COVID-19 Resources for You and Your Loved Ones
We’re here for you.
As your fiduciary, fee-only advisors, we are here to support and guide you through the financial impact of COVID-19.
We encourage you to reach out with questions and concerns. That’s what we’re here for. Email us, call 319.393.4020 or schedule a meeting.
We also invite you to browse the financial resources below that many clients have found to be helpful recently — webinars with our top tips and strategies, guides and checklists to help you get financially organized, and an overview of key financial relief and tax law changes.
We’re also here for your family and friends
Even if you’re not feeling much of a financial impact of COVID-19, you may know someone who is and could use our help. Easy solutions may be difficult to come by, but we can try to help those you care about avoid long-term damage to their finances.
Please feel free to share this page with family, friends, colleagues and neighbors. We are also happy to answer questions and can help them think through their best options. Your loved one does not need to become a client, and this is at no cost. Please thoughtfully consider if someone you care about has an emergency need and pass along our contact info, if so.
Our web series covers the basics of investing and financial planning. These are not hot tips for the crisis or what to do in a panic, but rather a view of how a strong portfolio and financial plan can last the test of time.
Many of the resources we refer to in the webinars are posted below. Email us if you’d like to receive the slides.
- March 20, 2020: A Nervous Investor’s Guide to Handling Market Volatility – Learn about the basics about market declines, why removing emotions from investing is important, and what you should be focusing on.
- March 27, 2020: How to Get Financially Organized While You’re Stuck At Home – Our tips include key documents and information to locate, ways to polish up your budget, advantages of online password keepers, and what to do with all of those paper documents.
- April 3, 2020: Why We Own Bonds in Today’s Low Interest Rate World – We review the basics of bonds and benefits of owning them when interest rates are low, and how the risks of owning bonds can be managed.
- April 10, 2020: How the CARES Act Impacts Your Finances – We review key stimulus provisions, including the direct payments to individuals, retirement account changes, student loan relief, and tax changes.
- April 17, 2020: Save on Taxes with Tax Loss Harvesting – Tax loss harvesting is an important topic for anyone with a taxable brokerage account. During this webinar, you’ll learn about the basic benefits, limits, compliance with IRS wash sale rules, and when NOT to tax loss harvest.
- April 24, 2020: Using Roth Conversions to Reduce Taxes During Retirement – Roth conversions are a potentially valuable strategy for many retirees and near-retirees to significantly reduce their tax burden in retirement. In this webinar, we discussed the basics of a Roth conversion, why Roth conversions can be beneficial, and how to determine if Roth conversions are advantageous for you.
- May 1, 2020: Ways to Track, Monitor, and Protect Your Accounts – With fraud and identity theft on the rise, and almost all of our financial accounts linked online, being able to monitor and secure your online presence has never been more important. In this webinar we cover resources that exist to help you keep an eye on your online accounts, find any accounts you have forgotten about, and how to keep your identity and online login information safe.
- May 8, 2020: Protect Your Financial Plan with Life and Disability Insurance – Learn about insurance options available to help protect you and your family from risks that exist from the coronavirus and the rest of life’s hazards. Remember, as fee-only advisors, we do not make commissions off of any product we recommend. This gives us a unique viewpoint to provide you with advice that is in your best interest, not the agent’s.
- May 22, 2020: Developing a Charitable Giving Strategy to Maximize Effectiveness and Tax Efficiency – We discuss how to create a charitable giving plan that matches your goals and the most tax-efficient ways to implement it. Topics include recent tax law changes related to charitable giving, Qualified Charitable Distributions (QCDs) from your IRA, donating appreciated securities, Donor Advised Funds, and charitable remainder trusts.
- June 5, 2020: Don’t Put It Off: Practical Steps to Create and Maintain an Estate Plan – In addition to estate planning basics (Wills, Trusts, Powers of Attorney), we also reviewed pitfalls to avoid and common mistakes we see that cause issues, as well as simple action items to do now.
- June 26, 2020: How to Use a 529 and Available Tax Benefits to Maximize College Funding – Learn how to coordinate use of 529 savings, tax credits and deductions, loans, and cash to fund four years of college expenses. We’ll walk through examples of how a withdrawal strategy can reduce the burden of tuition for you and your family.
