Below please find the transcript for the Tips To Take Back Financial Control available on Meghan’s biography page.
Hi guys, my name is Meghan Dwyer. I’m a Certified Financial PlannerTM with Modera Wealth Management. I hope everybody is doing well and staying safe and healthy during these crazy times. I’m reporting live today from my kids’ art gallery / kitchen / home office and I wanted to provide a message for those who are feeling a little bit unsettled right now. I think the uncertainty of everything going on is causing a lot of fear and anxiety for many of us and myself included. As a very type a person I often times crave control and I’m realizing that while we can’t control what’s going on in the world around us, we do have an opportunity to turn inward and take steps now to make better decisions for the future. So with that, I wanted to provide three key personal finance action steps, things that you can do today to help you gain back some sense of control.
Alright, so number one, cash money. We typically recommend that our clients have anywhere from six months to a year’s worth of living expenses held in cash on hand. And when I mean cash, I just mean something in a savings or checking account that’s readily available for use. Um, and of course this is just a rule of thumb. There’s obviously many different circumstances that come into play and I’m happy to talk to any of you individually if you have any questions. And one example of that might be if you’re in retirement or close to retirement, you will probably want to have a little bit more of cash on hand. But what if you don’t have that cash on hand right now? Don’t worry, you can take action steps today to help you get there. Right now is a really great time to go through your budget or even set up a budget if you don’t have one already. I think this is a great opportunity to review what your necessary expenses are and what your unnecessary expenses are. The little things add up and maybe this is a really good time, to allow us to be more reflective on what’s important in our lives.
Number two, keep saving if you can afford it. So, I had a client recently asked me if she should continue to make contributions into her 401k plan with the market being all over the place right now. My answer for her specifically was absolutely. Putting all emotion aside, this is a really great opportunity to invest because stocks are so cheap right now and who doesn’t love when things are on sale? Right? But again, the answer to this isn’t always going to be the same for everybody. It’s a really good idea to talk with someone who can see your full financial picture and who can provide specific, customized advice for you.
Finally, consider refinancing your mortgage. One really nice side effect of the economic environment that we’re in right now is that interest rates are particularly low. So it’s a really, it’s a good opportunity to look into what your current rate is and consider looking out over the long-term and if this may make sense for you. You’ll likely have to pay up front closing costs, but it’s certainly worth looking into and it really could save you a lot of money over the long term.
So there you have it. Three steps that you can take today to help you feel like you’re more in control during this crazy time. I’m happy to answer anybody’s questions, feel free to email me and, you know, we will get through this together guys. Thanks so much. Bye.