Monday, January 21, 2019

Clueless Millennials Must Prepare Financially, Mentally and Emotionally for the Coming Recession; A PSA (Public Service Announcement) for Millennials Explaining the Ugly Realities of Economic Recession

By K E Stone

(The Keystone Speculator, Keybot the Quant and Keystone the Scribe Blogs)

Most of you clueless young folks under 30 years old are about to have your world rocked, and not in a good way, when the recession hits. The ‘clueless’ word is not meant in a derogatory way so please do not take offense; it succeeds at getting your attention. The clueless word simply emphasizes that millennials have never experienced a recession (a serious economic and market collapse and malaise). Your life is about to change dramatically. This article will help you prepare.

The United States is in a record-breaking economic expansion and stock market rally since March 2009 created by the easy money policies of the Federal Reserve and other global central bankers. A recession is long overdue. America has not seen troubled times since the Great Recession in 2008-2009 one decade ago.

Back then, many of you were hoping pretty Emily or handsome Zach would say hello in the hallway before the homeroom bell. Few of you understood what was going on during the 2008-2009 financial crisis, market crash and recession. Your attention was focused on soccer practice, homework, the developing smartphone and social internet trends and listening to the latest songs by Nickelback, Linkin Park, Rihanna, Justin Timberlake, Beyonce, Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood.

This PSA (Public Service Announcement) is a warning to the millennials. You must prepare yourself financially, mentally and emotionally for the hard times approaching fast. The world and society you think you know today, that you are using as a basis for decisions impacting your future, is about to change dramatically. The coming recession will make you question everything you know about yourself, your significant other, your family, friends, relatives, society, the country and what you think and believe is important in life.

Recent surveys indicate that 65% of millennials believe they will reach a seven-figure (millions) salary by age 45. More than one-half of millennials believe they will be millionaires in their lifetime and most by 50 years old. Idiots. This is fatally flawed thinking. Do not be a dolt. If you are a millennial, this is not going to happen to you. Sorry to burst your bubble.

Keystone (K E Stone) has survived the recessionary periods of 1981, 1990, 2000 and 2009 so his skin is as thick and hard as rhinoceros hide from the experiences. He lost his job in all four of those recessions even as a highly-paid consultant in the Great Recession. Keystone walked in your young millennial shoes in the early 1980’s, wide-eyed and positive about a career and life ahead. The world was the cliché oyster and everyday filled with optimism, positive thinking and a willingness to learn and excel at work.

In 1981, Keystone, in his early 20’s, fell victim to a recession just when life should have offered all the rewards for many years of hard work. Keystone’s world crashed into oblivion when the recession hit. President Ronald Reagan came to power crushing the unions and accelerating the offshoring of middle-class jobs from the United States to China and other foreign countries.

The 1980-1981 recession was the worst economic downturn since WW II. Keystone’s perception of society and the world changed forever. For the millennials, the pending recession on tap this year or next is going to impact your lives in the same way. Keystone did not have anyone around to warn him of the impending doom. Consider yourself lucky to receive this PSA and learn ahead of time about the hardship you will face over the coming months, perhaps couple years, hopefully not longer.

When the soft spot in the economy hits over the coming months, company layoffs will increase exponentially. Gloom takes over the break room. Company moral dips as unemployment claims rise dramatically. Consumers tighten their spending habits because they are afraid of losing their jobs. This human behavior creates a negative feedback loop. Companies then layoff more employees since business keeps slowing. America then sinks into the recession quagmire and perhaps a tragic deflationary spiral.

When the down cycle hits, many young people will be crushed like ants. If you are under 30 years old, you do not understand how fast and dramatic the economy and markets can turn south. Servicing debt (such as auto, car and student loans) will become extremely difficult when you lose your job and the economy falls into recession. Pay off debt now to the greatest extent possible while at the same time squirreling money away into a savings account.

Now is not the time for large purchases or risky investments. Decrease any stock holdings going forward sine the stock market will be in a sick malaise during the recession. By following these and other guidelines below, you will be one of the smart millennials that weathers the pending recessionary storm. Do not be envious of friends boasting about their new cars, clothes and electronic gadgets; they are going to be wiped out like a bug on a windshield when they get laid off. Anyone that has committed to large monthly payments will be crushed.

