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Investing Specialists

4 Common Money Questions, Answered

Morningstar director of personal finance Christine Benz addresses money concerns that are top-of-mind for investors of all life stages.

Editor's note: Read the latest on how the coronavirus is rattling the markets and what investors can do to navigate it.

The current pandemic has exacted an enormous and tragic human toll, and it has also reverberated throughout the financial lives of many individuals and families.

Workers have confronted job loss or income reductions, forcing some to exhaust their savings and still not have enough to make ends meet. And even those who aren’t in imminent financial distress have confronted troubling conditions. Thanks to the Federal Reserve’s efforts to stoke the economy, seniors who are living at least in part on their savings have seen yields on safe investments drop even lower than their previously meager levels. And while stocks have regained ground recently, the extreme volatility that rocked the market in March left many people who had been expecting to retire within the next few years wondering whether that’s a viable plan. 

With so much uncertainty swirling, we've tackled some common questions and provided resources to help you manage your finances during this time. 

Where Can I Find Extra Cash?

Related content:
10 Sources of Emergency Cash, Ranked from Best to Worst
The CARES Act makes it easier to gain access to retirement accounts in a pinch, but they're not likely to be your best source of emergency cash.

Where to Turn for Emergency Cash
We consider some options and explore the pros and cons of each.

What Does the CARES Act Mean for Retirement Accounts?
Jeff Levine discusses what's changing and the pros and cons of 401(k) loans versus hardship withdrawals.

How Can Younger Investors Take Advantage of Market Volatility?

Related content:
How to Get the Most Out of Your IRA Contributions
Tips for selecting the right account type, using new contributions to adjust your portfolio's allocations. 

A Down-Market Survival Guide for Your 20s, 30s, and 40s
When you have many years until retirement, market volatility should be easy to shrug off, but it isn't always. A step-by-step guide to taking control.

A Checklist for Volatile Markets: Retirement Saver Edition
Running through our six-step checklist can provide peace of mind with your portfolio and plan if volatility persists.

Model Portfolios for Savers
Morningstar director of personal finance Christine Benz has developed a series of hypothetical portfolios for those saving for retirement.

Is My Retirement at Risk?

Related content:
Can You Still Retire Soon?
A volatile market could have you rethinking some long-held retirement plans, especially if you're close to your target date. Before you make any moves, take these steps to check your plan and/or put it back on track.

How to Create a Retirement Policy Statement
Use our template to document your retirement assets, strategy, and spending system.

With Yields So Low, How Can I Create a Livable Income Stream in Retirement?

Related content:
Wade Pfau: The 4% Rule Is No Longer Safe
The noted retirement researcher discusses how pre-retirees and retirees can adjust their plans in times of market stress.

The Bucket Approach to Retirement Allocation
A diversified portfolio with various time frames can help you meet your income needs during retirement.

Model Portfolios for Retirees
Morningstar director of personal finance Christine Benz has developed a series of hypothetical “bucket” portfolios for those in retirement.

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