Financial Preparedness During COVID-19 Pandemic
PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (WAGM) - The COVID-19 Pandemic has created financial hardships for small businesses and people throughout the County. With so much uncertainty about the future as the pandemic continues, News Source 8′s Cam Smith has tips on how you can be financially prepared for the future.
Throughout the pandemic, many have found themselves jobless and struggling to make ends meet.
In terms of financial planning for the future, Financial Advisor and COO of Thompson and Hamel, Brain Hamel says it’s important to track your expenses.
“First take a hard look at what your essential expenses are. You know, what your food is, your rent or your mortgage, or your gas. Those kinds of essential items and determine what those numbers are. Then begin to accumulate now, what I call sort of a rainy-day cash reserve fund for yourself so that you can lean back on that if some difficult time comes.”
Hamel also says that there are options you may not know about.
“If they have a retirement account for example and they are less than 59 and a half years old, normally there’s a 10% penalty if you pull money out of that account by the IRS. Well during COVID-19 because of the CARES Act, that 10% penalty has been waived. So you can gain access to some of your retirement accounts without that 10% penalty, many people might not know that.”
For those still employed during the pandemic, Hamel suggests that you continue contributing to your retirement fund.
“Just because we’re in the middle of COVID, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t stop planning for your future. So if you’re one of those individuals that’s fortunate enough to be able to work remotely from home or you’re even able to come into your place of employment, continue to contribute as if there was no COVID-19 at all.”
Hamel adds that contacting a financial advisor can be beneficial if you find yourself in a tough situation.
“People in these difficult times need someone that they can trust and that they can talk to about their financial condition. Everybody’s financial condition is different. Not everybody is the same so it’s a good idea to have that trusted financial advisor that you can lean on to ask questions.”
There’s no telling when the pandemic is going to take a back seat. But Hamel says that financial preparedness can help in the long run. Cam Smith, News Source 8.
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