The Texas Society of CPAs has provided five tips that CPAs can pass along to their clients to calm their financial worries.
Tip No. 1: Don't panic. If your overall asset allocation has been in line with your goals and risk tolerance, don't worry. Doing nothing is often the best course of action.
Tip No. 2: Only invest money you don't need for the next five years. The money you have invested in stocks needs to be able to weather the ups and downs of the market. Don't put money in the stock market that you'll need for living expenses in six months. Instead, invest for the long term.
Tip No. 3: Have an investment plan and diversified strategy. By diversifying your investments, you're better insured to survive in times of financial turmoil. It's best to follow the old saying of not putting all your eggs in one basket. Then, if one of the companies you invested in fails, your money has a safety net.
Tip No. 4: Consider buying shares at low rates. If you have extra cash, consider purchasing shares at the "discounted" rate. Remember to buy low and sell high. Be sure to review the company's business plan before you invest.
Tip No. 5: Talk to your CPA or other financial professional. Consult your CPA or other financial professional about your investments if you still have questions.
Separately, the American Institute of CPAs has provided advice that accountants can offer clients facing job losses:
1. Conserve cash. If you're paying more than the required payment on your mortgage, auto or student loans, pay only the required amount and conserve your cash for your living expenses.
2. Create a new budget. Budget your expenses and figure out which items can be eliminated or at least reduced.
3. Assess your financial situation. Review your assets to determine the best sources to tap for your cash needs. Set up a plan for which assets you'll use and in what order if your unemployment is lengthy.
Make sure you understand the potential tax consequences of each. - Jordan Amin, CPA, Amper, Politziner & Mattia, P.C., Edison, N.J.
1. Consider purchasing medical insurance outside of COBRA. You may find a better deal.
2. Obtain a home equity line of credit. If you think you might lose your job, and you will absolutely have to borrow money to see you through, it is easier to get this type of loan while you’re still employed.
3. Discuss severance benefits with your employer. Ask about severance pay, outplacement services and medical insurance continuation options.
- Adele Brady Bolson, CPA, Adele Brady Bolson, CPA, PS, Bellevue, Wash.
1. Make sure you have six – twelve months of living expenses. The rule of thumb used to be three – six, but it’s a different world now.
2. Contact your mortgage lender as well as your credit card companies to explain your current situation and ask them to work with you. If you continue to run up your credit you could end up filing for a bankruptcy and that will stay on your records for a long time, making obtaining future loans that much more expensive.
3. Remember that cash is king. It’s going to be harder and more expensive to get credit.
- Michael Eisenberg, CPA/PFS, Eisenberg Financial Advisors, Los Angeles
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