Showing posts with label preps. Show all posts
Showing posts with label preps. Show all posts

Monday, March 23, 2015

Taxes and Trailer?

Got the taxes taken care of for the year. Since it isn't April we are doing better than usual. I am pleased to say we did better than expected which was nice. Things worked out just right to drop us into a lower tax bracket. Will have to look at if we can strategically make that happen for 2015 also.

With these unexpected gains we are looking at purchasing a trailer. Something enclosed either a cargo trailer or just maybe a small camper if we can find one light enough that is still in the budget. This would greatly aid in traveling and camping with 2 kids and 2 big dogs. It would also really be handy in a variety of preparedness type situations. More research will be done and we will talk more later. Exciting times.

Monday, March 16, 2015

What Did You Do To Prepare This Week?

-Ordered a stripped AR-15 lower.

-Purchased a second mag for the Ruger LCP.

-Typed up our pantry inventory. I need to print it out and keep it on a clip board in the kitchen.

-Did some reading ham stuff.

-Cranking the miles out decently with some soreness but no joint issues. Am at 20 miles so far for the month and given that last month was 27 total that is good. My goal this month is between 35 and 40. I would like to progress over another month or two and end up in the 45-55 mile range. We'll see what happens.

-Reading Tales of the Stake Out Squad. Pretty interesting story about a unique time period.

What did you do to prepare this week?

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Internet Preparedness Studying Trap

A conversation with our buddy Meister got me thinking about something. There is a serious risk of getting too caught up in blogs and videos and great reading material like Patriot Dawn by Max Velocity that you are too distracted to actually do anything to prepare! Don't get me wrong, I love blogs by folks like Commander Zero, Harry Flashman (in the mountains of Georgia who previously went by another name), Jamie of My Adventures in Self Reliance, Bayou Renaissance Man, TEOTWAWKI Blog and too many more to list. Heck I am a blogger myself. I also enjoy watching various youtube channels.

The problem is we need to actually do things to prepare and while we can occasionally get some really good hints and ideas from such entertainment they have to actually be acted on. I will confess to at times falling into this trap myself. Between reading other peoples blogs and my own blogging a fair bit of time is spent. While it is a fair bit of my entertainment and as such takes that time, often instead of watching tv or reading some junk fiction, it does take time. While my general trajectory in preparedness is forward it is often not as fast as I would like.

The way I plan to push myself out of this is to try doing something tangible, beyond physical fitness efforts, to improve my preparedness fox hole every single day. Do something every single day.... It doesn't have to be a big thing. I intentionally did not define the amount of time or effort beyond something tangible. It might be 5 or ten minutes working to finish up this or put some time into that. The point is that 1) regularly doing something is quickly habit building and 2) putting consistent time, even a little bit, into something with high regularity quickly adds up into a lot of movement.

So those are my thoughts on that.

Are you actually preparing or just studying preparedness?

Monday, December 8, 2014

What Did You Do To Prepare This Week?

I put some energy into our home security along the 'deterrent' line of effort.

Busted out a needle and thread to fix a pair of pants and bring them into service. Wifey would have done it faster and better but it's one of those 'use it or lose it' things.

Restocked some staples and coffee.

Did a map recon then printed out maps for my alternate and contingency routes from work to home. In the near future I will drive them both.

In the next couple weeks I plan to:
Add winter gear to our systems
Order a bung wrench and fill up the blue barrel
Purchase 2-3 5 gallon water jugs
Better investigate surface water in my immediate area
Go to the range
Start looking towards getting a ham license
Order an adapter for my shotgun to mount the sling
If prices stay generally at present levels I will get some more silver
Look into solar powered motion lights

What did you do to prepare this week?

Sunday, November 30, 2014

What Did You Do To Prepare This Week?

I really did not plan to make any black Friday purchases but some deals were too good to pass up. Purchased

.22/.223/5.56 Bore Snake for $6.99

Butler Creek Ruger 10/22 'Hot Lips' 25 round mags for $5.99x 10

Blackhawk Sportster Shooters bags for $7.99

Bushnell Powerview 12x25 binoculars for $8.99

Ten boxes of 2 3/4 Winchester Super X Heavy Game #4 shot to knock it off my years list

and a Leatherman because they were on sale for $20.

