For us personally, some things are the same, some things different. In 2008 we were both working and our daily finances relatively unaffected. My Elephant It Takes A Special Mom To Hear What A Son Cannot Say Shirts took a new job with a different employer in 2008 with a raise and then got a significant raise later in 2009. I took a new position with the same employer in 2007 with a significant raise and then another position in 2008. At the close of 2008, the SP500 was down -37% (going down further by March 2009) while our retirement portfolio was only down -30% (yeah, “only”. Still ouch!). By the close of 2009 our portfolio was back in black, but the SP500 did not recover until 2013.
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Fast forward to 2020. We are both retired and with steady retirement income. Again, unaffected with regard to everyday Elephant It Takes A Special Mom To Hear What A Son Cannot Say Shirts . But, here is what is different. Between Feb 19 and March 23 the SP500 crashed -33.92%, while our portfolio was only down -4.97% by March 23. Year-to-date (YTD) the SP500 is still down -14.65%, while our portfolio is slightly up +0.33%. I have used part of my retirement time to learn more about some aspects of macroeconomics and recessions (as in my answer to another question that I referenced above). Combining those with my years of investment experience and financial knowledge, I feel that I have played the front end of the recession well. I had only played the second half of the 2008 recession well, but plan to do so again with the current recession.