Economics & Investing For Preppers

Here are the latest items and commentary on current economics news, market trends, stocks, investing opportunities, and the precious metals markets. We also cover hedges, derivatives, and obscura. And it bears mention that most of these items are from the “tangibles heavy” contrarian perspective of JWR. (SurvivalBlog’s Founder and Senior Editor.) Today’s focus is on the expected Social Security shortfall. (See the Economy and Finance section.)

Precious Metals:

Turkey Uses Gold Bullion To Stabilise Its Currency And Economy



FOREX-Euro snaps 6-week losing streak as Italy concerns wane; data eyed

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I noticed that in terms of stability versus the US Dollar, the Thai Baht seems to have been managed well for the past few years. In contrast, some of its neighboring countries have had far less currency stability. Needless to say, currency trading stability generally equates to commodity trading stability and good exporting relationships.



Up 24%: Bytecoin Only Gainer In Bad Month for Big Cryptos

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When It’s Time to Rebalance Your Crypto Asset Portfolio

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Treading Water: Bitcoin Bulls Await Break Above $7,780


Economy & Finance (Social Security Shortfall):

And so it begins: Social Security Expected to Dip Into Its Reserves This Year. JWR’s Comments:  If you were born in or after 1968, then don’t expect to ever get much out of Social Security (SS). The demographic mathematics  of the end of the Baby Boom are inescapable. In essence, there are only four solutions to the shortfall: A.) SS payroll taxes must sharply increase (unlikely), B.) SS benefits must be reduced, C.) The eligibility age to begin drawing SS must be steadily raised to 70 or beyond, or D.) The currency must be inflated. I’m betting that the solutions chosen by Congress will be a combination of B, C, and D.

I was born in 1960. I expect to see at least a 20% reduction of promised benefits by the time I’m 75 years old. Odds are, If you were born in or after 1968, then you were born on the wrong side of the Baby Boom. You will almost surely be robbed of a good portion of what you paid in to the Socialist Insecurity system. I’ll quote a wise old fiend, the late Chuck Brumley of Orofino, Idaho, in some advice to Congress: “If your outgo exceeds your income, then your upkeep will be your downfall.”


Tangibles Investing:

Here is a way that modern American dairymen are thinking outside the box:  Herdsharing.  Just be forewarned: State dairy laws vary widely!  Do your research before attempting this.

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Here is a classic article from TMEN: How to Buy Farmland, Even If You Think You Can’t



SurvivalBlog and its Editors are not paid investment counselors or advisers. So please see our Provisos page for our detailed disclaimers.

News Tips:

Please send your economics and investing news tips to JWR. (Either via e-mail of via our Contact form.) These are often especially relevant, because they come from folks who particularly watch individual markets. And due to their diligence and focus, we benefit from fresh “on target” investing news. We often “get the scoop” on economic and investing news that is probably ignored (or reported late) by mainstream American news outlets. Thanks!


  1. On your comments on the survivability of the Social Security system you offer 4possible solutions. I would offer one additional solution: Means Testing

    Years ago when my daughter was young I read an report that stated people born in 1992 (her birth year) would have to contribute 70% of their pay to SSI. I knew 20 years ago that no one would tolerate that amount of tax. I told my wife that Means Testing would have to be started so that those that were fortunate to have a good retirement plan then would be volunteered out of SSI so less fortunate individuals could be taken care of.

    That it hasn’t happened by now is amazing. Kicking the can down the road. Washington DC favorite sport

    1. Am I understanding you correctly in that those that plan better for end of life care should be screwed by those that didn’t plan well, get an education, work hard or any variation of the three? As a person whose maternal side of the family has figured out how to scheme the government for welfare, I talk great issue with your suggestion. My husband has worked since he was 14 years old. Since he was 18 never being more than a month without a job, paying into the system. The idea that because one plans well that they should not receive something they paid into as part of their retirement plan (using SS as it is intended, not as sole income) is ludicrous and insulting. Those of us struggling in our younger years with the hope that we will be comfortable and not a burden to our children in our elderly years shouldn’t have to sacrifice for others who perhaps wasted their income in their own youth. Personally I don’t think SS will be there when my husband retires at 70 (25 years away) but if it is, I will fight tooth and nail to get every dime he paid into it considering he works 10-12 hour days for us to be semi comfortable in our lives. It’s the least I can do when the lazy and uneducated seem to keep getting benefits that we pay an arm and a leg for. I believe in love thy neighbor but damn if my neighbors don’t keep taking my husbands hard earned money every which way we turn. Where is the love for the responsible people?

      1. What you illustrate is the issue I feel at the heart of much of our social strife currently.
        There are segments of our society that feel entitled to many things, that they do not work to provide (in varying degree’s, across a spectrum). There is another segment, that feels one should have to work, and work hard, to have what one desires.
        I’ve heard it said many times and many ways, but the monkeys have figured out how to vote themselves free banana’s. This always and only ends one way.

    2. I suspect you could be correct. However that would reveal the lie that allowed social security to pass in the first place. The people of the 30’s on into my generation were told we were paying for our own retirement not the retirement of others. It was a blatant lie but the illusion of the “Trust Fund” reinforced it. I think it was only the advent of the internet that really brought wide spread understanding of the Ponzi scheme. So means testing will be hard to sell for a while and as stated before will be the final admission of the rip off social security has been.

