Monday, August 3, 2015

Decoy and Concealable Safes?

Hello Ferfal,
I remember some time ago, either in a post here or in your first book
(which I highly recommend, by the way), you mention having two safes:
one large dummy safe for "show", and one small concealable safe to
hold all your real items of value. Do you know any reliable
manufacturers for such a concealable safe? Also, related and in
addition to this, I am seeking a small handgun safe. Any
recommendations would be greatly appreciated.
Hello Curtis,
Yes, the basic idea is that you would have a decoy safe, maybe a cheaper one in a closet, and second one which should be well hidden.
There’s basically two reasons behind this logic. First, if someone manages to break into your house and gets to the safe, there’s a good chance they’ll either bust it open or steal it entirely. I know of small safes that have been hammered out of walls and stolen entirely, or big, larger ones that left owners wondering how the heck did they take that huge, heavy thing. Well, criminals are capable of amazing things. Enough leverage, enough guys pulling, powertools and a truck means anything that was once installed in your house can be uninstalled again along with whatever happens to be inside. It’s better if they just get in, find a safe and just take that. Few criminals will spend time looking for a second safe and even if they do a well hidden one shouldn’t be easy to find.
The second important reason to have a decoy safe is something many learned in Argentina the hard way: The fastest way to crack a safe is putting a gun to the owner’s head… or his children. Now, if you combine this with a very unstable financial situation in which cash and other valuables are kept at home, losing all your wealth may not be as bad as getting shot, but it is still a disaster. A second, well hidden safe means you can open your decoy one and have contents that would leave a criminal happy (more decoys, cheap gold plated jewelry, use your imagination) while saving the bulk of your savings.
Sentry Safe SFW205GRC Electronic Water-Resistant Fire-Safe, 2.05 ft3, 19 3/10 x 19 3/8 x 23 7/8, Black (SENSFW205GRC)
As for specific safes, the cheap Chinese safes may make good decoys but they are junk, easily opened. Get a good, fireproof and waterproof safe for you real one. A good way to go about it is buying a good solid safe, where you keep your important documents (which criminals wont be interested in during a home invasion), but only decoy valuables and little cash while keeping the bulk of your money and precious metals in a well concealed floor safe.
SentrySafe 7250 Waterproof Floor Safe, 540 Cubic Inches, Gray
Regarding handgun safes, this one is fast to access, has very good reviews and its selling for a reasonable price.

Take care, good luck and remember: This is just part of the plan. Loose lips sink ships so make sure no one knows about that car, boat, house you just sold, big bonus or commission. Another common occurrence in Argentina is that kidnappers and home invaders knew EXACTLY how much cash they were supposed to find and would not leave the house without it!
Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

In Argentina, crime does Pay (no joke, it really does )

Prisoners in Argentina get paid 46% more than the minimum payment received by retirees and pensioners. If you worked your entire life, chances are you’ll end up getting about $3.821,33 in Argentina once you retire. On the other hand, if you’re a murderer or serial rapist, you’ll make $6.060 and you’ll even get covered by the prisoner’s own Union (Workers Deprived of Mobile Freedom). No, none of this is a joke, just the sad reality. The nice part is that prisoners don’t even have to actually work to get paid, just being a prisoner entitles you to this, making becoming a criminal a great career choice for many. This is all part of the Kirchner government plan to incorporate criminals to their movement, with the Kirchner inmate political branch being called “VatayĆ³n Militante” (misspelled Spanish for Militant Batallon). Not making any of this up, just the sad reality of a fully collapsed country.
30 de julio de 2012
Vatayon Militante: Rapists and murderers get to leave jail for the day and play with children in public schools.
So now you know. Best country to be a criminal in? Argentina. No doubt whatsoever. There’s about 1% of getting caught and if your crimes are bad enough to land you in jail (just being a thief or burglar isn’t enough, sorry) you’ll have housing, medical and food expenses covered, AND sending back home a salary for your contribution to society.
Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Pensions and Medicare after an Economic Collapse

