Prepping For A Financial Collapse: How You Can Ensure Your Survival

protest against wall street

Silicon Valley millionaires and Wall Street investors are buying big houses overlooking lakes in New Zealand? What? Why? I know, it shocked me when I found out this same fact earlier this year. I dig a little bit deeper to look at the Who, the What and the Where of the pre-financial collapse concerns and how you and your family can prepare for it.

Queenstown, New Zealand

New Zealand, a haven for rich preppers

There’s enough news sources that write end-of-world articles every year and a lot of others that predict a financial collapse every month. But when you see the heads of the world’s biggest companies taking prepper steps and family preservation insurance, you know there’s something wrong.

Business heads of the United States’ economic powers are buying safe houses in different areas. That’s a good sign of trouble. It seems like western nations aren’t the only ones, China is also struggling with a very fragile economy and could be on the brink of a collapse as well. A lot of western nations rely on the trade provided by China.

First, let’s put some names to the faces of these millionaire preppers who are taking precautions to ensure the prosperity for them and their families.

The Who

These preppers are just like you and I, they want to have a back-up plan for it the sh-t hits the fan in the future and they want to keep themselves and their families safe. The professionals I have looked at are involved in the influencers of technology and finance day in, day out, and they have their finger on the pulse when it comes to the immediate future of these industries and the giant economies around them.

Some of these preppers are buying up property in the remote outskirts of society in such places as New Zealand, remote areas of Canada and mountain retreats of Slovenia in Europe. Some are taking smaller precautions such as self-defence classes and stockpiling resources. Here are some of the notable preppers who are more open with their rainy day precautions:

Reddit CEO Steve Huffman

  • Eye surgery to improve his odds of survival in a man-made or natural disaster.

    Reddit CEO Steve Huffman

    Reddit CEO Steve Huffman got eye surgery to increase his chances of survival when the sh-t hits the fan

  • Owns a few motorbikes, guns, ammo and food.
  • Will hold up in his house

Facebook product manager Antonio Garcia Martinez?

  • Isolated five acres on an island in the Pacific North West
  • Has stocked up on generators, solar panels and rounds of ammunition.

A member of an investment firm as quoted in the New Yorker:

  • Helicopter on standby at all times
  • Underground bunker with an air-filtration system

    Paypal Cofounder Peter Thiel

    Paypal Cofounder Peter Thiel has got his retreat sorted

Mayfield Fund managing director Tim Chang:

  • Bug-out bags for him, his wife and four-year-old
  • Stockpiles of real estate and havens to bug-out to

Marvin Liao, former Yahoo Executive

  • Caches of water and food in his house
  • Has taken lessons in archery for self-defence purposes

Peter Thiel, cofounder of PayPal and member of the Trump Transition team:

  • Became a New Zealand citizen in 2011
  • Owns a mansion in Queenstown in New Zealand’s south

While these are just a few names, LinkedIn cofounder and prominent venture capitalist Reid Hoffman has said more than 50% 

of Silicon Valley giants have bought “apocalypse insurance” to ensure their survival. Most of those backup plans were houses orbunkers in remote locations. And as we’ve seen, some are stockpiling food, water, weapons, ammo and are even learning self-defence methods.

What can are these professionals prepping for?

The What

Why would you get laser surgery on the idea that you needed it to survive, or a bunker with an air-filtration system? That, or taking archery lessons for to defend you and your family against attackers? They are prepping because they see good reason to. They see a financial collapse on the brink of the horizon and they are making plans for personal insurance for when the sh-t hits the fan.

What sort of event are they prepping for? Prepper’s fears differ but for the majority of Silicon Valley preppers, the fear is of a public backlash and societal breakdown from a financial collapse.

This financial collapse is due to technology automating jobs causing the monetary displacement of a large part of the western world’s population. The automation is due to artificial intelligence growing to outperform jobs that are done by humans. While this is cheaper for the businesses that would find automation useful, it greatly increases unemployment rates. Silicon Valley entrepreneurs hold themselves responsible for the creation of AI software and the inevitable job losses, and as expected, fear a great backlash from a large unemployed population.

It’s a grim story, but one that we should all be preparing for.

What can we expect to see if a financial collapse happens?

If a financial collapse happens there will first be heavy demand on local banks and supermarkets. People are going to want to withdraw lots of cash and stock up on last minute supplies. These areas should be highly avoided as there will be a lot of tension and panic in the rush of large groups of people.Protest

After those finance and food resources dry out there will be a chaos in all populated areas. People will turn desperate when the banks run empty and when the supermarket shelves run dry – it wouldn’t be the first time. The mentality of large groups of distressed people will turn into rioting, looting and public mayhem. This is where self-defence and anonymity becomes a concern for preppers. For looters that are left with no food or water, what would be more better than a house full of supplies? This is the reason Silicon Valley entrepreneurs are removing themselves from populated areas.

After the chaos of public riots and looting happens, government forces will step in declaring a state-of-emergency. This will impose restrictions on a lot of different rights such as the freedom of movement between countries or even cities.

The Where

Where is the ideal location to set up a shelter away from the political and financial turmoil when it hits? Most of these multi-millionaires and billionaires are looking for property that is both isolated and remote. They want to escape from the sh-tstorm that may happen in large cities and populated areas and become anonymous in a regional area. Essentially they want that Bruce Wayne Batman man mansion in the middle of nowhere to hide out until the storm settles.

