With the global COVID-19 pandemic looming over us all, many individuals’ personal and business financial situations are uncertain at this time. However, there is hope. We have devised a complete financial guide specifically for Iowans that covers how to handle your finances during COVID-19. It has valuable information for business owners and individuals with personal accounts regarding:
In addition, we have added a bonus section that explains why it’s important to utilize a trust manager during COVID-19. Continue reading to learn valuable information laid out in this financial guide.
Re-balancing Your Portfolio
It is no secret that the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting both domestic and international economies. In order to preserve your hard-earned investments, you might consider re-balancing your portfolio. There are three common methods for re-balancing for both individuals and business owners:
- Redirect: Take some or all of the money in your portfolio and move it to different assets.
- Add: Take on new investments and focus on allocating more money to them.
- Sell: Find assets with appreciation and reallocate them into quality assets that are selling at low prices.
When you are considering how to re-balance your portfolio, it’s important to decide when you need to reap the rewards of your investments. If you are close to retirement, a less aggressive approach will help protect your money during the uncertain times COVID-19 has created. Those who are further away from retirement should continue to ride out their investment strategy. It is better to think in terms of decades rather than a couple of years. The market will continue to go up and down throughout your time investing.
Loans (Personal & Business) During the Pandemic
Information for Individuals
With a Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC), individuals can gain access to the cash they need to cover their expenses. Rather than a personal loan that typically has higher interest rates and a shorter payback period, this cash equity option allows you access to the line of credit you need. The credit is secured by your home and is based on the equity you have built up since you signed your mortgage. The payback period of the HELOC varies, but some can be as long as 30 years. In comparison, a personal loan typically must be paid back within five years.
Information for Business Owners
Put into place as of April 3, 2020, the Small Business Administration is also offering a Paycheck Protection Program to help small businesses pay wages and other qualifying expenses. Below are fact sheets and applications you can refer to for more information:
*Information within the documents above is subject to change at any time by the SBA with no prior notice.
Cutting Unnecessary Expenses
With the possibility of another recession hitting the United States economy, it’s vital for everyone to scale back on unnecessary costs. Personal and business account holders can find tips for cutting expenses below.
Tips for Personal Account Holders
Cutting back unnecessary expenses can be a difficult decision to make. However, if some of your expenses are merely for entertainment or convenience, it is necessary to let these go through times of financial uncertainty. Some of the largest cost decisions to consider are:
- Canceling subscriptions you do not use often
- Consolidating high-interest debts into lower-interest loans
- Reducing insurance premiums
- Refinancing your mortgage
In addition to these decisions, you will want to look at your monthly budget and see if you can cut areas that reduce your expenses.
Tips for Business Account Holders
During the course of business, you have likely increased spending in some categories to keep up with competitors or to provide a better work environment for your employees. If you can scale back on those expenses, do so to reduce the amount you spend each month. Business owners should also consider:
- Reducing supply expenses
- Canceling services that do not yield high ROI
- Finding a less costly credit card processing service
- Being more fuel-conscious with farm equipment
Other considerations regarding business expenses include refinancing any assets and reducing overhead expenditures.
Do you have a Plan? Are you satisfied with it?
Our Trust and Wealth Management team can help you review your financial and estate plans and make any adjustments to best weather the crisis. We are committed to your financial wellness as well as your physical health. Contact us or visit our Financial Planning page for a no-cost, no-obligation trial of our financial planning tool. Our trust managers, Keir and Allison, can be accessed over the phone or through email. Those who are healthy may request an in-person appointment at one of our branches.
A trust manager is incredibly important for those who have already retired or are near retirement age. The number of assets you have acquired over your lifetime requires specific annual legal and tax obligations. In order to avoid missing any deadlines or filings, utilizing a trust manager is vital. Acting as the legal owner, your trust manager will handle all of the tax filings for the trust and distribute all assets accordingly based on the terms set forth within the trust.
Our trust management service is specifically tailored to seniors and those who are only a few years away from retirement. Our trust manager can be accessed over the phone or through email. Those who are healthy may request an in-person appointment at one of our branches.
Your Local Community Bank
We understand these are uncertain financial times. If you have any questions or concerns regarding your finances and steps you can take to secure your financial future, please do not hesitate to contact our financial wealth management team!
Jessica Dillon VP | Financial Planner & Wealth Advisor