5 Tips for Financial Peace during the Pandemic
“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”
Benjamin Franklin, Founding Father of the United States
I am a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional at Raymond James and it is my job to ensure that my clients are on the right track to meet their individual life goals. What the Coronavirus has taught us all is that having a plan whether it is in getting a mask, gloves, food or having emergency money is essential. Our lives may be permanently altered from this pandemic, which is so unfortunate, but we will be better prepared in the future.
This same type of preparedness and mindset has to exist with your finances. Here are a few simple takeaways/lessons for planning for the future.
- Emergency cash – whether or not you have a business or a family, you should have 3-6 months of monthly expenditures set aside. If your business is just getting started, work to find a line of credit that can cover you over an extended period of time. If you have a family and/or others who depend on you, before doing anything else, build up your emergency savings first. This will help ensure that you made the sacrifice early on to give you peace of mind down the road.
- Investments – If you have investments, make sure you have an asset allocation between stocks, bonds and cash that suits the type of risk you want to maintain in the time allotted for the investment. When the stock market drops 40%, how will your investments behave during this period. If you are unwilling to see the dramatic fluctuations to the downside, than you may need more in bonds/cash to stabilize your portfolio. The last thing you want in a pandemic, where business is shut down and many are scared, is to have your portfolio drop more than expected or can tolerated.
- College Planning – We have all lost time in our lives from our regular routines from this pandemic. This isolated time is an opportunity for reflection, focusing on what is really important in life. For most people, that is the love for their family and kids. Planning for advanced education is something you should explore, like the Florida Prepaid College Tuition Program. The rates just recently dropped significantly and getting the experience to go to college and graduate school without debt, is one of the greatest gifts we can give our children. The Florida Prepaid Tuition Programs works by allowing you to pre-purchase tuition credits at today’s rates, even though your child may not be attending for several years. By doing so, you are locking in today's prices, even though the cost of education generally increases greatly every year. For those looking for a more flexible program that has broader uses, there is also a 529 plan, which is also attractive at this time, but requires a lengthier discussion.
- Dollar Cost Averaging – money is tight right now for most Americans. However, if you can part ways with $100/week from your paycheck those funds will have the ability to grow and compound over time. Just like a snowball coming down a mountain, gaining in size with each increase in snow, the same can be done by dollar cost averaging into a mutual fund each week or month. Over time, that dollar amount will hopefully be worth significantly more in value, especially since investing in the worst of times is generally a good strategy.
- Fees – Everyone has heard the expression, you pay for what you get. If you are not paying any fees, are you getting any advice? If you are paying too much in fees, what advice are you getting? Most are reconsidering where there money is going, while business is down due to the Coronavirus. That is why it is especially important that your hard earned funds are properly being cared for during this time and that you own the types of investments that will rebound quicker during the recovery. If you don’t know what you own, find someone that will explain your investments to you in detail and has a plan with you for your finances/investments.
These are a few financial tips to guide you during this pandemic and beyond. As Yogi Berra once said, “If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else.” – Yogi Berra, former New York Yankees catcher Be safe!!! If anything stated in this email is not correct or needs further clarification, please contact me asap.
In the event that you no longer wish to receive these emails please reply and in the body, request that we remove you from our email list.
Any opinions are those of the Lamchick Financial Group and not necessarily those of Raymond James. Investing involves risk and you may incur a profit or loss regardless of strategy selected. Past performance does not guarantee future results