Thousands of people around the world have been working tirelessly to create, distribute, and develop awareness for the COVID-19 vaccine. Healthcare providers across the nation have been instrumental in this process, and their tireless service has saved countless lives.
As more and more adults in the U.S. receive their COVID-19 vaccination, life is slowly returning to normal. As a healthcare professional, you probably have a good understanding of the science behind this. However, you may be wondering how best to move forward when it comes to your finances. After a year of financial uncertainty, what next steps should you take to ensure you stay on track to achieve your financial goals?
Now, more than ever, it’s essential to take stock of your current financial situation and make goals for the future with the help of a medical investment service. Use these three steps as a starting point:
1. Assess Your Current Financial State
A recent survey by Pew Research claimed that 30% of responders had experienced an improved financial situation during the pandemic, while 21% reported that their financial situation had gotten worse. Doctors, especially, were affected by the nationwide shutdowns. Many had to live on just a portion of their usual salary, as elective surgeries and procedures were postponed. Others were overwhelmed and overworked.
Now, as we begin to see the light at the end of this long tunnel, it is time to assess your financial situation. Start by evaluating your emergency fund. You may have had to dip into it during the past year; if that’s the case, your priority should be to build it back up.
Next, examine your debt and spending. Ensure you are on track to pay off student loans, especially if that means getting back on track now that the suspension on student loans is nearing expiration. When it comes to spending, consider if you have acquired new expenses during the past year that you may not need anymore. For example, you may consider discontinuing streaming or delivery services. Additionally, anticipate that other expenses may arise, such as transportation and eating out.
2. Rebalance Your Portfolio
Now is an ideal time to sit down with your financial advisor and assess your portfolio. Currently, the market is in an upswing, and interest rates are low. However, this does not negate the importance of diversifying your investments. Investing in many different areas, including bonds, stocks, and cash, may help to protect your portfolio in the event of another economic downturn. Each of these categories may have a different reaction to market swings, which can add a layer of protection to your portfolio.
If the past year has taught us anything, it is that we should expect market volatility. No one could have predicted the peaks and valleys we have seen in the past year. And yet, now that things are looking better than ever, it can be easy to forget that market swings are an expected part of investing in the stock market. Prepare for them by diversifying your investments.
3. Stay the Course
Once you have assessed your financial situation and created a diverse portfolio, stick to your plan. Work closely with your trusted financial advisor to ensure that you continue to stay on track for your savings and retirement goals. As stated earlier, expect market fluctuations, and have a plan that you can hold to, even during an economic downturn. This means creating a plan that aligns with your personal risk tolerance and long-term goals.
At IMAFS, we are Utah’s leading medical association financial services. Our fee-only fiduciaries specialize in helping the physicians of Idaho reach their financial goals. During this rapidly changing time, we will help you assess your financial situation and decide what next steps to take to build your wealth and reach financial independence.