While our focus for the past two weeks has primarily been on investment management, for very good reason, it is important to remember that our partnerships with clients include both solid investment portfolios and comprehensive financial planning.
If there is a common message we are hearing from individuals, businesses and even the government, it’s that time and time again when faced with difficult situations, once the dust settles we emerge stronger and better than before. The same holds true with your personal finances. A few simple actions now can help alleviate some short-term concerns, while simultaneously strengthening your plan for the long-term.
Reviewing your budget in times of uncertainty may challenge you to really ask what expenses are non-discretionary and which ones may be trimmed. Take advantage of bank and credit card sites that assist in breaking down expenses into categories for review and be sure to look for subscriptions you may be paying for, but not utilizing. Examining your budget should also include looking out at the remainder of 2020 to plan proactively and potentially push out one-time expenses that can wait until later.
Sometimes “stuff” happens at the worst time, whether it be an unforeseen expense or cash flow disruption. Reserves can be used to meet emergency/one-time expenses without requiring you to tap into credit or withdraw from your portfolio at an inopportune time. Take some time to properly evaluate cash levels, noting that everyone’s situation is different. For those who have true excess cash, the opportunity to strategically invest could also be present.
Quarantined, working from home, self-distancing or just on vacation. Call it what you want, but if you are going to be away from everyone else, the ability to interact via technology can be paramount. Double-check that you have up to date passwords to log into key sites/apps and upgrade hardware if needed. Digital information access, video communications and the ability to sign documents electronically will become increasingly more common following recent events.
Questions surrounding healthcare are headline news right now. What is covered? What might I have to pay for out of pocket? Insurance plans can be complicated, and now is as good a time as any to get familiar with your coverage. Get up to speed on what type of plan you have and details about how it works for you.
Caring for loved ones will always take precedence. Ready access to documents like wills, health care proxies and powers of attorney can save further stress in what are already turbulent times. Get them organized in the right hands. If you don’t have these in place use the current situation as an excuse to get them done.
For more information or to discuss your situation specifically, please contact your advisor. Take care of yourselves and your families and as always, thank you for your partnership.
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