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.
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.
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.
If you’ve been dragging your feet when it comes to estate planning, you aren’t alone. According to a survey by Caring.com, 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 Trust. Like 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
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.
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.
Willamette View residents have a safety net here at Willamette View Foundation. It’s a safety net that was created over 50 years ago and has been strengthened over the years by donors and investment earnings. It is
designed to provide direct financial support to residents whose financial resources are no longer able to cover their living expenses at Willamette View.
Some residents choose Willamette View because they know about the Foundation and its purpose, while others learn about it after moving into the community and discover a “gift with purchase”. My guess is that all residents, however or whenever they become aware of our purpose, and resources that are here to support them, feel some sense of relief.
The Foundation has a special policy regarding financial assistance for married couples. We recognize that there is a possibility that a couple might become impoverished when one of them permanently moves to the Health Center.
The policy is designed to allow the partner who moves to the Health Center the opportunity to apply for financial assistance when half of the couple’s assets have been depleted. This leaves the other half of their assets for the “well partner” to use for his or her lifetime. For this purpose, the assets of the couple will be valued on the date one of them moves to the Health Center. The value should be captured and documented. It will need to be provided if, at some point, an application for financial assistance becomes necessary. If the “well partner” exhausts the remaining assets, they may also apply for financial assistance. All assets of the couple must first be used for either partner’s care prior to becoming part of either’s estate residue.
If you and your spouse anticipate that you may need financial assistance at some time in the future, it is important to contact the Foundation office so that we can provide additional information about the married couple policy. Often this conversation can help ease anxiety prior to and during the time of transition.
If you have not named a beneficiary on life insurance or a retirement account it will likely guarantee that the asset will go through probate upon your death. Unfortunately, heirs might face a long wait to receive their money.
Designate Contingent Beneficiaries
It is recommended that you name a contingent beneficiary. Most likely you designated a primary beneficiary when the account was opened and most people designate their significant other, but they do not take into account that person might predecease them. If that happens, your contingent beneficiary will receive the assets.
Review Beneficiary Designations
You should review your policy or account every few years to
ensure that your beneficiaries remain consistent with your overall estate planning goals.
¨ Consider a trust if Beneficiary is a Minor
A trust to benefit a minor grandchild can hold assets until the child has reached a designated age.
How do the changes to the tax code affect the benefits of charitable giving?
The new tax law is a hot topic of conversation everywhere. And the experts are still analyzing and devel-oping materials that explain its impact on taxpayers and chari-ties.
The Tax Law of 2018 preserves the deduction for charitable con-tributions, however it shrinks other itemized deductions and in-creases the standard deduction. Therefore, it is expected that more taxpayers will take the standard deduction rather than itemize their deductions.
However, the reason for giving to a charity, for most people, is not driven by tax benefits, but rather by a belief in the mission of their favorite charities. The upside is that tax savings will leave many taxpayers with more money that they can direct as they choose.
You may be wondering, how the new tax law will affect you and whether you should change the way you support causes dear to your heart.
How will I be affected by the new tax law?
For those who are already taking the standard deduction, the increased standard deduction reduces your tax bill, putting more money in your pocket.
If you itemize your deductions and give small to moderate amounts to charity, you may notice that the increased standard deduction will lower your tax bill more than itemizing would.
Those who have larger annual itemized deductions are less likely to be affected because donations along with other deductions will tend to be greater than the standard deduction. If you itemize deductions, you will most likely get a full tax benefit of your charitable contributions.
The new tax law keeps the charitable deduction and, increases the limit on cash contributions from 50% to 60% of adjusted gross income which will help some taxpayers who make larger gifts to charity.
Should I change the way I give to my favorite charities?
Most people donate because they are passionate about a cause. Not to get a tax deduction. Giving to charity is always a worthy goal, so don’t let changes in the tax code affect your giving plans. If you do decide to make changes, always talk with your financial planner or a tax advisor to determine what makes the most sense for your personal situation.
This information is intended for educational purposes only and is not offered and should not be taken as legal, tax, of other professional advice. Always consult an attorney, financial planner or tax advisor.
PORTLAND, OR -- The Willamette View Foundation board of directors has voted to give a $1 million grant to support the Riverview Project. It is the largest grant the Foundation has ever awarded. The Foundation is generally focused on helping individual residents with their finances. However, there is an unrestricted reserve fund that allows the Foundation to make these grants on special occasions.
The Riverview Project includes an expanded kitchen, an auditorium with more seating capacity and a veranda with a river view. “We are excited to be able to participate in helping residents with this project,” said Foundation President Christie Geiger. We think this project will benefit all residents and enhance the core social venue of the community.
Executive Director Diane Wernli said, “We are all interwoven in the Willamette View community and it’s important for us to support the residents and this project.”
Since its inception in 1967, the Foundation’s mission has been to help residents maintain their financial security and has done so by managing their bills and by helping them directly with financial assistance if they exhaust their funds. Along the way, unrestricted funds have also provided grants for projects on the Willamette View retirement community’s campus.
The Foundation is funded entirely through the generosity of donors – most of whom are past or present residents or the families of residents.
questions about the foundation or this grant you are encouraged to call 971-233-8958.