News and Commentary

COVID-19 Forced Individuals to Plan for Worst-Case Scenarios By Kathleen Marteney, CRPC®

Among the most critical lessons learned from 2020 and the COVID-19 pandemic is that no one is immune from a job loss, a business closing or a life-threatening illness. When these challenges do occur, it is often too late to develop plans that you can instantly put into motion to protect yourself and your loved ones from any resulting financial hardships.

As a general rule, planning for all of life’s “what ifs”, including end-of-life decisions, is far easier when you are employed and healthy, and you have the time and ability to control the outcome. Planning ahead allows you to prioritize your needs from your wishes and develop the right strategies for accomplishing your goals, both financial and otherwise.

For example, many individuals were unprepared for government-mandated business closures, job furloughs and longer-term unemployment resulting from the pandemic. The lost income and delay in receiving unemployment benefits in each of these scenarios caused people to make drastic spending cuts and put many into dire financial conditions for which they are unable to pay their basic living expenses. For others, whose lives were taken by the virus, the absence of basic estate planning documents and other plans to care for surviving family members has been devastating.

Accepting one’s mortality can be overwhelming no matter your age, whether you are in your 20s or your 70s. However, by addressing these eventual realties today, while you are healthy, you can enjoy the time you have and plan for your survivors to be protected and cared for in the manner they deserve after you are game. Following are just some of the critical tools you should create and review with your trusted financial advisors on an annual basis to avoid the stress of last-minute planning during a difficult time.

About the Author: Kathleen Marteney, CRPC, is a financial planner with Provenance Wealth Advisors, an Independent Registered Investment Advisor affiliated with Berkowitz Pollack Brant Advisors + CPAs, and a registered representative with Raymond James Financial Services. She can be reached at (800) 737-8804 or via email at

Provenance Wealth Advisors, 515 E. Las Olas Blvd., Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33301 (954) 712-8888.

Kathleen Montgomery is a registered representative of and offers securities through Raymond James Financial Services, Inc., Member FINRA/SIPC.

Raymond James is not affiliated with and does not endorse the opinions or services of Berkowitz Pollack Brant Advisors + CPAs. PWA is not a registered broker/dealer and is independent of Raymond James Financial Services. Investment Advisory Services offered through Raymond James Financial Services Advisors, Inc., and Provenance Wealth Advisors.

This material is being provided for information purposes only and is not a complete description, nor is it a recommendation. Any opinions are those of the advisors of PWA and not necessarily those of Raymond James. You should discuss any tax or legal matters with the appropriate professional. Prior to making an investment decision, please consult with your financial advisor about your individual situation. The information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee that the foregoing material is accurate or complete.

Posted on April 15, 2021


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