Enormous National Debt Will Double Again In 10 Years Or Less

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Will it really be possible for our kids to pay all this back?

America’s national debt will increase to almost twice its current sizethanks to legislation Congress passed over the last year. Also,the federal deficitwill expand to over $1 trillion for the first time in 2022 because of the same laws.

The national debt, which was $14.70 trillion in 2017, will grow to $28.70 trillion by 2028, Seeking Alpha Contributor Elliott R. Morss revealed. Morss based his predictions on a report from the Congressional Budget Office.

The federal government’s deficit will grow from $630 billion in 2017 to $1.08 trillion in 2022, andit will rise to $1.14 trillion in 2028 because of the same legislation. The national debt is the amount of money the government owes to creditors. The deficit is the amount by which federal spending exceeds tax revenue.

The debt and deficit will soar because of three laws passed by Congress: last year’s tax reform, the Bipartisan Budget Act, and the Consolidated Appropriations Act. If those laws remain on the books for the nexttenyears, Morss predicts they will cut federal revenues by 4% or $1.7 trillion and increase federal spending by $1 trillion or 2%.

National Debt Will Be 96.20% Of GDP By 2028

Morss has predicted that by 2028, the national debt will be almost as massiveas the gross domestic product (GDP), which consists of all the money generated by America’s economy.

The debt amounted to 76.5% of the GDP in 2017, and by 2028, the debtwill consume 96.2% of the GDP, as a chart made by Morss indicates. That means the debtmight be higherthan the GDP as soon as 2029 – just 11 years from now.

Disturbingly, Morss might be optimistic with his percentages. His chart estimated the U.S. GDP might be $22.33 trillion in 2028, while the national debt would be $28.7 trillion.

U.S. Treasury Floods Markets With Debt To Raise Cash

Uncle Sam already hasa hard time finding enough moneyto pay the bills. The U.S. Treasury flooded the securities markets with a record $179 billion in debt in a few hours on February 20.

That was only part of $258 billion in debt the Treasury sold during the week of February 20, 2018, Bloomberg Marketsreported. That sale was the most significantauction of debt since the financial meltdown during 2008. The debt takes the form of Treasury bonds and other securities.

The Danger from Debt: Hyperinflation

The most considerabledangers from debt and deficit spending are inflation and hyperinflation. Unsustainable levels of debt can destroy a nation’s currency.

That has already happened in Venezuela where the government accumulated around $60 billion in debt it cannot pay. As a result, Venezuela is suffering from hyperinflation; prices in the country rose by 6,147% between February 2017 and February 2018.

People can prepare for more massivenational debts and higher federal deficitsby moving their money out of U.S. dollars. Investments worth considering includeprecious metals like gold and silver, real estate, U.S. stocks, foreign stocks, cryptocurrencies, and foreign currencies.

Getting out of the dollar would be a smart move because it is unlikely that Congress will cut spending or increase taxes in the foreseeable future. Frankly, I see it as an impossibility.

The truth is, when so many families are already facing serious financial issues, does anyone their right mind think this will end with a whimper instead of a nightmarish financial bang?

Since we’ve already destroyed the foundations which kept us free, we should begin immediately to rebuild our economy on a rock solid Christian foundation.

 

 

 

52 Weeks Savings Plan: April discounts are here!

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When I lived in Phoenix, I could never understand the fascination with spring. Phoenix has pretty much just one season, sunny! So, when I moved to Texas, it was amazing to see red-breasted robins show up at our house every spring and watch the forest and greenbelts around me come alive with pale green leaves. […]

The Day All The ATMs Ran Out Of Cash

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Image source: telegraph.com

Image source: telegraph.com

Money plays such an important role in our lives that most of us could not imagine surviving without it. Yet that is exactly what you need to do if you want to prepare for an economic condition called deflation.

Deflation is the term economists use to describe a “general decline in prices, often caused by a reduction in the supply of money or credit.”[1] A good way to think of deflation is as the opposite of inflation. Inflation occurs when there is too much money in circulation, which destroys its value and raises prices. When deflation occurs, there is too little money available, which often causes prices to collapse and the economy to shut down.

In severe cases of deflation there can be no money available at all not — even at the banks. This nightmare actually occurred during the Great Depression of the 1930s, when there were places in the United States where there was no cash available at all. More recently, it has happened in Greece, where ATMs ran out of cash and where banks placed limits on the amount of money that could be withdrawn.

People had no money to pay bills or buy food for their families. Employers had no money to pay employees, customers had no money to buy goods, and many people were reduced to bartering to survive. During the Great Depression, farmers would pay professionals such as mechanics and doctors with food because they had no money and no credit.

The situation got so bad that in some areas of the country, local governments, chambers of commerce and businesses issued their own currencies — the so-called depression scrip. (See a picture of one here.) The scrip often took the form of pieces of paper that people used as money because there was no government currency available. The scrip was used to pay workers or buy goods.

At one point during the Great Depression, the money shortage got so severe that the US government considered issuing a national scrip as an alternative to the dollar. That plan was eventually dropped and the government solved the crisis by simply printing more dollars.[2]

Many people have known survivors of the Great Depression who liked to keep large amounts of cash on hand. Others would hoard food and other items. Those people developed that habit because they remembered what life without money was like. The fear of the deflation that occurred in the 1930s haunted them all of their lives.

Ready For Deflation? This New Solar Backup Generator Delivers 4 Times More Power Than Other Models

The frightening reality is that the threat of deflation is still real. Some knowledgeable individuals, such as wealth preservation experts Will and Bill Bonner,[3] believe that a sudden deflation leading to a national or international money shortage is still possible today.

The Bonners, who have studied some of the world’s knowledgeable investors such as George Soros, believe that the next financial crisis will begin with a “violent monetary shock” similar to the one that occurred during the Great Depression. They predict that money could suddenly disappear overnight, causing the economy to come to a grinding halt.

What Happens When Money Vanishes

Historical accounts of the Great Depression show us some of the possible effects of such a violent monetary shock. The damage caused by such a violent deflation can include:

The sudden collapse of prices. The Great Depression began with the collapse of stock market prices in 1929. That was preceded by the collapse of agricultural prices in the United States during the 1920s. During that crisis, land prices in rural areas collapsed, causing large numbers of rural banks to fail. When the banks failed, the government liquidated them and their assets, which included lots of foreclosed farmland, an action that further drove prices and made the crisis worse.[4]

soup kitchenEverything you have — your investments, your home and your possessions — could suddenly lose all of its value. We saw this happen during the mortgage bubble of 2007-2008, when many people found themselves “underwater.” That occurs when the amount a home is mortgaged for exceeds the property’s value.

The collapse in prices during the Great Depression particularly hurt farmers who relied on commodity prices. Newsreels from the early 1930s show farmers dumping grain on the ground and pouring out milk because they could not sell them.

Bank runs and the collapse of financial institutions. A bank run or banking panic occurs when all of a bank’s depositors try to take their money out at once. Bank runs often trigger the collapse of financial institutions, which prompts even more bank runs. Between 1930 and 1933 nearly 10,000 banks failed or were suspended.[5] The panic got so bad that President Franklin D. Roosevelt actually suspended all bank transactions in the US between March 6 and March 10, 1933 to prevent further runs in his so-called “bank holiday.”[6]

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During the banking crisis of the 1930s, many Americans lost their life savings simply because they were not able to get to the bank fast enough and withdraw their money. Even some wealthy individuals ended up on the streets and in bread lines because they could not get money from the bank.

Massive unemployment. It is a simple and obvious fact that when there is no money, there are no jobs. At the height of the Great Depression in 1933, 24.75 percent of the nation’s labor force, or one in four workers, were unemployed. Around 12.83 million people were out of work at a time when America’s total population was only around 93 million people. That unemployment persisted for years, with 8.1 million Americans still out of work in 1940 in the 11th year of the Great Depression.[7] The unemployment created by the Depression only ended when World War II created “jobs” in the form of the draft and war production.

Hunger and Starvation. Not surprisingly, hunger and in some cases death from starvation can become a problem after deflation. Historians disagree on the number of people who died during the Great Depression.

depression -- storing food -- pinterestDOTcomMassive expansion of government and its power. In his first 100 days in office in 1933, Roosevelt signed 15 major pieces of legislation, several of which established massive new bureaucracies.[8] During the 1920s there were 553,000 civilian employees of the federal government, but by 1940 the federal government had more than 1 million civilian employees.[9] For the first time in American history, the federal government even tried to set prices for products under the National Recovery Act. The government also told farmers what to grow under the Agricultural Adjustment Act. Those laws were so blatantly unconstitutional that the US Supreme Court struck them down in 1935 and 1936.[10]

Increased taxation. When money disappears government gets desperate and imposes more and taxes in an attempt to squeeze more money out of the economy. During the Depression, the maximum income tax rate was raised from 20 percent to 55 percent, gift taxes were increased from .75 percent to 33.5 percent, and new taxes were levied on automobiles, gasoline, telegrams, telephone calls and even checks. By 1934, the United States had the highest tax rates in the world. In 1935 taxes were raised again. Historian Murray Rothbard estimates that the effective tax rate in the United States increased from 16 percent to 29 percent during the Depression.[11]

Why it Could Be Worse Today

If such an event were to occur in today’s world, it could be far worse than the Great Depression.

People were far more self-sufficient in the 1930s, as large numbers of families lived on farms and grew their own food. Even many Americans who lived in town maintained gardens and chicken coops. In those days people also hunted for meat, canned and preserved their own food and baked their own bread. People also sewed their own clothes and fixed their own cars, which gave them a high level of self-sufficiency.

Today, most Americans rely solely on supermarkets for food, and many families no longer even cook. Few people bother to sew, and most of us do not even change the oil in our cars. If our money were to disappear, we would be as helpless as children.

It’s time that we learn the lessons of the Americans who survived the Great Depression. That lesson was to be as self-sufficient as possible so you can survive, no matter what.

Do you believe that what happened during the Great Depression could take place again? Share your thoughts in the section below:

[1] http://www.investopedia.com/terms/d/deflation.asp

[2] http://www.depressionscrip.com/

[3] http://bonnerandpartners.com/about/

[4] http://www.chicagobooth.edu/capideas/magazine/spring-2014/what-a-1920s-farm-bust-reveals-about-financial-crises

[5] http://econproph.com/2009/10/26/fdic-managing-the-crisis-the-fdic-and-rtc-experience/

[6] http://www.ushistory.org/us/49a.asp

[7] http://www.u-s-history.com/pages/h1528.html

[8] http://dp.la/exhibitions/exhibits/show/new-deal/recovery-programs

[9] http://www.econlib.org/library/Enc/GreatDepression.html

[10] http://www.econlib.org/library/Enc/GreatDepression.html

[11] http://fee.org/freeman/detail/the-great-depression

Are You Ready For Blackouts When A Crisis Arrives? Read More Here.

How to Get Your Finances Under Control So Your Family Is Financially Prepared for An Economic Storm!

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Financial Preparedness

Financial Preparedness Is One of the

Most Important Things You Can Do!

Not having enough financial resources to take care of important necessities when “times” are relatively good and the economy has the appearance of being “strong” is hard. It’s even harder when the financial system is in a contraction and your need and opportunities to feed and shelter your family dry up. One of the most important things that someone wanting to be prepared for the future can do is to plan to get out of debt and manage their money effectively, right now!

Two Scenarios – Which One Are You?

Just imagine for a few moments how differently these two scenarios could play out.

Scenario 1 – Jack lost his job today. Besides being blindsided by his employer who had told him a month earlier that he was an important part of the company and his job was safe, his mind now flooded with the anxiety of what his job loss would mean to his family and the mountain of bills he had accumulated over the years. They were living paycheck to paycheck. He wouldn’t have any time to waste. He would need to find a job right away or risk not having enough money to pay his bills, feed his family and keep the house.

Scenario 2 – Jack lost his job today. As he drove home, he wondered if his boss was telling the truth or buying time when he told him he was an important part of the company a month earlier. He would tell his wife over dinner this evening. She would worry. And, to be honest, he would too! Finding a job to replace his current income would be difficult. But, he was glad that he had the ability to be a little picky as he and his wife had built up an emergency fund through saving and sticking to a strict budget. He would have six months to find something that would meet his and his families financial needs.

These are not zombie, end of the world scenarios. These two scenarios are playing out all over the place right now, every single day! Families are having to deal with the realities of job losses, meager paying jobs and lean times. Those that plan and prepare ahead of time will have many more options, and their sanity, if they have to navigate hard economic times.

To Be Successful Your Finances Need a Budget

To prepare your finances, you have to have a starting place. That starting place is a budget. Creating a budget isn’t hard, but it does take a little bit of time to put it together. Luckily, I have created a resource that will help you. You and your spouse just need to sit down and plug in your specific needs.
Here is a link to a Google Sheet (an Excel file is at the end of this article) that will allow you to plug in the numbers and do the math for you. But if you would like to work it out on paper and pencil, download the PDF at the end of this article.

All of Your Expenses – The key to making your budget a successful tool is that you need to include all of your expenses. This includes things that you might not think of like, going out to eat, individual spending money, that candy bar you bought when you filled up on gas, EVERYTHING! Don’t forget to create a budget category for preparedness.

The reason you need to include everything is that it all adds up! Every cent, every dollar that goes out, is accomplishing something. Is it accomplishing what you want it to do? The second reason you want to account for every cent is that the extra money that you have, that isn’t paying expenses, you want to pay down debt and start building an emergency fund.

So, it is important to account for all expenses and have it down on your budget. At that point, you can see what is coming in and going out very easily. You might be surprised how much actually comes in and that you can’t account for it at the end of the month.

You Need an Emergency Fund and You Need to Pay Down Debt

After creating your budget, the next step is to see how much money is left over. That money needs to be used to first, put away a small emergency fund to get you through any small financial hiccups. After you have $500 – $1,000 saved up, then you can start breaking the chains of indebtedness.

Dave Ramsey has done a great job of promoting his “Debt Snowball” to help people understand paying down debt. If you are serious about getting out of debt and becoming financially healthy, you should read his book, The Total Money Makeover. Here I’ll share this video where Dave explains the Debt Snowball.

How Are You Going to Increase Your Income?

As you are actively working your budget, saving for an emergency fund or paying down debt, you should be looking for ways to increase your income. You should want to bring in more money to pay down debt and build your emergency fund more quickly.

Here’s the thing…. Make this your hobby. Make it fun! Don’t spend your evenings in front of the idiot box watching who knows what!

There are so many things you can do here. You can have a garage sale, put items that you don’t use anymore up on eBay or Craigslist. Pick up a second job. Start a small business selling items you make, being a handyman, babysitting, or providing some other service. One thing that you can ask here is, what do you love to do? How can you turn that in to a way to make money? You would be surprised the things others do to bring in extra money. And you can do it too!

Final Thoughts

When you make a budget, pay down debt and have an emergency fund, you will be better prepared than most people to weather a crisis that involves your finances. Becoming financially prepared is not hard, you just have to be disciplined. But the pay-off, later on, is huge! Just think about the relief you and your family would feel if, no, when, you experience a financial hiccup.

Action Steps
* Download the SAMPLE BUDGET. Google Sheet [Dropbox Links: Excel Sheet and PDF]
* Start Your Emergency Fund
* Prepare Your Debts in a Debt Snowball and Start Paying Down Debt
* Increase Your Income: Sell Stuff and/or Get a Side Hustle.
* Read – Economic Tweaks: Changing Our Behavior on the Spiral Downward!

_____________________________

Survival for the Common Man is a series of articles for those who are new to prepping or those who never really felt they had a good foundation to start.

Why Survival for the Common Man? I love to gain experiences in wilderness survival, bushcraft, homesteading and “tactical” preparedness. But the truth is, most preppers are regular, everyday people (the common man). We live in the suburbs, go to our day jobs, and attend school and family events. But we also see the world around us and see the need to be prepared, to make sure our family is safe and able to thrive in times of uncertainty. There are more of us than you might realize! This series is for you!

Financial Preparedness

A Smart Financial and Defensive Move – Protecting Your Family and Home When the Doorbell Rings!

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Protecting Your Family…

And Doorbell Rings!

 

You feel it and you know it, our world is becoming less safe.  In the preparedness community, we talk about situational awareness, OPSEC, carrying concealed, firearm training and more.  This isn’t a fear based article, if you’ve been paying attention, you know that I’m telling the truth.  We are living in curious times and some may even say dangerous times.

I believe part of this is due to the mainstream media’s willingness to focus on crime and sensational stories. They do that because they need the ratings.  Remember when the news would close out with a positive story?  I haven’t seen too many of those lately!

I also believe the increase in crime is due to our economic situation.  Although the stock market is going through the roof right now, the great financial numbers haven’t really hit main street. I left the grocery store yesterday with 4 small plastic bags that cost $75.00.  Remember when that would buy you a basketful of food!

But life goes on.  We still go to work and the kids still go to school and we hope to make the best life we can.  We use our brains.  We spend less than we make.  We prepare.  We protect. We are aware.  We try to teach our kids to do all the same.  Again, we try to make the best life we can.

A Safe Life

One of the things that I try to ensure for my family is a safe life.  Yes, you can’t always shield them from everything.  But wouldn’t you want to do everything you can to make their world the safest?

I recently took the plunge and purchased a RING Doorbell.  I had looked at them in the past and decided against it because I thought the video storage feature was too much.  But after a recent conversation with a friend, I realized that I was wrong.  When I found out that the video storage was only $30 a year, I bit the bullet and made the purchase.  I’m glad I did!

 

Ring Package

The RING doorbell is one of the easiest hi-tech home safety layer someone can install.  Anyone who can install an APP and follow the directions of a video can do it!  And the great thing is that it comes with everything you need to install it!  The only possible thing that you might need is a drill if you are installing it in brick.  But even then, they provide you with the drill bit.

The RING doorbell comes with all the hardware you need!

In a nutshell…

  1. Download the APP to your phone.  Install it and make an Account. You can download the APP without purchasing the RING and see videos from your neighborhood.
  2. Connect the APP to your Wifi.
  3. Open the RING package and click the orange button on the back of the RING doorbell.
  4. Walk through the connection process that takes a few minutes.
  5. If you have a doorbell, remove it.
  6. Use the level and mark the holes to screw in the base.
  7. Screw in the base and connect the doorbell wires to the base.
  8. Set the RING doorbell on the base
  9. Screw in the security screws at the bottom of the RING doorbell.

 

That’s it!  All along the process, there is a video (see it below) that walks you through the installation, step by step.  They have made this thing foolproof!

Another cool aspect of this is that every member of the family can have the APP installed on their phone.  And, you get a running activity record of who comes up to your front door along with video and sound.

Pairing the RING doorbell with my phone.

The level and base getting screwed in. Doorbell wires are still exposed.

Doorbell wires screwed in and ready for the RING doorbell to get placed on the base.

Screwing in the security screws into the base.

This was too easy!

This is the video that I watched (on my phone) to install the RING. The only thing I didn’t do was turn off my electrical breaker. I like to live on the edge! 🙂  Ok not really….

 

 

The Ring Wi-Fi Enabled Video Doorbell is under $140 on Amazon.  It has 4 STARS and almost 30,000 reviews!  That is right, 30,000 reviews!

I believe the investment in this hi-tech, easy to operate device is worth it.  Just watch some of the videos below.

 

 

Peace,
Todd

My video on the Ring Wireless Doorbell. Check out the article in the Profile Link.

A post shared by Prepper Website (@prepperwebsite) on Feb 18, 2018 at 5:13pm PST



The End Of The Financial Advisors

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To be blunt, forthright and direct, I loathe the finance industry.

I loathe financial advisors, I loathe mortgage brokers, I loathe mutual fund managers, I loathe investment bankers, I loathe regular bankers, I loathe commercial lenders, I loathe certified financial advisors, and I loathe certified financial planners.  Nearly every person employed in the world’s financial industry I hold contempt for.  And the reason is very simple.

They are, for the most part, immoral human beings.

This isn’t to say your financial advisor isn’t an honest person with your best interests at heart.  Nor is it to say your banker hasn’t helped you in the past, getting you favorable rates on your mortgage or auto loan.

But when you take finance professionals as a whole they are some of the most amoral, unethical people in the world and would gladly embezzle from their grandmother if it profited them.

We can point to things such as the 2008-2009 financial crisis where nearly every 1st world central bank bailed out their finance industries. We can point to the stereotypical “dude bro” who goes into Wall Street and inevitably manages to land in jail or goes rogue and costs his employer billions in unauthorized trades because of pure ego.

Or we can highlight the armies of “financial advisors” who claim to manage your retirement funds in your best interests, but upon closer inspection merely syphon off 2-5% of your investments every year and never provide a positive return on investment.

But the underlying reason for all these symptoms we witness among “finance professionals” is much simpler.  They’re lazy, and they’re egotistical.

Nobody goes into “finance” because they want to work hard or produce something of value society will willingly pay for.  They are not engineers or computer programmers or surgeons, willing to put forth the years of hard toil, effort, labor and studying to hone a skill that is high demand.

Will You Retire At 60, 70 or 90? Find Out Now!

However, nor are they humble enough to acknowledge and accept a lower income that comes with not putting forth the hard work required for a highly-compensated career.  These people want a high income with as little work as possible.

They want to “get rich quick.”  And what results is the millions of slimey, oily, dishonest “get quick rich” salesmen and women who enter the finance industry hoping to sell people mutual funds, get commission on putting together bad loans, or making it as a “day trader,” NONE of which produce or provide society with a penny of actual, tangible economic production.

But there is good news and it isn’t on the horizon.  It’s already here.  And truth be told we’ve had good news for the past 30 years, it’s just the finance industry has tried to suppress it or certainly doesn’t celebrate it.  And that good news is that your financial advisors, financial planners, brokers, and financial consultants are all, completely obsolete.

You don’t need them.  Nobody needs them.  And if there was any justice or sanity in the world, nearly every single financial professional would be laid off tomorrow and forced to work a real job at wages more in line with their actual abilities.

“You’re Fired!”

The obsolescence of the financial planning industry is due to three main reasons, one of which is historical, two of which are technological.

  1. Finance professionals fail to beat the index.
  2. Online trading
  3. Roboadvisors

The first reason is the historical fact that finance professionals fail to do their job about 80% of the time.  What we mean by this is they fail to “beat the index,” meaning when they manage your money, 80% of the time they will not even be able to provide returns that beat the index (typically “the index” meaning the S&P 500).

This is an important point because today you, me, and everybody else can simply invest in “indexed funds.”  Nearly every mutual fund company out there offers indexed funds that track and mimic various indices around the world.  Plus there are “Exchange Traded Funds” (ETF’s) that also track indices around the world.

These two simple financial products means the average Joe on the street can invest in an index fund or ETF and…

WITHOUT A SINGLE DAY OF FINANCE EDUCATION…

beat out 80% of the PhD’s in finance.

In other words, you don’t need to pour over financial statements of companies or mutual funds in the hopes of finding a “good investment.”  Nor do you have to pay the fees, front end loads, back end loads, 12b-1 fees or managerial fees to a “mutual fund manager” to do that for you.

You simply invest in an index fund or ETF and you’re already beating the “pros” who all attended Harvard Business School.

The second reason for the finance industry’s obsolescence is online trading.  This technology has existed for almost two decades now and is nothing new or special.  If you can buy something on Amazon, then you can certainly do online trading.

But it is the classical replacing humans with robots that has taken what was traditionally the preserve of the wealthy and made it so the Average Joe can trade too.  In the olden days when you had physical buildings, hundreds of traders and runners screaming in the stock exchanges, and brokers replete with hickory desks in expensive marble downtown offices, that entire infrastructure and overhead would cost you around $85 per trade.

Now with computers and the internet you have a fraction of the traders on the floor, a laptop instead of an expensive broker sitting in a downtown office, and instead of a pricey downtown office building, you have a server room located in some cheap, far-flung field.  The average cost of an online trade today is around $10, likely less than what you spent on drinks last night.

But the third reason is the most interesting one. For while you may know that you should invest in an indexed fund and likely put your trades through an online brokerage, do you know which indexed funds to invest in based on your age?

Do you know the balance between stocks, bonds, and cash you should hold given you’re 45, plan to retire at 70, but have a life expectancy of 78, have $200,000 saved up now, and would like to live off of $45,000 a year when you retire?  Do you even know the math or the right questions to ask so that you can effectively plan your retirement?

Technology and index investing may have gotten rid of your need for a broker, but not a long term financial planner telling you precisely which indexed mutual funds you should invest in and when…until now.

Introducing the “roboadivsor.”

A “roboadvisor” is simply that.  An advisor that is not made of flesh and blood, but rather bits and bytes of code.  More specifically, software where you answer a battery of questions and it maps out a retirement plan for you.

You may be concerned at first saying, “how does software know me better than a flesh and blood human,” but the sad secret is most human financial advisors are not these mathematical, actuarial, psychological geniuses that had some kind of insight into your personal financial lives and goals.

The truth is they were merely using software themselves, asking you that same battery of questions, and plugging your answers into that program, telling you the results, and charging 1-5% of your balance every year for that.  Roboadvisors simply got rid of the advisor (and corresponding fees) and now has you answer those questions yourself.

When you tally up the savings, the cost of roboadvisors and indexed funds are now going below 1% of assets managed (compared to 2-5% with a traditional human being).  Roboadvisors are so new and the industry has yet to fully suss itself out, but you can expect to have an annual expense ratio of around .3% of assets managed.

Not 3%.  .3% POINT 3 %!  This is infinitely cheaper than the bricks and mortar, flesh and blood model that (once again) can’t even beat the index 20% of the time.  This doesn’t mean if you have a human financial advisor you like then you should get rid of him. There ARE good financial advisors out there.

But if you’re new to investing or want to take it into your own hands (not to mention, beat most of the pros) the tools and technology are out there that retirement planning is well within the abilities of your average man.

This article has been written by Chris Mills for Survivopedia.

Investment Alternatives To An Overpriced Stock Market

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Be you an institutional investor, a pensioner looking at your retirement portfolio, or a young 20 something looking to open your first retirement account, a problem facing all investors globally is that nearly every investable asset class is overpriced.

Due to:

  • previous generations investing trillions of dollars into their pensions and retirement plans over the past four decades,
  • central banks across the globe tripling their respective money supplies,
  • as well as China’s economic success creating an investor class bidding up asset prices globally.

The price of stocks, bonds, commodities, treasuries, T-bills, convertible bonds, preferred shares, derivatives, mutual funds, real estate, precious metals, industrial metals, REIT’s, ADR’s, collectables, scotch, even Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies have been bided up well beyond what their cash flows and intrinsic values warrant.

This presents a problem for all investors because as income accrues into larger and larger savings balances, the money needs to be invested somewhere, lest it lose its value against inflation.

