Buyer Beware: Do You Really Think Your Retirement Money Will Be There When You Need It?

The crash that shook the world in 2008 and wiped away some 40% of America’s wealth hasn’t stopped people from blindly investing their hard-earned money into new and improved Wall Street devised money-making schemes. Last year the total of U.S. retirement assets hit a record $ 20.8 Trillion and included investment vehicles like individual retirement accounts, government pension plans, and private-sector defined benefit plans.

A significant portion of that money has been invested into stock markets, much of it in the form of 401k retirement plans to which America’s workers send cash blindly on a monthly basis. What’s mind boggling about this is that the overwhelming majority of people who have a 401k account have absolutely no idea how much they are paying in exchange for the privilege of having their money “invested” for them by their financial manager.

In the following micro-documentary Future Money Trends investigates America’s 401k scheme, and how investors are being scammed from every angle and set up for total failure by their government.

Do you really think your retirement money will be there when you need it?


(Watch at Youtube)

During the 1920′s boom just 3% of Americans owned stock…

After the law for 401k’s went into effect on January 1st, 1980 the participation from the American public soared… and so did the fees Wall Street collected…

By 2006, it peeked at 64%… Wall Street had truly found the perfect cash cow who was willing to buy blindly every single month without question.

Talk to anyone who has a 401K and they won’t be able to tell you the fees, the investments they are in, or how much they can expect to have when they are in their 60′s.

At best they will be able to recall that they checked the box ‘High Risk, High Return’ or ‘Conservative,’ you know, like holding Treasury Bonds… which is literally lending money to the most bankrupt institution on planet earth.

Buyer Beware.

In essence, as an investor you are “lending” your money to these institutions (including Wall Street and the U.S. government) via your 401k, but you have no idea of the terms of the lending agreement.

First, Wall Street collects their “fair share” of fees amounting to some $ 77 billion annually, essentially shaving that much money right off the top of your investments and stuffing it into their own pockets. They are wolves, with no other goal then to put as much money in their pockets as possible before the bottom falls out. The success of your investment is the furthest thing from their minds.

Second, and perhaps even more alarming, is that the government has started to move into the private retirement market, just like they did with health care. They’ve already begun pitching Americans on why they can manage your investment better than the private sector via MyIRA accounts, but they won’t stop there. With so much money in play, our bankrupt government will have no choice but to utilize the trillions of dollars held in these retirement accounts to fund their outrageous spending. What that means is that, in the future, you can fully expect your funds to be seized and redistributed to those ‘less fortunate.’

And if outright re-appropriation isn’t politically expedient, then they’ll simply tax your retirement gains so heavily that you’ll be left with nothing but lint in your pocket.

Share the wealth, remember?

We’re not suggesting you shouldn’t invest your money into healthy dividend earning companies, but insofar as 401k’s are concerned the investments are structured to take as much money out of your pocket as possible.

Buyer beware, because we’re talking about your long-term retirement – the money you’ll depend on to be there when you need it most.

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Free Report: The Best Alternative to a 401K


SHTF Plan – When It Hits The Fan, Don’t Say We Didn’t Warn You

TSHTF Inflation: “What YOU Will Pay for What You Need to Survive”

This extremely informative article has been generously contributed by John Galt. Follow his John Galt FLA web site for essential news, informative analysis and a truly unique perspective on global happenings. Be sure to check out his widely popular The Day The Dollar Died series available for free online, as well as John’s latest The Year After the Dollar Died.

20 cans of Tuna? Check

100 MREs? Check.

20 bushels of Corn? Check.

2 rolls of pre-1964 ‘Junk’ Silver dimes? Check.

400 rounds .22 LR? Check.

500 rounds .223 ammo? Check.

Sounds like a nice stash of survivalist/prepper goods to start with doesn’t it? I could continue on with the list but it only begins to belie the myth that sadly so many members of the prepper community believe to be their ideal that they are 100% prepared for the collapse of America and perhaps Western civilization. How can I make such a statement and not back it up with facts? I shall provide my readers with one fact, the lowly Twinkie:

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$ 200,000 for one box of Twinkies? What the hell does that have to do with survival when the proverbial situation arises as TSHTF (look it up if you don’t know what it means)?

