Practical Financial Tips for 2020
“I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo. “So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”
- J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings
2020 is not turning out like any of us expected or hoped. When difficult times are upon us, it’s the most human thing of all to wish it had all happened differently.
Practical tips to do with the time that is given us.
More layoffs and furloughs are coming. If you think you might lose your job or face a reduction in income in your family, let’s get a financial plan in place and revisit your emergency funds and cash flow. The CARES Act opened up some additional options.
RMDs have been waived for 2020. If you don’t need the cash this year, consider skipping the distribution or turning it into a Roth Conversion. If you already took some or all of your 2020 RMD after February 1, you may be able to return it to your account as a rollover through July 15 (as long as you didn't complete another rollover within the last 12 months).(1) There's some fine print to this, so please reach out if you'd like guidance.
Tax and IRA contribution deadlines have been extended to July 15. The IRS extended the 2019 tax filing deadline for any taxpayer who had to file by April 15. The extension also covers 2019 IRA contributions.(2) Very important: if you’ll be making a last-minute 2019 contribution on your own, make sure the check or deposit is clearly marked 2019 to avoid an administrative error.
Stimulus deposits have started. If you had direct deposit information on your last tax filing, the IRS should have sent your check to your account. If you didn’t (or the account is closed), the check would go to the address the IRS has on file for you.
Small business owners should act fast on loans. The Paycheck Protection Program is offering forgivable, collateral-free loans through June 30, but the money is going quickly. SBA Express Loans and Economic Injury Disaster Loans are also options to consider.(3)
You could get more from Medicare. Medicare has made some important updates to its coverage due to the crisis. Telehealth benefits are expanded, so you may be able to see your doctors over the phone or online. Many plans have relaxed their definition of "in-network" providers, so it's worth checking with your plan. Part D recipients can now request 90-day supplies of medication instead of the usual 30-day supply to help avoid trips to the pharmacy.(4)
We can't control what happens next, but we can control some things: our choices, our behavior, and our mindset.
We are here to help lighten your load in these troubling times.
If you'd like help acting on any of the tips above, or just want to talk through some strategic moves, please reach out. We are here.
Be well, The BWM & NPP Team References: (1) https://www.financial-planning.com/news/cares-act-tax-relief-as-irs-says-some-rmds-can-be-undone (2) https://www.schwab.com/resource-center/insights/content/tax-deadlines-extended-due-to-coronavirus (3) https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options (4) https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/24/business/coronavirus-medicare-elderly.html
Investment advisory services are offered through Asset Dedication, LLC, an SEC registered investment advisory firm.