But with prices so high, your rates of return are driven so low that you’re looking at a mere fraction of a percent return on savings accounts, a paltry 2-4% on safe, quality bonds, and a pathetic 2% dividend yield from your average S&P 500 stock.

So Where Do You Invest?

The trick is not to look at traditional investments that we have been conditioned to invest in either through “Wall Street” movies, conventional retirement planning, or the tax incentives governments provide for officially sanctioned retirement plans.

It’s to revisit PRECISELY what is an investment and look at our entire personal financial lives to see if there isn’t some unforeseen or overlooked investment we missed.  And when we do this, I think you’ll find there are plenty of investment opportunities, many with lower risks and higher rates of return.

Will You Retire At 60, 70 or 90? Find Out Now!

First, understand an investment has a rate of return.  There has to be some kind of cash flow or profit it generates for its owner.  Stocks pay dividends.  Bonds pay interest.  Real estate pays rent.  These assets are investments because they generate (in theory) more money or “cash flow” over the course of their lives than what you paid to purchase them.

This differentiates these asset classes from commodities, currencies, or collectables since precious metals do not pay dividends, Yen does not pay interest, and baseball cards do not generate rents.  These types of assets are merely SPECULATIVE in nature.

You buy them now in the hopes you can sell them for more later.  But there is no underlying cash flow or profits they generate, therefore, in theory, they have no real value and are therefore NOT investments.

So with this understanding that it is cash flow and profits that make an investment, where else in your personal life can you find an opportunity to pay some money today to increase your cash flow tomorrow?  And there are four general areas in most people’s personal financial lives such a situation exists:

Private companies/Entrepreneurship
Paying off debts
Real estate/rental property
Education/training

These investments may not have the convenience of merely setting up an online brokerage account and trading away or the tax-deductible blessing of your government, but they are mathematically, financially, and factually investments.  Investments that can potentially provide better rates of return than today’s financial markets.

Private Companies/Entrepreneurship

Just because a company isn’t publicly traded on a stock exchange and conveniently purchased via a brokerage account, doesn’t mean you can’t invest in it.  There are thousands of private companies out there, all of which need capital, and at times seek investors from the public.

However, usually they seek investments via “angel investors” or “private equity groups.”  This relegates investing in private companies to those of you who have significant sums of money, usually $250,000 or more.  Still, if you have such sums you may want to consider contacting a private equity group and seeing if they have some investment opportunities for you.

This could range from buying equity in a company (stocks) or lending a company money (bonds), or some kind of hybrid between the two where you lend the company money today and could become a part owner tomorrow (convertible bonds).

However, you don’t have to be rich to invest in a private company.  You can do yourself one step better.  You can start your own company.

Entrepreneurship is, frankly, the best and most self-respecting form of investment out there.  If successful you will be your own boss, all the profits are yours, and if done right you will get much higher rates of return than you will in today’s financial markets.

The only problem is starting a company is hard and takes some creativity, innovation and insight.  Still, this doesn’t mean you can’t pursue some kind of entrepreneurial endeavor in your free time.  And truth be told most forms of entrepreneurship are work you’re already doing but on a contract basis or “moonlighting” on the side.

Programming, accounting, welding, even teaching dance classes after work is more often than not a better expenditure of your time and money and will yield higher rates of return than the paltry 2% dividend you can expect from the market.

Unfortunately (unless you make the company a tangible firm that could potentially be sold later, say like the copyright to a program), there is no opportunity for capital gains in these entrepreneurial endeavors, but again, an investment is NOT “I hope to buy it now for $X and sell it more for $Y.”  It is “what kind of cash flow will my investment generate over the course of time.” 

And I think you’ll find self-employment a much more profitable option than your 2.5% government savings bond.

Paying Off Debts

I always get a kick out of my clients asking me “where should I invest?” when they are loaded to the hilt with debt.

Student loans.
Car loans.
Credit card debts.
Mortgages.

All with interest rates ranging from 4.5% to 23%.

So let me ask you this question:

What is the difference between investing in a bond that pays 4% or paying off your debts that charge an interest rate of 4%?

The answer is nothing.  It results in the same cash flow.  So paying off your debts is no different than had you invested that money traditionally in a stock or a bond.

But paying off debts provides one HUGE advantage over other forms of traditional investing.  It’s risk free.

Realize that when you invest in a stock or bond there’s always the risk you won’t get paid back, the company files for bankruptcy, or there some kind of embezzling or corruption that renders your investment worthless.

But when you pay off your debts it’s 100% risk free because YOU’RE THE RISK.  Your lender is taking the risk that you won’t pay them back.  So paying off your debts is quite literally the only risk free investment in the world.

Additionally, you’re going to be hard-pressed to find a better rate of return than the interest you’ll save paying off your loans.  The lowest interest rates are typically mortgages at 4% or so.  Highest interest rates are typically credit cards around 23% or so.

The stock market only pays a rate of return of 2% in dividends.  Ergo, since most people have some form of debt, that is by far usually the highest returning and risk free investment one should make, and it should be made immediately before any other investments.

Real Estate/Rental Property

Though real estate has certainly been flooded with all sorts of money, both domestic and foreign, real estate does still provide your average investor the potential for higher rates of return than the financial markets.

The key though is that whereas stocks, bonds, and mutual funds are largely susceptible to global economic forces, the individual investor does hold considerable sway and control over which specific pieces of real estate they will invest in.

You can choose whether to invest in a duplex or triplex.  Storage property or a parking lot.  Leasing farmland or and RV park.  Additionally, it is much easier to analyze the profitability of a piece of real estate because most of the variables are either known or can be accurately estimated.

A bank will give you a quote on your mortgage.  An insurance company will give you a quote on your insurance.  Property taxes can be looked up on the internet. And a simple market study will tell you what your likely rents are.

With these variables you should be able to tell whether an individual property will provide the rate of return you need or not.  And if it doesn’t, it’s merely a matter of finding a piece of property that does.

There are risks, however, with investing in real estate.  Namely, people.

Tenants can be a nightmare to deal with as they destroy your property, fail to pay rent, even sue you if local laws favor tenants’ rights over land lord rights.  Because of this you may want to consider properties that do not house humans, but rather things such as storage facilities, parking lots, and garages.

Education and Training

Finally, there is education and training.  One might be confused as to how going to college or learning a trade is an investment, but once again it is no different than paying money now to increase your cash flow later.

And though there is a huge education bubble in the world, if you choose the right degree, profession, or skill, a $20,000 investment today can increase your lifetime earnings by millions, even if you are currently gainfully employed.

The trick is to make sure it’s an investment and not a hobby.  The United States is flooded with millions of young fools all majoring in English, Poetry, Communications, Women’s Studies, Hispanic Studies, Sculpture, and even “Puppetry.”  All of which are hobbies, none of which are investments, let alone professions.

You need to look at fields such as engineering, programming, medicine, accounting, actuarial science, and other fields that are actually in demand in the real world and command a good wage.

And do not think it is only the “esteemed universities and colleges” where you have to fork over 4 years of your youth and $75,000 of your money to earn a coveted degree.  Trade schools, community colleges, programming bootcamps, even self-study and self-certification via (free) online classes like Khan’s Academy and YouTube can provide you the skills you need to significantly increase your future cash flow, all well beyond investing the same money in a bond yielding a whopping 4%.

Look Inwards

The larger point of looking for alternative investments for your money is to focus on cash flow in your own personal life and your personal finances.  Since very few people do this, and most eyes are focused on traditional forms of investment, you’ll be surprised how many genuine investment opportunities there are right in your own backyard.

And while this isn’t to say setting up an IRA or contributing to your pension account isn’t a good idea, it is to say that you can improve your personal finances markedly, perhaps drastically to that of your regular, ole, ho-hum index-investing strategy recommended by today’s conventional finance professionals.

This article has been written by Chris Mills for Survivopedia.

Fighting Tax Reform. Is It Good Or Bad?

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Probably the biggest legislative win for the American people in a long time was the tax reform bill recently passed by Congress and signed into law by President Trump.

This completes another one of Trump’s campaign promises, as well as the promise of many Republican lawmakers. Yet not everyone is happy with the tax reform bill.

Actually, the people who are unhappy with it fall into one of two categories: those who have been lied to and those who are doing the lying. 

Let’s start with those who have been lied to. Sadly, there are a lot of low-information voters in the country.

While those of us who are conservative tend to say that they are on the liberal side of the political spectrum, the truth is that most Americans would fit that description, regardless of where their personal political views fall on the spectrum. The truth is that few Americans are interested in politics anymore, mostly because they feel their interest is futile and their vote doesn’t count.

That’s a pretty sad indictment on our nation’s political system, in and of itself. What started out as a government by the people and for the people has truly become a government by the ruling class and for the ruling class.

Considering that the intent of the Founding Fathers was that there would be no permanent ruling class in our nation, this just shows how far we’ve fallen from our roots.

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So, what’s the lie that’s being propagated in this case? It’s actually nothing new. In fact, it’s the same lie that the Democrat Party has used for years, whenever they wanted to attack Republicans about taxes. That is, the tax reform benefits the rich, by penalizing the poor.

This is an outright lie. To make it work, they have to do some pretty tricky manipulations of the numbers, but as everyone knows, you don’t get anywhere in Washington without learning how to do that.

So what’s the manipulation? That the tax reform passed by Congress reduces taxes for the wealthy, without reducing it for the lower and middle class.

Technically, that statement is true. It is true because wealthy people will be paying less taxes, while the poor won’t. But in order to be true, it has to ignore a much deeper truth.

That is, the people whose federal income taxes aren’t being reduced aren’t paying any federal income taxes at all. What that means is that they’re complaining that the tax reform doesn’t give these people money.

Democrat talking points are following this manipulation and telling people that the tax reform is going to raise their tax rates, to benefit the rich. Since that’s the narrative being followed by the mainstream media, that’s what most people think.

In fact, only 15% of the population currently believe that their taxes are going to go down. That’s a pretty effective propaganda campaign, no matter how you look at it.

Of course, this is a lie and like any lie, it can only last so long. Pretty soon people are going to start seeing the truth, either through a bigger paycheck or through their tax returns. When people have more money in their pockets, it’s hard to keep telling them that the tax reform has hurt them.

The Unhappy Elite

Democrat lawmakers are unhappy with the tax reform because it benefits corporate America and the owners of those corporations. These politicians have been pushing the narrative of the “evil corporation” and the “evil one percent” for so long, that they believe it themselves. Since those people are evil, anything done which benefits them must be wrong.

We’ve got to remember that the Democrat Party’s major thrust, ever since Donald Trump won the presidential election, has been to RESIST. That has become their byword and they intend to follow it, even if it means that they have to hurt the very people they’ve sworn to represent. Those people will just have to understand that their political masters understand what’s best for them.

This is pure hypocrisy, especially considering that Democrats look to those same wealthy people to foot the bill for their political campaigns and lavish lifestyles. But apparently that’s not a contradiction in a liberal’s mind. I’m not sure how they work that out, but somehow or other they do.

But there’s a much more serious problem for Democrats, one which they don’t know how to deal with. That’s the long-term fallout from the tax reform.

A former Clinton advisor has come forth, stating that he’s unsure how the tax reform will shake out with millennials, a very important voting block for the Democrat Party. They could turn Republican en masse, in response to finding that they have more money in their pockets.

If this were to happen, it would be devastating to the Democrats in the mid-term elections. Not one Democrat in the House or Senate voted in favor of the tax cut, which means that they didn’t vote in favor of lowering our taxes.

That’s not going to play out well for most of their constituents.

Corporate America

Leaving politics aside for a moment, the true reaction to the tax reform bill isn’t what’s happening in Washington, but what’s happening in the rest of the country. The stock market is reacting very favorably, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average and other key indicators reaching record highs. Corporate America is responding favorably to the tax reforms, which lower corporate taxes considerably.

One hope is that the exodus of American corporations which we’ve seen throughout the Obama years will come to an end. Even better would be to see some of those corporations who have left turn around and come back home. That’s really what the corporate tax cut is aimed at, a calculated gamble that could pay off big.

But even without that, we’re already seeing a positive reaction out of America’s corporations, with over 100 publically announcing across-the-board raises or bonuses due to the lower taxes. After years of wages remaining stagnant, these raises and bonuses will be seen as a real cause for rejoicing on the parts of many working Americans, especially those in lower-wage jobs.

Understanding the Economics of Tax Reductions

Tax rates and tax reform is all about government revenue. Basically any government sits on top of society, skimming off the economy. They don’t do anything that produces wealth, but they have to have that wealth in order to function. So they tax those who do produce in order to have money.

Conservatives understand that if you kill the goose that lays the golden eggs, you don’t get any more eggs. So in an ideal conservative world, the idea is to provide a healthy atmosphere for the geese. That way, you get more eggs. Reducing taxes and reducing regulations are the two key ways that governments are able to provide a healthy atmosphere for the corporate geese.

That’s why Republicans push for lower corporate taxes and lower taxes on the rich. Those corporations and people don’t put the money they save on taxes in their mattresses, they invest it in making more money. In the process, they hire more people and pay more taxes. So, even though the tax percentage is less, the actual tax revenue is higher.

This may very well be counter-intuitive, which is why liberals have so much trouble understanding it. But past economic history proves it out. When taxes are low, investment increases, creating more profits. That works out to a bigger tax base.

So, skimming a smaller percentage of a bigger tax base works out to be more profitable for the government. At the same time, it produces a more positive atmosphere, which helps encourage investing in the economy.

Liberals, on the other hand, don’t understand economics in anywhere near the same way. To start with, they ignore who the wealth producers are. In their minds, it is the government, not private industry, which produces both jobs and wealth. All that private industry does is provide them with money to operate on.

Because of that, in their worldview, companies that keep their profits are evil, because the elite in government service could obviously make better use of that money, helping their constituents. So, the only evil thing about those corporations is that they want to keep their profit and decide how that profit is spent. If it is spent on helping people through social projects, they want to get credit for it, not allow some politician to take credit for it.

But isn’t this Economically Dangerous?

With the huge debt our country currently has, it would seem that reducing taxes is a risky move to make. Without that tax revenue, how is the country going to continue paying its bills, let alone not racking up more debt?

That’s a very good question, and one that has been raised in many quarters. The fact is, there is some risk in this move. Historically however, reducing taxes, especially corporate taxes, boosts the economy. This results in more overall revenue for the government, even with the lower tax rate.

President Trump and the Republicans in Congress are counting on this. But that’s not all that Trump is counting on. Ever since taking office, he’s been aggressively seeking to cut the federal budget and the federal workforce. While Congress hasn’t fully cooperated with him on this, there is still time.

One of the ways that Trump is reducing federal spending is by an effective hiring freeze. This doesn’t hurt anyone, as there are no actual layoffs happening. Rather, the federal workforce is being reduced by attrition, as people quit or retire.

So the increase in employment that we are seeing under Trump’s presidency is happening in spite of the number of federal employees diminishing. This is in direct contrast to Obama’s presidency, where the federal workforce increased dramatically.

If Trump can succeed in lowering federal expenditures significantly, while increasing revenues, he will have accomplished something big enough to qualify him as one of the greatest presidents in our nation’s history.

The Hypocrisy Goes On

The biggest hypocrisy in this whole debate (a debate that’s still going on, even though the issue is settled and the law has been passed) is that Democrat controlled California and New York are scrambling to protect the wealthy in their states.

The one group who suffers the most under this new tax package are people who have to pay over $10,000 per year in state income taxes. Under the new plan, they are only allowed to deduct the first $10,000 of their state income taxes from their income on their federal income taxes. This increases the amount of federal income tax these people are paying slightly.

You would think that this would make Democrats happy, as they are constantly trumpeting how the “one percent doesn’t pay their fair share,” something that in and of itself is a lie. Yet, both New York and California are seeking means to protect their one percenters from the evils of tax reform.

Video first seen on Fox Business.

The only people affected by these protections are those whose incomes are well above average. In California, you have to be making $140,000 per year, in order to have to pay $10,000 in state income taxes. New York is even higher, with residents needing to make over $170,000 to reach that threshold.

So these measures clearly aren’t to protect the poor, or even to protect the middle class, the people who the Democrats are claiming are hurt by the tax reform.

California

In California, plans are hatching for a political shell game. The covering idea is that the maximum state income tax that anyone will be required to pay is $10,000, to match what the new law allows in deductions. The rest of the state income tax can be paid as a “charitable contribution” to the state’s Excellence Fund. The state would then issue a tax receipt for their “charitable contribution.”

If this isn’t outright illegal, it should be. There is no way that this can be called a charitable contribution, especially since it is mandatory, not voluntary. The shell company being created for this is literally nothing more than a tax dodge.

It is no different than someone setting up an offshore banking account to hide their income and avoid taxes.

New York

New York is seeking a different way of protecting their wealthy, by replacing state income taxes with a “payroll tax” paid by employers. This one should be interesting, as over $60 billion of the state’s revenue comes from income taxes.

So, where is that $60 billion plus going to come from? The businesses; somehow, they have to come up with that much money, rather than people paying their own income taxes. This could be seen as a boon to the individual, but apparently New York’s Governor is suggesting that businesses lower people’s salaries, on order to be able to pay the payroll taxes.

Once again, we have Democrats contradicting themselves. The same political party who is pushing for a $15 per hour minimum wage, is telling employers to lower wages. The only way I can read this is that they’re expecting employers to do is lower the wages of everyone but people who are making $15 per hour or lower. While this will hurt upper management (part of the evil one percent), the people it will hurt the most are the middle class.

Congratulations Democrats, you’ve done it again!

Speaking of the Middle Class

Perhaps one of the best parts of the tax reform is something that should make just about any middle-class family happy… the individual mandate from Obamacare has finally been repealed. Of all the onerous legal mumbo-jumbo that Obamacare included, this has been the most odious to most people.

What this means is that the legal requirement to have health insurance or pay an annual fine is finally coming to an end. This should thrill countless middle-class families, who can’t afford health insurance, but are being forced into buying it anyway or pay the fine. Personally, this is the best part of the new tax plan for me.

I live close to Mexico, so my wife and I go to Mexico for all my healthcare needs. While there may be a few things that they can’t do for us, by and large, I’ve found the healthcare that we’ve received in Mexico to be excellent. It’s also a lot cheaper. That’s why I go there. But for the last few years, I’ve had to pay a fine, just to have that right. Now I will no longer have it.

While the Republicans in Congress haven’t yet fulfilled their promise to repeal Obamacare, this is a major step in the right direction.

I’m glad to see it happening and I hope to soon see more.

This article has been written by Rich Murphy for Survivopedia.

References:

http://money.cnn.com/data/markets/dowtrans/

http://money.cnn.com/data/markets/dow/

 

4 Reasons Why Investing Isn’t What It Seems

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I have learned, earlier than most, that you cannot convince sheep.

Young people will continue to pay for over-priced worthless liberal arts degrees. Suburbanites will buy brand new cars they neither need, nor can afford, just to impress the neighbors.

Americans will spend thousands just to see The Super Bowl (which will not be any tangibly different than any other football game). And the sheeple will always and religiously stand in lines for hours during “Black Friday.”

But every once in a while I think I find a new insight, a new viewpoint that is so clear, so simple that even your rank and file American sheeple might be convinced of it. That this insight is so cunning, and so simple it could revolutionize the way people think for the better.

And so I hope (though am not hopeful) to convince many of you why investing in the stock market today is fundamentally stupid and on par with standing in line on Black Friday.

Let us understand what the stock market ORIGINALLY and TRULY was at its core – it was a place for companies to raise money.

Entrepreneurs, innovators, and businesses wanted to start or expand their business and did not have the funds readily or personally available to finance these ventures. Investors who had said funds, but did not necessarily want to start their own business, were looking for returns on their money.

And just like we meet today in a “farmers market” to exchange money for goods, these people met in the “financial market” where these entrepreneurs and investors would exchange money for an investment in a company.

THAT IS IT!!!
THAT IS ALL!!!
THAT IS ALL THE POINT AND PURPOSE OF A STOCK MARKET THERE IS!

Businesses, entrepreneurs and innovators were looking for funding.
Investors were looking for investments.
They met in the middle and businesses were created, launched, or expanded.
Business is thus concluded.
End of story.

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But an interesting twist occurred after the sale of some stocks, the issuance of some bonds, or perhaps the sale of some preferred shares. Though the primary purpose of these transactions was accomplished (financing businesses) the shares (be they stocks or bonds) still remained.

And the original owners of these shares could and did start selling them to each other. This “secondary trading” or any trading done AFTER the original investment that was made was done so on what is called the “secondary market.” These trades were done NOT to finance new businesses or launch new companies, but was merely speculatory in nature.

The owner of some original shares of GE decided he wanted to buy a house. So he sold them on the secondary market (aka “the stock market”) to somebody who thought perhaps GE’s shares were a bit underpriced. The owner of some original shares of Ford wanted to raise funds to invest in a new company being launched by Thomas Edison.

So he would go to the secondary market and unload his Ford shares on some pension fund manager who thought Ford shares were trading a bit under par. Or perhaps some astute young go-getter had some insight into the telephonic industry that nobody, not even the telephonic industry itself had. He realized that under new legislation coming through congress telephone companies’ profits would triple, and thus he runs out to the secondary market and offers a premium to buy Bell Communication shares.

Notice ALL of these trades do not bring about a single penny in new businesses, new profits, or new production. They merely are swapping out money for shares that have long existed, the original productive investment of which happened long ago when they were first sold to raise funds for the original company.

In other words, the billions of trades that happen every day on the stock, bond, mutual fund, option, derivatives, and other financial markets are NOT investing, but rather mere speculation.

And that means ALL of your 401k’s, IRA’s, 457, 403b’s, RRSP’s, and pension “investments” are not investments at all, but mere speculation.

This MASSIVE misunderstanding of what investing truly is has resulted in an illogical creature called today’s modern stock market. It’s illogical because in theory those “super duper smart” Ivy League graduates at Wall Street should have priced the original shares at their “true value.” And what I mean by “true value” is the value of all the future profits the company would have generated condensed into a single price at that time the original shares were sold. Sure, they would have to discount it a bit to leave some meat on the bone for the original investors to part with their money.

And yes, the changing outlook and fortunes of a company would change the price of those shares on into the future in the secondary market. But over the past several hundred years and the hundreds of thousands of companies that had been launched during that time, in theory on average the lions’ share of any profits and gains would have gone to the original investors leaving little to no room for the perpetual, let alone exponential price increases that magically are funding all your retirement plans today.

The Question is “Why?”

So then why has the stock market perpetually and exponentially gone up, meaning the original investors should NEVER had sold their original shares and/or the entrepreneurs WOEFULLY underpriced theirs?

There are certainly some logical (and real) explanations.

One is that in the past investors and entrepreneurs underestimated the population growth their businesses would inevitably sell to. Not just domestically, but internationally as well. Bob’s Farm Buggy Corporation probably didn’t think they’d sell farm buggies beyond the agricultural prairies of the United States in 1890. But John Deere sells a good third of its tractors overseas in 2017.

Two, they lacked the vision to see all the practical applications their product would lead to. This isn’t necessarily their fault because often it is not until a product is created is its full potential realized. The PC was largely a hobbyist toy for nerds and proto-computer geeks in the 1970’s. Now you have 2 of them for every person, 4 if you consider tablets and smart phones.

But while these are possible and legitimate reasons for investors to underpay (and companies to underprice) their shares, in reality it is the changing behavior of the NON-INVESTOR class that is driving up prices beyond what they’re worth. It is the secondary market where not a penny of actual investment is occurring, but pure and mere speculation (and hope) that “the stock market just keeps going up.”

First, despite what your professors and teachers tell you, capitalism has brought about an amazing increase in the wealth, leisure, incomes and lifestyle for the average sheep. You’re not dying of diphtheria. You’re living nearly 80 years.

You have vehicles that can (for an insanely cheap price compared to horses) drive you across the country in a mere few days. And if that’s not good enough for you, for even cheaper you can FLY across the country in a mere few hours. Oh, and then there’s that “world’s complete knowledge available to you at your fingertips” device you’re likely holding right now.

Regardless, the point is billions of people now have trillions of dollars more to spend on nick nacks, clothes, grills, rims, sushi, and overpriced iPhone X’s. But some of that also finds its way into the stock market.

Second, the government effectively has paid people for the past 40 years to invest in the stock market through its various retirement programs. 401k’s, IRA’s, 403b’s, you name it, there’s a program that incentivizes you with tax breaks to invest speculate on stocks you know ABSOLUTELY nothing about.

“Tee hee, I just give it to my HR department and they do the investing for me. I don’t know what I really invest in. I just, you know, buy and hold.”

Third, technology has advanced that trading stocks is no longer relegated to the rich or upper middle class. Instead of needing $10,000 minimum and being willing to pay $90 in commission per trade, a poor college student can open up a brokerage account for $500 and trade for $7.95 in commission. Now I have my barista with her Masters in English telling me about how she’s buying Apple and Google as I get served my morning coffee.

And then there’s monetary policy. Though not the fault of the sheeple, nearly every central bank in the world has kept rates very low, not to mention tripled their money supplies. These monies have to go somewhere and inevitably because of the fungible nature of money, finds its way into the stock market. Be it freshly printed money or artificially low interest rates people and corporations are awash in cash and have to invest it somewhere. So people throw it into the stock market and corporations borrow trillions in leveraged corporate buy backs.

All of these variables have flooded the stock market with trillions of dollars that would have otherwise not been there, driving the PE ratio of the stock market to nose bleed levels and dividend returns on stocks to a pathetic 2%.

To any normal thinking person, a rate of return of 2% on ANY investment would simply not be worth it. Heck, some months that doesn’t even beat inflation. But remember, the world is no longer populated by normal-thinking people. It’s populated by sheep. And the sheep just line up like their HR counselors told them to and invest away speculate away with the brilliant strategy of “well I just hope the stock market goes up.” And lucky for them it has because it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy where we print off money and people keep piling into the market.

The problem, however, is what happens when economic and demographic trends change or simply stop?

For example, when the baby boomers start selling out of stocks to pay for their retirement, do you think the debt-laden millennials or the mortgage-and-children-burdened Gen X’ers are going to pick up the slack?

What if a non-Keynesians head up the world’s central banks, stop printing money and stop keeping interest rates artificially low? Where will all the new money come from to keep “the stock market going up?”

And have you noticed the slow-down in population growth in the 1st world? What growth there is, is largely coming from immigrant classes, and whatever your opinion may be about immigrants, they do not have the disposable income to invest in their 401k’s that the native population does.

I personally don’t think any of these things will happen. The government will continue to print money and keep interest rates low to keep the party going. Baby boomers so woefully saved, they’ll continue to work and contribute to 401k’s until they’re dead.