Everything.

This was the case last year when the Hostess Bakery filed for bankruptcy when the unions failed to find a reasonable deal with a corporation which had overpaid for their services for years yet nobody who worked their thought it was enough. In the end, the company filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the unions lost their jobs, and the thought of no more Twinkies ever being made ever again thus causing a Twinkie panic and prices to be driven out of reality as there was this belief that people were stupid enough to pay this much for a so-called piece of Americana junk food history.

But this is an isolate incident, right? Uh, no, there were literally hundreds upon hundreds of stupid eBay listings like this:

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So what does a Twinkie have to do with TSHTF, inflation, and the fallacies of the survivalist community?

Once again, EVERYTHING.

To begin with, this article is neither to demean the starting prepper nor launch into my fellow bloggers and authors about their version of what being prepared for the worst case scenario might well be; even though the criticism is valid and should remind everyone of the old adage that NO ONE is totally prepared for a societal collapse.

The theory that many of the Pollyanna view of the end of modern convenience then in the end civilization is that indeed, mankind would seek his brother out and be at his best working together to rebuild and save humanity and rebuild civilization. The other view is the darker perspective, the so-called “Jericho” scenario on steroids where no one can or should be trusted and if one works within a community structure the enemy, in often cases the new or what’s left of the existing government will either extinguish or work with other groups to seize control from any opposition to their way of thinking.

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This brings me back to an old posting, a portion of my past where I pointed out the original barter spreadsheet, something most individuals have forgotten about:

(click on the thumbnail to enlarge to full size)

BARTER_PRICE_SS_102210jgfla

In 2010, I too thought that mankind would be somewhat, not totally, but somewhat reasonable in its assessment of civilization and how and what we would do to deal with each other. I published the spreadsheet based on current prices for 2010 and thought that this guide would provide anyone a basic price list for trade should TSHTF soon after that time.

I was wrong.

If you look the version updated on March 20, 2014 the prices have varied some, only because of the value of the dollar and deliberate efforts by yours truly to find the cheapest prices for commodities; however for meat like pork and beef the ratio has exploded beyond belief compared to the staples in the spreadsheet below:

(click on the thumbnail to enlarge to full size)

BARTER_PRICE_SS_032014jgfla

The problem with the spreadsheet above is that the current regime of pricing might well be extinct within the next 180 days as the world shifts from the petrodollar to a true, commodity based currency. I warned about this problem two weeks ago in the article:

Russia’s Financial Nuclear Option against America

yet only a few American financial outlets took the Russian threat seriously.   Fast forward to the news linked two sentences above, a conflict openly possibly involving NATO troops in a mode of retreat and protect, along with a Chinese government electing to engage its long time enemies as an aggressor. The US Dollar Index would collapse from its absurdly overvalued level of just over 80 as world governments abandon its potential future as the peg for their currencies:

(chart via INO.com 03/21/2014)

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Imagine the impact far beyond groceries of a US Dollar 50% lower than currently valued. There is a lot of insane analysis that in fact the American citizens will indeed behave in a “civilized” manner despite the initial premise that civilization is collapsing. Thus why the chart I present below, priced in only estimated gold and silver valuations might well wake some of my readers from their Pollyanna perspective that we will continue to exist as a normalized group of people despite every civilization’s collapse indicating otherwise:

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The first question is why no comparisons to other commodities like the previous spreadsheets? That answer is easy:

Screw you, I’ll charge whatever the bleep I want.

You have 100 bushels of corn. So what the hell up?

You have 50 bottles of Jack Daniels for trade? Great, find an alcoholic who is a surgeon to operate on your child who needs his or hers appendix removed.

You have 500 gallons of motor oil and diesel fuel? BFD. I have a gasoline powered vehicle, enough motor oil to make the trip to Mexico and back. And really don’t care if your wife has a disease and she needs my gold to buy her cure.

