by Theresa Woodgeard
COPING WITH THE CONSEQUENCES of COVID-19 is now woven into the fabric of nearly every aspect of our daily lives. The healthcare crisis has had an economic impact, financial insecurity can weigh particularly heavy on our minds. We asked financial planner and wealth strategist Tim Martin for the steps that can be taken to improve financial health.
Martin owns Tim Martin Wealth Strategies and is a financial planner with Eagle Strategies, LLC.
How has COVID-19 affected people’s money management?
This has been a very interesting year with some unexpected bright spots. One of the things we’ve noticed is that a lot of people are examining their finances. Some are taking a fresh look at their financial picture for the first time in a long while, and some are just getting around to creating a financial plan. Taking a detailed look at the whole picture helps people feel in control.
The personal savings rate is also higher than it’s been in a long time.
The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis reports that “People are working from home and staying at home, banking money they might have spent on transportation, dining, entertainment, vacations and gym memberships.”
What can be done to improve someone’s financial picture?
This is a great time to give your budget a makeover. Make sure you understand exactly what is coming in and going out. Take an inventory of all your financial data including your mortgage and credit card rates, savings and retirement plans and student loans.
One of the top ways to save money right now is to take advantage of the low interest rates on loans. The lower rate also may enable you to pay your loan off quicker.
How can someone navigate all the options effectively?
Consider partnering with a professional. We get to know clients by asking questions about their individual situation and your goals.
Not everyone has the same financial objectives and risk tolerance, so this is a really important step. Do you want to buy a home, save for college or establish a retirement account? That information helps us customize your financial map and along the way make sure it still fits your needs.
MORE TIPS FOR STAYING FINANCIALLY FIT
- Envision your ideal retirement. Aim to save 10% or more of your income for retirement.
- Review and update beneficiary designation for your retirement accounts, life insurance policies and annuities.
- Set aside three to six months of living expenses in a cash account for emergencies.
- Establish or review your will, power of attorney and healthcare directives.
- Examine your credit report for accuracy and explore ways to improve your credit.
- Consider making an IRA contribution before the annual deadline.
Details can be found at TimMartinWeatlth.com.
Tim Martin Wealth Strategies is not owned or operated by Eagle Strategies LLC or its affiliates.
Neither Tim Martin Wealth Strategies nor Eagle Strategies LLC, provides tax, legal, or accounting advice. Please consult your own tax, legal, or accounting professional before making any decisions.