Making the Shift?

Welcome to HansSchoff.com 2.0!

Hans Schoff

Lol. First off, if you’re new here, thanks for visiting.  If you’ve been here before, you may have noticed a few changes in the direction or “theme” of my blog…

This is my personal blog where I share my thoughts, views and experiences on my interests, which you’ll read about on this page below. Feel free to peruse my past blog posts and if you’d like to keep tabs on me and my future adventures and thoughts, please fill out the form at the bottom of any post and you’ll automatically be kept up to date so you never miss a beat.

Previously, my core focus for my blog and the majority of my career has been on creating wealth, and pretty much solely on creating and growing wealth (as you’ll notice from a lot of my earlier blog posts). Because if you’ve got increasing amounts of passive income and multiple streams of income, it gives you options and choices you wouldn’t otherwise have.

And to be honest, many – not all – but many of people’s problems would be solved if they weren’t having to stress or worry about paying the bills, figuring out where their next meal was going to come from or whether they’ll still have a job come tomorrow morning.

Life’s a lot easier when those things can take care of themselves so you can focus on what’s really important in life: your friends, family and relationships.  Because just throwing money at those problems will likely only make them worse. But I digress…

making the shiftSo why the change?  Why the “shift”?

Let me give you some background. I’m one of the last Generation “X”-ers (I think, I might be a generation “Y”er depending on how you define it but I identify more with the Generation “X” group). At 16 years old I was one of the first of my friends to get a cell phone, which was a major leap in technology. Cell phones as you know began to change the way we interacted and did things as a society.

Then the internet really started to catch on and I can remember beginning to regularly email my friends at the age of 17, pretty much starting to use the computer on a daily basis (even with a dial-up modem still). Then at 18, prior to going off to college I got my first computer to use in the dorms at San Diego State University where I’d have access to a T-1 line, ie, high-speed internet. Wow! That was life-changing.  Then came AOL & MSN instant messaging, Napster music downloading and eventually Myspace social networking…

I tell you all this so you can see how every year from an early age my life kept getting easier and more convenient, from communicating to finding information to getting things done. It just seemed like every year some new piece of technology would come out to make life better and that the old way of life was now obsolete!

And I think that’s where a lot of today’s problems arise from.

For the last 20-30 years, life has been so good, so easy that we’ve forgotten (or in my generation’s case never really known) what bad times were like. Bad times were having to wait for a slow dial-up modem to connect to the internet, going over your cell phone minutes and getting a huge cell phone bill, having to put down 3% on a house instead of getting 100% financing with ridiculously low payments…

Technology, or interest rates, or the economy, or credit – there was always something there to protect against the downside, so-to-speak. It was like, why even prepare or hold back for things that might not go to plan when you could push harder and get so much more? It seemed like no risk and all reward…

Now we see the error in judgment. Now we are having to pay for those reckless actions and years of ignorance and bliss. Now we remember that booms don’t last forever, they are followed by busts; after feast comes famine; after summer eventually comes winter.

summer follows winter

The problem is most people don’t remember or have never experienced what an “economic winter” really feels like. And to my knowledge, even the most recent “economic winters” have been mild and we’re due for a big freeze. We’ve had a few wintery storms over the last few years – or maybe you want to call them late autumn storms – warnings or reminders that say “hey, it’s time to prepare for the next season…”

But wait! It doesn’t mean it’s all “doom and gloom” or “head for the hills”

So with all that said, does that mean we should abandon the idea of creating wealth?  Has that time passed? Should we no longer focus on moving forward and just go into defensive mode to wait for the storm to hit?

Of course not. I still passionately believe creating wealth is and should be an important focus for anyone who desires to get the most out of life for themselves and their family.

Don’t forget that after winter – even a hard, long winter – summer will eventually return – it always does.

However, I think we need to broaden the term more as true wealth relates to more than just finances (more on that later…).

Many people today though would associate wealth with money.  And in that respect, the idea behind creating wealth as a way of creating more passive income than you have expenses is actually more relevant and important today than it ever has been.

Money today is pouring into US Treasury Bonds (as I write this) at a rate not seen since World War 2, despite the fact that the yield has never been worse and the fact that the US has never had this staggeringly large amount of debt and problems.

Why is that?