The reality is that all perceived norms of civilization are out the window once organized governments and currencies collapse. Inflation is the reality of the day as all items are in short supply. Does anyone really think the snipers in Croatia and Bosnia gave one rat’s ass about how many eggs your chicken could poop when they held the high ground, the ammo supply, and enough precious metals to reload until the freaking USMC showed upon the scene?

My friends, and enemies, everyone still thinks in the norm. The two spreadsheets about fair barter only apply in a semi-civilized society. In reality, TSHTF inflation occurs when those who have the most toys, the most gold and silver, get to dictate what YOU will pay for what you need to survive. If you do not have what it takes for barter, you will starve, your children may well die, or worse, you might get turned in to the new “authorities” of the upcoming DHS wet dream era.  It is time to dismiss the insane, insipid, and antiquated idea that America will continue to function as a “Christian” or “Judeo-Christian” society when it all collapses. The truth is that it will look more like the South in the 1865-1867 time period, or worse, the Balkans when Yugoslavia disintegrated.

At that point in time it is survival of the fittest and those who need goods had best have an ample supply of real currency, a 4000 year old plus monetary system, if they wish to survive. If you, my reader does not believe this, do like the 1939 Jew, get in line, get a number to exist and avoid freedom guaranteed with real money within a dictatorship, that of gold, silver, and cunning. As a merchant of life, I would not accept anything less for my family that what I would need in the future to trade or bribe my freedom out of a region for to survive. I need not a truckload of corn, wheat, or fuel. I need not 50,000 rounds of ammunition, three thousand pounds of steak, nor 5,000,000 Advil tablets.

I need what it shall take to move on foot or via transport, using real money to buy my freedom or maintain it behind enemy lines. The alternatives are quite real, quite stark, and quite accurate if anyone has witnessed a FEMA trailer assembly after a natural disaster.

Of course there are alternatives: One could  just move to Venezuela before we collapse here, which is duplicating the errors of humanity’s past:

tshtf-inflation5

This extremely informative article has been generously contributed by John Galt. Follow his John Galt FLA web site for essential news, informative analysis and a truly unique perspective on global happenings. Be sure to check out his widely popular The Day The Dollar Died series available for free online, as well as John’s latest The Year After the Dollar Died.

Hattip Ol’ Remus at Woodpile Report


SHTF Plan – When It Hits The Fan, Don’t Say We Didn’t Warn You

NO NEED TO PASS AMNESTY, NITWITS: Obama signed unlawful Executive Orders nullifying immigration law

Of course, none of this outrageous behavior will stop the unions and corporatists who are bound and determined to destroy the United States of America. Breitbart‘s Matthew Boyle reports:

Fully 98 percent of individuals deported from the United States in 2013 were either criminals, apprehended while illegally crossing the border, or had been previously deported, according to a new analysis from Senate Budget Committee ranking member Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL)… “The evidence reveals that the Administration has carried out a dramatic nullification of federal law,” Sessions said…

Obama’s well-known executive action granted virtual amnesty to so-called DREAMers – individuals who claim to have entered the country as minors under their parents’ guidance… Two are lesser known executive actions include an Aug. 23, 2013, DHS directive “expanding that [summer 2012 executive DREAM Act] amnesty to illegal immigrant relatives of DREAM Act beneficiaries” and a Dec. 21, 2012, DHS directive “reinforcing that almost all immigration offenses were unenforceable absent a separate criminal conviction.”

…Only 0.2 percent of an estimated 12 million illegal aliens in the U.S. who were actually placed into removal proceedings in 2013 in 2013 did not have a violent or otherwise serious criminal conviction on their record. Only .08 percent of the total number of illegal aliens placed into removal proceedings were neither repeat or serial immigration law violators nor convicted of a serious crime. Even with that .08 percent of removals who were not caught crossing the border or being a serial immigration law violator or being convicted of serious crimes, Sessions’ staff notes that ICE officers who communicate with his office say that there is likely some other serious security risk for allowing them to stay in the country that is cause for their removal.

The findings stand in stark contrast to liberal calls on Obama to reduce deportations. Top Hispanic Democrats recently met with Obama at the White House recently about the issue, prompting an announcement about a review at the Department of Homeland Security about how to deport illegal aliens in a more “humane” fashion.

