Monday, August 30, 2010

How to protect your home when you are away on vacation

One way, of course, is to get a trustworthy house sitter. (If you don’t know how to find one, see page 81 of the current edition of How To Be Invisible.) Otherwise, pick a few suggestions from the ones used by our good friends who I’ll call Eric and Gretchen Swanson. The Swansons practice the principles outlined in How To Be Invisible, Invisible Money, and Off the Grid.

On September 26 they will leave for Cuenca, Ecuador, to assist in a volunteer educational work for six months. They prefer not to use a house sitter , nor to subscribe to a local monitoring system such as Brinks or ADT.

“We don’t like professional monitoring systems,” says Gretchen. “For one thing, they usually want a three-year contract, and all we need is protection for six months. For another, we do not want to reveal to strangers that the house will be empty. Worst of all is that the alarm companies demand a Social Security number so they can run a credit report.”

“Besides that,” says Eric, “those systems do not work until someone actually breaks in. We want to stop burglars before they break in!”

What follows are the various steps that the Swansons will take before they leave. Some of them are already in place. Remember: their goals are to make it appear that the house is not vacant and that it will be dangerous to proceed.

[Note: Eric and Getchen’s two-year old home sits on two large lots in an upscale neighborhood of a Seattle suburb. My suggestions in Chapter Two of Invisible Money (See the section “Five Rings of Protection”) have already been followed, including the stout doors with keyed deadbolts on all exterior and interior doors. ]

1. Yard signs indicate that a monitored alarm system is in place (even if it is not).

2. Fake closed-circuit cameras are mounted on the roof. The most obvious one is wired in and turns back and forth every few minutes.

3. A heavy, worn pair of size 14 work shoes sit along side the front door. (Picked up at Value Village for $6.)

4. A sign on the door reads “Knock all you want. We never answer the door.”

5. A large sign on the side door of the three-car garage reads “DANGER! Extremely vicious Barkless German Dobermans.” It cannot be seen from the street, so as not to alarm the neighbors, but will quickly be seen by any burglar casing the property.

6. Mail is not a problem since mail has never been delivered here. In fact, there is no mail receptacle and no house number there.

7. Service with the garbage and recycle services has already been discontinued, with the explanation that the Swansons have made other arrangements.

8. Five timers for interior lights are in place, each with up to six on/off settings.

9. Three radios will be turned on to the same talk station when the Swansons leave. One near the front door, one in the garage, and one in the basement.

10. As dusk, a light-sensitive switch turns on outside lights on all four sides of the building.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

How to totally disappear when someone is after you!

Sometimes--especially if you are being stalked--the best solution is to just get out of the country. FAST! One of my readers recently suggested Thailand but that's a long and expensive trip. My own preference would be Mexico.

1. Take a bus or (preferably) fly to Guadalajara, Jalisco.

2. Catch a taxi or a bus up the the Lake Chapala area.

3. Stay for a few days at a bed-and-breakfast in Chapala or Ajijic, then look for a condo. You can rent a two-bedroom condo in a gated community for about $35 a day or $750 for a month.

Why Lake Chapala?

One reason is the climate--one of the world's best. Another is that violent crime is low in that area. English is spoken in many business places.

Also, you'll not stand out because you'll be among thousands of Americans and Canadians who live all along the north shore of Lake Chapala.

Monday, August 2, 2010

A optional business structure that does not require payroll tax deductions

Used correctly, the following system will provide unusual privacy for all concerned.

1. Purchase a New Mexico limited liability company.

2. Prepare an operating agreement that includes information about how each member will be reimbursed for his work.

3. Obtain an EIN from the IRS.

4. At monthly intervals, pay each member for services rendered, with no deductions.

5. At the end of the tax year, file a tax return for the LLC. Send each member a K-2 statement of earnings.

Note: Members must be well paid because they will have to pay both the employer and employee taxes
DISCLAIMER: I am not an attorney. The above information is for educational use only. Before proceeding, review your specific situations with your own attorney and CPA because each case is unique and each state has it's own payroll tax issues separate from the IRS.