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Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Americans and a General Lack of Preparing for Economic Collapse

 
 



Here is an eye opening article that a friend of mine sent me. Makes for some thoughful reading:

In the past few years, the job market has vastly improved and home prices have rebounded — yet Americans are becoming even more irresponsible when it comes to saving for emergencies - not to mention preparing for a economic collapse.

According to a survey of 1,000 adults released by Bankrate.com on Tuesday, nearly one in three (29%) American adults (that’s roughly 70 million) have no emergency savings at all — the highest percentage since Bankrate began doing this survey five years ago. What’s more, only 22% of Americans have at least six months of emergency savings (that’s what advisers recommend) — the lowest level since Bankrate began doing the survey.

These findings mirror others — all of which paint an abysmal picture of Americans’ ability to withstand an emergency. For example, a survey released in March by national nonprofit NeighborWorks America also found that roughly one third (34%) of Americans don’t have emergency savings.

I would think that is 34% of Americans don't have emergency savings then that percentage of people who don't have emergency provisions and the ability to survive prolonged periods of minimal food and lack of utilities is much greater.

Greg McBride, the chief financial analyst for Bankrate.com, says these low savings reflect that households haven’t seen their incomes ramp up and thus “household budgets are tight.” Plus, he adds “people don’t pay themselves first — they wait until the end of the month to save what’s left over and then nothing is left over.”

Many advisers recommend that most Americans have at least six months worth of income in their emergency fund — and more if they have children or other dependents. To build this up, most recommend something to the effect to “start an automatic transfer to a savings account and set a task to revisit and increase the amount in a month.”

Additionally, American consumers ended 2014 with $57 billion in personal debt, a historic high. An average of $7,177 and remember this is only counting credit or revolving credit debt, not mortgages, or car payments.

And if families don't have any money to pay off their debt, they don't have any money to pay themselves (savings) then they certainly don't have any money to start preparing for a much different world,..a world where food is not commonly available,...where fuel prices have skyrocketed. Utilities are on and off, then not on at all.

I know a gentleman,..well hardly a gentleman, but nonetheless he took out his 401K plan, paying a giant penalty because he thought preparing for dark times was more important then preparing for retirement 20 years in the future. He bought several guns, much ammunition, common OTC medicines and medical supplies, silver bullion, extra canned goods and survival foods. He stocked case upon case of bottled water and also bought outdoor clothing and boots, sleeping bags and other camping type equipment. About the only purchase I did not agree with was a large gasoline generator. I told him a solar power system would have been more portable and not dependent upon gasoline which may be very scare in any economic or societal collapse.

Then he started paying himself and using what he saved every few months to buy more silver. As I told him, that was nice but he should consider also holding some cash on hand for emergency purchases for right before and right after the collapse is apparent when only cash is accepted and before cash is worthless. This period of time would be before silver and gold bullion and junk silver coins would be readily bartered or used in exchanges for goods and services.

Are you prepared?

Urban Man

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