What to do if you’re without a paycheck due to coronavirus

Coronavirus

LANCASTER, Pa. (WHTM) — Local financial planner Mark Vergenes says he always recommends people place 10% of their income into a rainy day fund.

“Unfortunately, it does take events like this for people to go ‘I guess I have to do that,'” Vergenes said.

As fears of coronavirus mount, concerns about possible quarantines, office closures, and school shutdowns climb as well.

Vergenes says if you wind up missing work because of coronavirus, it may be best to talk to your boss about tapping into any unused paid time off to get a little bit of cash.

“If John Q. Public has two days left of sick leave and needs to take two weeks off to incubate, it sounds like the federal government is going to make sure the employer is going to pay that employee. To make them ‘whole’ and make the business ‘whole’ so no one gets harmed,” Vergenes said.

For people without that benefit, credit cards seem like a viable option — but Vergenes advises against it.

“I would never give someone that advice,” Vergenes said. “Because that advice comes with interest rates and it dings their credit report.”

If you’re looking at plunging stock prices and wondering what do on your 401k, Vergenes suggests only taking money out if you absolutely need it now.

“When do you need it?” Vergenes asked. “All the experts on television, medical experts, not financial experts, are telling us this is most likely. A one, two, three-month phenomenon. If that’s the case, that’s extremely short term.”

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