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Holding Steady is Advice to Retire By - ItemLive.com

May 15, 2020


Stay the course and stay focused on long-term financial goals: That is the advice area investment and retirement planning advisers are offering during coronavirus.

“Hold on. We’ve gone through all sorts of catastrophes and recovered,” said Lynnfield-based CPA and planner Bernard Caniff.

Peabody adviser Marc Freedman injects similar confidence into his advice for retirees drawing on their investments to supplement their incomes and people planning to retire.

“We believe coronavirus is a short-term interruption to long-term retirement plans. It’s been impacting our lives nine weeks, not nine years. We will get through it,” said the Freedman Financial president and CEO.

Coronavirus sent the stock market plummeting and sparked panicked calls to Freedman, Caniff, and Diana Moreno, a Metro Credit Union financial counselor who said clients have called her in tears.

Their world is breaking apart. I give them a glimpse that there is hope," she said.

Moreno works with a Metro Credit team to provide financial guidance, starting by helping clients review budgets and by offering some advice.

"I urge them not to make a decision now --- let's talk," she said.

Two-thirds of Freedman Financial’s clients are retirees who rely on Freedman to guide them on how to supplement pensions or Social Security benefits with investment income.

Freedman is urging retirees to continue to withdraw income they need from their investments and he suggests people contemplating retirement ramp up contributions to retirement funds, if they can.

His investment motto is “power up, move forward” and Caniff offers similar advice. Individuals in their 40s should “stay the course” on their investments and resist taking money out of accounts unless they have to.

He forecasts a three-to-five year investment recovery period, noting that some investors saw 15 percent to 25 percent investment portfolio losses.

“Do not panic. It’s going to come back,” he said.

Coronavirus’ onset forced Caniff to put tax preparation work on hold and dive into helping business clients apply for loans to keep their enterprises afloat.

Moreno, an award-winning finance expert, has guided clients to https://www.metrocu.org/. The site has an array of financial tools in English and Spanish to guide budget making and assess Individual Retirement Account strategies.

"We tailor it to their situation and we direct our members to our retirement adviser," she said.

Caniff and Moreno said this time of financial tumult has a bright spot or two. Everyone is financially in the same boat and Caniff urged people to work out installment plans to ease tax, mortgage and bill payment loads.

Moreno said low interest rates are inspiring her clients to think about making dreams come true.

"Members I worked with a year ago who didn't dream of buying a home are doing so now," she said.

Thor Jourgensen can be reached at tjourgensen@itemlive.com.
This article originally appeared on ItemLive.com on May 15, 2020