, that amount gets reduced $5 for every $100 you earn over a certain adjusted gross income limit. That's $75,000 if you're single, $112,500 if you file head of household, $150,000 if you are married and you file jointly.

Where do you go to find that number? Well, they're going to base it on your 2019 tax return, if you filed it. If you filed the regular 1040, just look at line 8b. If you haven't filed that tax return, they're going to go back and look at 2018's tax return, and on that one, it's line 7.

So, you can think a little bit about these AGI limits. And if you haven't filed your taxes, if you're eligible in 2018, but you wouldn't be eligible in 2019, you might want to hold off on filing your taxes, because now we do have until July 15th to do it. Otherwise, if you were not eligible based on 2018, but you would be in 2019, you might want to get your taxes done as soon as possible.

Interestingly, this is actually not a payment necessarily as it's considered a rebate on 2020 taxes. So, first of all, the good news is, that's not income, so it won't be taxed to you. But also, if you weren't eligible, based on your past years tax returns, but you would be based on 2020, you actually will get the rebate but you won't get it until you file your taxes in 2021. That said, there is some talk about the government sort of finding ways to accelerate payments, because you could think of people who made decent amounts of money in 2018-2019, but this year are hard up, they could use that money. So, the government is trying to come up with some ways to maybe accelerate that.

Southwick: How do people actually get their money? Is it a physical check in the mail or is that still being worked out?

Brokamp: That's a great question. So, if the IRS has a bank account on record for you, maybe you've had refunds in the past automatically deposited into a bank account, that's where it'll go, and those will get paid first, as early as April 15th. Otherwise, the check will be sent to an address the IRS has on file for you, but those payments are going to take a while, they're going to start with the lowest-income Americans and then gradually move through it. But there's reports that came out yesterday that said it could take as long as five months to do all of that. So, the Treasury has said that it's going to set up a website for you to either provide banking information or to provide an updated address if the IRS' address that they have for you is out of date. So, it will take some people many, many months to get the payment.

In the end, it won't be necessarily a life-changer, but when you look at the average American household, their average rent or mortgage is between $1,000 and $2,000. So, you could think of these payments as a way to cover that for at least a month. Although, as we'll talk about later, there are other ways to take care of your mortgage or rent during the downturn. So, that's No. 1.

No. 2. Enhanced unemployment benefits. So, this is obviously the biggest concern as far as I'm concerned during this downturn. What's going to happen to all these people who are losing their jobs? Normally, unemployment benefits are administered by the state, and every state has their own rules and their own amounts. The average in the country is a little under $400 a week. Ranging from $275 in Alabama to $713 in New Jersey.

What the CARES Act is going to do is the federal government is going to add up to $600 on top of that amount and they're going to pay benefits longer than usual. So, up to 39 weeks. Also, normally for unemployment, you don't get paid that first week of being out of a job, but now you will get paid immediately, at least theoretically. And anyone who's experienced this, has gotten laid off and has tried to apply for unemployment benefits, has probably experienced how the unemployment offices in their cities, states their websites they are overloaded, absolutely overloaded. So, the government is both state, local, and federal, they're doing everything they can to boost up capacity so that people can get these checks as soon as possible.

The other thing about this is that unemployment benefits are usually not paid to people who are self-employed or gig workers or freelancers, but that won't be the case here. Many people will be eligible for these, including people who can't work because they have to stay at home and watch their kids, because their day care or their school has been canceled. So, the government is really trying to get a lot of money into people's hands who otherwise won't be able to earn an income. So, that's No. 2.

No. 3. Easier access to retirement account money, if you need it. Now, I am going to just kick this off by saying, hopefully, you do not tap your retirement accounts, but if you need to, you can, and here are the rules. First of all, you can take out up to $100,000 from your 401(k)s or IRAs. And if you're 59.5 or younger, you don't have to pay that 10% penalty that you normally would. You can only do it, if for some reason your finances are affected by the virus, you caught it, someone in your family caught it, you were laid-off because of it, your office no longer operates because of it. But the rules are pretty liberal, so the consensus is, generally, the IRS isn't going to look too closely at this.