But let there be no doubt, there is no genuine NEW investment going on. There are no actual rates of return. There is (bar that whopping 2% dividend yield or .0003% you get on your savings account) no underlying profit being returned to you as an investor.

Ergo,

Just like Beanie Babies.
Just like baseball cards.
Just like Dotcoms in 1999.
Just like tulip bulbs in the 1600’s.

The vast majority of people are speculating, NOT investing.

The question then is where does one invest if nearly every stock, bond, and mutual fund is overpriced and over-flooded with non-investor-sheep money?

Where do you find a rate of return that not only holds the promise of providing an adequate retirement, but ensures your investment is not some overvalued bubble about to burst.

And while a glut of central bank money has made nearly every asset class a bit too pricey for the discerning investor, there are some places you can still get a good return on your investment.

This article has been written by Chris Mills for Survivopedia.

Social Security – How to Make the Most Out of It

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Many of us are depending with trepidation on Social Security for our retirement years. It’s not that we want to depend on Social Security; it’s that we don’t have any other option. We don’t have retirement from the companies we’ve worked for; we don’t have fully-funded retirement accounts; and we don’t have the money we need sitting in bank accounts or investments.

The problem is, Social Security was never intended to be the only source of retirement income for senior citizens. The plan was based on providing 40% of a retired person’s income, not 100%.

Yet it is often a much higher percentage of a retiree’s total income, simply because they don’t have other sources.

With this in mind, it just makes sense to get the most out of your Social Security benefits. That means getting the biggest payments possible, so that you have enough to live on.

How Much Did You Make?

As with anything else that government bureaucrats control, your actual Social Security check depends on a formula that is used for calculating your benefits. There are several important factors which are used to determine how much you will earn at retirement.

Of these, the top three are:

  • How much you made during your working years – Your total earned income affects how much you and your employer(s) have paid into Social Security, which ultimately affects how much you receive. The more you’ve earned, the larger a check you will receive.
  • Your age at retirement – The longer you wait to file for Social Security, the more you’ll earn. We’ll talk more about this in a moment.
  • What year you were born – The “full retirement age” has changed over time. So the year you were born affects the age at which you are eligible for full retirement. Retiring before that age reduces your benefits.

Since Social Security is intended to pay a “portion” of your retirement, the amount you earned during your working years is important. Social Security assumes that you will work for 35 years, so any year that you do not work ends up counting as zero earnings. Of course, of you work more than 35 years, that’s not an issue; it’s only an issue for the years that you learn less.

While I’m sure that you have been trying to earn as much as you can throughout your working years, the amount you earn in your last years is especially important.

For comparison sake, I ran my own numbers on Social Security’s online Retirement Estimator. A $10,000 a year difference in earnings from now till I reach retirement age in seven years, works out to a difference of $106 per month once I retire. I chose a $10,000 a year difference, as that’s about what I could earn with a part-time job.

If you are planning on starting a retirement business, it would e worthwhile to start working on it now and add to your current income and subsequent Social Security benefits. Granted, you’ll end up paying more in taxes as well, but you’ll still end up with more in your pocket; and that’s what matters.

But Watch Out for This in Your First Retirement Year

While I’m a firm believer in retirement businesses, you have to be careful how much you make… at least during the first year of retirement. There’s a cap on how much you make that year, before it affects your Social Security benefits. That cap is somewhere around $16,000.

One way around this is to put your retirement business in someone else’s name, like your spouses. If you aren’t the same age or don’t retire at the same time, your spouse can earn the income from your business that first retirement year, then transfer the business over to you for subsequent years. That way, they won’t have that income showing up their first year of retirement.

When You Were Born

Once upon a time, the normal retirement age was considered to be 65. Actually, that was the understanding for a long time. But in recent years, that’s changed. Not only have companies been changing their retirement policies, but the Social Security Administration has been changing what it considered to be the age of retirement.

While you can file for and start receiving Social Security retirement benefits at 62 years of age, full retirement is based upon the year you were born. This is important, because early retirement (at 62) reduces your monthly income from social Security by about 30 percent.

So, let’s take a look at the full retirement age, based upon current law:

As you can see, the full retirement age, according to the Social Security Administration, has been gradually increasing from 65 years old to 67 years old. What this means is that if you were born in 1951 and your company retires you at 65 years of age, you’re stuck in a difficult situation.

If you apply for Social Security benefits at 65, you won’t get full benefits; they will be reduced by some percentage. You would have to wait a year, until you are 66 and apply then, in order to be able to receive full benefits.

What can I say; one more way in which your government is serving you.

Your Retirement Age

The biggest factor in determining how much you’ll receive in Social Security benefits is how old you are when you apply for them. Each year you retire before your full retirement age reduces your benefits from five to seven percent.

But the opposite is true as well. Each year that you wait, after reaching full retirement age will increase the amount you receive per month.

Take a look at this chart:

As you can see, we’re talking a huge monthly difference between retiring at 62 and retiring at 70. To put some real numbers on that, just for comparison’s sake, let’s look at a theoretical person’s monthly Social Security benefits upon retirement:

For comparison’s sake, the average Social Security benefit paid per month is $1,342 and the maximum amount that can be paid is $2,687 a month. As you can see, our theoretical person will be making a little less than the average, if they retire early at 62.

But they will make almost the maximum if they wait until 70 to retire.

These numbers actually work out to roughly the same amount of total Social Security benefits, depending on when the individual dies. If we assume that this theoretical person dies at 80 years of age, their total Social Security benefit works out to:

Looking at this, it’s clear that the maximum benefit is realized when one retires at Social Security’s full retirement age. But the issue for most of us isn’t how much total benefit we receive, it’s how much we receive per month.

In that case, the maximum benefit is actually realized by waiting until age 70 to apply for Social Security. Waiting longer doesn’t add anything to this amount, but applying earlier reduces the monthly income received.

Of course, you have to take your health into consideration on these decisions. If you are in good health, there’s no reason why you can’t live to 80 or older. But not everyone does. Some die considerably younger.

So if your health is not good, you might want to consider taking the younger retirement, even though you won’t receive as much of a Social Security payment per month.

Spouse’s Benefits

If you are married and die, your spouse is entitled to receive your Social Security benefits, or if they die, you are entitled to receive theirs. But you can only receive one. Your spouse can’t receive theirs and yours both, they have to choose between one and the other, obviously the one that will give them the larger payment.

One way to handle this, so as to get the most overall benefit, is to have the spouse with the lower expected social security benefit retire either at 62 or their full retirement age and the spouse who is going to receive the larger Social Security benefit retire at 70. What this does is leave the larger retirement in the pot longer, increasing the payments made when they are finally applied for.

Let me give you an example, using the same figures I’ve used above, with a couple who are both the same age. One spouse retires at 62, receiving $1,178 per month, but the other spouse doesn’t apply for Social Security, or applies and asks that their benefits be put on hold.

Then, regardless of which spouse dies first, when the survivor reaches 70 years old, they switch to the retirement of the other spouse, upping their monthly income to $2,329 per month.

There’s a lot of strategy that you can use in this, if you take the time to think it out. The big thing to do is to use the Social Security Administration’s online Retirement Estimator to determine how much you will receive, in a number of different scenarios.

Then, based on that and your other income, you can make the decision of what will work out best for you!

This article has been written by Bill White for Survivopedia.

Do You Think You’re Financially Safe After Retirement?

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Of all the challenges facing us for retirement, financial challenges are very likely the greatest. Times have changed since our parents’ generation, and so most of us Baby Boomers don’t have the retirement packages that our parents had.

Oh, the companies we worked for might have talked a good talk, but when it comes down to it, what we thought we might get and what we will really get may not be anywhere close to the same thing.

So how are we going to make it though our retirement years?

The WHY? Question has a Simple Answer

Part of the problem is that the law has changed, affecting how companies handle retirement benefits. I distinctly remember when that happened, back in my teen years. Before that, even working for a company for a few years could qualify you for retirement. But after that, you needed a minimum of seven years to be vested at all and 20 years to be fully vested for retirement.

What does that mean? It means that if you worked for a company for seven years, you will get a minimal retirement, something like ten percent of full retirement. You have to have worked for the same company for 20 years, in order to receive a full retirement. How many of us have done that?

The truth of the matter is, it’s not just the way that employers handle things that have changed, but how we handle them as well. Few people work for a company for more than a few years, before moving on to another. What that means is that they are never fully vested for retirement in any company.

In my own career, I have worked long enough to be minimally vested in only two companies. I took a buyout for my retirement fund from the first one, as I was starting my own business and needed the money. So I only have retirement from one of those two companies; and that comes to a whopping $110 per month. Oh, and I left that company as an engineering manager, so you’d think that I would have more than that coming to me.

Many of my school chums are in even worse conditions than I am. They either didn’t have as successful a career as I did or they moved around more than I did. The result is that they have absolutely no retirement coming to them, from any company they worked for.

That’s a whole lot different than my father’s generation. He had 20 years in with one company and 15 with another. So when retirement time came around, he had some pretty good money coming in. Unlike our generation, he didn’t need to depend on Social Security for his retirement income.

 

Speaking of Social Security, you should probably take a look at your hole card and find out how much your expected benefits from Social Security are, if you haven’t already.

Currently, the maximum possible benefits from Social Security, for those who managed to rack up the maximum possible earnings for each year, including a FRA of 66 in 2017, is $2,687 a month. Not exactly something to write home about. But few people actually get that much. The average benefit paid out this year is just $1,342 a month.

Unless you have absolutely no debt and your home is paid off, that $1,300 a month isn’t going to go very far. Even if you and your spouse both receive that much a month, that’s still a touch shy of $2,700 a month; and Social Security benefits are taxable income.

Taking an Honest Look at the Cost of Retirement

The first question you have to ask yourself is how much retirement money you will have coming in. That figure includes Social Security, any retirement you have coming from companies that you’ve worked for, and any retirement funds you have saved or invested.

Sadly, few of us have much money set aside for retirement. According to the latest statistics I can find, the median average retirement savings for people 56 – 61 years old, is a mere $17,000. That’s obviously not going to go all that far.

But even if you’ve managed to beat the odds, and have a million dollars in the bank, that’s no longer enough to retire on, even though it was considered enough to retire on for decades. Assuming an annual salary of $50,000 per year (the nationwide average family income), you would have had to be putting $1,150 per month into your retirement savings, at today’s interest rates, in order to have enough for your retirement.

Of course, to do that, you probably wouldn’t have had enough to keep shoes on your kids feet and a roof over their heads. So it’s rather unlikely you managed to do anything close to that, unless you made a whole lot more money than the average.

The other side of the calculation is how much money you need to have, in order to pay your bills, once you retire.

Fortunately, your kids and mine are grown up by now, so you don’t have their expenses. So that saves a little. But most of your expenses are probably pretty much the same as they have been for a number of years, unless you’ve moved, stopped driving a car or stopped heating your home.

So sit down and write out a retirement budget. Actually, write out two of them. One should be the retirement budget that you need to have, in order to keep living like you are right now. The other should be bare bones, seeing how much you can cut out and still survive.

Don’t forget medical expenses in these two budgets. Unless you have some sort of medical plan through your work, that continues through retirement or you’re a veteran and will be taken care of (albeit not necessarily all that well) by the government, you are going to have some medical expenses. Even in retirement, Medicare will cost you something. On top of that, you may have medical expenses which Medicaid won’t cover.

There will probably be a discrepancy between how much you will have coming in and how much you need to meet your bills. That’s what you’re trying to find. You need to know how much that discrepancy is, so that you can figure out a plan for dealing with it.

One Option – Downsizing

Probably the single most common way that people deal with the discrepancy between their income and their outgo in retirement is by downsizing. Mostly this means selling their home and moving into a smaller one. That might make sense if it will save you money; but that’s not always the case.

There are really only a few ways in which selling your home to buy a smaller one can save you money:

  • You have a mortgage and downsizing will allow you to buy a home for cash. This requires having enough equity in the home to cover the cost of the smaller home.
  • Your smaller home will be less costly to heat and cool.
  • You’re moving into a camper or tiny home, that you will be able to take north in the summer and south in the winter.

Of course, downsizing doesn’t have to mean just your home.

You may have other monthly expenses that you can do without, such as car payments on large vehicles that you no longer need to have, because you are no longer hauling kids around. You might also have other expenses, which you felt you needed to have for your kids, but no longer need.

The Other Option – Increase Your Income

Unfortunately, few companies want to keep people on the payroll after they hit retirement age. Nor do most companies want to hire people who are that age. There are a number of reasons for this, but they all boil down to economics. It’s cheaper for companies to hire younger employees.

So it’s doubtful that you can find a job to increase your income. It’s not impossible, but it is doubtful. But that doesn’t mean that there’s no way that you can earn extra money to fill the gap between your expected income and your expected expenses. There are a number of things you can do; mostly things that involve being self-employed in one way or another.

There are some major advantages to being self-employed; advantages that tie in nicely with retirement. The top two are that you can set your own schedule and you can work from home. While working from home requires discipline to avoid distractions, it is generally a much more comfortable place to work.

What you ultimately decide to do will depend a lot on the skills you have, your health and how much time you decide to dedicate to work during what are supposed to be your retirement years. As always, the more skills you have, the more options you have, so a good starting point is taking an inventory of your skills, with an eye towards how you might use them to augment your income.

Without going into a lot of detail, here are some basic ideas about how you can turn your skills into cash:

  • Freelance work – There are several platforms online, which allow those who are looking to do work on contract. This is advantageous to companies, as it allow them to hire people to do work on a part-time hourly basis or by the project. All sorts of professionals and para-professionals do work via freelancing online.
  • Handicrafts – If you are a crafty sort of person, you could make craft items for sale. I know people who are making well in excess of a thousand dollars a month, monetizing their hobby. The best place to sell these crafts is through Etsy, an online store. You could also sell through local gift shops.
  • eBay or Amazon Store – Both eBay and Amazon have created amazing opportunities for those who wish to start their own business, selling just about anything online.
  • YouTube Channel – If you are an expert at something that people want to know about, start recording videos and creating a YouTube channel. There are currently thousands of these, with the top channels making millions of dollars per year, simply for the advertisements that are attached to the videos by YouTube.

These are just a few possibilities. There are many more, such as blogging, which can make money off of advertising and more starting an online store, drop shipping products to your customers. The really great thing about all these ideas, is that they require very little investment on your part, other than your time.

In the end, it’s all about the skills, as they are the only valuable that nobody can ever take away from you.

This article has been written by Bill White for Survivopedia.

78 Percent Of Americans Living Paycheck To Paycheck

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78 Percent Of Americans Living Paycheck To Paycheck

 

Aug. 24, 2017

Around 78 percent of Americans with a fulltime job say they live paycheck to paycheck, according to a new survey from CareerBuilder.com.

Disturbingly, the survey found Americans are worse off than they were last year.

Want Out Of The Rat-Race But Need A Steady Stream Of Income?

Other frightening highlights from the poll include:

  • 71 percent of Americans say they are in debt – an increase from 68 percent last year.
  • 56 percent of those surveyed say their debt is “unmanageable.”
  • 1 in 10 of those who make more than $100,000 a year say they are living paycheck to paycheck.
  • The number of Americans living payday to payday is growing. In 2016, 75 percent of respondents admitted to living paycheck to paycheck.
  • 56 percent of Americans save less than $100 per month.

CareerBuilder.com, a jobs website, surveyed 3,000 full-time employees and 2,000 hiring and human-resources managers as part of the survey.

What is your reaction? Share it in the section below:

Survival Gold and SHTF Silver Will Make You A Disaster Target

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Survival Gold and SHTF Silver
Most survival and preparedness sites suggest stockpiling lots of survival gold and SHTF silver. We don’t agree with this approach (which we explain in detail later).

But this doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the great benefits of owning gold and silver.

There’s a smarter way to get the gold and silver’s benefits without the barter economy risks.

Gold and silver have represented wealth since the beginning of recorded history.

These precious metals are used in jewelry, cups, chalices, flatware, eating utensils and tools.

Gold and silver are soft metals; they are both shiny and pliable. They are excellent conductors of electricity and do not oxidize, tarnish or corrode.

Gold and silver have been around for a long, long time yet never spoil or deteriorate. And in modern times, gold’s put into spacecraft as plating for electrical connections in the harshest environment known to Man.

However, gold and silver supplies are limited; it’s challenging to find either in bulk and hard to extract them. So they are “rare metals”.

And it’s due to gold and silver’s rarity and longevity that ancient empires made coins with these metals. And up until last century, gold even backed the value of the US dollar.

Historically speaking gold and silver have always had value. But the question is:

gold coins inflation hedge

Will Precious Metals Always Have Value? Should You Invest In Them?

Historically speaking, the answer to the first question should be a no-brainer. Gold and silver have always had value throughout human history.

Gold and silver have had value during the rise and fall of empires. They’ve held value in the ebb and flow of:

  • World wars
  • Global pandemics
  • Civil wars
  • Economic collapses
  • Droughts
  • Famines

Gold was valuable back when Moses led the Chosen People out of Egypt.

Stacks of Survival Gold barsIs It Safe To Assume Gold and Silver Hold Their Value In The Future?

One key element of gold and silver throughout history is their ability to hold value regardless of the society. All historical societies who were aware of gold and silver valued them.

  • Ancient Rome
  • Nazi Germany
  • Napoleonic France
  • Edwardian England
  • Aztecs
  • Incas
  • etc.

Humans have always grouped into large Societies. Even after every Great War, purge or plague – Human Society continued – not always in the same form, but continued nevertheless…

In some cases, these societies evolved into empires, dictatorships, oligarchies, monarchies or communist collectives.

In other cases, history led to republics and governments for the people by the people.

In all cases, history moves forward, society evolves, and the basis of society was laws. Laws are the glue that holds a successful Society together. Without laws, you get chaos and anarchy.

So every successful society has a dedicated group whose sole purpose is to enforce and uphold the laws. And one essential building block of any lawful society is enforcement of property rights.

And by property rights, we’re not talking only about land – we’re also talking about durable goods, money, and hard assets (including survival gold and shtf silver).

So again, in all societies, property is protected by the law and enforced in some way. However, law enforcement can come in many shapes and sizes. The Chicago police, the French Gendarmes, the Nazi Gestapo or the East German Stasi are all different forms of law enforcement

In some cases, society’s private citizen’s property is protected. In others, the law states all property is ownership of the State (the collective).

The bottom line is property, capital, currency, gold, and silver have retained value in organized Societies.

But the question now becomes, will as a citizen of society be allowed to keep that value in troubled times?

clenched fist

Will The Value Be Protected For The Private Citizen?

Many countries, namely communist nations, make it illegal for its citizen to own precious metals. Since gold and silver have value, these governments want it.

They want to control their value and put it in the Federal coffers, instead of in someone’s sock drawer or home safe.

These governments view individual stockpiled wealth in precious metals, as a “tying up” the nation’s assets.

They believe this capital (or gold) is for the betterment of the nation as a whole.

They believe hoarding gold or silver undermines the collective good.

But That Couldn’t Happen In The United States…

We live in the United States founded in laws, capitalism and individuals rights to pursue, obtain, and keep property. That’s what the American Dream and the American experience is all about, right?

Did you know in the 1930s, during the Great Depression, the United States made it unlawful to own gold? It’s a fact. See for yourselfExecutive Order 6102.

If you owned physical gold back then, you were forced by law to turn it over to your local bank or face prison time. Gold was deemed too important to National interest, too valuable to be left in the hands of the people.

Of course back then the US was on the Gold Standard, our paper money was backed by physical gold. The Government needed that gold to ensure its paper money had value in the world.

This is not the case anymore. The dollar is no longer backed by gold.

Still, does the Government have the power to outlaw physical gold ownership? Yes, it does. They did it before and could do it again.

Our current Government will likely compensate you with paper money in exchange for it. But it’s hard to say whether the paper money given will worth much.

So gold and silver will continue to have value but you may or may not get to keep the value. In times of crisis, your government will decide – and no government can be trusted.

singed 100 dollar billsWhat If We Found Ourselves In A Lawless World?

To be fair, those collapses don’t usually last long. When one empire falls, another rises out of the ashes.

When the Roman Empire fell it was replaced by their conquerors. These cycles have happened again and again throughout history.

When Imperial Japan fell, the Americans sailed into Tokyo Bay to establish law and order.

The same thing occurred in Nazi Germany. When Czarist Russia fell, the Bolsheviks were there to take over.

It’s the continuing saga of human history. Human tribalism. Human nature.

Someone always takes over and begins imposing their will on the masses. Powerful groups rise up out of the ashes.

Persuasive and charismatic individuals appear and soon you have a new George Washington or a new Joseph Stalin on the scene.

In either case, gold and silver will still be worth something. George might let you keep your precious metals, but Uncle Joe won’t.

Let’s Assume You Get To Keep It

Let’s say during an interim period of civil chaos you have a stockpile of gold and silver coins. So when paper money is no longer accepted, you decide to whip out the shiny stuff to trade for food and water.

That’s why you bought it, to begin with, right? To someday spend it. If no one trusts paper dollars, people will trade gold and silver, right? Some will; many won’t.

In such dark days, a good Smith and Wesson Model 29 will be “worth its weight in gold.” An egg-laying chicken will be worth more than a single gold coin.

Because a starving man can’t feed his family gold bars but a few egg-laying chickens can.

In such a scenario, as time goes on, the value of the gold coin goes lower as the value of a loaf of bread goes higher.

Now don’t get me wrong, in a barter economy, gold and silver will have a place. But it may take the right person to seal the deal with gold. Do not assume it will be universally accepted.

And realize when you whip out your bag of gold, you just painted a massive target on your back. You just highlighted yourself as the guy who has gold“.

silhouette of a soldier with a gun

If you bring gold or silver to the marketplace, you’d better bring friends, along. Plus, all their friends – and their AK-47s.

And they better follow you home and stand guard outside your house.

Now, here’s the rub about survival gold and shtf silver in a lawless, post-apocalyptic world.

Many folks in a barter economy won’t trade with gold – it’ll be too risky.

Survival Gold and SHTF Silver Are Not Survival Supplies

You can’t eat it; you can’t drink it, you can’t shoot it.

But the criminals of this lawless world just sang the Hallelujah Chorus.

You see these lawless bastards are not just criminals – many also have an insight others might not have.

The ruthless ones will have a long-term criminal vision. They understand that civil society will eventually return. John Q Law always returns at some point. Some badass always rises up and restores law and order.

They know the value of gold will skyrocket again in the future. It’s a guarantee.

And the amount of gold they can get their hands on now will establish their station in future life.

So Let’s Go Back To A Stable Scenario

OK, let’s set aside the end-of-the-world, post-apocalyptic vision for a moment. Instead, let’s assume civil human society putters along at our normal, ups and downs. Presidents come; Presidents go.

The market rises and falls. Wars are fought – some lost; some won.

In general, let’s assume the world as we know it today continues to chug along. Are survival gold and shtf silver good investments in this scenario?

Gold and silver are both stable investments if your goal is to protect your wealth. Gold acts as a hedge against inflation and financial collapse.

Gold is an excellent hedge against inflation – and inflation can go nuts from time to time. When prices rise, the price of gold has historically matched this price rise.

For example, in 1974 a nice quality suit cost around $400, or roughly the value of one ounce of gold at the time. Today that quality suit sells for around $1100, or roughly the value of one ounce of gold nowadays.

From a historical perspective, the suit has not changed, nor has the gold. The only thing that’s changed is the value of the paper money we exchange.

Gold tends to hold its value through inflationary periods.

But inflation’s not the main reason you prepare. You are not stockpiling food and water for the day when inflation hits 19%. That’s like preparing in 1979.

Money On FireWhat About In A Financial Collapse? A Nasty Recession Or Even A Depression?

People tend to buy gold and silver when they’re fearful. They’d rather own something physical instead of paper (or electronic) when markets are falling fast.

So the demand for gold and silver shoots up in times of market collapses.

Making gold and silver good hedges against collapses as well.

Not only does gold and silver hold their value during inflationary periods, and collapses, it also diversifies a portfolio.

As the adage goes “never put all your eggs in one basket.” You should put those eggs into several baskets, one of them being a gold basket and another a silver one.

Stocks, bonds, real estate, gold, silver, and bank savings accounts, etc. – these are the most common financial instruments we have at our disposal.

Most people have some of each basket to help mitigate financial risks.

The question any good prepper should ask is this: will gold always have value? And even more importantly…

Investment Coin StacksShould You Invest In It?

Over historical periods of time, gold doesn’t deliver high returns on investment. But again, it holds its value.

Make no mistake Bill Gates, Warren Buffet and Elon Musk did not become wealthy buying and selling gold. Gold is a commodity and is a part of a commodity exchange.

The price of gold at any one moment is the intersection between the supply and demand curves – the market clearing price

Now, unlike wheat, pork bellies, corn and other commodities, gold’s supply curve does not depend on any weather or climate related factors.

Most commodities, such as grains, oil, and natural gas, have a demand curve based on consumption. You can’t consume gold, you buy it and mostly hoard it.

The demand for gold depends on how many people and governments think buying more gold is a good hedge against an uncertain future.

Yes, You Should Buy Precious Metals (but not in the way you thought)

You should consider adding gold and silver to protect your current assets. They will help maintain your portfolio’s value during the downs of a volatile market.

Survival gold or shtf silver can help to diversify your asset base. It may not perform as well as stocks in a bull market, but this hard asset should improve your risk-adjusted returns over time.

Gold holds its value better than most assets in inflationary periods. It also becomes a high demand commodity in times of collapse and fear.

This is the main reason to buy and hold survival gold or shtf silver – you’re protecting your wealth for an unpredictable “normal times” future.

However, gold and silver are not as useful as many suggest in a total societal collapse. Because if we end up in a barter economy, gold and silver may become more of a liability than an asset.

If you think having survival gold will be your saving grace in a post-apocalyptic barter economy – think again…

A Smith & Wesson firearm will have far more value in a post-apocalyptic economy.

It will provide me with personal and family security – it can get me your survival gold as well. That’s why you should add physical survival gold and shtf silver to your investment portfolios but not hoard it at home.

You want the asset protection for normal times without the SHTF economy liability. You want the non-apocalyptic benefits without the post-apocalyptic headaches.

So the only question left is:

How Do You Go About Adding Gold And Silver To Your Investments?

This one’s easy for me to answer – I recommend you check out American Bullion.

Gold is in my portfolio and American Bullion is the only gold company I trust. They have an A+ rating with the better business bureau, have second to none customer service.

Plus, I’m not the only one who endorses American Bullion.

American Bullion Endorsed By

But don’t forget about Silver, many believe now is a tremendous opportunity to add silver to your investment portfolios.

Be sure to read their important risk information to make sure buying gold and silver is right for you.

