Prospecting Your Way Through The Golden Years
Although it seems like more and more young men and women are suddenly becoming attracted to the hobby of gold prospecting and metal detecting, a large percentage of our customers are older folks and retirees. At least weekly I speak to a person who is just now leaving the workforce and trying to figure out what to do. I do not believe it to be wise to retire without a plan. I have seen it drive people very near the cliff of insanity. I think it is well advised to retire to something. Some of these people already have some prospecting experience and now have the opportunity to finally load up the motorhome and head for the gold fields. Some of them have watched Tom Massie on Gold Fever for many years and always fantasized about doing it. Regardless of their experience level, many of these folks are typically looking for two things:
- A way to stay active and healthy in their golden years.
- A way to supplement their retirement or social security income.
Gold Prospecting is a Very Active Pastime
In this day and age people are living longer healthier lives than they were even 50 years ago. I credit this to the knowledge that exercise and eating right will help you not only live longer, but also live better in your later years. I don’t need to cite any medical journal to say it’s fact that if you remain active you will remain healthier much later in life. It is something I can see with my own eyes and feel in my aging joints. This means two things. First, get into a habit of staying active before you retire and second, find something to keep you active after retirement. You don’t want to retire and be stuck to a La-Z-Boy or even worse a wheelchair. You want to retire and be able to do the things you spent half your working hours daydreaming about…right? I recommend getting into the habit of going to the gym, walking the neighborhood, or even gardening at least 3-4 times per week to help keep your heart, joints, and muscles in decent shape to prepare for the upcoming glory days. Metal detecting or prospecting is another good way to remain in good shape. A good hard day of treasure hunting will plumb wear you out, no matter how young you are. If you have time to enjoy the activity every day you don’t have to push yourself so hard. Going out for a few hours each day and taking it slow will still be enough to get the heart rate up. This is plenty of exercise for most retirees. Certainly enough to aide in keeping the heart healthy and the waistline trim. This is good advice for any age group, but especially those topping the hill. If you do this you will live longer than if you don’t…period. If you do, you will be able to enjoy outdoor activities to their fullest later in life.
Not only will prospecting and treasure hunting keep your body fit. It works wonders for your mind too. It opens new doors for learning. Whether it be geology or history, there is always something to learn when it comes to digging valuables from the ground. By keeping the cogs turning they are less likely to freeze up. You will find yourself immersed in books, blogs, and and website researching the next place to go and find treasure. And find it you will. Don’t be fooled by those who think all of the good treasure has been found. It hasn’t. There is still plenty of gold being washed around in streams and rivers. And sometimes it is just being at the right place at the right time to find it. You just have to get out and look. It is a numbers game. The more you do, the better the odds are you will find something. And, the more you do, the better your odds will get as your experience on where to look builds.
There is Treasure Out There and it is Worth Real Money
Supplementing your income by gold prospecting or metal detecting may not make your rich. But it is possible. More than likely though, you will be able to supplement your income. We had one client who sold their house (and anything that could not be carried in their new RV), bought a Mountain Goat Trommel, Desert Fox Spiral wheel, the other basic prospecting gear needed, and headed for New Mexico. They stayed on various GPAA claims most of the year. I heard from them a year or so later. They said they were finding about an ounce per month with their new supplies. At the time this amounted to about $1,500 or more per month. Considering this wealth is not taxed (unless you sell too much of it at once), this is substantial to a couple living on a very meager retirement income.
Other than finding gold, there are plenty of other ways to use your treasure hunting skills to generate income. In a recent article I wrote called Is a Metal Detector a Good Investment?, I covered several ways to earn money with a metal detector. This includes things like finding lost jewelry for others, finding lost jewelry and selling it, coin shooting, relic hunting, and recycling scrap metal recovered while metal detecting. Again, you may not get rich doing just one of these things, but you can certainly supplement your income by doing a good mix of each.
The Real Treasure You Will Find
One of the things I notice the most is how often older people will come in and tell stories about their grandchildren enjoying the hobby right alongside them. Their eyes light up as they talk. They thoroughly enjoy it and so do the kids. Let’s face it, most youngsters love playing in the dirt and they love looking for treasure. Gems, gold, coins, whatever. If you are anywhere near a group of kids and you pull one of these things from the ground, you will be immediately swarmed. You will suddenly have a great number of eager little helpers. As they help you sift through the material or dig for treasure you will be able to explain to them exactly what they are looking for. You can teach them the history of the area or the geology of the world that created this elusive treasure. It will be a learning experience for them and a family experience for you. What better way to bond with your kids and grand kids than playing in the dirt. After all, the same reason they like doing it is the same reason you do. You are both kids at heart. Only now you have a little more time to fully indulge in this wonderful hobby called prospecting.
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- Josh Turpin