Besides being able to take out the money, you actually have up to three years to put it back if you want to. So, you took out some money this year because you needed it, a year from now you decided, "You know what, I want to get that back into my 401(k) or IRA," you can do that. The penalty is waived, but not taxes. You do have to pay taxes on the money you take out. But another good thing is, you could pay it all this year or you can spread it out over three years, if that's better for you. So, you can spread out that tax liability.

What if, say, you took out some money this year, because you needed it. A year from now, you say, "Oh, I'm in better shape, I want to put that money back." Because you took money out this year, you will have to pay taxes on it. If a year or two or three later, you put that money back in, file amended return and you'll get those taxes back that you paid on the distribution.

And another way you can tap your retirement accounts earlier, if you need it, is taking a loan from your 401(k). Normally, the amount you can take out is the lesser of half your vested balance or $50,000, now you can borrow up to $100,000 from your 401(k) and you can put off initial payments for a year. Again, you have to prove that for some reason you are experiencing hardship due to the virus, but it looks like they are going to be pretty liberal on that.

And finally, when it comes to retirement accounts, no required minimum distributions in 2020. So, if you're in your 70s or older, or if you have an inherited IRA or 401(k), you do not need to take any money out in 2020.

No. 4. A recess for student loans. So, if you have a student loan with the federal government, this applies to about 90% of them, you do not have to pay payments or interest until September 30th of this year. From what I've read, I've seen mixed reports in terms of whether this is automatic or whether you have to go into the website of your loan processor and suspend payments, either way this is a great break for people who are paying student loans, it doesn't apply to private loans, it doesn't apply to some Perkins loans, but many private banks are offering their own, sort of, relief. And if you are participating in any kind of public service loan program. So, they are these programs that if you, for example, are a teacher for 10 years, after 10 years, your payment, the rest of your debt is written off. This period still counts toward those 10 years, even though you're not making payments, so that's good news for those folks.

No. 5. Increased ability to deduct charitable contributions. So, a lot of people are very generous with their money, trying to help out people these days. Because of the tax act that passed at the end of 2017, most people couldn't deduct charitable contributions because you had to itemize, but now thanks to the CARES Act, if you don't itemize, you can still deduct up to $300 as an above the line deduction. Not a big break, but still could save you $20, $30, $40, you just have to make sure that the contribution is in cash and it has to be to a qualified 501(c)(3) organization. So, donations to, like, a donor advised fund, don't count, or a supporting organization. That's more of, like, a think tank type of place.

If you do itemize, you can deduct even more. Usually, you can only deduct up to 60% of your AGI, now you can deduct up to 100% of your AGI, if you itemize.

One thing I'll just say that applies to all of this, but particular to this provision. Definitely consult a tax pro on this one, because the rules on some of this are changing. So, make sure you check in with a tax pro before you donate, just to get the tax benefits.

No. 6. More expenses eligible for health-related accounts. So, if you have a health savings account or a flexible spending account, previously, many over-the-counter expenses weren't eligible. Now they are, including, many feminine hygiene products. So, for the first time ever, as far as I can remember.

So, if you are having any sort of over-the-counter medicines, you're sick, anything like that, go ahead and submit those receipts. And the interesting thing about flexible spending accounts, at least the medical flexible spending accounts is, you can submit your receipts for the amount you chose to defer for the whole year, even before you've put all that money in that account. So, if you are hurting for cash, get as many receipts in as you can, even if your account doesn't have that much money in it yet.

Southwick: Do we think that will -- I realize that with some of these things, they might go away once the economy gets stronger, do you get a sense that any of these might stay put? Like, that one sounds like one that could easily just stay put.

Brokamp: It could easily stay put, but the language in the bill, from what I've read about it, is that most of these are time-limited, majority of them expire at the end of this year, and some others are good for 90 days to a 120 days, so we'll definitely have to stay on top of it.

Southwick: Yeah. What's next? No. 7.

