Coronavirus has changed the way we live our lives. Air travel is down. Airlines are parking airplanes and holding displacement bids. Furloughs are inevitable. You have been around long enough to know that pay cuts are going to be requested. Executives predict that it may be mid-decade before the industry recovers. It’s tough to know what to do next. Especially if you are closing in on mandatory retirement. It might even feel as though your professional life was being placed into a holding pattern.
But, you would never stop planning if you were given holding instructions. That’s when you would kick it into gear. Advise dispatch. Check the weather at your alternate. Evaluate other possible alternates. Compute fuel burn and assess when you need to leave the pattern. You would be proactive in developing a plan to keep your passengers safe. You would never blindly stay in a holding pattern without planning for what’s next – because time is limited, you only have so much fuel.
Your process should be no different with your retirement and investment planning. Even though you may be uncertain as to how things will turn out, you want to begin assessing and planning your next financial moves now – because time is limited, retirement is not that far off. Especially if your pay might be reduced, or if you are forced from a wide body to a narrow body, or from the left seat to the right seat, or if you can’t save as much for retirement, or if the company doesn’t contribute as much to your 401k.
You will want answers to these five questions:
- How has this economic shock changed your retirement projections?
- Should expectations for your retirement change?
- Do you need to make changes to your investments?
- If conditions deteriorate, what are your contingency plans?
- What should you do right now, and what can wait until later?
Now is the time to start assessing your options. Not when all of this resolves. Not when the next bid comes out. Certainly not when air travel gets back to normal.
And you certainly don’t want to run out of fuel while in a holding pattern.