Guide to Surviving an Economic Recession

Recessions Explained: Definition, How to Prepare, Causes and More

With news of an economic downturn, many of us are asking: Is there a recession coming in 2022? In this guide, we cover everything you need to know to protect your finances and survive another economic recession.

Recession Basics


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What Is a Recession and How to Prepare

What is a recession and how to prepare

Is a recession coming? Inflation is outpacing wages, commodities are getting pricier, and interest rates are on the rise. But unemployment is still low and demand for workers is near record highs. No one knows for sure, but it can't hurt to take steps to prepare your finances.

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Recession vs. Depression vs. Inflation

Recession vs. Depression vs. Inflation

Recessions mean the economy is slowing down. They are a normal part of life, though not much fun to get through. Depressions are exceptional, super-charged recessions when things get really bad. Governments do their best to keep recessions from becoming depressions. Learn more here about recessions and depressions and the way inflation is linked to both.


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What Is the Business Cycle and Which Stage Leads to Recession

What is the Business Cycle

The business cycle refers to the expansion and contraction of the economy, or GDP (a measure of the monetary value of goods and services made in our country). We can use the business cycle to better understand what’s going on and what to expect from our economy. Learn more here about the different stages to the business cycle and the role each one plays in our economy.


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What Is a Double-Dip Recession?

What is a Double-Dip Recession?

Short of a depression, few economic scenarios strike fear in the hearts of investors and the financial community like the prospect of a double-dip recession. Discover how experts define these unique economic situations, their principal causes, how to differentiate them from other kinds of recessions, and how you can best prepare for one.


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Unemployment Rates During Recessions

Rising Unemployment Rates During a Recession

Increasing unemployment rates can be an important indicator to predict if our economy is headed for, or already in, a recession. Let’s take a closer look at how recessions can impact the job market and employment rates.


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How the Fed Can Fight Recessions

Federal Reserve Fiscal & Monetary Policy for Recessions

It’s the Federal Reserve’s job to help fight recession by lowering interest rates, but with inflation steaming ahead, their focus is on raising rates to bring prices down. Learn more here about what the Fed is likely to do next and how you can prepare your finances.


Preparing for a Recession


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Protecting Your 401(k) During a Recession

Protecting Your 401k During a Recession

It can be scary and disappointing to watch your retirement balance shrink while wondering whether economic events will harm your ability to retire comfortably and on time. In this article, we’ll explain what both recessions and 401(k)s are, what’s likely to happen to your 401(k) during a recession, and how you can protect it.


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What Businesses Are Recession-Proof?

What Businesses are Recession-Proof?

In times of recession, the best businesses tend to be the essential ones. The worst are those that take our disposable income. Here we’ll talk about what a recession is, how different industries are impacted, and offer some tips from the experts to help you make sure your business can survive a recession.


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Top 5 Recession-Proof Jobs—and 4 to Avoid

The Top 5 Recession-Proof Jobs & 4 to Avoid

Your job is never guaranteed, but in recessionary times, some industries can be more stable than others. Let’s dig further into what a recession is and which are the best industries to be in and jobs to have in a downturn.


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The Impact of Recessions on Housing and Real Estate

The Impact of Recessions on Housing & Real Estate

When the economy is doing poorly, it may mean that fewer people have the money to buy homes. With supply higher than demand, property may stay on the market longer while home values fall to encourage sales. Here’s what you should know about recessions and their impact on housing and real estate.


How to Approach Investing


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Investing During a Recession

Investing During a Recession

Recessions are times of economic slowdowns. They are, however, a normal, if disconcerting, part of life. To help ease some of your concerns, we spoke with a certified financial planner about what investors can expect during a recession and how to handle the rough times.


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Are Bonds a Safe Investment During a Recession?

Are Bonds a Safe Investment During a Recession?

Some bonds can be safer during recessions; others, not so much. We spoke with one investment expert to find out. Keep reading to learn more about how bonds and recessions work, and the benefits and risks of investing in bonds during a recession.


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The 5 Best Recession Stocks

The 5 Best Recession Stocks

Investing in stocks is a gamble at any time. But when we get hit with a recession, more than likely the markets will drop alongside the economy. You’ll see a lot of companies whose shares sink, but there are assets out there that can hold up well when the economy slumps—here are five that are likely to hold up.


Historical Recessions


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The Great Depression Explained

The Great Depression Explained

While some economists say we’re headed toward an inevitable recession in 2022, its impact will likely pale in comparison to the Great Depression. That economic implosion persisted for a decade, upending the lives of everyday people in the U.S. and globally. Read on to learn about what the Great Depression was, why it happened, and how it ended.


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The 2001 Recession Explained

The 2001 Recession Explained

The 2001 recession came after a long period of growth, but a drop in manufacturing across sectors hit the economy hard. Companies stopped investing and jobs of all kinds were lost. On the plus side, it was considered a mild recession and also didn’t last very long. Here’s the breakdown of the 2001 recession.


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The 2008 Great Recession Explained

The 2008 Great Recession Explained

The Great Recession of 2007-2009 was the longest and worst economic decline of the post-war era. High-risk mortgages that got bundled and resold under the guise of stronger assets helped spark a downturn that collapsed institutions and heralded new regulations to attempt to stave off future problems. Learn what caused the 2008 Great Recession and how the U.S. government responded.


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More on the Great Recession Timeline

The Great Recession Timeline

While it might have "great" in its name, the Great Recession devastated the U.S. economy. From 2007 to 2009, market declines put a major strain on businesses leading to high unemployment, lower economic output, and a huge—and majorly controversial—financial bailout. Here’s a concrete timeline of events.


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The 2020 Recession Explained

The 2020 Recession Explained

2020 was a memorable year, in the worst possible way. The COVID-19 pandemic altered the course of our lives, stretched global healthcare systems to their limits, and tanked economies. We faced the shortest but deepest recession on record. Read on to learn precisely what caused the 2020 recession in the U.S. and what steps the country took toward recovery.

Frequently Asked Questions on Recessions

How long do recessions last?

The good news about recessions is that they typically don’t last very long. In fact, most recessions only last less than a year. One of the longest recessions on record was the Great Depression, lasting 43 months. The Great Recession, which began in 2007, lasted 18 months.

What kind of jobs have been lost in recessions?
What is the difference between a recession and depression?
Is it a good idea to invest during a recession?
How can I avoid losing money from my 401(k)?

Recession Key Terms

The Business Cycle

The business cycle refers to the expansion and contraction of the economy, or GDP. We can use the business cycle to better understand what’s going on and what to expect from our economy. The government will try to manage the business cycle by taking actions such as adjusting interest rates, spending money or raising or lowering taxes.

Learn More: What Is the Business Cycle?