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Friday, April 26, 2013

The non-401K

I have this crazy idea.  You know how people are always freaking out about their future, their retirements, whether or not to use (and in what capacity) their 401K (or 403B), where to put their money and investments right now (savings accounts, CDs, precious metals, stocks, etc.)?

I have this idea.  You know, when it comes down to it, what is it exactly that people are looking for in their investments?  They are looking to be able to be sustained in the future, right?  They want to be able to be taken care of - to be able to live without starving, begging, or relying on other people.  They may want to experience things that they can't do while they are in the midst of their working life (extensive travel, etc.).

With so much uncertainty regarding all future events at all, it seems like a total crap shoot.  Yes, I mean, sure, there are things that outperform other things and you can educate yourself about such decisions (like it might not be the best thing in the whole world to put your money in a box and let it float down the river), but truly, when it comes down to it, you've got no 100% guarantee on any of it.  The stock market can crash any day, just ask the generation who lived through Black Tuesday and the Great Depression.  Banks can tank.  Precious metals can be stolen.  It's a little crazy.

What if - just WHAT IF we looked at our futures just a little bit differently?  What if we thought of ways of making it so that you could sustain at least your basic needs in the best way possible?  What if you invested in becoming self-sustaining?  What if you put your money into things that would make you independent?  What if you started off with investing time and brain power into something like making yourself a little hen house with some chickens?  What if you had a way to perpetuate your lovely chickens and get yourself some on-the-cheap delicious fresh eggs?  What if you went out from there and happened to have enough space to have your own cow?  What if you invested in learning how to make your own cheese?  What if you studied how to make yourself a fantastic garden and can your own delicious produce for you and your family to enjoy all the time?  What if you had some fruit trees for fresh preserves or some honey bees?  What if your cute little house had something like solar panels for electricity and you found a great way to heat it in the winter with the wood you collected and cut?  What if you knew how to smoke meats, culture your dairy, build things, fix things, and be truly independent?

The education you'd give yourself (over time, of course) would pay you back for your entire life and secure you in a way that otherwise would not be possible.  People can't rob you of your experiences, banks can't crash it out of you, it's not jumping up and down on the stock market as you bite your fingernails off.

I know it sounds crazy.  People don't do that, right?  But even if you didn't do ALL of it, what if you picked up a few things that made you more educated, more well-rounded, more independent?  What if you knew how to sew stuff and make yogurt and kombucha or build shelves, hand-craft your own canoe and repair plumbing?  

For the average life city-dweller this may sound like nothing outside of enduring torture, but isn't there something you really enjoy about the satisfaction of knowing how to do stuff and being able to do it well for yourself?  I think the joy that you can get from the satisfaction of knowing how to do any sort of these things would also increase overall life happiness levels.

I know it's not traditional, but perhaps it is something you may consider after you decide what it really is that you will need in the future.  I know your financial consultant isn't going to tell you to go that route, but your future should be well-thought out from a broad view.  

At the very least, wouldn't it be cool to at least know how to do those things, even if you don't do them continually?

Just a thought.

Peace, love and freedom has many facets,
Ms. Daisy

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