Here’s How the 1% Is Preparing for the End of the World

Doomsday preppers have long been a bit of a laughing stock to the masses. From jokes about tinfoil hat-wearers to dried-food hoarders, the vast majority of the population seems to prefer the idea of a civilization and government that will never collapse. Nevertheless, the overall vibe of having a forever safe and secure haven feels like it’s shifting. In fact, a significant unrest appears to be bubbling to the surface.

By no coincidence, the fear of civilization going to splitsville transcends all socioeconomic classes and so does the level of preparation. The only difference lies in millionaires and billionaires have the means to take their prep game to the next level, and many of them have done just that. Check out how the ultra-rich prepare for an apocalypse.  

1. Multi-million dollar luxury survival condos

You can get granite countertops in your survival bunker. | iStock

An indoor pool, hydroponically-grown produce, even a dog park and movie theater? It’s called the Survival Condo Project, and rest-assured this underground oasis exists in the flatlands of Kansas. This missile silo turned luxury survival dwellings command $1.5 million for a 900 square foot condo with one to two bedrooms. If you need more space, you could opt for the $4.5 million “penthouse” suite.

2. Ready to fly with gassed-up helicopters

Helicopter ready to fly | Source: Gateway Canyons Resort & Spa

Silicon Valley is consistently pumping out the ultra-rich. And just like any other living and breathing human being, these ultra-rich techies share the same end-of-the-world fears as the next prepper. Many preppers in the Valley collect together in person or in private Facebook groups to discuss prepping tactics. One anonymous investment firm head not only has an air-filtered underground bunker but also keeps a gassed-up helicopter on hand.

3. Buying property in New Zealand

A small trip in Milford Sound, located in New Zealand, South Island

Milford Sound, located in New Zealand, South Island | Eduardo_Zapata/iStock/Getty Images

According to LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman, nearly 50% of Silicon Valley billionaires have some sort of “apocalypse insurance” in the form of hideouts around the globe.  A particularly popular destination for wealthy preppers is New Zealand. And the kiwi country is welcoming U.S. investors with open arms.

For instance, Robert A. Johnson, managing director of hedge fund Soros Fund Management, told The New Yorker that he knows of hedge fund managers all over the globe buying land and airstrips in New Zealand as an escape plan.

4. Acquiring second passports

Passports on passports

Not only are the uber-rich buying up land in New Zealand, they’re also applying for citizenship there. Within the first week after President Trump’s election, 13,401 Americans began vying for a kiwi passport. With the influx of Americans trying to get their hands on New Zealand passports, newspapers in New Zealand highlighted the increase of interest and headlined the paper “Trump Apocalypse.”

5. Getting Lasik eye surgery

Womans eye with futuristic digital data

Eye with futuristic digital data | BrianAJackson/iStock/Getty Images

Lasik eye surgery received the thumbs up from the FDA back in 2002 and has since become one of the most commonly performed elective procedures. So why is the eye surgery an important move for preppers? According to Steve Huffman, the millionaire CEO and co-founder of Reddit, he elected to have the procedure in order to have a better chance of surviving a calamity. In the event of any sort of apocalypse, accessing contacts and glasses would be a major pain and could prevent his survival efforts.

6. Stocking up on Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies

Is Bitcoin worth its weight in gold? Although gold has long been the standard of wealth, a lot of preppers are opting out of the gilded bars and investing in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies instead. The true value of Bitcoin raises concern for some, as it can’t be accessed unless the grid is operational. Others in favor of Bitcoin believe that when the dollar collapses, Bitcoin and other cryptos will survive and prevail.

7. Purchasing large-acreage farmlands

Montana, USA

Montana, USA | PStieger/iStock/Getty Images

Snapping up land in New Zealand is appealing, however, the approach is not the priority of every billionaire prepper. More recently, some of the nation’s wealthiest are buying up insane acreages of farmland throughout the U.S. For example, billionaire John Malone owns 2.2 million acres in Wyoming and Colorado and Jeff Bezos bought 400,000 acres in Texas.

What’s the common denominator? All of the big land purchases by the ultra-rich avoid coastal areas and harness the ability for sustainable living and survival.

8. Buying worldwide vacation homes

Concrete boombox homeaway

Its worth it for the view alone. | Homeaway

Perhaps there is no better way to prepare for the disintegration of civilization than to set up safe havens across the world. Aside from billionaire preppers snapping up land in the states or in New Zealand, many of the world’s richest are camouflaging safe havens as investment vacation homes around the world.

Tim Chang, managing director of venture capitalist firm Mayfield Fund, told The New Yorker, “I’m stockpiling now on real estate to generate passive income but also to have safe havens to go.” Chang and his wife have bags packed for when it’s time to bail out to one of his safe havens.

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