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FORGOT TO MENTION...<INVEST IN GOLD/SILVER BULLION> IT IS EXCELLENT EMERGENCY MONEY. You can always sell it back to the bullion dealers if you need fiat currency. You just send it back and they will send an ACH to your bank account. I use APMEX and one other dealer and both are trustworthy and efficient. In case of currency collapse, gold can be sold on any market as "money". If you can wait until the price goes down for both, do that. The market price now is high (approx 1640/oz for gold), but if you wait just a little bit of time, it should come down again. (Probably around 1300-1400 per ounce). It has been going down around that amount for the past year. Do not buy the "collectible" coins that have numismatic value for regular purposes. You have to be sure that you know how much numismatics are actually worth, so you have to know the market, otherwise you will get burned. They have gradings and the coin that has the best condition will usually bring the most money. It is important that they are professionally graded by NCG or PCGS and in a holder. If I have extra money, I buy numismatics only if it is a good price. (ONLY FOR EXTRA PURPOSES) like making me happy...hehe...If you are on a budget, just stick with the regular bullion, either bars (if you can get them, they are usually cheaper) or coins. Set them aside and do not touch them! I am not a fan of rounds. These are made to look like coins, but are not currency. Different ones can have different purities, so that can be tricky. Actual coins that are minted have to be consistent with quality/purity, so you will not have any trouble selling it back if you have to. Those are actual money and not just silver/gold in a round. You can have companies hold them for you, (professional storage with charges) but if you need them quickly, that may be a problem. Do Not put them in a safety deposit box either. If the banks close, you are out of luck. Some people hide them in or near the house. Just remember they have to be hidden well. If SHTF people will come looking. You can get a safe....there are all kinds, but my advice is to try to get an older used one in great shape. Preferably made in the 40's- 50s-60s that is made well with actual thick steel or possibly multi-layered, because today ,unless you spend ALOT of money, you will get a substandard safe.(Probably made in China and easy to get into). Look on Craig's List or Ebay. There are many out there. I was impressed with" Moser" safes made back in the day. They used to make safes for the currency exchanges in Chicago and they also had contracts with the US GOVT. There is a story that there was a MOSER in Japan. When they dropped the bomb, it actually survived with almost no damage. I thought that was pretty impressive. The company J. Baum has a good reputation also. If you need a fire safe, that is a whole new ballgame. Those are rated by how long they can withstand fire. I cannot speak for those, but do your homework before purchasing. If you want to store documents, then you may want to spend a little more and get a safe with a great fire rating. I have a MOSER that is a MONSTER with 4 different compartments that I bought from a closing Currency exchange really cheap on Craig's List. It was more money to move this thing because it is so heavy, than to purchase it. It is made with steel, copper, and concrete! It is unbelievable, but extremely safe. I would be really impressed if someone could break into it. The dials lock with a special key, and it has 5 combination directions to open it. To actually break into it, one would probably need a crane smashing it. It is 5000-6000 pounds, so it cannot be moved but with ALOT of effort. I probably went overboard, but to me peace of mind is key, especially if you have a lot of valuables to hold. It was appraised at 14,000 dollars and I paid 3000.00 with moving it. The other good thing about having a safe is that you do not have to pay someone to store it for you. So I did pay upfront, but it will probably pay for itself within 6 months to two years. I LOVE MY MOSER---ITS SO COOL! I forgot to mention, it has a special time clock on one compartment, so that you can set it to open only at a certain time of day. My locksmith told me not to use it unless I absolutely have to though. Anyway, hope this helps some people. The crowd that is here is probably always prepared, but it doesn't hurt to pass on knowledge. I always consider myself a lifetime student and ALWAYS pay attention to older people and their advice.
Take care and stay safe/smart!!