OMAHA, Neb. — The 2008 recession left millions of Americans in financial strain. Now, the COVID-19 recession is on its way to do the same. While the causes of the two recessions are different, there are lessons to be learned from 12 years ago that can help us better navigate right now.
The 2008/2009 recession was a financially devastating time for the nation. Individuals lost money, homes, their retirement funds and their jobs.
"I think 2008 was the hardest. Because whatever investment you had it went away," Omaha resident Steven Schonert said.
The COVID-19 pandemic has tipped the country into another recession, bringing back all too familiar financial struggles.
"I've been through it before," Schonert said.
The current recession caused by the virus is consumer led - meaning no one is going to restaurants, hotels or large events, creating a rift in jobs and the economy.
"The current recession is the deepest, most significant recession, most significant downturn since the Great Depression of the 1930's," Creighton economist Ernie Goss said.
Goss says the key now is to stay financially smart even during the pandemic.
"This is no time to freak out or panic. This is the time to take measured approaches and you do have to move quickly in some cases. But there are some opportunities out there. This too shall pass. One thing that's out there right now is very low interest rates, so take advantage of these very low interest rates," Goss said.
Companies, financial institutions and even the government is providing quick relief and aid. Now is the time to see what each institution is offering and capitalize on every opportunity.
"One good thing...is the market allowed me to refinance my house and get the low rate of 3% or even lower than that to save a few ducks," Schonert said.
The last recession lasted 18 months. This recession is projected to last around nine. What you do in those nine months financially, can help you in the long run.
"Of course certainly I think the negatives outweigh the positives. But nonetheless, take advantage of some of the positives that come out of this," Goss added.