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The worst thing about a financial collapse is that you cannot predict when it is going to happen, how soon it will happen, or how long it will last for. All you can do is take the steps needed to prepare for an economic collapse, embrace frugal methods and start thinking about your bank and wallet as a survival tool, rather than a spending tool.
When the last economic crisis hit, the 2008 financial crisis, the world was shocked at the speed in which it set in. From what started as a meltdown in the US mortgage market, the rest of the world collapsed in a domino effect in rapid succession. For most of us, that economic collapse was something we just weren’t prepared for, and for those that were not prepared, it was a very tough period.
The question everyone is asking now is ‘when is the next economic collapse?’. It could be this year, the next or in five years time. But as many economists argue, we are due for one, and the next one could be much worse than the previous financial downturns. Since the only thing we can do is ready ourselves for another economic downturn, we take a look at 8 steps you can start taking now to survive an economic collapse. But first, let’s take a look at some of the basics, to understand why we need to prepare for an economic collapse.
Simply put, an economic collapse, interchangeably used with the term financial collapse, is a series of very severe economic conditions. Many survivalists and preppers say an economic collapse is the one thing that they are preparing for, as it includes a number of symptoms that place a risk on our necessary needs, such as food, water, power, and safety.
One of the worst factors about a financial collapse is the fact that it doesn’t abide by a timeline. Natural disasters, for instance, while very destructive, are short, with their duration measuring only for days let alone weeks. This allows recovery efforts to commence almost immediately. Economic downturns, however, are unmeasurable in length and for most, will last a minimum of a year, with the aftereffects resonating for several years as a nation recovers.
During an economic collapse, there are symptoms that affect large companies and industries, with very visible signs felt in the family home. For instance, common symptoms of a collapse are high bankruptcy rates, widespread unemployment, hyperinflation, a spike in death rates (attributable to depression or other financial causes), a social collapse and a high increase in crime.
Financial systems can be affected by a large number of different scenarios, and for the most part, a country can bounce back quite quickly with severe financial fluctuations going undetected by the majority of the population. But for the causes, they seem to be factors that can create a ripple effect in a country’s financial industry, resulting in economic loss shockwaves.
If we look back at history, one financial collapse is not like the other. Yes, their symptoms are the same and in the home, loss, grief, and stress are all experienced, but their causes remain unique.
The 2008 Global Financial crisis was triggered by factors such as the burst of the US housing bubble, easy credit conditions, fraudulent lending services, overleveraging and shadow banking practices. This is different to Venezuela’s economic collapse, which has only been felt in that country and not across the world. In Venezuela, the causes of its economic crisis were caused by presidential policies and a fall in oil prices as well as a number of other contributing factors. Since its beginning, Venezuela has experienced severe spikes in crime, corruption, poverty and hunger issues.
There have been a number of other economic downturns that have completely different causes but have all displayed widespread unemployment, poverty, hunger and social chaos. They include:
As we have seen above, a financial downturn can set in very rapidly, and before we know it we have lost our jobs, stores are shutting down, and we’re left high and dry. But there are some warning signs to watch out for. These are early indicators for a potential financial downturn and possible economic collapse.
Of course, your first source is to stay up to date with the news. All good survivalists are avid readers of politics, finance, and weather – the three things that can kick us out of our home or make us go hungry. So inevitably, they are the go-to sections for survivalists, and anyone else that cares about what happens in the world, and indirectly themselves.
According to Lombardi Letter, there are five signs that an economic collapse is about to happen. They are:
Although those five economic collapse red flags are present in any collapse, there are also other things we can do to be ahead of a financial collapse disaster. And that is to look at what the warning signs displayed by the people involved in it all, America’s elite Wall Street executives and Silicon Valley entrepreneurs.
A good sign of an economic downturn is when you see some of the world’s richest executives preparing for an economic disaster. You know things are about to go wrong if they are taking considerable efforts to protect themselves and their families.
Silicon Valley millionaires and Wall Street investors are buying big houses overlooking lakes in New Zealand and other underpopulated places in the world should they need the security of a hideaway to bug out to, should a severe financial downturn happen.
One of the world’s wealthiest technology entrepreneurs, and Trump advisor, Peter Thiel (co-founder of PayPal), became a New Zealand citizen in 2011 and has a large family mansion fitted with panic rooms on a homestead property. His plans are to live out an economic collapse in that self-sufficient mansion in New Zealand, far away from Silicon Valley, when the early warning signs appear. Facebook Product Manager Antonio Martinez has five acres of isolated land in the Pacific Northwest where he has stockpiled food, water, generators and solar panels with a shelter as a bug out location.
