Retirment planning tips: 5 Ways to Survive a Recession


At first no one wanted to say the “R” word, now it seems every one is trying to say it as much as possible.  It’s disheartening to read about layoff after layoff but you want to be hopeful for the future.  You want to hope that President Elect Obama can lead the country to a brighter future.

Until that happens, here are 5 tips to help you survive the recession that Obama has inherited:

1.  Pay down your debts and look at your investments.  Cut up all credit cards and save one for emergencies only.  Put away enough money to last for a minimum of 18 months.  Open a money market account or a CD.  If you have stocks, don’t sell; ride the tide.  Continue contributing to your 401K plan.  If you are currently contributing to a Variable A Annuity, change it to the Fixed Fund Program which yields 8.25%.

2.  Sit down with your family and revisit the household budget.  Make cuts where necessary, especially in the miscellaneous category.  Refrain from buying unnecessary items such ordering take-out food, magazines, lottery scratches, and other incidental items that add up.  If you tend to dine out once a week, reduce that to once a month.  Bring your own lunch to work.  Use public transportation when you can and/or carpool to work with a friend or neighbor.  Try to complete all outside errands and grocery shopping in one day.

3.  If you have items at home that are gathering dust in the attic or garage, consider selling them on eBay.  Do you have any clothing that is new or slightly used?  If so, you may want to take them to a consignment shop wherein you can sell them for a commission.

4.  Do you love to write?  Can you spare a few hours a day online?  If so, you can earn money writing for blogs and websites.  Webmasters do not have the time to create articles for their websites or blogs, and having a good writer on hand to fulfill that need not only helps them but can also supplement your income substantially.

5.  Look into applying for a second job.  Ask your boss if there is additional work requiring overtime.  If you have teens at home, perhaps they can apply for part-time work after school or on weekends, or assist neighbors by babysitting or dog-walking.

We will all have to buckle down on expenditures during this difficult time.  More importantly, do not panic.  Just do the best you can for you and your family and we will eventually see light at the end of this long, dark tunnel.

We can get through this just like they did back in the Great Depression days.  The financial habits they learned – frugality and thrift – are making a comeback and can make it easier for us to survive this financial crisis we find ourselves in.