During times of uncertainty, communicating with others, and your advisor can be beneficial during any life-altering or world-changing event. For some, survival is their only plan when their financial resources are depleting. Others are more fortunate, and their finances are holding while they continue to work. But for most, dealing with COVID-19 and the aftermath can create a fog of uncertainty.
When it comes to our investments, experiencing market volatility that does not reflect the economic conditions nor make sense to many of us. How can the markets be up when the economy is down? This confusion can create anxiety and lead us to make poor investment choices. We must consider the lessons of the past and think constructively about our future. Here are some vital elements for communicating during this time of uncertainty:
Distancing is healthy and expected
While face to face meetings may be preferred, keeping everyone healthy is critical. Emails, calls, and video conferencing between you and your financial professional should continue indefinitely. Distancing is also required for your daily interactions with others if you can.
Resiliency is critical
If you are having financial difficulty, communicate this to your financial professional. While they work with you to save and invest for your future, they also want to know if you need to access your investments to make ends meet.
Under the CARES Act, an additional economic relief provision is built-in for COVID-19 hardship distributions. Investors can access up to $100,000 from their employer retirement savings without penalty if impacted in any of the following ways:
- An immediate family member or they diagnose with COVID-19.
- They were not able to work due to a lack of childcare.
- Their job eliminates, reduces operational hours, lays them off, or they quarantine, resulting in financial duress.
- Taxes are due on any hardship distribution from a tax-sheltered retirement plan, but no early distribution penalty will apply.
Find the Silver Lining
If you are having a hard time emotionally or financially, communicate it with your financial professional (or someone else) who can help you find the ‘positive in the negative.’ It always helps to communicate with others when they can identify with what you are going through and help you focus on the positive.
As recovery from this period of uncertainty begins, remember that communicating your needs to your financial professional during the good times and the bad is crucial to your financial success.
Disclosure: This is intended for informational purposes only and should not be used as the primary basis for an investment decision. Consult a financial professional for your personal situation.
As a retirement income specialist and 38-year veteran of the financial services industry, August H. Velten understands what his clients need in order to enjoy a comfortable retirement. Augie is a former instructor for the Life Underwriter Training Council. He once occupied the legislative seat for the Maine Association of Life Insurers. At August H Velten & Associates, we know that it is your retirement, and you should have control over it. We offer our experience and knowledge to help you design a custom strategy for financial independence. Contact us today to schedule an introductory meeting!
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