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Honored Advisor

retirement ----- moving -----sort of?? #2


This weekend a friend and I shared some thoughts on age and time.  Coupled with a wonderful article in the Wall Street Journal last week,  I found myself up against the proverbial--"do it or stop thinking about it" position.

I have, in my mind, at least, 4-5 topics I want answers to on this subject, and a couple of things have slowed my entries.  1. The discourse on the business section is on a down hill slide with an ample supply of grease.  And 2. One "difficult" topic has dominated my mind and it is not an easy one.  With all respect to Kay and others who have lived with recent death, I am finally going to give it a try.

The underlying factor that makes secession planning critical and trumps every "plan"------- death & taxes.   Wrong, Tax evasion is the one true American Sport.  It is possible that many of us are not born in a normal sense, or at least are showing false or created birth documents, but death is still something we can count on.  Deterioration of function and the physical are a reality that can't be changed.  Masked, but not stopped.  What an industry we have in two areas, maintaining youth and selling cures to the elderly.  I wonder what % of the US economy that is???

The article I read in WSJ is not an epic piece but a good one----- one of those "Mom was special" when in fact she was just facing life like all of us should and do.  Here's the link--------


 I got this same lecture twice in my life.  From a friend,  a big guy who could stand on the mound and burn my hand inning after inning and had such a big heart that every loss was his to carry.  We found out in his mid thirties that his heart did have problems.  He found himself an indoor farmer living on the transplant list for several years, until his name came up and he thoughtfully said no after studying what was defined as successful life after he decided to take his chances with the cards he was dealt.  Lost him in his 50's.

The second for me was my local implement dealer in the same position at an older age.  His loving and quick response to me when I stuck my head into his office and asked, with the knowledge he could afford good health care, was "I have decided that I am not going to put myself in a position of buying time.  Thanks for caring."


Please understand,  I am not promoting specific choices or condemning the ongoing industry of health care.  My concern is "us" farmers.

The examples given have this one factor I want to promote.  In all three cases a clear understanding of decisions and wishes was shared by all family members.  I don't care if you agree or want to fight for every possible breath,  question is------- Have you had the discussion???  Does the future leader of your farm or family know how you feel ?  Do they have an opportunity to contribute to the plan??  Is there a plan???



We all know one of the biggest deterrent to this discussion is the the voice that says "Dad's off his rocker, what are we gonna do?"  Therefore, it is important to approach the subject early enough to make that statement appears as foolish as it is.  It is just a statement that means "I am not mature enough to handle it."   The discussion might help that.


IMO-------- Secession planning might be much more successful,  if we started out with this discussion to understand each other first,  instead of shoving it to last----------- or just dumping it on a doctor and a judge,  or worst of all, our totally unprepared children.

The fact is the discussion is going to be had, won't it go better if your part of it??


What do you think?? --------------- Hopefully this spurs thought.  Not an agenda.


I guarantee you, my view on this subject has changed over the years.  The one event we all attend, how well do we prepare ourselves for it?


thanks to ECIN for sharing


5 Replies
Senior Advisor

Re: retirement ----- moving -----sort of?? #2

It looks like they answered your question here sw --- seems like nobody wants to talk about your subject !


I think its VERY important to talk about it - yet nobody do's - the funny thing about this _ i got a call from my sister last night about this - and she don't read [A].com .


My folks are this way - they will NOT talk about this - no way shape or form - and it affects us all - how do you make manage decisions - buy equipment - when that day do's come - and you may not have any land to rent from them ? IT is a big injustice  to all involved  !


As far as the dead part - that is something we have talked about - I have told friends and wife - if you let me lie in bed with a thousand wires and hoses hooked to me - I would come bad and haunt them for every !  I think they got the message


VERY good subject you posted up sw !

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tree fmr

Re: retirement ----- moving -----sort of?? #2

My father once asked me about the revocable trust he had, if I would change anything. Told him it was his and I would honor it, changes have nothing to do with me. He was upset that was my only opinion. Never changed it and never brought up the subject again. He passed at 87 in the VA home. Got there by his own doing, one day just called my sister and said paperwork was excepted will you give me a ride? His will was the trust for the land and a 3 page hand written note he had given to his lawyer stating who got the equipment and his personal affects. So it does not have to be fancy. With 8 kids the lawyer was impressed no one argued just excepted and honored what pop wanted. Guess my point is that we all die and it does not have to be difficult.