A recession is guaranteed for the United States in the months and year or two ahead just as it is assured that the UPS (United Parcel Service) man will be delivering Amazon packages in your neighborhood today. Usually a recession occurs every four to seven years but the Federal Reserve and other global central bankers are artificially manipulating markets and economies since early 2009 pushing the recession into the future.

Humans have short memories and the misery from the 2008-2009 recession is long forgotten replaced by Fed wine and song each day. President Trump brags, or at least he used to, about the all-time highs in the stock market. The employment rate is sporting a 3% handle. GDP is running at +3% and +4% a healthy rate. Consumer confidence is running high. As the famous and influential Alfred E Neuman quips, “What! Me Worry?”

Millennials confidently proclaim that the economy is robust and healthy. The optimism is infectious. Why is this Keystone dude throwing a wet blanket on the economic party? Because recessions actually begin when economies are looking great, like now. You will be blindsided and surprised at how fast manufacturing activity and GDP can quickly fall off a cliff.

To begin the journey through this PSA, let’s first discuss the generational separations. Different sources skew the years slightly one way or the other;

Greatest Generation is born between 1910 and 1944 (75 to 109 years old)
Baby Boomers are born between 1945 and 1964 (55 to 74 years old)
Generation X 1965 to 1980 (39 to 54 years old)
Millennials/Generation Y are born between 1981 and 1996 (23 to 38 years old)
Generation Z is born from 1997 to present (22 years old and younger)

This PSA targets the Millennials/Generation Y and some of the Generation Z. To keep things simple, the term millennial is used to reference young folks from 20 to 30 years old since you are the ones that have not yet felt the wrath of a recession.

Like it or not, the majority of millennials do not possess the life experiences of older folks. Keystone remembers what it is like to be young thinking that you have all the answers. As you age, you realize that not only do you not have the answers, you do not even know all the questions to ask.

Many millennials have received poor advice from their misguided Generation X or Baby Boomer parents. Most millennials have not yet learned the hard lessons of life especially since a recession has not occurred for a decade. Some parents lack maturity for their ages and are lousy teachers and role models for their millennial offspring. This PSA will set you straight.

The best way to understand a recession and how it changes your life is to live through one. In the paragraphs below, millennials will experience a recession through Keystone’s eyes. You will feel the pain and loss of a job and the financial, mental and emotional hardship that follows. The recession freight train is coming down the tracks planning to derail your life.

Keystone graduated at the top of the engineering class out of Pennsylvania State University. Unfortunately, the US was slipping into recession in 1980 as President Ronald Reagan was taking office. The timing was very bad since Keystone’s engineering career was just beginning. Keystone is sympathetic to the college seniors, and especially juniors and sophomores, since you will be screwed by the timing of the pending economic recession.

Data shows that employees entering the work force during recessionary periods go on to make less during their career than others that graduate during boom times. Do not let this fact discourage you, however. Keystone went on to enjoy a long and successful career despite the rocky recessionary start.

Before the 1981 recession, Keystone was, like many of you now, wide-eyed and optimistic, entertaining multiple job offers, and figuring that being a success in life was a piece of cake. A brilliant chemical engineering career was ahead and the sky was the limit with future investments and opportunities. Keystone looked forward to tomorrow because it will be even better than today. What could possibly go wrong?

Keystone joined the multi-national company Dravo Corporation in 1980 and was being groomed for a top management position in the future. Dravo hired 12 of the top engineering graduates in the US that year and we all had dinner at the CEO’s mansion in Pittsburgh during out first week on the job. We were told that we were the future of Dravo Corporation. Keystone’s head expanded in size as the CEO piled on flowery praise.

The dinner group toured the vast mansion including the vintage car collection, billiards room and theater room (back then no one had a media or entertainment room). The CEO and his wife were gracious hosts dressed in the finest clothes. Tiffany lamps lit the room. Us young folks were beaming with pride all evening long since we were the chosen ones and one day we would live a luxurious life style as well. What could possibly go wrong?

At the time, Dravo was a highly successful engineering and construction company, one of the largest in the world, headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA. The Dravo Tower skyscraper (now the BNY Mellon Center) was under construction in Pittsburgh next to the US Steel Tower and we were already assigned window offices on the 19th floor. Keystone’s chest was puffed out each day due to his perceived importance and his head grew so big he could barely fit through doorways. That all came crashing down a few short months later.

