Coronavirus Updates

5 Tips to Survive a Coronavirus-Induced Recession (& Thrive Afterward)

Expertise: Real Estate News & Commentary, Real Estate Investing Basics, Mortgages & Creative Financing, Personal Finance, Personal Development
70 Articles Written
hipster walking on the street with soft-focus in the background. over light and film colors tone

I know that times are scary. I know that the markets have dropped. That travel is coming to a screeching halt. That American sports have largely shut down. That people are sick and dying. That misinformation, political jabs, and general ridiculousness are flying around on social media. And I also know that this disease, COVID-19 aka coronavirus, is a real existential threat to potentially millions of people.

Want more articles like this?

Create an account today to get BiggerPocket's best blog articles delivered to your inbox

Sign up for free

BiggerPockets is responding, and I personally am responding. We understand that this might not be of pressing concern to many individuals here on BiggerPockets. We know that most of you are under 60 years old and in good health—and for the most part, folks in our demographic aren’t in danger. But we all come in contact with those who are.

I recently closed the BiggerPockets office. I am taking steps to avoid contact with other people, so that I personally am not an unwitting carrier, spreading it to those who are susceptible.

But I am no expert on infectious diseases and can only trust the world’s leading expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, and implement his recommendations.

However, as an investor, avid student of personal finance, forum contributor, host of the BiggerPockets Money Podcast, author of Set for Life, and CEO of BiggerPockets, I will offer my opinion on how we should think about reacting to the current economic climate.

Businesses like ours are closing their offices. Those who can will work from home. Outside of those lucky enough to not be directly affected more than that, know that for millions, school closings and layoffs of hourly workers are already in effect. The market has plunged, and the government is taking extraordinary measures.

sorry we are closed sign hanging outside a restaurant, store, office or other

Is a recession coming? Is it already here? If it’s here, how long will it last? I don’t know the answers to these questions.

But luckily, we don’t have to know the answers to these questions in order to know what we should be doing financially.

Having a strong financial position is a lot like maintaining good health. If you eat correctly, manage your sleep, exercise, brush your teeth, and maintain appropriate hygiene, your risk of becoming sick is low, and your risk of lasting consequence from any illness is even lower.

If you track your spending, spend less than you earn, maintain an emergency reserve, and invest consistently but not aggressively for the very long-term, then similarly, your risk of going into debt or having to sell off investments at a market low point is low. And your risk of bankruptcy or accumulating bad debt is even lower.

Which brings me to the point of this article.

Related: Yes, I’m Afraid of a Real Estate Bubble—But I Continue to Invest Anyway. Here’s Why.

If you are here on BiggerPockets, it is likely that you aspire to attain early financial freedom—the ability to permanently (including in a recession) retire from wage-paying work and never have to rely on a paycheck again to support your lifestyle.

As a part of this, you have naturally been preparing for a recession for the entire time you’ve been working toward early financial freedom. This article, in that case, will simply be reassurance that you’ve been doing the right thing.

For everyone else, I hope that this article is the kick in the pants you need to begin aggressively getting into shape financially.

5 Steps to Preparing for Recessions (and Financial Freedom)

1. Track your spending

I use Mint.com and make virtually all my purchases via credit card. Everything is processed automatically, and at the end of each month, I review my spending, categorize that which Mint does not automatically categorize for me (which is most of my spending), and analyze where my money goes. I know when I spend too much on “alcohol and bars” or “restaurants.” I know my spending on “auto and transport,” “travel,” “groceries,” and “entertainment.” I know when I’m getting a bit out of control and where I spend reasonably.

stockbroker-managing-money

If you don’t already do this, it’s time to do the same.

Look, I don’t care if you have a budget and stick to it. But if you can’t even track your spending, then I know that you are leaking money out of your life unnecessarily. Even with tracking spending and making adjustments, I am always astonished at the waste that I can personally cut from my budget.