Not all of us can afford a multi-million dollar mansion or hideaway, but there are alternatives for the modern day preppers looking to make their own countryside getaway. Some preppers are purchasing small acreages in regional areas and using it as a holiday and weekend place. What does this accomplish? Well you’re in your own regional area with your own parcel of land to farm small crops, generate power and hide in your own castle on.

If you are in the market for looking into escape havens, some other places that preppers have been looking at to escape the urban hustle have been Panama, Costa Rica, Argentina, Langkawi, Pai, the Caribbean Islands or the Netherlands.

If you are going to go somewhere, don’t leave it to the last minute. Planning to travel after a collapse has happened will leave you stranded. It is a common understanding that in an emergency event, public roads should be avoided at all costs.

The How – steps to ensure your survival in a collapse

We can’t fight a financial collapse, it’s not some sort of zombie invasion that we can point guns outside of our windows and bolster our front doors. It’s like a flood, you can make sure you have sandbagged your house and lessen the impact of the flooding.

In the case of a financial collapse, there are some steps you can take to prepare for the worst and ensure you lessen the blow, which no doubt everyone would feel.

One: Cash savings

These are accounts like savings and checking accounts that would help you the most in a financial crisis. These accounts are the quickest ones that you can turn into cash if need be. The value of these online accounts does not fluctuate with the market. They are not depending upon supply, demand and public interest. These are you own financial accounts that can be withdrawn at any time.

Two: Set aside an emergency fund

It is certainly impossible to prepare for every given scenario, but you should be prepping for every likely event, however there are a lot of preppers that fail to do this. Sure, everyone has a go-bag, but when you ask them if they have an emergency funds account they’re a little lost. You need to get one.

An emergency fund account is one where you are able to set aside cash for a ‘rainy day fund’. This could be a financial collapse, but it could also be used in the event you are suddenly sick, lose your job or other financial burdens.

On average, an emergency fund should consist of 25% of one year’s annual wage. So if you’re on $60,000 a year you should have about $15,000 accessible in the account for a rainy day. Of course, this is only depending on your financial circumstances.

Three: Start cutting away on monthly bills

When you have no money coming in, the worst thing to have is money coming out on expenses that you really don’t need. Start minimizing your bills by going through them each month with a highlighter and seeing where most of your money is going. Is there a way to limit that? Perhaps the power is a little higher than it should be and the air-conditioning or heater is being left on?

Practicing sustainable methods such as organic gardening and utilising your own space is a great way to also lessen monthly expenses. You can invest in solar panels or grow your own produce to supplement your food expenditures. This is also a growing trend as a lot of people are pushing towards self-sufficiency and off-the-grid methods.

Four: Invest in resources

A safe bet is to invest in gold and silver. Despite other stocks that fluctuate with a market in turmoil gold and silver remains unaffected by other factors. Only do this if you feel comfortable with investing.

Five: Have physical cash

I for one rely heavily on using a card to pay for everything. It is great because I am able to track all of my expenses and scrutinise my monthly budget quite well. However in the event of a financial collapse cash is going to be very handy as often chance banks may close down, ATMs may go out of operation and you may need that cash in an emergency state.

Six: Getting out of debt

If you have considerable debt, look at getting out of it quickly. In the case of a financial collapse there will be multiple job losses and widespread income loss. The sooner you remove debt the sooner you can remove the worry of having to pay debts when you have no source of income.

There are plenty of resources online on how to manage your own debt. But a few steps would be to start creating a spreadsheet budget plan in excel or online using a free budget calculator. It doesn’t have to be fancy accounting, just something simple where you can look at incomings and outgoings. Look at the ‘laddering’ method of debt management and pay of the debts with the highest interest rates and work your way down the ladder of interest, this is a great way to ensure you pay less interest over the total debts you have.

Seven: Start prepping the essentials

Start prepping your food supplies

If a financial collapse does occur, you are going to want to start storing reserves of food and water. For water, make sure you have at least a gallon of water per person per day for at least two weeks. You should also be stocking a supply of food for yourself and your family or friends.

For food, don’t store food that has to be frozen or refrigerated. Instead, look for things like canned foods, dried foods like nuts and fruits, jerky, powdered goods and dehydrated foods. Oh, and don’t forget a can opener.

Eight: Learn some self-sufficiency skills

A few of the people that have already moved to unpopulated areas are running gardens on their properties that can completely sustain their whole family all-year-round. It doesn’t take long to learn urban gardening hacks and no matter what size your place is, whether you have a small apartment or an acreage, start learning some gardening skills. Plus, gardening can be done at no cost, so is a great starting spot for people on any budget.

Investing in solar energy will also work toward your favour in the event of a financial collapse. You can use this in two ways, first, if you decide to bug-out look into using a mobile solar charger. You can find flexible ones that sit on top of a backpack and can slowly charge a phone, flashlight or any other device. For the home you can invest in a DIY solar power kit, or something larger for the house roof. Eventually one of these would pay itself off just through the power bill savings alone.

Nine: Get an emergency kit and bug-out bag

I put these two together as they can be wrapped into one single bag. A bug-out bag is something you should have already for any emergency event or worst-case scenario. You should be keeping your spare cash, important documents, a supply of food for 72-hours, water, survival supplies, first-aid supplies and a method of self-defence.

If we look at the habits of these entrepreneurs and executives who are taking out insurance to protect themselves from the work that they do we can be sure there is no reason why we shouldn’t be preparing for the same scenario. In their eyes, a financial collapse driven by technology is on the horizon. What can we do? Prepare for it and hope it doesn’t happen.

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