During 1980 and 1981, the US economy was on shaky ground and US employers began axing workers. At Dravo, the steady drum beat of negatively grew louder each day. Lunch room rumors increased that a major worldwide layoff was coming for the corporation. How could this be? The economy is doing great. One thing that you must understand is that recessions begin when times are good. Most people never see them coming until they hit you over the head with a 2x4 (a stick of lumber).

At Christmastime, the Dravo CEO walks around the building shaking everyone’s hands. Keystone looked forward to this day since the negative talk of pending layoffs was clearly hurting company moral. He wanted to understand if the rumors were true or false. After all, he would be a regional manager in a few quick years and it is important to understand business cycles and the way the corporation operates.

A couple days before Christmas the CEO knocks on the side of the cubicle. Keystone leaps to his feet standing at attention as if he was under the direction of a drill sergeant. It was great to shake hands with the CEO again and the two exchanged pleasantries about the great dinner and evening at the mansion a few months earlier.

Keystone, a brash and confident up and comer, asks the CEO directly, looking squarely into his eyes, “Is there any truth about the rumors that people are going to be laid off?” Without missing a beat, after all the executives are highly-skilled liars, the CEO said, “Absolutely none.” The CEO then tells Keystone that those rumors of layoffs are completely false and that he should enjoy the holidays without any worry or concern. The CEO told Keystone that he was the future of Dravo Corporation reinforcing and repeating the prior rhetoric.

Keystone grins from ear to ear. He knew the rumors were false and over the next few days told all the coworkers about his discussion with the CEO. There was nothing to worry about. Dravo was fine and the talk of layoffs was false. Many of the employees were skeptical of Keystone’s happy news but the holiday parties and after work gatherings were in full swing at the end of the year. All was fine.

During the first week of January, Keystone was called to the manager’s office. The somber manager told Keystone to take a seat and the door closed behind him. The manager delivered the crushing layoff news to Keystone. The manager said 12,000 jobs were eliminated at the company on this bloody Tuesday. Keystone’s head was lopped off by the manager’s guillotine.

The rumors were correct and the CEO had lied to Keystone. There was no top management position in the future. It was over. The news left Keystone speechless. Keystone’s legs felt like rubber as he walked back to the cubicle collapsing into the chair. After regaining some leg strength, Keystone retrieves a cardboard box from the copy room and packs a few books, a calculator, some candy, a dish of change from the top desk drawer, a couple of family pictures and a small potted plant. Keystone cannot believe that everything that seemed so important yesterday does not matter today. The office was stone-cold silent that bloody Tuesday except for the periodic telephone rings that summoned another employee to the manager’s gallows.

Losing a job in a recession is emotionally devastating. Feelings of self-doubt and worthlessness immediately infect the mind. Keystone wondered if he should ask what he did wrong since he could correct it immediately and perhaps keep his job but deep down he knew the ballgame was over. Keystone wondered why he got laid off rather than other co-workers? Is there something wrong with me? Did I do something that made someone mad? Wasn’t I working hard enough? I will work harder if they want me to. What was wrong with me? The mind’s thoughts race faster and faster. The pulse and heart rate increase.

There is a feeling of guilt that occurs when you are laid off which is misplaced. You must realize that you simply lost your job because the economy is falling apart and not because of your job performance. The mind will conger up feelings of inadequacy and melancholy. Maybe I was not a good enough employee? Maybe I did not work hard enough? Maybe I made someone mad? Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. The economy is simply falling apart.

Millennials will feel the shame of a layoff (again, misplaced shame). You have to tell people about losing your job including your wife or husband, or significant other, the family, parents, relatives, friends and neighbors. It is going to come up in conversations and you have to get used to saying, “I’m laid off.”

If laid off, you worry that people will think you are lazy or perhaps a trouble-maker. These feelings linger on for months and typically only go away when you finally land a comparable job to what you did pre-recession. Some millennials will lose their jobs and never work in their chosen field again.

Every day is a new day of dealing with the stress of losing one’s job in a recession especially if it is difficult in finding new employment (which it will be in a recession). Self-esteem and confidence are destroyed. You ask yourself daily why can’t I find a job? Why won’t anyone hire me? What is wrong with me? You will realize years later that there is nothing wrong with you. You are simply one of the victims of a recession and economic downturn.

