How to Plan For (And Survive) an Economic Depression
Nobody knows what the economy is going to do over the next couple years, but all signs point to a struggle. Whether that means a recession, depression, or total collapse is anyone’s guess. But you should be prepared for any outcome.
What’s Coming Down the Line?
It’s unclear what will happen in the economy moving forward. However, one thing is for certain: It’s not going to be good. All of the financial indicators suggest we’re entering into risky territory.
At no point in the last 65-plus years has there been inflation above 4 percent and unemployment below 5 percent and the economy failed to enter into a recession within 24 months. It just doesn’t happen. Throw a severe debt crisis and supply shocks into the mix and we have a real problem on our hands.
Economists and market experts foresee more inflation, higher interest rates, increased debt, and additional supply chain issues coming in the next six to 12 months. In other words, things are going to get worse before we can even think about things getting better.
A recession would be the best-case scenario -- a temporary blip on the way to an eventual recovery. But you shouldn’t rule out the possibility of a depression or, while less likely, a total collapse.
Smart Ways You Can Prepare Your Family
As an individual, there’s nothing you can do to stop a recession, depression, or collapse. (In fact, there’s not a person in the world who has that much power.) At this point, we’re all at the mercy of whatever happens. The only thing you can do is to prepare your family proactively. Here are some ways to financially prepare your family for whatever is to come:
- Stockpile Staples
This first suggestion might not seem like a piece of financial advice, but it is. In an inflationary marketplace where prices are rising and you suspect supply chain issues are coming down the line, stockpiling staple foods and goods is a wise decision that will provide you with financial relief in the coming months.
When you don’t have to worry about overpaying for things like rice, pasta, sugar, flour, soap, toothpaste, and other necessities, you can reallocate that money to other areas. It creates margin in your budget to be successful. It allows you to focus on other things and conserve your financial resources.
- Diversify Your Assets
You never want to be too heavily invested in one asset or investment type when a recession or collapse is coming. It can easily cause you to lose everything. You’re much better off being diversified across multiple asset classes. While it’s likely that all of these assets will temporarily go down in value, it gives you more flexibility and increases your chances of an eventual recovery.
Cryptocurrency is one asset class you should definitely keep your eye on. While it’s currently down (like everything else) the decentralized nature of Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other digital currencies make it an excellent option for diversification.
The key is to know when to invest. Learn how to analyze market opportunities using things like MT4 indicators to help you line up the right investments.
- Build Up an Emergency Fund
Focus your energy on building up an emergency fund. If you don’t already have a minimum of six months’ worth of cash in a savings account, you don’t have enough. You need enough cash to allow you to survive for at least six months, even if you don’t earn another dime during that period. Do whatever it takes between now and the coming financial crisis to do this.
As a reference, a family with basic living expenses (meaning food, shelter, medical care, etc.) of $5,000 per month will need a minimum of $30,000 in an emergency fund. Don’t underestimate this!
- Pull Out Cash
While it’s never happened in the United States, all you have to do is look at the financial collapse in Greece from a few years ago to understand how quickly things can go sideways. Believe it or not, there could come a point in time where banks could limit how much money you’re able to pull out on a daily/weekly basis. The easiest way to avoid a scenario like this is by pulling out cash ASAP.
You’ll have to decide how much physical cash you want to keep on hand, but a one-month supply of cash is a good starting point. Using the example above, a family with $5,000 of monthly expenses should have at least $5,000 in cash sitting in a home safe. If you have a particularly safe location and aren’t worried about the possibility of fire or burglary, two to three months of physical cash is a good idea.
- Make Tradeworthy Investments
Now’s a good time to make what we call “tradeworthy” investments. That means instead of putting a bunch of money into the stock market, buy things that you can barter with during a depression. Good options include alcohol and liquor, tobacco, and ammunition.
- Find Additional Streams of Income
In a depression, you can go from a successful career and stable position with your employer one day to no job and no career prospects almost overnight. The best way to insulate yourself from this threat is by proactively adding additional streams of income.
The more jobs and hustles you have, the less likely you’ll lose 100 percent of your income. You might lose a good chunk of it if your primary employer fires you, but you still have a few different methods for generating income. This will serve you well when stuff starts hitting the fan in an economic collapse.
Adding it All Up
If an economic crash, recession, collapse, or depression is going to happen, there isn’t much you can do about it. It’s going to happen. You can, however, control how prepared you are. By making smart choices today, you can lessen the impact it has on your family tomorrow. Handle what you can handle and forget about the rest.