COVID-19 Financial Tips

Posted at 4:50 PM, Mar 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-20 10:58:50-04

It's probably safe to assume that the steps being taken to control the coronavirus pandemic is affecting your finances. So before you “panic shop” and dip into your savings, Private Wealth Advisor from UBS Financial Services Carlos Lowell says think before you act.

“The truth is as Floridians we kind of have an advantage here because this is sort of like hurricane prep. I would think of it that way. What do you need if we’re isolated for a couple of weeks? You don’t want to go crazy and buy a 1,000 of something you’re not going to need. Besides that, it’s really to look at the expense side of your finances. If you can cut some of the luxuries, not the necessities, I definitely would,” said Lowell.

The U.S. is experiencing an unprecedented rise in unemployment due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The last department of labor figures showed initial jobless claims soared to a seasonally adjusted 3.28 million last week, the highest number of unemployment claims in history. In Florida, records show over 74,000.

For workers who are temporarily unemployed due to COVID-19, Lowell recommends to file right away.

“You want to make sure you’re taking advantage of every program that’s available. Some companies are also offering different kinds of benefits. You definitely want to do everything you can as quickly as possible so there’s a smaller gap as necessary,” added Lowell.

After filing, Lowell encourages you to call your lender and go over your payment relief options.

“There is some fiscal activity that’s taking place in Washington, what that actually means for the average person, we don’t know yet. I can tell you that if you’re an individual who’s got a mortgage with a bank, call your bank and see what they can do. Some banks will give you a few months of reprieve. They’ll [add] it on at the end, but you won’t have to pay your mortgage potentially for three months and it won’t add any more interest payment. So there are things people are willing to do, but you have to ask,” said Lowell.