Remember: Prepare, adapt, and overcome,

“Just In Case” Jack

The post Survival Gold and SHTF Silver Will Make You A Disaster Target appeared first on Skilled Survival.

JOBS: Preparing for Job Loss…steps to move onward & upward [Updated]

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Yes, I am living it right now. I made a decision and quit a job with the state of Wyoming, moved to Nashville with everything I owned (that I hadn’t sold or gotten rid of) and started from scratch again. Had a job building corporate Dell PCs for two weeks, but after knee surgery 6 months […]

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JOBS: Preparing for Job Loss…steps to move onward & upward.

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Yes, I am living it right now. I made a decision, and quit a job with the state of Wyoming, moved to Nashville with everything I owned (that I hadn’t sold or gotten rid of) and started from scratch again. Had a job building corporate Dell PCs for two weeks, but after knee surgery 6 months […]

The post JOBS: Preparing for Job Loss…steps to move onward & upward. appeared first on SurvivalRing.

4 Ways To Help Your Budget Survive Retirement

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If you’re anything like me, retirement is just around the corner, sneaking up on you. We’ve tried to put it off and pretend that it isn’t there, and everything is going to be just fine once we retire.

Some of us might even have some idealistic dreams about having time for travel or for our hobbies once we retire, but there’s always something missing from those dreams. That something is the money to fulfill them.

Can we be honest for a moment? Most of us really aren’t at all ready for retirement. We’ve ignored all the advice from the investment and retirement gurus and don’t have the million dollars of savings that we’re supposed to have in order to retire.

We’re lucky if we have a few thousand dollars stashed away for a rainy day. Worse than that, we’re in debt up to our eyeballs, after decades of living on 110% of our income.

Let’s look at some of the ways you can help your budget survive retirement!

The only retirement plan that many of us have is Social Security, which as we all know, isn’t really all that secure. Besides, Social Security doesn’t pay much. If we have any company retirement at all, it’s minimal, because we’ve moved from company to company, throughout our careers, and our retirement account didn’t move with us.

With those sorts of prospects, retirement really doesn’t look all that good. Oh, we’ll have a lot of free time on our hands, but we won’t have the money to do anything with it. In fact, our biggest concern will be making it from one month to the next; not what to do with our spare time.

This is a whole new form of survival, and it’s going to take a whole new sort of strategy to overcome. While it’s really too late to start “saving for retirement” now, regardless of what financial planners might tell us, it’s not too late to make sure we can have a great retirement. We just need to take advantage of the years we have left for retirement, to set us up for life.

Get Out of Debt

The first and single most important thing to do, in order to prepare for a satisfying retirement, is to get out of debt. Most of us are so accustomed to debt, that it’s nothing more than part of the landscape. Yet that debt is sucking the lifeblood out of our finances. Making those monthly payments is controlling what we do and as we retire it will do so even more.

There are a lot of strategies for getting out of debt, so I’m not going to take the time right now to enumerate them. But there are a couple of key things that you should consider doing:

Downsize

Many couples downsize once their kids grow up and move out of the family home. This is a great opportunity to cash in on the equity you have on your home and use it to buy something that you can own free and clear. A smaller house, without a mortgage, will save you in more ways than just the house payment.

Stop Buying New Cars

One of the most insidious parts of the normal family’s debt comes from the idea that we have to have new cars. The saying is, “you either pay it in payments or you pay it in repairs.” But if you maintain a car properly, there’s no way you’re going to pay as much in repairs, as you pay in car payments. Besides, you won’t need that expensive, full-coverage insurance for the car either.

Use Windfalls to Pay Off Debt

Everyone loves getting a cash windfall. It doesn’t matter if it’s winning the lottery or getting an income tax return, we just can’t wait to get our hands on it and spend it. But that money is much better used by paying off debt, so that you don’t have to make all those monthly payments.

My wife and I have used the windfalls we’ve received over the last several years to invest in gold and silver. While we haven’t been able to buy much at once, we have been able to increase our investment. We’re waiting for the day when the price of gold and silver rise enough that we can sell that off and use the proceeds to pay off our mortgage.

Become Self-Sufficient

My wife and I bought our home rather late in life. That means we haven’t been paying on it for the 30+ years we’ve been married, and we’re not close to having it paid off. We knew that when we bought it, just as we knew that buying as big a home as we were buying was going to stretch our finances, especially in retirement.

As I already mentioned, we have a plan for paying off the mortgage. But we also have plans for reducing our monthly costs, so that we can afford to keep living in this home, even in retirement. Those plans include:

Reducing Our Energy Consumption

I’ve done a number of projects around the home to reduce our energy consumption. These include reinsulating the attic, adding a plastic film over the windows to make them essentially three-pane windows, zoning out heating and cooling so that we don’t have to heat parts of the home we’re not using, and planting trees and vines to shade our home and reduce the amount of heat generated by the sun. We’ve even changed our roof to a lighter color, so that it wouldn’t absorb as much sunlight.

Solar and Wind Power

I’m actively working to build solar and wind power for my home, so that I can reduce the amount of electricity I’m buying every month. By the time I retire, I expect to be able to produce enough to lower my monthly energy bill by at least $100 a month, if not more. I’m also switching over to solar hot water, which should reduce it even more.

This mechanism is so simple you can put it together by yourself in no time!

Homesteading

While we’re really not turning our home totally into a homestead, we’re working on making it more and more like that. So far, we’ve got a sizeable vegetable garden going, as well as over a dozen fruit trees in our backyard.

As our ability improves, we hope to expand on that. We’re also putting in a chicken pen for eggs, a bee hive and a pond for raising fish. Every bite of food that we can grow ourselves, is one less that we have to buy.

Putting in a Well

I just finished building a well drill, which I hope to use to drill us a well. While our water bill isn’t a major part of our monthly expenses, a sizeable portion of it is used for watering our yard, trees and garden. Just being able to water those, without paying for the water will help us save. Oh, and by the way, I also use greywater capture for watering my trees.

Video first seen on Flyboytr

There are many other ways in which you can reduce your monthly expense by doing things for yourself, rather than paying someone else to do them for you. I have a rather extensive workshop, where I repair my cars, build things we need, and do other things that most people have to pay someone to do. Everything you can do for yourself, is one less thing you have to pay others to do for you.

Redo Your Budget

If you’re going to survive the financial hardship of retirement, you really need to have a handle on what your expenses are going to be. Otherwise, you’re shooting blindly. You might just find that you hit the wrong target.

Now that the kids are out of the house, you should be able to live on a whole lot less than you used to. My wife and I found that our income seemed to go much farther, once the kids moved away. A lot of that is because we didn’t have to pay for things for them. But another part was that as mature adults, we didn’t have that many things we wanted. What we have is what we want. So we’re not constantly spending money on buying more stuff.

At the same time, you might find that you want to spend more of your income on things that you ignored before. My wife and I eat out much more, now that going out doesn’t mean paying $100 or more for the family.

We also find that our entertainment expenses are totally different, as they are not focused on the things the kids want to do. Actually, our entertainment expenses are quite low, even though we regularly do a number of activities.

Develop a Retirement Income Business

Just because your company says it’s time to retire, doesn’t mean that you have to agree with them. You have years of valuable knowledge and experience. All you need to do is find some way to put that to work.

Sadly, few companies today will hire older people when they can hire younger ones. That’s actually a rather simple business decision for most companies to make, since younger people will work for less than older ones will. But it leaves you and I without a job, unless we create one for ourselves. Fortunately, there are always opportunities to do just that.

If you haven’t embraced the Internet yet, it’s time to do so. Through it, you can connect with a wide range of people who are willing to pay you money. The best part is, you don’t have to leave home to do it; and if you want, you can even work in your pajamas.

Freelance in Your Professional Field

If you worked as a trained professional in any of a huge number of fields, there are still people who need your knowledge and experience. Maybe they can’t afford to hire you full-time, but there are many smaller companies that would love to hire you part-time or on a per-job basis, to help them out. Freelance opportunities are growing and there are a number of websites that provide a service, connecting companies that need freelancers to the freelancers themselves.

Start an eBay Business

One of the simplest ways to start a business today is to do so on eBay. Pick a category of products and start out small, buying a couple of cases at wholesale and shipping them out from your home. There are a large group of people who have built such a business into a full-time income.

Start a Blog or YouTube Channel

Blogs and YouTube videos both share something in common, the ability to share your knowledge and cash in on advertising dollars. From people who write about craft projects to women showing makeup tips, the income that you can derive from such an outlet is huge.

Develop Your Own Product

There is always room in the world for new products, especially truly innovative ones. Today, so many people are focusing on high-tech gadgets and apps for smartphones, that hardly anyone is making things to make everyday life easier. Yet there are still kitchen gadgets to be created, as well as things for a wide variety of tasks.

Turn Your Hobby Into a Business

If you like crafts, then turn that into a business. Etsy is a wonderful platform for selling quality handmade goods. I have a friend that is making handmade knives and selling the on Etsy. My dad’s retirement business was doing custom gunstock carving. As a sideline, he carved ostrich eggs, which he sold for $300 each.

Woodworking is a profitable hobby, too. Grab your tools and start practicing your skills!

There are literally hundreds of ideas that you can use to earn some additional income. If you start now, then by the time you reach retirement age, you could have a very good business built up; something to add to your Social Security and retirement income.

Remember, as you think about these ideas, that you don’t really need to earn as much income from your retirement business, as you earn now. You will have some retirement income that you will be able to count on.

So what you’re really doing is trying to come up with some means of supplementing that income. If you can do that, you’ll find retirement to be much more enjoyable.

This article has been written by Bill White for Survivopedia. 

How To Recover Gold And Silver From Scrap

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If you’re reading this article, you’re probably a gold bug, or maybe a gold digger. Either way, you probably don’t know that in 100,000 cellphones there’s about 2.4 kilos of gold to be collected (as in recuperated) by a competent gold digger.

Yes, I know – 100,000 cellphones is quite a lot of old hardware. Besides gold, you’ll also find 25 kilos of silver and more than 900 kilos of copper (that’s almost a metric ton).

Considering the fluctuation in market prices, all that stuff combined makes for a cool quarter million dollars, give or take. The problem is, where on Earth can you get 100,000 cellphones and how can you get the gold out of those darn circuits?

How to Recover Gold from Electronics

Recycling electronics can be a lucrative business provided it’s done on an industrial scale. For regular folk, this kind of enterprise is quite difficult and time consuming, especially if not done nice and proper. Now, if you want to make your own personal scrap fortune, today’s your lucky day, so keep reading, I’m giving pearls here folks!

Besides cellphones, gold and other precious metals can be found in almost all types of electronic circuits, ranging from computer main-boards to processors and what not.

The idea is that instead of throwing your old gear in the garbage, considering that there’s a small amount of gold in all types of circuits, how about putting that gold in your pocket instead of making some scrap metal company rich?

Phones, laptops, cameras and the like are packed full of gold-plated circuit boards, due to the precious metal’s excellent conductibility. Even scanners and printers have silver, gold, copper, and sometimes platinum inside their guts.

Besides being pretty expensive, as in precious, gold is a highly conductive and pliable metal which was used for thousands of years by humans as a highly valuable commodity, as it retains its value better than almost any other commodity.

Until Nixon nixed (pun intended) the Bretton Woods system in 1971, even the US dollar was backed by gold. Since then, the dollar lost a lot of its value, i.e. $1 in 1971 had the same purchasing power as $7 today (official figures), but take a load of this: back then an ounce of gold was $35, now it’s like what, $1200 (it was almost $1900 at some point)?

So, you do the math and ask yourself if scrapping gold from old electronic gear is worth your time and effort. I am digressing – of course it is!

Let’s recap: due to its excellent properties, gold is the material of choice for manufacturing various electronic parts in computers, cellphones and what not.

Removing the gold from scrap parts requires access to various equipment and it’s a pretty complicated process. However, if you’re well-armed with the right tools and knowledge, you can extract, refine, and maybe sell scrap gold, provided you have enough raw materials to extract it from.

As a general rule of thumb, considering that you’ll have to deal with highly corrosive acids, you should perform all these operations outside and always use protective gear, such as gloves, goggles and even a respirator.

Start your own woodworking business – $9500 per month guaranteed! 

Here’s a short list for starting a gold recovery enterprise:

  • rubber gloves
  • goggles
  • a rubber apron
  • hydrogen peroxide 3% from your local pharmacy
  • muriatic acid 31% (it’s available at hardware stores)
  • methyl hydrate (this is basically 99% methyl alcohol) available at automotive supply stores or hardware stores (it’s used for fuel line antifreeze)
  • a couple of large glass-made containers (a coffee pot would do the trick.
  • a funnel filter (a drip-coffee filter)
  • a stir stick made of plastic or glass
  • a blow torch powerful enough to hard solder
  • an accurate weigh scale (at least to one tenth of a gram)
  • borax
  • clay bowls or anything that has a melting point above gold
  • a measuring cup
  • and of course, a lot of scrap electronics.

The general rule is that you should collect any type of electronic scraps which are prone to contain gold inside, including computer processors, jewellery, gold tooth crowns, and old telephone wiring with an emphasis on outdated electronics, which may contain parts with a higher level of gold than modern ones.

Video first seen on indeedItdoes

In the first step, you must sort the gold into gold-plated parts: circuits which require cleaning, gold fingers, gold plated pins and so forth and so on.

Before working with chemicals, don’t forget to put on your safety gear.

In the second step, you must put the clean circuit boards and the gold fingers  inside the coffee pot. Using a different container, mix one part hydrogen peroxide with  2 parts muriatic acid and add the mixture to the coffee pot until it just covers the gold-containing stuff inside (gold fingers for example).

You’ll have to wait for about a week for the process to complete and don’t forget to stir your concoction on a daily basis.

After 7 days have passed, it’s now time to collect your gold. You’ll see that the acid has darkened and there are flakes of gold floating around inside the coffee pot. If you pour the acid through the coffee filter, the gold flakes will be captured by the filter.

Save the acid though, don’t dump it. The remaining circuit boards/gold fingers must be checked out, the clean parts thrown away, and the uncleaned parts saved for re-dipping.

Now, pour some water through the filter and then flush using methyl hydrate to clean it.

In the next step, you’ll have to add borax to your “mined” gold. Borax works by reducing the melting point of gold from its regular 1063 Celsius. By adding some borax to your cleaned gold flakes, you’ll be able to melt your gold out of the heavy mineral concentrate to salvage it.

Next you’ll have to heat the clay bowl (don’t worry if it splits or cracks) and add borax. When the borax melts, put the gold flakes in too and add more borax, then heat it continuously until you end up with a nice bead of gold. Let it cool and weigh it. There you have it, your own gold from scrap electronics.

That’s one method, the simplest actually.

Here’s an interesting tutorial about the top 10 most valuable computer processors, as in the ones with the most gold inside for recovery by weight counted down.

Video first seen on eWaste Ben

Here’s a detailed hard drive tear-down video tutorial, teaching you how to look for precious metals (gold, silver, palladium and aluminum) inside your old hard drives.

Video first seen on Rob The Plumber

Good luck and scrap hard!

Click the banner below and find out the easy way to earn part-time income!

This article has been written by Chris Black for Survivopedia. 

Here’s How Crooks Steal Your Credit Card At The Gas Pump

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Here’s How Crooks Steal Your Credit Card At The Gas Pump

Image source: Pixabay.com

 

Jan. 19, 2017

Crooks can steal your credit or debit card number anywhere you swipe your card. A simple gadget called a skimmer can let bad guys steal numbers from hundreds of people without the card owners even knowing it.

A skimmer is a device placed over a card reader. When you swipe your card, it reads the numbers but lets you complete the transaction normally. Some skimmers collect data for criminals to pick up later, while others transmit it to the bad guys via Bluetooth or a wireless phone call.

Discover How To Become Invisible In Today’s Surveillance State!

The Northport, Ala., Police Department sent out a Tweet Jan. 13 with a short video of a skimmer and the warning, “Always tug on the credit card reader at the gas pumps, you never know when someone has slipped a reader on there.”

Crooks can steal your credit or debit card numbers at:

  • Gas pumps. This is the most common location for skimming, because people are often in a hurry to fill the tank. The Minnesota Commerce Commission found nine skimmers on pumps in the Minneapolis area during a sweep in April 2016, the local CBS affiliate reported.
  • Skimmers have been found on regular and self-service checkout lines at several supermarkets, including Safeway. The Consumerist reported that one looked like a normal card reader and even stole pin numbers. Skimmers also were found at the self-checkout lanes at Walmart stores in Virginia and Kentucky in April 2016, security expert Brian Krebs reported.
  • Train stations. In November 2014, police found skimmers on ticket machines at three Denver-area light rail stations.
  • Skimmers have been popping up on ATMs for several years now, Krebbs reported. Crooks also place false pin readers on ATMs to steal your data.

How To Spot A Skimmer

Here are some tips for spotting a skimmer and protecting your accounts:

  1. Grab the card reader, pull it hard and jiggle it around. If it is loose, it might be a skimmer, the Northport, Ala., Police Department said. Always tug on readers at gas pumps and ticket machines.
  2. Look for hidden cameras and cover the hand that is entering data. Thieves sometimes place cameras in discrete locations to steal PIN numbers. Any pinhole or clear area near the PIN reader might contain one.
  3. Look for signs of damage to the machine. This might include a recently drilled hole or spray paint.
  4. If you have a chip card, use the chip reader when available. It is more secure.
  5. Check your account balance regularly, online. Report any suspicious activity immediately.
  6. Call the police if you think you have found a skimmer.
  7. Use other methods of payment, such as cash or phone payment apps like Apple Pay and Walmart Pay. Payment apps can be more secure than cards.

Thieves want your credit and debit card numbers — and they’ll do anything to get them.

Have you ever spotted a skimmer or had someone steal your credit card data? Share your advice in the section below:

You’re Being Watched: 7 Sneaky Ways The Government Is Tracking Your Every Move. Read More Here.

The Day When The ATMs Dried Up

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The people of India suffered through a difficult December, caused by a sudden action of their government.

On November the 8th, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that as of midnight the 500 and 1,000 rupee notes would no longer be valid. As their replacement, the new 500 and 2,000 rupee note didn’t hit circulation until weeks later, it left people in a bind.

There’s a lesson to be learned here; and that is that our money isn’t safe.

The move was made in an effort to curb corruption, forcing both wealthy people who were keeping their assets in cash and criminals who avoid banks to either deposit their money or lose its value.

It’s germane to note that the government stands to make a tidy profit on this move, as people who have been avoiding paying their taxes will be easily caught when they make those deposits.

But in the mean time, it’s left people in a bind. While India is a much poorer country than the United States, with many people dealing only in cash, they are still an industrialized nation, with modern banking, including ATM machines. Just like the rest of the world, electronic money is replacing the paper kind in many places, so people were lined up at ATM machines, with the obvious result, as they tried to get what cash they could.

ATM machines can hold a lot of money; much more than they typically do. Even so, with the massive number of people who were trying to get their hands on cash, even a full ATM machine will run out of bills quickly.

And that’s exactly what happened in India, as ATM machine after ATM machine ran out of money and went out of service, leaving a line of people who had waited to withdraw money that was temporarily unavailable.

Even with all the consternation that the people of India were going through, trying to get their hands on funds to use in their daily lives, it was nothing more than a temporary inconvenience.

It was nothing like the problems faced by the citizens of Cyprus, when the government froze citizens’ assets and stole a percentage of them. Then, they limited how much people could withdraw, so that there wouldn’t be a run on the banks.

How Safe Is Our Money?

I’m saying it again: our money isn’t safe.

Money in the bank can be seized by the government. Money we keep at home can be made worthless at a moment’s notice by the government, canceling denominations, just like they did in India. Our accounts can be locked up and our access to our own money can be denied.

Then there’s the risk of the whole system collapsing. Most money today is electronic, rather than paper or coin. All it takes to make it disappear is erasing a number.

While there are many failsafes in place to protect our money, there are some things which are bigger than those failsafes. Whether they would impede our access to our money temporarily or permanently, any of them would make life more difficult.

Many people put their confidence in the money they have as their security. They figure that no matter what happens, they’ll always be able to buy what they need.

While that might work in normal times, what would those people do, if they couldn’t access their money? A financial crash, the ATM system going down, an EMP attack or a terrorist attack taking out the power grid could all make that happen. Those people would literally go from financially comfortable to financially broke in a moment’s time.

As a society, we have become largely dependent upon our modern conveniences. Unlike emerging countries, where the infrastructure is unreliable, we’ve learned that ours is… at least, most of the time. Since we expect it to be reliable, we live our lives as if it is, putting ourselves at risk.

This is the antithesis of being a prepper, as prepping is all about becoming self-sufficient. Yet I’ve even met preppers who have large bank accounts, filled with money to use on that proverbial rainy day. Yes, they stockpile supplies as well, but they also stockpile money; after all, the dollar is accepted around the world.

But what would happen if that rainy day shut down our financial system? What will those people do then?

What Is More Valuable Than Money?

The truth is, we can’t depend on any money that’s not in our hands, and we can’t even depend on that. As the Indian people just learned, the government that prints that money can declare it worthless at any time. So, what we need isn’t money, it’s something of universally understood value. That limits us considerably.

For most, that means investing in precious metals. Those are much more secure than any nation’s currency. Gold and silver transcend time, with a long history of being accepted as valuable currency in trade, going back even before written history.

But precious metals aren’t the only thing of value. I’ve said for quite some time that my favorite investment for the average person is non-perishable food. Not only doesn’t it lose value, but inflation is hitting food harder than many other things. Then, of course, you can eat it to keep alive in an emergency. In that sense, food is the ultimate investment.

I seriously doubt that if an EMP struck, you could buy much with good old greenbacks, even if you had them. Nobody would be accepting them, simply because they wouldn’t be sure that they could buy anything with them themselves.

Oh, you might be able to use those dollars for a few days, but all it would take is one person refusing to accept cash as a medium of exchange and the whole system would come crashing down.

Our financial system, like that around the world, is based upon the belief that money has value. As long as everyone believes that it has value, it does. But the moment people stop believing, the value of that money will plummet. For this reason, preppers tend to put their money into something of lasting value, like the gold, silver and food I just mentioned.

Do you Remember the Argentinian Crisis?

When cash loses its value, people turn to other means of exchange. Rather than accepting money in trade for goods, they want something that will be of value to them. So, they quickly go back to the barter system.

That’s what happened in the Argentinean economic collapse of 1998 to 2002. Groups of people even set up barter co-ops, so that they could trade things they had, for things they needed.

It wasn’t until the country had recovered from the financial collapse, four long years later, that people started trusting their nation’s money again. In the mean time, they did what they had to do, in order to stay alive. In many cases, that meant avoiding the government and the government’s money.

Video first seen on Albert Clack.

What Would This Crisis do to America?

So, what will happen here? I’m afraid that we might not fare as well as Argentina and Cypress did.

Americans are much more accustomed to everything working and have little idea what to do, when it is not. Without access to money or the ability to use the money in their bank accounts, most Americans will find their options severely limited.

Of course, a large percentage of our society has been infected with the entitlement mentality. So, rather than help themselves, they will expect the Nanny State government to take care of them. Some will even die waiting for that help to come. Others will see that no help is coming and demand that those who have share what they have with them.

This is the point at which society will begin to break down and things will begin to get ugly. It will be a mere three days to a week after the cash stops flowing.

By then, those people with the entitlement mentality will have eaten what is in their homes and will be getting hungry. Some will try begging for food. Others will shoplift. Stores will be looted, both for useful things like food and also for alcohol, tobacco and drugs. Crime will run rampant, as people’s baser instincts take over.

When the stores are empty, these people will start looking in other directions. Some smarter ones will seek out warehouses and other places where there is a likelihood of an inventory of food.

Others will look to their neighbors, trying to see who might have something they can beg, borrow or steal. As they get more desperate, they will even be willing to kill for that food.

Those of us who have prepared for such an eventuality will have to make a choice. We either use the supplies we have to help others, ensuring the demise of our own families, or we shut those people out, condemning them to suffering and death, so that we can protect our children.

As the situation continues, violence will increase. That’s what happened in Argentina. Law abiding citizens had to lock themselves in their homes to defend themselves. Children were no longer able to play outdoors, unsupervised.

Those who were still driving would run red lights, merely slowing to ensure that it was safe to go through the intersection. They had to, as stopping at an intersection opened them up to attack. Anyone they didn’t know personally became a potential enemy, as crime rates surged.

We can expect the same… and even worse. The larger number of guns in the United States and their ready availability will mean that those who turn rogue in their search for food will have the capability of greater violence. An equally high amount of violence will be needed to stop or subdue them.

Those of us who are prepared will use our guns to protect our families. But what of those who are not?

Only a small percentage of Americans, even American conservatives are preppers. So the number of conservative gun owners who have guns but aren’t preppers outnumber those of us who are. While conservatives tend to use their guns to protect, rather than to commit crimes, all bets are off when their children are hungry.

Desperate people, as they say, do desperate things. Some of those people, even though they were the best of honest, law-abiding citizens all their lives, will snap, when their children start crying for food.

It will be ugly; that’s for sure. We depend on money too much, to live without it. Oh, we can live without it if we prepare to live without it, but that requires time and work. Few are making that effort; too few.

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This article has been written by Bill White for Survivopedia.

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9 Reasons The U.S. Economy Remains In Big, Big Trouble

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Dec., 16, 2016

9 Reasons The U.S. Economy Remains In Big, Big Trouble

Image source: Pixabay.com

NEW YORK — Despite all the optimism generated by the election and recent stock market rally, there remain many signs the U.S. economy is in big trouble.

In fact, there are several good reasons to believe that a downturn or even a major economic crisis is right around the corner. Here are nine reasons why the United States might be on the verge of a major economic crisis.

1. The strong U.S. dollar. It may be hard to believe, but a strong dollar can create major problems for the U.S. economy. The dollar is at an eight-year high against the Chinese yuan (six yuan to one dollar), which makes Chinese goods cheaper on the world market than American. This increases the price of U.S. exports, such as agricultural goods. Some U.S. manufacturers may have to cut production and eliminate jobs because of lower exports. Another effect is that there will be less investment in the U.S., because investors can buy more in other nations with cheaper money.

2. Higher interest rates. Much of the recent economy recovery has been fueled by lower interest rates, but rates are suddenly climbing back. The rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage was 3.54 percent in September and 4.13 percent in November. Higher interest rates means fewer mortgages, less new construction and fewer jobs. It also means less business activity because it will be more expensive for businesses to borrow money. That can translate into fewer jobs and less demand for raw materials.

Be Prepared! Store An ‘Emergency Seed Bank’ For A Crisis Garden

3. Inflation. The rate of inflation in the US doubled between July and October. Inflation was .8 percent in July but rose to 1.6 percent by the end of October, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. One factor driving inflation is the strong U.S. dollar. Inflation can affect interest rates because the Federal Reserve might raise them in order to stop inflation.

