COVID-19's Financial Impact - 2 of 5

What is pandemic unemployment assistance?

Enhanced unemployment benefits. Unemployment is state-issued insurance compensation intended to replace roughly 40-45% of your pre-unemployment income. The CARES Act is a federal assistance stimulus bill conceived in response to the corona virus pandemic and signed into law on March 27, 2020. Included in the CARES Act is a provision for “Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation” that is intended to augment your state unemployment benefits by an additional $600 per week for four months.

It’s important to note that to receive federally enhanced unemployment benefits you must have been adversely or directly affected by the corona virus, but the list and conditions for which the qualification for enhanced benefits applies is not only extensive and far reaching, in order to cover as many people as possible, it’s somewhat open to interpretation.

What should I do if I just retired and now my retirement savings have lost value because of the pandemic?

Don’t panic or react out of fear. The very last thing you want to do is to make a sweeping change to your portfolio or investment mix or to jump entirely out of the market. Your immediate goal should be to get your current asset allocation “stress tested” and appraised to help make sure that you are not unnecessarily or unintentionally exposing yourself to risk. This will help you minimize downside risk while remaining in a position to benefit if and when the bull market returns. Your second goal should be to resist succumbing to predatory investment advice telling you to run out and put all your money into things like gold.

Remember, at roughly 11 years in duration, we just exited the longest bull market in the history of the United States. And that bull market actually began when things still looked very dire during the Great Recession. While no one knows when the current market turbulence will end, history (and our experience) has shown us that you should avoid behavioral finance and never try to “time” the market (jump in or out). That is why it helps to work with a fiduciary, credentialed advisor who has your best interests in mind. They can help you make dispassionate,unemotiona financial decisions, not just about investing, but about your entire financial situation, all of which should combine to benefit you in the short and the long term.