Financial Pharmacist Discusses 3 Financial Tips During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Tim Ulbrich, PharmD, co-founder and CEO of Your Financial Pharmacist, explains how your finances may be affected by the coronavirus and how your can reinforce your financial situation.

Tim Ulbrich, PharmD, co-founder and CEO of Your Financial Pharmacist, explains how your finances may be affected by the coronavirus and how your can reinforce your financial situation.

Tim Ulbrich, PharmD: Hey everyone, Tim Ulbrich, PharmD, here with Your Financial Pharmacist to provide a few brief moments of financial considerations as it relates to the Covid-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. Now first and foremost I hope those that are watching, that you're safe that you're well that your families are safe and well and a special shout-out to the health care professionals that are on the front lines of this caring for the patients that we serve. We appreciate you and the work that you do each and every day, but especially in a time period such as this and we understand the risks that are involved as well as what you're balancing between navigating the situations at work as well as taking care of your family so thank you very much.

Now, 3 brief considerations [that] I'm going to mention, and of course a time period such as this brings a lot of things that you should be considering, probably something many of us could not have anticipated would be the financial impact of a pandemic such as this. Many of us might have lived through 2008 very, very different situation, and so much of this is fluid, it's moving quickly and it's really important to stay up-to-date with this.

We're going to be talking about these points and others in details on a webinar related to COVID-19 and financial considerations this coming Monday evening at 9 p.m. Eastern and you can register for that at YourFinancialPharmacist.com/COVID19 that's COVID19 all one word.

So, 3 quick things to be thinking about. Number 1: a time period such as this is a great reminder and reinforcement of the value of an emergency fund. Three to 6 months of expenses that you have saved that are liquid, that are accessible, and available to you to be used. Now, thankfully, as pharmacists in a pandemic in a situation such as this, I think from an employment standpoint there's a lot of security to be had, because we're obviously needed to address this.

However this could be impacting a significant other or a spouse, there could be a family member whether it's a parent or a grandparent that has needs, additional expenses with kids that are being at home throughout this time period or perhaps just an opportunity to help others that need help during this time period.

And of course, the peace of mind in a situation such as this that comes from having 3-6 months or perhaps that saved up and available and ready. So, if you don't already have that emergency fund saved up, I think this is a good time to make that a goal if you do then I think making sure you obviously are looking at other parts of the financial plan that you want to consider during a pandemic such as this.

Which takes me to point Number 2: which is while an emergency fund is a great defensive move in a situation such as this, this also does present some opportunities to be on the offense when it comes to your financial plan. You've seen the news of things like the FED cutting interest rates to zero. While that is not necessarily related to mortgage rates, when it comes to buying or refinancing, we have seen those rates come down. Although, more recently they've actually gone back up. So, evaluating things like a mortgage refinance, evaluating things like a student loan refinance, evaluating things such as does this make sense as a time to invest more in your portfolio, and buy things while they're on sale perhaps, is something to consider.

So, each one of these things might be an opportunity to be on the offense with your financial plan; however, you don't want to consider any one of those in a silo without considering the rest of your financial plan. I think that's a big risk in a time period such as this, where you might read news about interest rates you might read news about the markets crashing or you might read news such as that the Trump announcement regarding student loan interest waiver. You have a tendency to think of these issues as one issue, but we know every part of the financial plan is integrally connected and you want to take a step back to look at all of the parts as you make any one of those decisions.

Which is a nice segue into point Number 3: which is a time period such as this, really begins to highlight the value of having a coach on your team when it comes to your financial plan. Not only the stress and anxiety that is associated with this, but any one of us if we log on and see our portfolios drop by 30%, the data shows many of us tend to make decisions in those moments where likely we probably should not be doing that or perhaps it's questions around, “Should I be refinancing my home or should I wait until rates come back down,” “what do I do with my student loans in the context of the recent announcement with the interest rate waiver,” and “does it make sense to refinance,” “how long might this go on?”

So, all of this really shows the value having a coach. If you already have one that you're paying in terms of financial planner or advisor, lean on them during this time period to help you look at all of the pieces and to help you come up and reassure you with the plan that you likely have already developed. If not, I think this is a good time to begin to think about how that coach can help you and we've got more resources available to talking about that at YFPplanning.com. We've also got the Your Financial Pharmacist Facebook group that can help you navigate among 5 dozen thousand other pharmacy professionals, a community of people that are there to help one another. I think that group is incredibly important especially in a time period such as this so.

Again, we're going to talk about these 3 as well as others in more detail on a webinar this coming Monday evening at 9:00 p.m. EST. You can register on YourFinancialPharmacist.com/COVID19, and if you have a specific question that you would like us to address on that webinar, please drop it in the comments section below. Hope you stay safe, you stay well, and we hope this provides you some basic information that you can be thinking about as relates to COVID19 and your financial plan. Have a great rest of your day.