Brokamp: No. 7. Loans to small businesses. So, actually, there's lots of aid for all kinds of businesses in the bill. But I think what's probably most applicable to our listeners is loans to small businesses. And a small business, by the way, is a business that has less than 500 employees, although there are some exceptions. The bottom line is -- 

Southwick: That's us at The Motley Fool.

Brokamp: -- that we're a small business.

Southwick: We are. I never thought about that. OK.

Brokamp: The main benefit is that you can take out loans and some or all of those loans will be forgiven, so they'll turn out to be grants, if you follow several criteria that boil down to (a) all the money you're spending on stuff is required spending. So, lease, rent healthcare for your employees and payroll. And (b) the other requirement is you don't fire anybody. So, the whole point of this is to keep businesses afloat and to encourage businesses to maintain their payroll.

Again, a lot of details about this and it's my personal experience that most business owners have an accountant, definitely call up your accountant to find out all the criteria for this. But this could be huge, a good way for people to maintain their businesses instead of laying a bunch of people off or even just closing business forever. Hopefully getting us through this crisis.

And then No. 8. The last one. Some foreclosure and eviction protection. We've talked before on the show on how the No. 1 expense for most people is housing rent, mortgage. First of all, if you're in a position where you're going to have trouble paying, you should reach out to your bank or your landlord to see if they can help. But the bill specifically puts a moratorium on evictions and foreclosures and provides some forbearance on mortgage payments to loans that are backed by the federal government. So, we're talking about Fannie Mae loans, Freddie Mac loans, VHA loans, VA loans.

Also, when it comes to the rent. Renters can't be evicted from places that have been paid for by federal loans and those landlords or companies that own those buildings can get up to 90 days to delay the payments on those loans, if they can prove they're suffering some kind of hardship.

So, basically, again, lots of resources federal and private are coming together to help people with their mortgages and rents. So, even if the CARES Act doesn't cover that, reach out to people, and I should also add, some local and state resources are becoming available as well, so check in with your city, your county and your state to see what else is available. Because I think of all the things that people are most concerned about when it comes to their personal finances, it's losing their house or being evicted and not having a place to live.

Southwick: Yeah. In all of your research that you did, was there anything that stood out or surprised you about the CARES Act?

Brokamp: Well, I would say the comprehensiveness of it. So, you may recall, back in the Great Recession, 2007-2008, particularly in 2008. There was so much debate about what the government will do. And Congress couldn't agree. And in this case, it's just not happening, everyone, for the most part, is onboard with this. It covers business, it covers personal finances. And I don't think anyone believes that this is the last of it. Hopefully, we don't need much more, but I think it goes a long way in giving people confidence that we will get through this.

And again, these are just the highlights, there's much more to the CARES Act. If you want to learn more, there are a couple of really good resources. The New York Times has a really helpful Q&A written by Ron Lieber and Tara Siegel Bernard. And it's in front of the paywall, so you don't have to be a subscriber of New York Times to read that.

And for a more technical write-up visit, That's the website of Financial Planning Expert, Michael Kitces and his team. Someone on his team, Jeff Levine, wrote an excellent write-up of it. It's a little technical, because it's written for Financial Advisors, but it's very skim-able, so you can go through it and look for things that might apply to you.

I would say that, like, my final take on the CARES Act and all the other initiatives that the government is taking, is that a lot of people are expressing it as like a stimulus, but it's really like this lifeboat, it's this lifeboat that just needs to help people get to the other end of what this is. And hopefully, hopefully we're only two three months away from mitigating the fallout from this virus, and we can sort of get back to normal; I'm not making any predictions. But the economy was fundamentally sound when we went into this, and we just have to get to the other end of it. But in the meantime, literally tens of millions of Americans are going to be walloped by this, and hopefully, something like this will help them, basically provide just enough to keep them afloat for the next two or three months.

Southwick: Yeah, I guess, I mean, you said the economy was really strong, but as we've talked about on the show, like, individuals are actually shouldering a lot of debt. And so, we're kind of, on an individual level, maybe people aren't doing so hot and they're just able to keep pushing the problem farther ahead in time. And this kind of makes things a little bit more immediate and a little bit more terrifying, how much debt you actually could be shouldering.

