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The health of the economy vs. the health of the people.

I continue to be amazed at the generous hearts of everyday people who, along with members of the business community, are assisting so many in this time of need.

Most have heard of the contributions of Ford and GM building respirators, but many other local firms are contributing as well. Auto parts maker Jacobsen Industries, for example, is now manufacturing disinfectant wipes.

From the baggers at the grocery stores to the doctors in charge of the hospitals, thousands of people are pitching in. No one can dispute the hard work, dedication and determination of people up and down the economic ladder.

Unfortunately, it appears that, as new cases of this horrible virus level off, the amount of bickering and finger pointing among politicians will continue to escalate. I certainly hope this petty political squabbling doesn’t overshadow the kindness and goodwill shown by so many people.

I don’t pretend to be an economist or medical expert, but as a financial advisor I can say that I have plenty of experience helping people find the proper balance in their financial lives. Especially in times like this.

People generally tend to think of money in the bank or credit union as their safe money. Bonds are a couple of steps up the risk ladder. As part of the planning process, I typically recommend that investors don’t put their entire nest egg into cash or bonds. Their principal may be protected but they’re vulnerable to rising prices in the long term.

Stocks are at the other end of the risk spectrum and again, I don’t recommend a person’s entire nest egg should be in stocks. The risk is obviously the potential loss of principal. Balance is the most prudent plan. Put some money in the bank, some in bonds and some in stocks.

Similarly, we need to find balance during this pandemic. How can we re-open the economy without prolonging the virus? Politicians and medical experts continue to debate their ideas. But we need to find a way. Soon.

It’s unrealistic to assure that nobody will ever become ill again. You can take precautions, but you can’t be perfect. Our auto industry makes vehicles with many safety features, but there are fatalities every day. Simply stated, we faced risks every day even before the virus.

Nobody wants to walk into a hazardous environment, but families also need income to survive. It’s up to our leaders and medical experts to find and determine the appropriate balance.

As the bills continue to accumulate, stimulus checks can only go so far. That being said, I’ve talked to numerous people who are financially stable and don’t need a stimulus. I’m pleased to say that several are being very generous, helping not just family members but also many others whose finances are under duress.

There’s no shortage of organizations out there that are trying to help families in need. If you’re among those that don’t need the stimulus check, I have a suggestion. Read the newspapers. Watch the news. I’m sure you won’t have to wait long to learn of a person or charitable organization that needs help.

So, as the economy reopens and gains traction, please remember those that are struggling. If you can afford to help out, I hope you will.