Additionally thanks to you all buying stuff through my Amazon (check out the search thingie on the bottom right side) I had some spare jingle in my pocket. Purchased a Morakniv stainless companion and a Italian Army Style Wool Blanket- 62" x 80" . If you purchase stuff through Amazon and want to start through my widget I'll make a bit of coin.

Also found the great deal on the Pelican rifle case.

In terms of actions (vs buying stuff) Turkey Day took up some time and watching my sisters kids for the weekend not too much happened. Hit fitness well in the first half of the week. Also I re did the shelter piece of the chicken coup. Put the cord higher and angled it better to avoid pooling and protect the hens from the rain. Added coverage on two sides also. Will see how it goes. Wifey said I was playing 'overgrown boy scout'. Hopefully that will protect them from the rain a bit better.

Speaking of which the three new girls (or some subset of them) must be laying because our egg production is up. We went from roughly .75 eggs a day to 1.75ish. Wifey (who knows these things from a childhood of FFA and animal husbandry) says at least one of the older hens is about done laying eggs. That one is headed towards the crock pot to serve her last loyal duty (probably X2) as chicken and dumplings.

I planned to add winter components to our systems but the weekend was a blur of small children so that did not happen. Next week or weekend I guess.

What did you do to prepare this week?

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Repost: How To Not Get Killed In a Riot

 In light of the rioting in Ferguson MO after the grand jury failed to indite the officer in the shooting of Michael Brown it seems like a good time to recycle this post. So here we go......

I have posted a bunch of videos of the LA Riots and talked a bit about how to be safe in a vehicle. Here are some thoughts on how to survive a riot. Check out this article and this for background. To be blunt riots tend to occur in urban areas with high percentages of lower income people. Riots happen in or near the Ghetto. Think I am being judgmental? When there is a riot in Beverly Hills I will formally apologize to everyone. Of course someone will invariably mention that there are no riots in Wyoming or something like that. While that is true lots of folks are in places with higher then desired riot potential because of work, family, a home they can't sell, etc. I am mainly speaking about dealing with a riot in the area where you live.

The biggest thing is to be aware of what is going on. Watch the local news or listen to local radio shows that have some news, reading a local paper is another alternative. We don't get networks ( dish network) so I listen to local radio show in the morning on my way to and from work. If nothing else just having the radio on a local station is a good idea. If things go completely nuts most stations will give out warning and such. Reginald Denny definitely would not have taken that route if he knew what was going on. Hindsight being 20/20 taking a sick day (even without pay) would have been a good idea. [Updated 1/25/14 to include: for a sick day go with something embarrassing and gross. Explosive diarrhea is a good one.]

Another cautionary tale. A guy I know was driving across the country from Oregon to Ft. Benning during the LA riots. His car didn't have a radio so he listened to The Clash on a boombox the whole time. He pulled into Atlanta to sleep for the night. Luckily nothing happened but he was completely clueless to the rioting in Atlanta. The 1911 under his seat would probably have been sufficient but had he been informed discretion would have been the better part of valor and he would have been wise to take an alternate route.

Now that we have spoken about staying informed the simple and logical reaction to a riot in your area is to leave. If you watch the news for powderkeg situations (cops using arguably excessive force on a minority seems to be the biggest one here) there should be some warning. Throw everything irreplaceable and high value compact items into the car and go somewhere else for a few days. Unless your livelihood and life savings is in a store I would get the heck out. This is not quite as much of a BS non answer as telling you to live in Wyoming. For whatever reason lets say that things happen so fast leaving isn't an option.

Here is what to do to be prepared for a riot in the Ghetto where you live. This is what you need to get ready now. Most of this stuff is pretty basic for anyone who spends much time on this site or others like it.

1. Have enough food and water to stay in your residence for at least a week, two is better. Most riots don't last that long but lets play it safe. Having a plan for cooking and sanitation if the power goes out is also a good idea. A radio which works when the electric is off would be a good idea. Options are numerous but picking up a couple extra sets of batteries for the cheap boom box that seems to live in every home would be a simple solution. At least one fire extinguisher is essential, two is better.

The great thing about this is that you now have the basis for dealing with natural disasters, blackouts, winter storms, or whatever else comes along. Some stuff is different for every scenario but regardless of what is happening you will need to drink water, eat food, go to the bathroom and stay informed as much as possible. Our basic life needs stay the same no matter what is going on.

