Catching Plenty of “Zs” Can Boost Your Heart and Brain Health

If you occasionally get less than about eight hours of sleep, you could be increasing your chances of experiencing a life-threatening heart or brain disaster.

In a Japanese study of more than 1,200 adults ages 33 to 97 years old with high blood pressure, those who slept less than seven and a half hours each night had a 68 percent higher risk of falling victim to a heart attack or other cardiovascular complication. Chronic sleep deprivation has also been linked with other health problems such as diabetes, coronary heart disease and obesity.

The researchers noted that physicians who treat patients with high blood pressure should discuss sleep habits and encourage them to get a full eight hours of sleep each night.

So, if your blood pressure levels increase, talk with your doctor about ways you can avoid sleep deprivation. Regularly getting a good night’s rest could do wonders for your overall health.

Question for Bob

Dear Bob,
On the verge of retirement, I am very confused about a few issues, so I hope you can give a few pointers? I have a retirement plan at work and a thrift fund which I recently transferred to an IRA Roth plan. But since the gov`t. will probably find a way to erase that, what could you recommend [in layman`s terms]? I have tried to buy some silver with Underground Profits but they led me to a brokerage that sells only stocks, etc. but not precious metals; plus I need $2,000 up front just to be able to deal to in stocks. I`d appreciate any pointers you have for a rookie.

Al Rios

Dear Al,

There are a number of things to consider here, and without all the facts of your situation I’ll just have to try and cover as many as I can. First, understand that I am not a professional financial advisor nor am I a trained lawyer. So you should talk with your financial advisor, accountant or lawyer about the ramifications of withdrawing from your retirement account. Second, you are correct. I believe the government is working toward confiscating individual retirement accounts (IRAs) and 401(k)s. With your Roth IRA, if you’ve just rolled your money into a Roth it may be locked away from you for up to five years unless you want to pay taxes on the withdrawal. If the option is available to you, you may want to designate a significant portion of the contents to a commodities fund or funds — particularly those investing in oil exploration and mining precious metals. I believe this where the growth will be. Soft commodities like farm products will rise as well. You should ask your fund manager whether there is the option to put part of your funds in physical metals. When you turn 59½, (excepting the five-year rule) you can begin withdrawing your money tax-free. I would do that at the first opportunity and invest a significant portion in gold and silver and hold some cash in your possession.

As for buying silver — or gold if you can afford it — there are a number of places you can go. Established local coin and gold dealers are a good source. They can usually sell you small quantities at a time and their markup tends to be less because they have lower overhead. One coin and gold dealer I know is Walt Bartee Coins and Bullion in Huntsville, Ala., telephone 1-800-743-1448. Bartee Coins is a small, independent dealer and it sometimes takes a number of tries to get through on the telephone. Tell them that Bob said he would give you a competitive price. There are larger dealers as well. One company we recommend is Asset Strategies International. You can also use www.goldprice.org. There you will find information on gold and silver purchasing as well as a comparative list of several dealers, their prices and fees and links to their sites.

Silver is a great investment right now. I believe it has more upside than gold. The best option is to buy junk silver. That is pre-1964 silver coins. They are worth much more than their face value because of their silver content. Plus, they will be readily accepted in trade because they look like our coins of today. You can also buy American silver Eagles. They are 1-ounce silver “dollars” and they cost about $30 each, if you can find a dealer that will sell them at “spot,” that is the current price of silver.

Best Wishes,
Bob

Consider Offshore Life Insurance For Asset Protection

Governments in Europe have their eyes on the private pension funds of their citizens. And some in and around the administration of President Barack Obama have expressed their desire to get their hands on the retirement funds of Americans.

This is just one of the many tactics governments are considering as a means of propping up their failing systems.

In Europe, according to a Jan. 2 article in The Christian Science Monitor, “The most striking example is Hungary, where last month the government made citizens an offer they could not refuse. They could either remit their individual retirement savings to the state, or lose the right to the basic state pension (but still have an obligation to pay contributions for it). In this extortionate way, the government wants to gain control over $14bn (billion) of individual retirement savings.”

What we have is a system where government policies that lead to the current economic crisis have stripped your IRA or 401(k) retirement fund of value (the stock market remains about where it was 10 years ago) and have stripped your savings of value through inflation. Additionally, governments are seeking ways to grab what little retirement funds you have left. And should you reach the end of your time on earth and still have something left to pass onto your heirs, the government is going to make sure it gets its cut through the estate tax before your heirs see any of it.

