(Continued from Part 1. This concludes the article.)
On the federal Holiday in the first week of this October, I was involved in a traffic accident that resulted in my truck getting “totaled” by my Insurer. My truck was 13 years old, I bought it brand new for an unbelievably great price. I had put 229,959 miles on it. In fact, I was taking it to the 330,000 mile oil change when the wreck occurred. My insurer gave me just $9,000 for that total loss I was pleasantly surprised by this sum. I am going to replace this truck with another truck because I live at an elevation that has put 21 inches of snow into my driveway on Memorial Day weekend! So, needless to say, having a four-wheel drive truck is a requirement here.
I was looking at the price of replacing that “old girl” with a younger hotter girl. Sticker shock is a great way to describe the feeling. They cost is well over $12,000. Because I am a military retiree, I try to keep a comfortable monthly budget, I am still working full time for the Federal Government, and I work two nights a week at a nationally-recognized sporting goods store. This third source of income is my fun money. I pretty much spend this whole paycheck on cool “durable goods” and ammunition, which I get an employee rate that is oh so sweet.
So my budget is tight, In order for me to avoid living paycheck-to-paycheck, I will have to dip into my savings to make a contribution to supplement the $9,000 from the insurance. If I put nothing down, the truck payment on the new 4X4 will come to about $740 a month. NO SIR!!! Even though I can do it, I refuse! I intend to once again sell 160 ounces of my silver. This will net me a little under $4,000 for the new truck down payment, bringing my sum to 13,000. I also have a few things in my possession that I am parting with netting me another $2,000.
The dealer is going to get a down payment of $15,000 on a $41,000 vehicle, dropping the payment to about $500 a month payment. To put it into perspective: My better half drives a two-year-old import sports sedan that is four-wheel drive with the push of a button. This car is great on snow and ice, but small and provides no hauling ability whatsoever. The new truck, with four-wheel drive at the push of a button and a 76-inch bed will have a payment only about $100 a month more expensive than her sport sedan. I am not a person who enjoys a payment plan that is expensive every month, yet curtails my ability to enjoy my life through the term of the financing. Some people do, it’s just not for me, I am an empty nester, trying to enjoy the latter half (hopefully) of my life cycle!
Those 160 ounces which I paid about $18.50 per Troy ounce are going to once again, help me not dip into cash savings, and allow me to live a little bit easier. I acquire silver slowly, round by precious round. But I do it every payday, every time I get a bonus, every time I have a rummage sale, every time I make a little scratch on the side doing physical labor on the weekends. Thich happens less and less frequently as I slide into my 50s. At the beginning of this article, I claimed to speak about what I know, which is how investing in silver has helped me on more than one occasion.
Motivation for investing in yourself and paying yourself first!
The reason that I wrote this is because I was an Infantry Small Unit Leader while I was in the Marine Corps. I always enjoyed teaching my Leathernecks, I flourished while I had young shock troops to Teach, Coach, and Mentor.
I have a weird streak of benevolence in me that makes me recoil when I see young people performing unnecessarily dangerous acts, saying or doing stupid things, or just making ignorant decisions because they haven’t got the knowledge or experience to make decisions that benefit them. Approaching people young and old when they are doing these things requires some moral courage and a lot of tact.
It is also difficult for some parents to speak to their children about finances, as a rule, I tried to teach my own children from the time they were toddlers the value of things and the value of money. Some parents make bad decisions, which affect their children. And since children are much more aware of the truth than most parents would care to admit, when the 17 year old child wants to purchase that used clunker, instead of waiting to save their money for their freshman year of college, it is hard to tell that same 17 year old that it will be over your dead body, before you let them spend that money. This was money earned from working the summer jobs for four years while in High School. I did, I got attitude like I never had before, but, I knew I was right to keep him from making that expensive stupid purchase.
Being a Marine Staff Non-Commissioned Officer taught me that I need to always look out for those who are coming up behind me. Furthermore, as a combat veteran, I always try to “wargame” my own decisions as well, anytime a person has to save, spend or invest their money they need to “wargame” their decisions as well, as the future may be affected by what they do now. When I was a young Marine, I did in fact get financial well-being classes taught by people who knew what they were talking about, I didn’t save much because I was a young father with a growing family and didn’t make a committed decision to invest in my own future. It’s that simple. The Military Leadership at the time really tried to get us to get ready for our future, some of us just didn’t do it. I can only wag my finger at myself.