This is easy. It is five to 10 minutes to set up and five to 10 minutes a month to maintain. It puts you in the driver’s seat. It can help you immediately begin accumulating more cash to shore up your financial position or to invest with.

If you aren’t already doing this, or haven’t been, it is time to start.

2. Spend less than you earn—and particularly control the “big three” expenses

Another shocker, I know. Closely related to “Track your spending” above is then actually spending less than you earn. And the biggest categories of expenses are typically housing, transportation, and food.

The rent/mortgage, car payment, and monthly food and dining budget make up nearly two-thirds of the average American household spending. While you may not have direct control over these today, you absolutely have control over these items over the next 12 months.

Start with your food budget. Figure out a way to eat healthy and delicious meals, prepared personally, from grocery stores. Figure out a way to manage your eating out expense, so that you are in control.

Related: The 5 Financial Decisions That Make or Break Middle-Class Americans

Don’t buy more car than you need. I drive a 2014 Toyota Corolla, paid off. If I wanted a safer car, or a family vehicle, I might buy a 2010-2015 SUV model, used and well maintained, after much research. But honestly, my Corolla is safe, reliable, and has plenty of gadgets. I don’t understand why non-millionaires are driving financed newer luxury vehicles. It’s asking for trouble when a recession comes.

And that’s if you drive. I am getting my bike tuned up and plan to use that as a major mode of transportation this summer—it’s healthier, faster, and cleaner for the environment, in addition to being free. I admit—I should have been biking all along, but I got a little out of shape in this area in the last year or two.

The young guy in casual clothes is cycling on the road in the evening city

When your lease is up or you think about your next move, buy or rent a place that is well within your budget. Other websites and “experts” recommend that you spend no more than 30 percent of your income on rent/mortgage. Let me be clear—this is ridiculous, stupid advice. There is no rule of thumb. Spend as small a fraction of your income on housing as you reasonably can.

I live in a somewhat dumpy half-duplex and have for the past seven years.

3. Bad debt is an emergency! Eliminate it at all costs!

High-interest credit card debt, delinquent bills, unpaid parking tickets, debt with interest over 7 to 8 percent. These items are emergencies! You do not eat out when you have bad debt. You do not purchase alcohol. You do not go on trips. When you have bad debt, you need to aggressively, all-out attack it.

Bad debt implies a lack of liquidity, a lack of cash or savings. When the next bad things happen, you are screwed. You can’t afford to fix the brakes, the windshield. You can’t afford to miss a day of work and visit a sick relative. 

4. Build one year of financial runway

Tracking your spending, consciously controlling your big three expenses, and removing or avoiding bad debts results in an almost magical outcome. Without any changes to your overall health, happiness, or leisure activities, you begin generating a major surplus of cold hard cash in your bank account, each and every month.

“Financial runway” is the amount of time you can maintain your lifestyle without the need for a paycheck. It is critical to lengthen this runway if you hope to retire early, and it dramatically reduces your stress level when thinking about a recessionary economic environment.

Empty asphalt airport runway with dramatic sky.

Imagine that you currently earn $75,000 per year after tax and spend $63,000 of that. This means that you save $1,000 per month, or $12,000 per year. It will take you a little over five years to accumulate the $63,000 you need to annually support your lifestyle.

After you take my advice from earlier in this article, you will find it quite easy to reduce your spending to $37,500 per year—or much less. In the case of $37,500 in annual expenses, that translates to a little over $3,000 per month to maintain your lifestyle.

In other words, fight hard to save 50 percent, or more, of your after-tax take home pay. At that rate, you will accumulate a year of runway in just 12 months. Spending less both increases the rate at which you accumulate cash and decreases the amount of cash you need to cover one year of spending.

This runway will directly and immediately impact your stress level, your freedom of choice, your opportunity to make investments. It is critical to moving toward early retirement… and critical to successfully navigating a recession. 

5. Invest for the long-term from a position of financial strength

Here in March 2020, the markets have plunged over 25 percent in a matter of weeks.