So how can you protect yourself — and your beneficiaries — from the grubby hands of government? One alternative is move your money offshore. And one of the safest places to put your money offshore is in an offshore insurance account.

The truth is, most Americans need life insurance. In fact, if someone depends on you financially you must have life insurance if you want to provide cash to your family after your death. This cash comes in the form of the death benefit, which can replace your income in the event of your death.

Offshore investments often receive a bad rap, with some believing that moving your money out of the United States is tantamount to treason. Others don’t quite take it that far, but do believe it is at least unpatriotic. But what is patriotic about submitting your savings to the government? And what is patriotic about running the risk that the government will suddenly take from you what you’ve rightfully earned?

Offshore life insurance is a great method of asset protection and life insurance for law-abiding Americans. And using offshore trusts and bank accounts can be an excellent way for U.S. citizens to legally protect their assets from loss through lawsuits.

Ordinary Life Insurance vs. Offshore Life Insurance
Ordinary life insurance provides four tax-free benefits:

  • Tax-free build-up of cash value, including dividends, interest and capital gains.
  • Tax-free borrowing against cash value.
  • Tax-free receipt of the death benefit.
  • Freedom from estate and generation-skipping taxes.

These benefits are available in any life insurance policy designed to comply with U.S. tax laws. But, a U.S. tax compliant life insurance policy issued by a carrier outside the U.S. offers additional benefits:

  • Increased asset protection. While some states have enacted laws that provide limited protection for life insurance policies, there is no protection for life insurance proceeds under Federal laws.
  • Access to global investments. Offshore insurance policies provide tax-advantaged access to international asset managers to offshore funds that are generally not available to U.S. investors.
  • Increased privacy. Domestic assets, including life insurance policies, can be easily discovered by private investigators with access to any of the hundreds of asset-tracking service that now exist. But assets held offshore are off the domestic radar and cannot easily be identified.

Are there other advantages to an offshore insurance policy? You bet. How about lower operating costs and less regulation which results in lower premium costs; investments available in foreign currencies, ability to segregate funds to protect them from insolvency of the insurance carrier; no tax on earnings; and ability to exclude proceeds from the gross estate tax for Federal estate tax purposes?

And finally, one of the biggest benefits of all: You can borrow or make withdrawals from your insurance or draw it out as retirement income. This is one of the few ways left to get our assets out of reach of the taxing authorities and away from government confiscation, legally!

All-in-all, offshore life insurance offers many advantages and should be considered as part of a wealth and asset protection plan.

For more information on offshore life insurance you can order our research manual, The Offshore Life Insurance Advantage, written by attorney J. Richard Duke, named one of the “Top 100 Attorneys” by Worth® magazine. It covers all the legal ramifications and benefits of offshore life insurance policies.

Creating A Safe Room

In the event of a chemical, biological or radiological attack, a safe room is essential to survival. The safe room should ideally be a room in the interior of the home. If no interior room is available, choose one with as few external walls and windows as possible. An adjoining bathroom is also desirable.

To prepare the room, buy enough of the following to cover all windows and doors to the safe room area:

  • Weatherstripping.
  • Clear plastic sheeting at least 1 mil thick, preferably clear, and wide enough to cover windows.
  • Scissors or other cutting tool.
  • Duct tape.
  • Caulk and caulk gun.
  • Staple gun
  • A portable HEPA (High Efficiency Particle Arresting) air filtration device.

So your room will be ready when you need it, go ahead and install the weather stripping on your windows and doors, making sure the seal eliminates the transfer of air from outside into your home. Check around your windows for gaps, and caulk those as necessary. Also check for any other places where air might transfer like holes cut into walls or floors for the television cables and telephone wires. If you find those areas you should caulk them as well.

When installing the plastic sheeting, use the staple gun and/or duct tape to hang it. In places where you use the staple gun, be sure to cover the staples with duct tape to seal off any holes or tears in the plastic.

You should also be sure you have access from your safe room to your stored food and water, or bring as much as possible into your room before you seal it off, since you don’t know how long you may have to be sealed inside.

Your Web Presence

Maintaining your privacy in today’s technological age is, at best, a difficult task. It requires constant effort to remain below the radar. But, if you have a presence somewhere on the Internet — say through a social site like Facebook or LinkedIn — it is impossible.