4. A new real estate bubble. Average home prices in the U.S. hit a record high of $191,780 in September, the Corelogic Case Shiller 20 City Home Price indicates. Prices have not been that high seen since July 2006, right before the beginning of the financial crisis. The situation is worse in certain cities such as Seattle and Denver. Home prices in Seattle have increased by 11 percent over the past year, creating a serious housing shortage.

5. Technological unemployment. Large numbers of jobs are being lost to digital processes, automation and robots. Walmart, America’s largest private employer, is eliminating 7,000 accounting positions in its stores. Those employees used to count cash and process invoices in the back office. Now the cash will be counted by machines and the invoices will be processed by a computer at Walmart’s head office. Many other employers will follow suit as robots and computer algorithms do more jobs such as driving trucks cheaper. For example, Uber recently tested a semi-tractor that drives itself.

9 Reasons The U.S. Economy Remains In Big, Big Trouble

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6. The student loan crisis. Americans owe $1.2 trillion on student loans, but payments are only being made on 40 percent of those obligations. News reports indicate that many younger people are putting off buying things like homes and cars because they need all their money to pay off loans. Others are even forgoing marriage and children because of the debt.

7. Wage and income stagnation. Household incomes for at least 50 percent of the U.S. population (around 117 million people) have not increased since 1980, the Washington Center for Equitable Growth reported.

8. The mass closing of stores. Macy’s has plans to shutter 100 of its department stores. Sears, which owns Kmart, closed 80 Kmart stores in July and has plans to shut down another 64. Walgreens might close up to 500 stores. There is speculation that Sears Holdings might declare bankruptcy or shut down completely next year. That company operates 1,687 Sears and Kmart stores.

9. The public pension crisis. State and local governments owe workers and retirees $4.798 trillion in pension obligations but have only $3.7 trillion in assets to cover that bill. To make up the $1.91 trillion they will either have to cut pension benefits or government services.

Americans had better be ready for economic turmoil.

Do you agree the economy is in trouble? Share your thoughts in the section below: 

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Why To Invest In Food Instead Of Silver Or Gold

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Invest in food

Many people talk about a recurring economic crisis in US, and look for means to place their money so their investment won’t become useless once the economy hits the ground. For example, a reader recently wrote:

“I am a fan of Survivopedia and I love your articles. I just read your article “Top 4 Things to do Prior to the Dollar Collapsing” and it is the first thing I have read that is helpful. Everything else is for millionaires to get off shore banking, get lots of gold, buy real estate and on and on. I don’t have that kind of money… only a few thousand dollars as an emergency fund… I am 72. It seems to me it is stupid to hand on to the money if it is worthless. Is there some other means of currency exchange that those in the know are doing instead?”

Dianne

This is a very good question that Dianne asks. Before answering, let me say that I am not a professional financial counselor; all I am is a man who tries to do his best.

Having said that, the standard in the financial investment community is to put your investors money beside your own, taking the same risks and receiving the same benefits. So, based on that standard, the best I can do is to tell you what I’m doing myself.

What a Financial Collapse Isn’t

Let me start by saying a couple of things about what a financial collapse isn’t.

  • It’s not a total breakdown of society. While we can expect crime to increase, as desperate people try to meet their needs, the police and the courts will still be working, trying to track down criminals and put them in jail.
  • Secondly, a financial collapse doesn’t mean a government collapse. Our government, like all governments, is a parasite. As such, it will keep itself alive, even if that means killing off its host. That means that they will be continuing the poor fiscal policy that is causing the collapse in the first place, taking the money that you and I need for recovery.
  • Finally, a financial collapse is not permanent. Most only last a few years. Even the worst collapse in history, the Great Depression, was over in ten years. So it’s reasonable to assume that any future collapse will end as well, probably after a few years.

Why Regular Investments Won’t Work

The advice that the reader mentions for the millionaires may not even work in the face of a financial collapse. Moving money offshore doesn’t guarantee anything. In fact, the 2008-2009 housing collapse affected the economy worldwide, not just here in the United States. The same happened in the Great Depression.

The fact of the matter is that the U.S economy is the world’s largest. Even China’s economy, which has been growing to the point where it is now the world’s second largest, is less than half of the U.S. economy. So, anything negative that happens to the U.S. economy is going to have international effects.

There is no safe place in the world’s financial markets for money, including putting it in foreign money.

I would have to put electronic money, like Bitcoin in the same category as foreign currencies. Supposedly Bitcoin is totally independent of the dollar, but I’m not so sure that’s true.

People buy Bitcoin with dollars, so there is a connection. As there has never been a test of these alternative forms of money in a serious financial collapse, I wouldn’t put my trust in them.

Even a savings account is unsure. In both Greece and Cypress, the respective governments directed banks to skim off of people’s savings accounts. That could very well happen here. So the last thing I would do is to keep more money in the bank, than what I need to pay the bills.

Inflation is so low right now, that a savings account is a joke anyway. You may as well take that money as cash and stuff it in your mattress, like the gangsters of old. Better yet, find a place to hide it that criminals won’t suspect. Avoid the master bedroom, as that’s the first place they look.

So What Can You Invest In?

Okay, so let’s say you have a few thousand dollars that you want to invest for a rainy day. What can you do? The most secure investment on the face of the Earth has always been precious metals, and I’d have to say that it won’t change.

If you’re like Dianne, you’re probably thinking that you don’t have enough to invest in precious metals. I used to think that way too. That was when I was thinking of investing in gold.

It takes quite a bit of money to buy even one ounce of gold. So, if you’re going to invest in it, you need a good pile. But silver is another matter. I like to think of silver as the working man’s investment, because you don’t need as much money to get started.

Historically, silver has actually been a better investment, with better returns, than gold. That’s why the little bit of investment money I have is in silver and not gold. For $100, I can buy several ounces of silver, enough to make it worthwhile.

I’d recommend buying silver coins, rather than silver ingots. Back when it was illegal for Americans to own their own stocks of gold, an exception was made for gold and silver coins. You couldn’t own ingots, but you could own all the coins you wanted. If such a law were to be put into effect once again, I imagine it would have pretty much the same restrictions.

One of the things we can expect in a financial collapse is that people will turn to bartering goods, and turn away from money. That’s typical in such cases. When that happens, silver coins may very well become the underground coin of the realm.

While gold coins will be worth so much that they are impractical as a means of exchange, silver won’t be. It’s value might make it ideal for people to use.

My Favorite Investment

Food Bartering My all-time favorite investment isn’t gold or silver, it’s food. That may sound a bit strange as an investment, but I’m basing that on the current state of the economy, as well as what I’ve seen happen in other countries which have suffered a collapse.

People always need food. So, regardless of what happens in a financial collapse, they will be looking for food.

Unless you live in a rural area, where people do a lot of farming and gardening, you’ll probably find yourself surrounded by food shortages. In such a case, the value of food will increase exponentially.

This has happened in Argentina, Greece, Cyprus and Venezuela, amongst other places. It even happened in occupied Europe during World War II. People in the cities were so desperate for food, that they would fill their suitcases with the family silver and head for the country, to visit “relatives” on the farm. There, they would find an amiable farmer and trade their silver for hams, sausages, cheeses and butter.

In Argentina hundreds of bartering co-ops rose up in the midst of their financial collapse. While they varied in their form, they all shared one thing in common, the most common items bartered were food items. Food was in short supply in the city, even though there was plenty of it in rural areas.

But food isn’t just good as an investment against an economic collapse, it’s also good as an investment against inflation. Currently, the official government statistics put inflation at less than one percent, and have had it there for some time.

At the same time, food has gone up in price an average of 8.5% per year. That means that if you buy $1,000 worth of food today, in five years it will be worth $1,500! That’s a good investment, any way you look at it.

You don’t even have to sell that food to cash in on that investment either. All you have to do is consume it, taking the money you would otherwise have to spend on food and using it for other needs. Doing it that way would be just like cashing in any other investment.

Prepare for a Barter Economy

I’ve mentioned that countries which have suffered economic collapses ended up with a barter system taking over for their failed currency. I’ve also mentioned how Europeans traded silver and other valuables for food during World War II. Many a farmer came out of that war a whole lot richer than they went into it.

The thing is, any economic collapse will eventually end. We may not see things go back to normal, but there will be a “new normal” which will emerge, just as it did in Europe, after World War II. When that happened, the farmers dug up all the silver they had buried and sold it off, making a huge profit. That can and probably will happen again.

If you have the foresight to invest in enough non-perishable food to use it as trade goods, the financial collapse will give you the opportunity to barter that food for other things of value. Basically, the value of those things will decrease, because they are not useful for survival, while the value of your food will increase, because people will need it to survive.

When the economy settles at a new normal and people aren’t worried about starving to death, the silver and jewelry will gain in value once again, while food will return to a more reasonable price.

I’d also add alcohol, tobacco and key essentials like toilet paper and personal hygiene supplies to your bartering stockpile. The hygiene items will probably become as hard to find as food will, making them equally valuable. As for the alcohol and tobacco, sales of those always increase in a time of crisis. It seems that people want to escape from their problems, rather than facing them.

Tobacco in the form of cigarettes doesn’t store well for a long period of time. But tobacco alone will, especially if it is packed in sealed containers with oxygen absorbers. Add some rolling paper, and you’ve got the means of people making their own cigarettes, just like they used to roll them in the Old West.

The key to making a profit off of bartering isn’t just stockpiling food, but is knowing how to value the items that you will be receiving in trade. There’s an awful lot of fake jewelry around, which looks quite real. So, you’ll have to know how to tell the difference. That doesn’t just go for the gold and silver, but for the stones as well.

The other part is establishing a value for the jewelry, silver or other valuables, based on the mid-collapse economy. That’s going to be a little harder. You’ll need to keep your ear to the ground, so that you know what others are doing. You’ll also need to be able to read the people you’re bartering with, so that you’ll know how much they are willing to give up, in order to get your food.

Remember, you have the upper hand; and while you don’t want it to be a heavy hand, you want to be fairly compensated for your investment. So you need to figure out what makes it a good trade for you. If they don’t want to trade, then you can much more easily wait for another day, than they can.

When it comes to that, there will be an element of risk involved. Whatever you have invested in the food will be at risk. But in reality, that’s a pretty small risk. As I already said, you merely need to hold onto the food for it to go up in value.

The bigger risk is of people who might want to take what you have from you by force. You’ve got to be ready for that, ready to defend yourself, and ready to defend your profits.

But then, any investing is risky, even though the risk doesn’t usually include looking down the muzzle of someone’s gun. All you have to do is be prepared, and you can turn the tables on anyone who wants to take advantage of you.

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This article has been written by Bill White for Survivopedia. 

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Economic Tweaks: Changing Our Behavior on the Spiral Downward!

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spiral

I’ve been waiting for an economic collapse since I started prepping.  In fact, the economy was my main concern when I started my preparedness journey.  You can even see this focus when I started Prepper Website.  The first article I linked to was one from SHTF Plan called, “How to Spot the Triggers of a Socioeconomic Collapse.”  I’m still waiting!

Every year, every financial quarter brings new warnings.  Many preppers are waiting for the hammer to drop, but some are starting to feel like the boy who cried wolf.  SHTF should have happened so many times by now, it isn’t even funny.

The problem that we might have is that we are looking for ONE BIG EVENT to cause the house of cards to come tumbling down.  I’m starting to believe more and more in what Jack Spirko said years ago, that we are going to experience a slow economic spiral downward.

If you look back at your finances over the last few years, haven’t you felt a little bit more of a pinch?  Things are more expensive.  Your money doesn’t buy as much.  You’re not putting away as much!  Things aren’t SHTF, but every year we lose a little.  One day we’ll wake up and realize we are smack dab in the middle of the SHTF scenario we were looking for on the horizon!

Start Adjusting Now!

One of the best things we can do is to start prepping now to stem off the erosion to our finances.  It’s simple, we need to adjust what goes out and start making better decisions.

There have been many articles written on this topic already.  So, I don’t want to rehash all that here.  But I do want to point out a few helpful things and then focus on the main purpose of this article.

Smart Financial Moves

  1. Budget – If you don’t tell your money what to do, it will do what it wants.  Just like you need a preparedness plan or a bug out plan, you need a money plan.  A budget is a money plan!
  2. Cut back on Services – You don’t need all the cable channels available to man!  You might not need the big cell phone plan you have!  I recently called my insurance company and saved a nice chunk on my auto insurance.  Take a little bit of time and see what you can get rid of.
  3. When you buy something, purchase a quality item so you don’t keep re-purchasing junk!
  4. Pay everything with cash!  Not using credit cards should be a no brainer!
  5. DIY – Learn how to fix things yourself!

 

DIY – Skills that Are Needed in Our Future Economy

I want to devote the rest of the article to the need for learning and knowing how to fix things. We have become so accustomed to just throwing away things that can be fixed for running to the store and buying that new item out of convenience.  But in our spiraling down economy, we might not have the luxury to just buy something out of convenience.  And usually, most things can be fixed for a fraction of what the item might cost new.

There is also the need to learn how to repair or replace things ourselves. For example, recently I replaced the toilet in the boys restroom.  It was a nasty, dirty job.  I had to run to Home Depot a few times to get the right part, but it saved me the cost of scheduling a plumber to replace it for me.  What would that have cost me?  I don’t know.  But I saved that money, plus felt good doing it myself.

I also saved a little $$$ when I changed out the battery in my wife’s tablet.  This one was a little bit more technical and well…I had to be real careful because I have fat fingers and I was dealing with some small wires.  But I did it!  All it cost me was the battery from Amazon!

And recently, I changed out the garbage disposal.  This is the one that had me really thinking about the money I was saving by doing these small repairs myself.  I didn’t detail every step, but I did take some pics.

IMG_20160820_132449

We’ve lived in this house going on 11 years.  I’m pretty sure this is the original garbage disposal.  You can see the rust in the screws and around the reset button.  This sucker was leaking from places it wasn’t supposed to!

IMG_20160820_144251

It was a messy job.  Old putty and gunk were coming off and getting everywhere!

IMG_20160820_144255

These pictures don’t let you “appreciate” the nasty gunk on the collar.

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The job would have taken 1/2 the time if I didn’t have to replace the collar.  The old garbage disposal didn’t have a quick connect!

IMG_20160820_152639

Give it up for the amateur repair man! 😉

How Am I Learning How to Do This Stuff?

How does one know how to fix things?  You learn!  Everyone has to learn at some point!  And today, we have great resources available to us on the internet.  Before I attempted the repairs I listed above, or others for that matter, I checked Youtube.  That’s right!  I sit down in front of my computer and pull up a few videos on the subject.  In the case of my wife’s tablet, I sat in front of my laptop and watched the video as I mimicked the repair in real time.

To change out the garbage disposal, I watched these two videos below first.

 

 

In the first video, the guy doesn’t punch out the dishwasher drain.  I realized that important piece of advice by reading the comments.  You can learn just as much from the comments when you watch a video!

The Other Missing Piece

One of the other reasons people don’t DIY repair is because they don’t have tools.  Tools are tangibles that you can hold on to.  If you purchase a quality tool, it will last forever!  If you don’t have a good set of tools, it would be a good idea to start adding and building a good set.  You can even find good deals at garage sales and some pawn shops.  If the SHTF, tools will be valuable!

Other Resources

There are a few other resources that you might want to consider if you are choosing to start DIY repairs to save money.   These resources are DIY books that have a proven record of good reviews and they are still in print!

Final Thoughts – Start Now, Get Some Experience!

Taking the time now, when you might have a little financial wiggle room, is the time to start learning how to fix and repair things on your own.  By getting a few projects under your belt, you will build confidence and feel comfortable tackling bigger projects.  You never know what you might be called on to repair in the future!

Peace,
Todd

Prep Blog Review: UK Left The EU. Now What?

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PBR_Brexit

This week’s surprising (for some) news was the Brits’ decision to leave the European Union.

Whether you followed the Brexit results or not here’s a question for you: How does this affect Americans and what’s next?

This remains to be seen, however below you can find facts and TO DOs that can help you better understand what’s going on, predicate what’s to come and prepare.

1. Three big ways Brexit could affect Americans personally

brexit

“In Britain, the debate over whether to remain in the European Union was an impassioned one, an existential crisis of national identity that inspired protests along the famed River Thames and divided families from Sheffield to Southampton.

But here across the pond, the idea of a Brexit has often seemed like an abstraction, one of those vague global uncertainties that seems to perpetually threaten, but never quite derail, the U.S. economy. The financial ripple effects could complex.

Now, with Britain voting Thursday to leave the European Union, many Americans will wonder what Brexit will mean to them. Here’s a look at the three perhaps unexpected ways what happens in Britain could affect your budget.”

Read more on Washington Post.

2. How to Survive a Personal Economic Collapse

Brexit “With all that is being written about the economic collapses of nations around the globe, people in America seem to be waiting for some huge event.

But what if it isn’t a huge event like a stock market crash or a currency collapse that you actually need to be concerned about? What if our disaster starts out looking nothing like the economic crises in Argentina, Venezuela or Greece? What if the real financial disaster in the future is more personal?  What, if that financial disaster has already happened?”

Read more on The Organic Prepper.

3. Panic! Brits Feverishly Buy Foreign Currency on Eve of Brexit Vote: “Pound Would Decline Precipitously”

Brexit

“Fear and mass panic are known to among the most dangerous threats we face… And absolute chaos could ensue for currency markets, if the warnings hold true.

Tomorrow is the much feared Brexit vote, and on the eve of such a momentous referendum that could lead to the dissolution of the European Union, there is a great deal of worry as investors feverishly exchanged ‘safe’ currency in case of a destabilization of the British pound or the Euro.”

Read more on SHTF plan.

4. Awesome Collapse in Pound as Leave is Ahead by Almost 300,000

Brexit

“This is what happens in a panic. Dealers step back and spreads widen. Sell and buy orders at the market are simply filled as they come in. It appears the bookies got it wrong and the government believed its own fake polls and were not prepared to rig the vote properly. The “LEAVE” is now running almost 54%. Of course this is not over until the fat lady sings, or in this case, Cameron.”

Read more on Armstrong Economics.

5. The Stock Market Crash Of 2016: Stocks Have Already Crashed In 6 Of The World’s 8 Largest Economies

Brexit

“Over the past 12 months, stock market investors around the planet have lost trillions of dollars.  Since this time last June, stocks have crashed in 6 of the world’s 8 largest economies, and stocks in the other two are down as well.  The charts that you are about to see are absolutely stunning, and they are clear evidence that a new global financial crisis has already begun.  Of course it is true that we are still in the early chapters of this new crisis and that there is much, much more damage to be done, but let us not minimize the carnage that we have already witnessed.”

Read more on The Economic Collapse Blog.

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This article has been written by Brenda E. Walsh for Survivopedia

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Surviving The Great Depression: 12 Lesson From History

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Surviving The Great Depression - 4 Kids On Steps Being Sold

A little over a century ago, the United States fell and fell hard. This event in history was infamously coined “The Great Depression”. It became known as the worst US economic disaster of modern times. With the full burden of it landing squarely on the shoulders of the American working class who stuggled surviving the great depression.

In fact, some didn’t survive. Many died.

But everyone suffered. And every American life touched by this tragedy was never quite the same.

[…]

The post Surviving The Great Depression: 12 Lesson From History appeared first on Skilled Survival.

Why Starting A Flea Market Can Help You Survive Crisis

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Survivopedia starting a flea market

If the world as we know it ceases to exist, things are going to change drastically. Money will likely become useless, so trade is going to be the way to go. It will start with neighbors trading goods, but that won’t be enough.

Starting a flea market will be a fabulous way to provide an organized place for trade and will have benefits for you as the owner, too. Even if you don’t want to wait until SHTF to start a flea market, there are still a ton of advantages. Best of all, it doesn’t require a ton of effort on your part after it’s up and going.

Starting a flea market today is an even better idea than waiting for a collapse because when that happens, you’ll already be established.

First, let’s start with discussing some of the reasons WHY you should start a flea market.

Starting a Flea Market is Profitable

After you get it built, your major expenses are over. We’re not talking about building one of those huge, indoor flea markets that sell junk made in China; we’re talking about an honest-to-goodness old-school trade place.

In our current economic system, you’ll be able to charge cash per booth. If the social structure collapses, you can take payment in the form of goods. Rental fees range anywhere from $50 per day to over $200, depending on location and anticipated sales. If you’re renting out say 50 booths, you’re making $2500 – $10,000 per day!

Of course, you’ll have to pay some of that out if you’re providing electricity or water, but you can always tack on a set fee for vendors that need access to that. Finally, you’ll have to make repairs, but if you set the booths up simply, this won’t be much of an expense.

You’ll also have to pay The Man his cut for now, but still, you’ll make a pretty good living.

If our economy shifts and money becomes worthless, you can always collect your fees in goods or services. Even if you’re completely self-sufficient and live off the grid, there will still be some goods that you won’t have or projects that you may not be able to do by yourself. If you end up with too many goods, you can always turn around and use them for trade yourself.

How to Make Money From a Flea Market

You can make money by charging per booth, which is recommended, or by taking a percentage of sales. In this case, you’ll have to depend upon each vendor to be honest with you, and we all know how that works.

prices

I’m not being pessimistic; it’s a fact of life that people don’t want to spend any more than they absolutely have to, and cash sales can simply disappear into the vendor’s pocket even if you base what they owe on cash register receipts. So it’s best to charge per booth.

One of the local flea markets that I attend also charges a small entry fee to customers. It’s only $3, but that adds up, and most people don’t have a problem paying that.

How to Build Your Flea Market

Right about now, you’re probably saying, “But I only have a couple of acres and no space large enough to build a flea market. I’ve got some good news: you don’t need 50 acres of empty land to start a flea market. As a matter of fact, my two favorite flea markets are actually located in small spaces.

They’re actually more like farmer’s markets, but yours will be too, especially in a post-SHTF scenario. One of my spots is located in front of a community center in a space that’s maybe 1/4 acre. There’s no electric or even structures. Each vendor brings a canopy and a table or 3. They set up their own space and that’s all there is to it.

My other favorite spot is located in the center isle of a big barn. There is about 100 feet between the stalls and the horses are turned out during the day. Again, vendors bring their own tables to set up on. There’s power to the barn but none to the vendor area. They’re just basic, empty spaces that the vendor may use as he sees fit. It’s too easy really.

If you’d like to get complicated, which we don’t recommend, build a large, covered building similar to a barn. You can get as fancy as you want; if you want to build separate stalls or areas, you probably want to make each vendor are at least 12×12. Build walls between each area if you want to. If you’d like, you can run electric to each one.

If you’re shooting to open a flea market that’s low-cost and will be functional after a SHTF scenario, it seems logical to keep it simple. If you have a quarter of an acre that’s accessible and has enough space for some cars to part, then you’re in business. If the area is shady, even better. You can use a large canopy or tent or just open your area to vendors and let them set up their own areas.

Having a public bathroom, even if it’s only a porta-potty, is a good idea and may be required by local codes. Of course, in a survival event, this would just be a courtesy and one that you may not be able to offer.

Marketing Your Business

You need to get the word out about your flea market/farmer’s market. The easiest way to do this is to go to another farmer’s market and speak to the vendors. Many of the ones in my area only happen once monthly, so vendors may be glad to hear that there’s going to be a new one opening up, especially if it’s in an area convenient to customers.

Another way to get the word out is to network with local providers; people that you know sell their products individually such as beekeepers, farmers, candle or soap makers, meat or egg vendors that sell on a person-to-person basis, and other people who you think may contribute positively to your market.

Post ads at local feed stores, farm equipment stores and other places that you think will attract people who may be interested in being a vendor. After you’ve attracted enough vendors, set a date and advertise the opening in the same places that you looked for vendors.

Think about other places that potential customers may visit: horse shows, livestock events, health food stores, herb shops, antique stores, pet stores, and any other place that may possibly net you customers. Use signs near your place. Advertise on online places such as Craigslist and Freecycle, and consider building a small website.

yard sale

The Benefits of Opening a Flea Market or Farmer’s Market Now

If you start your flea market/farmer’s market now, you’ll have the advantage of already having an established gathering place for people who are already preparing for hard times.

Beekeepers, farmers, soap makers, jewelry makers, and other people who have survival skills already in place will know about you and the transition to using your flea market as a place to trade will be a no-brainer.

People tend to talk too, so those who have skills but aren’t really using them now will need a place to market their goods when SHTF and you’ll be the go-to place. This is why we recommend keeping it simple.

Access to electric now is good, but establish the place so that it’s still viable without power. Building a large building that requires power to light it or keep it cool enough to be tolerable will render your area practically useless if the power grid goes down unless you’re using solar power.

Access to water would be a good thing, though. A well pump would be ideal because it wouldn’t require power. Even a hand-pump would be better than nothing and could even be a trade resource if water becomes scarce.

Now that we’ve discussed the ins and outs of starting and marketing a flea market, let’s talk about a few precautions that you should take. First off, don’t set up your flea market close to your survival stash or your own personal gardens. That would just be asking for trouble.

Be selective in who you invite to be a vendor. Make it a place to get down-to-earth, useful products that can be grown or created naturally. Don’t allow those vendors that sell cheap, knock-off products made in China. Think of your flea market as yet another way to prep. It’s your ticket to having ready access to anything that you may need post SHTF.

Not only that, but flea markets or farmer’s markets are a great way to network with like-minded people. Often, people who are growing their own foods or making their own products are also preppers, or at least open to the idea that they may someday need their skill to survive. That builds a sense of community that will be sorely needed when it’s time to band together for survival.

I know that many people don’t believe in the idea of working together as a community if SHTF but the truth of the matter is that society WILL rebuild; that’s been proven historically over and over and will most certainly be the case in pretty much any circumstance.

People are social pack animals – that’s a biological fact. Plus, no man is an island. Eventually, everybody will need something and when they do, your market will be there!

If you have any experience with running a flea market or farmer’s market or have any suggestions that I didn’t mention here, please feel free to share them in the comment’s section below.

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This article has been written by Theresa Crouse for Survivopedia.

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Education and what it can do for you…my story

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On this day 10 years ago, I received this recruiting letter from Columbia University. It was just one of several such letters I received from Ivy League colleges, after becoming the recipient of the 2006 All-USA Academic Team community college award. Even more came when I became the New Century Scholar for Wyoming for having […]

Position Yourself for Financial SHTF – Practical Steps for Paying Down Debt and Saving Money!

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Money1

We’ve all been expecting it!  In fact, some of us are baffled that it hasn’t happened already. Many who are paying attention to the global economy expect a time when this country and possibly the rest of the world experience economic SHTF.  One thing though, no one exactly knows what it will look like when the proverbial economic balloon goes up!