2. Have a plan for getting yourself (and all loved ones) home that keeps you off public transportation and main roads. Have plans to stay away from choke points and such. Obviously children under a certain age will need to be picked up from child care or school. Depending on the circumstances kids 16 and over might be able to get themselves home. Route planning and maybe some sort of a GHB would be a good idea. At absolute minimum for a short trip home comfortable clothes, walking shoes and a bottle of water are a good idea. If work requires you to wear something else just stash some stuff in your car or at work. I could write a whole lot more about this subject also.

Getting home and the plan to do so is probably the piece of this whole thing that will change the most for different scenarios. In any case having comfortable seasonally appropriate clothes, walking shoes/ boots, some water and a snack is a pretty darn good start.

3. Have a reasonable stash of defensive firearms and ammunition. This is not the place for me to write 1,000 words about guns so I will sum it up. Have at least a centerfire pistol and a repeating shotgun with a couple hundred rounds of ammo for each. A basic four (shotgun, centerfire rifle, centerfire pistol, .22) would be better. Every competent adult having a pistol and a long gun would be the best scenario. Unless your kids are old enough to handle firearms in a crisis (far different than plinking with the .22) this would just mean picking up a spare pistol [to make logistics and compatibility easier stick with one caliber of wheelguns (example .38/.357, etc) or one model of auto's(1911, Glock 19, etc all)].

Having some defensive firearms is essential for hurricanes, riots and such is essential. Even for a blackout having some guns is comforting as the peaceable fabric of society gets stretched a little bit. Get some guns and a reasonable stash of ammo is just good advice for life.

Now that you've got chow, a plan to get home from work and weapons to defend yourselves once you get there, that is a great start. Here is what to do a day or so after some cops beat or kill a guy and people get all mad then proceed to hurt, rob, burn and rape the heck out of their own neighborhood which you happen to live in or around. Things are going nuts in your immediate area and it is too late to leave.

1. If you are at home with your loved ones stay there. Call in to work and say whatever you need to; the bottom line is that you aren't coming in until things cool down. If you and all your loved ones are not home then do the following:

A) Tell the boss you need to get home. Help batten down the hatches at work but get out of there pretty quickly. If your boss is such an a hole that he wants to keep the store/ office open when you can hear gunshots and see fire then flip him the bird and walk out.

B) If you have kids beat feet (or whatever else the plan is) to them and then strait home.


Now you are home so more then half the battle is won. Here is where there are two options depending on your scenario.

2. If teaming up with some neighbors (Korean merchants and the You loot we shoot guys come to mind) for localized (think very small scale on this one) security is possible that would be a good course of action. You and a couple neighbors are not going to be able to win a fight with every looting a hole. However if they see guys with rifles and shotguns on the roofs on the western side of the street and no one with guns on the eastern side of the street where do you think they will go?

2B.Your neighbors are hiding in their closets in the fetal position or are out burning down liquor stores. In any case you are on your own. Broadly speaking you are in a house/ duplex or an apartment.

If you are in a house/ duplex either sit on the porch with a shotgun in your lap or stay inside with the blinds down. If people are mainly just looting being on the porch with a glass of ice tea and a pump shotgun will dissuade them from coming in your yard. That being said if the crowd is intent on committing violence to whatever race you happen to be (usually this is white people or whatever the minority in the neighborhood is, Koreans were also targeted in the LA Riots) then stay inside. Maybe keep a sign like this in the garage to put out front.

If you are in an apartment and the neighbors are not capable or willing to help then stay the heck inside. There are too many ways someone could easily get up close to you and too many people (neighbors) have the right to be walking around for you to stand around and try to defend the place. Hopefully you do not live on the first floor. Looking out the window through a lifted mini blind while playing spades with your significant other is probably the best thing you can do. Having something to bar the door that can be readily moved should you need to would be a good idea.

3. Now that you are home and more or less safe STAY THERE. You have food, water and life's other essentials so don't frickin leave. It is boring and mundane but you are safer then anywhere in the immediate area. STAY PUT. If you smoke keep a carton in the house. If you drink (drinking to any excess would be a very poor idea in this situation) then keep some around. Whatever stuff you would leave home in search of have a few spares at home.

To the best of my knowledge most people who have got into problems in riots were out and about. IMHO aside from being at a family members house or a motel 300 miles away watching the neighborhood burn on TV the safest place you can be is your residence. The only reason I would leave my residence in a riot is if it was on fire. If someone was moving toward my residence with the clear intent to set it on fire (ie Molotov cocktail, etc) they would die of acute lead poisoning.


