How to Survive a Recession, Depression or Apocalypse

The Internet abounds with advice on food storage, accumulating weaponry and ammunition, keeping gold and silver for trading and other “how to’s” to face the possibility of severe recession, deep depression or a total apocalypse. But how you manage your preparations is as important as what preparations you make. Read on to learn how to manage the provisions you’re setting aside for yourself and your loved ones.

Prepare for Multiple Scenarios

Multiple Scenarios

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If we’ve learned anything from large-scale natural disasters, it is that people don’t tend to plan for more than one scenario. For example, people in the path of a hurricane may take measures against the winds and completely fail to plan for rising water, lightning strikes and other dangers.

What does this mean for those preparing for an economic collapse or complete breakdown of worldwide infrastructures? It means we have to think through different possibilities, and from multiple angles. This involves investing in gold, not government currency, in case the dollar devalues entirely.

Short-Term vs. Long-Term Plans

Long Term Plans

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When planning, it’s best to make some plans for immediate needs, but also incorporate long-term goals into your plans. Stockpiling food is a wonderful idea, and is encouraged by everyone from survivalists to emergency management authorities. But realistically, canned goods and dried foods are only going to carry you so far. Include seeds and other preparations that can support you and your loved ones year after year.

When purchasing seeds for survival purposes, it is critical to buy only non-hybrid seeds. Plants grown from hybrids don’t usually bear fertile seeds. You’ll need to invest in non-hybrid seeds, so the seeds from the plants you produce will also be capable of reproduction. Slingshots and other low-tech weapons may not do much against human-sized enemies, but don’t need manufactured ammunition. This makes for an excellent way to put small game on the table for protein and dietary variety.

Don’t Spread The Word About Your Preparations

Quiet Preparations

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The last thing you want to do is spread the news of your provisions. First, it opens up the possibility for theft even without an economic collapse or apocalypse. If your Facebook friends and coworkers know you’re holding valuable gold coins, gold bricks or weapons, someone may try to take them.

If there is a serious depression or apocalypse, you can bet that everyone who knows you have these provisions will be coming after what you have. It’s best to prepare in silence so you and your family are protected no matter what. Invest in tamper-proof locks for basement cellars, professional grade safes and other security precautions in case a random thief happens upon your provisions.

These Plans Can Be Valuable Even Without an Apocalypse

Valuable Plans

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While it is certainly advisable to plan for the worst case scenarios, these provisions could be a godsend even in the absence of a full-scale collapse of the economy or society. Depending on where you live, there is always a possibility that riots, natural disasters, terrorist attacks or other situations could cut you off from help for a while.

Make sure you have what you and your family need and you’ll be ready to face anything from job loss to global apocalypse with confidence and security.

Tips & Tricks to Retire by 45

Yes, it’s definitely possible to leave the 9-to-5 rat race behind and retire by 45. But you’ll have to start early and do some advanced planning in order to pull it off. Here are some tips and tricks to help you plan for and live the retirement lifestyle you’ve always dreamed of, sooner rather than later.

What Does Retirement Mean to You?

Retirement

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People seeking to retire early don’t often think about what they’ll be doing other than not working a 9-to-5 job. But for retirement at 45 to be a reality, you’ll need to think seriously about what your retirement lifestyle is going to look like.

  • Where will you live?
  • What will you be doing?
  • How will you travel from place to place?

Once you know the answers to these questions, you can begin determining how much money you’ll need to retire.

How Much Money Will You Need to Live On?

Money to Live On

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One way to calculate how much money you’ll need is to multiply your current income by 35. For example, if you are currently earning $50,000 a year, then you’ll need $1,750,000 to retire on. This calculation assumes you’ll live the standard American lifespan of 85 years.

Another calculation is to assume that about 3% of your retirement savings will go toward your annual retirement expenses. If you’ve saved $100,000, then you’ll have $3,000 a year to pay your retirement expenses. In this case, you’ll either have to drastically reduce those expenses or save a lot more.

What Current Expenses Can You Reduce?

Reduce Current Expenses

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You want a comfortable retirement, but that doesn’t mean you have to live a lifestyle of the rich and famous. Start by reducing or eliminating the nice-to-have items and activities you spend money on, such as eating out or buying that fancy latte.

