At least 60 CFPs from XY Planning Network are joining member and advisor Kevin Mahoney in offering free emergency financial advice to federal employees affected by the partial government shutdown, according to the organization. Mahoney, founder and CEO of Washington, D.C.-based financial planning firm Illumint, announced he would be helping furloughed workers, free of charge.
“The shutdown is a good reminder of why financial planning is about so much more than just investments,” said Mahoney, in a statement. “In a situation like this, a financial advisor can help an impacted worker evaluate the challenging trade-offs that come with financial decisions during income uncertainty.”
Ultimately the shutdown may end up sharing characteristics with natural disasters–there's the initial shock of the event, but digging out can take just as long or longer.
Last week, many federal employees missed their first "real" paycheck, said XYPN member Patrick Ortman, who counts federal employees among his clientele at Annapolis, Md.-based Ortman Financial Planning. Next week, they risk missing another. Although unable to participate, he said the free financial advice offered by members of XYPN was a good initiative. "I am hearing stories of all the things not getting done in federal offices that will take far more work to fix once the government reopens," he said. "There will start to be real pressure put on lawmakers as this drags on."
"It's a real mess," he added.
Financial advisors who are lending a hand "understand the importance of weekly and monthly cash flow planning, and the full impact that a missed paycheck can have for those who don’t yet have a vast emergency fund or accumulated assets to rely upon," said XYPN co-founder Michael Kitces.
Once back to work, civilian federal employees will have to contend with a 2019 pay freeze, which will have an even more enduring impact, according to advisors.