Wednesday, November 5, 2014

What Did You Do To Prepare This Week?

Ordered $10 face value in 90% silver and a 1/10th ounce gold coin
Reenforced the roof of the chicken coop
Set up a 'naked bag' to go with my level 2.5 GHB
Split the last of the firewood
Hit fitness pretty hard
Lost 2.5lbs

What did you do to prepare this week?

Monday, October 20, 2014

What Did you Do To Prepare This Week?

Wifey started a fall garden
I am working on updating my level 2.5 assault pack/ get home bag
Working on our family fishing skills
Packet up a ready to go set of hygiene stuff
Acquired a new holster for the Kahr CW9
Physical fitness has hit center stage. We are working on getting healthy and
fit by eating better and moving more.
We went camping this weekend. Along this line of effort we put together some
stuff that will likely evolve into our camping/ heavy bug out setup.

Next week my plans are to:
Fill up the BBQ propane tank
Get some more water containers
Order some more long term storage food
Get to a tentative revised plan for my level 2.5 bag
Keep hitting fitness hard

What did you do to prepare this week?

Monday, September 29, 2014

What Did You Do To Prepare This Week?

We got a new dog.

Picked up some extra food for said new dog

Purchased a Stihl MS250 chainsaw and cut up a bunch of firewood

Restocked some consumables

I purchased two boxes of .308 ammo

Also since the last time we had this discussion I've picked up a couple extra mags for the Kahr and got corrective eye surgery.

What did you do to prepare this week?

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Huge News: PRK Eye Surgery Complete!

I have been wanting this for awhile and things finally came together. Didn't want to say anything beforehand because I could have been disqualified for one reason or the other up until the day of the surgery. Anyway my eyes are pretty sore and vision is a bit blurry. They say pain should subside over the next couple days and vision should continually improve over 3-4 months.

Anyway right now my  vision is infinitely better than my previous uncorrected (no glasses) vision so it is definitely a huge improvement.

The next couple of days posts are scheduled. I won't be around much because 'screen tie' honestly hurts my eyes.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

What Did You Do To Prepare This Week?

Purchased a Kahr CW9. Should be a very nice CCW pistol.

Incidentally the shop had .22lr CCI Mini Mags so I picked up #100 rounds of those.  Haven't seen them at sane retail prices in 18-24 months. If/ when things in the .22lr market get unscrewed I am going to buy about another 15k in the stuff of which 2-3 would be CCI Mini Mag/ Velocitor.

Picked up some spare mags for said pistol.

Added to our on hand physical cash emergency fund.

Filled up a couple of empty gas cans.

Generally stocked up a bit on the type of addictive/ luxury items  that make people leave their residence even if things get ugly. It is not classy to say you like booze, smokes, coffee, energy drinks, soda but if you like it enough to be tempted to leave home in a bad scenario you best stash some.

Also I got a bunch of firewood for some sweat equity. Got some splitting to do and will likely end up buying a chainsaw (which I can use anyway) but I doubt we will buy any wood this year.

What did you do to prepare this week?

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Free Firewood and 9/11 Jitters

Yesterday was interesting. Wifey saw an add for free firewood. Needless to say I called. It turned out to be some folks clearing a big downed oak limb for cash. They did not want or need the wood. I ended up pitching in with their clearing job and did about half the work. A buddy and I could have done it in an hour and a half. Dad, son, Momma and I did it in 3 and change. They were nice people but not excessively hard or motivated workers. Anyway after 3 hours I ended up with a bunch of firewood. Suspect it will be over a cord once it's all cut to length and split. Getting off work and spending another 3 hours doing hard manual labor was definitely not my plan but we got a lot of wood for free. Got my next couple weeks evening and weekend work ready to go, in a big ole pile in the yard.

Between all the worlds problems and the 13th 9/11 anniversary coming up we decided to relook our preps and up our level of readiness a bit. Pulled some cash out of the bank, topped off our vehicles today, picked up some various sundries in case we are stuck at home for a bit, etc. I wanted to get a couple more water cans, refill the BBQ propane tank and get another tank but that didn't get accomplished.

Are you doing anything different based on tomorrow being 9/11?

Monday, August 25, 2014

What Did You Do To Prepare This Week?