People are uncertain, afraid, scared even with what to do with their money. They no longer trust the stock market, businesses are holding onto trillions of dollars of capital due to the constantly changing government rules and tax regulations – we’re in a state of economic semi-organized chaos! People want to retire but don’t know if they can, while those who have retired have either lost their money or are having to go back to work because their (retirement) investments aren’t earning them enough to live on anymore in this low-interest rate environment (ie, financial repression).

So as you can see, people are in desperate need of learning how to create multiple streams of income, how to create passive income that will continue to grow and outpace inflation so that they can actually really retire from having to work full time. So creating wealth is extremely important today for people to learn how to do.

“Making the Shift To Independence” – It’s more than just finances

spinning platesHowever, there are more than just financial issues to worry about going forward. These insurmountable debt levels and related problems are like a spinning plate now wobbling higher and higher into the air, out of the reach of anyone or anything that can keep spinning it; sooner or later it’s likely going to fall if we can’t reign it back in (if there’s even an ability or desire by our politicians to do that anymore).

The unintended consequences however will do more than just raise the cost of living, or hamper our ability to obtain credit, manage debt, or affect retirement. As push comes to shove, something’s going to give. Everything has run so perfectly, so flawless for the last several decades that even a small hiccup now in any of the systems we count on today could cause a massive disruption, or worse spark the beginning of something even more disruptive…

We all rely so heavily on the power that flows into our homes every day, 24/7, available on demand by either flicking a switch on the wall or plugging something into a socket.

We’ll use an entire tank of gas in our vehicles, knowing that when we’re low and we find the cheapest price in town we can fill up and continue driving – even if that’s at 3am in the morning we don’t even hesitate.

When we’re thirsty, dirty, or need one of our (electric) appliances to wash our plates and glasses for us, we just push a button or turn a handle and we’ve got clean, drinkable water on demand, also 24/7 (let alone to keep your grass green with an automatic sprinkler system).

When we’re hungry or our cupboards or refrigerator become empty, we know we can just head over to the local 24/7 grocery store and pickup any food we like from anywhere in the world virtually and within minutes of arriving home we could be eating like a king.

I could go on and on, but I think you get the point.  But now consider the following:

  • What would happen if you went to the gas station to fill up and there was a line of people waiting because for whatever reason, gas wasn’t able to get delivered to your city for a few days and you couldn’t gas up your vehicle?
  • What if you woke up in the morning and turned on your shower to get your day started and no water came out?
  • What would you do if you lost power for several days without any prior warning?
  • What if you went to your local walmart for your weekly groceries but found all the shelves empty of food due to their “just in time inventory” system having not been re-shelved because their trucks didn’t arrive?

It would be one thing if any one of these events happened on an average day.

  • But what if it were the day before a holiday? 
  • What if it was during severe weather? 
  • What if more than one of these events were to happen at the same time?

You may think the likelihood of any or all of these events happening is remote, or that it would be fairly isolated – surely it wouldn’t affect you, right?

Did you hear about the minor glitch in the Atlanta welfare system a while back? Welfare recipients there were lined up at the welfare office in Atlanta expecting their regular welfare checks when they were informed they wouldn’t get their regular checks until the next business day. The result? A riot. They were counting on that money and because they didn’t get it, social unrest. The more drawn out this gets, the more people who go without, the more fearful and upset people get, the more potential there is for things to really get disrupted.

So what am I trying to say?

Creating wealth today in this uncertain world is as important if not more important than ever…

But we need to think of wealth as not only a monetary component, but as a lifestyle component, being able to not only have more passive income than we have expenses but also to be able to enjoy the use of modern conveniences reliably when you want or need them despite temporary system failures.

“You want to be able to basically increase your lifestyle and actually live that lifestyle at all hours of the day and from day to day – not only when all systems are running at optimal levels and when politicians are making the right decisions (whenever that will happen, lol).”

To do that you need to put in place simple solutions to reduce your dependence or reliance on these systems we’ve all grown accustomed to having (or worse, needing).  You need to ensure that you will be able to go forward, relatively unaffected by any short-term hiccups or issues with any of the systems we’ve come to be so reliant and dependent on so you can reduce the fear and worry and uncertainty in your life and know you’ve got your bases covered for you and your family.

