Thursday, November 20, 2008
It's a good time to start thinking about how to protect your earnings from higher taxes, if you even have sufficient earnings to worry about. One way to do this is to start looking for another country to emigrate to, where taxes are not so oppressive.
Higher taxes are certainly a danger to your retirement plans, so you need to take countermeasures.
You may find this chart useful in your search:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tax_rates_around_the_world
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Now, the Election campaign is finally over. Saint Obama has won, proving that Americans in general don't want the truth about their political/economic affairs, so I have decided to stop talking about our immoral, murderous, and unwise foreign policies and to focus squarely on what can be done to maintain a comfortable standard of living for myself and those who see the danger of our situation.
When it becomes evident that all the Bailout monies are being wasted and unemployment keeps going up, Common Wealth Farm is a concept I offer for those who want honest work and a roof over their heads. Our American economy has been based on foolish premises that most of us can be consumers of a variety of products shipped into this country, without producing an equivalent value to trade the producer countries. With increases in oil prices and/or lack of credit to pay for shipments of vital goods, Americans may soon find many necessary items no longer in stock on supermarket shelves. Whoops!
We need to become locally self-sufficient in food and energy. This can be done, but it requires work and preparation now. Common Wealth Farm is just a name for an old way to do this. It may solve the problems of unemployment, homelessness, and food security for a lot of Americans, when they are ready for it.
By the way: Food that you grow for your family is equivalent to earnings you won't have to pay taxes on. Tax-free income!
If this seems like excessive worry, here's a little tidbit I found in the news yesterday: Central California will be limiting water supplies for cities and farms (where much of America's food is grown) to 15% of their requested ammount in 2009. Unless they have a very unusually wet winter, there may be a lot less produce coming out of California farms next year. It is not worth planting most crops if you won't have the necessary water to grow them. Think about that!
Here in Oregon, we have no shortage of water. In fact, it's raining steadily now, right on schedule!
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
Even though I've taken pretty good care of my health over the years, I still have my aches and pains and have begun to feel less and less like my younger self. Recently, though, I've discovered a product that makes me feel young and sharp and more energetic on a daily basis, without any negative side-effects. I feel about 15 years younger when I drink this delicious beverage.
It's an energy drink called A.C.T. (Advanced Cellular Therapy) and it's totally unlike the crazy concoctions the kids are drinking now. It is all natural, has very little sugars, and has vitamins and herbs that help energize your cells for 5-6 hours at a time. I like it much better than coffee or tea, which make me too nervous!
Some folks who try it are calling A.C.T. "liquid Viagra" and I can see what they mean. Like I said, it makes me FEEL YOUNG.
Best of all, A.C.T. is the "Energy Drink That Pays." The company doesn't spend big bucks on fancy advertising. It doesn't hire celebrities like Lance Armstrong to recommend their product. It offers you and me the opportunity to tell our friends about this exciting new product and receive commissions for the products we help them sell.
The company provides training through the 'Net and a great human support network. It's easy to like the beauty and simplicity of this lucrative opportunity. And you are doing people a favor by sharing this great discovery!
My favorite way to market this fantastic product is through the Internet. The company has laid out a step-by-step system, with a low initial investment and business overhead that makes it possible for the average hardworking person to create a million dollar business to help them stay FAR AHEAD of inflation and galloping MEDICAL EXPENSES!
If you're interested in feeling younger and making more money, I invite you to visit my Web site to learn more about DrinkACT: http://drinkactweb.com/healthywealth
By the way, if you travel overseas and have business connections there, A.C.T. can be shipped to 34 countries currently. The falling value of our dollar makes A.C.T. even more of a bargain for folks in Europe, Asia, and some South American countries. And don't forget the tax advantages to having a home-based business!
If you'd like to try A.C.T., or would like to learn more about the perfect retirement business, drop by my Web site: http://drinkactweb.com/healthywealth !
Monday, May 26, 2008
We all need to come to terms with some unpleasant realities of life if we want our world to be a better place. That's hard to do when all around you are smug lies, saying that these millions of deaths were necessary. Our preachers tell us the Lie; our President tells us the Lie; just about every newspaper and TV News pretty face tell us the Lie that the many Americans who died in Iraq, Afghanistan, Vietnam, and even World War I and II died for a good reason.
We need to come to terms with the fact that we are being lied to, from the President on down. If we truly are free men and women, we need to get our minds around the fact that none of these wars were necessary to preserve our Freedom and the American Way of Life. Until we do that - and put our foot down - we're going to continue to have our friends and loved ones killed and maimed for life for no good reason.