We picked up a large Coleman family sized car camping type tent

I am actively shopping for a single stack 9mm pistol

Over the last week or two I have been refocusing on physical fitness and
diet. Let a few pounds slip on and now it is time to eat less and move more
to lose them.

What did you do to prepare this week?

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

What Did You Do To Prepare This Week?

Put a scope on my Ruger 10/22 and zeroed it.

Shot the .308. It is definitely on paper but the spread is about 3MOA. Not what I would call zeroed especially for that type of rifle.

Put a bunch of stuff in a cache. Clothes, sleeping bags, blankets, a weeks worth of just add water type food for 4 people and some other various stuff. A trip I had been meaning to make for awhile.

Rotated some fuel.

So that is what I did this week. What did you do to prepare this week?

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

A Weeks Preps and Why Saving Aids in Preparedness

This week I received 20 AK magazines. They were a silly deal, like 6.50 a pop for decent (Korean I think) new AK mags. Not eastern euro commie surplus quality but far better than junk US makers. Once a buddy shipped em to me the total cost per mag was $7.50ish. Big shout out to that guy who I will let choose to identify himself or not.

Now I didn't NEED AK mags at all. Honestly wasn't in the market for any but at that price putting some away to set up a future rifle, make cash during a panic or equip a friend or for a rainy day was an easy decision. So I went from bring pretty solid on AK mags to quite solid; amply able to acquire another rifle and stay under ratio (20 mags per rifle) with a few left over to give away, sell or maybe cache.

Today I was at the grocery store which was selling 6 packs of canned veggies for $2 a piece, so like 30 cents a can. Roughly a third of the standard price. Bought 25 or so. They had fruit for $4 or something. Not an amazing deal but still far better than normal prices, bought 6 of those. This purchase of about $50 will be over a year's normal consumption of canned veggies and a few months worth of canned fruit (we consume less of this as we try to feed the kids fresh fruit but sometimes you don't get to the store or whatever). All purchased at a huge savings over the normal price. This is a deep enough stash we can eat out of it till the next time we see a sale, certainly for veggies and probably for fruit, thus keeping the family food cost savings ball rolling.

Both of these were short notice purchases of stuff we can use but were not in the market for at huge savings. However they cost money. If we did not have some cash available we would not have been able to jump at these deals.

What did you do to prepare this week?

Monday, June 16, 2014

What Did You Do To Prepare This Week?

I bought ten gallons of gas to fill up my last two empty fuel cans. Received a tactical tailor Glock 9mm/ .40 drop holster. It will give me the option of an overtly tactical holster for a Glock 9mm without a light which is something I was missing.

Also it will give me the option of switching to a lighter setup based on a duty belt that is compatible with a modern backpack which is a nice option to have. Granted it means I totally need a chest rig as part of the setup but it gives some good options. My gut says that if occasionally carrying a ruck combined with a lot of local patrolling was the order of the day I would use the battle belt and an ALICE pack. On the other hand if I needed something vehicle friendly or knew I would be rucking a whole lot it would be a lighter rig and a modern, much more comfortable ruck.

On my current lifting program it was max week. Here is where I ended up:
Military Press (standing, strict)- 135x1
Dead Lift- Did not beat my 2 month ago max of 360x1 though I am stronger now. It was a long day.
Bench Press- 265x1 honestly a whole lot better than I expected.
Squat-225x4. This is pretty wimpy though in my defense I have been focusing more on a strict 'ass to the grass' squat than weight. Still the squat has not been getting the attention it deserves and I need to do better.

(Edited to include: I did squats today (6-17) and went 245x3 to a good depth with solid form. That is probably a more realistic assessment of my current max.) 

Am at a steady state with the garden and chickens. The plants are growing like crazy and the (4) hens are averaging 3.5-4 eggs a day so that is good.

Probably did something else but I cannot remember what it was.

Next week I plan to purchase some spare parts for a rifle, hopefully get some mags, sign up for a class, plant some seedlings and PWN the gym.

What Do You Do To Prepare This Week?

