As one of the industries hit hardest by the effects of COVID-19, the airlines are unfortunately now preparing to announce what, deep down, we have all long feared: thousands of pilots and airline employees will soon be laid off or furloughed.
With so many people facing an uncertain professional and financial future, Dallas-based RAA announced that they will be stepping up to help involuntarily furloughed pilots by providing free comprehensive financial planning guidance and 401(k) management.
“The fact is that thousands of our pilot brothers and sisters, along with our entire industry, are racing headlong into an uncertain economic future. We wish we could do more, but what we can do is lend a helping hand to those most in need by providing our services free to those furloughed.
This economic emergency is, I’m sorry to say, far worse for pilots than even 2001 or 2008,” said RAA’s President, Jeffrey Baumert. “We’ve been here during previous financial crises and some of us have even been furloughed ourselves, so we know exactly how scary it can be to manage this process alone. Our team felt it was important that RAA step in and help those who have been most affected.”
According to Baumert, the offer includes such things as helping furloughed pilots avoid making common behavioral finance mistakes like going into debt or unnecessarily drawing from retirement accounts when there might be other options available, as well as an assessment of potential insurance needs as company benefits may no longer be available, development of an investor risk profile, and guidance on rebalancing assets to align 401(k) allocations with personal investment preferences, retirement goals, and time horizons.
“There is no sugarcoating it. This is obviously a tough time for our industry, and the financial decisions that pilots make right now could impact them, and their families, for the rest of their lives. It’s easy to make a mistake when you’re emotional and worried that your livelihood is threatened. We get it. We’ve been through it. And we are here to help in any way we can. As fellow pilots, we are in this together and we will get through this together,” said Baumert.
Doing what we can to help each other and making good financial decisions are two things that can make a major difference in our perspectives during this turbulent time and prepare us all for a better future.
Additional details about the complimentary 401(k) management program can be found at raa.com/free401k.