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The coronavirus pandemic has touched nearly every aspect of our lives. Perhaps nothing has been impacted as much as the way we work. While millions of Americans have lost their jobs during the pandemic, those who remain employed have seen their work change drastically.
In many professions, work-from-home has become the norm; not the exception. Some people have seen their work paused during this time. Others are on a mini sabbatical until their work gets back to normal. And for those who have lost their job, this may be a frightening time as they try to navigate an uncertain job market.
In many ways, this time could be seen as a small trial run for retirement. Your schedule isn’t clearly defined. You may be spending much of your time at home. Your work responsibilities may be limited or cut significantly. There are lessons you can take from this time and apply to your retirement. Below are a few of the biggest takeaways:
Create a schedule.
During normal times, our schedule is often dominated by work obligations. You have to be at the office or your workplace at specific times. You have meetings and conference calls. You may have projects due by a specific time. Everything else in life often seems to get scheduled around work.
But during this pandemic, much like retirement, traditional work schedules have become blurred or even nonexistent. Work-from-home allows you to complete things during non-traditional working hours. You may find that personal tasks bleed into the work day.
If your work responsibilities have been cut or if you have lost your job, you may have found that time has lost its normal structure. How many of us have asked during this time, “What day is it again?”
You may find it helpful to maintain a schedule, even when you aren’t required to. Set the alarm and get up by a certain time. Keep a morning routine. Block off time for activities like fitness or work or even a new hobby. A schedule will help you maintain some normalcy and reach your goals.
Have a greater purpose.
Much like our schedules, very often our purpose in life is dominated by work. For many people, the pandemic has made them reevaluate the role work plays in their lives. It’s similar to the process many retirees go through right after they end their careers. Without the purpose that comes from work, they may feel lost and even depressed.
This could be a good time to evaluate what is most meaningful to you. Sure, work is important, but after retirement you may need to find a new purpose. It could be family or friends. It may be a new hobby or a dedication to volunteer services. The choices are limitless. You just have to find the passion that is right for you.
Build your community.
Our social lives also often revolve around work. If you go into an office or workplace everyday, you may spend more time with your coworkers than anyone else in your life. Working from home can be a difficult transition, especially if you thrive on social interaction.
Retirement can make for a similarly difficult transition. If you’re nearing retirement, consider who your social circle may be after retirement, and how you’ll connect with them. Video conferencing solutions, like Zoom, have become popular during the pandemic, but they’re not just for work. You can use those platforms to connect with friends, family, coworkers, and more, even if you can’t connect in person.
Ready to plan your transition into retirement? Let’s talk about it. Contact us today at Cornerstone Financial Associates. We can help you analyze your goals and implement a strategy. Let’s connect soon and start the conversation.
Licensed Insurance Professional. This information is designed to provide a general overview with regard to the subject matter covered and is not state specific. The authors, publisher and host are not providing legal, accounting or specific advice for your situation. By providing your information, you give consent to be contacted about the possible sale of an insurance or annuity product. This information has been provided by a Licensed Insurance Professional and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting insurance professional. The statements and opinions expressed are those of the author and are subject to change at any time. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however, presenting insurance professional makes no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. This material has been prepared for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide, and should not be relied upon for, accounting, legal, tax or investment advice. This information has been provided by a Licensed Insurance Professional and is not sponsored or endorsed by the Social Security Administration or any government agency. 20275 - 2020/7/20
The United States set a somber record on Thursday, July 16, 2020, with more than 75,000 new COVID-19 cases. In fact, the U.S. set new single-day COVID-19 records 11 times between June 17 and July 16. Dr. Anthony Fauci predicts the country will soon top over 100,000 new cases each day.1
COVID-related deaths are also increasing in some states. Florida set its single day record for COVID deaths on July 16, with 156. Nine other states also set single-day death records the same week.1
The resurgence in coronavirus cases has led some states to enact new measures. More than half of all states now have some kind of mask mandate. California has even rolled back its reopening, closing bars, indoor dining, gyms, and more.2
What does this mean for the economic recovery? And what does it mean for your financial future? It’s impossible to predict what will happen in the short-term, but knowing where things stand today may help you make important decisions with your strategy.
The stock market continues to rally in spite of the increasing COVID numbers and the return of restrictions. As of July 16, the S&P 500 is nearly back to even for the year. In fact, it’s up 43.71% since hitting a low 2237 on March 23.3 NASDAQ set a record-high on July 9 when it reached 10,617.4
The continued gains are good news for investors, especially after the sharp decline in March. However, that decline also shows us just how quickly the market can turn, especially if state governments introduce new orders that close businesses.
If you’re concerned about another potential downturn or future risk, this could be the right time to explore risk-protection strategies. For example, products like annuities allow you to participate in a portion of the market upside but also protect you against losses. A financial professional can help you determine which risk-management strategy is right for you.
While the number of new unemployment claims has declined for 15 consecutive weeks, unemployment numbers are still much higher than they were pre-COVID. In February, there were approximately 200,000 new unemployment claims each week. That number exploded to 6.867 million new claims in one week in late March. While new claims have declined since that point, they’re still more than double their level during the height of the Great Recession in 2009.5
In March, the government passed the CARES Act, which, among other things, provided direct stimulus payments to many Americans. A recent study found that 74% of recipients had used all of their stimulus payments within four weeks.6
As the coronavirus pandemic continues to impact Americans, Congress is considering a second round of stimulus payments. In May, the House of Representatives passed the $3 trillion HEROES Act to provide a second round of direct stimulus payments.6
In an interview in mid-July, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin indicated that a second round of stimulus payments was a possibility, even if it doesn’t align exactly with the HEROES Act. Senate Leader Mitch McConnell and President Trump have also recently expressed their willingness to negotiate a second stimulus package.
While stimulus payments may provide a nice boost, they’re not a replacement for long-term strategy. At Cornerstone Financial Associates, we can help you analyze your needs and goals and implement strategies to limit your risk exposure. Let’s connect soon and start the conversation.
Licensed Insurance Professional. This information is designed to provide a general overview with regard to the subject matter covered and is not state specific. The authors, publisher and host are not providing legal, accounting or specific advice for your situation. By providing your information, you give consent to be contacted about the possible sale of an insurance or annuity product. This information has been provided by a Licensed Insurance Professional and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting insurance professional. The statements and opinions expressed are those of the author and are subject to change at any time. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however, presenting insurance professional makes no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. This material has been prepared for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide, and should not be relied upon for, accounting, legal, tax or investment advice. This information has been provided by a Licensed Insurance Professional and is not sponsored or endorsed by the Social Security Administration or any government agency. 20279 - 2020/7/21
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