But even if they plunge further, and even if I get laid off, I still have a YEAR of runway, sitting there, ready to be deployed. Instead of being overwhelmed, the current market situation is an expected, natural part of the cycle that I and every other person pursuing financial freedom has naturally been preparing for.

That reserve is insurance against a lost job. It’s an opportunity to purchase even more shares of the market at a low point. It’s insurance—I will NEVER have to sell off my investment portfolio in order to maintain my lifestyle!

Because of that insurance, I can continue my philosophy of investing—the only philosophy of investing that I believe truly makes sense for the vast majority of the population—to invest for the very, very long-term, in appreciating, cashflowing assets and to do so regularly and consistently for the duration of my career and into retirement!

Related: Are You Still Picking Stocks? You Are Ridiculous. Here’s Why.

When I buy real estate, I purchase only when I have the down payment, plus closing costs, plus expected repairs, plus $10,000 to $15,000 in cash for my reserve. I add at least five figures to this reserve with every additional purchase. I do not touch this reserve, except to pay for maintenance and CapEx. I do not take cash flow from my business unless this reserve is above the threshold I have set—currently $35,000.

I should never have to put money into my real estate business. I should never be forced to sell by market conditions. Because I will never have to sell, I can run and capitalize my business optimally for long-term performance, retaining the option to sell, refinance, or hold, when I review my portfolio annually.

Because of my personal financial runway, I will never be forced to sell stocks to maintain my lifestyle or other businesses. I can keep my money invested. I will never spend the principal—I will never spend the original investment.

Conclusion

You know the formula for good personal finance—just like you know that you need to eat right, sleep, exercise, and maintain your hygiene to avoid developing chronic illness.

If you’ve been a part of the FIRE movement, then you know that you need to stay the course, maintain your long-term investment plan, keep working hard at your job, and stay in control of your spending. You know that there is no reason to panic or rush to sell. You just keep up your long-term outlook as you’ve always done.

You’ve naturally, through good habits, prepared for exactly these circumstances.

red down arrow on black and white grid indicating stock loss

If this is you, then we are here to help you. Feel free to join us on the BiggerPockets Money Podcast as we too navigate through the economy of 2020. Please feel free to join us on the other podcasts, as investors continue to make the most of the situation and build wealth.

Please feel free to ask questions in the comments below or privately message me. I’ll personally respond to every one.

If you are new to this platform, or are “out of shape” financially, and we do hit a recession here, then you may be in for a grind. We are here to help you, too. All are welcome to ping me personally with questions, to leave a comment, or to listen to us on the BiggerPockets Money Podcast. Whether it’s reassurance, knowledge, or a kick in the pants and some tough love, we’ll do what we can.

BiggerPockets’ mission is to help as many people as possible build wealth through real estate. Our team and I have and will continue to preach, preach, preach the importance of building a rock-solid financial foundation, with reserves, where we spend less than we earn. It’s why I love being a part of the BiggerPockets Money Podcast and our community as a whole.

As part of that mission, we will help you navigate 2020, and I will personally make myself available to anyone who needs help. If you are in great shape, then that’s fantastic! You will be able to continue carrying out your strategy or adapt to any changes in the landscape. You may even find outsize opportunity in the coming months. A good friend of mine likes to say, “never let a good crisis go to waste.”

If you are caught off-guard, or aren’t in control of your finances, then that’s fine, too. We will help you to take control of your spending, tackle bad debts, build an emergency reserve, then build a runway, then begin investing.

And if you are one of those people who still think this whole thing is overblown, then who knows, maybe we bounce right back as an economy. Feel free to make fun of me in the comments if that turns out to be the case.

We are here to help every single one of you who wants help to get in control of your finances.

No, it may not be easy. Yes, it requires discipline and commitment. But this is what we prepare for as investors. This is the world we live in. As a community, let’s get in shape or stay in shape financially and continue building toward our dreams of early retirement and the world-changing contributions we will make for society thereafter.

What’s your investing plan in the coming months? Will you adjust your strategy or stay the course?