Next, find ways to cut costs on the necessities. Rent instead of buying, or live in a smaller home; drive less, or eliminate your car altogether–especially if you live in a city with great public transportation; buy generic and bulk products; use coupons. Remember, you’re not depriving yourself–you’re making sure you can retire by 45.

How Quickly Can You Save?

Save Money Quickly

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Use the money you save by reducing expenses and cutting costs to add to your existing retirement nest egg or to start one. Speak with a qualified financial advisor to determine the best savings/investment strategy to use that will allow you to meet your retirement goal. Of course, the more money you pour into your savings, the faster you’ll be able to retire.

Why Not Start a Home-Based Business?

Home Based Business

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Just because you’re leaving the 9-to-5 world behind doesn’t mean you won’t be active during retirement. Consider starting a home-based business or gold investment now, and pour some or all of the profits into your retirement savings.

A home-based business can also support you during retirement if you aren’t able to save as quickly as you’d like. Choose something you enjoy doing, and then find ways to monetize it. Do your business on the side while you’re still working. By the time you’re ready to retire, you may very well have more than enough money to support the retirement you’ve envisioned for yourself.

Begin now to live as closely to a retired lifestyle as your present work allows. The more you do, the easier it will be to kick your 9-to-5 to the curb by your 45th birthday.

Top 5 Scams to Avoid When Investing in Gold

There is a myriad of scams out there waiting for unsuspecting gold investors. While gold is a solid investment if it’s done correctly and with a reputable firm, investing with a snake oil salesman scares many people away from this profitable venture.

Beware of Gold Scams

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Here are the worst scams occurring in gold investments today, and how investors can spot these scammers in order to avoid them.

Hidden Fees

Gold Hidden Fees

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Often investors are promised fast, large returns on gold investments. Anyone who has invested before will tell you that with large and immediate returns come huge risks. Also, the promise of guaranteed returns sometimes means that the salesman is going to hit you with hidden fees.

Every day there are consumers being swindled into contracts that have concealed fine print stating that large sums of earnings will be considered commission for salesmen. What does this mean for investors? That huge return could be split in half or worse, making it much less sound than a stable investment with a reliable gold firm.

Selling History

Gold Selling History

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Many shady salesmen will try to convince investors that historically significant coins are the way to go, since they have the added sentimental and historical value that bullion lacks. However, these historical coins are often much more costly by weight than bullion, so bullion is the safer investment.

By tricking investors into buying coin investments, these salesmen are taking money out of the pockets of consumers. If you decide to invest in gold, stick to the melt value of gold (meaning its pure value rather than cosmetic importance).

Time Sensitive Investment

Time Sensitive Gold Investment

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 If gold is a safe and long term investment, then why would it be an urgent sell for anyone? Consider this carefully when you hear that a gold investment is ‘time sensitive’ or that ‘time is of the essence’ to make the deal.

Through thorough research and patience investors will find gold that is truly reliable and sound. These quick sales are often a bad idea.

Registration of Seller

Gold Seller Registration

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Before choosing a gold broker, make sure you know who you are dealing with. Check his or her registration with the National Futures Association, and also check the ratings and reviews of other investors. This is an easy way to safeguard investments and ensure reliability.

Has your broker been sanctioned previously for corruption? Be sure about his or her scorecard and you’ll find peace of mind when you finally commit to gold.

Fool’s Gold

Fool's Gold

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If you don’t want to find yourself feeling foolish and confused down the road, then get a deposit slip for your gold investment. While this sounds simple, many who have fallen prey to gold fraud have forgotten this step.

Because you will not be hiding gold bullion in your freezer behind the Hot Pockets, you will be entrusting a reputable depository. Getting a deposit slip to prove your ownership is of vital importance.

Investing in gold for your future and the security of mind that comes from being untied from the inflation of dollars is a good choice. However, investors should be wary of anything that seems too good to be true. Take your time, do the research, and check a company’s or broker’s reviews before committing your finances to gold.

What the Karats in Gold Really Mean: How to Estimate Values

Everyone knows that karats play a big part in determining the value of gold, but most people don’t really understand the karat system and how it works. Unlike the carat weight of a diamond or gemstone, karats measure the purity of gold. Before you sell your gold, it would be a good idea to learn more about how it is valued.

Understanding the Karat System

The Karat System

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Civilizations have measured gold to determine its value for centuries. The value of the karat is believed to have originated in Rome nearly 2,000 years ago. 24 karat gold is the closest thing to pure gold, containing less than 0.1% of other metals. Using this as a benchmark, a simple equation can be used to determine the purity of any gold alloy.

