Posts Tagged With: retirement

Running for Retirement

Thomas Hawk / Free Photos

Lately, I’ve had lots of discussions about retirement with my boss. He’s getting to the age where retirement is too far away for him and his wife, and many of his peers are starting to retire. We’ve talked about how he’s planned for his retirement, how he has forecasted his cash flow for 10, 20 and 30 years from now, the company retirement plan vs other pension plans, as well as the doom and gloom reports and articles outlining how my generation isn’t saving enough to cover our retirement expenses.

I hate hearing my boss talk about retirement, because frankly, I’m not ready for him to retire yet. The man is really good at his job and has years of experience behind him, so there’s not much he hasn’t come against. Being only three years into the job, I feel like now I’m only starting to get a handle on the profession of environmental planning. If my boss were to retire tomorrow, I would ask if him to leave his brain, so I could experiment on a way to extract all his knowledge.

In our retirement discussions, we often talk about the timing of retirement, whether it’s better to retire early or late. The timing of your retirement has a huge impact on how much you need to save, if I were to retire at 50, it almost goes without saying that I would need to save up way more than if I continued working until 65. It only takes a casual glance around the pf world to find people promoting early retirement, for lots of different reasons: to spend time with family, travel, follow a passion, and even simply just not work anymore. I’m not sold on early retirement though. I really enjoy working – albeit I’ve only been working full time for three years, I’ve always been a worker. I like having something to do, I’m not the kind of person to sit around, I like being busy, being occupied and having tasks to complete. Thankfully, my job is the type of job that has a fair bit of variety, so I’m not likely to get bored. Sure, early retirement gives you more time for traveling, but I’m hoping I’ll be able to travel even if I retire at 60. Hell, my grandma went to Alaska when she was 75.

While money is an important consideration for determining age at retirement, I think something that also has to be considered is health. I want to be a healthy senior. I want to be able to work until 60 without being sidelined by health issues. I want to still be able to travel if I retire at 65. With that in mind, I’ve started running and I’m pledging to get my arse back in the gym at lunch. It’s too easy to just sit at my desk or on the couch and be sedentary. I have to invest in my health now, before it’s too late, just like I have to invest financially for my future now. Maybe I should toss a dollar in a jar for every kilometer I run, and look at my gym membership and cost of yoga classes as an investment instead of an expense.

Do you consider your health when planning for your retirement? How do you invest in your health. Also, anyone have any suggestions for my running playlist – I’m open to anything.

Categories: Goals, Personal | Tags: , | 15 Comments

Selling the farm: why I dread my Dad’s retirement.

This past weekend, I spent an afternoon at the farm, just sitting on the deck and catching up with the neighbours that pulled in for a visit. The deck is one of my favourite places in the world; from the deck, we look over farm fields as far as the eye can see and the local highway (perfect for keeping track of the neighbours). There’s nothing like sitting out on the deck swing and watching the world go by. I was looking over my Mum’s flowerbeds, the wheat field and the barn and it reminded me how strong of a connection I feel to farm.

It’s a bittersweet connection though, because at the moment, it seems unlikely that I’ll ever be likely to buy the farm. That thought eats away at me. I absolutely dread the day my parents say they’re selling the farm.

I suppose my first realization that I am ill-suited to take over the farm came when my Dad decided he didn’t want to milk cows anymore. I loved being out in the barn and helping with the chores, but there were a lot of things I just couldn’t do. I’m small, too small to reach up to the release for the milkers, too small to move the big feed cart, or not strong enough to do a lot of the tasks required around the farm. In addition to my physical inabilities, at the time, I was in my third year of university and approximately $28,000 in debt from my student loans. I would have to get that amount in loans again just to buy the milk quota. No loan officer in his or her right mind would have lent me the money – existing debt, no collateral, and I’m just a single gal.

The cows left gradually, the milking cows went first – auctioned off at the local sales barn. The bull went next, followed by the heifers and finally the last of the calves. I’ll never forget going into the barn after the last of the cows left. It was eerily quiet and seemed so empty. It took the entire family a long time to adjust to not having cows. We still thought we had to be home by 4:30 to milk cows if we were out to town or to the city. Getting rid of the cows did allow my parents to take a well-deserved, out of country vacation without worrying about getting someone to do chores.

Without the cows, we still have 150 acres, plus equipment. Land around these parts is expensive and many farmers sell the farm and then use the proceeds from the sale to fund their retirement. My Dad is no exception. With land prices around $10,000/acre – selling the farm can make a substantial contribution to a retirement fund. I would love to be able to hand my Dad 1.5 million dollars and buy the farm when he wants to retire, but I don’t have that kind of money and I can’t handle that kind of debt (if someone would even loan me that much). I also don’t expect my Dad to just hand me the farm – he’s worked hard his entire life and I think he’s entitled to profit from it. I feel like I’m stuck between a rock and a hard place. I want the farm to stay in the family, I want the farm for myself, but I want my Dad to be able to retire comfortably and I’d only want the farm if I could buy it at a fair price. Buying the farm is absolutely out of my reach, short of winning the lottery.

I feel like being unable to buy the farm is/will be my biggest financial failure. It hasn’t happened yet, but every year that passes is a year closer to Dad deciding to retire. Maybe my situation will change, perhaps I’ll find a partner willing to buy into the farm with me, maybe I will the lottery, but for now, it looks like the farm is out of my reach.

Categories: About Me, Family, Farming, Personal | Tags: , , , | 11 Comments

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