A friend of mine came from a very wealthy family whose father had established an extremely successful business and had invented and patented numerous devices that are used worldwide. In conversations she sometimes casually mentions childhood vacations in South America and other exotic ports, and her parents’ backyard not only has a lavish swimming pool but a lazy river winding its way around the property.
We were having a chat one day about preparedness and all the craziness that was happening with the economy when she suddenly clasped her hands over her ears. She didn’t want to hear anything that might affect her sense of security.
Every once in a while she mentions buying a first aid kit from Costco or possibly storing food, but I’m not sure she has ever followed through. Money in the bank and investments are her security, and that’s what she’s counting on to protect her and her family.
Money does shield us from many of life’s unpleasantries such as medical issues left untreated and unpaid electric bills. Many preppers have wished for more money in order to buy the perfect Bug Out Location or a pimped out Bug Out Vehicle.
However, I’m not so sure that money will be the answer when the S hits the fan, and here’s why:
1. Wealthy people travel. Often. In a world that is more chaotic and unpredictable every day, a secure middle-class home with a fair amount of preps and friendly neighbors is a far safer place to be when the S hits the fan than on a sunny beach in the Caribbean.
Exotic locales make wonderful vacation spots, but those resorts, villas, and beaches are often in third-world countries. Enough desperate people storming the gates will eventually overpower the most secure security system.
No one knows when a world-class disaster might hit, affecting flights home, food supply, access to medical care, and I wouldn’t bet on the safety and well-being of even a mega-billionaire who finds themselves at the wrong place at the wrong time.
2. Rich people rely on others for the basics of everyday life, from grocery shopping to stocking up on toilet paper and tending to vegetable gardens and livestock. In a big enough crisis, their employees might not show up for work, or might bring their families to live in the safety of the Big Estate. Some will turn against their employers, knowing exactly what they have on hand.
3. Money brings security but some of that is a false sense of security. Food shortages, tainted water, terrorist attacks, pandemics…they will affect the poor and rich alike. That false sense of security works hand in hand with normalcy bias, assuring the wealthy that all they need is their American Express black card. And Jeeves.
4. Not all, but many rich people are out of touch with the real world and live in a bubble. How long would someone like a Kim Kardashian survive if she was on her own, her credit card didn’t work, and suddenly her bodyguard and driver took off and left her stranded in the middle of a big city? She might be far more vulnerable than a street smart woman who has been living out of her car.
6. Even if a wealthy person has planned ahead and has a well-stocked bunker or secluded home, if they are traveling, they may never make it to safety. If they aren’t known and trusted in their bug out location, will the locals come to their aid, if needed?
7. Over the years I’ve noticed how frequently “rich kids” aren’t required to become especially educated or trained in much of anything, and that’s a real shame. The trust fund money is deposited each month, so life is pretty much worry-free.
One pundit said, “The biggest problem rich people have is their kids,” and after watching this play out in real life in some families I know, I’d say it’s true.
I’ve written many, many times about the importance of learning practical skills and acquiring knowledge and training in areas that could become life-saving someday. If the worlds as we know it ends, will it matter if someone’s rich kid heads up the family charitable foundation or works part-time as an investment banker? How will that help him or her survive?
8. For the wealthy, the world is full of glamorous distractions, from fashion shows to shopping for yet another home.
Distractions can be a real negative, though, when they get in the way of what is really happening around us. The dollar continues to decline in value, war seems imminent in the Middle East and elsewhere, we’re finding out just how vulnerable our power grid is, but if there’s an invite from George Clooney to join him on his private island, well, all that bad news can just wait! Right?
Distractions keep us from focusing on what is most important, and at this point, being prepared is a priority.
There are always exceptions to every rule, and I’m certain there are many, many wealthy people who see the warning signs and have become preppers. Some very rich people are also savvy and street smart, survivors in any scenario. However, I believe they are in the minority in this particular income bracket for the reasons listed.
I haven’t written this to trash or mock people who have made a success of their lives or have inherited great wealth. In fact, I’m hoping that some of them read this article and realize how vulnerable they might actually be.
When the S hits the fan, it will affect everyone, in every walk of life.