No one knows exactly what system will hiccup or break down first, there are so many variables.  What’s clear though is that there is lots of accumulated pressure and stress now put on many of these systems and that they are operating beyond their intended capacities or abilities (be it due to funding, financing, age, demographics, etc).

On top of that, you also have damaging severe weather in the last couple of years, namely tornadoes and ice storms.  Here are just some of the few issues that have occured over just the past few years:

  • Northern Alabama went 5 days without power, and in some areas also without fuel and groceries for a couple of days due to a large tornado outbreak.
  • San Diego went without power one afternoon due to human error that accidently caused the grid to go down.
  • BP had the oil spill that put many business owners out of business which also resulted in many lost jobs at the time.
  • Katrina hit the gulf coast in 2005 which spiraled into many bigger problems that permanently affected hundreds of thousands of people, if not millions.

Living day to day expecting everything to go perfect and as planned is completely unrealistic. While you may have gotten away with “everything going to plan” for you in the past, I wouldn’t plan on that to continue into the future.  If you’re a business owner, you know what I mean!

Why not make your life easier, less painful, more enjoyable? Why not play it safer?  Doesn’t that just make sense?

I’m not talking about a major change in the way you live your life, but rather simple, easy adjustments that anyone can make who is informed and educated as to what’s going on.

I mean, what if you could still live more or less care-free, worry free, stress free about all these issues and more or less isolate yourself from them, so that if something unexpected did happen, it wouldn’t throw your life upside down and into total chaos; you could just read or hear about it instead of having to experience the issue and it’s effects first-hand.

Even if it was only a short-while, wouldn’t it be better to be able to continue to live your life as you do today or had in the past when times were good with just a few simple preparations?

Maybe set aside a few cases of bottled water…

Maybe start growing a few tomatoes or peppers or strawberries or something…

Maybe have a couple gallons of gas in your garage just in case…

You know, some simple, cheap and easy things you can do that would just ensure your life can be as uninterrupted and convenient as possible should something unexpected occur.

That’s my focus. And in my newly enhanced blog, HansSchoff.com “2.0” so-to-speak, I plan to take you with me on my journey as I myself continue this “shift to independence” – incorporating my prior focus of continuing to create wealth but expanding that to include simple and easy preparations to ensure a more uninterrupted lifestyle should something unexpected occur (because you can’t eat money, especially if you can’t get to it!).

Creating wealth remains important, because if you’re 100% dependent on a job and you lose that job tomorrow for whatever reason, now you’re home, family, ability to travel, eat, communicate, etc all goes out the window.

Given today’s issues and economic environment, you need to develop multiple streams of income to protect against any one stream drying up and further to use that money wisely to give you peace of mind now and into the future.

I will share with you videos and pictures along with my research, experience and recommendations as they relate to simple preparedness tips that anyone can implement for a more “independent” and enjoyable lifestyle, ranging from finances and creating wealth, to alternative energy, to gardening, food & water, home protection, security and much more.  I will share with you what I call my “shift to independence” – my journey for increasing wealth and simple self-sufficiency for the ultimate peace of mind – that’s what I call creating true wealth!

I invite you to join me. Choose a brighter, more certain, more optimistic and all around better future so you can have more control over your life.

Let’s create a community of like-minded realists focused on fact and realities, not hype, fear or drama.

Let’s be smart by using logic and reason, history and practical knowledge.

We all know that we should be saving some of the money we make; we all know we should be taking more control of our lives than we do, so let’s do it. I’ll lead by example and show you what I’m doing if you’ll give me your feedback and share with me how you’re “making the shift” for you and your family.

Just remember back to that old cartoon with the ants and the grasshoppers, where the ants worked hard all summer to prepare for the winter they knew was coming while the grasshoppers just lounged all summer until the storms came… No more young grasshopper; it’s time to learn the way of the ant! Just remember winter follows summer, but then summer will once again follow.

So let’s “prepare” in order to enjoy life; let’s get the most out of it and not let the fear, decisions, choices or inactions of others affect us, if at all possible. We have the power, so let’s live!

– Hans Schoff

PS> Leave me a comment below with your feedback and thoughts.  Does anything on this page resonate with you?  Let me know!  I appreciate you…