Managing your money during COVID-19

14 Apr

The age of wisdom, the age of foolishness? 👉🏼

If you read A Tale of Two Cities in high school, you may remember the famous opening lines from Charles Dickens’ seminal novel on the French Revolution:

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way…”

Dickens published A Tale of Two Cities in 1859. Here we are in 2020, and these words could well apply to the times we are living in. Rather than sinking into the winter of despair, though, there are things you can do right now to stay on the positive side of the market.

Here are some tips for managing your money and keeping proactive during this time when it comes to your finances:

  1. For the Milennial or thirtysomething: Focus on what you can control. Look at this time of restricted social activity as a great way to start saving money and learn more about investing. Instead of lining up at your local Starbucks and eating out, you can be watching your dollars add up while you gain new skills and try out new recipes in your kitchen at home. These are all great skills and habits to have moving forward and will keep you tracking toward your financial goals.
  2. If you’re in your 40s and 50s: Stay invested. It’s the most normal thing in the world to be worried right now about how things will turn out. What won’t help you is cashing in your investments and putting them into a GIC locked in for any length of time. While that money is locked in at 2% or 2.5%, the markets will come back and rise 5% or 10%. Missing out on even some of the best days in the market means a significant drop in the value of your investments over time.
  3. Retiring soon? Now is the time to make sure you have a Financial Advisor who can show you how to plan for the safest and most tax efficient ways of taking income out of your savings once you retire. A good cash flow plan and long-term investing can help you grow your assets for your golden years, but withdrawing from those assets requires a strategic approach.
  4. For those who are already retired:  If you are worried about how long your retirement savings will last, the Government has offered some relief by reducing by 25% the amount you have to take out of your RRIF this year, in recognition of volatile market conditions and their impact on many seniors’ retirement savings. This will provide flexibility to seniors who are concerned that they may be required to liquidate their RRIF assets to meet minimum withdrawal requirements.

Have questions about any of these, or looking for more tips and advice on how to manage your money? Contact me and let’s create a financial plan for you that gets you excited about your future.