Down here in the Sunshine State, we have a super hero / super villain named “Florida Man”. The news usually starts with “A Florida Man…” and what comes next is shocking, hilarious, or down-right weird (there’s something about this state that brings the oddity out of people… maybe it’s the heat).
Headlines you can find include:
· Florida Man bites off neighbor’s ear because he wouldn’t give him a cigarette.
· Florida Man steals 36,000 pounds of Crisco.
· Florida Man, Caught Robbing House by Armed Homeowner, Offers to Mow Lawn if Let Go Before Police Arrive.
So why am I opening this post about these odd news stories here on a financial blog?
I want to show that there are crazies out there that are willing to do some very odd things for drugs, money, thrills, or whatever floats their boat. It just so happens that Florida is in the top five states that have high burglary statistics and that’s an obvious indication that if you live in the Sunshine State you are putting your money (and everything else, including you and your family) at risk without the right precautions for security.
What I wanted to do is to share three things I’ve learned while living in Florida that has helped me and my family avoid a visit from Florida Man after all these years; these tips can be applied anywhere so be sure to take note if you cherish your physical, mental, and financial well-being:
A. Spread the wealth
There are many stubborn individuals that still have this mentality of keeping their money under their mattress, in a coffee can buried in the back yard, or investing in products that have great resale (like guns). These financial strategies may be sound on the short-term but what happens if there was a burglary, house fire, or other major disaster in the area? Woosh, it’s gone.
Now is the time to start investing. First-time investors, according to a post here on kscripts.com, should understand & stick to the market you know, view it as a long-term goal, diversify, leave the emotions at the door, don’t ride trends and latch onto history, and get assistance when needed.
The goal, here, is to get your money out of a centralized location which could be the weak point in having your financial viability come crumbling down. Work toward investing in index funds, IRA’s, CD’s, mirco-loans, precious metals, and business ventures.
If things were to go south and you are the unlucky one to be visited by Florida Man you may be out a few pieces of electronics but they didn’t take the bank.
B. Invest in security
There are plenty of fire arms in Florida and the criminal justice system is no joke. Florida, like many other places, has issues with drugs and in this case it’s prescription drugs.
Doctors were running rampant, passing out scripts like they were candy. People would raid homes of older individuals and steal everything they could find in their medicine cabinet. A lot of this has been cracked down but it’s still on-going in many parts of the Sunshine State.
Florida has a “stand your ground” policy which allows you to take appropriate action if someone where to intrude on your property and try to enter your house but there are gray lines and it becomes a giant hassle if you get involved.
The best option for dealing with this crime to keep your home, family, and finances covered is to look into a home security system or a service like ADT home security in Florida, which will get your home setup with the right tools and support so that you may be proactive in deterring Florida Man from targeting you.
Remember that most of these people committing the crimes want to do so with the lease resistance so when you have systems in place they will most likely move on and leave you alone. Even if they did push past the security the services will get the police to your door in a jiffy so it’s bye-bye to Florida Man (and see ya on the news).
C. Shift the lifestyle
Anytime you flip on a show that’s “set” in Florida (usually Miami) it’s all about glitz and glamour but when you live here you see that it’s only really the 1% that are actively pursuing this lifestyle. Outside of the Disney parks, beaches, and major parks is sprawl after sprawl of small, average towns.
We Floridians take it slow when we can because it’s simply too hot to do much of anything. In a way this is a very good thing because it helps you save money. Instead of coming here (or living here) trying to replicate what you see on TV shows you form a new lifestyle that is modest.
· You slow down and enjoy cooking (rather than spending tons when going out)
· You take the time to learn the area (and avoid the countless tourist traps)
· You find plenty of small businesses to work with (rather than getting stuck with retail pricing)
Florida Man can be anywhere which is why you don’t want to draw too much attention to yourself so skip the glamour, throw on some flip-flops, and blend into the crowd so you don’t become victim to one of the many, many scams you find all over the state that usually target unsuspecting “tourist-types”.