Venezuela: People literally starving and gangs rule the streets

Venezuelans Ransack Stores as Hunger Grips the Nation

Food trucks are under constant attack and need armed guards for protection. Grocery stores and pharmacies are getting looted 20 times a week or more. Armed gangs rule the streets, killing hundreds without the police being able to do anything due to lack of resources. Kidnappings occur every day, the usually ransom going for about 10.000USD.
Caracas, Venezuela is the world murder capital. People are afraid to go out. Venezuela is also the inflation capital, with the worst inflation worldwide. It seems these two go side by side. About 72 percent of monthly wages are being spent just to buy food.
It’s common for people to spend all day without eating. In some cases, families choose who gets to eat and who doesn’t. This is common in poor countries. I remember Diego Maradona, the controversial former football star, used to tell a story I remember well. As a child he would have dinner but usually his mother and father wouldn’t eat. They would come up with excuses, say they already ate when he wasn’t around, or that they weren’t feeling very well. The truth was that there simply wasn’t enough food in the house for everyone.
Stock up folks. Food and water. You’ll need them every day no matter what and the day you don’t have either one you will regret no preparing.

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”.


My thoughts on Dave Ramsey


Good Afternoon what are your thoughts on Dave Ramsey’s plan for

getting out of debt as a preparation for Economic problems? Are you

familiar with it? I’ve never heard you mention him, albeit you

certainly talk about having cash saved up. I think if everyone had

their debt paid off the extra income would certainly help absorb some

inflation. Give options anyway.



I very much like Dave Ramsey and recommend his book “The Total Money Makeover”. I like how he recommends staying out of debt, having a tight budget and living below your means. His advice regarding not buying new cars or taking leases is spot on. Buy your car cash. If you can’t, you certainly shouldn’t go into debt for it.

The only point I don’t agree with him is gold.

Dave calls gold a “lousy” investment and mentions the poor returns compared to other investments. That much is true, gold is a lousy investment but that’s because gold isn’t an investment at all. Gold is a commodity. Investments generate money for you, think interests or a property you put up for rent. Buying and selling gold won’t make you much money. You’re more likely to lose some given premiums and shipping. But for an economic collapse? Oh yes, that’s different. When something terrible happens and the dollar, Euro or whatever fiat currency starts devaluating at double digit rate per week, gold will hold its own and then some. In reality it’s just keeping its true value, plus the higher than normal premium due to market interest as an economic shelter.

At one point Dave says that a pair of blue jeans or a tank of gas are “very valuable”, but not gold coins and that canned soup “would have been a better hedged against a failed economy”. As someone that actually went through an economic collapse and has studied failed economies elsewhere around the world for years, I can tell you this just isn’t true. I’ve haggled and bought two pairs of very nice jeans at a black market in Buenos Aires for a fraction of the cost of a similar quality pair in USA or Europe. After the collapse, the business of buying and selling gold went up 500% in Argentina. Gold became so valuable it became a premium target for pickpockets and burglars, so much that its still just impossible to go around town with any visible gold jewellery.

Gold is not an investment. It is a commodity considered valuable throughout history, which goes up and down in price but overall remains a globally recognized form of wealth.

Besides, as someone that dealt with an economic collapse first hand I can assure you is that you can’t grab any other asset or investment, throw it in your pocket and make a run for the airport while the country falls apart around you.

Then again, this is why you take advice regarding economic collapse from me rather than Dave Ramsey! 😉


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”.

AW Ban? Worry About Body Armor Too

Given the recent terrorist attack in Orlando we can expect new attacks on the right to keep  and bear arms. The usual suspects are already at it. Let no crisis go to waste, right?

Well, as always the main debate revolves around firearms but this article caught my attention.

CNN: Orlando shooter TRIED to buy body armor

Apparently the attacker attempted to purchase level III body armour before the attack and for some reason the retailer refused to sell it to him. The interesting part is that the article puts on a positive light the idea of limiting or restricting the purchase of body armour. Of course they don’t seem to care that body armour saves people’s lives every day from people like this terrorist madman that attacked innocent people.

The problem is that unlike firearms, the right to own BA is not protected by the Second amendment and I’m sure gun grabbers would love to take those too.

I have written about the importance of body armour several times before. If you haven’t done so already, I suggest you look around and buy some before its too late, or before you end up needing 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”.

The Problem with Expat Living in Latin America


I read your book. Great stuff, thanks for writing it! My wife and I currently live in the San Diego, CA area. We’d like to move away from here. I know that you moved from South America to Spain. With your knowledge of S. A. can you recommend any countries in either S. A. or C.A. that would be a good place for an American to be an expat? We’re looking for a place to retire with a lower cost of living but don’t want somewhere that hates “gringos”.




Hello Tim,

Since you liked my first book, I suggest you get my second one which is specifically about this topic called “Bugging Out and Relocating”. In it I go further into detail and explain why in most cases Latin America simply isn’t a good idea.

I have met all kinds of people. Very rarely did I find an American or European that was truly happy living permanently in 3rd world conditions. The smells, the poverty, the crime it all gets old very fast. Very few Americans enjoy living that way. Even for the more adventurous they get fed up after a year or two once the “Honeymoon” period is over.

The novel expat may love the foreign and colourful places and situations. You may even know expats that live in much nicer homes than the ones they would have been able to afford stateside. Trust me, its all makeup. I’ve lived my entire life in south America and I know you can’t escape a country’s poverty by living in a nice gated community or country club. Eventually it gets to you. As soon as you leave those gates the true reality of the place surrounds you. Eventually you realize that it’s you the one that is living behind golden bars but bars none the less, while the true nature of the place isn’t the one that was sold to you but the one that is out there.

