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In an effort to stave off the financial impact of the COVID-19 coronavirus for individuals and businesses, the government has unleashed an unprecedented array of stimulus programs, tax law changes, and other incentives to help stimulate economic activity.

As a result, there are now a number of unique and valuable financial planning opportunities or considerations that can benefit almost anyone, even if they weren’t impacted by the coronavirus.

Here we go!

1. Review your liabilities

With the recent 1.5% interest rate cut by the Federal Reserve, interest rates are now at their lowest level since 2008. These rate cuts take time to filter through the lending system, but they eventually manifest as lower interest rates on mortgages, automobiles, and even credit cards. Now is a great time to review your existing loans for potential refinancing opportunities, such as with your mortgage (our financial planning team can do this for you).1 If you have enough equity in your home, you may be able to consolidate some of your higher-interest rate debt with a “cash-out refinance,” using proceeds from your low-interest rate mortgage to pay off high-interest rate debts, like a credit card. Note that prior to consolidating loans into a home loan, first discuss the asset protection considerations with your advisor.

2. Accelerate retirement savings

If you are still working, and comfortable with your financial position, consider accelerating contributions to your IRA, 401(k), or other employer-sponsored retirement plan. By completing your annual contribution earlier in the year, you allow more time for the money to grow tax-free. Plus, given the current market pullback, your contributions go further by buying assets that are well off their previous highs. If your contributions receive an employer match, confirm with your human resources department that changing the timing of your contribution won’t impact the match.

3. Check on your stimulus

The government is in the process of rolling out direct payments to taxpayers with the amount received varying by income, marital status, and number of dependents. Unsure if you will receive a payment? This link can show you how much your anticipated payment will be: https://www.kiplinger.com/tool/taxes/T023-S001-stimulus-check-calculator-2020/index.php. Want to get your payment faster through direct deposit or check on the status? Update your information with the IRS here: https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/economic-impact-payments. Want a suggestion for what to do with that payment? See #2 or #4.2

4. Student loans

For federal student loans currently in rep