Where Are You Going?

By: Tom Chatham

That seems like a simple enough question, yet many people have yet to answer it to any satisfaction. Most people live their lives in day to day desperation with no more thought than to make it to the end of the month with enough money to spare.

What is your destination in life? Where are you going and how do you plan to get there? If you cannot answer these questions you will be forever lost on the highway of life and may never reach your destination. That is why so many people seem to go around in circles and never seem to get anywhere. They have no idea where they are going and no plan except to move forward and see where it takes them.

Many enlightened people see the destruction that is happening to this country and know where it will eventually lead. They have made their plans to get through it the best that they can. Even with limited funds they have a destination in mind for the short term and know where they want to end up. This is a good beginning but not a complete plan.

You really need to sit down and decide where you want to end up in life. This entails deciding what kind of home you want to have and the living conditions you are willing to accept. Everyone wants a mansion with a swimming pool and a fancy car but is that a realistic destination with your current income? Being realistic in the current economic environment is what will make or break you in the end.

You may need to downgrade your hopes for the future to something more realistic and doable. To decide on your future destination you need to determine the minimal standards you will accept and work toward that end. Once you achieve that, you may decide to upgrade based on your resources.

Here is an example:

You want to have a quiet peaceful retirement in the country that you can afford. You are willing to do certain things for yourself to decrease your expenses in the future. You develop a plan and list all of the items you will need to complete this ideal retirement package on the least amount of money.

1) You decide 2 acres of land will be sufficient
2) You determine a small cottage or trailer will provide you sufficient housing
3) You decide a certain number of solar panels will provide you with sufficient power for future needs.
4) You determine you will need certain canning equipment and supplies to last for a certain number of years.
5) You decide you will need a small garden tractor with implements to plant sufficient food.
6) You decide you want a certain number of fruit trees in your yard.
7) You determine you will need propane or wood for some of your energy needs and determine how much it will cost and how much you will store.
8) You determine you will need transportation and an old sedan and a truck will be easier and cheaper to maintain and operate for the limited uses you will have.
9) You decide if you will have any livestock and what equipment you will need for them to include how you will feed them.
10) You determine your clothing needs and how you will satisfy them. Will you buy later, buy now and store or make what you need later?
11) How much will you need in savings to live on every month and how many years will it last?
12) Will you have some way to earn extra money to supplement what you have saved?
13) What will you do for medical needs and how much will that cost?

These are some of the things you will need to answer and determine what the bare minimum will be for your planned destination in this example. Once you know what the destination is you will be better able to plan a route to get you there to insure you know when you arrive. Once the minimum is taken care of you can expand on this and add items to provide more enjoyment and comfort. Without a detailed plan you may miss the only exit and have a very bad experience that you will have to live with.

Your current resources and desires will dictate what your destination will be but in any case you need a detailed plan to get there. The lack of long term panning is the cause of hardship for many people today when a simple plan would have solved many of their problems. The conveniences available today make life much easier and enjoyable but they come at a price. If you are unable to meet that price you will have to either suffer hardship or develop a plan you can afford.

The way many people lived in the early 20th century is not glamorous but they had the basics to get by day to day. This is a basic level of living that should be a starting point for any economically challenged persons that want to relax later in life rather than go from one emotional problem to another. One item you must evaluate now is your ability to maintain your current living conditions. If you are living at the edge or beyond your means then this is your starting point in planning your ultimate destination.

You cannot get where you need to go if you have no excess resources now so it is imperative to reduce where you can to create the excess you need to fulfill your list of needs detailed in your plan. If you are unable to cut anywhere now and things get worse in the future you will be forced to reduce your living standard even more so a realistic look at how you would live under worse circumstances may help you reevaluate your current circumstances.

Reality will soon visit the people of this nation and most are not prepared to accept or deal with that new paradigm. A small piece of land, a small comfortable cottage or trailer, a garden, a wood cook stove and an old but functional sewing machine are some of the items that will enable you to care for your family and endure a severe downturn while providing the basic necessities they will need.

A small number of key physical goods will help you get to your destination and enjoy it once there. It is your job to identify those physical goods now and acquire them while you can in a manner you can afford. Your future years will depend on how well you mapped out your route and what destination you have chosen. Lack of planning will ultimately get you to a destination but it may not be the one you want or can live with comfortably. Your future is in large part up to you and you only have one shot at it so don’t miss.

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Posted on July 24, 2013, in Preparedness and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Way too many years ago ( around 45 ), my then not-wife and I would sit and talk about the future and the way we wanted to live. Quite a few of the things on your list, and others that got added thru the years, as well as a few that got subtracted, but the point was we were looking ahead even in our late teens. Later, we got started making lists. One thing I’ve found is a dream often remains just a dream unless you write it down and can check off the steps along the way.

    After a few years traveling the world courtesy of Uncle Sam’s army, we settled down in one spot long enough to attend college and built our first house ( to gain instate residency ). That turned into 7 years, during which time I also took up home building while attending school part time, but the profit from the sale of that house launched us into our farm…..75ac of 100% raw (no road, no power, nothing cleared, nothing BUT trees) mountain land that has become what I refer to as a 50 year project I’m about 30 years into……but the NEXT guy won’t have to do NEAR as much !

    We worked two years every spare moment clearing several acres of timber ( and used it to build the house ), get roads in, build a gravity spring fed water system, get the power line in, get a barn/workshop built (using a chainsaw/hand tools, had no generator). Then sold the house in town, bought a small mobile home and moved to the farm. Started the house the next spring, and worked on it ‘2nd shift’ for a year.

    As the years went on, we added couple small catfish ponds, fenced pasture, Woodmizer sawmill to build all the barns, sheds, and so on you need around a place, root cellar, greenhouse, meat processing room on the back of the garage with walk-in cooler, solar power, fenced gardens, orchard, and so on…..also managed to build ( from our timber ) 3 rental homes (for cash as we went, rolling the rent from each into the next ) for my retirement income, wife got a Phd, ( and a State pension from her public school job ), and we saved money like bandits. We avoided debt. We would buy new vehicles, but drive them for at least a decade. My current truck is a 10 year old Chevy 3/4ton…I’ll get another 10 out of it… …the previous one was a Ford bought new in 1986 (got 17 years out of it). I’m religious about preventative maintenance, (which I do all of) and always keep them in a shed/garage ( doubles the life of paint/etc )

    Now, in our early 60’s, we’re retired and working on the homestead every day. I just finished sawing 6,000bdft of logs for a neighbor’s new horse barn, ( in trade for some excavator work I need done on my place ), we’re working on a new 20×40 hoop house (unheated greenhouse) to extend our growing season. We have no money worries, grow most of our own food, produce all of our own power, and life is good. We’re not exceptional folks, but we did start with plans, and invested the consistent hard work it takes bear fruit down the road.

    • Very impressive Andy. Looks like your list and mine have a lot of the same things on them only I’m not as far along as you. People don’t realize how important a list is to keep you on track. A good plan will also give you the means to take advantage of opportunities when they appear. A few weeks ago I bought a mealmaster wood cook stove for $150, one more thing checked off my list. Without a list I wouldn’t have been looking for it and would have missed that deal. Life is a lot easier if you just put a little thought into it.

  2. Good deal on the meal master. We bought a Baker’s Pride used off the local swap paper and it sat on a pallet in one of our barns for about 8 years before I got the ‘auxiliary kitchen’, aka the Meat Cutting Room, done on the back of the garage. Put a flue in for the stove and installed it then, to use as a summer kitchen should the need arise.

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