viernes, 20 de septiembre de 2013
I have read and studied your book (The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse) thoroughly about the 2001 Economic Collapse in Argentina. I have searched through the book and your blog and there is an area that was not touched upon that is of great concern to me and to others my age.
What happened to the Social Security payments that retired people were receiving. Did payments stop all together - forever ? Was it halted temporarily and then resumed after some time ? If it was resumed was it at the original amount or at a reduced payment rate. The only thing I saw on the blog was this quote "Older people have it pretty tough here since most pensions and retirement programs (recently “nationalized”) place the old folks BELOW the poverty line". This appears to say there was some Social Security, but was it at the previous level or reduced, and was the reason people were below the poverty level due to the fact the payments were the same as they were originally, but now the 200% - 300% inflation had pushed them below poverty levels. If you could expound on what it was like it would be greatly appreciated.
Also did Argentina have some sort of Medicare program and if so did it go away or was it reduced.
These questions are very critical for those of us that are older and retired and would probably not be hire-able in an environment of 25% unemployment and would therefore not be able to try and rebuild our lives. For some of this is the difference literally between life and death. Please be so kind as to tell us what happened to Social Security and Medicare.
God bless you in all your efforts.

Hello Dennis,
Thanks for your email. You observations are very much correct. Pensions kept being paid, but as you say with devaluation and the local currency losing 70% of its value it is hardly enough to keep you above the poverty line. The pensions did go up little by little as years went by, but never really catching up with inflation. It was much harder the first few years though, with the initial devaluation. These days, retired people aren’t doing much better but I suppose they get by.
In 2008, the Argentine government nationalized all Private Pensions, effectively stealing $30 Billion Usd. This was of course unconstitutional, but they did it anyway because the government was simply running out of money.
Social security, as in unemployment benefits or child benefits, we didn’t have none of those before the economic collapse. It was all created after 2001 and it was mainly as an instrument of social control and to buy political support. Years later, we ended up with a society where being unemployed, or being a single mother with two or three children by the time you were fifteen was a wise choice financially speaking.
Just as I highly criticize 99% of what the current Argentine government did I will admit that they did do one thing right and that was creating pensions for homemakers. There’s millions of women (and men) out there that have been doing one of the hardest jobs their entire lives and by the time they can’t work anymore this is not recognized and they have no way of supporting themselves. Not only do I believe it to be fair, I think it also encourages true family values contrary to a system that encourages single mother teenagers to pop one baby after another just to get paid for it every month.

As for medical care, there’s always been free medical care in Argentina as well as private medical care. The public one was not very good but it kept you alive before 2001. After the collapse it just became pitiful and patients ended up in leaking, cold, roach-infested hospitals and were asked to bring their own gauze, cotton and bandages due to lack of supplies. The government is now using the private sector to compensate for the poor public one, making the private care much worse than it used to be.
As a general rule, its safe to say that few benefits and schemes, at least few critical ones, simply go away because of an economic collapse. Just going away looks pretty bad in the public eye. What you can expect when there’s very little money around is to have services that are barely a shadow of their former selves.
Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Greek Capital Controls Lessons Learned

Dear ferfal here is a link to the observations o fmine on the subect.

Thanks Greekman. This very much confirms what we’ve been observing and commenting in previous posts regarding cash being king, the problem with importations and how invaluable a bank account abroad can be in times like these.
I’ve also read that many Greeks are using Bitcoin to get around the restrictions.
Digital Dodge: Some Greeks Using Bitcoin to Evade Currency Controls
This could be yet another tool in the tool box, both to avoid the problems with closed banks as well as keeping savings in a different denomination. This advice may be particularly useful for people using weaker currencies or those concerned with fiat currencies in general and looking to diversify for greater security.
Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

20 Survival Lessons from the Greek Crisis