Sexton Advisory Group Releases 10-Step Guide to Financially Surviving the Pandemic

Financial Consultant Steve Sexton Gives Best Tips for Keeping Finances Afloat in Uncertain Times

As coronavirus cases continue to rise, many Americans are facing an uncertain future when it comes to their finances. Steve Sexton, financial consultant and CEO of Sexton Advisory Group in San Diego, California, shares a 10-step guide to financially surviving the pandemic.

1.    Flatten your spending curve. “Record all monthly expenses in an itemized list and examining whether or not each expense is essential,” says Sexton. 

2.    Search for better rates. When it comes to expenses like mortgage payments, cell phones, and cable bills, Sexton suggests researching alternative companies or plans that may be available at a lower rate.

3.    Don’t eat up credit. According to Sexton, now is not the time to max out your credit card bill on non-essential items. “You’ll want to have that cushion of credit available for when it is really necessary.” 

4.    File for unemployment as soon as possible. “In the event you do lose your job,” says Sexton, “register for unemployment right away, as it may take some time before you receive your first payment.”

5.    Maximize savings. “Look for ways to maximize those savings you do have,” Sexton says. “Research banks, credit unions, and insurance companies and find what accounts will allow you to save the most.”

6.    Prioritize bills. “Now is not the time to drive up late fees and interest rates by neglecting bills, as that will only add to your debt,” says Sexton. 

7.    Talk with creditors. Should you fall behind on payments, Sexton urges Americans not to dodge creditors. “Be proactive by calling up creditors and letting them know you’re having trouble paying due to the pandemic,” explains Sexton. “Many credit companies have solutions available in the form of forbearances or reduced rates.”

8.    Only dip into retirement as a last resort. “Your retirement fund allows you to earn interest you don’t have to pay taxes on,” says Sexton. “Therefore, it really should be the last place you extract funds from.” Instead, Sexton advises to look into other savings and checking accounts with the lowest interest and least taxable impact first. Next, he suggests looking at capital gains, such as stocks. “If you must borrow from your retirement, do it monthly and take as little as you possibly can.”

9.    Be on high alert for scammers. “There are a lot of scammers right now who are trying to convince people to borrow against their retirement and put money into other accounts that claim to have high interest and low risk. This is a major red flag,” he says.

10.  Be prudent when it comes to large purchases. During these uncertain times, Sexton advises against making any large purchases, such as buying a new home.

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Source: Sexton Advisory Group