In order to stop the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), countless schools and businesses have closed, and most major events have been canceled. While this is an essential step to stopping the spread of a deadly disease, it also comes with financial implications. Many people have lost or will lose income due to illness, their workplace closing, and/or falling stock prices. It’s too early to know the full economic impact the Coronavirus will have, but there are a few things you can do now to make sure your financial health is still intact once everything settles down. View these tips on how to prepare your finances for impacts of the Coronavirus.
Modern Family Asset Management is offering free virtual and phone consultations in response to COVID-19. Contact us for assistance.
Work with Lenders for Relief from Bills
If the Coronavirus has impacted you financially, you may be struggling to pay your bills. If this is the case, the best thing you can do is talk with lenders or providers to see if they can help. These are not ordinary circumstances, and financial institutions have been instructed to attempt to work with customers as much as they can.
While your options will depend on the lender and your situation, your provider may waive certain fees, such as late fees. Your lender or provider might also allow you to create an alternate payment plan that involves adjusting, delaying, or even skipping payments. When requesting assistance, be prepared to explain your situation, what you’re able to pay, and when you expect to return to making regular payments. If you’re working with a lender on a payment plan for your mortgage, they may also request information regarding your current household income and expenses, as well as any assets you own.
Look into Student Loan Payment Programs
If you’re struggling to make payments on your student loans, you might be eligible for a payment program that offers delayed or reduced payments. If you choose to go this route, it’s important to keep in mind that interest will continue to accrue, and you’ll still have to make up the delayed or reduced payments. If you currently have no way to make your regular monthly payments, delayed or reduced payments may be worth the extra interest. However, if you have the ability to still make your payments, it’ll serve you better in the long run to continue making them.
Resist the Temptation to Sell Stocks
When you’re watching stock prices fall, you may feel tempted to pull your money out of the market. But if you’re investing for the long-term, this can actually hurt your financial health. If you only sell stocks when their value is low and only buy when you feel that prices have recovered (AKA when prices are high), you’re doing the exact opposite of what you should aim to do—buy low and sell high. If checking your portfolio regularly is causing you additional stress, consider avoiding looking at your portfolio until things calm down.
Keep Up with Unemployment Options
With so many businesses shutting down, many people are without income. For those financially impacted by the Coronavirus, the government has programs at both the state and local level that can help. These programs vary from state to state and even city to city. Therefore, you’ll need to check with your local government to see what financial programs exist that you may be eligible for. Even if your options are limited now, that doesn’t mean you won’t be eligible in the future. The government is creating and expanding new programs on an almost daily basis in order to minimize the economic impact of the Coronavirus.
There’s currently an abundance of fear and confusion, which is the ideal environment for scammers. The best thing to do in these circumstances is to remain vigilant. Be especially wary of any unapproved service or product that claims it has the ability to treat or cure COVID-19. For up-to-date information on potential scams, check out the FTC’s page on Coronavirus scams.
Older adults should be especially cautious of scams. Scammers generally target this demographic, but may do so more heavily now. Due to their high-risk status for COVID-19, those over the age of 65 may find themselves even more isolated than most, and scammers may try to take advantage of their need for contact and social interaction.
We hope you consider these tips on how to prepare your finances for impacts of the Coronavirus. Know that the team at Modern Family Asset Management is here to help you prepare your finances during these uncertain times. We are offering free virtual and phone consultations in response to COVID-19. If you have any questions regarding how your finances or financial goals may be impacted, please give us a call or contact us.
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. Stock investing involves risk including loss of principal.