But, I guess, if credit card companies, student loans, all of that are being a little bit more lenient, that's maybe the breathing room that people need to get through this.

Brokamp: Yeah, it's a good point. Janet Yellen, the former Chair of the Federal Reserve said, her concern is that the recovery won't be so sharp because of debt, and not only personal debt, but corporate debt. So, many corporations took on a lot of debt. And as you probably know, a lot of that debt was not put to great use, it was to buy back stocks that are now down 30%. So, that's her concern. So, I think that's a good point.

I also think, though, that once we somehow figure out a way to keep the spread of the virus down, there will be so much pent-up demand for people to get out of the house and to spend some money, that I think the brunt of this will be over in two to three months. But certainly, that the longer-term fallout could be with us for a while.

Southwick: Yeah. And I mean, also, I'm a general optimist person, unlike you, Bro. [laughs] I mean, I believe in the resourcefulness and hardworking-ness of Americans and I know that we will get through this, because that's what we do. We just buck-up and get on with our lives eventually, as do most people throughout the world, but as an American speaking to mostly Americans, to quote the start of The Godfather, "I believe in America."

All right, should we stick around and share our recommendations.

Brokamp: Sure.

Southwick: As we've been doing for the past few weeks, we've been closing our show with some sort of recommendation of something that will hopefully make you happy or at least distract you for a little bit from everything that's awful around you. And who's going to go first today, Rick, how about you?

Rick Engdahl: Well, first I just want to say thank you to Vicky Hoffman and Brent Robinson, who both sent photo postcards, things they took, in one case in, looks like a backyard or something with Vicky's case, and then, Brent took a beautiful portrait of his -- I assume it's his cat sitting by a window, this rain, it's really beautiful black-and-white portrait. So, yeah, people are getting creative with photography, it's awesome.

Southwick: I love that Rick asks once for people to take pictures and he gets two responses, whereas Bro asks every few months for people to send him Christmas traditions and he gets nothing.

Although, that's not true, you did get a tweet on the Twitters, Bro, so.

Brokamp: Oh, I did?

Southwick: Yeah.

Brokamp: Oh, good. I'm lousy on Twitter.

Southwick: I'm so glad we set up that Twitter account. Yeah, Lee Whiteman. He said that, it's not Christmas, but him and his family had a little Thanksgiving meal to just give them something to be thankful for. So, there you go. Lou heard your call, so.

Brokamp: Barry Williams of Greg Brady fame, put up an Easter tree instead of a Christmas tree, which I thought was just a fine idea.

Southwick: Yeah. All right, Rick, so what's your recommendation for this week?

Engdahl: Well, it's not a big thing and it may already have occurred to people, it kind of ties in with people on their balconies. And it's a little bit dependent on where you live and it's a little dependent on nice weather, but it can tie in with the music and the photography, because you can take your camera with you and you can take your guitar with you, if you want, or ukulele.

And it's just the simple idea that, at least, I've noticed that our tendency is to, you know, we all want to get outside when we can and it's usually in the backyard and you know playing -- but take your Adirondack chair or your lawn chair, whatever you have, put it in the front yard. Sit out there in the front yard and watch the world go by. Because you'll see people riding their bikes or walking, you end up having conversations with people that you know or don't know, as they come through your town, and you know, at least 10 or 20 feet apart. In my neighborhood, I went for a walk and I found that we had neighbors kind of up in this -- we have a tight neighborhood, it's a great neighborhood, everybody knows each other, but there were neighbors, they all were sitting in their front lawns having happy hour, all of them at safe distances apart but being very social. So, it's just reinforcing the idea of physical distancing not social distancing, just be in your front yard, be there when people walk by.

Southwick: There you go. Rick bringing back the front porch. All right, Bro, do you want to go next or you want me to go next?

Brokamp: Sure. So, following up on my previous recommendation of getting outside. I am walking or running one to two hours a day, it's like the highlight of my day and I need to get outside. And of course, while I'm doing that, what am I doing, I'm listening to podcasts.

