* Ecuador Real Estate – Rock and a Hard Spot

* International Investments – Who Says the US is Bankrupt

* Natural Health Tip – Cool DeBuggin Again

Our pumpkin patch hound, Mahananda, and I hiked along the six miles of trails that wind through Merrily Farms the other day.

As Ma posed for this picture by one of the wonderful rock formations we have, I could not help but think about the rock and hard spot so many Americans are in because of insurance.

A recent message looked at the insurance mess of the West and how it is only going to get worse. This message reviewed Lloyds of London’s warning to the insurance industry that says the insurance industry must face up to the growing threat of climate change or risk being swept away.

Lloyd’s report “Climate Change, Adapt or Bust” that warns insurers to act now to understand and actively manage risks from emerging threats such as greenhouse gases and rising sea levels. The report says recent scientific evidence suggests climate changes are taking place faster than imagined and insurance change is long overdue.

You can read the entire message at naturalhealthguidelines.com/natural_health_news_1.htm

This message had special meaning for me because my insurer (of more than twenty years with never a liability claim) attempted to raise my liability insurance premium tenfold!

Just after this message was sent a brief note in USA Today July 19 read: “Insurer seeks sharp rate hike in Florida. State Farm, one of the largest insurers, will raise property insurance rates 52.7% this year, under a plan approved by state regulators. The company said that the higher premiums will allow it to keep doing business in Florida. State Farm said rising costs for its own insurance against high claims is driving the increase following two devastating hurricane seasons and forecasts for more of the same.”

This began me asking, “What impact will this have on inflation”? I asked readers to let me know what has been happening to them. Here is what a few have shared.

“Hi Gary, Just read your e-mail on rising insurance costs. I was cancelled out by my homeowner’s insurance carrier from last year as they stated they weren’t writing policies here in Florida anymore. My insurance premium last year was $800. My insurance agent notified me that she would try and find me another carrier. She did but the price was $3,900. I researched insurance myself and was lucky to find a company that would carry me for $2,900. Just a little increase!!!!!!!!! My house is in the process of selling here in Naples and I couldn’t be happier as I’ve seen this once natural area turn into a metropolis beyond my lifestyle over the last 33 years.

“I’ve taken your advice on the Triphala and ordered some from the Chandika website as this summer heat & humidity in So. Fl. really wipe me out. Also checked out the Earthship website about their ecological building techniques. Might go there and learn them and then apply them in Ecuador. THANKS for your knowledge and e-mails. My best to you and Merri.”

Here is another similar tale, this time from California.

“Hi Gary, You wrote, “Have you had any insurance cancelled or raised a lot recently? If so let me know. I am not selling insurance. I just want to share what is happening with insurance around the world.

“We are in California, where insurance prices of all types have been skyrocketing. No cancellations yet. But our health insurance (for two married adults) has doubled in two years from a total of $430/month to $872/month, after I had a single gallbladder operation. And the new annual costs would have been even higher, if we had not agreed to switch from a great plan that provided us with 100% hospitalization coverage, a $100 annual deductible, a $15 co-pay for doctor’s office visits, and a $15 co-pay for prescription drugs with no restrictions, to a mediocre plan that covers us only with 80/20 hospitalization after we pay the first $3,000, with a $250 annual deductible, and a $30 co-pay on both doctor’s office visits and prescription drugs (which are now restricted to generics)!

“What’s more, our auto insurance more than doubled from $380 annually five years ago to $780 annually today, even though my wife and I have not had any tickets or accidents or claims in over 25 years!

“Similarly, our homeowner’s insurance increased about 70% over the last five years, even though we’ve had zero claims.

“We were told by our auto and homeowner’s insurance agent that the increases are because of fraudulent claims. But a nationally known consumer advocate with a syndicated radio show recently pointed out that the insurance companies were heavily invested in stocks and bonds pre-2000, and lost big-time in the ensuing mess. He believes they are simply making up for their losses by hiking rates on consumers. Who knows? Either way, it’s inflation big-time!

