Estimated reading time: 7 minutes
A hallmark of economic catastrophe for a country is the collapse in the value of its currency, otherwise known as ‘hyperinflation’. Cases of hyperinflation abound throughout history, with two of the most famous happening in Weimar Germany in the 1920s and, more recently, Venezuela after the oil price collapse in 2016.
Typically, inflation rates occur in conjunction with economic growth rates. As the economy grows, it becomes slightly more costly to buy goods and services, leading to a gradual decrease in the value of the currency.
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Occasionally, governments that are deeply in debt with no way to raise their income levels start printing money in order to pay off the number value of their debt. Owe $20 billion in Bolivars worth of debt to a creditor? Just print out $20 billion Bolivars and pay them back, easy peasy.
The problem with this is that, because every currency today is ‘fiat’ and not backed by any particular commodity like gold, the increased supply decreases its value. Once the value begins to decline, any foreign investor that has any amount of the currency in their holdings rapidly begins to throw it away in favor of a currency that has a higher value, flooding the market with even more supply.
This begins a runaway effect on the value, so where a commodity like a loaf of bread cost 2 units of currency at the beginning of the process, it can start costing 50, 500, 5000, and even 5 million units of the currency to buy that same item. Soon, everyone’s savings become completely worthless, and unless they’ve prepared beforehand, they’re completely and utterly broke.
For Western countries, this seems like an unlikely event. The U.S. dollar, while still a fiat currency, has been backed by the cost of oil since the Nixon administration. Thanks to our close ties to the wonderfully stable Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, oil is traded using only the value of the dollar as an exchange rate.
This means that the U.S.-backed Kingdom is necessary for continued U.S. dollar valuation. If they should fall and the next ruling party should select a different currency, the currency would go back to being based on next to nothing. Combine that with our $20 trillion-and-climbing debt, and you get a potentially disastrous situation.
So, if we find ourselves in a situation where the inflation rate is starting to climbing into double-digit levels, we want to be prepared for a situation where our money isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on.
Hyperinflation preparedness can be broken down into three different time spans – what to do leading up to the crisis, short-term ability to bug out and survive the initial wave of chaos, and long-term asset production.
If you’re looking to escape the country, you’re going to want to divest yourself from your country’s currency and economy. There are a few methods to do this:
Invest In Foreign Assets
You have the option of investing in foreign economies rather than your own. This can mean buying foreign real estate, keeping your money in foreign banks, investing in the equities of foreign companies that do NOT depend on the U.S. economy, or just keeping a reserve of that country’s currency.
Make The Jump To A Primarily Digital-Based Income
With the advent of the internet, there are near limitless opportunities to start a digital business or find gainful employment that is entirely remote. Find a niche on Upwork, Fiverr, or an entirely independent business, and begin moving towards a digital nomad lifestyle.
Invest In Digital Currencies
Often hailed as the currency of the future, Bitcoin and similar digital blockchain-based currencies offer a potential safe haven for your money, as their worth is not tied to any particular currency. However, their value is extremely volatile, so venture into digital coinage very carefully, as you can very easily lose everything.
If you’re going to stay in-country (maybe this is a world-wide economic collapse), you’re going to need to start investing in high-value items and in-demand skills to ensure both short- and long-term survival.
Stockpile Barter Items
High-value trade items include weapons, ammunition, food, and drugs (tobacco, medicinal, coffee, alcohol, and marijuana). Here’s a list of barter items to consider.
Develop Essential Skills
People need certain things to survive and thrive. Your job is to provide them with the items or services that allow them to do that. This includes carpentry, blacksmithing, farming, or warfare.
Acquire Asset-Producing Items Like Arable Land
The value of having a plot of land that has ready access to flowing, fresh water cannot be overstated. People are going to need to eat, and the ability to get away from high-population areas that will be the epicenter of civil strife will increase survival chances a dozen times over.
If you go this route, try to make sure it’s at least ready to start producing crops at any given time. Pigs and chickens are also high-value assets to keep on your land for fertilizer and food.
Build A Reference Library
If you lack the experience or know-how upon arrival, readily available information is essential. Hardcover books kept in a sealed container should give you everything you need once the situation deteriorates. Here’s a list of survival books.
Mobility is absolutely key, whether you’re getting out of town or getting out of the country.
- Leaving The Country
- If you’re heading out of the country, you need to make sure you have enough of whatever assets you’re keeping outside the bounds of your country’s currency for a plane ticket out of there. Once the ticket is secured, get to the airport, then watch as your home country devolves into chaos from the safety of your new home.
- Staying In The Country
- The usual bug out bag with food, supplies, etc. will be necessary.
- A car that has some off-road capabilities is a wonderful asset to have. A small stash of extra parts for it – like extra tires – and some extra fuel will provide you with a safe ride to your out-of-town destination. (Remember, gas has a 6-month useful life expectancy, so change out stored fuel regularly.)
- Bring the bartering items and any materials for a productive life that you haven’t already moved to your destination with you.
If you’ve prepared accordingly, a post-money life may not be so bad. If you’ve stocked weapons, food, water, and basic luxury goods like drugs, you’ll more than likely have everything you need to get started.
Produce, Produce, Produce
- Once you’ve arrived at your new primary residence, you CANNOT wait to get started on producing.
- If you developed a skill, begin offering your services to your neighbors.
- If you bought arable land to produce food, start fertilizing it, plowing it, or otherwise preparing it for the growing season. Your existence now depends on your assets to start producing value.
Build Your New Community
Whether you’ve chosen to invest in a skill or in productive assets, you’ll need to either join or create a community of like-minded individuals who can watch each other’s backs and provide for one another. This community is your lifeline, and a solitary life is not only an exceedingly difficult one, but one that is hardly worth living at all.
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