Join the discussion in the comment section below.

Scott Trench is a perpetual student of personal finance, real estate investing, sales, business, and personal development. He is CEO of BiggerPockets.com, a real estate investor, and author of the ...
Read more
    Rodney Reeves Wholesaler from Mableton, GA
    Replied 18 days ago
    Very well-written and detailed article by Scott. Solid advice for anyone at any stage of their journey to financial freedom. I cringe at myself every time I think about my car that I bought new just a month before discovering the FIRE community. Not a flashy one (2017 Chevy Cruse. Stick shift for better gas mileage) but still $300/mo that I have to pay vs save/invest. Been battling with the idea for a while whether to sell the car for something used when I am positive it's worth a good deal less than I bought it. For now, I keep it but as I continue to look for ways to buy my first rental property, it definitely comes up as something to consider to decrease my monthly expenses.
    Irma Veloz
    Replied 17 days ago
    I am looking into buy a car because I need it. What is the Fire community. What did you learn from it.? Thank you
    Scott Trench President of BiggerPockets from Denver, CO
    Replied 17 days ago
    Thank you, Rodney! I love how investors on this site talk about their very reasonable car purchases and yet are wistful that they had bought older and more beat up cars for cash. I'm the same way, I bought a new 2014 corolla... in 2014. I wish I'd bought a 2008/09 model instead.
    Vaughn K. from Seattle, WA
    Replied 17 days ago
    Been making six figures for over a decade... Most expensive vehicle I ever bought was $8,700, mainly because I needed it for work purposes. My last car purchase was only $5,000! I'm going DOWN in value as I progress in life!!! Gotta love awesome private party Craigslist deals! Future purchases MAY be reasonably priced classic cars... But they tend to hold resale value, if not go up, so actually have a very low total cost of ownership. They're kind of like having your cake and eating it too as far as actually cool cars to own.
    Katy Frey Rental Property Investor from Oshkosh, WI
    Replied 17 days ago
    Great advice. Currently trying to decide if we want to sell our home, pull the equity and rent, or stay put. Not an easy decision when you have four kids, but I hate the payment and want to put the equity to use.
    Scott Trench President of BiggerPockets from Denver, CO
    Replied 17 days ago
    Wow - that would be a big decision! I bet that's going to be tough in today's market with all the lockdowns.
    Wenda Kennedy JD from Nikiski, Alaska
    Replied 17 days ago
    I concur with the idea of creating a financial runway, along with sinking funds and reserves. Most investors don't have enough cash on hand. They quickly crash and burn when the market turns. I'm retired so I'm personally taking it one step further. I'm working on becoming debt-free -- I'm paying off assets to free up cash flow. Some of the younger investors around me think that I'm crazy. I look at their 80% LTVs and I think that they are taking crazy risks. I guess that bumps and bruises over the years have made me a lot more conservative.
    Scott Trench President of BiggerPockets from Denver, CO
    Replied 17 days ago
    I think that cash on hand is key and becoming debt free is a major milestone - there really are few worries at that point and you can retire in peace. For most of us in the wealth accumulation phase, I think it is still important to responsibly use leverage, otherwise our path to wealth is dramatically slowed.
    Wally Johnson from Sherman, Texas
    Replied 17 days ago
    Scott you are wise beyond your years. I am impressed with what you have provided this real estate investor community. Wally (A certified and official "Baby Boomer" :) )
    Scott Trench President of BiggerPockets from Denver, CO
    Replied 17 days ago
    Thank you, Wally! I appreciate it.
    Chad Carson Investor from Clemson, SC
    Replied 17 days ago
    Well said Scott. A financial runway is critical, but unfortunately, it's something hard to appreciate until times like these. I really feel for the people right now who don't have a personal or business runway. It's going to be tough. But if that's you, just hustle and adjust anyway you can. Figure out how people are making money as the new normal sets in and hustle as much as you can (I hear food and other deliveries are booming). Then once you get through this, remember the pain and use it as motivation to be even more conservative financially next time. That was my big lesson surviving the 2008-2009 downturn!