When Keystone was laid off in January 1982, ironically when millennials were just starting to be born, it was a devastating life-changing event. Keystone went from being a future bigshot at a major corporation to standing in line at the unemployment office (back then we did stand in line; nowadays you can file for unemployment on the internet).

At the time I was living with (which back then was frowned down upon by society) a blond-haired blue-eyed darling of a girl Laura. We were madly in love as young people tend to be at that age. We would take the bus into Pittsburgh together each day. She worked as a clerk for one of the top law firms. We had big plans for our life together. Everyday was blue skies and rainbows.

On the bus ride home after the layoff, I could not even talk. The few words I spoke were stuttered nonsense. The lump in my throat was as big as a softball. I was unable to swallow. I did not want to talk about getting laid off on the bus with strangers within ear shot. Laura knew something was wrong; it is easy to tell when a loved one is in distress. She kept quiet during the bus ride back to the park and ride lot. I told her in the car that I lost my job. She was immediately supportive but both of us knew our lives had just changed forever. From a man’s perspective, you are expected to be the bread-winner and if you do not have a job it creates a feeling of worthlessness and despair. In the 1980’s, any man without a job was viewed by society as a loser and a filthy bum.

A layoff can be embarrassing since a lot of bragging may have occurred over many months. Boss’s will tell you that the company cannot survive without you but then they will flush you down the toilet like a soiled tissue. How do you explain a layoff to family and friends? Negative thoughts permeate the mind. What will the parents think? They bragged to everyone about how successful their child was but now they have to keep quiet and hope no one asks. The feelings of failure are devastating and you can begin to see how a layoff of one person can ripple through and impact many other people.

The boss tells you the company cannot survive without you to make you happy. I bet he told you this last week. Happy workers are more productive workers. When the recession hits, however, many of you will be drop-kicked across the parking lot into the dumpster like a greasy bag of McDonalds trash. You told Uncle Frank that the company cannot function without you but you will come to realize that was never true. You will hand in your electronic ID card that allows you to enter the building. You are no longer wanted or needed.

How often at work do you hear, “We are a family here.” Management also says that to make you happy and productive. When the recession hits, your so-called happy corporate family will stab you in the back and disown you faster than Joey Chestnut eating a hot dog at Coney Island.

If you are the main provider for your family, you are hit especially hard by a layoff. The stress will be compounded. Men have trouble dealing with layoffs since most think of themselves as the provider. In the 1970’s and 1980’s this was definitely the case in society. A man without a job was viewed as a piece of garbage. If you saw a man in a department store such as K-Mart or Sears (Wal-Mart was in its infancy back then) during the morning or early afternoon, women would stare some shaking their heads in disgust (they wonder what is wrong with that man, why isn’t he working?). The glares were more hits to self-esteem.

Of course, nowadays times are different than the 1980’s. You will see numerous men in a Wal-Mart in the middle of the day and many women are the larger bread-winners for the family. Nonetheless, neighbors will see you home during the day and be anxious to yell across the fence, “why aren’t you working?”

For a man in the 1980’s, without a job, you could not support a family. There was no future; only darkness, shame and despair. Sad to say, Laura and I split up, mostly due to the toll the recession took on myself and our relationship. I had to work jobs for lesser pay and then got a job in an engineering start-up but was only paid minimum wage about $6 per hour at the time. I was using my engineering knowledge to help the company but was not compensated fairly.

In a recession, employers will take advantage of employees. If you lip-off to the boss, he will be quick to tell you that he has 10 people beating on his door to take your job. Wages are low in recessions. You keep your mouth shut and do the job. You learn that life is a lot different than what you thought a year before. You are surviving a recession.

As a recession deepens and the collective population begins talking daily about the hard times and people losing jobs, a melancholy gloom envelopes the country. People lose the bounce in their step. Smiles are hard to come by. Fear increases as those unemployed are having trouble finding jobs and the people working are concerned about losing their jobs. Consumers pull in spending which only exacerbates the recession creating more layoffs.