There are organizations that scour the World Wide Web for information on individuals in order to organize it in one place and make it available to individuals and other organizations — both for free and for a fee. One of these is the site, www.spokeo.com.

It markets itself as “Not your grandmother’s phonebook,” and it may contain your photos, biographical information, email addresses, financial data and other information that is publicly available. Go there and search for your name and you’d be amazed at the information that may appear.

However, spokeo™ will remove your listing from its free portion upon request. After you locate your listing, copy the URL from the top, click on the privacy button at the bottom and paste in your URL. This won’t completely remove your information that’s readily available, but it will remove it from one public source.

The Tax Reform Alternative by Vernon K. Jacobs.

This new book is timely and an excellent primer for millions of frustrated Americans who believe that there is widespread wrong and crisis in America. They feel great danger but have not connected the dots that would bring into focus the big picture. This book puts the blame where it should be, on the vested political and bureaucratic system.

Millions of alert Americans are very busy trying to preserve their assets from a depreciating currency and political chicanery that has infected the land. The whole orchestration of government in our time is about transferring the wealth and assets of the people to the State under one ruse or another.

It is very hard for me to expect any genuine reform from so-called “elected representatives” who are in fact government employees. The government pays them and they do what the government wants. It is ludicrous to talk about legislative reform. A rigged system cannot be reformed. It must be replaced.

Vested interest will not change. There is a host of parasitic lawyers and accountants who keep the bureaucratic system on the backs of the people. They, in fact work, for the government but the people pay them. We are required to get “professional help” because we can’t understand the system.

Jacobs writes that the 16th Amendment (income tax) must be abolished before any serious tax reform alternative can be considered. He spends considerable pages outlining the various alternatives to the income tax. Most of them would, admittedly, be usurped by a variety of interests.

At the last of the book Jacobs gives good information on expatriation, i.e., leaving America.

He says that to expatriate, a foreign citizenship and passport is required as a first step. U.S. immigration authorities require a foreign passport and citizenship for all people who wish to expatriate.

Getting completely out of the system requires expatriation. You could expect a passport and citizenship to cost about $125,000 per person.

You may contact Henley and Partners in Switzerland for detailed information. You can find them here.

Although the concept of expatriation is connected mentally with oppressive taxation, do not identify to U.S. immigration authorities your desire for expatriation with tax issues. Use other reasons.

Jacobs’ book is only available at Offshore Press, Inc. He can be contacted for further advice on expatriation tax matters at Offshore Press Inc., Box 8137, Prairie Village, KS, (913) 362-9667, Fax (913) 432-7174 or www.offshorepress.com.

More Privacy Lost

A California Supreme Court ruled Jan. 3 that defendants lose their rights to privacy for any items they’re carrying — including electronic devices — when they’re taken into custody.

The 5-2 ruling came in a drug case involving Gregory Diaz who was arrested after police say they watched him make a drug deal. Police searched Diaz’s cell phone and found a text message that linked him to the sale, according to the Court.

The decision allows police “to rummage at leisure through a wealth of personal and business information that can be carried on a mobile phone or handheld computer merely because the device was taken from an arrestee’s person,” Justice Kathryn Mickle Werdegar said, according to a report in the San Francisco Chronicle. She was joined in dissent by Justice Carlos Moreno.

This is an issue that has divided the courts and so will probably end up in the United States Supreme Court. In 2007 a U.S. District Judge in San Francisco ruled that police had violated drug defendants’ rights by searching their cell phones after their arrests. The Ohio Supreme Court reached a similar decision in 2009, according to the report in the Chronicle.

The latest California ruling has devastating consequences for privacy. If you are suspected of committing a crime and are detained by police — in California, at least — they can search through any electronic device you are carrying. With the wealth of data that people store in their telephones and computers today, this opens up a person’s entire life history to scrutiny by law enforcement. In a country where almost every action has become a crime (see Three Felonies A Day: How The Feds Target The Innocent) this could subject innocent people — from the original suspect to his business associates and friends — to a myriad of legal problems.

The 4th Amendment is a clear indication of what the Founding Fathers thought about the potential for the State to abuse its citizens through unreasonable searches and seizures. But in a police state — like the one America has become — a silly thing like “The Bill of Rights” has no meaning.