(EAST ORANGE/ORANGE) - COVID-19 has presented many health and economic challenges throughout the world. It has also weakened major industries like banks and the stock market. These two facts have created a niche environment for people to build a financial portfolio for their family, including those who previously thought financial portfolios were only for the rich. Use this time in the house to do some or all of the following:

Contact a financial advisor: Financial Advisors are not just for people who have money. If you make a penny, you should have a financial advisor certified to guide you. They help you prepare for your future using only what you can afford. They talk to you about saving for retirement, college, a house, or a business. They can help you open life insurance policies and teach you about the pros and cons of various scenarios. Some financial advisors can also provide stock market advice to help you make the best decisions possible. Research and contact a financial advisor today.

Invest in stock: Stocks are a rich man’s game, right? Wrong. Two words: Airline stock. While TAPinto is not in the business of or qualified to tell you where to invest your money. We are in the industry of creating informed readers: Currently, airline stock is trading approximately $7-$30 a share when it usually is somewhere around $50-$100; this means if you were to purchase a stock at $10 today, after COVID-19 is over, it might be worth $100. In this example, by investing $10, you would have made $90 when the travel bans lift. Airlines are only one of the many industries with cheap stock expected to bounce back after the pandemic. To get started in stocks, ask your financial advisor for advice or search the internet for the “best trading stock apps.” Choose an app and read the information on how to begin.

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Create a living will and testament: Let’s face it—there is no fun in planning for your inevitable death. The topic is morbid, depressing, and sometimes scary. However, it’s a critical aspect of protecting your family. Do you know what should be scarier? Your family fighting over your car, or at the hospital with the doctors about your wishes. Statistics show, nearly 6 out of 10 Americans are unprepared for their death. A will and testament maps out your desired details about the one thing guaranteed in life, death. The document also determines who speaks for you about health decisions if you cannot? Who should receive the contents of your home, who would be the one in charge of your laptop, email accounts, or social media pages, who gets the house, who gets the money left over in the bank accounts? All of these questions are answered and more in a living will and testament. Find an attorney who could assist you with creating a will and testament, or download a template online to get started yourself.

Get a life insurance policy: Unless you are okay with a social media crowd fundraiser—letting everyone know you did not leave anything behind for your family to pay for your funeral expenses, you should get a life insurance policy. Policies vary from whole life to term. Whole life covers throughout your entire life left to live and are more expensive. Term life covers a time span of typically 10, 20, or 30 years and is less costly—some policies you need a medical test for and others you do not, some policies are a few dollars a month while others a few hundred. A good financial advisor can help you choose the best policy for your situation.

Refinance your home or buy a new one: Because of COVID-19, interest rates are lower than ever before. Call your bank and ask for information about refinancing to take advantage of these low rates. For a few extra dollars a month, you might be able to refinance your 30-year mortgage into a 15 year and save tons of money on interest in the long run. If you are in the market to buy a new home, contact your bank to get a loan approval letter and lock in the low-interest rate. Many realtors are doing virtual open houses to encourage social distancing, or you may have already identified the home you want to buy.

Create a business plan. A business plan is the foundation of every company. The Small Business Administration's website has a template to help you learn how to write a business plan quickly and efficiently to map out that business you always wanted to start.

TAPinto East Orange/Orange is an online newspaper serving East Orange and Orange as a part of a network of more than 80 franchised local news sites in NY, NJ, and FL. TAPinto recently won 3 of 5 excellence in local journalism awards by the Center for Cooperative Media in NJ. We are accredited by the NJ State Police, which is done through the New Jersey Press Association in which we are long-standing members. We take pride in providing the community with objective news, fact-finding reporting while featuring positive stories and awareness campaigns daily.

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