Close Close

10 Sources of Cash in a Crisis, Ranked: Morningstar’s Benz

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act aims to provide financial support to taxpayers most in need during the pandemic. The $2.2 trillion stimulus package also gives some individuals easier access to retirement accounts.

But as people lose their jobs — particularly in service industries — and face rising health care costs, how can they quickly access cash? 

In general, most pre-retirees feel unprepared to manage emergency expenses, according to a recent Schwab survey. Plus, a separate Schwab poll found 59% of Americans living paycheck to paycheck last year. 

Such circumstances prompted Christine Benz, Morningstar’s director of personal finance, looked at recently.  

As she points out, the CARES Act gets rid of the 10% penalty on hardship withdrawals from retirement plans and IRAs on amounts of up to $100,000, for those affected by the coronavirus. 

Of course, many individuals may be looking for other options during the pandemic — which prompted Benz to analyze and rank them from best (i.e., involving the least rules and costs and long-term disruption) to worst (i.e., having high costs and “onerous taxation”). Check out the gallery above to see those options.

— Related on ThinkAdvisor: