We are in the middle of a period in history that people will look back on for generations and discuss how we all reacted to the novel coronavirus and the devastating impact on our economy and American lives across the board. The way we move forward into the rest of the year will dictate how soon we are all able to get back to business and plan for our future. It isn’t easy. Folks have been affected in many ways. We can’t even begin to see the full picture yet.
Before the virus, 50 percent of working-age households were at risk of not having enough saved for their retirement. The fact of the matter is that millions of Americans are not in a good place when it comes to saving or for their retirement, and the economy has just taken the biggest downturn in recent memory.
Economists expected our unemployment rate to go up to 16 percent. In April, the national unemployment rate overtook the post-war record of close to 11 percent. Still short of the Great Depression high estimated at almost 25 percent, we have yet to see how high the rate will go as time marches on and the full effects are seen over the rest of the year.
If we look back at the financial crisis peak in October 2009, the unemployment rate in America hit 10 percent, and at the time it was considered devastating. We have left that record in the dust. We could be seeing mass movement out of certain areas and towns and cities. The only silver lining is that by all indications this situation is more temporary and not caused by financial industry factors, whereas in 2008 that was very much the case.
When the recession hit during the 2009 financial crisis, Detroit turned into a virtual ghost town. People across the area lost homes, businesses, and assets as the banks foreclosed and folks struggled to make ends meet. That terrible time marked the beginning of a change. Homelessness went up, and people stopped buying as many things as they used to, as they became more budget-conscious.
Only time will tell what the effect will be on our everyday lives after the economy has fully opened back up. And things are moving in that direction quite swiftly it seems, with many states opening up completely or loosening restrictions. Until we return to normalcy, it's difficult to speculate what the economy will look like as some sectors have been hit much harder than others. Take the hospitality and entertainment industry for example -- nightclubs are probably last on the list of things labeled "essential business." Who will make it depends on many factors, but we hope and pray that we will all make it out of this stronger than ever.
Material contained in this article is provided for information purposes only and is not intended to be used in connection with the evaluation of any investments offered by David Lerner Associates, Inc. This material does not constitute an offer or recommendation to buy or sell securities and should not be considered in connection with the purchase or sale of securities.
To the extent that this material concerns tax matters, it is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, by a taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding penalties that may be imposed by law.
Each taxpayer should seek independent advice from a tax professional based on his or her individual circumstances.
These materials are provided for general information and educational purposes based upon publicly available information from sources believed to be reliable-- we cannot assure the accuracy or completeness of these materials. The information in these materials may change at any time and without notice.
David Lerner Associates does not provide tax or legal advice. The information presented here is not specific to any individual's personal circumstances. Member FINRA & SIPC.