Blog posted On March 25, 2020
The onslaught of coronavirus news has left a lot of us thinking about our finances. Some investors are experiencing stock market losses while some workers are facing uncertainties surrounding workplace closures. During this turbulent time, it’s important to think about your finances and plan ahead to protect yourself.
Whether you are self-isolating or not, here are some smart financial moves you can make now:
Reassess Your Savings – although financial planners typically recommend you have a diversified portfolio, it’s not always the best time to invest if the stock market is experiencing extreme volatility. This can be a good time to assess your current saving strategy. Do you have a comfortable emergency fund for your family? Would you benefit from switching to a higher-interest savings account? Can you afford to set aside more for your savings?
Get Everything in Writing – while all demographics are equally susceptible to contracting coronavirus, older people tend to have a lower survival rate and struggle more. Even if it’s uncomfortable, this is a good time to talk with your family about end of life plans. If you haven’t already, meet with a lawyer about your will and testament. Apply for life insurance. Make sure your family knows what your last wishes are and document everything that you can.
Examine Your Health Insurance – when was the last time you reviewed your health insurance policy? Like many Americans, you may need to see a doctor soon. Find out what your insurance covers, have important policy documents readily available, and find out if your plan has any telecommunication options. Many insurance plans offer “teledoc” options where your doctor can diagnose your symptoms over a video call, so you don’t risk coming in contact with others who are sick or expose others to your sickness.
Consider Debt Consolidation – in the wake of this economic uncertainty, the Federal government is taking some measures to financially protect families. At the time of this publication, President Trump is waiving interest on federally held student loans, which could help you pay off your balance faster. The cost to borrow money is also somewhat lower following recent rate cuts. See if a personal loan could help you consolidate other high interest debt like credit card debt. You can usually get a quote online or over the phone from a direct lender or bank, without leaving your home.
Claim Refunds – many state and local governments are taking proactive approaches to slowing the spread of coronavirus by closing popular gathering places like gyms and other fitness studios. If you have an autopay membership, find out if you can suspend your membership while the facility is closed. If you have travel plans that are interrupted due to coronavirus closures, check with the airline, hotel, and rental car companies to find out if you can get a refund or credit.
To prevent the spread of coronavirus, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) advises everyone practice good hygiene including proper handwashing and using hand sanitizer when soap and water is not available. Remember to cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze and avoid congregating with large groups. Many companies are also implementing work from home procedures to limit employee exposure.
If you have any questions about mortgage moves in the near future, let us know. You can get preapproved online or over the home from your home. Many realtors are also starting to do virtual home tours.
Stay safe and stay healthy! We can flatten the curve together.