The report was enough to prompt a chorus of outrage from Sessions’ like-minded colleagues in the House, who slammed the Obama administration for enacting amnesty by fiat.

This is another clear warning to anyone who thinks immigration reform is possible under President Obama,” said Rep. John Fleming (R-LA). “He has repeatedly shown a willingness to enforce the law selectively, while looking the other way when it doesn’t fit his agenda.”

As Sen. Sessions observes, “The Administration’s actions are breathtaking and without precedent. American citizens have both a legal and moral right to the protection our immigration laws afford; those rights have been systematically ignored, resulting in a massive loss of income and wages for the most vulnerable Americans. The Administration has abandoned its duty to faithfully execute the law and protect U.S. sovereignty, resulting not only in a collapse of immigration enforcement but a grave jeopardy to the American system of law and justice itself.”

This is truly criminal behavior on the part of this president, his party, and this administration. Remember in November.

Hat tip: Mark Levin

Doug Ross @ Journal

The One Thing You Need To Survive: “Everything Else Is Just Talking and Wishful Thinking”

Editor’s Note: You’ve stocked your pantry. You’ve prepared your supplies and reserves at off-site locations. You’ve developed skills like shooting, food production and trauma care. You have primary, secondary and tertiary plans for evacuating your home or digging in and defending it. For all intents and purposes, you’re ready. At the very least you’re more prepared than 95% of the country. There is no doubt that if you’ve taken steps to prepare for an emergency or disaster ahead of time that your odds of survival have increased significantly. 

Then it hits the fan and you implement Plan A. And it hits the fan again and you go to Plan B. But the scenario you face is relentless, hitting you over and over again until your best laid plans and supplies are wiped out.

Then what? 

Real survival in crisis situations isn’t just about storing goods ahead of time. It involves something a lot more personal. 

In the following article a real survivor shares his experience. Selco from SHTF School has lived it. When he fought for his life during the Balkan war of the 1990′s, in what he describes as one year in hell, they never saw the collapse of their nation coming. They didn’t have forewarning or the ability to stock up months or years ahead of time.

From one day to the next the world changed. 

As Selco explains, having all the gear is certainly an advantage. But it’s not the most important part of making it out alive – nature is brutal and it doesn’t care how hardcore you (think you) are. 

Common sense and being able to make quick decisions in the heat of the moment is just as, if not more, critical than all of the preparedness plans you’ve assembled. 

The one thing you’ll need to survive when all hell breaks loose is an ability to adapt to an ever-changing, unfamiliar landscape. 


Common sense survival. The return of natural selection.
By Selco

tank

How do you imagine a real survivalist?

Is it a man hidden inside an underground bunker with food for 10 years, completely cut off from outside world? Or is it the guy with the crazy haircut driving a bike on methan, in a full leather outfit with communicaton skills that are not more than screams and some strange gurgling noises, armed with swords from fantasy games and maybe a chainsaw on the back?

Both examples are something like strange fantasies or for some even wishes (“I want to be like that”) that I saw on more than one survival forum, or TV shows.

There is also picture of the big savior – the guy who will do only good stuff, save other folks when SHTF, and survive everything. There is a strange opinion in some people that having a stance like “I’ll do only that when SHTF,” either only good or only bad in terms of pillaging and robbing, will keep them safe. If you look at how things happen in nature, you know the natural way does not always mean a happy ending.

Lots of regular people in today’s society see us prepper and survivalists as weirdos in camouflage suits, conspiracy nuts and similar. Most of them are right, lots of “survivalists” also help in building that image of survivalists. It is hard for some people to just shut up and prep, which is what they should do to keep low profile. But some people make survival so much a part of who they are they want to show off. Their choice.

The point is that there are lot of definitions of survivalists there, and each one of them is as if it is “written in stone.” I think survival is more about how you are as person and not what you expect. Once disaster strikes, you will see tough guys helpless and regular guys become strong forces. True nature shows up.