Quote of the Day

"Time is short people, don’t squander it on trivial BS. You have a responsibility to take care of your family by planning ahead. Even if you only buy 2 or 3 extra cans a week at the store, in a month you have 8-12, in a year you have 96-144 (doesn’t seem like much, but it is). Are you prepared to defend them?  “But guns and ammo are so expensive!” So was that new game system or IPhone you just bought, Dumbass! You should be actively prepping and planning to defend your family and friends “when” not “if” this storm comes. If not you are an irresponsible, self centered, Slug, and you deserve what happens (unfortunately, your family doesn’t.). I don’t care if you don’t come train with me, but by God, get it somewhere! Go to Max, or Defensive Training Group , or Sierra 12 or Mosby. YOU are responsible for what you do, AND DON’T DO! Be the person that sees and carries out the responsibilities the Founding Fathers expected of Citizens. If not, no big deal, it’s just an idea past its prime…..right?"

Mason Dixon Tactical

Monday, June 2, 2014

What Did You Do To Prepare This Week?

Got some good PT in this week including 4 lifts, 1 long run, 1 ruck and a pair of minimalist runs.

Got 6 2x4's and a few sandbags for free. The 2x4's will probably be emergency repair type stuff.

Reenforced the chicken coop. So far the girls are averaging 2 eggs a day which is pretty good.

Was at the local Walgreens to get some stuff and ended up picking up some medical stuff: couple extra boxes of band aid's as well as what I call the Patriot Nurse 3 (gauze pads, mucinex and pepto bismol). IIRC she mentioned those in a video at some point or another as 3 very good things to have that cover a lot of bases.

Got 15 gallons of gas and some oil for the EU2000. Need to hook up the hour counting thingie and put some oil in it then begin testing.

Worked to organize some stuff.

Sharpened my EDC Al Mar knife as well as my big camp knife.

Rereading World Made By Hand.

This coming week I plan to get 10 more gallons of gas, lift and run, eat healthier and really run the numbers on what I need to get started with a bolt gun (to decide if I can do it now or need to wait a bit).

What did you do to prepare this week?

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

RE: Retirement Strategy

Saw this post over at Rural Revolution. It seemed like something you all would benefit from reading. In things like this I sort of use making a post as a forcing function to distill my own thoughts. So here we go.

The concept of retirement as it existed in recent years, say 1950's to now, is becoming increasingly out of the reach of many people. A few things contributed to this in my mind. First real wages for most Americans have been going down for decades. Second inflation makes it difficult for a normal person to maintain their earning power, let alone make enough in interest to maintain their principle long enough to last till they die. Third due to an insane healthcare system whose sole measure of success is keeping people alive longer, with no regard to quality of life, in order to charge them more money. The need for all of the medical care just mentioned plus health care's cost explosion beyond inflation is more than many can afford. The idea of retirement as a time to buy an RV and drive around the country or play a lot of golf is going to be out of reach for most people as time goes by.

My generation seems to generally have an idea that any retirement they might have will be solely based on their own savings, we have no illusions about social security and most are not in a job with a meaningful retirement package, let alone the kind of defined benefits pension that lets average folks actually retire. 

I am seriously concerned about the retirement planning, or lack theirof, in the Boomer's. This concerns me because their collective expectations absolutely do not match up with their collective savings. They saved less than the generation before who owned their homes outright and often had defined benefits type retirement plans. The issue is most boomers have homes they cannot afford with large mortgages to match and 401k's they occasionally contributed to. Many boomers planned (if just by default) on their last few years of work being at peak (for them) salaries and that if need be they could work a couple years longer. The issue is they are often finding that 5-10 years before that point they are downsized, with severe difficulties finding comparable replacement positions.

In fairness to the boomers many worked hard, made the right decisions and saved to have those savings lost (or one could argue stolen) to inflation and economic downturns of the late 90's and 2008. The ruthless pragmatism of business today combined with a general lack of loyalty (employer to employee or visa versa) these days meant many people were forced out of the labor force and replaced with less experienced people who would do the same jobs for half or 2/3rds the pay. While individuals ultimately have ownership for their situations some folks had the double whammy of their investments being destroyed and becoming functionally unemployable.

Many (I cannot even guesstimate a percentage but even if it is a quarter, and I suspect it is a lot higher, we're talking a whole bunch of people) boomers are going to find themselves unable to work at close to their peak potential and unable to afford to retire. People who envisioned skiing in the winter and laying on beaches in the summer might be substantially downsizing their homes and scraping by on part time work. These are some of the most reliable voters on both sides of the R/D spectrum so when they hurt politicians are going to listen. I do not know what will come of this but on an individual level there will be a lot of misery.

