Managing your finances and your home through 2020 and beyond
This will end and things can get back to normal, but it’s our job to find balance, stay on course and help keep our clients on course in the meantime.
—Nathalya Wolf, Financial Advisor
Having a long term strategy or having an advisor to help you shape a long term approach can be very important in order to avoid panicking in these situations.
—Avi Safaei, Financial Advisor
It’s easy to say ‘stick to your long term goal,’ but I think more specifically, you have to do the work today and be more aware of your finances.
—Kristal Sizemore, Financial Advisor
For full-time working parents, a constant simmering chaos can feel normal. But we’re all boiling on high these days with virtual work, virtual school, lockdowns and social distancing. Add the crazy market movements and economic slowdown, and your anxiety is now peppered with money worries.
This is especially true for working moms, who, studies have shown* , have taken over an outsized portion of added responsibilities at home.
Planning has become more crucial than ever to maintain some sense of control in the chaos. Three
J.P. Morgan Financial Advisors – all working moms – shared how they manage their homes and their client relationships while planning for the rest of the year.
Nathalya Wolf, a single mom of five, says proper planning has been a big part of her routine.
“Plan ahead and plan for the unexpected,” Nathalya says. This advice is useful for keeping both your house and your money in check. “I have this big bag in my car with all kinds of things just in case, and when we drove by the park the other day, it just so happened I had a whole picnic set up in my car.”
As Financial Advisors, these moms are used to planning. Avi Safaei, a mom of two, keeps track of both her own and her young kids’ Zoom-filled schedules, to add structure into everyone’s days.
Some days schedules don’t work out at all, and that’s okay too. Kristal Sizemore, a mom of four, initially tried to recreate her office environment fully at home: “It really stressed me out.” Instead, just try to do your best and slow down for a moment.
When the pandemic hit, aside from having to calm themselves and their families down, these moms were tasked with helping to manage their clients’ worries too.
“It is unnerving to go through a global pandemic, and it can be gut-wrenching to see your money decrease in value,” says Kristal.
“Some of my clients unfortunately had spouses that were furloughed; others lost their jobs,” says Avi. “So what we can recommend in these situations is to review your expenses, hard,” including prioritizing and reviewing your goals and objective.
Difficult conversations included tightening budgets, revisiting retirement timelines, and increasing savings.
“One of my clients is a registered nurse who is planning to retire in September, and this woman had so much anxiety about her money and retirement,” Nathalya recalls. After a two-hour conversation, and a review of her finances, she walked away with a better understanding of her current situation, “and it’s just so rewarding,” Nathalya says.
How to plan for what comes next?
As hard is it can be, navigating through future uncertainties will come down to staying focused on longterm financial goals, while adjusting as necessary.
“Aside from preparing an investment strategy that can withstand market ups and downs, actively managing your portfolio is going to be integral going forward,” Avi said, recognizing that it may be hard for some to handle their finances without professional guidance. “There are certain sectors of the market that are doing amazing -- technology and healthcare, for instance,” and we can help take advantage of those opportunities, she says.
While the past few months may have resulted in a little too much togetherness for some couples, taking this time to discuss finances with a partner can also help alleviate money worries.
But even for those managing their money on their own, “you have to do the work now and be more aware of your finances,” Kristal says. To-do items like emergency funds, retirement accounts, and some investing activity should still be top of mind.
“This will end and things can get back to normal, but it’s our job to find balance, stay on course and help keep our clients on course in the meantime,” Nathalya says.