Financial planner offers advice to those affected by gov’t shutdown

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A Chappaqua-based financial planner is offering advice on how federal employees can protect their finances during the government shutdown.

In the new year, federal employees are left without pay due to the shutdown.

“It's a scary time and at the end of the day, people don't have an incoming paycheck and they are used to living close to that paycheck, the question is what is that next stop,” says financial planner Andrew Samalin.

Samalin, who is based in Chappaqua, says a furloughed worker can file for unemployment benefits.

According to the New York state Department of Labor, the state has just over 114,000 federal employees.

As of this week, 932 furloughed workers have applied for unemployment. Samalin says with no paycheck in sight, he recommends getting in front of the issue.

“You've got account expense, mortgage payments, taxes due, reach out to the institution and find out what latitude they can extend to you,” he says. “You have a mortgage payment due, if you don't make it it's going to go potentially to default rate of 25 percent or 20 percent if you can find some opportunity to work with the lender, than the opportunity is for you to save on those fees and penalties.”

Banks are also a place to turn to for those experiencing hardship from the shutdown. Many banks are waiving overdraft fees and offering loan modifications.

Samalin says back pay will be issued once the government reopens, but be smart with how to spend that money.

“If you didn't stall debt in order to carry yourself through, don't think that windfall of that back paycheck is for yours to save. Pay back the debt that you took to carry yourself over,” he says.

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