As a result of not knowing, we could stress and worry.  Some of us prep food, water and supplies.  But besides prepping the basics, one of the things we should do is position ourselves to be in the best spot possible for a financial SHTF scenario.

To be clear here, a financial SHTF scenario doesn’t have to be the meltdown of the global economy.  When that happens, everyone will be in the same boat and those who have made an effort to position themselves will fare better.  However, people find themselves in financial SHTF scenarios everyday when they lose their jobs, have a medical emergency and have no insurance, lose a loved one who is an income earner, etc…  Hopefully, the information in this piece will provide relevant information to help anyone prepare for a future financial SHTF scenario.

Two Economic SHTF Scenarios – Two Extremes

When preppers think about SHTF, we tend to think about the kind of world you read about in dystopian novels.  JWR’s Patriot’s is a book that many preppers are familiar with.  In the book, an economic crash sends the USA into the world of The Walking Dead.  Bank holidays, credit card and ETB freezes, Marshall law, Biker Mice from Mars, The Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, dogs and cats living together…This is an extreme view. Could an economic crash bring the collapse of the USA?  I don’t know.  I think TPTB already have a plan in place if they see the balloon going up.

The other side of this extreme view is something I first heard Jack Spirko talking about back in the day, a slow economic spiral downwards.  In this scenario, things start to cost more and your earnings don’t go up.  Your money doesn’t buy you as much as it used to.  You stop going out to eat or to the movies as often because it’s so expensive.  You hold off on making big purchases.  You don’t have discretionary income like you used to have.  You start watching your finances closely because any hiccup can cause pain.  Your quality of life spirals down.  You stress.  Your spouse stresses.  Your kids feel the stress.  You look back and long for the “good ol’ days.”

These are two extremes, of financial SHTF.  We’ll probably wind up somewhere in between.

Where Do We Start?

In a recent poll on Prepper Website, I asked, “If you had an extra $500 right now, what would you do with it?” 28% of those who responded (132/478) said they would pay down debt!  (“More food storage” came in a close second, but that is another post.)

I would say that these respondents have the right idea.

Think about it.  If the economic balloon goes up, money (paper money will be used for a while, even in a JWR Patriot’s type crash), will buy less and less.  The more money you have freed up to make purchases, the better your overall position will be.  The biggest step in positioning yourself for financial SHTF is to get out of debt!

Getting Out of Debt Is Too Hard!

Yes, if getting out of debt was easy, everyone would be debt free.  It takes determination, discipline, going without sometimes and creativity.  But when you get debt free, it is the best place to be!

Years ago, I taught the Dave Ramsey course, Financial Peace University at my church.  My wife and I had already started getting out of debt, but FPU helped a lot.  I don’t agree with Dave Ramsey on everything.  In fact, I’m a little disappointed that he’s not warning people of what could possibly become of our economy.  He is still pushing 401K’s and mutual funds.  But, his advice and system for getting out of debt is very helpful to anyone wanting to get out of debt.

I’ll post a video of his 7 Baby Steps plan at the end of this article, but Dave tells you exactly how to do the debt snowball in the video below.  Notice the discipline and determination part!

 

Ways to Cutback and Find Money for Your Debt Snowball

One of the things that easily sidelines people when they try to get out of debt is finding money to add to their debt snowball.  If you just use what comes in, your current income, it might take longer than you like and you can wind up getting discouraged.  The trick here is to live way below your means.  And when I say below…I mean below.  The way to do this is to make a budget.  Just like you have a bugout plan or food storage plan, you need a budget plan to help you stay on track and manage every dollar that you bring in.

Back in the day, I created an Excel spreadsheet that would make changes automatically so I could see exactly what was coming in and going out.  I’ve attached a version here, using Google Sheets.  I would download this copy and open it using Excel. Or you could do it old school if you like.  Remember, you don’t want to have any money left over at the end of the month.  You want all your money accounted for and “working” for you.

Other Practical Ways to Cut Costs and Save

After you make you budget, you need to find other ways to bring in money.  Many people start having garage sales, work a part-time job, and find ways to save.

In my years aggregating articles for Prepper Website, I have linked to some great articles with great info. on being frugal and saving money.  I want to share some of those great ideas here.

On the Bacon and Eggs website, you can find an article that shares 114 Frugal Money Saving Ideas and Tips.  Here are a few of my favorite ideas…

8. Use cold water in your washing machine.  It’s the action in the washer that cleans the clothes

 

9. Unplug anything that is sucking “ghost power”  We’ve got a power strip that we can flip on and off when we need to.

 

20.Craigslist, Freecycle, Penny Papers, Thrift Stores and yard sales all can provide most things you are looking for.  Why buy new when gently used is so much less expensive?

 

26. Keep your freezer full. If you have to, put milk jugs or 2-liter bottles of water in the freezer.  It’s less expensive to run a full freezer than an empty one.

 

35. Open the curtains/drapes on the sunny side of the house during the daytime and close them on the shaded side(in the summer I reverse that). This works very well on sunny, non-windy days. This allows me to use natural light as well.

 

38. If you are considering making a big purchase why not try waiting 30 days and then see if you still feel the need for the item.  I find myself sometimes not needing something nearly as much as I thought I would three or four weeks later.

 

46. When running errands, try running them at “off peak times”.  You’ll be able to save time and gas by not having to wait in 5’o’clock traffic.  You’ll spend less time looking for a parking spot too!

 

61.  Check out the weekly ads in your area BEFORE you go shopping and use it to help with making your list.  Once you get your pantry stocked up you can use this “tip” to help you prep and save money while you are doing it.  The idea is to try and NEVER buy anything that isn’t on sale or doesn’t have the best bang for the buck so to speak.

 

68.  Compare unit prices.  I have found this to be really really helpful.  Most all stores show the price per ounce. Lot’s of times what you “thought” was a good deal really isn’t at all. Compare the per ounce costs of each item.  You would be surprised at how many times “bigger is not always better”.

 

73.  When you find something that you use regularly on sale – Stock up and buy as much as you can afford to. You know you will be using it later on and prices are rising fast these days.  Store what you eat and eat what you store.

 

77.  Stay away from convenience foods.  You can make most of the same things at home for half the price.

 

87.  Go “meatless”  one day a week.  We love meat. But face it, it’s expensive.  We like beans around here so I’ll cook up a pot with some rice and cornbread for dinner sometimes.  Makes great leftovers as well.   Use the leftovers as a side dish during the week.  Another thought is to have “breakfast for dinner”.  Pancakes and eggs for dinner…. oh my!

 

89.  If you don’t know how to cook it’s time you learned.  Cooking from scratch saves tons of money and it’s just plain better for you.

 

111. Invest in a thermos and take your coffee to work with you.  With the money you save by not buying $5.oo coffee’s every day you could easily afford a nice home brewed coffee every day!

To read the rest of the article – click here.

Over at Modern Survival Online, a guest poster Gilfner, shares “Ways We Are Creating Money in our Budget for Prepping” Here a few good ones…

TV – We only pay for streaming Netflix, $7.99/mo.  If you are serious about prepping, you don’t want to be stuck on the couch.  No need for cable/satellite or the $40 plus per month bill.  Spend the extra time getting stuff done and the extra money getting stuff to do it with.  The deals for bundling services aren’t that good.

 

Our cars are all paid for.  As much as I lust after the new cars, I am doing just fine with the ones I have.  But it’s tough to find the balance between good running cars that don’t cost a ton & thrashed cars that might as well have a monthly payment to keep them on the road.

 

Paying attention to sales.  Not everything is a good deal.  Not everything at Costco is a good deal.  Last month we found that the source we had for the pre-packaged Augason Farms hard red wheat went up in price dramatically.  We realized that with some work, we could get 25lbs bags from the LDS Cannery and bucket it ourselves for much less.

 

For construction projects around our place, we find that checking the cull bin at the Home Depot or Lowe’s nets us a lot of wood for less.

To read the rest of the article – click here.

Survival at Home shares “45 Ways to Save Money on Your Monthly Bills” Don’t miss these…

4- Eliminate drafts by using inexpensive expanding foam or caulk to fill cracks and small holes around windows, door frames and exterior walls where cold or warm air typically escapes. Look carefully around where pipes and wires enter and exit your home.

 

23- When it comes to credit cards, the easiest thing to do is just stop using them. If you can’t afford to pay cash for what you need, you probably don’t need it. Of course there are emergency situations, but those are likely to be few and far between. Don’t use your cards for anything you can eat or wear, and avoid using credit cards to buy “wants” such as a new stereo or TV. Wait until you have the money to buy it.

 

36- Do some price comparisons on your auto insurance. Consider changing your insurance policy to one with a higher deductible. If you have an older vehicle you might even consider switching to a lesser coverage. Decide if the monthly payment for collision insurance is worth paying for on your older vehicle.

 

45- Negotiate all of your bills. Call each company at off- peak times (such as early morning) to discuss lowering your rates. Companies are less busy and more likely to spend time negotiating with you. It absolutely never hurts to ask.

To read the rest of the article – click here.

Daisy Luther, at the Organic Prepper always has good advice on cutting costs and living below your means.  She shared in her post, The Austerity Diaries, some of the changes she and her family made to get through some hard times.  The article is from Jan. 2014, and Daisy is still alive and kicking.  So, you know it worked for her and her kids.  Check out her article, The Austerity Diaries and also the link at the top of her site dedicated to being frugal.

I also found some great advice in an article on Survival Blog called, Seventy-Five Ways to Save Money for Prepping.  Here are a few…

Don’t let a screaming child (or teenager) rule your finances. Learn to say “no” and mean it! The same goes for teenagers begging you for the latest and greatest “I Whatever”. The proper mantra should be “get a job and pay for it yourself”. You’ll thank me later. This has been a public service announcement.

 

Log all expenses, and keep a continual tracking system in place. Know where the money goes. (FYI: You don’t have to use credit cards like the author suggests. Saving receipts and plugging in the figures later works just as well for the OPSEC minded.)

 

“The Return of the Clothesline” is now playing at a theater near you. Start using a clothesline or drying rack and you’ll save energy, prolong the life of your clothes, and your house will be quieter and cooler. Oscar Awards all around!

 

Sewing will be a great skill to know and barter with post-SHTF. Many times articles of clothing will go unworn when buttons come off or a seam comes loose. It is a shame to let nice pieces of clothing go to waste or kids outgrow them without getting as much use from them as you can. It also comes in handy to have a sewing machine so you can take clothes in and let them out without always having to buy new ones.

 

Check Craigslist for free plants; you’ll almost always find them!

 

Shopping online? Never leave the coupon code box blank again! Google the name of the store and add the words “promo code” to the search bar. Sites like RetailMeNot.com offer free coupon codes for just about any product you’re shopping for.

 

Learn how to do basic home repairs and maintenance. Home Depot offers free classes from the Home Improver Club. You will learn important skills and save money at the same time. That is, of course, unless it’s a major project. You really don’t want to make any mistakes that only a professional can repair (and will charge you accordingly).

 

Stocking up when the price is low is the key to saving. Having a price book will really benefit you in the long run. Find what works for you– coupons, shopping at several stores, or shopping online. A combination of all three is my technique of choice!

To read the rest of the article – click here.

Brown Thumb Momma has a short article with some good advice and links.  “In 20 Things I do to Save Money,” she shares…

I make my own cleaning supplies instead of buying them. As an added bonus, this means the kids can help clean and I don’t worry about them being exposed to weird chemicals.

 

We make breakfasts ahead of time so nobody has to stop for fast food on the way to work/school.

Check out the other 18 tips! – Click here.

Remember, doing a lot of just a little bit, will save a ton and make a difference.

What About Precious Metals?

There are many out there in the alternative media space that believe when/if the economy crashes, they will become the next millionaire on the block because they have invested in precious metals.

I’m not a financial or precious metals expert.  But what I’ve gathered from trying to take in all the information out there, is that precious metals are a hedge against inflation. Could there be a time when the Biker Mice from Mars invade and our paper money is worthless and all that anyone will exchange or do business in is precious metals?  Could be.  Should you own some precious metals?  Yes, probably.

Although gold would be smaller and easier to physically move, silver might be your best deal right now.   Silver is very undervalued compared to what it costs to come out of the ground. I’m not going to go into a lot of specifics here.  I think that Michael Snyder of the Economic Collapse Blog did a good job of explaining all of this in a recent article, Why Investing In Silver Is Vastly Superior To Investing In Gold Right Now.

Conclusion – Time is Ticking

I like my life.  I’m comfortable.  I don’t like thinking that there is a future out there where I won’t be able to afford some of the things that I enjoy, much less, not be able to afford some of the things that are necessary, like medicine and medical procedures because they are too expensive.  I don’t like what this all implies for my kids!  But, that is why we prep!  That is why we sacrifice a little now because we see what could possibly be in the future.  Dave Ramsey has a saying that goes, “Live like no one else, so later, you can live like no one else.”  Time is ticking, get your finances in order!

For more ways to save money, check out the Frugal Living and DIY pages on Prepper Website!

You can also check out the TAG Cloud for saving, savings and frugal.

Peace,
Todd

Peace,

Todd

Imagine, A World Without Taxes (Here’s What It Would Look Like)

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Imagine, A World Without Taxes (Here’s What It Would Look Like)

Imagine living in a world without taxes. Granted, that’s a bit unlikely to happen, considering mankind’s long history with taxes. It seems that taxes and government go hand-in-hand. It doesn’t matter if you’re talking about the old European feudal system — where Barons and Earls taxed the serfs and merchant caravans crossing their lands — or you’re talking about modern socialistic and democratic governments. All governments tax. Not only does it give them a source of revenue, but it gives them a way of controlling the people.

Nevertheless, let’s indulge our imaginations for a moment and think about the difference that would make to live in a tax-free society. While I don’t expect ever to find such a utopia, seeing what it would be like will show us what taxes are doing to our society.

The first thing we’d all see is more money in our pockets. While the figures from various government watch agencies vary, right now, the average American family pays about 43 percent of their income out in taxes of one sort or another. That’s a lot higher than we expect, mostly because our tax bill is broken into many different pieces. We see the obvious ones like income tax, property tax and sales tax, but there are many, many more.

With an average family income of about $53,657 in 2015 (according to census bureau data), that works out to the average American family paying $23,073 per year in taxes. While this number rises and falls with the political winds and the unstable economy, just knowing that some of us pay out more than $23,000 per year in taxes is shocking enough.

Get Out Of The Rat-Race And Make Money Off-Grid!

So, if we were to eliminate all of those taxes, you would suddenly have an extra $23,000 that you could use, assuming that you are the theoretical average family. So, what would you do with it?

I’m sure if we polled ourselves, we’d find all sorts of noble sentiments about how we would use that extra money. Some would talk about saving for retirement, putting their kids through college, giving to non-profit organizations and otherwise making the world a better place to live. But let’s be honest, while all those things are great ideas, the reality is that if we had an extra $23,000, we’d probably spend it.

Imagine, A World Without Taxes (Here’s What It Would Look Like)We’re all much better at spending than we are at saving, and we can always find something that we need to spend extra money on. No matter how many noble intentions we have, a raise in income generally means a raise in our standard of living, not in our standard of saving.

Now, that’s not all bad. Spending money is actually good — good for the economy, that is. One of the major reasons that our economy has been stagnant since the 2008/2009 housing bubble crash is that people and businesses have been afraid to spend money. If there’s one thing that Obama has been good at, it’s getting people to stop spending.

That lack of spending is costing people jobs. If it continues, it could lead to an even worse economy. You see, it’s not the amount of money that exists which make the economy work, but how much of it is moving around. We need that money moving around, creating millions of transactions per day where people buy and sell products and services, so that the money gets into other people’s hands and they can spend it, too.

Let me put it this way. Let’s say that someone has $1 billion dollars and they use it to stuff their mattress, instead of spending it, investing it or even putting it in the bank, so that the bank can invest it. That money does nobody any good. With no goods and services being purchased, that money doesn’t do a thing to help the economy … worse, it doesn’t do a thing to give people jobs.

Okay, so there are somewhere around 116 million families in the United States (2007 figures). If each of those families had an extra $23,000 to spend in a year, it would work out to $2,668,000,000,000. That’s $2.68 trillion dollars; enough to buy more 85 million cars, 7,473 brand new 747 jumbo jets, 2,151 new cruise ships, or to build the world’s tallest building, Dubai’s Burj Khalifa 1,778 times. We could even pay off the national debt in a little over seven years or pay off the combined student debt in less than six months if we so chose.

How many jobs would be created by all of those purchases? There’s no real way of telling. But it’s clear that the number of new jobs created by that much additional cash flowing through the economy would be significant. Granted, the government is putting that money through the economy right now, paying for a myriad of different products, services and entitlements. But no government spends money efficiently. They don’t have to; after all, it’s taxpayer money, not real money.

The point is, every dollar the government takes out of our pockets in increased taxes has to come out of something else. It doesn’t come out of some untapped pool of money that people are sitting on. That doesn’t even happen with the wealthy. Taxing them more, a favorite Democrat tactic, just means that they don’t invest that money in other money-making ventures. In other words, they don’t give people jobs.

Imagine, A World Without Taxes (Here’s What It Would Look Like)Ultimately, it is the government that controls the economy and thereby controls jobs. Not by the Fed’s discount rate, as everyone assumes, but by the policies that they make, taking money out of our pockets in the form of taxes. They also control inflation, taking more money out of our pockets by creating money out of thin air in schemes like quantitative easing. So, when people complain about the lack of jobs; what they’re really saying is that the government is hurting the economy too much.

Taxes — all taxes — have a negative influence on the economy. But we really can’t get rid of them. We need the government, although we probably don’t need as much government as we have. Yet governments don’t shrink on their own; they only grow. New departments are created, requiring funding and causing more tax increases. Eventually, the people revolt or the economy reaches a point where it can’t support the government — and it collapses.

Plant A Full Acre Of Food With This Emergency Seed Bank!

Since we need our government, that means we need taxes, too. In fact, the Constitution gives the federal government the right to collect taxes. It says, “The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States; but all duties, imposts and excises shall be uniform throughout the United States.”

So fine, let them collect their taxes and let them use them for the common defense and the general welfare of the United States. But that’s it. Let’s put an end to pork barrel spending, research grants for useless things and other wasteful government spending. Let’s stop giving millions away to our enemies, so that they can chant “Death to America.” Let’s stop with all the departments of the government that only exist to take away our freedoms and so that the bureaucrats can tell each other how important they are. Let’s have a reasonable government and reasonable taxes.

Maybe then, our economy could return to the robust, growing economy of our parents’ generation. We would see our children have a better life than we have and we could expect their children to have an even better life than that. Maybe then, the people of the United States of America would become prosperous once again.

Do you agree or disagree? Share your thoughts on taxes in the section below:

More Than 90 Percent Of Customers Won’t Get Their Money When There’s A “Run On The Banks.” Read More Here.

18 Tips for Enjoying a Frugal Lifestyle

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frugal lifestyle tips

Frugality.

Penny-pinching.

Thriftiness.

Frugal lifestyle tips.

Do any of these words bring to mind a lifestyle full of joy and freedom? Oddly, they don’t. Instead, they bring to mind images of Scrooge and dreary, turn-of-the-century London slums. (Not sure why that last image comes to mind, but it does. Possibly from reading Oliver Twist!)

For those of us who do live lives of frugality, penny-pinching, and, yes, thriftiness, the reality is quite different. My family has been debt free for many years, with only a house payment and utilities as our expenses. While we aren’t exactly rolling in dough, neither are we over-burdened with stuff and all the responsibilities that come from owning too much stuff.

Here are a few tips I’ve learned over the years and a handful on my own To Do list:

  1. Give yourself a cash allowance every week or month and when the money is gone, it’s gone. Even having $10-20 and knowing you can spend it on ANYTHING YOU LIKE, adds some fun to the month. This will help you avoid those moments of self-pity when it feels like you never get to treat yourself to something special, and then, when you do spend, you know the money is there and there’s no stress about whether or not you can afford it.
  2. Check your banking account online often. Look for unauthorized expenses and those little expenses that can add up quickly. It helps you feel like you’re in control when you know exactly how much money is in your account and where it’s going and if there are any fraudulent charges, you can contact the bank immediately.
  3. Find friends who also want to live a frugal lifestyle, rather than with people who have expensive tastes. If you hang out with people who absolutely must have the latest technical gadget the day it comes out and they spend money like it’s water, pretty soon you’ll begin to do the same, or you’ll end up feeling depressed when you don’t spend. Who needs that additional stress?
  4. Have no spend days. Once you are able to go 1, 2, 3, and 4 days without spending a dime, then challenge yourself and your family to a full week of no spending.
  5. If one member of the family is more frugal, more of a saver, send THEM to the store with a list. They’ll be more likely to stick to the list and avoid impulse buys. If I run to the store to buy 4 things, you’d better believe I come home with 30 or 40. My penny-pinching daughter?  She’ll stick to that list like white on rice!
  6. Make saving money a game. What are the very cheapest meals you can make? If you spent $500 on groceries this month, can you spend $475 next month and $450 the next?
  7. On Sundays, sit down with your family and plan your spending for the week. Know what you will need to buy and this helps avoid buying things you don’t need. This will also help surprise expenses that the kids might spring on you at the last moment, such as fees for school activities.
  8. If possible, have a set amount of money automatically deposited from your paycheck into your savings account. There’s a very good chance you’ll never miss it. If you don’t make a point of saving money on purpose, it will never happen. Use this 52 Weeks Savings Plan, too.
  9. Carry cash for your spending money. It’s harder to spend it than it is to swipe a card. Those plastic debit and credit card remove you from the actual transition of cash. After all, it’s just a swipe, right?
  10. Take advantage of pre-tax Health Savings Accounts and employer contributions to a 401K, if those are offered by your job. Every benefit offered by your company, even if it’s just a bag of coffee beans per month as offered by Starbucks to their employees, is there for the taking. (By the way, Starbucks is an excellent employer. Review their benefits here.)
  11. Keep track of your financial progress: savings, debt repayment, mortgage/car pay offs, etc. This is so motivating — and get the family involved. Right now, my own family is saving up for an extensive vacation, and we have savings goals for each month. Not surprisingly, both kids are eager to get summer jobs, so they can add to the kitty!
  12. Use tax returns strategically: pay off debt, use it as your emergency fund, divide it by 12 and use it toward a monthly expense, etc. If you normally get this little “windfall” from the IRS, give yourself at least 3-4 weeks before spending it, a “cooling off period,” if you will. That will give you time to prioritize expenses and decide how much you want to set aside in savings.
  13. Watch your attitude and be grateful for what you have. It’s easy to become discouraged and even depressed when money is tight, but our grandparents and great-grandparents who lived through the Great Depression not only survived but many of them have said those were the best days of their lives. Why? Certainly not because they had every creature comfort and a huge bank balance, but because it was a time of families and communities pulling together, encouraging one another, and finding creative ways to make the most of what they had. If they could do it, you can, too!
  14. Stay away from malls and stores! You can’t pray, “Lead me not into temptation”, and expect to not be lured by tantalizing merchandise in stores and your favorite mall!
  15. Do the same for your kids. They are immersed in messages that tell them they must own certain items, dress a certain way, emulate one celebrity or another and spending time at malls and stores will only further drive home the message that happiness and acceptance by others can only come by spending money. Not a good foundation for their adult years.
  16. Spoil your kids with things that don’t cost much, if any, money – story time with mom, a trip to the dog park, story time at the library, “Hot Chocolate Night”, etc. This is when it really pays to keep track of restaurants and fast food joints that have “kids eat free” days. Combine that with a special night out for just you and one of the kids, and that’s a really inexpensive way to make your kid feel like a million bucks. In our house, we call this, “Girls Night Out” and “Guys Night Out.”
  17. Know the difference between needs and wants and make sure everyone in the family understands this, adults included! When my son has a long list of things he absolutely must have, I have him list each of them on a separate PostIt note and put them on the fridge. A few days later, I ask, “Is there anything on that list you don’t really want or need, after all?” One by one, the PostIts come off the fridge as he realizes he was just acting on impulse. If there’s something left after 3 or 4 weeks, he then begins saving money to buy it.
  18. Sign up to become a mystery shopper. This is a tricky way to get a nice meal out and be reimbursed. I’ve done mystery shopping for several companies over the years. It’s not the easy, get-rich-quick job that some claim, but once you get in with a few companies, you can pick and choose which jobs to take. Now, I only, and very occasionally, shop my absolute favorite high-end restaurant. For a $45 gift card to that same restaurant, it’s not a bad investment of my time!

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Would Taxes Survive a SHTF Event?

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shtf taxes

As I look at the various disaster scenarios that people are preparing for, I see some common themes come forth. One of the most common I see is that the federal government will disappear in any major, nationwide catastrophe.

It almost seems to be wishful thinking, as if people are hoping that a serious enough disaster will occur so that we have to go back to the Constitution and start over, building a new government to go with our reborn nation.

While there is a certain attractiveness in the idea of getting rid of our bloated federal government and its myriad regulations, I don’t have a whole lot of hope in that happening. In fact, I’d have to say that I’ve got some bad news in that regard. The government would go on, regardless of what happens to the rest of us.

Governments are parasites and like any other parasite, they’ll allow their host to die, while ensuring that they themselves survive. Our government is so firmly entrenched, with well over two million federal government employees on the public payroll, there is little chance that they will all just go away, let alone the almost 22 million total government employees in our country, when you take into consideration, local, state and county employees too.

The fact of the matter is, we need our government, even though we may not need everything it does. The basic government functions are critical to us surviving as a nation and provide services that we all need to have, in order to live and work together. Granted, there are many government organizations which do nothing more than create more and more regulations, destroying businesses and making life difficult for us all, but they aren’t the whole government. There are actual useful functions that the government fulfills.

Even in the recent crashes of national economies, we haven’t seen any governments close their doors. Greece, Cyprus and Argentina governments all continued working, even while large portions of their populations were out of work, losing their homes and having trouble putting food on the table.

What to Expect?

With the world’s governments becoming more and more liberal, and being driven to become more liberal by organizations like the Bilderberg Group, we can expect the prevailing liberal attitude that governments create jobs, not businesses to continue. Even though there is no proof to back up that claim, the idea of large central governments is central to the progressive liberal ideology and the one-world government they want to create.

This means that any future calamities, especially financial collapses of countries monetary systems, may lead to a number of austerity measures levied upon the population of those countries, but it won’t lead to any reduction of government. If anything, it will lead to an increase in government spending, which means an increase in taxes.

There are only three ways in which governments can receive money to operate on.

