couple reviewing finances

Mid-Year Check-Up: Financial Advisor in New Jersey Asks, How Are You Doing?

Mid-year is always a good time to check-in on your goals, whatever they may be. Have you made good progress? Are you still on the right track? Where are you at?

Were you among the millions of people who made financial New Year’s Resolutions this year? Did COVID-19 alter your priorities, your focus, your direction? Did you pledge to make changes in 2021?

Well, how’s that going?

Retirement planning is difficult under “normal” circumstances, but the challenges are compounded when your economic and physical health are under threat.

A Pew Research Center study shows that nearly half of non-retired Americans fear they won’t be able to reach their financial goals because of hardships caused by the pandemic. Mid-year is a great time to check in with your financial advisor to see if that fear is real.

Half-way into the year, take a look at your plans. Have your plans changed? Are your goals the same? If your savings strategy was put on hold, are you ready to get back on track?

A lot of people made changes to their plans last year and into this year as they adjusted to new income levels, expenses, even dependents, as adult children returned home and aging parents moved in. When this happens, it’s easy to lose track of your original goals. If you haven’t reviewed your plans with a financial advisor yet, there’s no better time than the present.

 

Are you on track to retire as planned? Schedule a complimentary consultation with the team at Foran Financial Group.

 

Your Plans

Were you hoping to retire in the near future? Are you still on track to meet your target date? What can you be doing now to help?

The proper response to new circumstances is not to abandon all planning but to revise your plans based on the new realities. As a financial advisor in New Jersey, one of my passions is helping clients through transition, be it marriage, divorce, new parenthood or a job change. If you experienced a big change in 2020, let’s talk. A financial advisor can help you re-evaluate your goals, understand your options and show how different decisions will affect your financial future.

If ever there was a time to work with a financial advisor, 2021 is it. If you’re ready to make a change there, contact me directly to see how we can help.

Your Income

Due to the pandemic, many people lost their jobs or were forced into pay cuts or reduced hours. Some found new jobs, started working from home or decided to retire early. Not only can these situations reduce your ability to contribute to your retirement nest egg, but they can reduce your Social Security benefits, which are based on the income you earned during your working years.

Unfortunately, many near-retirees have had to draw down their retirement savings or file for Social Security benefits much sooner than planned. Both can weaken your long-term prospects for a comfortable retirement unless you find a way to re-establish an income stream. For many, this means postponing retirement and continuing to work longer.

When to start taking your Social Security benefits is a major financial decision that has long-lasting effects. Download our complimentary eBook: How to Maximize Your Social Security Benefits.

Your Expenses

Healthcare is another concern. Unfortunately, many of the people who contracted COVID-19 find themselves saddled with medical bills. Generally, insurance covers only part of these medical expenses, while the rest comes out of pocket. In the most tragic cases, a spouse may have died from the disease leaving the surviving spouse to pay the bills by drawing on their own incomes (if any), life insurance death benefits, and inherited money, including retirement plans. Creating a new budget in these situations can lead to emotional, immediate decisions. Don’t be afraid to ask for help!

At Foran Financial Group, we’ve been asked by clients to find ways to cut their expenses so that they can avoid withdrawing from their retirement savings. We’ve helped them create new budgets to reflect the changes to income and expenses, consider new retirement strategies and update their financial plans accordingly.

Waiting for everything to pan out on its own can be dangerous. If you’re not sure what makes sense for your specific situation, let’s talk.

Your Dependents

The Coronavirus scrambled the lives of many families, to say the least. Many with grown kids welcomed them back home due to a job loss, school closure or income reduction. Others face additional demands on their time and money due to new care requirements for their aging parents. All of these contingencies can force you to postpone retirement so that you can pay the resulting additional expenses. But you may have options! It’s important to put yourself first, because if you’re not financially stable, you can’t safely help your loved ones.

Your Investment Strategy/Risk Tolerance/Asset Allocation

For a lot of investors, the stock market dip in the early stages of the pandemic was their first experience with real-life market volatility. Many instinctually panicked and sold stocks, an emotional response that can damage your retirement wealth and remove you from any opportunity to rebound through market recovery.

If you’re losing sleep at night thinking about your investments, talk with a financial advisor. A financial advisor can help you tune out the noise and focus on your long-term goals.

While you certainly shouldn’t ignore your tolerance to risk, it’s important not to suddenly become overly conservative because of fear. With retirement stretching 20 or more years, you may need some risk in your portfolio to not only stay ahead of inflation, but also continue to grow your nest-egg so that you don’t run out of money. The key is determining the amount of risk you’re comfortable with.

A financial advisor can help.

The Bottom Line

Last year was a difficult one, no question. As we transition into a new normal, talk with a financial advisor who can help you explore ways to recover from the economic impact you may have experienced and get you back on track to retirement.

When it comes to retirement planning, you have options, some of which may not be apparent to you on your own. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

For more than a combined 60 years, Somerville, New Jersey-based Foran Financial Group has been helping families build sustainable wealth. We offer personalized, intensive financial planning and full-service wealth management in a personal, supportive environment. Our multi-generational planning and investment team of financial advisors in New Jersey has helped hundreds of families pursue and maintain greater financial confidence. Let us help you refocus post-2020.

retirement post-COVID-checklist

Securities and advisory services offered through LPL Financial, a registered investment advisor, Member FINRA/SIPC.

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results. No strategy assures success or protects against loss.

The financial professionals associated with Foran Financial Group may discuss and/or transact business only with residents of the states in which they are properly registered or licensed. No offers may be made or accepted from any resident of any other state.