By Cokie Bernyi

The answer to the above question is — probably not successfully. Or at least not as well as if you had a financial advisor who was your advocate in these volatile times.

Recently, I listened to a news report of a woman, who had a successful small business before Covid-19, but as of now, she is faced with closing it—for good. For some, life changes like this is much more than a pivot. It is life-altering, and it can be scary.

Ever wonder how life will look after Covid-19 for you? Most of us have!

Our country’s financial situation is serious, and it will grow worse and more impactful to small businesses before we see this make an upturn. I wonder if she had taken the time to plan for the future and any possible landmines along the way. Have you? You can.

I also was reminded of something I have talked with my clients about for years. It is a question that they hear me ask: When is the best time to begin to save for retirement? The answer: 20 years ago!

The Chinese adage is right: the best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. When it comes to saving for the future and the retirement, this is very true . But the next best time to plant a tree is today!

The stock market has been on a roller-coaster ride for the past several months, and it’s likely to continue through the rest of the year. But actually, the S&P 500 index’s fluctuations began in early 2019. This was an indicator of things to come.

It’s also a point in time when investors needed solid advice on how to navigate through the upcoming months that converged with the major event of Covid-19.  

Well-managed assets provide a greater degree of comfort. While it may seem intriguing and exciting to try to manage your own investments, the end result is usually frustrating and  yields less than you could have earned with a trusted adviser.

Striving to get to a financial destination on your own during these uncertain times can be draining, especially in our super-charged financial world. I tell clients while financial security is a goal, it should never be the only one.

For some, financial security means having a large amount of money invested with great returns. Others may simply envision a comfortable lifestyle without all the trappings of extra homes, boats, and more.

Millennial clients are often the most troubled. They settle on a number for retirement only to come back later expressing feelings of fear because they are afraid that they will need more! There’s no “ceiling” for them. And yet, they have the greatest amount of time to reach their end goal.

How about you? When you hear the word “retirement” do you catch yourself feeling secure, or do you battle feelings of restlessness and fear?

This time of “staying at home” is a wake-up call, especially to invest and/or put money into a 401(k) plan. Contributions to a traditional 401(k) are tax deductible, which lowers your taxable income. And the longer you wait to contribute to a 401(k), the more money you leave on the table.

Most companies match half up to six percent. So, at least, set a goal to contribute six percent in order to gain an additional three percent! If you can, contribute at least 10 to 15 percent annually.

It’s easy: 401(k) contributions are automatically deducted from your paycheck. So, over time, you won’t miss what you do not have now but you will be grateful later for what you saved!

What if you are out of work due to Covid-19. Let’s talk . . . avoid taking money out of your retirement plan. It may seem logical, but there are other options that you need to consider.

With some real numbers in front of you, it will be easy to figure out what percentage of your salary needs to be directed toward a 401(k). Here are some basis steps for you to follow:

Keep your perspective Don’t think because the market is up or down you need to react. Keep your focus set on the long goal and not the immediate climb and decline of the markets. The key question is do you have an advisor that is available or just an automated system you talk to via your cell.

Create a plan you can live with Nothing works better for you emotionally and mentally than having the right plan in place that is written to your level of comfort. I have been a financial advisor for over 25 years and understand how life can be difficult at times. But I also know how  to lead you to a point of greater wealth and comfort.

Continue to invest even in bad times You may be tempted to change courses in high water, but it is not advisable. Set your plan in place and stick to it. The right plan includes answers to tough questions like your commitment level, needs for the future, and past spending.  When the market drops, and it will, you will remain confident because you have a plan that is written just for you and your family.

Don’t Market Watch You can become discouraged quickly if you are market-watching 24-7. The stock market changes daily, so refuse to react to what is going on in the world and what is being reported through the media. Rise up and become a Liberated Investor®. I can guide you with strategic updates and well-balanced information.

Choose the right advisor  This is foundational to all you do. The right advisor will walk beside you, answer your calls, and provide the information you need to make the right decision from this point forward to where you reach your dreams and retirement goals.

Maybe you feel like you already have missed far too much to catch up? It’s never too late! Start right now—where you are today with a free 411 Reset Strategy Meeting. Let’s talk and Let’s invest wisely in the future!