Mobility vs. staying put

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plantguy90's picture
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Mobility vs. staying put

Here's something that's been puzzling my preparedness decision-making.  Do you prepare fo stay put, to hunker down and play defense, or do you prepare to be mobile and fluid?  There's good arguments for both.  Peraonally I don't see the whole world going savage, at least not all at once, and I definitely see where there are govt's, cultures, communities and people who will remain for the most part productive and civilized.  I dont mean to say crime isn't going to increase, but if you hear that XYZ is still ok, while your patch of ABC becomes a trash heap, wouldn't moving away be an easier option, rather than to suit up in body armor just to go take a walk?  I have put a lot of enrgy into my current place, long before being enlightened by the CC, and so for me its hard to give my place up.  But then again, I do have family in other parts of the world, and if things get bad here, eventually giving it up might be the wisest thing, as it may be for my relatives one day to come towards my place. 

Are you sitting on heaps of bullets and food and toilet paper, or is your money spread out over 15 countries?  Just asking...

strabes's picture
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Joined: Feb 7 2009
Posts: 1032
Re: Mobility vs. staying put

That's my biggest struggle right now too.  I'd been contemplating moving before the downturn hit because I wanted the deeper sense of community some other cultures have, which I believe has been mostly stripped out of the US.  I wanted a slower pace of time, where people don't wear watches.  I wanted more connection with ground, nature.  I wanted a community where the topic of the day isn't arguing between left and right, Dem and Repub.  I digress...

So when the downturn hit I initially thought it made the decision for me...I was moving.  

But now I can't figure out my real gut.  I think your heart knows the right answer and will tell's just hard to get your head out of the way so you can feel it.  That's my struggle anyway.  My family is here.  I've never had great family relations. There's a lot of potential redemption to be found there for me.  The downturn is making me value that desire even more. Maybe it's the catalyst for me to move back to my roots and reconnect.   

No question societal stress level is going to go up...I think significantly.  That stress level will infect our individual stress level.  I'd rather not have that.  I'd rather be drinking Imperials and surfing in Costa Rica, or hanging with Amanda in NZ. These countries will suffer too, but it will be very different than the US.  They don't have massive national government, militarized police forces, huge standing armies that will try to control the chaos.  I think they will come together in community more organically rather than from the top-down.  

So on that aspect of the issue, I have nothing conclusive to say and would welcome dialogue.  

On the financial issue, I would diversify.  I think most money should stay in the US in short-term treasury bills (unless you're a bond trader who knows how to play the bond game staying ahead of deflation/inflation cycles) or treasury-only money market funds...don't have everything in banks.  (and note that securities/investment accounts are accessed through your brokerage, but the assets are stored in a bank)   But I also have some assets in Switzerland now...a small canton bank, not the global Swiss banks that are just as risky as US banks.  This is still in dollars, but I have the ability to shift into gold or any other currency when I want. The purpose of this is because the canton banks with high reserves are the safest place for cash in a total systemic collapse. FDIC won't work if too many banks collapse in the US.  Will it get this bad?  There's a chance, so Switz is an insurance policy.  I was going to have gold in Australia too once its price drops, but it's fundamentally safer in Switz so I'll put it there.  If I anticipate moving to Costa Rica, I'll put assets in CR and probably a Panama bank.  This is just for flexibility and more local access...they're no safer than US banks.  If I move to NZ, I'll certainly put assets there.  I will probably start an account at also as an insurance policy against whatever happens as the G20 figures out the next Bretton Woods, or the next crappy fiat currency plan.  It operates like a bank with gold digits as the currency, but it doesn't lend out its gold, so it can't play the fractional-reserve leverage game.

To your question about food, TP, bullets, if I stay in the US, I'll be accumulating stuff for insurance in case of collapse. And if I move I'll be doing this, though bullets might not be legal.  Cool     This isn't crazy sky-is-falling mentality. It was the standard way of life for our grandparents.  I'll never forget the food pantry in my grandma's basement.  I thought it was psycho.  Now I see the value of insurance!

Then there's the whole sustainable / off-the-grid issue discussed on this website.  I want to do that wherever I end up.  I can't leave Seattle until late summer, so I have to put these plans on hold.  But this will be a big factor in picking the right location.  

SteveR's picture
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Joined: Dec 4 2008
Posts: 71
Re: Mobility vs. staying put
strabes wrote:

and note that securities/investment accounts are accessed through your brokerage, but the assets are stored in a bank

I don't know what this means.  Stocks that I own have nothing to do with banks, and the cash that I keep in brokerage accounts is in money markets, right?

strabes's picture
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 7 2009
Posts: 1032
Re: Mobility vs. staying put

Steve, well it's fuzzy.  All brokerage accounts (stock, money market) are tied to a bank account.  For example, anyone who is a customer of Merrill Lynch with stock investment and money market accounts is also a customer of Mellon Bank or Chase.  If you ever wire money to your brokerage account you'll see it actually goes to a bank where your brokerage firm has an account.  If you wire money from your brokerage account, you'll need to get the bank name and ABA # that's behind your brokerage because that's actually where the money comes from.  If you look on the checks you have for your money market account, you should see in smaller letters the bank where the funds come from.  

As long as things are good and you're leaving the money in your account, the bank I believe is irrelevant.  The issue is when you want to get liquidity, i.e. pull the money out, wire it, withdraw cash, which tends to be what people want/need to do in a depression.  Brokerage can't do that without a bank.   

PlicketyCat's picture
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Joined: Feb 26 2009
Posts: 680
Re: Mobility vs. staying put

I think if your current position is secure and self-sustainable - i.e. you have access to food, water, and shelter that is reasonable and reliable - and you have personal or community attachments it's probably best to stay put; but have a plan in place just in case you have to mobilize. Mobilization could just really be relocating and rebunkering, or it could be completely nomadic... depends on you and the situation.

However if your current position is not defendable, not self-sustainable - i.e. you don't have reliable access to food and water and your shelter isn't exactly reasonable - and you don't have personal or community attachments (or your attachments are willing to relocate with you) then it's probably best to relocate and rebunker or decide to become nomadic, or at least plan for the possibility of relocating and rebunkering again or needing to become nomadic at some point in the future.

I would definitely diversify "monetary" assets and investments in different markets, different banks, and different countries... realizing that at any time my access to any of these may disappear and I essentially lose that asset. So, you also need to invest in capital assets that you can keep on your person or can stash in places where you know you should have reasonable access no matter what happens. I know at least 3 families who have rented storage in multiple states and Canada and Mexico and have a minimum survival cache and funds in each location... that might be extreme, but it does cover your butt pretty well and ensures that if your enclave is invaded and the horde takes everything there, you haven't lost everything as long as you survive and get to the next place.

Only you can decide, in your heart and your head, which decision is best for you. If you're lucky, your heart and head is in agreement; if they're not, Straces is probably right, follow your heart and appease your head by having Plan B all set up and ready to go should it be needed. That keeps you from being unhappy in the short-term, and possibly kicking yourself for ignoring heart or head in the long-term.

Ken C's picture
Ken C
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 13 2009
Posts: 753
Re: Mobility vs. staying put

This questions relates directly to the thread that I started about "When will TSHTF."


If I was certain that it would be next week or next month I make one decision. If I have 4-5 years then I can plan for a different decision. The way it is turning out I need to have a near term plan for staying put and a longer term plan for perhaps relocating. It is very uncertain when the tipping point is going to occur but it could turn very quickly.




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