“One of my favorite economic-related Bible verses very succinctly covers your point that prices are rising while services are being eliminated: ‘Amo 8:4 Hear this, O ye that swallow up the needy, even to make the poor of the land to fail, Amo 8:5 Saying, When will the new moon be gone, that we may sell corn? and the Sabbath, that we may set forth wheat, making the ephah small, and the shekel great, and falsifying the balances by deceit? Amo 8:6 That we may buy the poor for silver, and the needy for a pair of shoes; yea, and sell the refuse of the wheat?

Amo 8:7 The LORD hath sworn by the excellency of Jacob, Surely I will never forget any of their works.’

“In the original Hebrew tongue, the phrase ‘making the ephah small, and the shekel great’ simply means ‘making the portion smaller and the price greater’.

“And notice what else they do: ‘And falsifying the balances by deceit’ i.e., in modern-day terms, un backed currency creation coupled with fraudulent calculations and reporting of the various numbers such as CPI, PPI etc.

“The above verses were written in approximately 687 B.C. by Amos the prophet. Clearly, the more things change, the more they remain the same. Regards, Steve”

Here is another Floridian writing. “Hi Gary, Here is an insurance reply. My Naples condominium complex has been left without insurance because the condo company went bankrupt. We now have government insurance at a premium resulting in an assessment and increase in maintenance fees starting in Jan. 07 to cover next year’s premium. Also property I own further north in Florida on a small lake is also being dropped for insurance in September. We will have to get government insurance at more cost. I am sure the response to your insurance question will be astonishing… Regards Micky”

Here is one more tale of caution.

“Gary, As promised here is a web page that you will find interesting regarding hurricane insurance- down in our neck of the woods.”

This page begins, “Are you storming mad? You should be – because when the Florida Legislature had to choose between homeowners and insurance companies, they chose insurance companies. Like so many Floridians you are being socked with unexpected, obscene and, unfortunately, unnecessary windstorm premium increases. Whether you are a customer of Citizens Insurance Company or are insured elsewhere, you are getting hit with incredible assessments and premium increases. During the recent legislative session, the Legislature could have changed the tide and adopted an approach that would have led to a stabilized market and lower premiums. Instead, they sided against homeowners and with insurance companies. The legislation that passed guarantees increased premiums for homeowners and it allows insurance companies to raise rates without proper justification.” The entire page is at StormingMad.com – Floridians Deserve Affordable Hurricane Insurance

Seems we have a bigger than inflation problem here so please send your insurance story to me so we can share!

Fortunately, there are five ways (we have been looking at) that can help combat inflation.

Inflation Fighting Option #1: Start now buying real estate and living where the cost baseline is lower.

Inflation Fighting Option #2: Another way to fight inflation is to invest in equities on countries of high growth (ie emerging markets). See spottingtrends.com/stock_markets/stock_markets_24.htm

Inflation Fighting Option #3: Buy real estate now with as much debt as you can manage to afford.

Inflation Fighting Option #4: Invest in non leveraged commodities or leverage such investments as much as you can afford to protect.

Inflation Fighting Option #5: Start your own global business now. Be economically able to leave your homeland business wise at least and still earn income. See http://www.garyascott.com/catalog/ibez.html

Also fortunately numerous readers shared some insights on how we can reduce our insurance costs by living where insurance costs much less.

Because the US is such a litigious society and because so many people live in hurricane, earthquake, fire risk areas and because medical expenses are so high, US insurance is expensive!

Elsewhere the insurance cost baseline is much lower. Here is what a few have shared.

“Question….Do you know of any way (or is it covered on your websites?) to cover my wife against catastrophic med expenses between her ages 60 and 65…without ‘breaking the bank’? Sincerely, Doug”

“Hi Gary, For the person who asked about insurance, here is one thought. Since I live outside of the USA, in Ecuador I use AMEDEX, a reputable group, with their main office in Miami, Florida for catastrophic medical insurance. For a family of 4 yearly the cost is $3400, with a $5,000 deductible (I’m 55 years old). Regards, Peter”

See http://www.amedex.com/

“Gary, the guy with medical research experience should look at Australia. We have the best and cheapest medical insurance on the planet, and if you cannot afford to pay, well gosh, it is free. Can you pass that on to him. Regards.”