    Scott Trench President of BiggerPockets from Denver, CO
    Replied 17 days ago
    Thanks, Chad! I agree. The runway is critical to survival, financially. It's a part of the investment and the investor's personal position.
    Greg Guiltner from Clearwater, Kansas
    Replied 17 days ago
    Hi Scott, Great article. Ten years of good times for real estate and the stock market tends to make us forget that bad things can happen. History is a great teacher, but if we don't pay attention...we may be sent to the Principal's office where Dr. Life will give us the swats we need to get back on the right track again! The lessons are always the same: Control your costs, invest wisely for the long term and keep something back for a rainy day. This certainly looks like a gully-washer. I hope nobody is raiding their stocks now, because the price of umbrellas just went though the roof!
    Scott Trench President of BiggerPockets from Denver, CO
    Replied 17 days ago
    Yes sir. I've never heard that last expression before ha!
    John Murray from Portland, Oregon
    Replied 17 days ago
    Humans have been through much hardships, this is pretty minor. Be lucky you did not live in the 14th century, good times make weak people, bad times make strong people and strong people make good times. Many will make the wrong decisions and despite their best efforts humans will go on living and prospering.
    Scott Trench President of BiggerPockets from Denver, CO
    Replied 17 days ago
    Thanks for the perspective, John! Appreciate your comment.
    David Krulac from Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania
    Replied 17 days ago
    Scott, Great article very much in line with your book, "Set For Life". Now many people have some free time, it should be an opportunity to read your book and other insightful books and articles. I think it was Elon Musk who said these are the best times to live in, especially compared to prior centuries. John mentioned the 14th Century, but every century was a much harder life. And for the record I drive a 2005 Chevy, even though I could drive anything I wanted.
    Scott Trench President of BiggerPockets from Denver, CO
    Replied 17 days ago
    Love it! Thanks for the plug, and yes, now is a great time to invest heavily in self-education.
    Dan Sheeks Rental Property Investor from Denver, CO
    Replied 17 days ago
    Great article, Scott! Tell everyone at BP to keep on fighting the good fight. We are all lucky to have BP as a resource and guide thru the good times and the bad.
    Scott Trench President of BiggerPockets from Denver, CO
    Replied 17 days ago
    Thanks, Dan!
    Alan Fortin Flipper/Rehabber from Placerville, CA
    Replied 17 days ago
    Thanks for sharing Scott and a big thanks to all the posters for the wealth of information they share. FWIW I've always flipped my own vehicles...NO not literally. I buy a wreck or a beater and rebuild it/paint it etc.
    Scott Trench President of BiggerPockets from Denver, CO
    Replied 17 days ago
    Love it! Thanks for the comment, Alan!
    Phillip Hunt Investor from Tucson, Arizona
    Replied 17 days ago
    Thank-you Scott, my wife and I have taken all the steps and are in a good position. Still this whole ordeal is a pain and will take its toll on everyone. Even for those of us that have prepared for the storm, we will lose valuable time and future revenue will have to go to replenish rather than invest.
    Scott Trench President of BiggerPockets from Denver, CO
    Replied 17 days ago
    Absolutely. This is no fun for anyone. But, it is a part of the cycle and something we can plan for and not just get by, but thrive in.
    Rebecca Jackson Rental Property Investor from Dallas, TX
    Replied 17 days ago
    I’m a firm believer in having good chunk of cash on hand as an insurance policy - it brings that peace of mind when the storm comes you’ll come through just fine. The second- totally agree with you here- is live below your means. That way your savings will build faster and stretch farther. As far as investments, same rules apply, but with additional requirement: have enough cash flow that you could bring down rent if needed as contingency. I do a lot of risk assessment at work, and always ask the uncomfortable questions and plan accordingly. For example, if one of my tenants is having a tough go next month etc, I could drop the rent from $1200 to $800 and break even until their situation improved.
    Scott Trench President of BiggerPockets from Denver, CO