General retirement take away's at an individual level:
1) I fail to see how people can even consider retirement without their primary residence being owned free and clear. In almost every conceivable situation folks leaving the work force for retirement face a significant decline in income. It is true they will probably not continue saving for retirement so that takes a few bucks out of the budget but how people plan to keep paying (typically) their biggest single expense on a lot less money baffles me.

2) Instead of running the numbers based on working till you want and a catch up plan of 2-5 extra years look at what it will look like if you have to leave the workforce (or at least your peak earning) 2-5 years EARLIER than you plan. 

3) Pay yourself first.

4) There are a couple ways to free up resources to pay off your home and save for retirement. One is to cut expenses drastically. Another is to earn big money. The third, and arguably most attainable is to split the difference pursuing both earning more and spending less. 

In addition to the above mentioned general stuff here are a few more from a more preparedness oriented perspective.

5) One can make a very legitimate argument for paying off your primary residence before investing substantially for retirement. In today's market the savings on interest is probably better than you would see in a reasonably safe investment anyway. Also if something happens you could do a whole lot worse than to own, free and clear, your primary residence. Doubly so if it has some capacity to produce food. As noted in the original post with a big garden, a couple fruit trees and some chickens you can get a lot out of an acre or three.

6) Getting a home/ homestead/ retreat that is modest in relation to your overall financial situation is prudent. It will let you pay the place off faster than one you could just barely afford. This gives you more time to save money for other needs and the future.

7) Notwithstanding the cost to purchase a place consider tax liability. This relates to a place's assessed value, which coincidentally adjust up in the boom times a lot faster than they go down in the bad ones, as well as the tax rate and associated laws/ exemptions involved there. In the Great Depression a lot of people lost homes and farms for not paying taxes or had to sell part of their land at low prices to pay the taxes. Having a couple less acres or a more modest home you can almost surely hold onto is better than a super retreat on 200 beautiful acres of riverfront property which you need everything to go well in order to pay the taxes on.

7) All of that said YOU NEED TO BE SAVING!!! I am not talking about beans and band aids but money! Things happen now that require money. The world might very well keep on keeping on and when you are 80 bouncing grand kids on your knee it would be awful nice to have some money. Now I can hear someone saying "Saving is for fools, when magical SHTF time happens cash will be worthless." Many things could happen, including the world going on as normal.

I am not saying you need to have a bunch of cash sitting around or put money into the stock market. Aside from a short term cash emergency fund we could certainly have a discussion about different ways to hold wealth. To the guy who says "I invest in beans and bandaids, when magical SHTF time happens cash will be worthless and I will trade my turnips for some fools gold by weight" No you will not, that is either ignorance or envy talking. By all means you should put food back as insurance against a variety of potential problems but that is not investing for your future.

A dozen (or a hundred) gold coins in a cache or the bottom of your gun safe are great insurance and a form of savings but I have not yet figured out how to make them breed. 

You may be concerned about holding cash or having money in the market, which is understandable. The thing is to beat inflation and make any money you need investments that are working for you paying interest, dividends or income. Potential options are: rental properties, commercial farm land, shares/ stakes in oil or gas wells, relatively low hassle businesses like rental storage places or maybe timber land. I am not by any means saying that list is comprehensive and they all have down sides but the point is they are ways to take your money and realistically make more money.

So those are my thoughts on that. What do you thing?

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

What Did You Do To Prepare This Week?

Got the Honda EU2000i and gas cans from their respective sellers.

Cleared out an old chain link dog run that was overgrown with brush, set up a chicken coup, reenforced the sides of the run with chicken wire, built a frame to support chicken wire on the top and put up a crude shade/ roof to help keep them out of the weather.

Got 4 Rhode Island Red laying hens. Super psyched about this.

Filled up the propane tank I bought last week.

Restocked a bunch of food we ate up in a couple weeks of not really doing normal shopping.

Went through and reorganized our vehicle kit to remove unneeded redundancies (Walker does not need 5 sweatshirts, etc) and non seasonally appropriate items, like Princess's heavy winter coat. The result was a slight decrease in space used without a sacrifice in capabilities. Added a couple things to fill some holes identified in the process.

Researching and trying to figure out what to do with my gardening plans. Think I know the answer but honestly ran out of time to do anything about it.

What did you do to prepare this week?
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