Before I turned 40, I started to save and invest, But, I lost the luxury of time and appreciation of funds. To my knowledge, young American citizens don’t really get any sort of financial well-being classes, at least in Public High school. I went to a top ten nationally ranked High school district in the 1980s, sure they taught us how to balance a checkbook and that sort of thing, they didn’t teach us about long-term investing and setting up goals for your financial well-being.
Another problem is more high school graduates are going to college, less are getting hired for jobs and careers that have any appeal or longevity. Does anyone spend 30-40-50 years with the same employer anymore? No is the answer, maybe civil servants, Cops, Firefighters, City workers, Lineman. or Sewer department folks, etc. Most of these career paths may be achieved without a degree. So, what is happening to an 18-year-old high school graduate who wants to build a career that offers an appreciable long-term investment vehicle? Are they even in existence these days? Another resounding no! The future is now up to all of these people to take their money and invest in: THEMSELVES!!!
Anyone can do it with silver and other precious metals. I also want to make sure that if a young person is reading SurvivalBlog, and read this article that they also ensure that their investments are diversified. The old saying “Don’t put all of your eggs into one basket” has never held so much weight as today. Physical silver is an easy, affordable, convenient way for almost any person, young or old to acquire and build wealth. Silver can insulate a person from the uncertainty of the future.
Getting your Spouse involved with your investing or your Preps!
If I am going to be honest I must mention that when I was really young, I was not good with finances, I made bad decisions. Sometimes I would make decisions that made my new, young wife doubt my sanity and judgment. Yep, I was young and dumb. Right after my accident a couple of weeks ago, my wife flat out told me that there was no way we could afford the new truck. When I listened to Her, I realized that she had no idea about my Silver stash. When I went to my collection I grabbed a container that had 100 ounces. Then I grabbed another that I took 60 ounces from. I showed her the Internet site that I reference daily to watch the precious metals market. Once I told her I would part with 160 ounces and what it was worth for cash for bolstering my down payment, she suddenly became very interested in what we preppers call “durable goods”, she used to call my items “all your junk”, taking up space in the now unattended adult children’s bedrooms.
Hmmmmm, I guess now that she started asking important questions like “what is that gun worth?”, or “How much is all the ammunition for that gun worth?” she suddenly realized that wealth is not just a matter of the figure on your bank statement, but what you actually own! So there is certainly a difference in our identity and philosophy on what wealth is, that is something that I am slowly winning over to my method of investing for the future.
Revealing and discussing my silver investments and my other preps has also somehow strengthened our connection in the last couple of weeks. I never hid my spending or my acquisitions, but I never flaunted them either. So my wife never really paid much attention to what I was doing. I honestly think that she used to think that I was some sort of hoarder. Not true. As I said, my house is tastefully decorated and furnished. My out-buildings are bursting at the seams with valuable, “durable goods”. My silver is only one aspect. Now my wife is constantly badgering me about how much it is worth, how to get it, how to store it, and how to watch it grow in value, she is also starting to watch the stock market on a daily basis. Does anyone see any similarities between her and me with relation to my old Marine buddy Jason!?
If you plant seeds, they just may grow
I would like to present some Biblical wisdom:
Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it. Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it. Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it.
This basically commands us as parents to Teach, Coach, and Mentor our children, whom God let us have! So, do the right thing(s)!
It is never too late to prepare the way for your future. Financial preparedness is only one aspect of preparedness. There are many others, maybe I could write some more articles in the future?
No one can predict the future, but by trying to be an ant, not the grasshopper, we can strengthen our ability to roll with the punches that life throws at us from time to time, that is why I picked and stuck with silver, instead of a case of beer purchased on a Friday night. For just a little more a person could enjoy that money even further in the future, through smart investing. Being proactive with all investments is a pillar of success. I want any young or old people who read this to start investing in their future now. Remember to pay yourself first!