Things become ugly in a recession. People that were friends at work turn to enemies as employees study each other’s faults wondering who is next on the layoff list. The back-stabbing begins in earnest. Employees sneak into the manager’s office tattling on coworkers saying anything that will preserve their job even if it means someone else will lose theirs. Company layoffs typically occur in rounds which only serves to further sink company moral. The first round of layoffs is shocking news but everyone justifies the firings saying most of those axed are deadwood anyways.

Typically, a month or two goes by, and if the recession deepens, a company will announce a second round of layoffs. This one cuts to the bone. Then, after a few weeks, another round of layoffs will occur depending on how the recession proceeds. A recession is coming anytime in 2019 or 2020. It will likely be a doozy so if you are not the boss’s son or daughter, or married to them, it is very likely you are going to lose your job.

During a recession, in an office environment, the married people team up against single folks. You will hear the refrain, “well, I am married and have a family to support, you are single, so it would be easier on you if you were laid off before me.” The married people will do anything to keep their jobs even spending time under the boss’s desk providing special services. Many of you millennials are single and will likely be laid off more quickly than your married coworkers when the economic downturn hits.

Boss’s know they can hang the welfare of the family over an employee’s head and make them work harder and even stay late without receiving pay. Boss’s do not have as much leverage over an employee that is unmarried without any children.

Employees will stop taking vacations when the recession hits even if it means losing their entitled days. Workers become fearful that they will come back from vacation and the boss will say they are no longer needed because everything operated smoothly without you. This is already showing up at businesses in 2018 and 2019. Workers are delaying vacations. Perhaps they are subliminally and unconsciously sniffing out the recessionary odor ahead.

In the 1980’s, when Keystone was laid off for the first time, 60% of US employees worked for large companies; now, 80% of the people work for large companies. The coming recession will be more devastating. The Federal Reserve has destroyed the expected business and economic cycles with their obscene one-decade-long Keynesian money-printing experiment that is only designed to enrich the privileged wealthy class.

20 million Americans (about 6% to 8% of the country) make up the privileged wealthy class. This group represents the new Gilded Age, like the 1920’s, that control the rigged financial markets and guarantee that the faux free market and crony capitalism structure in America endures forever. 300 million Americans (about 92% to 94% of the population) are the huddled masses, the pathetic serfs, the minions that toil daily for their meager bread and water.

Shaky auto loans and student debt will exacerbate the coming recession. Millennials need to pay down debt as fast as possible and develop a plan for making monthly payments if you lose your job (which is likely) in the months ahead. Delay any major purchases including the expensive sports car, boat, Ski-Doo snowmobile, snowblower, motorcycle, bells and whistles lawn tractor, high-tech refrigerator and smart washer and dryer. Only buy what you absolutely need and be stingy going forward. As most older people will tell you, “Save your money.” The recession is going to punch you squarely in the face and you do not need to be making payments on expensive junk. You may have to liquidate items if the recession is long and deep.

The US is overstored by a factor of 4 to 1 compared to other Western nations. In the recession, strip malls will turn into ghost towns with boarded-up windows. The excessive number of stores in the US will not be supported in a recession. There will be many empty buildings. Bank loans will be called. People will rein in spending becoming tight wads which only exacerbates the recession. Vacant storefronts add the gloom.

In a recession, companies are not going to keep you around on overhead. On your weekly timesheet, if you are charging so much as one hour of your time on company overhead, you will be one of the first workers laid off when the recession begins. Overhead is the kiss of death in a recession. If this is you, march into the boss’s office tomorrow morning and tell him that you have other skills that can be put to work and you are fully willing to learn other duties at the company that will enable you to charge billable hours to clients. If you are charging time to overhead, you are a liability for the company not an asset.

Tell your boss that you want to contribute to the bottom line of the company in a more useful way. Even if the boss tells you there is nothing else to do, he will remember you butt-kissing when he decides who he is going to be laid off first in the weeks and months ahead.

In a recession, there are thousands of other people looking for the same job as you. Right now, you have a false sense of security because you see plenty of job opportunities in your field. Many millennials think it will be a piece of cake finding another job if they are laid off or quit. This thinking is very wrong and dangerous.

When the recession hits, the jobs that you thought were available immediately disappear since the economy is turning south. In addition, people are getting laid off left and right so the competition for the small number of jobs is fierce. It will be an employer’s market where they can pick and choose the best people that were laid off from other companies and pay them peanuts.

