Should I reduce my contribution amount to my 401k or retirement plan if I am worried about losing my job?
If you're uncertain about your job right now, or in the immediate future, then yes, allow yourself to have that wiggle room in your paycheck. First, you need to review your budget and see if this is necessary and if so, how much you should reduce. Review your spending and see what other areas you may need to adjust as well, knowing that you will resume that in the future. You have to get clear on your numbers – get clear on your income coming in and your expenses going out to see what adjustments need to be made right now. Base your decision on your situation and not what everyone else is doing right now.
Should I start investing right now if I have never invested before?
You should always educate yourself on investing before putting money into the stock markets. We must keep in mind that most success in investing comes from having a financial plan, having goals for your money, assessing your risk tolerance and thinking about a long-term time horizon with the money you are investing. What is my goal? How much risk can I take? Will I need this money in the next 4-5 years?
Think about your plan and your goals you had in place prior to COVID-19. Have they changed? If not, continue with your plan and if they have changed, this is a good time to discuss them with your significant other and your financial advisor. Communication is key, always, but keeping perspective and not following the heard is so very important right now. Your money, your goals, your plan!
Money is tight right now – what should I do?
Do your best to limit expenses and get as much income coming into the household right now as you can. If you are not working, you may be able to receive unemployment or maybe you can create something to sell. Again, review your spending right now and cut out unnecessary expenses where possible.