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 advisor 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 advisor. While advisors 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 diagnoses 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 advisor (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 advisor during the good times and the bad is crucial to your financial success.