By Franca Braatz
The stock market is teetering, businesses are shuttered and people are out of work. The coronavirus pandemic and the financial chokehold gripping the country has people scared.
Managing your finances during this potentially devastating time economically can be stressful, but experts like Aquiles Larrea, founder and CEO of Larrea Wealth Management says don’t panic. Instead, use this time to get your money in order.
“I tell people, ‘Let’s first look at our savings,’” he explained. “You want to have around 6 months of savings, piled up, ready to go for scenarios just like this. Forget about investing, forget about anything else. Once that particular guideline is reached, then you can start thinking about the other things.”
Other things include a plan to stabilize your financial future — do not run from creditors, prioritize bill payment and spending, and make adjustments to your 401K only if necessary.
If you do have investments, “you want to make sure that you don’t want to make any dramatic moves at the moment,” said Aquiles. “I see a lot of people have such doubt, and that’s one of the worst things you could do unless you need the money right this second.”
Though no one can estimate when the country will reopen for business or what the long-term economic impact will be, the time to plan for any eventuality is now. And if you can, be bold, Aquiles says.
“This is a time to be brave,” he added. “Go after what you want and go above and beyond what you think is possible in your own world.”
While it’s hard to predict, many economists believe that the economy should start to rebound by the fall, but that the real headway won’t happen until at least the first quarter of 2021.