I follow a higher law than the US government. That's the law that was taught to us centuries ago by Jesus Christ and many other enlightened spiritual teachers. Even the President says he is a Christian, but from watching his actions, I have to believe that either he is psychotic or he is a liar. It's time for all of us to start demanding our leaders to practice the higher laws that we say we believe.
"As you sow, so shall you reap." How plain is that? What goes around, comes around. If we continue to kill and destroy the homes of poor people in Iraq and elsewhere, their relatives and countrymen will try to do the same to us. Can you blame them?
"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." Either we believe this or we don't. Most Americans say we do, so let's start living our beliefs so we can start enjoying the real benefits of the peace and Freedom this country was created to provide.
How about "Thou shalt not kill!" If we want to honor our dead, who died with (for the most part) the best of intentions, we need to start living by our deepest beliefs.
We need to look at the cold, hard, ugly facts that nothing positive was accomplished by all the killing in Vietnam, Iraq, or even the Civil War, that could not have been accomplished by peaceful means. We trade with Vietnam now and they have proven to be no threat to our way of life - so how can we say our soldier died for some noble purpose?
Let's end the Lie! If we don't, we eventually will be dragged into a nuclear confrontation. Even the status quo of "acceptable levels of casualties" is insane, given that these wars are accomplisihing nothing but sowing the seeds of misery. War is impoverishing our nation.
There's a great article by Jacob Hornsberger of the Future of Freedom Foundation that says all this in a more scholarly manner, something about "They didn't die to defend our Freedom." I'll insert it when I locate the link.
I just wanted to say on this Memorial Day, let's honor our dead by swearing to stop believing the Lie that war is a necessary evil. It is not.
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
I've been looking for the perfect, work-at-home business for years. I've found and started several, but they all had flaws. The more I thought and read about trends in our food production, the more certain I am that, using the right tehniques of farming and the right business model, growing food for your family and community is the perfect proven income opportunity for now and the future.
What's not to like about a business that is growing 17-20% per year, with its competition falling behind due to a rise in the prices of oil, plus the diversion of corn crops into ethanol production? Organic mini-farming, to be specific, will feel no direct impact from either of these two problems. And rising food prices in your neighborhood grocery stores are going to drive consumers into your arms, looking for quality affordable garden produce. Will you be ready?
To my mind, growing a big garden - enough for most of your needs and some to sell your neighbors - is the most sensible and profitable investment of your time. If nothing else, you will eliminate most of your food costs, get some healthy exercise, eat more nutritious foods - which is the equivalent of a tax free increase in income of more than $2500 per person in your household! Where else can you get a second work-at-home job that pays you tax-free income?
Now, most people will not start their own gardens, so you don't need to worry about a lot of new competition in the coming Recession. Most folks are too lazy and not yet hungry enough to willingly eat natural, unprocessed foods. Still, there is a growing market for organic, healthy food. I'm just telling you about it; if you don't want to take advantage of this opportunity to secure your family's food supply, that's your business.
I've looked at all the phony work-at-home proven income opportunities out there and I've seldom found any that were worth the effort. Many are outright scams. I'm tired of losing money - I have found a sure thing that a growing number of people will come to you and ask you to sell them. I know it works, because I've done it before.
If you want to learn more about how to create your own mini-farm and profitably market your crops, the best book I've found is Mini-Farming for Self Sufficiency, by Brett Markham. It is very well written, clear, and full of references. See the link on the right of this column.
The key to making this the perfect proven income opportunity is to market your produce by forming what's called a CSA. This means "community supported agriculture" and that means your customers pay you for your crops before you even plant them and come to pick them up once a week. Look into it. Obviously, it may take you two or more seasons of successful crops to prove you know what you're doing, so that your customes will trust you, but that's a worthwhile investment of time and effort. Every real business requires some start-up investment of time and money.
Read the book, it'll all make sense then.
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Chek it out. The video is to the right of this post.
Tuesday, March 4, 2008
I believe there are two types of people in this world - those who want to be amused and entertained and those who want actionable information to give them an edge in dealing with life as it is. I write for those grown-ups who want the whole truth so they can know what is likely coming. That way we can be prepared for the most likely scenarios. James Kunstler is someone worth listening to.
Kunstler's latest novel is no "light reading." It is heavy stuff, but believable if you are at all tuned in to the myriad catastrophes that are occuring everyday. If you can read between the lines of your daily news, you might have imagined a similar future. World Made By Hand only makes it more graphic and real.
When you put together the imminent potential of nuclear terrorism, a collapse of our economy due to the greed and arrogance of "the smartest people in the room," the end of American hegemony over the world, and therefor, the end of our preferred access to the magic elixir, oil, that makes our comfortable way of life possible, you'll get a glimpse of the future Kunstler envisions.
