The COVID-19 pandemic has put nearly every part of our lives into a state of constant change. School, church, sporting events, even family birthdays are all changing. For those of us nearing retirement age, or those who are already retired, all of this uncertainty naturally extends to the savings that were created to get us through the golden years. Now all we’ve got is questions. Will it be enough? Should we change our plans? In light of the pandemic’s ability to shift the stock market and make us all question our financial health, we had a few suggestions when considering your retirement account.
Communication is a great place to start
First off, like all other things COVID-related, communication is a great tool. We recommend that you reach out to your financial planner, stock broker, or 401K administrator and get their take on the situation. The experts are always in touch with the pulse of the market, and they’ll understand your particular situation.
Understand the timing of your Social Security payouts
Did you know that the monthly amount of your social security payments is affected by when you start drawing those payments? Your particular payments will vary, but as a general rule, if you begin drawing your social security at 65 or even 70 years of age, you can increase your monthly payments nearly 20%. If your future payments are a concern, waiting a bit longer can pay off.
Establish an emergency fund
For both individuals and businesses, the COVID-19 pandemic quickly demonstrated how beneficial it could be to have emergency cash reserves. As the curve is flattening and things are coming back to normal, it’s a good idea to start developing a plan to build up an emergency fund. Use these past few months as a guide to consider what amount would be helpful to have on hand in the event that we experience a repeat of Spring 2020.
There’s no shortage of differing opinions on how to handle your investments during times of turbulence, but most of the experts agree on one thing – don’t panic. Our current situation is definitely not one that fills us with great confidence for the stock market and our retirement accounts, but that’s no reason to begin making rash decisions. Downturns happen from time to time, and long-term investors have already weathered a storm or two. If you feel like making any sudden moves with your retirement holdings, at least reach out to your financial planner or someone with a qualified track record for advice.
When it comes to handling your money, Chickasaw Community Bank is always there to help. We’ve been community-owned since Day 1 and with solid leadership and the FDIC’s rock-solid backing, you can be sure that we’ll treat your finances like we’d treat our own. Get in touch with one of our bankers to see what Chickasaw Community Bank can do for you and your family.