The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic that is now rapidly moving through the United States requires hunkering down—quite literally—hopefully with a good streaming package and shelf-stable food at the ready. But it will also bring harm to many people’s economic lives (not to mention actual lives) as establishments close, markets are unsteady, and doing business becomes harder.
During such a turbulent period, it’s not just prudent but critical to think about your financial health, especially if you don’t have a cushy amount of wealth to fall back on. By acting strategically, you may be able to make this hard time a lot less so where your bank accounts and investments are concerned.
Here are some sensible approaches to your money that could help guide you through the coronavirus outbreak:
1.Savings, savings, savings
Investing in stocks, as any financial planner will tell you, is a long game. In a national emergency while markets are volatile, it’s generally ill-advised to make any rash moves in that arena (though you should always aim to have a diversified portfolio).
You do need to focus on, well, emergency funds that you can draw from at a moment’s notice. The current coronavirus is more than enough reason to reassess this portion of your finances.
2.Prepare for the worst—in detail
Most people who are infected with the coronavirus get over it, but the elderly and those with underlying health conditions are most at risk. Hard as it may be, when faced with the very real possibility of death, it’s more important than ever to understand what the financial implications would be in that situation.
“Apply for life insurance,” Allison Kade, the editorial director at
advises. “You will probably be fine, but just in case. Consider it a good excuse to finally get this done.” Life insurance of any kind promises that if you should pass, your loved ones (and designated beneficiaries) will have an easier transition.