The karat rating is equal to the mass of pure gold within the material divided by the total mass of the object, and then multiplied by 24. This means that a 14K gold ring contains an alloy that consists of 14 parts pure gold and 10 parts other metals like brass, nickel, or silver, resulting in a purity of 58.3%. A 10K ring is made of 10 parts gold and 14 parts other metals with a purity of 41.7%.

How Do Karats Determine Value?

Karats Determine Value

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It makes sense that objects that contain the most gold would have the greatest value. This means that 24 karat gold would be worth the most, while 10K is typically the least pure type of gold available. In most cases, it is safe to assume that an item made of 24K gold would be worth more than the same item made of 18K gold, but this isn’t always the case. There are several other factors that play a part in valuing gold.

Strength and Durability

Gold Strength

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Particularly with gold jewelry, a higher karat rating isn’t always equal to a more valuable item. Gold is a rather soft metal. It doesn’t take much to bend a 24K ring or bracelet. 14K, 12K, and 10K are usually the most popular grades of gold for jewelry that has the potential to become damaged, such as rings and bracelets. This factor doesn’t play a big role in scrap gold, but if you’re reselling your jewelry, pieces made from more durable gold mixtures are often worth more.

Assessing the Color of Gold

Gold Color

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Gold is gold, right? While this may be true, gold alloys can create quite a range of colors. If you’re trying to determine the value of gold based on the amount of pure gold in the object, a rich, deep yellow usually signifies higher karat ratings. Several other hues of gold are just as popular, however. Rose gold, for example, is a mixture of gold and copper that can range from a light pink to a dark red. White gold is often a combination that includes palladium and is typically worth a little bit more than yellow gold.

Gold for Profit

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Whether you’re thinking about reselling gold for a profit or you just want to sell a few pieces of gold jewelry, a basic understanding of how gold is valued can be extremely helpful. Remember that the karat rating is important, but there are several other factors to consider as well.

Why We Don’t Carry Gold as Currency Anymore

With the crazy rate of inflation in the United States many people have started asking, “Why don’t we carry gold as currency anymore?” The answer to this question can be complex, but should be understood by anyone interested in returning to gold, or just investing in gold. Here is the evolution of currency in the United States from literal coinage to the dollar bills you see today.

US Currency

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Pre-1933

Pre-1933 Currency

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People still carried gold coins in their pockets and purses in 1933. Any United States currency, such as the dollar, could easily be converted into gold coins at the bank. Silver coins were available, too. People enjoyed the freedom to convert currency because it lent stability to the system. Gold and the dollar were both quite stable at this time.

Post-1933

Post-1933 Currency

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In an attempt to hold the value of the United States dollar at 1/35 an ounce of gold, the government confiscated gold owned by citizens and devalued the dollar by 41%. The treasury believed this would provide long term stability.

Until the mid 1960s, the government was largely successful with this endeavor, except in times of war and national disaster.

1965-1979

1965-1979 Gold

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The United States government was determined to buy back all dollars in circulation in foreign countries, but too much gold was required. Many people say that the government simply gave up after the six-year period of struggle.

In 1971 the gold window was closed when President Nixon declared the United States would no longer pay D-2 dollars for dollar claims. Only Federal Reserve Notes were printed from this point onward, and the promise to pay based on these notes was removed from the currency. At this point United States currency was no longer directly linked to gold while in Europe, gold prices soared.

1980-1999

1980-1999 Currency

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The dollar hit rock-bottom in 1980 and took 20 years to recover prestige. At this point many people began to buy and hide gold, believing in its stability over that of legal tender.

2000-2012

USD Gold

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Once again falling in value, the United States dollar landed at just 21 mg of gold in 2012 from its recovered height of 123 mg of gold in 1999. In just one century currency in the United States has fallen 80%, losing 98% of its purchasing power. An example of this is that former ‘penny candy’ now costs approximately 50 cents.

In 2012 the dollar continues to be weak against other international currencies. Many people are again investing in gold and avoiding large sums of cash, which can be devalued quickly.

Investing in gold is a sound choice for those who understand the history of American currency. With a weak dollar in the United States and the value of gold maintaining prestige, the choice is simple. However, those who have faith in the Federal Reserve still save money strictly in cash, and year-over-year they can see a loss in their savings.