Several days after the shooting started I arranged with friend that he will pick me up with car so we can go and finish some job. We went to a relative’s apartment to look for useful stuff but everything was looted already. In that time vehicles could still drive, but shootings were everywhere and checkpoints too. So violence within the group of people who were caught up in the city was combined with the shooting and shelling from enemy army.

At this point in time, nobody knew who was shooting who and why, and what groups stand on checkpoints, but people already got killed.

When he came to pick me up I noticed that rear lights on his car were smashed, broken. And inside car he had some kind of steel plates with hooks and wooden bars that you could kinda attach to the inside of the door.

He explained to me that he smashed rear lights when he concluded that people get killed when snipers and machine gunners spot them after they hit the brake in the middle of the night during driving (lights are not used anyway during the drive).

That driving with him was closest thing to the apocalyptic Mad Max version of driving. It was still possible to drive through the street, but it was full of junk, debris, and bodies here and there. He used big lights occasionally when he really needed to see something, but only for sec or two, other than that he was driving in the dark.

On our way back he changed the position of some steel plates inside the car because he expected different directions of possible incoming bullets.

We survived that drive. That dude was not an ex special forces member, or guy that you imagine, some strong tough dude. He was simple family guy, he worked as a postman before everything.

He had no experience with violence, gunfire or anything similar other than dogs barking at him while he delivered mail.

You may say “oh, nothing too smart, it is common sense to not use brake lights and put something between you and flying bullets”, and yes you are right it is common sense, but the point is that you need to know WHEN you need to start to use common sense.

A great number of people got killed because they “waited to see what is gonna happen”, other folks started to use common sense early and survived (at least more of them, because no matter what we do there is always factor X – that you are simply at the wrong place at the wrong time).

Those who can switch fast and let ideas of normal life go increase their chances for survival a lot! Many “fantasy” survivalists will wake up to a big surprise that things are not like they thought. It is true you should understand and know what to expect but even more important is to quickly change your way of life, how you think about security. A flexible thinker survives because they have many options to do things and react if they have to.

Another time the shelling caught us on the inside of one of the apartment buildings, group of some 5-6 of us. Whole floor collapsed around us and on us.

Few seconds later we get on our feet, and find out that one of us is half buried under the rubble, other ones get minor wounds and scratches. We started to dig to uncover the buried guy, after that we realized that he was almost shredded from his thighs down, and his feet were under the piece of concrete wall.

After one try to lift him, we realize that there is no way to do it.

His legs were in so bad shape that while I was trying to do some kind of bleeding control I realize that actually I do not have clue what leg is left and what is right. It was simply all messed up and mixed from thighs down. Under the knees I could see that all was mixture of white and red, pressed and mixed. And he was screaming big time.

Shelling started again, with pretty big chance for all of us to be buried under the walls. I would be a liar if I could say that I did not wanted to leave that dude there stranded, and just get the hell out of there, but somehow I still stupidly was trying to stop bleeding with straps from the shirt.

Then (luckily) one of the guys stepped out and pushed me. Then with a rifle bayonet he simple cut off almost amputated feet from stranded guy who luckily passed out, took him on his back and said “OK, lets go“. After we left the place, it collapsed from shelling. And strangely stranded guy survived everything.

If that dude did not cut his feet off we probably all got killed, or would have just left that man to die there.

Luckily one of us had common sense to do what has to be done in a very quick and efficient way, and he did not have any medical knowledge.

There are many more stories how people got killed in very stupid ways and stories how people who have common sense survived (more of that in my course), but you get my point.

A real survivalist is a man (or woman) who knows what to do in a certain moment. Everything else is just talking and wishful thinking. If you want to increase your chances to survive, then learn to take action quickly. Your knowledge and your skills will help you to make the right decisions and execute actions better.

You can follow Selco’s story at SHTF School and learn how he survived one year in hell. 

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More Excellent Reading From Selco:

A Survival Q & A: Living Through SHTF In the Middle of A War Zone

Advice From A Collapse Survivor: “RUN!” From Major Cities

Collapse Reality: “If I Had to Be an Animal, I Was an Animal. It Was About Survival.”


SHTF Plan – When It Hits The Fan, Don’t Say We Didn’t Warn You