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Free Advice Offer to Thousands of Workers Affected by the Shutdown

January 22, 2019

In the wake of the ongoing government shutdown, XY Planning Network is offering to help the affected hundreds of thousands of federal employees with emergency financial planning — for free, the organization says.

The government shutdown, which started December 22 after President Donald Trump and Congress could not agree on funding for the federal government over the president’s demands to fund the Mexican border wall, has affected around 800,000 federal employees, according to the Wall Street Journal. Around 420,000 of the employees considered essential are working without pay, the paper writes. Another 380,000, meanwhile, have been on unpaid leave, or furlough, according to the Journal.

XYPN, an organization of fee-for-service financial planners, is offering the furloughed workers “free emergency advice,” the group says in a press release.

All of the advisors on XYPN’s platform are available for the initiative and furloughed government workers can meet with them virtually regardless of where they are, the group says. The workers can find the advisors on the XYPN website.

"The shutdown is a good reminder of why financial planning is about so much more than just investments," XYPN member Kevin Mahoney, founder and CEO of Washington, D.C.-based financial planning firm Illumint who kickstarted the initiative, says in the press release. "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."

XYPN says that once Mahoney announced that he would assist furloughed workers for free, the group invited “hundreds” of advisors on its network to join and had 60 sign on within hours, with more signing on continuously. Advisors on the network focus on Generation X and Generation Y clients and therefore understand the hardship of those affected by the shutdown, XYPN co-founder Michael Kitces says in the press release.

“Through experience, [XYPN advisors] 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,” he says in the press release.

By Alex Padalka
  • To read the Wall Street Journal article cited in this story, click here if you have a paid subscription.