Protecting Your Finances During Uncertain Times

Despite all of the financial uncertainty due to COVID-19, there are ways to protect your finances during the pandemic and market volatility. The market has the ability to rebound. We’ve seen some of that already.   It is important to remain calm and flexible to maintain financial stability during this time. Focus on the things you can control.

Remain Financially Flexible

According to experts, most sectors of the economy will likely recover quickly once the pandemic gets under control, but in the meantime, deciding what you can eliminate from your spending allows your finances to quickly adapt to our ever-changing economy.  Portfolio values fluctuate in a volatile market, avoid recognizing losses by reducing or eliminating draws from your portfolio.   If you are drawing from your savings monthly, this is a good time for self-reflection to create financial goals you can stick with through a crisis.  We have benefited from a thriving economy for many years, but it is time to practice  caution.

Restructure your spending

It is a good time to try to cut back on your spending.  Reducing your spending can help you    preserve your savings.  Review your monthly expenses to see which ones are truly necessary. Eliminate services and purchases you no longer need.  This will provide you with more financial security throughout the upcoming months.

Prioritize your health 

There is so many unknowns about the coronavirus so remember to embrace the kinds of practices that will keep you and your loved ones safe.  Keep in mind that your health is your most important asset.

Abide by the CDC guidelines, wear a mask, and follow these self-care practices that are helpful in every day living: eat well, stay active, and get adequate rest.

Willamette View Foundation is always here to help ease your financial worries.  Please contact us with your financial concerns so we can work together to protect your financial future.

Steps to a Healthy Heart

You already know that maintaining a healthful diet, reducing stress, and getting plenty of exercise help keep your heart strong, but these other easy tips can give your heart-healthy lifestyle a boost.

Start a gratitude journal: 

Tapping into happy, positive emotions has been linked to lower changes of cardiac problems, while feelings of negativity can contribute to heart risks like high blood pressure over time.  Each day, write down one thing that you are grateful for, flip through for an uplifting reminder of all the good things in your life.

Healthy eating: 

If you can’t seem to say no to that cookie or side of fries, try keeping yourself on a healthy eating track by planning out meals ahead of time.  Include lots of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean portions.

 Try walking & meditating:

Cardio and strength training strengthen your heart and help you maintain a healthy lifestyle.  In addition, breathing exercises such as meditation work to reduce stress and high blood pressure.

Estate Planning Checklist

If you’ve been dragging your feet when it comes to estate planning, you aren’t alone.   According to a survey by, nearly 6 out of 10 American adults lack even basic estate-planning documents. Even if you’ve put some documents together, are you sure you have what you need?  “Anyone who has   assets needs to get organized and engage in estate planning for the benefit of those they leave behind,”  says John F. Padberg, Planning and Life Events Specialist at Wells Fargo Advisors.  “While each person has unique circumstances to plan for, there are some key documents that can form the foundation for most estate plans.”

The 10 documents outlined here can serve as that base set. Six of the 10 are best kept as signed hardcopies; the remaining four can be stored digitally (if you wish).

Signed documents to safeguard as hard copies:

Will. This important set of instructions directs assets that you own individually (with no beneficiary designation), and appoints a personal representative to administer your estate after you pass. Keep the signed original in a secure place, like a safe deposit box, that’s known to people who will need access to it, such as your personal representative or close family members.

Power of Attorney (POA) for financial matters. This POA names someone you trust as the person to help manage your financial affairs.  It could be structured to become effective at the time you sign it or could be triggered to take effect upon becoming incapacitated.

Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care. This POA appoints an agent to make medical decisions for you if you can’t make them yourself.

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Release authorization. As a stand-alone document or as part of other documents, such as a durable POA for health care, this privacy-related document allows you to explicitly declare who should have access to your important medical information.

Living Will. Also called an advance directive, these instructions dictate your wishes about prolonging your life in cases like a terminal illness or if you’re in a permanent incapacitated state.

Revocable Living TrustLike a Will, this document also directs how your assets will pass to your  beneficiaries, but it may be funded during your lifetime and can provide for incapacity planning, as well.  A  revocable trust can provide some benefits that you wouldn’t typically get with a Will, with more privacy and without the costs and hassle of probate court.

Documents that you can keep in a digital format:

Current net worth statement.  This lists all of your assets and liabilities and what they’re worth. You could even include how various assets are titled. A net worth statement can be a big help in the process of getting organized, reveal the true scope of your estate, and provide your advisors with a very useful tool as they work to put together a customized plan for you.  It can also save your successors significant work in figuring out all that you have. Keep this document updated so that it reflects current information about all of your accounts, real estate, liabilities, and other items.

List of professional advisors.  Includes contact information for important advisors, such as your financial advisor, attorney, CPA, insurance agents, and doctors.

Medical condition record.  This is an informal way to let your trusted agent know about your health status when there’s a need.

A guide to these documents (both physical and digital).  Those you’ll leave behind will appreciate a simple catalog of all the estate-planning documents you’ve prepared and their locations so they can find them without hassle.

“This list is a good place to start, especially for those who haven’t prepared any estate-planning documents at all,” Padberg says. “But remember that each plan is different, and there certainly could be a need for other items, especially as the level of planning gets more Sophisticated.”  Seek assistance from your financial advisor and estate-planning attorney.

One final important tip: Set a time on your calendar for a regular review to keep all these documents up to date.

This article was written by/for Wells Fargo Advisors & provided courtesy of Adam J. Dale Senior Vice President-Investment Office/Private Client Group in Portland, OR

Have you heard?

Willamette View Foundation is…

A non-profit corporation, separate from Willamette View, Inc., that is dedicated to the residents of the Willamette View retirement community.  We are here to help you if your funds run out.  We know that uncontrollable things can happen such as unexpectedly high care costs, market drops in investments value, or the good fortune of a long life.  Our financial assistance program is available, and even has special provisions for couples, when one becomes ill to enable peace of mind from financial worries.

 Your safety net…

We help residents who’s funds have been depleted, by paying the portion of their Willamette View living costs that their monthly income does not cover.  As long as funds are available and the eligibility standards are met, we will be your safety net.

 Financial assistance…

The Foundation provides financial help at no cost to WVI residents. We want you, and your family, to know that when you need help we will be here for you with assistance and compassion.  Our program strengthens the community without burden.

A benefit available…

Our program is a benefit to you as a resident of the Willamette View retirement community.

Funded by donations…

Our program has been funded by residents, their families and friends through contributions, bequests,  gift annuities, and in the past by resident activities and resident run stores on the campus.  Our funds  have been supplemented by investment earnings.