“We’re calling this, Controlling what you can when things feel Out of Control.” ~ Olaf, Frozen 2
Yes, my 19 year old daughter and I watched Frozen 2 the other night. So much of what I am doing these days is summed up by that quote! What kind of things can we be doing that are within our control these days?
Employment wages reduced or stopped?
- Spend some time reviewing your expenses and adjust whatever expenses you can (its better to have Netflix for three months than having Crave, Netflix and Disney+ for 1 month).
- Set aside a few hours ☹ to call your lender and discuss temporarily reducing or suspending your mortgage payments.
- Have a discussion with your landlord regarding your rent. They will be more likely to help if they have time to prepare for lower rental income.
- Set aside some time to review and apply for the government programs support your income.
- If you have an emergency fund this is what it is for, so don't be afraid to dip into those savings.
- If you don’t have an emergency fund, next on this list would be your line of credit. Try not to accumulate debt on high interest credit cards.
Concerned about your retirement?
- If you are fortunate enough to still be working, review your monthly savings plan and remember dollar cost averaging works really well in times of volatility!
- Review your portfolio allocation and consider rebalancing your portfolio. This generally forces you to buy low and sell high.
- Make a note to remember to re-balance again the next time the stock market is running up.
- Remember all those stocks you wanted to buy but you felt were too expensive? Well they are almost definitely cheaper now so keep your investment wish list along with buy prices close at hand.
- Discuss the idea of using limit orders (what I lovingly refer to as “stink bids”) to place orders below the market with your advisor. Use the volatility to your advantage!
- Pull out your retirement plan and review the value of your assets and assumptions that were used. Do they need to be updated? Should you be considering making some changes?
- If you are in retirement and taking income from your accounts, consider reallocating your payments to take them from cash or GIC/bonds rather than stock investments. This will allow your stock investments the time to recoup losses.
- The government has announced a 25% planned reduction in RRIF payments. Consider reducing the payments from your RRIF for 2020 if your cashflow will allow it.
- Know that your investment portfolio has likely sustained some losses over the short term. Investors who are near or in retirement might find it helpful to focus on the income that is being generated by their investments rather than the rapidly fluctuating capital value of them.
Wondering if you have your financial affairs in order? Have some extra time on your hands?
- Pull out your Will and Power of Attorney and review to see if they still make sense or if they have become outdated.
- Make note of any questions or thoughts you have regarding adjustments or changes.
- Call your financial advisor to verify how your beneficiaries are named on your RRSP/RRIF/TFSA or life insurance policies.
- Call your human resources department to verify your beneficiaries on your pension and group insurance.
- Call your lawyer to book an appointment to review the changes. You may need to wait to book the appointment if you have had a reduction in income but also of course to STAY HOME.
- Review your life, disability and critical illness policies to see if any renewal dates are on the horizon and if they still meet your needs.
Self care and the care of others?
- Support local businesses with safe on line purchases and delivery being offered by many.
- Do you really need one more person to suggest that you to start an exercise program?
- Try not to watch too much news on TV or social media.
- Send a virtual hug to your friends and neighbours, especially those who continue to work in what have become the “essential services”.
- Perhaps watch the movie Frozen 2 which Disney has kindly released early on Disney+? Believe me, it doesn’t matter how old you are.
- And yes… STAY HOME!
Again, as a reminder, “We’re calling this, Controlling what you can when things feel Out of Control.” ~ Olaf, Frozen 2