Covid 19 – Financial Considerations to Think About
This past week we have all experienced the global news and emotions of the spreading Covid 19 virus. In addition to the horrible human impacts we are experiencing, there are associated financial considerations. This post looks to bring these to your attention.
Here are six key financial considerations that have emerged:
The stock markets have undergone a 10% negative correction as uncertainty has set in about how the virus will impact the global economy including supply chains, the travel industry, consumer purchasing needs, and consumer buying practices. For example, will people travel less to avoid exposure to the virus? Will people go out less to restaurants and sporting events? Will companies lay off staff if they can’t get the materials to deliver their products or services to customers? This decline in the markets will cause those of you with investments to carefully consider what you should do. I believe you should consult your investment professional for guidance about how to approach this correction. We have had such situations in the past and these professionals and their companies can provide you with the guidance and assurances you are seeking.
Interest rates have dropped with the 10 and 30 year Treasury securities hitting historic lows. These drops will negatively impact the yields savers earn but could create opportunities for those of you looking to buy a home for the first time or to refinance an existing loan. You should look to take advantage of these new lower rates for as long as they exist.
Covid 19 shows why you need to have an emergency fund. Many people are incurring or will incur unplanned costs for stockpiling food, medicines, or other supplies such that their families can withstand being quarantined. Some experts are calling for families to assume they will be unable to get to a store for two to four weeks. These extra costs may put added pressure on family budgets.
Do you understand how your health insurance works should you need to use it? Do you fully understand the costs of doctor’s visits, deductibles, and coinsurance amounts? If you are not familiar with these costs, you may be in for a shock if you need medical attention.
Some people may need to incur costs so that they can work from home if the virus spreads and becomes more of a problem. Do you have all the things you need to properly work from home, including computer, phone, and office supplies?
Have you set-up all your bills and other payments on electronic bill paying services to limit the exposure you may have to joining people in public places? Using these services could benefit you during this crisis, but in the long-term will save you time attending to basic financial management issues in your home.
There is an old saying that “this too shall pass.” We will get through this crisis. The question is how long will it take for the virus to pass or until a vaccine is implemented? In the meantime, you need to manage your financial affairs considering the impacts of the virus.
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