Panama and Costa Rica are two of the most popular expat destination and you will find a community of Americans there. Some may actually be happy about living there and not regret their decision years later. Still, what I explained above still stands: A third world country, with crime like you wouldn’t believe, with corruption and bureaucracy that will drive you nuts and you’ll simply never get used to.

My advice for those that want to move to Latin America for the great climate, cost of living and easy going lifestyle is to move to Spain instead, specifically the south of Spain in Costa del Sol. Fantastic weather and beaches? Check. 1st world quality of life (sure, with a Spanyard twist, but still)? Check. Safe? Check!

You mention lower cost of living. The cost of living in one place compared to another is a topic of some heated debate. Some will argue that cost of living in Central America is very low. I’d say that so as to live safe and within American middleclass standards of living the difference of cost between Spain and central America is negligible. Sure, here in Costa del Sol property is far more expensive, and eating out or grocery trips may cost more, but then again you cant put a price on the peace of mind you enjoy here. Murder rates in Spain are almost a third of what they are in USA. Central America on the other hand has three to four times more murders than USA. I just don’t see the point in moving to a country that is several times more dangerous than the one you already live in right now. Medical care, infrastructure, its all much better in Spain. The expat community is also huge. Its mostly British, Germans and people from Nordic countries but you have lots of Americans too.

Think about it. You move to this tropical paradise, but you cant go for  a walk on the beach at night because of the crime problem? Here you can go for a walk at 3am if you wish. Walk for miles in any direction without coming across any ghettos or shanty town like you do in Latin America.

You also mention not being hated. Latin Americans in general resent “gringos”. That’s why they call them “gringos”, which isn’t much of a friendly way to call someone. Costa del Sol in the other hand has to be one of the friendliest places in the world for foreigners. Everything is written in English, and English is required for any kind of job involving customers. Radio stations, the train station even announcements in the supermarket its all both in English and Spanish. You even have bilingual public schools, where most subjects are in English.

I know its not what magazines and blogs recommend, but for anyone wanting to retire to Latin America, hands down my recommendation is Spain. For even cheaper cost of living (although you give up a few things) Portugal would also be a better option than a 3rd world country.


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”.

Great Forest Fire article

This is a great article about first-hand experience with forest fires.

It’s a two part article. Here are the links.

Many times people move to a house in the sticks and think that’s it. They’ll never have to worry about anything because they “already bugged out”. Wrong. First, wherever it is that you live, that place can no longer be your bug out location. By definition a bug out location is the place where you go when your main place of residence is compromised, so it can’t be both at the same time. Second, living in the sticks doesn’t mean bad things can’t happen. There’s a number of things that can go wrong forcing you to either evacuate or rearrange your lifestyle due to personal circumstances like sickness, family, employment, etc. Forest fires are a good example, and these affect a lot of people every year. As always, a bit of preparation goes a long way.


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”.

Post-Election America: My advice for older people

Hi Fernando,

I just finished reading your book published in 2009 It was very eye opening to say the least, and I can see some of the events happening here that you described in Argentina back in 2001.  I am considerably older than you and not exactly in “fighting trim” as they say, but am contemplating what steps I should consider to prepare for the possible future.

I live in a resort community and own a small resort motel that is now only open half the year.  My boys are now grown, so only my wife and I still run the place and in the past 35 years I have had various jobs to make ends meet, but now rely on SSI to do the job.  I am very concerned about the future of America, especially if Trump loses the election!  So I will be very interested in what thoughts you may have.   Thank you for your kind efforts on my behalf



Hello Tom,

I’m glad you liked my book. In it I explain the steps to take so as to prepare for a socioeconomic collapse and following the advice in it will serve you well in case of a worst case scenario in America or even for the slow slide into a 3rd world version of itself. This last one seems to be the current trend and what is most likely to continue.

In your specific case I have the following advice:

1)Try not to worry too much, but do try to keep a tight budget, save as much money as you can and keep working hard. Trump or anyone else, I personally don’t believe it will make much of a difference. I honestly don’t like ANY of the candidates and believe all of them will keep the current trend, benefitting the ones that already have the most while subsidizing the gained wealth of the elite by squeezing the poor and middle class through various methods including one that is particularly vile which is inflation. Inflation is particularly hard on those relying on SSI. In your case you own your own company which is always good so keep it up. A place like that also means you have room for family and friends in case you want them close.

2) Get the necessary tools in case things don’t work out that great. You already have my book. If I may say so myself it’s a great first step to prepare for this kind of thing, including information regarding what you should get. Stock up on food and don’t forget water, medicines and other emergency supplies. Work towards improving your home security, upgrading it as much as you can so as to make it a “hard target”. Having a gun is important, but it’s just as important to learn to fight with it. I already mentioned saving money. You want to have at least a month worth of expenses in cash at hand. Two would be even better.

You mention not being “fighting trim”. That’s ok, none of us will be 20 years old forever. This only means its even more important to be armed and it would be good to get used to carrying concealed if you don’t do so already. One thing I’m planning on doing when I’m older is getting used to walking around with a good dog. A good guard dog can help you compensate for age, visibly turning you into a harder target in the eyes of criminals. Walking the dog also helps you exercise and stay fit which brings me to point three.

3) Last but most important. Take care of yourself, body and mind. Be in good terms with your loved ones, enjoy your life as much as you can. Sounds silly but these days so many people forget to just live, always worried about work, money or other personal goals.

Take care of your body. It’s your most important tool and the only one you’ve got. Go for walks, exercise and most of all eat healthy. If your mind and heart are in the right place, and you take care of your body by staying slim and fit, the rest falls into place rather easily.

Good luck and thanks for your email!


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”.