Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Advice for UK Resident

Hi there, just came across your site. I am in the Uk but have relatives in the US. I think they will be ok in case of collapse as they live in gated community. I started to look at the economy about 4 yrs ago, had never been interested before, this happened at the same time as my faith in God increased. Sounds crazy, but that's the way it happened. I am just a housewife whom runs a business with my husband, but I have been drawn more and more to investigating what is happening to the global economy. I have no one to discuss the possibility of collapse with other than mu husband and a very few people. I don't want tp terrify them, and some of them would think I was a lunatic! What I wanted to ask was the following:

1. We are people of modest means, and we only have a small mortgage on  our property of about 45000 (sterling). What happens to mortgages during a paper collapse? Should I continue to pay off my mortgage in lump sums? What happens to property taxes during collapse? What happens to gas, electric during collapse? Are metals any good?

2) I have 20 acres of land,  I grow some food in my home garden, would it be a good idea to put a poly tunnel ay fields and grow more for others also? 

3) I have two horses, someone wants to buy one of them, would you sell that horse or keep it for transport? It only costs me about£ 5 per wk for his insurance. I know this sounds a silly question, but if there is no fuel, what do we use for transport?

Any advice would be appreciated, I know this is going to happen one day. I pray and ask the Father to delay it every day. I know how to work in very cold and physically tough conditions and have practiced caving using SRT a while ago. It is very important for people to prepare mentally, and I find my faith really is my foundation. Everything that is happening is of Biblical proportions lately and I pray for those who are committing these crimes against humanity, that they change their greedy and evil ways. One last thing that I ponder is this: even if I am stripped of all my luxuries I have so much more than many millions of people in the world, and I have lived like a queen, I have had meals in restaurants, I have stayed in luxury hotels, whilst many have been starving! I have been very very blessed.

The crash will also enable us to love our neighbours more. We will HAVE TO SHARE. Don't miss this opportunity, it will be hard at first because we have all been so selfish, even myself. But when we help others, we feel amazing deep down, it gives light to the soul and makes us much happier :-)
God bless you and yours.

Hi Anne, great to hear from someone in UK.
I’ll take this opportunity to let my UK readers know that my book, The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse" is now available in Amazon UK as well.
About your questions.

1     1)If there’s a world wide nuclear war followed by a shower of asteroids, the last three things still standing in this planet will be bankers, lawyers and politicians. Any preparedness plan that doesn’t include the problems of dealing with these three is unrealistic so always keep that in mind. Having said this, if there’s a serious economic decline and the fiat currency devaluates to some degree you’re better off paying monthly in paper money that is losing its value rather than paying off the lump sum ahead of time. This is general advice and it will depend of course on your specifics. A particular bad interest rate may mean its more profitable to just pay it and get it done, but in general that’s my advice. Bills and taxes in general do go up during hard economic times, so expect that to happen. Same thing for the cost of services, they will become more expensive as we already see. That doesn’t mean that you’ll always have reliable services though. The quality of the tap water you pay for may go down as the price goes up, forcing you to filter it like I did in Argentina. Something similar happens with power, which as the grid degrades due to lack of maintenance it provides lower watt energy, sometimes called “dirty power”. Blackouts due to storms and grid failure may occur with greater frequency than before in some areas, so its smart to address that, but I at least don’t waste time with the idea of the grid going down and never coming back up.
Gold and Silver hold value on their own and during a crisis they even go up in value since they are a desirable asset as a hedge against inflation and financial uncertainty. I believe that everyone should have at least a small % of their savings in precious metals just in case of a moderate crisis or worst case scenario. For anyone looking to buy PM, Precious Metal House is a reputable dealer and a supporter of my blog, look on the right bar for their banner.

2     2) To me it comes down to how profitable it is. If you simply enjoy gardening, of course, go for it. Now if you’re thinking of it as a business, then you have to think of it in other terms. How much time are you investing and what do you get from it? Lets say you work 6 hours per kilo of tomato grown, but you could buy 12 tomatoes with the earnings you get from doing some other job, then directly growing food yourself isn’t the most effective use of your time. Here is where doomers come in and say the world will end and there will be no work to show up to, etc. If that’s your case, please re read reply 1). If you’re unemployed and A) have no hopes of finding a job or B) no hopes of creating your own job, then yes, but in general growing food on your own isn’t the best investment of your time. Then again if you have a profitable running farm then that’s a different story or if its something you simply enjoy doing on your spare time that great too. I simply don’t think that its in general the most effective use of time for “putting food on the table” literally speaking.

          3)For transportation alone a horse is probably not our best bet but it will depend a lot on your location, immediate environment and type of use you have in mind for your horse. Yes, it will take you from point A to B and has been used for transportation for thousands of years, and personally I happen to like horses a lot. Still, ask yourself if given your roads and the use you have in mind if a mountain bike wouldn’t be a better or cheaper transportation. If you see yourself using your horse then I suggest keeping the best one you have and selling the other. Also keep an eye out for old sprung carts. Horse pulled carts are still widely used for carrying people and loads in the third world.

Your heart is in the right place and indeed, people in developed nations have had it very good for long, although everything indicates that tougher times are ahead of us. The right mentality, and being more resilient both physically and what’s even more important, emotionally speaking, will be paramount. Its important to work towards improving our relationships with our neighbors, friends and family, something often overlooked. 



Don Williams said...

1) I grew up in the country and have some observations.. My father did not have a farm but my elderly grandmother had a small one (12 acres) that I visited in the summer. She raised and slaughtered chickens/collected eggs. Milked a cow and made butter. Had a garden. Had a cellar with hundreds of glass mason jars containing food preserved in the summer that she ate over the winter.

