What’s Your Plan B?

18 thoughts on “What’s Your Plan B?”

  1. Wow. Sad for her. But you’re right. We need more of that kind of empowering talk that is normally shoved aside.

    And good thing you got out of sea view when you did! Breathe sigh of relief!!

    1. The house in Sea View, as well as 99% of all the other homes in the area, is fine. Only a few dozen homes out of thousands were affected. The roads will be patched and life will go back to normal soon enough. Same with hurricanes and floods in Florida and Texas.

  2. And one reason I hate the airlines is that they plan their flight schedules for 70 degrees and light wind, and set up schedules that can only be fulfilled under such conditions , and they have no Plan B! Ever.

  3. You realize, of course, that the inflation of the 1970s gave us the first wave of “preppers,” who contributed a lot to the revival of the Right at that time? But we should all have a plan B. And it’s nice to know you believe in God!

  4. Johnny,
    Thanks for the blog posts. I read them all the time. At times I do not agree and others times you hit the nail on the head. I enjoy reading all the different views in the replies.

    1. It isn’t all about agreeing 100%. It’s about seeing the same situation from many different perspectives. No one has all the answers. No one even asks all the right questions.

      1. How Ironic that you had just spoken to her about a plan B. Most people never think this could be them, and when it is them they are left asking why me, and what am I going to do. At her age there isn’t going to be a whole lot of options available to her. I wish her luck.

  5. Love the garden pictures.

    I hadn’t thought about it before, but in San Francisco well-insured landlords of rent-controlled buildings with long-time tenants actually have incentive to have their properties burn down, especially if they don’t live there themselves. (Or at least reason not to get upset when it happens.) Not a particularly great state of affairs.

    I am a big fan of landlords living in the multi-unit buildings they own. Improves the neighborhoods in every way.

  6. This is probably a dumb question, but when the “Big One” hits the west coast and the expensive cities are mostly destroyed, do you think they will get rebuilt because they’re in such beautiful and valuable locations? Will the insurance companies pay or pay out too little when the disaster hits and will your apartment and everyone’s real estate holdings be a total loss? I’ve read so many articles about various volcanoes blowing up here in the Northwest or the Big One happening and the entire area being dealt an unrecoverable blow.

    My friends and I like the idea of buying a cheap piece of land in Hilo, Hawaii as a bug out/vacation spot, but that area is pretty dicey when it comes to natural disasters as well as Portland (where we live). Anyway, thanks for your post.

    1. The zombie apocalypse is not what you need to guard against. Stop thinking about massive devastation. Mt. Saint Helens blew rather violently in the early 80’s and Seattle and Portland are still there. 1906’s quake didn’t permanently kill San Francisco. The volcano in Hilo drips little bits of lava all the time, but no one is killed. Homes do get destroyed from time to time, but life goes on.

      The better way to think of possible trouble comes from a series of lesser events. The economy cools and your income diminishes. A fire destroys your home. Divorce. Illness. The quotidian set backs are the more likely minor tragedies that we need to plan for. Plan B isn’t a bunker in the woods full of canned tuna. Plan B is a diversified set of resilient arrangements that give you multiple options.

      Like I said, call it a vacation home or a retirement investment. Plain vanilla.

  7. Funny how people are resistant to even the mild forms of preparedness. They make you feel kooky about it, like you’re some kind of crazy prepper. I guess they feel it impinges on their freedom. From a S.F. liberal point of view, being a landlord is something for greedy Republicans. Not this woman. She’s a Free Bird. Money not’s important in this mystic journey called Life. But guess what happens when you don’t treat money as important? You spend it.

    Conservatives obviously are not opposed to money, ownership or bunkers for The Apocalypse. They have their own blind spots though. Conforming to peer norms is one. Gotta have that boat in the driveway and 10 guns in the vault. Kids gotta play those sports. And Dave, did you see what we did with the kitchen countertops (with a home equity loan)? What? You’re tending a veggie garden? Dave. To be honest, that’s kinda… gay.

    I’m being silly and painting a broad brush but you get the point.

  8. Sometimes I get very defensive when I get advice, even advice from a loved one, or advice that is in my best interest. However, the seed is planted. Perhaps your conversation sparked a Plan B. At the very least, this post may spark someone else to make a Plan B. Great post, Johnny.

  9. Will the building actually get restored, given that it’s rent controlled? Surely the landlord has a strong incentive to drag their heels, at least, in the hopes that tenants will start to give up. Can it even be restored profitably, with rent control?

    1. Yes, this building will ultimately be restored. Not all the tenants were paying the same low rents since different people arrived at different times at different price points. There is some slow turnover.

      We have friends who were smoked out of another nearby building. The damage was minimal, but still triggered the closure of the entire property. That was five years ago. Insurance covered “loss of use” for two years so these friends had a kind of stipend for rent elsewhere, but there were no vacancies – at least not anywhere near their price point. They couch surfed with friends. The rented odd rooms here and there. They moved to Oakland for a while. And still their old apartment isn’t back in working order. Partly this is just how slowly the city bureaucracy works. The regulations are endless. Partly building contractors take forever to do anything. Partly the landlord has an incentive to wait out the old rent controlled folks until they finally leave the Bay Area entirely – which is happening. Partly lawyers are picking over the bones looking for carrion. It’s the nature of the beast around here. The fact that no rent is being collected and the apartments are empty for so long in a city with a massive housing crisis… Meh. That’s just how it is.

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