  • The first and most common is taxes. From time immemorial, kings and princes levied taxes on their peasants, so that they could build their castles and fight their wars. Modern governments have merely made their taxing of the common folk, who they still look at as peasants, more sophisticated and the waste of that tax money more prolific.
  • The second way that governments receive money is to borrow it. In a very real sense, the world is owned by a handful of bankers, chief amongst which is the Rothschild family, the world’s only trillionairs. These bankers own the majority of the world’s Federal Reserve banks, producing money which they loan to governments and individuals. They own the world in that everyone ultimately borrows from them, having to pay that money back with interest.
  • Finally, governments can receive money by creating it out of thin air. That’s actually the whole purpose of the Federal Reserve. By eliminating the gold and/or silver standard for money and replacing it with a Federal Reserve, governments give themselves the ability to create money from nothing. This is a large part of how our government has made up for the budgetary shortfall, as well as prop up the stock market, preventing it from crashing.

Quantitative easing, the technical term for creating money out of thin air, is actually a rather elaborate means of stealing from the people. Every time the government releases more money into the economy, it reduces the value of all existing money a minuscule amount. But the cumulative effect of that is a reduction of the money’s value to the point that in 100 years (1912 to 2012) the value of the dollar was reduced 98%.

So with these three methods as being the only ways that our government can receive revenue, there’s absolutely no reason to believe that they will stop collecting taxes, when and if a SHTF event were to happen. In fact, even a TEOTWAWKI event would be unable to stop the collection of taxes.

That’s not to say that it will always be easy for the government to collect those taxes, but if there is one place where governments are willing to do the hard things, it’s in collecting taxes. They will find a way.

It’s clear from the examples of recent history, that the government would continue to collect taxes through a financial collapse. In fact, it’s clear that taxes would skyrocket in such a case, as well as the government literally stealing money out of people’s bank accounts. Other governments have done it and there’s really no reason to think that our government is any more honest than any of them are.

The one situation which could cause some serious problems for the government, as far as tax collection is concerned, would be the loss of the electrical grid. Actually, loss of the electric grid by an EMP would be even worse. The vast majority of our nation’s wealth, including personal wealth, doesn’t exist in printed money or even gold bars; it only exists on a computer’s memory.

Unless the banking system and the government have a much better backup system than I believe they do, with computers and records that are immune to an EMP, such an event would destroy the vast majority of the nation’s wealth. The only money which would still exist is that which is printed, a small fraction of our total cumulative national wealth.

It would be difficult to collect taxes in such a case, as the records needed for collecting them would disappear, along with everything else. But that’s not to say that the government would forego collecting taxes. They’d collect them, even if it meant sending IRS agents door-to-door collecting whatever they could.

If anything, taxes would become more draconian under such a system than they are now. IRS agents would insist on payment in cash and if the people didn’t have cash, they would take whatever they had, selling it for cash. People could easily lose their homes, their businesses and their very means of survival under such a system; and there would be little to no recourse that they could use to regain what the government takes from them.

So, to answer the question I posed in the title of this article, yes, taxes would survive a SHTF event. Even in cases where not much else would survive, we could count on taxes surviving. As the old saying goes, “There’s two things you can be sure of in this life, death and taxes.”

A few people might manage to escape the attention of the IRS agents in such a case. Specifically, those who managed to escape to a prepared survival retreat would be hidden from the many eyes of the IRS… at least for a while. But you can be sure that even those people would be found eventually and the IRS would seek to extract their pound of flesh, with interest.

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This article has been written by Bill White for Survivopedia.

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Prep Blog Review: Prepping For The Collapse

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prep blog review

If many of the disaster we are prepping for are left to hazard, the economic collapse is not. In fact we already feel its effects on our day to day life and no matter how much we try to kid ourselves that maybe it won’t happen we know that it already did!

So instead of waiting for things to get worse in order to be convinced, here are 5 articles that we stumbled upon and discuss how close we are of an actual collapse and what you can do to stay on top of things.

1. The 5 Places In America You DON’T Want To Be When Society Collapses

Prep 1“What would you say is the number one threat to lead to an end-of-the-world-like scenario? A terrorist attack? An EMP strike? A natural disaster? An economic collapse?

All of these are possibilities, but in each one, a thick population density will make it far worse. There’s no denying that people panic when a crisis occurs, and that panic is only multiplied when more people are living closely to one another.”

Read more on Off The Grid News.

2. On a scale of 1 to 10, how close are we to SHTF?

Prep 2“Hello my friend and welcome back! I get several emails a month asking me my opinion on SHTF and this very thing (“On a scale of 1 to10, how close are we to SHTF?”) Today we are going to look at what I think and why.  Grab a cup of coffee and have a seat while we visit.

While I know that many people have varying opinions on this, I think that it is important that we take a look and just how close we are and why I think that we are closer than many people realize.”

Read more on American Preppers Online.

3. Decentralizing Cash – The Ultimate Survivalist Preparation

Prep 3“If the catastrophic event you’ve been preparing for does one day come about, it will be a fearsome test of your survivalism. Like any test, some will not pass. But in this case the consequences for valued loved ones might be heart-rending.

Preparation may be the answer, but whether it’s civil war, war with a foreign power, economic collapse, or social unrest, centralized money will have in one way or another been the root cause. Because whatever the event that tears apart the fabric of this country, the policies fueled by our fractional-reserve banking system-inflated fiat currency, and its petrodollar role, will certainly have taken us there.”

Read more on The Prepper Journal.

4. How To Profit From Collecting & Selling Scrap Gold

Prep 4“I’ve been collecting scrap metal for as long as I can remember. As a kid, my siblings and I would pick scrap metal from trash left out on garbage days. We would find copper wire, junk auto parts, pop cans – basically anything our dad could take us to sell at the scrap yard. It was labor intensive work for kids, but we were a lower middle income family that liked making something out of nothing.

But, one day while I was walking home from school, I found a ring and took it home to show my dad. He thought it was gold and took it to get checked out. It turned out to be 14K gold and I got $20.00, a fortune for a kid in the 60’s! Even back then, I realized that was a lot of money for something so small, and I’d rather find something like that than look for aluminum or stainless steel.”

Read more on The Survival Mom.

5. Frugal Out of Necessity, Frugal Out of Choice

Prep 5“When I was in college, I was frugal out of necessity. I had very little income coming in – just the money from a part-time job – so every dime that I spent was vital.

I ate a ton of ramen noodles. I went to community and campus meetings largely for the free food. I lived in a couple of tiny apartments and was effectively homeless for one short period.”

Read more on The Simple Dollar.

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This article has been written by Brenda E. Walsh for Survivopedia.

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3 Signs The Economic Crash Will Hit Us In 2016

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Economic crash

Never before in the history of the United States have so many top authorities agreed on one thing: the end of the US Dollar is almost here, and a global economic crisis will start in 2016.

This is very, very clear.

“Cash is trash.” – Robert Kiyosaki

“Dollar is going down.” – Donald Trump

“A U.S. financial crisis—greater than the crisis of 2008—is fast approaching… and this crisis will be very different from the last one.” – Ron Paul

“The Dollar As We Know It Will Be Gone Within 6 Years.” – Mike Maloney

“The American people have no idea they are paying the bill.” – G. Edward Griffin

And if you hold your wealth in banks, personal real estate or stocks, you need to stop what you are doing. Listen to what I am going to say, and pay very close attention, or when the economic crisis hits, you will be the one footing the bill, losing a majority of your savings, and working many years after you had planned to.

You see, in an extremely rare culmination of events, 3 key indicators all point at one conclusion: there will be a crash in 2016. And if it’s as big as some of these folks say it’s going to be, the US government will be coming after all of your civil liberties: your livelihood, your guns, and possibly your very freedom. The government will come after your livelihood to pay their debts, your guns so you can’t protect yourself, and your liberty if you object to the first two.

And I know, it seems too crazy to be true, but as you will see in just a minute, that is also part of their plan. I founded my company in 2010, when it became abundantly clear to me that the reason the economy got smashed in 2008, was going to happen again – and this next time was going to be ten times worse. But luckily for some of us, there is a way out. If, and only if you take the necessary steps now to avoid what they have in store for you.

So who is “they”? Sounds dubious, doesn’t it? Well, it’s not. “They” are the big bankers and corrupt politicians that continue to steal from the hard working population in order to line their own pockets and bail out their buddies, while the middle class and little guys suffer. They are the IMF. They are the Federal Reserve. They are Wall Street. They are Politicians. And according to many credible sources, they will be the ones that walk away from the next big crash unscathed, while folks like us suffer.

How Do You Know What’s Coming?

There are three things that need to be revealed to you, in plain and simple terms:

  1. How the 2016 economic crisis, will go down, according to many authorities, who have been correct on the matter a number of times;
  2. What traps the government have already put in place to take what’s left of your civil liberties, including confiscation of the majority of your wealth; and
  3. How you can take simple and inexpensive steps to protect your wealth by getting it beyond the desperate clutches of a broke government.

But first, I want to reveal the 3 major economic indicators that our economy is past due for collapse:

  1. The 7 Year Economic Crash Cycle has expired;
  2. The Presidential Hand Off is about to take place; and
  3. We’ve Reached a Critical Mass of Printing Money.

There is a theory called the “7 Year Cycle” which pretty accurately predicts that every 7 years or so, the stock market crashes. This trend started in 1966, with a serious credit crunch and liquidity crisis. 7 Years later, in 1973 marked the oil embargo crisis, and oil prices skyrocketed. In 1980, banks and brokerage houses nearly avoided a collapse by a last minute change to margin calls on shorting commodities. Interest rates topped at 22%.

And in 1987, the Dow lost 22% in one day. Seven years later, in 1994, the bond market crashed. And in 2001 (7 more years), Wall Street was hit hard after the attacks of 9/11. You remember what happened in 2008.

So why didn’t we see a crash in 2015? We should of, and I will tell you why we haven’t yet in just a minute. But just so you know, this “7 year cycle” crash could hit any day. The storm that is brewing is heightened by the fact that 2016 is an election year, so the “blame” can be pawned off on the candidate who’s time is finished (Obama) while the “New Hope” for our nation is being revealed.

And who will that be? The two front runners for the Democratic party are equally terrifying. Hillary because she is majorly in the big banks’ pockets, and Bernie because he is a self-proclaimed socialist. And the votes are already bought and paid for. Because there are so many people relying on the government for support, or to get their illegal family members into the country legally, that the nation has become Socialist and the Democratic Candidate is very likely to win.

And do you know what that will do to the stock market? Hint: its bad! Or the price of gold? Hint: It’s good if you know where to buy and hold your gold, which 87% of people do not.

The only reason the seven year cycle didn’t hit in 2015 is that we are printing money at proportions greater than ever. The federal reserve has increased the money supply through “Quantitative Easing” and buying and holding crap bonds. And the United States national debt has nearly quadrupled since 2001, from 5 trillion to over 18 trillion. Make no mistake. The “QE” program and printing is the only reason we have not been hit with the biggest economic crash that anyone can remember. But don’t be lulled into a false sense of security, because it’s coming.

If this is shocking or hard for you to believe, please know that you are not alone. And it’s not your fault. It’s a very common and natural thing to believe that everything is fine, and is going to be okay. It’s so common that they even have a clinical phrase for it. It’s called “Normalcy Bias.”

And normalcy bias affects every single one of us. Even me. It is something that you must address in yourself. It is the mental state people enter when facing a disaster. It causes people to underestimate both the possibility of a disaster and worse, the effects. Normalcy bias is the reason that any Jew remained in Germany after 1930. Or any resident of New Orleans remained in the city after the first levy broke. It is a real thing, and it paralyzes people.

I will address it during an upcoming video conference so we can know this about ourselves, and move past it to see the problem, and therefore help ourselves.

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Here Is What They Have Planned for Your Savings

While the rumblings of this economic upheaval have been set into motion since the so-called “recovery” after the last crash in 2008, the threats have never been as clear as they are today. And as we’ve learned, a number of highly respected and credible analysts have all predicted that the end of the US Dollar is here, and the crash is coming in 2016. But this time, and unlike 2008, the game is different, the players are smarter, and the stakes are so much higher.

And I hate to say it, but the traps are already set. And we are the mice. You are smart enough to know that the problems with this economy are systematic, and the solutions that worked to “fix” the problem in 2008, are no longer available to us.

What do I mean the solutions are no longer available? Well, the idea that anyone is “too big to fail” will not work in this new economy, and the Policy makers and bankers know this. They know the tax payer will no longer foot the bill for big banker’s mistakes. So what have they done? They have taken serious and decisive action to protect themselves (and not you) when their house of cards falls this next time.

And sadly, for millions of Americans, there will be no way out. I am talking about bail-in banking models, and capital controls like FACTA. And if you are thinking to yourself, “The economy is fine, we don’t have a thing to worry about.” You need to think again, and hear exactly what they are planning for you, your money, your passport, and your livelihood. This can happen in America, it has happened in America, and if you don’t do something to help yourself, it could very well happen to you.

1) Bail-In Model

First and foremost, the “Bail In” model means that the government will confiscate your savings during a crisis. If you think I am exaggerating, you only need to look back 2 years ago to what happened in a little country called Cyrpus. What’s more terrifying, is what the IMF said about Cyprus.

But if you have saving in the bank, you need to learn more about how to protect your savings. And another thing you should be asking yourself is: why they are collecting all of the new data they are collecting about your finances? Like FACTA.

2) FACTA

FACTA is a classic Big Government move: first, find out where the assets are located, so later, they can be levied. Governments do this to round up guns, money, and even food. And in 2014, the US began requiring that its citizens and even its resident aliens report all foreign accounts. Even if these accounts are 100% legal – they must all be reported so that the government knows exactly where to go to collect.

And finally, when the collapse does happen, you will see some major restraints on the movement of your money. These are called “Capital Controls.”

3) Capital Controls (Private and Public)

During Greece’s latest collapse, banks shut their doors, and ATMs were limited to a $50 per day disbursement, before many of them ran out of money. Things got pretty ugly, and turned back to a barter system–something that often happens in a collapse. And you may not know this, but we are already trained to accept capital controls from our government.

Have you ever left the country and had to tick the box on a form if you are carrying more than $10,000 across the border? That is a Capital Control. And in a collapse, that number will be reduced to less than $200. Just ask the citizens of Argentina, who experienced this in 2012. Learning how to avoid these private and government controls of your money is one thing that you really need to do before it’s too late.

Because remember: if you can’t access your money, how will you buy anything you need to survive? You won’t. Unless you take the next step and learn how this seemingly terrible situation can actually mean financial freedom for you.

I have helped thousands of people get ready for this scenario, in what I like to call a “No Risk” situation. Here’s what I mean: there are a few ways to prepare for this scenario that cost you very little, and if I am wrong, and the economy only gets better forever, you still have not lost much compared to what happens if I am right.

Look, any time you “invest” your money – there is a risk. Stocks plummet, real estate crashes, and banks refuse to hand over your money. But there is one thing that historically increases during this type of economic upheaval, and when the shit really hits the fan, this one thing will be your savior: Physical Gold and Silver.

The thing with gold and silver is this: it has value regardless of what the economy does. Since the dawn of human time, people have used these metals as jewelry, for trade, and for machinery. And unless this 2,000 year practice all of a sudden stops tomorrow, physical metals will hold much of their value.

And I wish it was as simple as telling you: “Go buy gold.” But it’s not. They have made sure of that. These folks are not stupid. And they learned their lesson last time the entire system almost came crumbling to knees. They saw how people like me, who saw the writing on the wall, made money on the crises. They know how some people are trying to subvert their efforts, and they have got almost all of their bases covered. Note: I said almost.

If you know their plan, then you can make your own. And there are ways right now to get your wealth beyond their grasp, and into an asset class that they cannot reach. And by now, I hope the problem is clear. A crash is coming in 2016, your wealth is at stake, especially if it’s held in the bank, in your personal real estate, or in your 401k. You are at risk of losing all you have worked to save, unless you learn how to preserve your savings.

You don’t have to believe me, rather, you only need to look back 8 years ago to see what happened then, and you know, this time it will be worse. These institutions have not gotten healthier or stronger. In fact, they’ve become more cancerous and pervasive. And this time, there will be no saving graces. They have made sure that you and I will be the ones left to suffer. Unless we get this insurance and protect ourselves right now.

Once the collapse comes, it will be too late, unless you act now, and that is what I am here to help you do. That is why we have just arranged for you to join us on a video conference call this week. We don’t want you to miss out on any of this life-changing information. And you won’t regret it. Click on the banner below to secure your spot now!

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This article was written as a Guest Writer for Survivopedia by Jarrod Dennis of Succes Council.

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70 Tips That Will Help You Survive What Is About To Happen To America

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Survival World News

70 Sign

By Michael Snyder – End Of The American Dream

You may have noticed that things are starting to get crazy. Financial markets are imploding, violent crime rates are soaring in our major cities, and we have witnessed a truly unusual series of natural disasters in recent months. War in the Middle East continues to rage out of control, and Islamic terror continues to spread all over the globe. And many believe that 2016 is going to be a year of political shaking, civil unrest, governmental crackdowns and great economic chaos in the United States. All it is going to take to plunge our society into full-blown panic mode is a major “trigger event” of some sort. Another 9/11, a new “Lehman Brothers” moment, a massive EMP burst from the sun or a historic seismic event are all examples of what this “trigger event” could look like.

So are you…

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Filed under: Emergency Survival Tips, How To Prepare, Prepping

Scrambling to Survive in a Collapsing Economy

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economic collapse

One of the first acronyms I learned as a new prepper was TEOTWAWKI.  The End Of The World As We Know It.  I knew from reading James Rawles’ Patriots that the end could come suddenly, within just a few days as America’s banking system collapsed upon itself.  Another, more drastic version was spelled out for me in an online article, “The One Hour Meltdown.”  Neither vision of the future was pleasant, but I was skeptical about the concept of a sudden economic collapse.

Instead, a slow decline, a de-evolution, of our lifestyles and our economy may be far more likely.  Continued high levels of unemployment, for example, are eroding away at America’s middle class.  Worse still, is the fact that long-term joblessness causes individuals and families to exhaust their savings, retirement funds, and max out credit cards in their attempt to stave off bankruptcy, evictions, and home foreclosures.  As each safety net is consumed, people become more and more entrenched in the growing underclass, and in today’s economy, it’s going to be more difficult than ever to recoup what has been lost.  TEOTWAWKI has become a reality for millions of Americans, and the slow decay continues.

The proof is in the numbers

Currently, around 48 million Americans are living below the poverty level, measured by an income of $24,230 or less for a family of four.  The median income has decreased to levels seen in the mid-1990’s. Depending on whose numbers you trust, the unemployment level is either 5%, according to the federal government, or upwards of 25%.

The unemployment rate depends largely on where you live and the health of local business and industry. As the oil and gas industry has taken a huge hit in 2015, employment in this areas, as well as other related businesses, has dropped. A few years ago on a road trip, we stopped in Yuma, Arizona, and it was a virtual ghost town with dozens and dozens of stores and restaurants closed and out of business.

READ MORE: Do you know what the actual poverty levels are for different sized families? Here is a table that provides that information.

A record number of more than 94 million people are no longer in the workforce.  The percentage of employable males between the ages of 25 and 54 who are unemployed is around 12%, up from 6% in 1980. Today, only 44% of Americans consider themselves to be “middle class”, down from 53% in 2008, and, incredibly, 49% believe they are “lower class”.

The average age of a worker earning just minimum wage is 36. 52% of American workers make less than $30,000.No wonder American families are hurting.

READ MORE: Coping with a personal financial crisis? I wrote this just for you.

Bottom line: Americans are earning less and working less.  Jobs have simply disappeared, and this leaves millions of us more vulnerable than ever to an economic collapse.

The saddest ending of all

A slow decline of a society is more sad and tragic than a sudden collapse.  After all, what is the more awful to watch, an animal dropping dead from a single rifle shot or one that lumbers along in pain from a not-quite-mortal wound, finally dropping, exhausted, miles away? At some point in the future, we’ll wake up and realize that our country has been lumbering along and has finally collapsed.  TEOTWAWKI isn’t always sudden.  Sometimes it’s slow and sad.

Back when Russia was the USSR and the Iron Curtain was firmly in place, I traveled through such glamour spots as East Berlin, Belgrade, and Leningrad (now St. Petersburg).  I was struck by the widespread poverty, from patched up cars from the 1950’s to equally antiquated fashions.  Grocery stores were virtually empty, the scarce goods available were poor quality, technology was ancient as vendors used abacuses to calculate sales, and only a very few people at the top of the food chain enjoyed the comforts I took for granted.  When I think of a slow collapse of America, this is the snapshot that comes to mind.

Preppers and survivalists will inherit the earth

We are currently in a small window of time in which we can prepare our families for an economic collapse, whether it happens in one day or continues far into the future, “lost decades”, as they say.  The concept of preparedness is based on taking steps before a crisis to insure your family’s well-being afterwards.

Recent reports tell of record numbers of Americans resorting to dumpster diving in order to find food.  Preppers and survivalists with deep pantries filled with buckets of wheat, SPAM, and soup will be spared that indignity!

READ MORE: Dumpster diving requires more skills than you might think!

Here are a few proactive steps to take in the face of an economic collapse.

  1. If you’re relying on a solvent Social Security system to see you through your retirement years, you’re already in trouble. If the government gives it to you, they can take it away. What can you do to earn more money on the side to invest in hard goods, such as food storage, possibly precious metals, moving to an area that is less populated, or buying a vehicle that is more likely to be EMP-proof.
  2. However, for the time being, DO take advantage of any and all forms of government assistance if you qualify. You paid into the system and you might as well get the help you need as long as the federal government remains solvent.
  3. Give a lot of serious thought to how you might earn extra money. I started this blog when I was in my later 40’s — so don’t use age as an excuse to not try something new! Assess your bank of skills and knowledge and how you might be able to leverage them to start a small business out of your home.
  4. Review every expense paid by cash or debit and anything paid for with a credit card. Slash and burn unnecessary expenses.  It’s surprising how little we actually need, even though cutting out beloved expenses can be painful.  I cried when I had to cancel my son’s guitar lessons, but our family budget couldn’t handle the expense any longer, and I was able to find free lessons online.
  5. Set aside a few months worth of food suitable for long-term storage, and then continue stocking up. If your food is stored safely and correctly, there’s really no such thing as having too much, since you can always share with others.
  6. Fuel prices will likely escalate at some point and car upkeep and insurance are always dependable money-drains. What can you do now to minimize your dependence on car travel?  Can you switch to doctors, stores, and businesses within walking or bicycling distance?  Imagine, now, that gasoline is $6 a gallon, or not available at all, and begin making changes accordingly.
  7. Along with fuel, energy prices are headed sky-high. The appliances in your home that use the most electricity are your air conditioner, heater, water heater, and stove.  Do you have more than one way to cook food and heat water in order to save on the monthly bill?  What about staying warm in the winter and cool in the summer?  Excessively high rates for power are common in countries with struggling economies, so having a plan and the right supplies is crucial.
  8. Don’t count on solar. It continues to be prohibitively expensive, even with government and power company assistance.  It takes a decade or more to recoup the expense of a whole-house solar system, and the electronic components are susceptible to EMP.  You’re better off buying smaller solar-powered products such as battery chargers, a solar oven, or a solar-powered refrigerator, although that, too, is costly.
  9. Learn how to produce some of your own food by gardening and raising whatever livestock your circumstances allow. Backyard chickens have become so popular that many towns and cities are revising their regulations to allow chickens, and in some cases, other animals, including bees.
  10. Pay off debt and tackle the mortgage. Remember, farmers in the Great Depression lost their farms because they couldn’t make the payments, and in some cases, because they couldn’t pay the property tax.  Even adding $50 or $100 to a mortgage payment will reduce the principal.  If your home is free and clear, start a monthly savings plan so the annual property tax bill can be paid promptly.
  11. Save money. Even if the dollar should be devalued, paper money will still have some value. It would be better to have $5000 in a devalued dollar than nothing at all!  Even if such an extreme scenario never occurs, the average period of unemployment is approaching one year.  Anything in savings will, literally, buy you and your family time as you seek employment and other sources of income.
  12. Become frugal now. Whatever money you have in savings will last a lot longer if you know how to pinch a penny until Abe screams for help!
  13. Consider investing in precious metals. No, you can’t eat gold or silver, but precious metals have always been of value.
  14. Don’t count on bartering as a lifestyle. Remember, that in order for a barter exchange to be successful, you have to have what the other person wants or needs.  If all you have are airplane bottles of whiskey and I’m a non-drinker, do you really think I’m going to trade my food or medical supplies for your booze?  There’s definitely a place for bartering, but too many people see it as the solution rather than a possible option.
  15. Stay up to date with dental and medical issues. Drastic changes to our health care system have already happened, with more to come. If our economy continues its downward slide, only the very wealthy and well-connected will be able to have top-notch medical care on demand.  If you’ve been putting off the annual physical, surgery, or any other procedure, it’s time to make the call, set the appointment, and take care of it.
  16. Get in shape. Not the most popular of survival topics, but if you are at a healthy weight and in average to above-average shape, you’ve already improved your health, making medical issues less likely.

A final word about an economic TEOTWAWKI

The worst part about an economic collapse is the unfairness of it all, and that brings me to my final and most important tip.  Guard your mind and your heart against bitterness and anger.  Most of the recently unemployed are there through no fault of their own.  Hundreds of thousands of hard working, responsible Americans have lost homes and property because of decisions made by those in government, finance, and business who continue to live in luxury.

Survival begins with a positive mental attitude but anger and resentment consume energy, cause depression, and increase feelings of victimhood.  Instead, make the decision to be proactive and self-reliant.  When you do that, you’ve taken power away from those you resent and have empowered yourself.  That’s a sign of a true survivor who’s ready to face whatever comes.

economic collapse

How To Turn Your Backyard Chickens Into Homestead Money-Makers

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Raising Chickens For Profit

Image source: wikimedia

So you’ve decided that chickens would be a good addition to your self-sufficient lifestyle. Now comes the more difficult part. What exactly are you going to do with those chickens you see scratching and nesting in your mind’s eye? Are you raising them for eggs only? Maybe you are remembering those expensive, fancy breeds shown at county fairs.

Why not raise them for some extra cash? If that interests you, then keep reading.

Before you get started, consider:

1. Is it legal for you to raise chickens where you live — and to sell?

In rural areas this might not be an issue. However, it is always smart to check just in case your county or state has some obscure regulation regarding raising chickens and all that enterprise entails. In urban areas there is almost always some ordinance or regulation you will need to be aware of regarding the raising of livestock within township or city boundaries. Roosters are often banned within city limits so that would mean you couldn’t breed your own line of show birds.

2. Do you need a permit to build your chicken coop and run?

This is definitely necessary to find out if you are within city limits since you could be required to pay a fine and remove the unpermitted building or addition.

3. Do you have enough space?

Figure at least 4-square-feet per bird for the coop and 8-square-feet per bird for the run. We’ll discuss this more a little later in the article.

