The global health crisis caused by the novel coronavirus, known as COVID-19, has brought about a lot of worries and concerns to people affected by it. Businesses and industries have been indefinitely shut down save some establishments that offer basic necessities such as banks, supermarkets, drug stores, and medical centers.
The rest of America has been asked to stay at home as part of a nationwide quarantine. This is where all the anxiety starts.
With no work to do and no income coming in, Americans are starting to worry about their financial condition, especially since we’re looking at a period of a minimum of four weeks at home. Among other things, the deadline for filing taxes was one of the major concerns that people had. Fortunately, the Trump administration has already addressed this issue with the announcement that the IRS will be extending the deadline for filing along with other forms of relief to help the people during this time.
Here are some of the more pressing financial concerns most Americans have:
Company security of those who are allowed to do remote work
This is a legitimate concern especially if the company you’re working for is not a big enterprise. Instead of worrying, talk to your boss about your concern. At this point, it’s not an unreasonable thing to ask.
Ask them what all of you can do to keep the company from going under. Transparency and setting realistic expectations will be helpful in this scenario. See how your company can benefit from the Coronavirus Relief Bill recently passed by Congress.
401k and retirement
With the stock market going crazy the past few weeks, people are worried about their investments and retirement funds. One way of ensuring you have enough is dollar-cost averaging.
Also, never sell investments out of fear. The best investment practice is buying low and selling high. If you sell because you are panicking about the present conditions, then you are going in the opposite direction.
Experts recommend that you don’t look at your 401k especially during volatile times so you don’t make irrational and emotional decisions.
Dwindling savings account with no emergency funds
At this time, you have to take a hard look at your expenses and see what you can do without. There may be some items on your monthly or weekly expenses that you can take out until things go back to normal.
Perhaps it’s money directed to babysitters, dog walkers, or housekeepers. Or maybe you can do without all the take-out food and start buying ingredients and preparing meals at home.
Whatever it is, cut down on those items you can live without and stick to only what’s necessary. If you have enough resources to pay for local businesses and services, then go ahead and support them. It will help keep the economy afloat by giving people a means to still earn.
Not being able to pay for bills
Again, another legitimate concern. Whatever happens, you should never run away from your bills and creditors. A lot of companies now are extending payment periods.
The Federal Housing Finance Agency has even urged companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to suspend evictions and foreclosures at this time. Talk to your creditors and providers about your concerns over your mortgage loans in Meridian or your car loan in Boise and be honest about your situation. Most companies will be willing to work with you especially at this time.
We are living in unprecedented times. No one is prepared for all of this. No one knows how long this will play out. The important thing is, we should never lose hope for all this, too, shall pass.