“Gary, Tell your readers that there are many good private health international medical plans available with various options for level of coverage, as well as the amount of deductible. Most are based in Europe and aimed at expatriates. Various ones include: William Russell, Goodhealth (UK), Interglobal (UK), IHI Danmark (now owned by BUPA) and BUPA. We find a good combination to be a US policy (catastrophic) combined with a worldwide plan from say Interglobal or Goodhealth which covers you until you are 74. Since premiums and discounts are age related it is better to begin the plans sooner rather than later. We have just gone through the process in setting up to be resident in Germany for 1/2 the year and 1/2 the year in Canada. Since we are US citizens we don’t qualify for Canadian healthcare. Sincerely, Larry”

See http://www.bupa-intl.com

www.goodhealthworldwide.com

www.interglobalpmi.com

www.IHI.com

Please send your insurance solutions!

When it comes to the fifth inflation fighting option, start your own global international business so you can earn income anywhere, our readers continue to have success.

One reader who attended our course decided to buy a new form of Ecuadorian art that incorporates high rag natural fiber paper and a heavy metallic type medium that was painted into ancient sacred geometrical designs. They weren’t even thinking much about selling. They just bought what they loved…until…..everone they met went wild and wanted one…or two…or more.

They were inspired and came up with the idea to start a line of this art that has ancient Reiki symbols. Again every thing that came in went right back out the door…with nice markups.

This time they asked the artist to symbolize an ancient Andean prophesy that a time would come when the Eagle of the North and the Condor of the South would fly in the skies together to help restore the equilibrium of mankind. They asked for limited editions to be signed by the artist and the Yatchak Don Carlos Pachincha.

Merri and I picked up the pieces on our last trip down to ship back and while there asked Don Carlos to sign them. He dwelt on this and asked that the original have hair from a native North American and native South American. Merri, one quarter Cherokee, provided the hair from North America and Don Carlos provided some of his for the South America indigenous.

Here is the artist presenting the original to Don Carlos.

Here is Merri, the artist, Don Carlos and Steve Marchant, our man in Ecuador, fixing the hair to the photo.

Here is the signed #2 which now sits in our home here in North Carolina.

Learn more about the 500 year Andean prophesy at naturalhealthguidelines.com/natural_health_news_4.htm

Until next message, may the space between your rocks and hard spots be abundant and soft!

Gary

Learn about our correspondence course International Business Made EZ. See http://www.garyascott.com/catalog/ibez.html

Join Merri, Thomas Fischer of Jyske Bank and me at our last International Business and Investing Made EZ course in North Carolina this year. Review where to invest and do business now and learn which markets and currencies may be strong in the year ahead. Meet Steve Marchant, our man in Ecuador, and learn about products to export. Go to http://www.garyascott.com/catalog/ibeznc.html

Here is one more great reason to join us and learn how to invest and do business around the world.

Our courses are fun and filled with like minded souls that provide inspiration!

Here is a note from a reader at our last course.

“Gary & Merri, WOW! That sums up the whole Ecuadorian experience. As you may have heard, our flight was delayed and we did not get in until 7 AM on Sunday. Upon our return for the 2nd check in, we ran into Don Carlos who has a booth at the airport.

“Again, it was indeed a pleasure meeting you both. I had an extraordinary experience personally and as part of the collective Naples team, the process created numerous potentials and possibilities that simply delights and tickle my sprit and my soul.

“Your love and respect for each other as well as your passion for your work are awe inspiring. As a recovering Pollyanna, you have now challenged me to again believe in the power of love. Forward hooooo :-)

“Take care and until our paths cross again, hopefully sooner rather than later, I send you much success and fulfillment and many blissful rocking chairs days in the NC Mountains.”