4. What kinds of predators do you need to protect your chickens from?

In the city you may have to deal with rats, raccoons, opossums, feral or stray cats and dogs, and the occasional troublemaking human. I live within township limits and I have seen foxes during the day and heard coyotes at night. You may have these same problems depending on the size of your town/city and your location within it.

All The Answers To Every Chicken Question And Quandary …

Hawks, eagles, owls, weasels and snakes also can cause problems if your homestead is located in smaller townships and villages.

In true rural areas you will encounter larger predators like wolves, bears, badgers, bobcats, etc., depending upon the region you live in.

5. What age of chicken will you buy? How long do you want to wait for eggs, good-sized carcasses, or to be able to show your bird?

Raising Chickens For Profit

Image source: Pixabay.com

Chicks require a bit more work to raise. If you can’t keep them warm enough they will die. Chicks are somewhat delicate and you will wait at least six months for eggs and up to a year for them to be full adult size and ready for butchering. As far as ornamental birds go, you could wait up to three years for them to be ready to compete. Another potential problem is that you can’t really tell if you are getting male or female chicks because vent-sexing is only about 90 percent accurate.

Pullets are about 20 weeks old and are just a couple weeks away from laying eggs. If you buy pullets to start your flock you will know you are getting all hens as the adult feathers are growing in and are distinctive between male and female. This is the most popular way of raising chickens. This is the age that most ornamentals are purchased and some county fairs have a pullet class, meaning you can begin showing your bird as soon as the chicken has settled into its new home.

Mature hens are difficult to find. However, you can occasionally find farmers willing to sell their ‘old biddies’ to you. Keep in mind, however, that these birds are past their prime laying years. Mature show chickens can be quite expensive, especially if they are considered to be bred from champions of their breed.

Once you have found out or considered the information above you are ready to decide whether you are raising these chickens for eggs, meat, both eggs and meat, or for show birds. The care for the birds is similar, though show birds tend to be more delicate and require extra care and more extravagant housing.

The first thing to think about when choosing the types of chickens to raise is related to where you live. The climate in your area will be the biggest deciding factor in choosing the breed of chicken you can most easily raise in that area. Once you have determined the seasonal differences, you are ready to research which chickens will do best in your region.

Chickens Raised for Food

The table below lists the chickens that are raised for egg production in a backyard setting, the approximate number of eggs per week you will get from each bird of that breed, and the color of the eggshells. All of the breeds listed in the table are cold hardy birds though you may need to offer some form of heat in the coop if temperatures dip below what is the norm for your region.

Breed Egg Laying Egg Color
Australorp 5/week Brown
Rhode Island 5/week Brown
Red or Black Star 5/week Brown
Chantecler 4/week Brown
Delaware 4/week Brown
Easter Eggers 4/week Multi-colored
White Leghorn 4/week White
Plymouth Rock 4/week Brown
Wyandotte 4/week Brown
Ameraucana 3/week Light Blue
Holland 3/week White
New Hampshire Red 3/week Brown
Orpington 3/week Brown
Redcaps 3/week White
Java 3/week Brown

 

As you can see from that table most of the chickens raised for eggs are dual purpose. That means that once their egg laying days are over they can provide a meal for your family. You should remember that chickens can live from 10 to 14 years but will only lay the projected amounts in the table between the ages of one and three to four years. After that, egg laying will taper off until your chicken is laying only one or two eggs each week.

Learn How ‘God’s Miracle Dust’ Can Keep Your Livestock Healthy

Other things that will affect your hen’s egg laying are winter, molting, crowding and illness. You can’t really do anything to increase laying in winter so just be aware that as the days grow cooler and shorter your hens may not give you as many eggs. Molting occurs in most breeds starting at about 18 months of age. A molting bird will look terrible since they lose most if not all of their feathers during this period, which can last from two to four months. Egg laying will resume about a week after the bird’s feathers grow back in. Crowding occurs when you have too small a space to contain your flock. To be comfortable and happy each chicken needs the proper amount of space to roost, nest and scratch. Illness can be controlled somewhat by keeping your coop and run clean and having a vet familiar with livestock birds care for them, when needed.

How To Turn Your Backyard Chickens Into Homestead Money-Makers

Image source: Indiancreeknaturecenter.org

In the table above – with the exception of the Easter Eggers, White Leghorns and Ameraucana breeds – the chickens were bred to be layers as well as roasters or fryers. The breeds listed in that table will weigh between five and eight pounds at their full adult weight and will dress out to a four- to seven-pound carcass.

Chickens Raised for Profit

Show chickens, also known as ornamental birds, require slightly more care than the breeds used as layers and meat producers. You will need to be sure that their coop is much cleaner since mites and lice will detract from their looks. These birds, too, will molt so they won’t be able to be shown or sold as show birds during this time. I suggest that you do a lot of research before investing in your choice of an ornamental breed. However, if you do choose to raise an ornamental breed, or several, they can bring in a nice profit on each chick, pullet or chicken sold.

Below is a list of 11 of the most popular breeds used as ornamental or show birds. You may choose one of these more popular breeds or take a risk on raising a rarer breed. It is a myth that ornamental chickens don’t lay eggs. Of course they do, since all birds lay eggs. However, their eggs are much smaller than chickens bred for egg-laying. The eggs are are edible if they are gathered shortly after being laid.

  • Brahma. This breed is called ‘The King of All Poultry’.
  • Cochin.
  • Favorolle.
  • Cubalaya.
  • Java.
  • Orpington.
  • Silver Phoenix.
  • Dominique.
  • Langshan. These birds can fly fairly high, so build your fences accordingly.
  • Malay. These chickens stand two- to three-feet tall!
  • Dutch Bantam.

Your egg layers and your meat birds can earn you money as well if you have a large enough flock to support that effort. Two to four birds will provide enough eggs each week for your family and probably have enough left over to give away to friends. However, if you have a large enough flock and raise your chickens properly, during the summer months you can make a tidy profit at the farmer’s market or selling to your neighbors.

It is thought that about half of the backyard farmers or homesteaders that raise chickens sell their excess eggs. Eggs from chickens that are raised with grain or corn supplemental feed sell for about $2 per dozen. Eggs from chickens that are either free-range or eat only grass, vegetable waste from your kitchen and bugs are considered organic can sell for as much as $5 or more per dozen. If you are raising your chickens for meat, you also can sell the butchered carcass at the farmer’s market or to your neighbors. Corn- or grain-fed chickens sell for about $3 per pound. Free-range or organic-fed chickens can sell for around $5 per pound.

And then there are the “heritage breeds” that are raised for meat. These carcasses can sell for more than $5 per pound since their meat is tasty and tender. One thing to remember if you are raising meat chickens to sell: Butcher them at the earliest time after they have reached their full adult weight. If you butcher chickens older than two years of age, they are no longer “roasters” and are only good for stewing due to the meat not being as tender. Roasters bring in the most profit, although “stewers” or “soup” birds can still be a nice money-maker during the winter months.

What advice would you add in raising chickens for profit? Share your advice in the section below: 

If You Like All-Natural Home Remedies, You Need To Read Everything That Hydrogen Peroxide Can Do. Find Out More Here.

The Calm Before The Storm

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Storm - Public Domain

By Michael Snyder – The Economic Collapse Blog

Have you noticed that things have gotten eerily quiet in the month of October?  After the chaos of late August and early September, many had anticipated that we would be dealing with a full-blown financial collapse by now, but instead we have entered a period of “dead calm” in which things have become exceedingly quiet in almost every way that you can possibly imagine.  Other “watchmen” that I highly respect have made the exact same observation.  Even though the economic numbers are screaming that we have entered a global recession, they aren’t really make any headline news.  A whole host of major financial institutions around the planet are currently in danger of collapsing and creating the next “Lehman Brothers moment”, but none of them has imploded just yet.  And of course Barack Obama seems bound and determined to start World War III.  On Monday, it was announced that he is sending a guided missile destroyer into Chinese waters in the South China Sea.  The Chinese have already stated that they might just start shooting if this happens, but Barack Obama doesn’t seem to care.  But until the shooting actually begins, that is not likely to upset the current tranquility that we are enjoying either.

To me, what we are experiencing at the moment would best be described as “the calm before the storm”.  If you are not familiar with this concept, this is how it is defined by How Stuff Works

Have you ever spent an afternoon in the backyard, maybe grilling or enjoying a game of croquet, when suddenly you notice that everything goes quiet? The air seems still and calm — even the birds stop singing and quickly return to their nests.

After a few minutes, you feel a change in the air, and suddenly a line of clouds ominously appears on the horizon — clouds with a look that tells you they aren’t fooling around. You quickly dash in the house and narrowly miss the first fat raindrops that fall right before the downpour. At this moment, you might stop and ask yourself, “Why was it so calm and peaceful right before the storm hit?”

Like so many others, I believe that a great storm is coming, and yet right at this moment things seem so peaceful.

Unfortunately, this period of peace and quiet is not going to last for long, and most Americans know deep down that something is seriously wrong with our nation.  In fact, a new WND/Clout poll has found that 85.3 percent of all likely voters in the United States believe that our country is going in the wrong direction…

Continue reading at The Economic Collapse Blog: The Calm Before The Storm

Filed under: Civil Unrest / War, Economy, News/ Current Events, Whatever Your Opinion

Big Business Has No Community Or Country Loyalty – So Buy Local

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“Merchants have no country. The mere spot they stand on does not constitute so strong an attachment as that from which they draw their gains”. While lumping all merchants together is certainly not entirely accurate, the quote from Thomas Jefferson certainly rings true for ‘big business’. In fact, today it is more true than ever. […]

20 Reasons Why All The People That Quit Prepping After September Are Dead Wrong

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Wrong Way - Public Domain

By Michael Snyder – The Economic Collapse Blog

Millions of Americans were gearing up for some huge event to happen in September, but the world didn’t end and now many of them have given up entirely on prepping.  Of course the truth is that some absolutely earth-shattering events did take place last month, but because September did not play out exactly as some were anticipating, a lot of people feel very let down.  My contacts in the emergency food industry tell me that sales have dropped off dramatically, and yesterday I was told by someone that I trust that the same is true for those that sell precious metals.  But this should not be happening.  What we witnessed in August and September was just the warm up act, and all of the numbers are absolutely screaming at us that we are right on track for a major global crisis.  In this article I am going to focus on economic and financial issues, but there are so many other things going on around the planet right now that threaten to throw our world into turmoil.  Anyone that thinks that it is safe to “relax” now is simply not paying attention.  The following are 20 reasons why all the people that quit prepping after September are dead wrong…

#1 U.S. exports are down 11 percent for the year so far.  The only other times they have fallen this dramatically since the turn of the century were during the last two recessions.

#2 Since March, the amount of stuff being shipped by truck, rail and air inside the United States has been falling every single month on a year over year basis.  This is a clear indication that economic activity is really slowing down.

#3 Wholesale sales in the U.S. have fallen to the lowest level since the last recession.

#4 The inventory to sales ratio has risen to the highest level since the last recession.  This means that there is a whole lot of unsold inventory that is just sitting around out there and not selling.

#5 Industrial production declined for five months in a row during the first half of 2015.  That is something that has never happened outside of a recession.

Continue reading at The Economic Collapse Blog: 20 Reasons Why All The People That Quit Prepping After September Are Dead Wrong

About the author:

Michael T. Snyder is a graduate of the University of Florida law school and he worked as an attorney in the heart of Washington D.C. for a number of years.

Today, Michael is best known for his work as the publisher of The Economic Collapse Blog and The American Dream

Filed under: Economy, News/ Current Events, Prepping

Prepping On A Budget: 17 Urgent Preps For Under $100

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Prepping On A Budget - 100 Dollar BillYour 17 Step Guide To Prepping On A Budget

You want to be more prepared, but unfortunately prepping isn’t free. However, it also doesn’t need to break the bank.

You just need an intelligent easy to follow guide to prepping on a budget.

Here are 17 Mission Critical Preps You Can Do Right Now For Under $100:

Note: All pricing is based upon the day this post was written. As we know, prices can fluctuate but you can usually still find similar deals if you try.

First Impressions1 – Test Drive Some Survival Food For Free + (S&H) – $4.95

Are you just planning your food stockpile? Or are you interested in adding to your healthy food stockpile? Either way, you should add some long shelf live freeze dried food.

But how can you trust that the food is tasty and the mylar bag seals are as high quality as they claim?

You can’t, until now.

Open up a new window in your browser. Here, I’ll make this super simple, just Click Here.

Now you can see Valley Food Storage’s Free Sample Image on the right side of their site. Click on this image. Enter your basic information (i.e. name, shipping, etc.).

Valley Foood Storage Free Sample

All you have to do is pay shipping and handling. Then in a couple of days you’ll receive your free freeze dried meal sample.

But don’t just stock this free food sample away. Check out the packaging, read the ingredients, follow the instructions and enjoy.

If you love their survival food as much as I did, you’ll want to invest a few dollars on this 25-year shelf life security blanket. Now you can sleep better at night.

Bug Out Location Self Reliance Property2 –Find A High-Quality Bug Out Location – Free

In my post Bug Out Locations: 7 Essential Qualities, I shared 2 detailed case studies on how to find bug out land to investigate further.

In the 1st case study, I found a piece of remote public land outside of Atlanta Georgia for 10k. Then I shared some examples on how you can reduce the costs to buy this bug out property.

In the 2nd case study, I show how to use free online topographical maps to look for good, but out sites on public land.

Both of these case studies give you the tools to begin your search for high-quality bug out locations. All for free, which is essential when prepping on a budget.

3 – Increase Your SHTF Survival Odds by Starting a Coalition – Free

If you’ve read my post on the subject of Survival Coalitions, then you know that I don’t recommend “Going It Alone”.

You need a team (even if it’s small) that you can 1) Trust and that adds 2) Value. No oxygen thieves need apply!

But, one of the biggest questions I receive from readers is “How do I find a local Survival Coalition?”.

Well, I’m about to show you how.

You have a couple of options here:

  • Option 1 – Join an established group (harder than it sounds)
  • Option 2 – Create your own (easier than it sounds)

Ok, let’s dive into Option 1 first.

Option 1: Find A Group To Join

Do some research. Start online, try Google, search survival forums, search social media.  If you’re lucky, you’ll find a local survival group just starting up and looking for new members.

Do you see any issues with that? I do.

First, the existing group needs to be local. Second, established groups don’t just add random strangers (you need to know someone who will vouch for you). Lastly, they need to be seeking out new members.

If you find all three of these then you won the lottery. Congrats.

So you see, it’s just harder than it sounds. If you’re having trouble finding a Survival Coalition to join, then I suggest you move on to Option 2.

Option 2: Create Your Own Group

This one seems scary to many people at first.

Not everyone is a leader and starting a survival group can seem intimidating. However, it’s much easier than you think. Plus, after you get a few members you might not even have to be the leader if you don’t want to be.

My recommended (free) tool for starting a local survival coalition is Craigslist.

That’s right, the tool you use to sell all your unwanted crap can help you start your own Survival Group.

Here’s the step by step process.

Go to Craigslist.com and chose your local city/town (or the closest one you can find).

Craigslist Closest Cl

Click on the Post To Classifieds.

Post to Classifieds

Next, choose Community and then Groups.

Choose CommunityChoose groups

Next fill out the basic details and what you want your ad to say.

Fill Out Info

Here’s one that works pretty well.

“I’m looking to organize a new survival coalition in the [city/town]. If interested, please send me an email providing some details about yourself. Please include your current survival/prepping skill level and your survival goals.”

“If I get enough responses I will setup a time and date that we can all meet up and start a successful survival coalition.”

This ad pitch does a couple of things.

  • It’s local, which ensures that those interested will be from your general area.
  • It explains that you are interested in like-minded people who want to meet up to discuss survival strategies.
  • It allows you to vet the people who submit because you asked them to share some personal details and goals.
  • It also allows you to ignore anyone who seems off and you would prefer not to meet. It’s always a good idea to avoid crazy people in your survival coalition.

Then when the responses come in, review the ones that seem to fit what you’re looking for. Then go ahead and schedule a group meetup.

Note: Always schedule a meet up in a  public place…Just In Case.

You have just started your very own Survival Coalition. Congrats…I’ll let you take it from here.

Drinking With A LifeStraw 4 – Never Be Forced To Drink Dirty Contaminated Water – $19.95

Hopefully, you already have at least one of these (ideally you have several). If you don’t, then you get to cross this one off your list right now.

If you haven’t, then you need to buy one today.

Clean water is just too important for survival, especially after SHTF. In my opinion, this is the cheapest SHTF insurance policy you can make.

At only 19.95 on Amazon, it’s a no-brainer (price listed at the time this post was written).

Best Bug Out Bag List Contains The Following Items

5 – Plan Your Bug Out Bag – Free

If you’re planning your bug out, then you need to plan your bug out bag. I’ve created a #104 item bug out checklist where I explain in detail what you should buy and why you should add it to your pack.

Just click this link.

Then enter your best email address and the bug out checklist will be on its way to your inbox shortly.

Now, you just have a master plan to get your bug out bag ready and organized.

Find Out Who Is Jim Rickards6 – Get Your Financial House in Order Before The Next Big Drop – Free + (S&H) – $4.95

Worried about the US Financial System? You should be.

Have you ever heard of Jim Rickards?

Well, he worked on several high profile government projects with the CIA. He helped develop financial analysis tools to root out terrorist money flows. He is one of the smartest financial guys I listen to.

He has a new book out that is eye opening to say the least.

You should read it.

Plus, it’s free (just pay shipping and handling). Read it and you’ll understand where we are at financially as a country. Where we are headed and how to position your finances to protect your family.

That way you can begin to prepare to survive the Next Big Drop, even if you’re prepping on a budget.

Just click this link to order your FREE copy of The Big Drop today.

Hand Crank Radio7 – Know What’s Going On, Even If The World Goes Silent – $19.99

Communication is an underrated survival skill. 2-way long range survival communication is best. Being able to broadcast and have a conversation is ideal, but those setups take a lot of time and money.

For today, you can get 50% of the communication for a whole lot less money, time and energy.

What makes a hand crank radio so perfect for SHTF is that it doesn’t depend upon grid power electricity to work.

Just crank it and it recharges itself.

Maybe it’s a nuclear attack where you are hunkering down and need critical emergency information. Or maybe the electrical grid is down for the long haul. This survival radio might be the only way to receive critical emergency mass communication.

It’s an easy win at only $19.99 on Amazon (price listed at the time this post was written).

paracord monkey fist key chain8 – Have 550 Survival Paracord With You At All Times – Free

If you have some paracord lying around then, it’s free to make it into something useful.

If not, buy some paracord (its pretty cheap) and make something useful out of it.

Here are 17 great paracord project ideas for your weekend.

9 – Never Be Without Heat and Warmth – $4.40

Have you ever used a mylar blanket? When used properly, it will keep you warm even in the coldest of conditions.

When you are wrapped in a mylar blanket, it will reflect your body heat and trap that heat. This trapped heat will warm you up using just your own body heat.

You should have one for each family member and have a few in each vehicle.

If you have one of these, your odds of freezing to death are significantly reduced. Plus, they don’t cost much (cheap insurance!).

10 – Create a Formal Family Communication and Rally Point Plan – Free

We all talk about being prepared, but have you developed a rally meetup plan with your loved ones yet?  SHTF can happen while you are away at work or traveling. Who’s to say you can get home quickly to meet up with your family.

So everyone needs a family SHTF rally point plan in case SHTF when you are separated.

Read This – Survival Preparation: SHTF Family Communication Plan.

11 – Map Your Bug Out Bag Route – Free

Go to your favorite online mapping program. I use Google maps.

Now find your home by entering your address.

Google Maps Enter Your Address

Now, choose the directions button and then enter in your bug out location (you have one right?).

Google Maps Click Directions

Google Maps Enter BOL

What you get is the most motorized direct route by default.

But we can’t assume you’ll be able to drive so you need to map a hiking route. Choose the walking option.

Google Maps Change To Walking

Now you can zoom in and start dragging and dropping to a route that seems on the map to be best.

Google Maps - Zoom In

You’ll want to look for parks and public land that you can transverse quickly and quietly.

Once you’re done mapping your bug out route, the real fun begins. It’s time to practice this route and find out if it’s really feasible or if you run into unpassable obstacles.

Take this practice run information, go back to your map and tweak your route.

Keep doing this until you have the best route for you and your family to make it to safety.

edible plants in USA12 – Know How To Find Free Food From Nature – Free

Can you find a meal on your next hike? You could if you knew what you were looking at.

There are  hundreds of naturally growing plants, fruits and vegetables growing throughout the USA.

The best way to learn which ones are available in your area is to get out there and find them. It’s free, it’s fun and you’ll be honing your survival skills. Both perfect for those of us who are prepping on a budget.

Note: Just don’t eat anything you are not 100% positive is safe to eat.

Here’s a resource to get you started: 11 Best Wild Edible Plants Found In The USA

Figure out which ones are commonly available in your area and then go hiking and see if you can find them.

RainWater Collection System DIY13 – Have Access To Water Even If The Taps Go Dry – Free

What are you plans if the grid goes down and the taps go dry? What if they go dry and are not coming back on?

You better have a water collection system in place. It’s both easy and free to get one in place by this weekend.

Most people have some sort of barrel laying around their home. Or get creative, maybe you can use a cleaned out trash can or old buckets if necessary. If not, then sometimes you can find barrels on Craigslist by typing in “Free Barrel”.

Cut your downspout for your barrel, slide the barrel underneath, and you’ll start collecting free water the next time it rains.

Now you’ll be ready to collect rainwater today, tomorrow and for when SHTF.

2 packs of water purification tablets14 – Never Be Forced To Drink Questionable Water, Get Some Tablets – $8.57

Want to ensure you water is safe? You need to filter it AND purify it. We already discussed filtration in Step 4, but we haven’t talked about purification.

Yes, boiling water will purify it, but what happens if you want to purify water without starting a fire.  Remember, fires can attract unwanted attention so purifying your water without a fire can be a huge advantage.

That’s why you want to have some purification tablets handy. They are cheap and easy to use. It’s a no-brainer to have these stocked for your home and bug out bag.

Click here to grab 50 from Amazon for $8.57 (price listed at the time this post was written).

15 – Get your Preps Organized by Taking Stock of The Gear You Already Own- Free

If you’re a disorganized prepper then you’ve got some work to do. You know you should be keeping meticulous track of every item and where it’s stored. So it’s time to finally get started.

If you’re disorganized, you’re wasting your money and time. When you prepping on a budget the last thing you can afford is waste.

Money will wasted on spoiled perishables, and time will be wasted looking for that critical pieces of gear you know you have, but can’t seem to find. For perishable items (food / water / seeds), you need to rotate them out before they go bad.

Here’s how to get organized.

Label everything.

Label the perishables with the date purchased. Label the bin/shelf where items are supposed to go.

You can do this for nearly free with a pen, paper, and some tape. Or you can splurge for a good labeler.

Bottom-line: If it’s part of your preps, it needs to have a dedicated location and you should put a label on it.

You can also keep a master list of everything in a notebook to help keep track of where everything is located.  This is especially important if you are stashing items in secret hidden locations.

16 – Survival Seeds – $29.95

When our food system is compromised, you need to begin growing your own. Even better you should begin growing your own food today before SHTF.

What’s the difference between survival seeds (heirloom) and regular seeds? Heirloom seeds will grow produce that have seeds you can save for the next season. Regular seeds do not produce savable seeds – They are essentially one and done.

So grab a Survival Seed Vault and you’ll have the heirloom seeds you need to grow your own food into perpetuity. It’s a perfect solution when you’re prepping on a budget.

EDC Flashlight17 – Have The Power Of Illumination In Your Pocket – Free + (S&H) – $6.95

You need to have immediate access to light at all times. Not being able to illuminate your world whenever you need to could end up getting you killed.

Most of us take the power of instant illumination for granted. But when SHTF if you don’t have the proper tools for illumination you’re going to be at a huge disadvantage.

So here is a detailed review of my favorite EDC flashlight.

Here is where you can get one for free (just pay shipping & handling).

Total Cost For These 17 Preparedness Actions = $99.71

Prepping on a budget doesn’t mean you can’t get a lot of the mission critical items checked off your list. It just means you need to be smart about your $’s.

I realize that for some even $100 might take some time to save up and that’s totally fine. What’s more important is how far $100 can go once you do get it.

I hope that I showed to you today that prepping on a budget doesn’t mean not being prepared. It just means making wise choices to make your dollars go even further.

Do you know of any other mission critical preps that can help those of us prepping on a budget? If so please share with everyone in the comments below.

Remember: Prepare, Adapt and Overcome,

Just In Case Jack

 

The post Prepping On A Budget: 17 Urgent Preps For Under $100 appeared first on Skilled Survival.

The Best Investment of the Year…and Beyond!

Click here to view the original post.

NOTE: This article was previously posted on Your Preparedness Story.

Update – 2015 I didn’t put out the soaker hoses this Springr.  It was a big mistake.  Although they are connected to “city” water, and I rather use rain water, there is a big benefit of having your beds connected to a timer with these hoses.  I will definitely put them out for the Fall garden.

Photo by: Simon Cunningham

Those of us in the Preparedness Community know that the economy is on its last leg.  We don’t know when, but we know that it is inevitable.  The economy tanking is one of the things we prepare for.  Many approach this future by purchasing tangibles.  Anything of value that you can purchase now, will be much more cheaper than when people find out their dollars have lost their purchasing power.  So spending money on long-term food, tools, etc… makes sense.

But, I’ve also started looking at another item, my garden beds as a long-term investment.  If you can put in more gardening space  that will be used now, it will pay off BIG TIME in the near future!  (For my Gardening Link Bomb – Click Here)

We have all heard about the drought in California and how that is going to effect the price of many fruits and vegetables.  We also know that growing fruits and vegetables in our own backyard is healthier than purchasing them from the grocery store with who knows what sprayed on them.  So, spending money on your garden now, is well-worth the investment!

Recently, I put in a total of 38 feet of new raised beds. The soil required was 3.5 yards.  But, I couldn’t just have 3.5 delivered.  I had to have 3 or 4 yards.  I went with the 4 yards and had a ton left over.  Thank goodness I keep old trashcans to move leaves and stuff to the compost bin.  I lined my old trashcans, along with the new ones and filled up 5 trashcans with new soil!

I know that many people are buying silver and ammo and stuff.  I think all of those things are valuable.  But I also think that spending money on something that is going to really pay you back now AND later is well worth it!  Below I have included some pics as well as a video of my Sunday sermon where I talk a little about the project.  You’re going to have to excuse the backyard mess, I haven’t really focused on it since I’ve been working to get the raised beds in.

10foot

rain

28foot

cans