Doomsday Preppers is a reality television program on the National Geographic Channel. It profiles survivalists, preppers, who are preparing for doomsday. The most popular doomsday scenarios involve surviving natural disaster, nuclear winter or global economic collapse.
What Doomsday Preppers shows us:
“Otherwise ordinary folks who are stockpiling food, water, weapons and whatever else they think is necessary in the event basic services should falter and society turns chaotic and violent.”
A third party consulting firm Practical Preppers, also scores the preparedness of the Preppers profiled in the show.
These people lead ordinary lives but always have in mind the possibility of a looming disaster.
One of the key tenets for most Preppers is they will be unsafe in their homes. Society will break down. They presume chaos will ensue.
They will have the need to “bug out’ of their current location when the SHTF (S#%t Hits the Fan) in order to GOOD (Get Out Of Dodge) to avoid TEOFTWAWKI (The End Of The World As We Know It).
The single most critical item insuring arrival at a safe location for a prepper is their “bug out bag”. It contains the essential items to fight through chaos to get to a secure location.
Are You Prepared for Economic Collapse?
While the occurrences of these disasters are remote, Doomsday Preppers can teach us a few good lessons.
First, while most people go about their lives in a reactive mode, Preppers are proactive. They think out of the box. They prepare for the worst and hope for the best. They look at their environment and assess it.
Preppers have a quiet confidence that, no matter what, they will survive. They feel secure. This makes them feel happy and even a bit superior.
Financial prepping would ask at least these questions:
- Does your expense run rate match your financial goals?
- How long could you survive without an income?
- How much do you have saved?
- Do you have alternative sources of income or skills?
- Is your family on board with this possibility?
- What’s your financial plan to avoid TEOTWAWKI?
What Life Is Like Now
Corporate executives in their 40’s and 50’s know the world has changed. Companies now downsize regularly. Pay has rebounded about as much as it will. The economic expansion is now long in the tooth. Retirement savings are needed to fund current family expenses.
With this backdrop, “Financial” Preppers would be on high alert for their personal situation.
Second, Preppers question the assumptions and work out the worst-case scenarios. Never mind the believed likelihood. Could it happen? What would this look like? How do I prepare for this? What are the logical implications?
Preppers play “what if?” a lot. They don’t walk around fearing the unknown. They embrace it.
A “Financial” Prepper might ask:
- What if my bonus is zero?
- What if my boss gets fired?
- What if our company is part of a merger?
- What if I’m downsized?
- What if I am unemployed and cannot find work for a prolonged period?
Each of these events has a risk of happening and a consequence. They have an impact on spouses and children. Each of these events raises questions. Rather than ignore these possible events, consider them and be ready.
Macro factors are less than optimistic today. Corporate executive job security is at an all time low. Executive pay has not rebounded to levels prior to the financial crisis. The economic expansion is already long in the tooth. Being aware is the first step to being prepared.
Third, Preppers are ingenious and diligent planners. They meet and challenge each other.
Preppers question, test, and then adjust their plans. Tomorrow is rinse and repeat. They do this with a calm certainty and not a rushed panic. Other will be rushing if the Preppers are right.
Preppers understand all of the moving parts of their plan. They delight in the process. This is fun for them and not something they avoid.
Preppers seek out other Preppers and swap logic, tactics, and strategies. Good ideas save lives in their world. A community of like minded individuals gives comfort to the members. They have fun with the process.
“Financial” Preppers need to have a plan for any reasonable outcome. Tweak the plan as needed. “Financial” Preppers need to find a community for the different aspects of their plan where they can engage thoughtful dialogue.
Somewhere Between “Mindless Complacency and Paranoia”
Alan Feuer, in his article in the New York times on Preppers interviewed Dr. Irwin Redlener, the director of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University. Redlener was asked to look at how ready the State of New York is for another Hurricane Sandy-like disaster.
Redlener recommends a 3-day supply of essentials—food, water, a flashlight, batteries, etc. But his intonations were more serious. In fact, he sounds a bit like a Prepper:
Redlener outlines situational awareness, a major Prepper mantra. “A prepared citizen is someone who understands how to take care of himself,” he said, “who has amassed the necessary items, who has a plan.”
Doomsday Preppers is an extremely entertaining show with some real characters on display. However the lessons that can be learned are real.
For corporate executives the macro signs are obvious in the anemic rebound in executive pay and duration of the economic recovery. The micro signs are known only to the discerning individual ready to ask themselves tough questions.
The questions above for ”Financial” Preppers are relevant, so is the prescription.
- Be proactive and think outside the box.
- Ask “what if”?
- Plan by questioning, testing, and tweaking your plan.
Start questioning the assumptions. Create certainty for your own situation. Peace of mind is a wonderful foundation for making great things happen.
Start making a plan for you and your family to deal with the economic collapse and much more. Join our community of like-minded individuals today.
It’s really that easy to make a change in your life.
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Ian Bond is a private banking senior executive with over three decades of experience in wealth and asset management with Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse, and Citigroup. He has built major businesses on four continents.
Despite his professional responsibility for assets over $100B and revenues over $1B, after the 2008 crash Ian was personally going broke. Within five years he destroyed his debt, became an expat in 2014, and built multiple streams of income to fund his imminent retirement. Ian is also the founder of MyRetirementRehab.me created to help other executives and professionals rehabilitate their finances and make a prosperous, enduring retirement a reality.