Remaining A Part during this time Apart (Part 3):
Our thoughts on finding unity and stability in times of uncertainty
We hope that you and your family are healthy and safe. Please know that we are here for you.
We are living in a time with many questions and few answers. The unknowns loom large, and the future seems slippery and unreliable. We are finding confidence by staying grounded in the present and doing our best to flow with the day to day.
Debt and Credit Basics
Growing up in a depressed farm town in the Midwest, my grandmother used to pay for everything with cash. She avoided using credit or taking on debt of any kind, unless it was “sensible.” Debt is not inherently bad; there are times when accessing debt or credit can be a smart financial decision. Debt can improve your quality of life and even increase your net worth over time by helping you to buy a house, a car, or an education. Credit can be helpful for paying unforeseen medical expenses or other essentials or emergencies.
Your resources include the balance of your income, your savings, your insurance, and your ability to borrow if needed. I believe that if you can borrow prudently – “sensibly” – then you should, especially in times of need or crisis.
How do you evaluate your debt and other related resources? Start by making a list of potential sources of debt and credit. Write everything down. You might realize that you have resources you hadn’t thought about. This list may include: mortgage, automobile loan, credit cards, student loans, business loans, credit lines, 401(k) loans, loans on life insurance. These items should also include the total amount due, monthly payments and interest rates.
Once you have compiled your list, you will start to have a clear idea of the opportunities available. Can you restructure the current debt? Should you? Do you need more credit? What is the “sensible” decision?
We understand that you might be reluctant to tap into reserves that you had planned to use for a different purpose, such as dipping into retirement funds or taking a loan against a life insurance policy. Do not take access to debt and credit for granted. Keep in mind that you have worked hard to create exactly these opportunities, even if you had anticipated using the resources at a later time.
Remember, you are not alone. We are here for you and happy to talk you through the process. Please do not hesitate to reach out with a phone call or an email.
Taking Care of Yourself /Time to Breathe
Remember, too, that our mental health is essential. By focusing on each day as it comes, we keep from being overwhelmed by circumstances. When we bring our attention back to the present moment, we can find stability. Inhale, exhale. Repeat as necessary.
The Scout Report. Our defective hunting dog is a huge support for all things mental health: exercise, stretching, yoga and meditation. When breath and movement is involved, he is a trusted companion.
On A Personal Note
What we’re feeling: Nostalgic. Tim hums the Hollywood Squares theme song before every Zoom Happy Hour.
Where we're walking: Inside and Out. Up the stairs, down the hill, around the block...
Wherever you are on your financial journey, we can help.
Stratz & Company Financial Services