  2. Never forget that 65 was the aged picked to start receiving S.S. because at the time the vast majority of the population died before reaching 65. It was set up by progressives as a program to fund the government not the people.

  3. I am helping a homeless guy out who just got onto Social Security. Mentally he could never hold a regular 8 hour per day job, but every time he did landscaping for us he would work with the sweat rolling off of him, day after day, for 4 to 6 hours. He never paid much into SS, but now he gets very small stipend from them….because of his pancreatic cancer. He can barely work now.

    So if you and I are to practice the principles Jesus and Apostles preached, you and I need to proactively reach out and do something. You can get someone a burner phone and keep it turned on for 25 bucks a month. I learned to do that for Paul. Now his doctors and staff can reach him for appointments, and he can take calls for small jobs of yard work. Even dying of cancer he still strives to do light tasks for a few hours altogether each day.

    My point in telling you this is because it’s time for you to take the offensive against the works of evil. Take direct action. Every time you let the State provide help instead of you directly providing help to actually deserving individuals, you are clearly committing Sin. Sins of omission are real, and Peter (who was amply documented as struggling in his faith) lays it out a required course of action plainly and directly for us:

    1 Peter 4

    1) Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin;

    2) That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.

    3) For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries:

    4) Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you:

    5) Who shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead.

    6) For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.

    7) But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.

    8) And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.

    9) Use hospitality one to another without grudging.

    10) As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.

    If you find yourself nodding and saying to yourself that you already do this, then thank you. You are my fellow warrior against Statism/Satanism.

    But if you think these words are strange and don’t mean much to you, I urge you to get into some direct discussions with your spiritual provider. If that provider is also you, you are ramming a lead ball down a barrel filled with soggy gunpowder. It just won’t work. But don’t argue with me….take it up with St Peter.

  4. Mr Fisher your statement;
    “ Every time you let the State provide help instead of you directly providing help to actually deserving individuals, you are clearly committing Sin.“

    I do not “let” the state provide anything, it’s a matter of law. I have no choice in the taxes I pay or where they go.
    And Romans 13:6-7 clearly instructs is to pay our taxes.

    Anyway, I agree with Jim, the government will use many accounting methods to fund SSI. Here is another one I have read about, a nickel tax on every stock trade. And stocks trade into the billions per day.

  5. As a man born in 1979. I long ago came to the conclusion that Social Security in its current form is a long term ponzie scheme. When it takes 3 current workers to support 1 person recieving current benefits, what else can you call that? I’ve never had a break between jobs, not even a week. And have never earned less than 40k a year. My last ss statement said i should expect roughly $250/mo if I start drawing at age 67. Thankfully I have had a 401k account since coming to the ponzie theory to plan ahead. I pray for the rest of my generation that will one day wake up in dire straights in 30ish years. (Assuming schumer hasn’t already hit the fan between now and then)

    1. I think something is wrong with your math – my research says the minimum SS payment for someone who has worked 30 years and payed the minimum into SS, is $848/month ( and just plugging in the numbers you gave, i.e. born 1979, $40K per year, and the AARP estimator shows a little over $1500 can be expected ( I’m not a big believer in SS viability or its’ longevity, but somewhere your info is wrong.

      1. Interesting, I didn’t do the math myself. The estimate comes from my SS quarterly statements. Sounds like I should go into one of their offices and ask what is wrong.

    2. Be careful on your reliance on a 401k (or other organized retirement vehicle).
      Yet another option for funding the SS situation, will be confiscation. I believe this is the most likely scenario. One day you will see the President on the tee vee, very solemn and serious, from the desk in the oval office, telling you your retirement funds have been ‘invested for you’ by the goobermint in treasury bonds that never lose money and always grow in ‘value’, and that it is your patriotic duty to the generation(s) that came before you.
      No mention of fiscal mismanagement, nobody’s going to tell you how we got to this point, but you will be told you’re a great American, and you will not lose a penny, and that it is for your own good.
      Sounds familiar, I know.

      … It has the double effect of adding additional buyers to the pool of treasuries the goobermint will be forced to issue to cover the burgeoning debt. More buyers = better prices (as the rest of the world is likely to be decreasing the amount of purchases they are making, someone’s gotta buy this junk) Food for thought.

  6. SS could easily remain solvent forever; First of all eliminate the hangers on who did not contribute to SS but can draw a check from SS. Did you know many immigrants who never worked a day in the U.S. draw ss checks? So first step is you must have contributed in order to participate.

    Second rule is your payout is directly related to what you paid in. Accounting has tables and procedures to determine this based on life expectancies etc. If person A put twice as much into SS than person B than person A gets a check from SS that is twice as large and person B’s check.

    Third rule; don’t payout more than you take in. What this would mean is that your SS check could fluctuate. Not good news I understand that but a whole lot better than dropping to zero. So essentially the SS administration would adjust total payout to match total income each year and each recipient would receive a percentage based on what they contributed to the system. It would never and could never go bankrupt.


  7. In Nov.2008 Congress discussed and I beleive devloped a plan to Nationalise everyones retirement funds. Once again showing their desire to control everyones life through control of their finances.

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