Raised pigs over the summer that her sons came and slaughtered in the late fall so she could preserve the hams in barrels of salt.
I still remember making sausage by turning the handle of the grinder.

I spent a lot of time splitting logs for firewood. Although she had electricity she preferred
kerosene lanterns. Had her own well.
2) At first glance, she appeared very self-sufficient. However, she was still tied to the economy. Needed to have salt and animal feed hauled in since the farm did not produce enough to grow the hogs. Although the cow grazed in
a field in the summer, it needed hay bought in for the winter.

Plus there was the expense of doctor visits --very expensive if you only have a subsistance income.
And my grandma worked from sunrise to sunset --just as she had done for 80 years. And fortunately had some income from the US Social Security.

3) She was better off than many hobbyist farmers in one respect -- her chickens and cow supplied enough manure for her garden that she did not usually need to have
fertilizer hauled in. (A lot of survivalists don't appreciate what happens to your garden if you can't dash off to the local farming supply house in a pickup.)

But Grandma still needed to buy animal medicine and insect repellent and garden pesticides. And the animals sometimes needed a vet and his modern medicines. One problem with horses is that they can get sick and die. Big problem if you depend upon them for plowing.

My grandmother had a wood stove but that modern gasoline-fueled
chainsaw sure helped a lot in keeping the stove fed. And of course, the stoves, axes, tools, etc were all manufactured elsewhere and purchased. It is very hard
to cut yourself off completely from the world/economy.

While my grandmother would have been better off in an economic collapse than an unemployed urban dweller, she would still have ran into problems within a year.

4) Worse of all, the farm did not generate any income (her husband had lived away from home for months at a time in order to earn money working in mines -- until he contracted tuberculosis from the dampness and died.) She worked hard for 85 years but could not build up much savings.

She had a difficult time raising 7 children after her husband died -- and her oldest son drowned when he was just reaching an age when he could help. Her strong Christian
faith sustained her -- I remember her reading the Bible in the evenings.

And her children helped her when she got old. Life used to be horrible if you got old, had little wealth, could no longer keep a
job because you could not do the hard labor, and you had no children to support you.

That is why people had large families. God knows what is going to happen to US baby boomers if Social Security dies because of the massive $16 Trillion US federal debt.

Don Williams said...

5) In the USA at least, rural dwellers often LOSE their land in economic downturns -- because it is seized by the sheriff and sold for a pittance to collect back taxes. A farm worth $200,000 may be sold at public auction for a fraction of that in order to collect $10,000 in taxes. The local elites and their friends can increase their
wealth by using their control of the local government to prey on the less fortunate.

If you have a farm, you need to have at least 10 years worth of taxes in your savings.

6) It is also good to have a friendship with one of the local elites who can protect you. In some ways, the long term bonds of trust, friendship, and mutual respect may be worth more in hard times than $10,000 in gold coins. You don't want to be the expendable stranger when decisions are being made behind closed doors.

7) There are many old walled towns in Britain -- and those walls were built for a reason. Be able to sleep behind those walls at night within a community would be better than being at an isolated farmhouse if banditry ever became common

8) John Seymour in the UK wrote some excellent books on rural self-sufficiency.
See "The Complete Book of Self- Sufficiency" (1976, although I think he updated it in 2002 before he died.)

Note, however, that in many ways he and the USA's Mel Tappan earned their living from writing, not farming. (Actually, Mel married a wealthy heiress, which I think was one of his better survivalist tactics.)

Maldek said...

Hi Anne,

nice reading from a woman with serious questions :)

1)What happens to mortgages during a paper collapse? Should I continue to pay off my mortgage in lump sums?
-> Yes. Do not expect a day "X" and everything changes event. Look at greece - it goes on year after year after year. And each year it is getting harder. It might become harder to pay off your mortgage AND bring food on the table in the years to come.

What happens to property taxes during collapse? What happens to gas, electric during collapse?
-> They rise. Again look at greece or spain.

"Are metals any good?"
-> Yes, as savings (if you have any). Will keep its value (might even rise). Do not expect to go shopping with metal coins any time soon.

3. Sell the horse if the price is good. Horses for transport are...highly unlikely. Even if current fuel prices quadruple up, and you can no longer afford a car, you can use a motorbike.

In the past when it became harder to survive people did often fight each other (read: War). Crime tends to rise too, because common people have trouble bringing food on the table and many choose the way of the sword/gun to get what they need.

gaga said...

"1)What happens to mortgages during a paper collapse? Should I continue to pay off my mortgage in lump sums?"

Iceland has Index Linked Mortgages.

Inflation 25%? your mortgage debt rises by 25%

crunchie said...

Ferfal, do you think that perhaps your advice about the country vs the city is somewhat over based on your argentine experience. By the way I'd like to say I am just as comptemptuous as you with the jerimiah johnson assumptions of alot of survivalists.

Argentinia is quite a different country to most other western countries.
I was watching a documentery on Carlos Monzon(In my opinion one of the greatest boxers of all time) but one of the things I noticed was when he said that in argentina the tough boxers come from the provincial towns rather than the inner cities as they do in america for example.

Secondly you leave out unsaid assumption of ethnic conflict that much survivalist contempt for cities says without saying.

crunchie said...

Ferfal, I am aware of you being a family man, but how have you noticed the northern ireland birds as opposed the argentinian girls, I bet there's some difference.

crunchie said...

P.S. ferfal what do you believe believe the differences will be of collapse in us and europe as opposed aregentina. Argentina, despite the people being by in large white or castizo is somewhat of an outpost of western man.
Western europe and the states is much more integral to the whole global system functioning.
ie if the uk or france collapses the waves caused will be much more than say 3 times the waves argentine 2001 collapse.