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AgPoll: What's your main financial goal currently?

Any changing perspectives on this, or just business as usual? Thoughts?

 

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9 Replies
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Senior Advisor

Re: AgPoll: What's your main financial goal currently?

Keeping what we have John to live comfortably and leave some financial assets to the ones we love.

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Honored Advisor

Re: AgPoll: What's your main financial goal currently?

Building a bigger retirement cushion. We have done okay, but not as good as we should at this, I would say.

I try not to spend money unless I have a very reasonable expectation that it will earn more...nothing very speculative anymore. Our projections on timelines for returns on investments have grown shorter.

Getting completely out of debt allowed us to shift to more savings a few years ago. Some decisions to position our farm for the term of our last production contract a year or so ago cost some $$, but we feel they will pay off.

Some of those changes put the farm and houses into updates that make it easier to work and live out in the sticks as we age. Others reduce some variable cost items like fuel usage. I would say the goal there supports the financial goal, by maintaining our independence as long as we can.

Others were sort of insulating items...buying small adjoining parcels that wouldn't do much but be nuisances, if someone else bought them and had too many opinions about our business. They did not make sense except in this way, to provide us more peace. I am satisfied that we have done what we need to do on that score for now.

The things we spend on today are bits and pieces that make our lives easier, more comfortable, or that help our kids or save for our grandson's education. Retiring in comfort and providing for next generations should not mean living in misery now.

I am asking Mike to repair some of the oldest buildings on his farm, now that we are there more. Repairing a shed makes more sense than building a new one. They are parts of the family's history, and might fit into some future plans as well. Time will tell.

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Senior Advisor

Re: AgPoll: What's your main financial goal currently?

The farm is paid off.  Some operating funds I'd like to get done with.  Then, I'm going to build a new house for my wife and I that we paln to live in well into advanced old age.  We're starting to design it now and plan to build in '15.  No more farming expansion.  Eventually, ease out of the physical side of farming.

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Honored Advisor

Re: AgPoll: What's your main financial goal currently?

Jim, do you plan to build out in the country, or in town?
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Senior Advisor

Re: AgPoll: What's your main financial goal currently?

We'll buld here on the farm.  It will be very ADA oriented so even if we need visiting nurses it will all be very convenient, easy and safe.  I hope to die in that house.  In fact, I call it the death house.  The wife is not amused.  Well, actually, she is a little amused.  She's used to my sense of humor.  Smiley Happy

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Advisor

Re: AgPoll: What's your main financial goal currently?

John, having grown the farm from scratch, I am yet reluctant to move into a less active mode. The last decade has been the most rewarding time of my career in agriculture. Without growing up with an inherited land base, this land is just now becoming a comfortable fit. I would not expect anyone that grew up with this security blanket to relate.

We are in good health. We eat sensibly. We have many opportunities to enjoy our adult children and grandchildren.

We realize this will not last forever. But one cannot appreciate the value of something unless one knows what it is like to go without.

Advisor

Re: AgPoll: What's your main financial goal currently?

Continuing on the main theme, our financial goal remains unchanged. Grow the farm, leverage a proper debt portfolio that achieves that goal. Right now, it is a time for waiting for market forces to moderate before buying acres. Continue succession planning. Add equipment and other assets that improves operating efficiency. Do nothing stupid that changes our longterm goal.
Honored Advisor

Re: AgPoll: What's your main financial goal currently?

That plan makes sense. I have had a few of those " this is the last one" feelings hit me this past year. Sometimes, it feels more like a question ( Is this the last one?) than a decision.

Driving to Richmond a week ago made me realize that I either don't drive in that type of traffic often enough, or am starting to feel uncertain in it for other reasons. Probably part of why I asked about location.

We could move less than six miles from the house in either location where we live now, and be in more of a " walkable" location, to grocery and drugstore. It would take a full-fledged move to a city to do better than that.

As for the Death House, I would imagine you have already settled on its site. Did you plan out a long driveway to keep cleared and maintained? That would be a bugaboo for getting home health or other help in during bad weather.

Our homes are 1/4 and one mile from county roads. Fortunately, we keep a tractor with a block heater and blade on each farm, and have a thirty-something kid within minutes of each hime.

We still need to solve the backup generator piece of the puzzle at the Va house. The good problem we have there is that we use so little in terms of electricity, sizing a genset cost effectively seems overkill at this point. Solar panels and some deep cell batteries plus an inverter keep lurking in the back of my mind there.

Have you considered how to make storm sheltering ADA accessible? Have you thought about installing alarm systems? A lot of those are adding health and safety ( smoke/fire/temperature) monitoring parameters to the usual security ones now, too, I think.

As long as we can both manage three steps, we can weather it out where we live now. Losing that capability will be the total game changer.

Until then, we need to make some minor retrofits, mostly in the landscaping, like pouring concrete walks in place of flagstone, adding some exterior lighting, etc. We are doing things like coded locks, so fumbling with keys isn't necessary anymore, either. My next step is to get both houses coded/ keyed alike. Lots of new stuff out there for the Boomers to buy.
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Senior Advisor

Re: AgPoll: What's your main financial goal currently?

My main goal is to become a fulltime farmer and not rely on off the farm employment to make a living.  Currently I've got no debt other than a home mortgage and that is what I'm making extra payments to get paid off.  Not having any debt makes living much easier.  I'm wanting to reenter the cattle business, but at the current price level of replacement pairs that isn't a cup of tea either.

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