As the recession bites the economy hard, your company may conduct an employee luncheon. If the main boss tells everyone not to worry, that is when you should worry. Update your resume and look for another job before the ax falls. If the CEO is honest, leveling with employees that tough times are ahead, this is a better place to work and management will likely do what they can to keep people employed.

Do not let a layoff get you down if you find yourself without a job a few months from now. It happens to everyone sooner or later in life. In fact, more often than not, the workers that are laid off first have the best chance at landing another job. Since the recession is just beginning when the first round of layoffs occurs in the economy, the hard downturn is still ahead. Companies with a hot product or in a growing industry will typically grab the initial workers that are laid off.

Humorously, co-workers at your prior job, some that may have stabbed you in the back telling the boss that you were lazy, will then be laid off as the recession deepens but the job opportunities will have vanished. Sometimes the workers laid off first land new jobs and weather the entire recession while employees axed in a second or third round of layoffs remain unemployed for many months or a year or two.

Life is funny how it works out so do not become disparaged if you are laid off. The only time you lose is if you give up trying to find another job. As long as you work hard at finding another job each day you will be successful. In the recession, do not expect your phone calls to be returned. Rejection letters will fill your mailbox and doors will be slammed in your face. You will make several trips to the local copy shop to print your resume. As the recession continues, you will develop rhinoceros skin from all the rejection.

Your perception of society, the country and those around you will change during the recession. You will find out who your true friends are that stick by you and offer encouragement and you will find out those that shun you as if you have leprosy. Your social life will disappear since you are unable and unwilling to spend the money on fun times like your employed friends. Instead, you will be hoping the government plans to extend unemployment benefits since jobs are as rare as hen’s teeth.

The upcoming recession will be the first in the new age of social internet, Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, Snap, Google and Twitter. If you are canned by your employer, will you announce the sad news on Facebook? Will you try to hide the news embarrassed that you lost your job? Did you brag on social internet that the company cannot survive without you? How do you now tell all your so-called digital friends that the company did not need you after all?

It will be interesting to watch the role of social internet when the recession begins this year or next. After you are laid off, instead of posting a pic of your special dinner at a French restaurant on Facebook, perhaps you will post a pic showing franks and beans on a chipped dinner plate.

If you are laid off, take any job no matter how menial and beneath-you it may seem. Be grateful that you have a job even if it pays minimum wage. Sometimes a little humility is good for the human soul. While working that low-skilled job, continue to seek a position in your field of study. Nothing comes easy in a recession. That is the whole idea behind this PSA.

Are you beginning to understand how your life will be much different a couple years from now? Even if you are the lucky ones and do not get laid off, your friends and family will, and the country will be in an economic funk, so it will not be joyous times. Recessions are gloom.

A big mistake young and inexperienced executives and business owners are making is projecting future sales based on the recent past. What is not realized by many is that the 2016 through 2018 period is unprecedented in the amount of goosing the economy and markets received from central banker stimulus, reduced regulations and tax cuts. Earnings are at record levels due to the world awash in central banker liquidity.

The sales and earnings over the last couple years will not be seen again for a long time perhaps decades. Any company basing future growth on this data are in for a rude awakening. When the recession hits, sales projections are going to look like a joke. Plan ahead. What will you do it you are a manager or business owner and over 50% of your sales disappear over a six-month period? You had better figure it out now so you can be ready when this bloodbath occurs this year or next.

People that lose their jobs in the recession will be slashing their cable, internet, smartphone, and other monthly bills. This behavior will create more layoffs in tech industries which in turn feeds the recession. Those millennials working in the tech industries are about to have a religious experience. The trendy industries such as electric cars, autonomous vehicles and computer wearables will experience massive budget cuts. Employees in these industries think their job is safe but many will find themselves filing for unemployment in the months ahead.

 If you have done nothing but press computer keyboards the last few years, you may have to embrace blisters on your fingers, as Ringo would say, when the recession hits. Manual labor may be in your future rather than a cubicle. If you are a highly-paid Silicon Valley tech worker, you may have to permanently retire your fleece vest when you are axed in the months ahead.

