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  • Earl Johnson

The 90% Rule


It’s true, you have more control over how you react to things rather than what happens to you.


Charles Swindoll was right! He has been famously quoted as saying that “Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.”


In the days of COVID-19 there is certainly a lot of suffering from job loss, income loss, and the loss of loved ones to this terrible pandemic. Although we see daily trackers that tally the virus’ infections and deaths, the true effect of this unimaginable tragedy is long from being seen.


In my uneducated view, I find myself trying to look beyond my circumstances to visualize the impact of these strange times and how it will play out once we – get back to normal. I have been one that has totally rejected the notion that this is in any way “the new normal.”


While there are certainly some reasonable takeaways from our current circumstances, like wearing masks, if your sick and contagious to others, why not, put on a mask. Coughing in public around others without covering your mouth, I see that getting some dirty looks in the future, and washing hands? This seems obvious but this will surely take on a new life of its own when the public restrooms of America are available again.

This situation, the 10%, has tragedy stamped all over it and it is done yet by far. But what has your 90% started to look like? How are you utilizing this gift of time? This can be seen as a literal reset, before we venture back into the world. When we go back out, do we pick up where we left off or do we resume with new goals, new ambitions, new relationships, new hobbies.


It’s said that it takes 30 days to form new habits, by now we have all had our 30 days at home to jump on the new path to greatness. I consider this a new point of demarcation, a time when you prepared yourself to make a difference.

And because my business is money, I must offer my sentiment on how your relationship with money can make the most of your time in quarantine and beyond.

First things first, prepare a budget, not because you will use it each month, that never happens. Prepare a budget so you will know how much money it takes to meet your obligations each month. Secondly, establish an account to save several months’ worth of assets to handle disruptions in income. Thirdly, don’t get overzealous on retirement withdrawals to help. If you have noticed the recent federal assistance program the CARES ACT, is allowing those affected in this tragedy to take out up to $100,000 for affected persons and without penalty for those under 59 ½ years old. The act also allows the taxes on this distribution to be paid over a 3-year period. Sounds nice, but it can ultimately affect your retirement and cause you stress in paying taxes on these lump sum withdrawals that were obviously not a part of your orderly retirement plans.

So, on the other side of this pandemic, let’s be safer, let’s be more conscious, and let’s have a better plan that gives you more control over all unforeseen situations. #Greatnessaftercovid

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The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security.

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