He also had his cremation paid for and planned, made the funeral easy.

I figure why argue about inheritance, we all come into this world with nothing and we all get to leave with it!

I want to go with a worn out decrepit old body, half a beer in one hand, lit cigar in the other, and screaming "HELL YEAH, WHAT A RIDE!"
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BA Deere
Honored Advisor

Re: retirement ----- moving -----sort of?? #2

Hey SW, it`s almost a cliche to say "make your wishes known before it`s too late" everyone knows that, but few actually follow through. My folks were that way, they were healthy right up into their 70`s, then the health problems came in platoons for them.  And they of course had no will, only Dad knew exactly where all the important papers were, combination to the safe, how much chores he did every day, the wiring in the pumphouse where "the green wire was the one that was the one that had juice".


It just seems to me as most people get close to 80, I`m sorry but they are really on borrowed time at that point, they can be healthy but just a simple fall that most of us get up from, sends them to the hospital with a broken hip that`s a real game changer.  I have a older relative who is 90, he and his wife been married 65 years, he drives, lives next to the golf course and golfs every morning and plays cards after that, but they aren`t the norm at that age.


In my life, I suppose I`m lucky my kids have no interest in farming and they are geniuses.  Farming to be honest, bores them and it wouldn`t be enough of a challenge for them. Myself, I am amused with simple tasks 😉   But I tell them, even if they are software billionaires out in Connecticut to "hang on to that family land out in Ioway" cause who knows, maybe my grandkids will be slow-witted like me and want to farm or maybe the poorhouse is around the corner and being a city bigshot won`t be what it`s cracked up to be.   Maybe this talk of "9 billion mouths to fed in 2040" will come to fruition and farmland will be priceless...of course if the rest of the country is hard up, they`ll just tax it away from you, you just can`t stuff a farm in your bugout bag and head for the Cayman Islands 🙂


I`m really thinking of putting my land into a trust for their own good to avoid squabbles after I`m gone, they can just rent it out to whatever BTO bids the most rent and divide it up equally each year.  Because all my life I`ve seen inheritance fights, no matter how rich the heirs are and how small the estate is, they always get rubbed the wrong way.

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tree fmr

Re: retirement ----- moving -----sort of?? #2

Talking with my lawyer he did teach me one interesting fact. The trust was written so you can only sell to another member of the trust until only 1 remains. The problem is if the remaining members cannot afford to buy out the one that wants to sell, or refuses, or refuses the price. Then a forced sale can happen, at this point it gets very complicated and ugly, in the end the property is sold and a big chunk of $$ goes to lawyers. Saw this happen to a family this spring, makes you feel bad when bidding on it while one owner is sitting in the room crying. I think with multiple heirs, equal distribution may not be right and can cause big disputes like this.
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Senior Contributor

Re: retirement ----- moving -----sort of?? #2

Dieing is a tough subject that so many refuse to acknowledge will happen.


we are in the process of making succession plans. It takes a lot of time just to get all peoples thoughts together so a successull plan can be out together.

At our age we probably should have started sooner but then we planned on living forever I guess.

Have had wills ever since we were married since old age is not the only requirement for death, did not always update them as often as we should but lived through it so keep them updated better now.


Planning is difficult and our only goal is to leave things so the family does not squabble after we are gone. Each family is different and decisions will be different but need to be made with the understanding that you can not rule from the grave just give your family options and let them live their lives the way they wish.


As for the decisions about how we die again so many things are out of our hands BUT we have made the decision to stay where we are at least as long as possible.

Our house is accessible for infirm people with wheelahir access and rooms on the main floor for all living needs.

My father and my wifes mother both died in our house after moving here with end of life infirmaties. If we are lucky we will remain here for the end too BUT my mother was afflicted with dementia and needed, even wished, for some place other than what we could offer so died of a stroke some years after she quit living in her mind while in a nursing home.


We are not always in control of how things will end.


As in your link I had an uncle who was offered surgery when he was 85 or so years old which they said could extend his life for another year or so.

He said 'keep me comfortable, it has been a good life lets not mess it up with surgery'.


That would be my choice too.

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