James Kunstler gives us the key to the puzzle of everyday events that brings the whole picture into focus. The trends that are in motion now, how they will interact to create dramatic changes in the near future. Like the illustrations that dare you to "Count the squirrels in this picture!", World Made By Hand will let you see the future that has been concealed in seeming random chaotic acts by separate actors.
Massive change can happen overnight, when tensions are released along fault lines that have endured pressure for centuries. Don't be caught unawares when it happens! I believe we are coming into an era of radical and unpleasant social/political/economic changes that have been stewing quietly for years. In hindsight, they will seem predictable, just as 9/11 does now.
If you want to find out where the juggernaut of world events is going so you can get out of the way, I urge you to read this book quickly. I did.
It pretty well sums up much of what I'd like to say about the total incompetence of our government in their supposed efforts to "protect us".
A line of inquiry from one who knows that will make it even more disturbingly clear is this, about Sibel Edmonds: http://antiwar.com/justin/?articleid=12166
I'm not here to argue with anyone. If those articles don't convince you that we are being sold down the river by our rulers, then I will wish you luck and get on with my preparations for what I am sure will happen over the next few years.
I am writing these pages for those who do know - or at least suspect - that we're being set up for a major fall...and you want to prepare yourselves, as I do.
Here's another thing to keep in mind: Our leaders create problems for us (like they built up Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda with billions of our dollars to fight the Russians, years ago - now they have turned on us. ) and then they use those problems as a way to urge us to accept their solutions. Example: 9/11 was an excuse to invade Iraq, which had nothing to do with 9/11, but had a lot of oil and the potential to be used as a base for future operations in the region(think Iran).
One point I'd like to make is that, just like in chess, if your adversary WANTS you to move in a certain direction, it's probably not in your best interests. I'm sorry to say that our adversary in this chess game is our own government.
Whether through the hubris and incompetence/overconfidnce of the Neocons in the Bush administration, or through their out-of-control greed to make big bucks selling our nuclear secrets to our "allies" - one way or the other, we are being set up for nuclear terorism here in the states. When it happens, it will be a new excuse for some foreign war and more loss of our freedoms here at home. Don't fall for it! Who sold them the technology? Who betrayed the American people for thirty pieces of silver? That's your real enemy.
Unfortunately, our nuclear secrets have been sold, the cat is out of the bag, and it's only a matter of time before the first one goes off. My question for you is: Where will you be when nuclear terrorism comes to America?
Nuclear terror is one of the major Overlooked Retirement Dangers. You can prepare yourself for it by moving to safety, or you can go on believing in the fairy tale that "Everything is fine. That could never happen here!"
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
He must have been feeling some pressure from the Bush administration, due to his attacks on their out-of-control deficits. I am sure Walker was frustrated by the lack of serious discussion or - Heaven forbid! - any action by Congress in the direction of dealing with this massive impending shortfall in entitlement funding. In case you haven't heard, Social Security is run like a Ponzi scheme, which depends on a lot of new "investors" to pay into the scheme, so that it can continue paying for the ever-escalating medical and retirement income costs of the retired population.
The annual Social Security surplus produced by the huge Baby Boomer contingent of workers is about to come to an end and those folks will be retiring in droves over the next few year. All those surplusses have been lumped into the federal budget and spent. They are not invested in anything, to grow into the trillions of dollars needed to pay the Boomers what was promised them, as any normal insurance business would do. They are gone.
Now, you may be saying, "That's no problem. I wasn't counting on that tiny check anyway. I've got plenty of money and investments to provide for my retirement!"
Ahhh, but let me tell you "the rest of the story." Another of my key sources is economist Laurence Kotlikoff, who served on Reagan's Council of Economic Advisors and wrote The Coming Generational Storm in 2005 to explain the danger here. To summarize his argument: The only politiclly acceptable, workable way to find the funds needed to pay for a $60-70 Trillion shortfall in Social Security/Medicare, is to inflate their way out of it. This is how you and everyone else will suffer for Congress' and the White House's incompetence over the past twenty plus years.
I chose the title "The Ulimate Sell Signal" in reference to an article in the Daily Reckoning that appeared February 26, 2008. It quoted money market specialist Bill Donoghue, who noted that David Walker had recently resigned his post at the GAO, calling it "the ultimate sell signal" for America's prospects. The Daily Reckoning is a good read, I reccomend it highly.
Walker is evidently so frustrated that this country and our leadership (who should know better) seem determined to run this country off a cliff rather than come to terms with fiscal realities. Tellingly, Walker has accepted a post at the head of a billion dollar new foundation created by entrepreneur Pete Peterson to continue to spread the message that this country is doomed if it continues to spend money it doesn't have.
