How much did the recent recession actually cost? A fascinating article by Eduardo Porter in yesterday’s New York Times provides some startling information about the cost of the recession. Three economists at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas have estimated that at a bare minimum, the crisis cost nearly $20,000 for each American. Adding in some broader factors, the price tag could be as much as $120,000 for every man, woman and child in the United States; Mr. Porter notes that the loss was so staggering one would think the government and financial institutions were taking dramatic measures to be sure it never happened again. Unfortunately, it is not clear that some problems are being adequately addressed.
I find the situation with personal asset protection planning to be very similar. When there is a crisis (some unexpected lawsuit, accident or economic problem), there is a sudden focus on asset protection. If the crisis subsides, asset protection planning seems less urgent.
A catastrophic economic event like the last recession can certainly happen again. Eduardo Porter’s article is another reminder to take advantage of laws that allow you to protect your assets – – and do so before there is some unexpected crisis.