Letter Re: Investing in Tangibles vs. an IRA Account

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Hi Jim,
I have been a big fan of yours for several years since I read your book [Patriots]! I was very excited to find your blog (via Claire Wolfe's blog) and have been reading it and recommending it since day four.

My husband and I have been busy socking money away into retirement accounts to prepare for the future but after listening to your interview with Geri Guidetti we decided to take the money we were putting away in Roth IRAs and spend it instead on survival preparations. There are several reasons for this decision:

1) Roth IRA money is after tax money so you will have already paid tax on it.
2) Roth IRA earnings are supposedly non taxable when withdrawn but that law can be changed by Congress at any time.
3) Everything that we are buying would cost more in the future simply due to inflation or scarcity.

We are very fortunate to own my husband's grandparents' old homestead outside of Livingston, Montana. In the last year we have put in a modular (with a wood stove) and a well in preparation for our retirement. Now we have a year of storage food and a grain mill and enough medicines, vitamins, toothpaste, toilet paper, etc. to last us several years. We are living and working in Nevada (a non-income tax state) and buying most of our provisions in Montana (a non sales tax state), except for the foods, which we bought on our way through Idaho, at Walton Feeds.

The point I wanted to make is that if people are saving for their retirement in any traditional accounts: IRAs, 401(k)s, etc., it might be a source of money to instead put it into beans, bullets, and band-aids or as you have said "tangibles." At least Congress can't take those away from you by changing a law! Thanks for all you do. - Mrs. R. , Elko, Nevada

JWR Replies: I think that you have chosen a wise course of action. Getting away from any investment denominated in dollars will be a very good thing, since we are likely heading toward a full blown dollar crisis and devaluation in the near future. I'm a big believer in investing in tangibles. I do have an IRA, but since 1999 it has been a self-directed gold coin IRA with American Church Trust. The folks at Swiss America can help you set one up. Under some circumstances a 401(k) can be rolled over into an IRA. You might consider that.

By buying storage food now, you are: 1.) buying in bulk which means buying at the lowest possible price in today's market, 2.) beating eventual price increases, and 3.) protecting yourself from eventual scarcity. To borrow the modern parlance, food storage is a "win-win." The same principle applies to most other tangibles. Spoilage is not an issue if you buy foods that have been packaged for long term storage, if you keep it away from vermin, and if you rotate it religiously.

OBTW, be sure to pre-position the vast majority of your gear, storage food, and sundries at your Montana retreat, since you may only have one trip "outta Dodge." If the house is normally unoccupied and hence burglary is a concern, then one viable option is to store everything in a commercial storage space that is close to your retreat.

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This page contains a single entry by Jim Rawles published on October 25, 2005 11:27 PM.

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