- July 24, 2020: How to Pay For Large Expenses During Retirement – Watch this webinar to learn when it’s best to use IRAs, taxable brokerage accounts, or Roth IRAs to fund large purchases. We also explain when loans make sense and actually save you money, and discuss situations when withdrawals can be made tax-free.
- Aug. 28, 2020: Client FAQs – We answer questions we’ve heard from clients recently, including “should I invest in gold?”, “should I refinance my mortgage?”, and “where do I hold cash for the best yield?”
- Sept. 18, 2020: Derecho-Related Tax Relief and Insurance Review – We break down storm-related tax relief for residents of Linn and other counties declared as Federal disaster areas. We also review key information everyone should know about homeowner’s insurance.
- Oct. 23, 2020: Why You Need to Review Your Medicare Part D and How to Compare Plans – Medicare Open Enrollment (Oct. 15 to Dec. 7) is the time to re-evaluate your Part D prescription drug plan, even if your prescriptions haven’t changed. In this webinar, we explain why it’s important to review Part D plans annually, what information to review, and show you how to do it step-by-step on the Medicare.gov website.
Guides & Checklists
AMWM COVID-19 Resources – A guide for various scenarios, including:
- Temporary or permanent unemployment
- Small business owner hardships
- Assistance with loan payments and bills
- Filing and paying your taxes
- Scam and fraud prevention and reporting
Emergency Relief Options for Individuals – A detailed outline of the new emergency relief options, including those in:
- The CARES Act
- Families First Coronavirus Response Act
- Executive orders
- IRS changes
- And other relief options specific to COVID-19 for individuals
Issues to Consider If You Lose Your Job – A comprehensive checklist of financial issues to consider surrounding a job loss.
What Documents Do I Need To Keep? – A checklist with legal, health care, tax, and asset-related documents you should have securely saved.
Monthly Budget Tracker – Customize this spending template in a way that works best for you.
Issues to Consider Before Updating Your Estate Plan – This checklist covers key questions to ponder before updating your estate plans.
Key Provisions of the CARES Act That May Benefit You
The CARES Act is a $2 trillion coronavirus economic stimulus bill signed into law on March 27, 2020. It is designed to offer relief for businesses, families, and individuals who have been negatively impacted by COVID-19. Let’s take a closer look at the provisions most likely to impact you:
- Direct payments to Americans. Probably the most widespread aspect of this bill is its stipulation to make direct payments to American citizens. Many taxpayers will receive $1,200 if they filed single or $2,400 for married couples with an additional $500 per child. There is an income threshold for direct payments which s $75,000 or under for those who filed single and $150,000 or under for those who are married and filed jointly. If your AGI is above those numbers, the payments begin to phase out. Wondering what to do with your payment? Matt shares a few ideas in this interview with KCRG, but contact us for recommendations best for your situation.
- Unemployment. The Act provides an additional $250 billion for extended unemployment insurance programs. It expands eligibility while also providing qualified workers with an additional $600 per week for 4 months. Unemployment benefits will also be extended through December 31, 2020. This applies to W-2, self-employed, contractors, and gig economy workers.
- Retirement funds. The bill waives the 10% early withdrawal penalty for distributions up to $100,000 for coronavirus related purposes. This applies retroactively to distributions as early as January 1, 2020. Even though the penalty tax is waived, you will still need to pay income tax on the withdrawals, but it is spread over a three-year period. The 401(k) loan limit has also increased from $50,000 to $100,000. Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) are suspended for 2020.
- Federal student loans. Federal loan payments have been deferred through December 31, 2020 (extended, originally September 30, 2020). Additionally, no interest will accrue during that time. *Note: This does NOT apply to private loans but contact your lender if you need help making payments.
- Charitable contributions. To further incentivize charitable contributions, the CARES Act establishes a new above-the-line deduction for cash contributions up to $300 made in 2020 to be put on next year’s federal tax returns. The limits on deductions for charitable contributions are also changing which especially impacts individuals who itemize deductions.
- Business owners. Business owners have had a difficult time navigating the changes to their business in light of the coronavirus. The bill allows employers to delay the payment of their portion of 2020 payroll taxes until 2021 and 2022. The bill also provides $350 billion to help prevent layoffs and business closures. Companies with 500 employees or less who remain in business are eligible for up to 8 weeks of cash flow assistance.