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Coronavirus Market Plunge is Making People Question if They Should Sell Stocks and Run to Cash

CNBC's Sharon Epperson spoke with Lazetta about current financial concerns.

You have questions, and we have answers when it comes to managing money and investments through the middle of a pandemic. Many older Americans are particularly concerned about their ability to maintain their lifestyle in a recession. Thus, the question of whether to sell stocks and run to cash is not uncommon, especially for retirees.

To help you navigate this uncertainty, I’ve been talking to financial experts about this concern. While it is best to speak to your own financial advisor and team of experts about your specific financial situation, here are some tips to think about right now.

My husband and I are 78 years old and have several million in the stock market. What’s the downside of taking it out now so we will know that we have enough to live on?

1. Reevaluate your financial obligations.

For the next few months, the Bank of Grandma and Grandpa may need to close. “Some retirees have been known to give excessive amounts of money to children and grandchildren and have a high travel budget,” said certified financial planner Lazetta Braxton, co-CEO of 2050 Wealth Partners. “This is the season for covering essentials and medical expenses.”

2. Understand your asset allocation, risk and income.

Retirees should have “a clear understanding of their allocation between stocks, bonds and cash to determine how much risk they are exposed to and the variance of income based on the underlying investments,” said Braxton, who is also a member of the CNBC Financial Advisors Council.

“Having a well-diversified portfolio that fits an individual’s risk portfolio should be the focus. Times like this are great opportunities to reevaluate their risk profile,” said Ken Couser, director of financial planning at Janney Montgomery Scott. “A complete financial plan will include an appropriate allocation to cash or cash equivalents. These types of allocations and equivalents allow individuals to ride out the markets during downturns.”

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