About a month ago, we provided instruction on Building A Cache (pronounced cash, not cash-ay). This time around, we’re going to discuss where to place that cache. I’ve got two general categories: Locations for cash and precious metals, and locations for survival gear items.
For survival gear, I’m talking about food, equipment, firearms, ammo, reference materials, water purification, temporary shelter and similar items. Personally, when I think of these items, I think of them as items I may never retrieve. If I’m caching this stuff, it’s for my TSHTF part of my plans. Hopefully, that never happens.
Today, I’m going to discuss caching/hiding financial assets.
Unlike the prepping supplies described above, the financial assets will absolutely be retrieved in the future!
We’re talking stock certificates, deeds, cash and precious metals. You need to protect against theft, destruction (fire, water, rot), forgetfulness and death. With us Baby Boomers, there is a very good chance that we’ve built up considerable financial assets over our lifetimes. Protecting them from thieves, taxation and asset forfeiture is our primary task.
Bank Safe Deposit Box
The Good – Probably the best overall location for most folks. Theft and destruction are very low probabilities. If you forget about your stuff, it will eventually be escheated (seized and turned over) to your state. You will at least have the ability to track down your assets if your memory returns! The same will go for your heirs if you die. There will at least be an audit trail that can be followed.
The Bad – There are official, government-accessible records that the box exists. They and the bank know you have a box, though not necessarily what is in there. If your intent is to hide financial assets from the government, safe deposit boxes are not the way to go. They can be seized and emptied in the blink of an eye.
The contents are also not insured. If you have a pile of Gold Eagles and bundles of cash and the bank/your box is robbed, you’re SOL. Same thing if a Bank Holiday is called. You may not be able to get to your stuff.
It should be lockable, fire proof and have the ability to be affixed to something else to reduce its mobility (bolted to floor, chained down, etc).
The Good – The success of a home safe is dependent upon secrecy as much as the physical characteristics of the safe (fire rating, access controls, size). The fewer people that know you have a home safe, the better. It’s the whole, “Loose lips sink ships” deal – you won’t be targeted for robbery if no one knows you have a safe (see “Operational Security – Shhhhhh!“).
If it is placed somewhere other than the closet of your master bedroom, you increase the chances of the safe NOT being discovered during a burglary.
What is nice is you have immediate access to your financial assets, as long as you can get to your home.
The Bad – Unless you have an insurance rider, if your cash or coins are destroyed or stolen, you’ve lost them. Because of this, following the adage of, “Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket” really comes into play. Never, under any circumstances, place all of your non-bank assets in one place. A single event can leave you destitute.
At-Home Hiding Place
Hidden panels, “diversion safes”, etc.
The Good – There are a couple of decent books on this subject – “How To Hide Anything” (Connor), “Secret Rooms, Secret Compartments” (Dzindzeleta), and “The Big Book of Secret Hiding Places” (Luger) are ones I’ve read.. I wouldn’t call any of the a definitive text, but all have good ideas.
Stairwells, the space under cabinets, between rafters, etc. Just understand that if the government wants to find your hiding place in your home, they’ll find it. The same goes for a motivated burglar with enough time.
The diversion safes (i.e., a can of soup that is actually a safe) can be purchased online. Instructables.com also has a number of posts on how to make them yourself. I have used these extensively in the past very successfully.
The Bad – VERY easy to forget where you put something! And unlike a home safe, if you die, it is very unlikely that family members will find your hiding place. See “Who To Tell?” down below.
And of course, like a home safe, if it is destroyed or stolen, your money is gone for good.
Outside of The Home (other than at a bank)
This is the most difficult solution, for a number of reasons. To use this, you should have a very strong belief that your spouse or the government – either directly or as a legal “enforcer” – will be coming for your money.
This includes the proverbial coffee can buried in the ground in a remote location, to bus station lockers or any other location where your name is not required to obtain the space. It could include the home of a friend or family member, but if things are so bad that you have the government coming after your money, you might want to think twice before dragging someone else into your situation.
You must be careful to ensure that your location won’t be compromised or eliminated. If you chose an abandoned warehouse on the outskirts of town, it might be leveled and your assets will be gone. Think of places like state or national parks – places that will never be bulldozed. The more remote, the better.
If you’re caching gold or silver, be sure you’re not placing it in an area where guys with metal detectors are likely to snoop around. You could make someone’s day if they stumbled upon a stack of Silver Eagles!
And because you will likely be storing your assets out in nature, your packaging must be double- or triple-redundant.
Download our complimentary copy of Special Forces Caching Techniques in our Premium Members Area. Click MEMBERS >> INDEPENDENCE LIBRARY and you’ll see the complimentary PDF file.
The Good – Virtually “invisible” until you retrieve the assets. Unless you tell some about the location, or you are followed, it is virtually impossible for anyone to determine your cache location. If done correctly, this type of location offers the highest level of security for your assets.
The Bad – Since your assets are in a location which you don’t control, you are at risk for all 4 bad items – theft, destruction, forgetfulness and loss after death. Tied closely to forgetfulness is inaccuracy – if you don’t make an accurate description of your cache’s location, you may not be able to retrieve it even if you want to!
And obviously, insurance isn’t an option. Even if you found an insurance company that would consider your request, they would require notification of the location, and that would defeat the purpose of your cache.
Who To Tell?
That’s the $64,000 question, huh?
Here’s an option. It’s a bit “James Bond-ish” but should work. Have two trusted friends or family members, each with a part of the directions to your cache. Do not tell them the name of the other person. Tell them the circumstances under which your two-part instructions should be brought together. Death, incapacitation or incarceration, for instance.
When one of the trigger events happens, they are to go to a specific public location – a coffee shop or shopping mall – at a specific time. On the first day of the month following the trigger event, at 12 noon, for instance. They each wear a green jacket or some other sort of easily identifiable article of clothing.
They put the two halves together, and retrieve the cache. Hopefully, they will dispense the assets according to your wishes, so be sure they are VERY good friends!
I’ve used in the past or am using right now, all of the suggestions above. I think it’s prudent for everyone to at least consider all of these options. Think them through, and scout out locations in your home and outside as well.
It’s difficult to know what’s going to happen in the future. It may never come to the place where you need to hide financial assets from the government or a spouse. I think, though, that’s it’s better to think through the process before it’s needed than when you’re being forced to make such a decision.
We had a lady come into our precious metals shop this week that had purchased a dozen Krugerrands 10 years ago. She had them squirreled away in a safe deposit box at her bank, and she sold them to us. She mentioned she just didn’t feel comfortable with them in her bank box any more.
She was an older lady and mentioned her children (in their 40’s) and husband and how she just wanted the cash in her hands. I don’t know if she thought these family members were going to take the coins, but she clearly felt the time was right to raid her cache and cash out!
Make a plan before you need it. It’s what we Boomer Preppers do!
Want More Information? See Building A Cache.