Have you noticed?
- Foreign countries are losing confidence in the dollar.
- Home sales and prices are declining nationwide.
- Inflation is going up.
- Jobs are going overseas.
- Wall St. is highly nervous over massive speculation in sub-prime debt, SIVs, CDOs, etc.
- The Fed is caught between their mandate to fight inflation, while trying to keep the economy functioning with lower interest rates.
- Consumer spending, 70% of the GDP, is drying up. Uh-oh!
- Bankruptcies and foreclosures are going up at record rates.
- The country is mired in two overseas wars, at great expense, and looking for a reason to bomb Iran.
- Both Democrats and Republicans have been talking about adding Universal Medical Insurance to our financial burden soon.
- The inevitability of more terrorism here at home, possibly nuclear.
- The inevitability of shortages, price increases, and embargoes of oil and natural gas.
- Resource wars in a mistaken attempt to secure what's left for the USA.
- The Average American doesn't seem to care about all these growing storm clouds.
I assume, if you're reading this, that you have money you want to protect in the likely event of a collapse of our economy and/or runaway inflation. Even if you don't have much to lose, you still must want to make sure you continue to have a roof over your head, food on the table, and some source of income.
I don't know what - if anything - you plan to do about all this, but I will tell you what I'm planning. I would suggest you read Kotlikoff's book and also James Howard Kunstler's "The Long Emergency". I will put these in a link box on this page for your convenience. These are books worth owning.
As a protection against the chaos these authors and others project, I would consider either moving out of this country or - at the least - moving to a safe, small community where you can provide for your own family's need for foods with a good-sized organic garden plot. This is a great way to save money on groceries, improve the quality of your health, and even provide a generous retirement income for yourself. More on this later...
I'm not a financial advisor, but I will say what I plan to do to protect the value of my money from inflation OR deflation. My plan is real basic: Gold and silver as a store of value, and real property in safe locale, plus a stock of tools, seeds, and knowledge. And trustworthy friends with complementary skills.
So, the Ultimate Sell Signal has been given - will you heed it?
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
What are the overlooked retirement dangers?
The first is one that most Americans have heard discussed for many years: The bankruptcy of the Social Security and Medicare system. Before you turn away, thinking you've heard all this too many times, let me assure you running out of money is not the problem. The problem for you - no matter how large your assets are - begins when our federal government is forced to print massive quantities of money to pay their obligations, thus inflating your savings out of existence. I'll explain in detail what you can do about this in a later post.
The next major overlooked retirement danger is the inevitability of more terrorism strikes here in America - probably nuclear - if our leaders don't change their approach to solving the problems connected with our ties to the Middle East. Atomizing a few square miles of Manhattan or L.A. will pretty much bring our complex society to its knees. This is totally unnecessary, but it is where we're headed if we don't change our foreign policies.
The final major Overlooked Retirement Danger is known as Peak Oil. We don't have to run out of oil and natural gas to slow our modern civilization to a crawl - all we need is for demand from China, India, and other nations to grow larger than the declining supplies of cheap, accessible oil. Peak Oil will affect every aspect of your life in the near future, from where you decide to retire to how you plan to feed your family, so you need to think about this now, before it becomes evident.
We're already seeing our economy about to go into what is euphemistically being called a "deep recession." There is so much built-up debt, both on a national and a personal level that it should be clear we are not easily going to paper over major economic problems this time around. When you factor in the crushing weight of the 77 million Baby Boomers' retirement obligations with two hugely expensive ongoing wars, it should be plain that we're in for no ordinary recession.
The key point I want to make here is that there is much we can do to smooth this transition. Most of us don't want front-row seats at Armageddon, and I believe there's a lot we can do to avoid it. With a little preparation, it may be possible to avoid the worst of these changes and prosper by providing your unprepared neighbors with critical goods and services they will need.
Why listen to me? I have a knack for gathering useful information and making correct decisions based on envisioning where our present course of action is going to take us. At age 18, I saw that the U.S. war on Vietnam was immoral, wrong, and was a terrible waste of lives and money. I faced prison rather than taking part and I believe that was one of the best decisions I ever made. History shows us that nothing worthwhile was accomplished, as we now trade freely with Vietnam and the Communist threat has proven to be an expensive delusion.
I feel just as strongly about these overlooked retirement dangers as I did about Vietnam forty years ago. I provide my reasoning and research here in hopes we can all work together to avoid some very unpleasant conditions in what are supposed to be our Golden Years.
In my next few posts I'll lay out our situation in brief and some surprisingly simple ways you can improve your personal retirement quality of life.