    Replied 16 days ago
    Love this, and agree completely!
    Adunni Browne-Marke Financial Advisor from Marietta, GA
    Replied 17 days ago
    Absolutely love this blog post. More people need to read this. As a financial advisor, that's absolutely a nerd about tracking expenses, this was a great read coming from someone else. Sometimes I feel like I'm not worried enough about everything going on, but I think this will be a good experience for us millennial's when it comes to tightening up financially, even if it does only end up being a short term scare. I'm in the middle of buying a 2nd home that I intend on house hacking and putting on AirBnB and my emergency fund is allowing me not to break a sweat even with the industry taking a hit. Still super excited about my journey to retire in 5-10 years!! Recession or not, Let's go baby!!!
    Scott Trench President of BiggerPockets from Denver, CO
    Replied 16 days ago
    Thanks, Adunni. I bet you still WILL be able to retire in 5-10 years - here's why: Suppose that over the last year, you've been accumulating $2,000 per month in savings. And, suppose now that with the coronavirus, you have to take a slightly lower paying job, or lose income for a couple of months that results in a 20% drop in your savings - to $1600 per month. Well at present, you are using that 20% lower savings to purchase 30% cheaper stocks. If you are able to maintain,or even grow your income over this period, then this effect will be even more pronounced. Warren Buffet has a great hamburger analagy to describe this. If you are going to be buying hamburgers over the next 10 years, then you want the price of burgers to FALL. It's only when you sell your burgerss that you want prices to rise. Because you plan to retire in 10 years, you want stock prices to fall in that period, while you are a buyer. Then, after that, you want them to rise, when you become a seller in early retirement!
    Stephen Keighery Wholesaler from New Orleans, LA
    Replied 17 days ago
    What a timely article. Thanks so much for sharing Scott.
    Scott Trench President of BiggerPockets from Denver, CO
    Replied 16 days ago
    Thank you, Stephen!
    Frank Hernandez from Miami, Florida
    Replied 17 days ago
    Unexpectedly in between jobs, but looking to make the absolute best out of my situation. How ? By finally becoming a real estate investor as I've wanted to for so many years. My question is and dilemma that literally keeps me up at night is this.... my 401 (that's taking an insane loss as I know many others have as well) is just sitting there losing money daily so do I take my losses and cash out to finally get started while I have the time in between jobs to dedicate to that property. My gut is telling me yes but I'm nowhere near being any kind of a sound investor. I'd be a first time home buyer and plan on using a 203k loan to help maximize my investment. I can go on and on with my thoughts and more personal position, for now just giving a brief over view of my situation and I eagerly await any and all feedback. Thank You and stay safe !
    Michael Baum from Olympia, Washington
    Replied 16 days ago
    Scott is right. Don't sell on the downswing. That is a classic way to lose out. Keep it in place and it will bounce back. A lot of us are in the same boat.
    Scott Trench President of BiggerPockets from Denver, CO
    Replied 16 days ago
    I wonder if now is a very bad time to pull money out of a 401(k) to invest in real estate. For me, the 401(k) contributions are to sit there until true retirement, and will not be touched. There are penalties, and you negate the massive tax deferred growth that can happen in there.
    Curtis Stocker
    Replied 16 days ago
    I found that having a plan at the beginning of the month on where I would spend my money was very helpful. (As opposed to looking back at the previous month's sending). maybe use mint or every dollar to develop a base line and go from three. As newbie budget makers, maybe the envelope system would work until they can take their training wheels off. However it's done, knowing where you spend your hard earned money is key to your growth. Thanks Scott!
    Scott Trench President of BiggerPockets from Denver, CO
    Replied 16 days ago
    A budget is a great tool as well, Curtis! Personally, I don't use one, which is why I don't preach it. But, it works for many!
    Ernest Johnson
    Replied 16 days ago