Engdahl: If you run by my house, I'll say, "Hi!" to you. I'll be in the front yard.

Brokamp: OK. I think I'll do that.

Southwick: It's only 20 miles away.

Brokamp: [laughs] So, a couple of series that I've listened to over the past year that I really liked, where one was a recommendation from Rick, Dolly Parton's America, which is just a charming, uplifting series. If you like political history, Rachel Maddow did one called Bag Man about Spiro Agnew. So, it's related to Watergate. And most of us think of Watergate when it comes to that time, but, boy, that dude was a character. That guy was pulling off all kinds of shenanigans, so that's one I recommend.

But what I really have been doing is, instead of looking for specific episodes, like, as they show up in my feed, I've been thinking about, what do I want to learn about today, and then I just look for a podcast about it. So, for example, we've been talking a lot about the Spanish Flu of 1918. I haven't heard that much about it, so I just sort of looked on my podcast provider, did some googling, came up with a great episode from the Stuff You Missed In History Class podcast. So, I've been doing more of that, just thinking like, all right, what's something I need to learn more about? I will say, a lot of podcasts out there, quality very significantly. So, I have a rule that I give it like five minutes, because you know a lot of these podcasts are, you know, the quintessential dude in his basement just riffing on something that he knows something about. So, I've spent too much time listening to really bad podcasts to give it more than five minutes anymore.

Engdahl: Hey, you know, Dolly Parton -- speaking of Dolly Parton -- she started a new thing where she's reading bedtime stories every night. So, you can tune into Dolly Parton online and she'll read you a bedtime story. She's famous for many things, but one of the things she's done charitably is provided books to kids. She has this great program providing books to kids. So, now she's actually reading them every night. So, you can tune in with your kids and listen to Dolly read.

Brokamp: That is awesome.

Southwick: That's awesome. All right. So, I have a sad recommendation today and a happy one. So, my sad one -- and mine are pretty simple. My sad one is that Bill Withers died of heart complications. Did you know that?

Engdahl: I just saw that, yeah.

Southwick: So, he wrote and performed "Lean On Me," "Ain't No Sunshine," "Use Me," and many other great songs. So, my sad recommendation this week is to go listen to some Bill Withers and feel sad that he died, but happy that he lived, and left behind a lot of beautiful songs. And then my happy recommendation for this week is, I'm not sure if someone just forwarded or maybe someone just shared it on their Facebook page, so you'll just have to go Google it and find it. But my happy rec this week is a compilation video of Andrew Cuomo, governor of New York, on CNN with his brother, Chris Cuomo. Have you seen this? They are dear brothers who love each other, but they also bicker like brothers. And so, it's pretty hilarious to see one interview the other on CNN.

And so, if you Google it, you'll find there's a compilation video of them of Chris interviewing Andrew and bickering and talking about their mom, and Andrew calls Chris a meatball and it's just, it's great. So, I recommend that -- it's a short video.

Well, that's the show. It's edited socially by Rick Engdahl. Our email is, please reach out with all of your Christmas traditions and even more photos for Rick Engdahl. We love to hear from you. Unfortunately, we can't get your postcards, because the office is locked up. We love hearing from you guys, even though we are not in Fool HQ at the moment.

So, for Robert Brokamp, I'm Alison Southwick. Stay Foolish, everybody!

Randi Zuckerberg, a former director of market development and spokeswoman for Facebook and sister to its CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Alison Southwick has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Robert Brokamp, CFP owns shares of Facebook. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Facebook and Twitter. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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Stocks Mentioned

MetLife, Inc. Stock Quote
MetLife, Inc.
$65.93 (3.18%) $2.03
Meta Platforms, Inc. Stock Quote
Meta Platforms, Inc.
$178.34 (5.82%) $9.81
Federal National Mortgage Association Stock Quote
Federal National Mortgage Association
$0.65 (2.85%) $0.02
Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation Stock Quote
Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation
$0.63 (3.12%) $0.02
Twitter, Inc. Stock Quote
Twitter, Inc.
$44.43 (3.74%) $1.60

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