Safety efforts like hand washing and mask-wearing are helping lower risks in the current COVID-19 crisis, but there’s another critical safety step you may not be taking -- one that can significantly reduce stress on your family and on society amid this crisis:
Organizing your financial life. Amid a surge in demand for things like online will registration and historic unemployment filings and at this moment when you might have a bit more flexibility in your schedule, the time is ripe to make sure you and your loved ones can easily access important documents and information.
Here are the top 4 things you should be taking care of to help keep yourself and your loved ones safe from the financial dangers and uncertainties posed by COVID-19:
- Gather, update and centralize your financial information - to prevent having to scramble if you experience a sudden change in job status and need to apply for a loan, and to easily hand over to your family should you fall ill.
- Take inventory of your resources - this includes everything from cash flow to solvency and net worth, so you know exactly where things stand if you need to revisit major budget decisions or plan for a furlough.
- Summarize your protection plan - that is, your insurance safety net and benefits such as paid sick leave. This, too, will help you plan quickly in the event of an unforeseen change.
- Communicate with family - review all of the above with your loved ones so that they will know what to do and where to locate financial documents -- including advanced health care directives and financial power of attorney -- in the unfortunate event that you fall ill.
These financial hygiene steps are the “social distancing” of money management. Get financially prepared for this crisis or any future financial situation. We’ll get through this together!