    “When I buy real estate, I purchase only when I have the down payment, plus closing costs, plus expected repairs, plus $10,000 to $15,000 in cash for my reserve.” Hi Scott! Do you feel military members should follow the down payment rule even though we are offered $0 down when purchasing real estate? When would it be feasible to not put money down? I’m currently stationed San Diego so I’m sure you know a down payment here is like a lifetime of saving. Great article by the way and thanks in advance for the advice!
    Scott Trench President of BiggerPockets from Denver, CO
    Replied 16 days ago
    I think that putting no money down is perfectly fine, so long as the reserves and other financials are in place. In that case, you'd still be following my advice, ha! You'd bring the down payment ($0), plus expected repairs, plus $10,000 - $15,000 (maybe on the higher end of that, because of the likely higher mortgage payments and lower cash flow resulting from a 0% down payment).
    Soddee R. Knight Investor from Oklahoma City, OK
    Replied 16 days ago
    Things can change quickly. January 2020 0.0001% chance of a recession; March 2020, 99% chance of a recession. Cash and cash flow are superior to equity and projected appreciation in times like these.
    Jason Sher
    Replied 16 days ago
    I am really freaking out my asset allocation was 70/30 stocks and bonds and now everything is going down!! I though i was financially prepared for this. I thought bonds go up and stocks go down. The only cash i have is 6 months living expenses and my down payment for my house was in bonds. Could you please help?
    Scott Trench President of BiggerPockets from Denver, CO
    Replied 16 days ago
    Jason - with the lower interest rates, your bond portfolio should have increased in equity value recently, and unless the bonds are defaulting, then you should still be getting interest from them to sustain your lifestyle, as well as dividends from the stocks. Like everyone else, your stock portfolio is likely significantly lower value than it was a few weeks ago. I suggest listening to the most recent BiggerPockets Money Show Podcast for advice on how to think through that. 6 months living expenses in cash sounds pretty good to me. A lot of people do not have that liquidity. I don't understand the "down payment for my house was in bonds" - can you elaborate? All in all, I bet that you are in a relatively very strong position, because of what sounds to me like great prior preparation and long-term excellence in your financial choices. Now is a great time to get even more conservative with your spending, and really read up on long-term investing approaches, IMO.
    Daniel Friedman from Washington D.C., Washington D.C.
    Replied 16 days ago
    Hey Scott. Are these the same things that you go into detail in your book Set for Life? That book is more relevant today than ever. Good stuff!
    Scott Trench President of BiggerPockets from Denver, CO
    Replied 16 days ago
    Funny how that works, huh Dan!?
    Devron Mendes from Atlanta, GA
    Replied 16 days ago
    Hey Scott, great read and this article definitely falls in line with your book Set for Life. I currently own 3 properties in which 2 are STR’s that have had the entire month of April bookings wiped out due to what’s happening. I do have at least $15k in reserves BUT, that leads to my question. Primary residence principal is 106k and worth about 200k. If I sell it would be at least 3yrs from now. If you were me would you do a refi-cash out, or a HELOC? The money could go to another property, provide more security, and also be used for other investments. Just put me in a better cash position overall. (Monthly payments on the primary are only $689 but would go up to about $941(4.8% on 30yr) if i do the refi cash out)
    Thomas Pletsers
    Replied 15 days ago
    What are the chances that tenants can not pay the rent in the coming months, and will the government protect landlords from banks if they cannot pay the mortgage on rental property due to tenants not able to pay rent.
    Annchen Knodt Investor from Durham NC (and Brenham, TX)
    Replied 12 days ago
    Thank you Scott for all of your hard work to provide quality content relevant to this rapidly evolving situation!!
    Raul Villanueva Investor from San Juan, Puerto Rico
    Replied 9 days ago
    Great read and sound advice for these troubling times. I am so grateful for the last five years of real estate where I have learned so much great advice from Bigger Pockets and other US Mainland investors. THANK YOU!!! Living in one of my Multifamilies and driving that 2011 Hyundai will now pay off even greater. I wish everyone health and safety while we ride out this storm...Blessings...