Did Coronavirus Bring Us Closer to God?

In April, at the peak of the coronavirus outbreak in the United States, Americans who were already religious were polled with the question: Did coronavirus deepen your religious faith? Most say that it did, but because of the lockdown, there are no church attendance numbers to prove it. However, after 9/11 people packed the church pews! And after a couple of weeks passed, Sunday attendance settled back to milk toast numbers. 

Only time will reveal whether Dr. Anthony Fauci was right to bring on an economic depression with the lockdown or caused one of mankind’s most serious times of mental depressions in modern history. If the latter is true, we should all be turning toward God and not against our neighbor.

The Psalms of the Christian Bible remind us that God’s people struggled with both a sense of their world falling apart and their utter inability to deal with it during the time of King David. This young king of the United Monarchy of Israel and Judah is recorded in Psalm 57:2 to have said, 

Have mercy on me, God. In you I seek shelter.
In the shadow of your wings I seek shelter till harm passes by.

Many who have drawn closer to God during this unusual time have likely sheltered not “in place” or “socially distant” as much as they sheltered in the “shadow of God’s wings.”

Sadly, history also reveals that while disasters often restore us into the saving arms of our Creator, governments don’t let us stay there long enough for true life changing reflection and change. Instead, government seems to step in to provide relief from all physical, emotional and economic pain — often resulting in the loss of personal freedoms played out daily in the news. 

Taking God out of the economic component of our life is a fool’s errand. As you know, for this reason the Stewardship Foundation adheres to certain core beliefs that help to drive us toward a positive, life-affirming change in the world.

Jesus went around to all the towns and villages
teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom,
and curing every disease and illness. [Matthew 9:35]

Financial Planning During COVID-19

We are now entering another month of social distancing and 65+ special hours for grocery shopping. Some businesses are shuttering, more birthdays are being celebrated with drive-by parades, and face masks are becoming mandatory accessories. The ripple effect is a struggling economy sending shockwaves through our financial markets. 

The Fed has cut interest rates and created a slew of credit and lending programs to save the economy. The CARES Act was passed to provide economic assistance for American workers, families, small businesses and local governments, and helps industries to preserve jobs. 

The market volatility has taken a huge bite out of most investment portfolios, but may also offer rare estate planning opportunities.

  • Required Minimum Distributions (RMD) from retirement plan accounts are waived for 2020.
  • Contribution to IRAs for 2019 can be made until July 15, 2020.
  • Charitable deduction limits are increased to 100% of Adjusted Gross Income for cash gifts to charities.

There are even more changes that could be meaningful for families who have experienced death in the family or who want to take advantage of low-interest rates and asset values to create new opportunities for gift planning.

Now is the time to connect with us at The Stewardship Foundation. No matter your net worth, the time is NOW to seek advice of a financial planning professional to help you navigate COVID-19 fallout and today’s volatile markets to your advantage.
Don’t delay; call us today. (614) 800-7985.

Financial Woulda-Coulda-Shoulda

All the Woulda-Coulda-Shouldas
Layin’ in the sun,
Talkin’ bout the things
They woulda-coulda-shoulda done…
But those Woulda-Coulda-Shouldas
All ran away and hid
From one little did.

A poem by Shel Silverstein

As I write this newsletter to share with our partners, friends and loyal clients, the worldwide number of confirmed Coronavirus cases has just passed 1,000,000. The financial impact of the virus  on the financial health of many Americans has been troubling. As the “curve” of the virus stubbornly inches upward, the average investor can’t help but think back to hearing the first news out of China and wonder if he “shoulda” liquidated his entire investment portfolio that day, then “shoulda” run to Costco to buy out the entire inventory of Charmin jumbo packs. We know one thing, he “woulda” been better off if he’d ignored the ugly coronavirus bear market.

Investors young and old are facing two challenges: 

  1. Don’t panic. It’s scary to watch your financial future disappear and it’s tempting to bail out. Don’t.
  2. Be sure you have a balanced portfolio that can tolerate future wild stock market rides.

The U.S. and worldwide economic situation was healthy before the coronavirus outbreak. Recovery should eventually be swift. Expecting a full restoration to pre-COVID-19 markets is only a Shoulda, be we can pray for one little “did.”