Meal delivery services such as Grubhub and Uber will see business slip away in a recession. Blue Apron will be a bloody apron. Food delivery services will suffer since many laid off folks will choose to cook simple meals themselves to save money. Roman noodles, cheese sandwiches and the always popular franks and beans will be staple meals for many millennial’s in the months ahead.

Amazon Prime users will cancel subscriptions. Laid off workers will buy less from Amazon since now they have the time to do their own shopping. In a recession, you have plenty of time on your hands but not much money. Perhaps eating healthy organic foods is important to you but if you lose your job in the upcoming recession, you will revert back to basic food choices to save money. You will scrutinize all your bills and payments pinching pennies until Lincoln screams.

Laid off workers will rethink the monthly bills and fees for Netflix, Comcast, Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Hulu, Roku and many other services. Less sales and earnings will necessitate more layoffs by these and other tech and communications companies extending the recession.

Back when Keystone was first laid off in the early 1980’s, Bruce Springsteen had written a song called “The River” that captures the emotion and feelings around hard economic times and recession. I am sure that the pending recession will have its own theme song as well. Give it a listen on YouTube. Imagine how you will feel in the hard times that are coming. The recession will change your life forever.

["The River" by Bruce Springsteen]

'The Boss' sings, “I got a job working construction for the Johnstown Company, but lately there ain’t been much work on account of the economy, now all them things that seemed so important, well Mister they vanish right into the air, now I just act like I don’t remember, and Mary acts like she don’t care…those memories come back to haunt me, they haunt me like a curse, is a dream a lie if it don’t come true, or is it something worse....the river is dry.” If you are a young person between 20 and 30 years old, get ready, your life is going to change forever in the months ahead.

Millennials that lose jobs in the coming recession will not be able to get a loan. If money gets tight, you may be wiped out. If you are concerned about covering several months of expenses if you get laid off, do your homework now and line up commitments ahead of time to fend off this dire outcome. Ask family if they could help. If you are fortunate enough to have equity built up in a home, get a home equity line immediately. You do not want to use the line but it will be there if you are out of work for many months, a year, or longer. Bear in mind that if you lose your job in the recession, it may take one to three years, and even more, to get back to where you are today. Obviously, the recession is going to change your current plans and goals whether you are laid off or not.

Do not be discouraged if you are laid off in the months ahead. It has nothing to do with your work ethic, ability, loyalty or any of that self-doubt stuff. Keep working hard at finding a new job and do not give up. The only time where you fail is if you give up. Prepare yourself now. Keystone was blindsided when first laid off in the 1980’s. The anecdotes above are offered to help you millennials understand the trouble that will be knocking at your doorstep soon.

In recessions, employees are canned continuously until the economy improves. Interestingly, however, most companies will tend to not lay off workers during the holidays. So if you make it to say the first week of November, you will likely have your job until the first week of January.

Sit down at the kitchen table and run through scenarios. Do the math if you lose your job, if your significant other loses their job, and if both of you lose your jobs. Chances are that at least one of you will likely be laid off in the months and year or two ahead. Chart out a plan for weathering the pending recession. Do not take this PSA warning lightly. It has been a decade since the last recession and few remember the hard times. Everyone will remember in a few months.

Get yourself out of debt as much as possible. Delay all major purchases. Save money. In a few months or year or so, you will be dealing with an ongoing recession and economic tumult that will likely be as bad if not worse than the early 1980’s recession, the 2000-2002 dotcom bubble recession, the 2008-2009 Great Recession and the Great Depression of the 1930’s.

Do not live beyond your means. Tighten your wallet now before the recession hits. Sharpen any skills you have that can supplement income if you fall on hard times when the recession hits be it music, gardening, painting, childcare, pets, etc… Don’t brag about how the company cannot survive without you because you are about to realize that they easily can.

If you are in the Millennial/Generation Y or Generation Z group and finishing college hoping for a good job, you had better get busy now ahead of the recession. Get an internship so you have experience which will place you ahead of other candidates upon graduation. Be willing to relocate out of state for a job especially as a young person. Think of it as a few-year adventure.

Many millennials are ill-prepared for the recessionary freight train coming down the tracks and simply have not received proper direction, advice and knowledge from their ‘clueless’ parents. Brace yourself. The United States will look a lot different in a year or two. The recession will change your life forever. Millennials are intelligent and hard-working and must prepare themselves for the approaching recession.

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