Take Financial Control

by Jeff Deiss

CFP, AEP, Wealth Advisor

There are certain aspects of our financial lives over which we have some control – our career and how long we work, or how much we spend or save. And there are other aspects which we cannot control, like the daily ups and downs in the stock market or the abrupt impact of a previously unforeseen pandemic.  At some point, life will go on and the current crisis will be something that we look back on in history, like all of the other crises that came before it.  In the meantime, it’s perfectly ok to use this time constructively. In fact, we’ve been having conversations on a daily basis with many of you that have nothing to do with portfolios or stocks and bonds.

There’s been plenty to consider and digest with the recently passed CARES Act and we’ve been answering a lot questions on these changes. But there are other areas to focus on while you can too.   Some folks who have previously engaged ACM for financial planning have asked to have their retirement cash flow projection re-run. And some, including those who could never seem to make time for it, are asking to run one for the first time.

Others have inquired to make sure that all of the beneficiary designations on their retirement accounts are in place and correct. Several have called to discuss their estate plan and to ask for a recommendation to an attorney who can draft estate planning documents.

We have had requests to put life insurance protection in place in the event of a loss of a primary wage earner’s income and some folks finally find themselves with the time to review all of the life insurance contracts that they have accumulated over the years. This is an easy one to continue to put off when you’re busy and focused elsewhere.  If your home reading this on the “screen” in your hands and you haven’t shopped your homeowners, auto or umbrella insurance in the last few years, then just type it in and search.

Any savings you can achieve in the current environment can only help.  If you aren’t taking required minimum distributions (RMD) from your retirement accounts in 2020, then your taxable income may be less this year. This could create an opportunity to consider a Roth IRA conversion and, for those over 65, skipping this year’s RMD may have a favorable impact on your Medicare surcharge (IRMAA) in 2022.

It doesn’t have to be complicated. We’ve had a lot of these conversations recently simply about what to do with any savings or idle cash on hand.  At some point, we’ll all be reminiscing about the impact of COVID-19 on your friends and family and the impact it had on our portfolios at the time.

For those of you who can still focus on what you can control, we don’t want you looking back as if you’ve missed this opportunity to get your other important priorities in order. Now’s the time to target those items that have been hanging at the bottom of your priority list. It may help redirect your energy away from the 24/7 negative news feed, and in the long run, you’ll have something positive to take away.

ACM Wealth has the collective wisdom of many talented financial planners and the experience of working for years with clients just like you. Please call us or email your wealth advisor with any questions you may have.

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