On the Wall Street executive side, a member of an investment firm, quoted in the New Yorker, has a helicopter on standby at all times to take him to his underground bunker where he plans on living out an economic collapse with a self-sufficient garden, power source and food and water supply. Meanwhile, Mayfield Fund managing director Tim Chang has bug-out bags for him, his wife and four-year-old and a number of established bug out locations in regional areas.
Let’s face it, we can’t fight an economic collapse, we can’t really run from it either. Even if it were to be isolated to one country, such as in Venezuela, our savings would be very little in any other country, effectively trapping us and turning us into financial crisis refugees. The only thing we can do is prepare for an economic collapse and be a little more frugal when the going gets tough.
So let’s take a look at the 8 steps you can take to prepare for an economic collapse.
The list I provided above on economic collapse red flags to look out for is not a complete list, there are an endless amount of warning signs that you will be able to see if you regularly view financial news on the stock market’s performance and the nation’s economy.
Basic understandings of economics will help you in not only noticing an early downturn, but will help you identify possible safe havens for your money and economic minefields that you should avoid.
When you have cash, it’s buying power that many might lose. When I mention cash, this also refers to money in the bank. Just make sure that whatever investments you have, you are able to quickly liquidate them should you need to and secure the cash. I would recommend not having investments in anything that takes longer than a week to withdraw. As you have seen in the past, an economic recession can set in in the blink of an eye and some resources may not be valid for liquidating due to early bankruptcy.
Savings and checkings accounts should always carry a certain amount of emergency money as these can be withdrawn quickly. This is much better than having all of your money in a term deposit account that provides restrictions on when you can withdraw your money.
Also try to have a set amount of cash on hand, especially if you are picking up warning signs of a recession. This amount of money will be able to act as an emergency stash until you can withdraw the money in your account and have your assets liquidated.
An emergency fund should not be in credit, it should be from cash you saved in a savings account from your monthly income. You can file this in any savings account with your bank (most allow for a free account to be opened). This fund is essentially a do not touch fund, or as some prefer to call it, a SHTF fund. Make sure you have enough money to at least allow you to buy tickets to another country and support yourself and your family for a month.
This type of fund allows you to leave a country before the US dollar becomes weak, and should provide for enough time to get a job in that country until the collapse has resided.
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, generating your own power and utilizing your own space is a great way to also lessen monthly expenses and become more self-reliant in case of an economic collapse where regular comforts might not be reachable in the same manner as we are used to. 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.
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 skills or country homesteading skills and they are both very fun and rewarding tasks.
Our writer from Venezuela was an engineer, but started making cheese, learned to use a CNC crafting and cutting kit and became a freelance writer for various websites as a way to find alternative income when his country’s economy collapsed.
Many try starting an at-home business to ensure they have a bit of extra cash each month aside from their normal job, and as a fallback when times are tough and they have faced job loss. Of course, those skills would have to be essential skills required in a collapse, which could be things such as sewing, gardening, building, repairs, selling your own foods, accounting and other things that households would regularly require.
If you have considerable debt, build a strategy to get out of it as quick as possible. In the case of a financial collapse there will be multiple job loss 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.
As a method to manage any debt you have owing, try the following:
Should the country be at a point where it is about to take a steep dive downwards, it might be time to get out and spend some time abroad. This is a common move for many economic refugees as they wait for their country to regain financial security.
Your passport should have enough remaining time, with at least a few years on it so that you can avoid unnecessary complications with having to renew a passport overseas. Also, research countries that you might choose as a refuge destination and research their visa laws, as well as any possible employment there.
If a financial collapse does occur, you are going to want to start prepping so that, should an economic downturn occur, you have enough food saved up while you either grow your own food in the garden to supplement it, or find another source of free food. Chances are you will need food more than water as water will still run, but stores may close down and shelves may empty out quite quickly.
Part of our guide to start prepping involves identifying a but out plan, location, a suitable bug out bag and bug out contents. If a true economic collapse was to occur, there will be a high increase in crime rates, social disorder, looting and likely clashes with law enforcement and military. It is a safe option to consider leaving busy urban areas as these are most likely the areas that will be prone to violence.
Many of us have already been affected by past economic downturns. They are reoccuring beasts that can be escaped. The only thing we can do is to ensure we are prepared so that we can survive the many problems that come with an economic collapse.
In this post we have identified what is an economic collapse, how to tell when a financial collapse is about to happen, and how to prepare for an economic collapse. I hope this information has helped you form a more clear picture about how to start your economic collapse preparations.